INSIDE OUT

 Posted by on June 10, 2015  Film/TV, Pencil-Jockey, Reviews
Jun 102015
 

INSIDE OUT is an unusual film for a big studio to make; it is very ambitious and abstract. I worked on the story team from 2010 to late 2012, and everyone was excited about the idea, but dramatising that idea was at times quite challenging. I finally saw the film at a crew Wrap Party screening last month, and I'm very pleased to say that it has come out wonderfully well.

Inside_Out

While enjoying the screening of INSIDE OUT, many conflicting and complicated feelings bubbled to the surface for me. Not long after wrestling with the challenges of dramatising the inner workings of the human mind, as part of the INSIDE OUT story team, a blood vessel burst in my head, and I was trapped inside my own mind for quite some time, as my body dealt with the effects of a swollen and ruptured brain. I've had a very rocky few years, and seeing the film reminded me of my own struggles; locked inside my own mind and struggling like crazy to get out.

So understandably, this film will always have personal significance for me, and perhaps I'm unable to be unbiased when I watch it. Even under less dramatic circumstances, working on these things means that it's hard to know how other people will respond. Sometimes the general public likes a film more than me, sometimes less. Will my own feelings about this film be typical?

An early INSIDE OUT Story Crew lunch in 2011.

But for whatever my biased (and emotionally charged) opinion is worth, I feel that this is one of the great Pixar movies, and Pete Docter and his team have once again made a film to make people sit up and take notice. It is deep, and heartfelt, but funny and imaginative, and takes you to places that only an animated film can go. It's a real return to form for the studio.

I hope with all my heart that this isn't my last film as a pro story artist (I'm currently pushing hard on physical therapy and left-handed drawing practise to get back in the game) but if it is to be my career epitaph, at least I'll be ending on a very high note and a movie to be proud of.

Inside_Out_WrapParty

The entire story team at the recent wrap party.

INSIDE OUT opens across the USA next week, on June 19th. Please go see it. I think you'll like it.

Jun 032015
 
Monterey: Trip Home

Driving up Highway #1 from our visit to Monterey Aquarium, Julia and I saw a beautiful spot and pulled over to see Pigeon Point Lighthouse. This picturesque scene was made even moreso by the sight of a grey whale and her calf swimming past the lighthouse at close quarters. We enjoyed the scenery so much that we decided [..READ MORE..]

May 142015
 
Monterey: The Bay

The first trip that Julia and I ever took together was to see the Seahorse exhibit at the Monterey Aquarium back in 2009. There have been many dramatic changes in our lives in the interim (leaving me quite the worse for wear) but happily, Julia and I are still together, Monterey is as pleasant a destination as ever, [..READ MORE..]

OPERATION SNOWBALL!

 Posted by on April 13, 2015  Illustration, Lefties
Apr 132015
 
OPERATION SNOWBALL!

I've been pretty excited about my first paid professional art assignment as a left-handed artist. A few months ago, my good friend of many years, Carol Hughes, commissioned me to draw the cover for her latest book, OPERATION SNOWBALL, a fun adventure story based on the fictitious (or perhaps TRUE) adventures of her family dogs, PICKLE AND PEARL. It has been over two years since I've [..READ MORE..]

Mar 152015
 
TV SKETCHING: 2013/2014

Here’s a roundup of TV sketching done in 2013/2014 that I’ve not yet posted here in this blog. These sketches of PRIS from BLADE RUNNER, were among the earliest drawings I ever did with my left hand that I actually began to like. I’d avoided drawing for the better part of 2013, because my crude left-handed efforts would rock [..READ MORE..]

February Sketches

 Posted by on February 28, 2015  Drawings, Lefties, Location Sketching
Feb 282015
 
February Sketches

Here are some watercolor sketches done on location around San Francisco in this past month. The first was done in Union Square while Julia and I sat prior to our dinner reservation on Valentines day. It was gloriously warm and sunny, with many people out enjoying themselves, and I managed to get a scribbly sketch down, before the [..READ MORE..]

Teenage Camelot

 Posted by on February 22, 2015  Lefties, Thoughts
Feb 222015
 
Teenage Camelot

At around the age of 15, I met a group of older teenagers who’d already finished with high school, shared a house and lived on the dole. I thought they were the height of teen cool because they could do whatever they wanted; woah. I was still obliged to wear my school uniform and kow-tow to ‘the man’ [..READ MORE..]

Phil Robinson

 Posted by on January 28, 2015  Colleagues, Friends
Jan 282015
 
Phil Robinson

A beloved longtime member of the Bay Area animation community, has finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer after battling it bravely for over 3 years. Phil Robinson will be greatly missed by his loving wife Jennifer, and his many friends from around the world, me amongst them. Phil came to the Bay Area in the early 1980s but I [..READ MORE..]