Hi everybody and welcome to Courtney Mason Illustration!


My goal is to translate written and verbal ideas into visual imagery that is colorful, compelling, and clearly communicate the objectives of the client. I pride myself on my versatility and am confident in my abilities to tackle any challenge both effectively and efficiently. I am open to creative opportunities in a variety of markets such as but not limited to Graphic Design, Advertising, Editorial, Book Publishing, and especially Post Production for Entertainment.


My "dream job" is to someday have a career within the animation industry. The holy trio or trifecta of skills will be in character design, storyboarding, and character animation. I have experience in experimental animation, stop motion, claymation, 2D and 3D animation using Autodesk Maya, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro. In 2011, I received a grant from the Women's Education and Leadership Fund to conduct a study of animation through research and practical application. I learned the fundamentals and foundations of 3D animation through the Ianimate Advanced Character Animation Program and I am continuing my education through Animation Mentor School for Character Animation online starting this upcoming fall 2012.


I am very much a team player, but also a self starter and driven towards success. Since I was a child, I was an entrepreneur, a quality I believe I enherited from my father. This sense of leadership and drive has always helped me optimize every opportunity and has given me confidence in the value of my ideas. While I am very dedicated to clients needs before my own needs, I always feel like I have something to learn and something to give.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

works in progress: the crisis

So,  for my myth and legend class we have finished our stories.  Mine is obscenely long and getting more and more detailed.  Though I don't have a lot of time to continue working on it I am making time anyways (mostly because I am obsessed with it, I worked super hard on it, and I am pretty sure I will publish it one day and than sell it to be made into an animated movie!)

Hope some people might chuckle at that last remark, but I am dead serious!  You shall see :)

Anyways, I am at the point where I am illustrating the biggest crisis in the entire story.  Though there are a lot of sub-conflicts this one is the most heart wrenching.  The villain feels betrayed, and in his rage...tries to kill the woman he loves the most, while our hero makes his way to save her, he is too late, and witnesses her last moments of life.  I'm not going to tell you what happens but here is what I got so far.  

The first image of this reference montage is my models posing.  One is my boyfriend, the other is my friend.  I wanted a low vantage point, because the scale of our hero is much smaller than human size, and   I thought it would be more dramatic this way.  I chose rim lighting because I wanted it to be a night scene, the moon acting as a light source.  The second image to the right is a widescreen view of what I roughly in vision the painting to look like.  It is a combination of digital painting, photography, and landscape painting.  I wanted to brightest highlights to fall on the two figures, since their interaction is the focus.  I put our hero in the foreground cast in shadow for the most part because he is an afterthought.  I wanted him to also to be slightly bigger in scale, so the viewer knows he is just as important if not more important as the other figures in this scene.  The background is a painting of the jungle at was difficult to find a quality photo reference for this because there is not a lot of jungle night photography evidently.  And seeing as I am a one man operation, can't exactly fly to the tropics to shoot my own reference.  However, I am not going to directly copy this artist's work, but it best represents the type of atmosphere and colors I wish to paint myself.  The bottom left image is the entire work done by the artist, and to the right of that image I have my initial value and composition study that I did using digital and graphite.  

I'll post the final painting when all is said and done.  wish me luck!

the progression

so, this is the progression from start to finish of how I have been working...I have many thumbnail sketches and squiggly drawings that I do before I take reference, but here is the step by step process after the composition and idea are squared away.

step 1:  The reference.  I am constantly photographing images and information to draw from.  The first image of the sequence is compiled of several photos.  The figures in this piece are me, my brother, and friend...we had to base jump in order to get this shot from a waterfall that was 50 feet high.  The things I do for my art...

step 2:  The drawing.  A drawing has to have a good sense of value to differentiate between the foreground, middle ground, and background.  This gives the image dimension and depth of field.  It is important to establish this early on before you add color

step 3: The under painting. Establishing the key color relationships from the get go.  Just flat color washes of warm and cool colors.

step 4:  The final rendering with color.  I sort of go over areas that I feel I need to punch up with value.  I also try and refine small details in this last phase and make sure that the values are working well with one another.

step 5: The prototype.  Just for fun, I did this in photoshop, so the client could get an idea of what the finished product would like like on a publication.  This assignment just so happens to be for the summer term cover for my university.  We compete against our classmates for the cover!  If we win, our art is published, and we are are paid, just like a real illustration job.  Pretty neat!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the nightmare before christmas

So, for anyone that is not from the northeast and was unaware, halloween was canceled by an out of season "nightmare before christmas" kinda storm which left the majority without power for an entire week. Because of this, not only was the holiday formally "canceled, but so was school.

Missing an entire week of class, although relaxing at the time, is proving to be a very serious set back.  The week we missed was crucial to our development of ideas, and although we have literally no time to gather reference for our illustrations, I have 3 due in 2 weeks.

one is a character design for my mythological creature which I have created for my narrative.
the second is the cover for the summer term catalog cover and if chosen is published and we receive $
the third is for the children's double page spread

In addition to prior obligations, I have taken on more artistic obstacles.  But these in particular I thought were worth my time.

One is a commission for an alum and friend of mine who lost her grandfather fairly recently.  I know that this one man was her "someone" in her family that she loved above all others, and I can only imagine what she is experiencing.  She came to me to ask if I would be willing to do a portrait of him for her and after hearing stories about him of course I couldn't say no.  So I hope I can do him justice for her and honor his life accordingly.

The second is the TOMS "style your sole" event, which will be held this Saturday from 1-4 pm.  The event  sponsors local artists to decorate purchased pairs of TOMS and personalize them for each customer.  We are given half an hour to decorate each shoe.  The proceeds go towards a pair of shoes for a child in need.  One for one.  It's a really great  cause and I hope to gain exposure and I am looking forward to helping out.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

tough choices and making moves

Today was career animation day at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Mass. There I listened to four artists from Blue Sky Studios discuss their various approaches and the specific department within pipeline they were apart of.  It was so heart raced each time I raised my hand!

I showed my portfolio to a layout artist, who suggested I do 100 sketched drawings opposed to 10 fully rendered paintings.  He made a valid point and I respected what he had to say but I did not like how quickly he skimmed the pages of my work (like it was an OK magazine or something.)

Another rigging artist I found less intimidating to talk to, and she was very helpful and encouraging.  She was young and beautiful and very humble about everything which I found refreshing.  

Overall, it was worth the commute to get there.  The group of students I brought with me were all sophomores and we are talking about forming an animation club/group at the University. Unfortunately, by the time I get it up and running, I will be graduating.  But at least I would have left of legacy and inspired some kind of advancement in animation here at UHART.

Friday, October 21, 2011

animation career day tomorrow...dun dun DUHHH!

So, after about 10 + hours of revamping my portfolio pieces, printing them out, and updating my resume, I can now thoroughly say I am ready for tomorrow.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

the methods to my madness

four deadlines in one week = craze, long nights, LOTS of caffine, and music

this particular piece was intended to accompany an article about obesity in america!

here is the outcome of 2 days of work...

I used graphite to draw it out initially. than traced over my sketchy sketch to create a fine line drawing.  Than the drawing was scanned into the computer, where I used digital paint in photo shop to do a color comp or two.  Than from that color comp I began painting.  I been playing with mixed media lately since I am indecisive and never had the freedom.  For this one I used water color, pencil, water color pencil, acylic fw inks, colored pencil, and pastel.  YEAH!  I know right?

the pastel was kinda a happy accident.  I am not very fond of painting backgrounds...and this one I definately made too many streaks...soooo I was going to air brush over it. But the air brush machine was locked plan B...PASTELS!  why not?  I am far more confident in pastels than anything else.  Worked out pretty well I think.  We will find out this week during my crit.

one done...3 to go!

Friday, September 23, 2011

developing "the style"

people often ask artists who they are influenced by.

I think this is a silly question, because I'm pretty sure everything and everyone we as artists have ever encountered has influenced us in some way.

So far the hardest part of my senior year (or just general art career) is choosing what kind of artist I want to be.  I wouldn't say I have a certain consistent style, but I do have tendencies.  I like rendering...I like neutral colors...I like mixing wet and dry media...I like animals and humans...I like humor...I like character...I like problem solving.  But how do I do everything I like in a style that people are gunna buy?

I think the better question is...what artists would I like to hang out with for a day! I gotta say, if I was to have a party and could invite anybody I wanted, I would invite...

Carter Goodrich
Nico Marlet
Peter De Seve'
Chris Ayers

 The reason?  These guys are awesome. I want my work to look that good...some day soon. I have been helplessly enchanted by their work (like a teenage girl is to Justin Bieber's pre-mature sex appeal).  And I am pretty sure if we did hang out, I would absorb some of their juicy talents and techniques. And than maybe I'd have a better shot at the dream :)

Seeing as I am not banking on this meeting of the minds, I guess I will just have to study their work and practice until I'm just as good.

Friday, August 5, 2011

summer crunch time!

Lately I have been trouble shooting and going back to revise some of my character development.  I know...I should be animating by now, right?  WRONG!

There is a lot more that I have learned since my visit to Dream Works and online instructors that has made me rethink my process.  I figure if this is really what I want to go to school for, might as well learn everything!

Therefore I am currently teaching myself how to render a character, which within itself is proving to be tedious and quite complex.  What I am becoming aware of that I did not know prior to my self-teaching of 3D modeling, that if you do not model correctly, the joints will not function in a realistic way, no matter how good the animation or the rigging is.  The flow of the lines must mirror the anatomy realistically.

Because of this,  it is taking an obscene amount of time to model but I am figuring it out...slowly.

P.S. new fave website...not facebook...not blogger...but LYNDA.COM! It is amazing and teaching me so so much!

Friday, July 29, 2011

California bound: Chasing the dream!

Day 1:  Although we were jet lagged slightly from our travels, Mom and I ventured forth into San Jose to get a better idea of the area. I must say both of us were overwhelmed by culture shock.  San Jose's  richly diverse in appearance reflects the vast variety of people that the city consists of.  Driving up and down the streets, we were slightly disenchanted and dazed from the unfamiliar.   Still, we tried to keep an open mind for our tour we had scheduled the following day. 

Day 2: To our surprise, once we were within the university we were awe struck at just how beautiful it was. From its stucco roof tops, Spanish architecture, mosaics, palm trees, and highly maintained facilities, our first impression was far from accurate.  What was even more remarkable were the people, with each encounter a new friendly face eager to make us feel welcome.  I met with David Chai, one of the department heads for the illustration/animation department.  He introduced me to every student there working, showed me their past projects, the different tracks in which I could take, explaining in full detail with energy and enthusiasm.  He went above and beyond coming in on his day off to show me all around the art school, discussing what we would be doing and the community and networking opportunities the program offered.

I fell in love with everything I saw more and more, radiating overwhelming good feelings as I continued to roam the campus.   I felt at home...that this is the right place for me.  Literally, my heart was surging through my chest.  We spent the late afternoon by the pool, and that night, I got in touch with Alice Wong, a UHA alum from the illustration program and a current grad student at SJSU.  We met up at a sushi place called Kazoo in Japantown for sushi.  Her insight on California life, the animation program, and the industry itself was sensational.  She explained everything with so much spirit and charisma that I couldn't help but hang onto every word she said.  She told us her story of how she adjusted to west coast living, the initial obstacles she had to face, and all the wonderful things she has learned in light of difficult situations.  She was open to all my questions and gave me an un bias perspective on everything, which was very helpful.  After dinner, I met their new puppy (a beagle named Bagel) and their room mate, whose boyfriend works at Blue Sky. 

Day 3:  We left San Jose today and drove down to Salinas to meet my Aunt Stacy.  We were originally going to spend the weekend at fancy spa in Monterrey, but decided to be more spontaneous and try a much more rugged residence for the night.  I happened to stumble upon an add for a safari style bed and breakfast called "Wild Things" at Vision Quest Ranch in Salinas.  The ranch is for retired animal actors, from domestic to exotic.  What immediately excited me and caught my attention was that the ranch was home to five beautiful elephants.  My mom surprised me that we were not only going there to visit, but spending the night in one of their canvas cabins, which offered us one on one time with the elephants.   On the drive down, we made some pit stops at a marina to check out some sea lions and had lunch at a place called "The Whole Enchilada."  It had to be the BEST Mexican food I have ever had in my entire life.  The artichokes were huge (since we happened to be in Castroville, which is the artichoke capital of the world, I'd expect nothing less)  the veggie quesadilla with artichoke hearts was perfection,  and my mango margarita was smooth, not too sweet, and came with a fun little mermaid inside.  Not to mention the interior was a treasure trove of knick-knacks and outlandish decor ranging from beach to Latin themes.  When we finally got to Salinas we wandered the "Savannah"  and peered over a large enclosed area where the elephants, ostriches, zebras, and water buffalo grazed.  The trainers brought by a baby kangaroo and an armadillo, which was sort of cool to see but I was far more interested in you know what!   Later in the afternoon,  we got some private elephant time feeding them right before they went to bed.  I could tell one of the elephants was watching as I sketched her.  She got curious and felt the need to whack my sketch book...than she sorta felt me up.  It was after the sketching that I started to feed them, and one girl in particular was fond of me.  She blew hot air in my face, sending all my hair flying backward.  I got a whiff of whatever fruit she had just ate...and the feeling of a giant harry trunk in my face.  But all and all it was a very cool experience for me!
Later, we went to a nearby small Italian restaurant with HUGE portions.  My artichoke bisque coupled with a baked brie in honey with grapes and crackers was delicious.  We returned back to our canvas cabin, got cozy, and fixed ourselves some wine and gossiped a little bit.  I found myself drifting off into sleep, but waking up now and again to hear what sounded like some frisky kitties.  It was pretty funny at the time...definitely didn't envision falling asleep to the sound of lions roaring and grunting, but I eventually got used to it.

Day 4:  The next morning we woke up, made some coffee, and had our breakfast brought to us by the smallest but most adorable of the elephants.  We fed her once again, got some great video and pictures, and than went on our way.  Most of the day was spent driving or flying.  L.A. at first glimpse was a massive concrete jungle, bordered with beaches and mountains.  Unlike San Jose,  there was little to no areas of green and the entire layout of the land was an insane looking grid (sorta resembled a computer chip...but less shiny).  I found pockets of beauty towards Venice beach and the marina, which seemed to attract a more bohemian vibe. Even the campus of UCLA was lush with beautiful architecture, grounds, and surrounding residential areas (Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Hollywood.)  As we approached Gnomon, the area fluctuated drastically between high class-middle class suburbia to urban decay and broken dreams.  The school itself was located within a 1920's television studio with many different stages, dance studios, and vacant spaces.  There were five computer labs, one drawing studio, and one sculpture studio, along with a number of offices and a student lounge.  Though small, the decor on the interior had this archival kind of beauty, and 3D art on every surface you could see.  The work itself was impressive...but the vibe was completely different than San Jose.  It was a dark, brooding, creative atmosphere.  The curriculum sounded brutal, and the competitive nature intimidating.  This is not to say that I wasn't impressed, but it seemed unrealistic for someone as social and well rounded as I am to commit 2 years, 16 hour days, everyday with only one week off in the summer.  Forget about maintaining relationships...there would be no time for that.  Still I will definitely apply for the experience, and who knows maybe I will change my mind. But the downtown Hollywood scene kinda sucked the soul right out of me and I couldn't wait to leave.  There was nothing beautiful here like there was in San Jose.  No green grass and blue skies to inspire you, just asphalt, astroturf, and smoggy with a chance of smog.  We quickly grabbed lunch at a vegan cafe called Muse down the street (cause at that point, I NEEDED inspiration to keep an open mind) and surveyed the area one last time. This would be a very hard for me to adapt to.  The remainder of the day we drove up to Valencia, which is closest to Dream Works and CalArts.  We hung out and watched that 70's show sipping on wine and rested up for the following day, which was the most important one yet.

Day 5:  Dream Works here I come!  Today I met with my Ianimate professor Bill Tessier to grab lunch and tour the studio that houses my dream career.  In order to get onto the campus, we had to get special VIP passes (which I kept and will scrap book eventually).  After those were made, we walked along the pathway, and it was than that I became overwhelmed and awe-struck by how truly dream like the atmosphere was.  The campus was abundant with beautiful fountains, coy ponds, exotic flowers and ivy which weaved along the archways and around the winding paths.  The main courtyard was surrounded by benches and tables (for lounging and dining), an outdoor grill, and table games.  The grounds themselves were filled with young brilliant people; I didn't see one face over forty years old, but the the majority were young males in there 20's-30's.

Bill walked me through the story and animation department.  He discussed with me many things to think about, gave me advice, and personal experience.  I think the coolest moment was walking into the cafeteria knowing that this massive room contained all insanely talented and brilliant individuals and artists.  It was ethereal to say the least.  Never would I have imagined myself seeing with my own eyes a dream so very close, and yet many years away from being attainable.  The pipeline process is pretty impressive, more sophisticated than I imagined.   Bill dedicated 2 and a half hours to this meeting, imparting a lasting impression upon me.  It was the most inspiring day of life as I know it.  Incredible, absolutely incredible what they do. I purchased a tote, a t-shirt, and how to tame your dragon, but that is nothing compared to what I have gained in inspiration and determination.

The rest of the day I transcended from nirvana and we grabbed dinner at a place in Valencia called "The Elephant Bar"  which was a fun animal themed restaurant (couldn't help but keep up with the elephant theme). And had some great appetizers and a cool beverage. The town of Valencia was upscale...kind of reminded me of West Hartford...but with palm trees and much more spread out.

Day 6:  Cal-Arts tour today was interesting to say the least.  We got onto campus around 11 AM and had an info meeting specifically tailored to the film/video department and what major programs we were interested in.  Although I do want my masters,  the program for undergrad character animation sounded exactly like what I wanted to do.  She explained it as "highly narrative linear way of storytelling through character."    Experimental sounded a little more painterly, which isn't to say I wouldn't also be interested in learning as well, but mainly I want to focus on one aspect of animation and that would be character.  Our  tour guide was over dramatic and condescending to say the least (that's an understatement, but I'm just being honest) which was a little bit of a turn off.  The very cool thing about this school was that it was founded by Walt and Roy Disney in the 60's after the making of Snow White for the purpose of collaborative arts.  It is also the birthplace of Pixar, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Tim Burton, and many other great directors and artists.  I got to walk through their character animation department, knowing that the 9 old men and Walt Disney himself used to roam these hallways, and that within itself was inspiring.  What wasn't inspiring was the tuition price...and the acceptance rate...and what I would have to do to get accepted, let alone go there, would take me forever and a hefty penny.  So, maybe not the best choice for me...but I will try not to be biased and keep an open mind.We spent the remainder of the day shopping at Valencia's giant Good Will and a very cool oriental themed warehouse that I loved!

The rest of the trip was a little pit stop in Las Vegas, since I had never been before and mother couldn't get enough, we figured it would be the perfect place to let loose.  We gambled, drank some yummy cocktails, saw two fabulous shows (Cirque du Soleil and America's Best Dance Crew) and roamed around the strip.

Overall, I have to say this is the most inspiring and enlightening trips of my life (and that is saying something considering the places I have traveled in my life time.)  I think I learned as much about myself as I did about the programs and the industry.  My heart swelled where I felt I was the right place...around the DreamWorks Studios...and at SJSU, and driving through the winding back roads of California.  I now have my direction. I have seen the promise land, and it is good.  I know what I have to do to get there.  And I will fight to make it mine.  I will have to start a new chapter of my life...leaving the people I love behind and the things I know to be familiar and safe.  But its a choice I can't help but make. I have to do this...because if I don't put 110% into this pursuit, I will be letting down a life time of dreaming.  My inner child inside me will die and suffocate in some dead end 9-5 job, and I won't let that be my reality.

I have been very blessed with family and friends to support my passion.  Nobody ever told me to become a dentist, or a teacher.  Everyone who my art has touched or inspired have been so encouraging. It's those people who believe in me that get me through the long nights in the studio when my energy and creativity is drained.  And I cannot thank them enough for that.  My mother, my life coach and practically my art manager planned this entire trip for me.  Because she knows how much I dream of a life in California, a life making art for pixar or dream works...a life that includes palm trees.  It tears me apart thinking I will be so distant from her, and my dad, and my brother.  But I am hoping the ones who love me most will follow me.

if not physically to California, at least keep in touch :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

awesome resources for animation

Here are some links, from animators tutorials, to contests, to how to's...this stuff is great!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

friends and family time

Today is my 22nd birthday and Father's day!  I took the weekend off from animating to go home and visit my family, who I have not seen since my grandfather's funeral (give or take it's been a number of months.)  I cannot express to you how good it feels to be home, in the house I grew up in. 

This is my first summer living away from home and the experience made me realize how blessed I am to have such a great family who supports my big dreams.   Living on my own has taught me how to be independant, but also brings to my attention all those little things I have become accustomed to that I take for granted when I am home.  The big trees, the backroads, the street signs.  My mom and I sitting in our kitchen talking about everything and anything.  My dad waking up far too early roaming around downstairs.  Even my brother, coming and going with the social tides and music fests.

Not much has changed, and yet everything has changed.  The house is full of so many knick knacks from Grandpa, all of which is taking about a century to sort through.  My dad is now the ring leader of his own family circus ever since grandpa passed away, so this father's day in particular is the most difficult he as an individual has experienced.

Yesturday was a great day.  My family and I went down the road to a little Italian bistro called Rosa Luca's, had some fantastic martini's and delicious food.  Than my brother and I went to the Tavern (the closest divey-bar to our house) and met up with all my best girlfriends.  My best friends from elementary school and highschool were all there.  We were the best game in town, but it was the first time I have ever drank with my now 21 year old friends, and I had a great time seeing everybody. 

All and all, It's great to catch up with family and friends.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

career counseling and type indicator results

Yesturday, I went to meet with career counselor Rebecca M. Danchak  to discuss my results of the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator Profile.  My type is ENFJ which stand for extraversion, intuitive, feeling, and judging. 

I prefer to...

focus my attention is extraversion, people, things, and the world around me
process information intuitively from patterns and the big picuture and focus on future possibilities
make decisions based primarilty on feeling,  values, and person-centered concerns
deal with the outer world through judging, living in an organized orderly way

my qualities are....
warm, compassionate, and supportive
loyal and trustworthy
highly attuned to others, their empathy enables them to quickly understand emotional needs, motivations, and concerns
guided by personal values in decision making
likely to value harmony and cooperation, tend to look for the best in others
curious about new ideas and stimulated by possibilities for contributing to the good of humanity
usually seen by others as sociable, personable, gracious, expressive, responsive, and persuasive

My potential strengths are...
relationships.  because they are so important, ENFJ's are outgoing, friendly, and genuinely concerned about the welfare of others.  They tend to be idealistic and use their own personal values to rule their lives.  They are caring, warm, and enthusiastic people, with great energy for projects or causes they believe in. 

Great diplomats, ENFJ's are usually able to communicate in ways that make others feel excited about their ideas.  They work hard to develop and maintain harmony in all their relationships.  THey are intrigued with new possibilities, especially those that make positive changes, help other people, or generally make the world a better place. 

My potential weaknesses are...

being direct and honest in an attempt to avoid conflict is a challange, because ENFJ's are so concerned with being liked, they would talk around the issue.  The result is that they may sacrafice their own needs and make choices that are not in their own best interest in order to please others.  They may chose not to see the facts that contradict their own idealistic view of other people and then end up dissapointed or hurt. 

ENFJ's are also very eager to have things decided and projects finished, and they sometimes rush through the information collecting stage and make hasty or flawed decisions.  Wanting to always appear capable, organized, and in control, they may hesitate asking for help or admitting they need to start over.  Approaching projects with a clearer sense of logical steps necessary to make them a sucess will hlep them avoid making mistakes or commuiting to causes they might regret later. 


interestingly enough, the results I find to be dead accurate.  And furthermore, these descriptions only reaffirmed that the career path I am taking would be the best possible enviorment for me.  I will always be around creative people, and if I can get people excited about my projects and ideas, than I have the potential to advance myself. 

On the other hand, this also pointed out flaws that I have slowly become aware of.  I do make decisions on impulse, and do not consider all the research and facts before I dive into a project.  I take criticism too personally at times, take on too many things at once and get overwhelmed, get bored with reptitious tasks, let conflicts build rather than being upfront, and see people as I wish they were, rather than for who they really are. 

So, needless to say, I have some work to do.  But if being a people pleaser and being idealistic are my worst flaws, than I have to say I am pretty pleased. 

I get to meet with the other scholars, Rebecca, and my Dorothy Goodwin coordinators to discuss what to do with this new found self discovery.  For me, it has re-fueled my fire, and made me once more confident in the path I am taking and where I am going from here. I am back to work! :)


Friday, June 3, 2011

working in the third and forth dimension

easier said than done.

Luckily, third party perspective can simplify a lot of clutter in my mind.  Today me and Dennis met for the second time.  I told him I had my narrative and basic storyboard but it was unresolved and the compositions needed work.

So, we worked backwards, 9 frames for the intro, middle, and conclusion.  Talked about how to plan a shot, ways in which to best communicate to the viewer the story in a clear and innovative way.  We also composed how the timing of the shots would go, which ended up roughly 2 seconds per frame.

We talked about Character designs, what to emphasize, and what to condense.  So, I am close to where I need to be at this point, but far from starting the labor intensive project itself.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the ianimate experience: week #5-6

Still struggling but starting to get the hang of space v.s timing.  Though Bill is an excellent teacher, some things are better reinforced in the written form of black and white.  Truthfully, I am a bit behind on my assignments.  There are a few I haven't gotten to, because I believe the same problems I have with a ball bouncing in place will only become more challenging when it travels.  But I hope to catch up soon enough.  I find circles to be a little lacking as far as creativity goes.  I know I need to do it, but its difficult to re arrange circles and learn software when its beautiful outside and all I have are ideas swarming around my head.  

On the bright side, I bought myself some supplies and books in order to better motivate myself that this is worth the frustration.  

Things I would like to remember that I read in Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams

"the only limitation in animation is the person doing it.  Otherwise there is no limit to what you can do.  And why shouldn't you do it?  - Emery Hawkins

"If you can't draw - forget it.  You're an actor without arms and legs." -Art Babbit

"I don't think its possible to be a top notch animator without being an excellent draftsman." - Milt Kahl

"At times you will have to animate stuff where you can't just be cute and coy.  Those are the times when you'll have to know something about drawing.  Whether its called form or force or vitality, you must get it into your work, for that will be what you feel, and drawing is your means of expressing it." Bill Tytla

Things I need to do:
  • draw from life
  • understand form
  • construct forms inside out
  • story board 
  • figure out the timing of the shot 
  • plan out amount of frames
  • put in key frames
  • put in extremes put in passing positions
  • test it out

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

things I learned today

when doing a ball bounce:
-Reduce the same percentage of height each time
-The transfer of energy travels between the ball and the surface it hits
-All balls dropped
-Time up = Time down
-Consider material – more squash and stretch = more rubbery ball
                                   the harder the substance, the more it retains its form
                                   air resistance can alter gravity

Saturday, May 7, 2011

the ianimate experience: week #1-2

This week has been both hectic and exciting at the same time.  My ianimate journey is getting off to a bumpy start with finals week chaos and the summer approaching quickly. 
My teacher's name is Bill tessier and he works at Dreamworks.  You can look him up on google, and the bio will literally knock your socks off.  I am the only girl in my class *shocker* and the youngest by far, which also as you can imagine means I am the least experienced.  But it motivates me to learn and to prove myself.
Ianimate is set up much like facebook, youtube, skype, blackboard, and any forum for animation.  its awesome that we are all able to see eachother and have the work critiqued by our instruction live even though all of the students (professor included) are international.  There is one student that goes to Gnomon in my class who is a CG generalist.  He says he loves it there, that the course work is intense, but that the results are worth it.  I believe it. 


Technical difficulties are...(insert explicit word here #$%*)

1.   Registered under the wrong username (Jennifer. Sanborn)  resulting in the confusion of  my teacher and my classmates, and Jenn herself, who thought most of the messages from ianimate on the upcoming course to be SPAM

2.  Being unable to  connect using adobe acrobat connect…because I thought I was having some major technical difficulty, but it turns out that that I logged in at the wrong time.  (9:30 pm Pacific time) soooo here I was thinking that clearly Mac Pro was at fault, when it was my poor reading.

3.  Maya/digicel sketch book are not the easiest to learn.  And the file formatting isn’t either

anyways, I ought to be finishing my finals.  But I was very excited that I actually got my technology to work...FINALLY! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


You heard it here! I DID IT!...betcha wondering what I did that's so awesome?

Well, after a very long application process (involving finding a mentor, collecting a mentor narrative, mentor vitae, my transcripts, my resume, and writing my own narrative and project proposal) and a few weeks of anticipation, I finally heard back from the Dorothy Goodwin Summer Scholars Program sponsored by the Women's Education and Leadership Fund here at the University of Hartford.

They had double the amount of applicants, and I was thrilled to find out that I was one of the few selected for this scholarship program.   I literally jumped up and down for about 5 minutes straight.  It was pretty epic to say the least.  Funny, before I submitted this application,  I was debating actually finishing it, and doubted myself.  Than I had a dream that I got it...and so, in a was destiny :)        

Now you ask...what does this magical scholarship program entail?  Well, it means for 10 weeks in the summer of 2011, I will be working with my mentor Dennis Nolan (watercolor god/wizard at animation and illustration)  on a project that investigates the translation of 2D drawings into 3D animated short films.

check out the link about to find out more!

Spring break is also approaching.  Dennis and Bill (my teachers)  are traveling to Cali with the MFA program to tour Lucas films and Dreamworks studios...jealous.  As for my spring break, I will be going to Arizona to visit my best friend at ASU, and hopefully taking off the edge of what was one of the busiest months of the year. 

At the moment, I am working on a Cole Phillips inspired fade away illustration.  It's ok...not one of my favorites yet.  It needs some serious work. I also have thumbnails due tommorrow.  Guess I am not sleeping.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

exciting news!

A new semester has opened many opportunities for me!

Two competitions for the Goldfarb Juried Show and the Society of Illustrators are coming up in early February which I will apply to!

I am taking four studio classes in addition to my two academic courses!  Figure modeling, animation and multimedia, intermediate acrylic, and intermediate oil illustration.  All of which so far seem very challenging and exciting! 

But most of my excitement stems from the phone call I just received...get ready for it...MY FIRST ILLUSTRATION JOB! I will be illustrating two children's books for my Aunt Kim.  And I am getting paid.  Life is good. Hopefully I will receive some college credit for it as well. 

Now I got lots to do, and a lot of art supplies to buy :(

guess for now I'll be broke...but vigorously sketching!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

moving foward into a new year...

I have launched myself into the new year with lots of new ideas.

most of which consist of....

-polishing my resume
-brainstorming for major projects
-organizing my portfolio
-finding an internship
-finding a job

I am also applying for a grant, so I can do a 10-week project with a mentor!  Wish me luck!

In other news, I spent the week in Florida :) 20 hours driving down really fueled my inspiration for all this personal growth.  Can't wait for the semester to kick off! 

Until next time, I'll be yet again...sketching!