Tuesday, September 4, 2012

November: CTNx Animation Expo 2012

This November is the annual Creative Talent Network's Animation Expo (CTNx) in Burbank, CA. Once again, I'll be exhibiting and signing copies of The Daily Zoo books. 

This will be the show's fourth year and each year it gets even more impressive. In addition to the many talented artists exhibiting their wares and doing demonstrations & panel discussions, a few of the special guests that are scheduled to appear are Glen Keane, Syd Mead, Michel Gagné, and Jean-Baptiste Monge.

If you are a fan of animation & design, I encourage you to check it out! (And if you come, stop by The Daily Zoo booth at T-109 and say hello!)

When: November 16 - 18, 2012
Where: Burbank Mariott Hotel, Burbank, CA

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie...

...That's amore! Ever since studying in Florence for a semester during college (and probably even before that) I've had a love affair with Italy. The art! The food! The vino!

I'm very lucky to have the opportunity to once again pay a visit to my delicious muse of a nation when I have an exhibition of Daily Zoo art at the historical Palazzo Ducale this fall as part of the annual Lucca Comics and Games convention. Lucca is a small, medieval-walled city in beautiful Tuscany.The show will run from October 20 - November 4 and I've been invited to be a guest artist at the convention which runs November 1-4. Here's a link to the announcement of the show and a small preview (warning: it's in Italian!).  

The final selection of pieces to be included in the exhibition is still being determined. In addition to some images from the already-published Daily Zoo books, it is going to include many never-before-seen original DZ drawings and paintings. I've included a few preview images here to whet your appetite (or in case you can't hop a plane, train, or Vespa to Lucca this fall). Enjoy!

After my time in Lucca, I head to Zug, Switzerland to lead two days of art workshops with students there. I shall have to practice up on my yodeling...

The Book Show

When I was in Paris earlier this year for The Daily Zoo exhibition at Galerie Daniel Maghen, Olivier Souillé, one of the organizers, told me about an upcoming group show that would pay homage to books that had inspired us as children.

It was called, simply, The Book Show, and Olivier invited me to participate. For my subject matter, I had a very tough time narrowing it down to a single book. I've been a lifelong bookworm and had many, many favorites as a child. Since the show was in France, however, I thought it might be fitting to pay homage to Jean de Brunhoff's classic series of children's books featuring Babar the Elephant King. I tried to keep many of Babar's iconic features (the green suit, red bowtie, spats, the crown atop his broad forehead, beady black eyes, etc.) but give it a bit more rendered and detailed look. And it was fun to throw his monkey friend, Zephyr, into the mix as well.

The show is now over at the Galerie, but all the entries (featuring the work of over 80 artists from around the world) can be seen on The Book Show's blog.

Fan Art from Wisconsin

To my delight, a classmate from college sent me photos of her two sons proudly displaying their drawings, having used their MY Daily Zoo Drawing Activity Books to get their creative juices flowin'. Nice work Ryan and Tommy!

This has been one of those unanticipated perks of having some books published. I've received interpretations of various Daily Zoo characters (and even a few cartoons of me!) from around the world. I'll try to share some more in future posts. 
It also reminded me of when, for a class assignment in grade school, we had to write a letter to an author or illustrator that we admired. I chose the amazing Bill Peet, a former Disney artist and the man behind over 30 wonderful children's books such as Hubert's Hair-Raising AdventureHow Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head, and one of my all-time favorites, The Whingdingdilly. (If you are not familiar with his work and are a fan of cartoon animals or a parent with young children, please give him a look.) In addition to my letter to Mr. Peet, I enclosed a few of my drawings and he was kind enough to make my day by responding with a short hand-written note and a few copies of his drawings, all of which I still have.

I don't consider myself to be on the same plateau as Mr. Peet (now deceased), but it is neat to feel like my work is contributing in a small way to that never-ending flow of one generation inspiring the next.

September 29th: Santa Clarita Literary Festival

The City of Santa Clarita, just northwest of LA, is celebrating the Grand Opening of the Old Town Newhall Library with a literary-themed street fair on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 10 AM - 4 PM.

I was invited to have a table there and will be signing books for anyone interested. I've never been to Santa Clarita before so I'm looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!

Comic-Con Recap

I'm happy to report that my first year exhibiting at San Diego's Comic-Con went very well. The latest book, The Daily Zoo Goes to Paris!, seemed to be received well and I did not lose any limbs to careless lightsaber usage or run into any problems by not being fluent in Klingon.

Thank you very much to those of you who stopped by and said hello! Hope to see you again next year!

Mom helped with booth duty while I did a quick sketch for Claudio from Australia.