I had a blast at my booth at the beautiful Westwood Art Show over the weekend. Thank you to the organizers for having me, everyone who stopped by and all of the wonderful new people I met. It was also a great way to spread the word about FSW, and I gave out around a hundred flipbooks. I also wanted to mention that there is a new local shop called Wooden Hill (located on the end of the strip where Treasure Alley used to be, they moved next door) that just opened their doors the day of the show on Saturday. It is a great store featuring all sorts of works form local artists, and you can pick up a copy of Tunnel-Ball and a few prints there from yours truly.
I have some buttons leftover from the show that I will include with all online orders while they last.
I will have a booth at the 9th annual Westwood Art Show coming up in a few weeks. This is a spectacular event in a beautiful area that I have attended for years, and I am thrilled to be participating for the first time. I will have some 13x19" copies of this poster that I created for the show, in addition to books, prints, cards, buttons and some original artwork. Additionally, I will be promoting the Floating Shape Workshop and giving out free flipbooks while supplies last! Hope to see you there.
Now available in the shop (despite that it is August): a Christmas card set!
It is a long favorite tradition of mine to make Christmas cards for friends/family, and I decided to take some favorite designs from over the years to make them available, just for you. Eight quality matte postcards (perfect weight for mailing or displaying), including one mystery hand-drawn card. Nestled nicely in a translucent, vellum Christmas-colored envelope.
The last Floating Shape Workshop event of the summer has come to a close, and it's hard to believe that our inaugural round of summer workshops are over. Given the late start, I originally thought we might host about just a couple of workshops this summer, and we ended up doing seven. Workshops were almost all hosted in unique & welcoming, community-oriented venues. I had such an absolute blast at all of them.
It is difficult to squeeze into the paragraph of a blog post, but I am so thankful, humbled, and optimistic about the future of Floating Shape. Organizing a sustainable, welcoming animation workshop for children in the Cincinnati area has been an idea of mine for years, and it took teaching it as a class (and a lot of inspiration from Yvonne Andersen's book about her seminal children's workshop in the 1960s) to really move forward with it. From there, it was just creating the name and logo, and getting some unique venues to host us. Being able to provide children with the supplies and education to explore and engage in animation as an artform and communication tool (both independently and collaboratively) has been endlessly rewarding. In my experience, quite a few children have had an interest in creating animation, but might have not had the resources to expand on (either from a financial or education perspective). That would, of course, also describe myself growing up.
Thanks so much to all of the venues and festivals who hosted workshops, and to everyone who helped out and participated. A very special thanks to the Public Library of Cincinnati, who hosted multiple workshops at a few different branches. They also posted a couple of excellent photo galleries here. Bias aside, we are fortunate to have a world class library system which I utilize constantly.
The FSW is already booking workshops for the fall/winter. While the calendar will not be as plentiful as summer (as I will return to teaching full time), the plan is to continue to hold workshops throughout the year, primarily on weekend dates. In the immediate future, FSW will have a booth at the Westwood Art Show next month, and in the coming months, we will have re-rescheduled workshops at Robot Inside and the Play Library. If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please contact me via the link at the top of this page, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are a couple of my favorite pics from the summer's workshops ...
I recently launched a YT channel to archive short animations and films made at Floating Shape Workshops events. This will be a work in progress managing different videos and getting them uploaded as time goes on. So far, you can see things like the one posted below, as well the collaborative, some filmed flipbooks, and the live animation created at this past weekend's workshop at Thunder-Sky, Inc.
Below is a short cutout animated promo for tomorrow's workshop at the Price Hill Library. After the Mini Microcinema screens animated films in Spanish (Películas para Niños en Español) from the New York International Children's Film Festival, FSW will be having a flipbook workshop from 1-2 PM!
And here is a collaborative animated story from a few days ago made by seven children (ages 5-8) at the downtown branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati.
I did the cover for the June issue of The Northsider. It's out! And it features some anthropomorphic suns building some sort of "summer machine" ...
A (very) minor detail from the new children's book I am working on. Technically it has been in the works since before Tunnel-Ball was published last year, and with summer fast approaching, I am hoping to get most of the pages done over the next couple months. After hundreds of changes, I am pretty happy with it in rough form. Anyway, this is the logo of Purple Pouch Records, a fictional record store that appears on a storefront page. It doesn't actually have anything to do with the story.
As an extended branch of the "animation workshop" class that I am currently teaching, I am introducing the Floating Shape Workshop (FSW). The FSW will be a mobile, portable version of the workshop. My hope is to introduce a short (one week to one month, varying) course at venues such as summer camps, libraries and educational events. Further details can be read in the FSW tab now at the top of this website.
I am very much looking forward to this. The first course is currently in the process of being booked for this summer and I can't wait to see the results. Until then, I will be compiling blank flipbooks and getting the clay and armature wire ready ...
I had been making lightboxes for my Animation Workshop class the cheap/generic way, by takingregular old plastic lightboxes and slapping a plastic pegbar on them. Truthfully, this method is perfectly adequate for what we do in the class, and the results have been great.
However, I am always keeping an eye out for used equipment (read: cheap), and recently came across a very cheap rotating animation disc (Cartoon Colour Co.) on eBay. I ended up being the only bidder. It is, of course, a remarkable sign of the times that this type of once highly sought after (and very expensive) piece of equipment would go for so cheap given that it is practically obsolete in the industry (my guess would be that the only place that typical discs/lightboxes are still prevalent would be in colleges where it would simply be too expensive to fill entire labs with Cintiqs or variations of it).
My extremely talented carpenter father helped build the wooden, adjustable base, cut a round hole in the middle, and voila. It is underlit with a thin board with LED strips, which works perfectly. It's a beauty and will be an awesome addition to the AW.
After hearing of the recent passing of Jaki Liebezeit, I thought it was a good time to repost this painting from a couple of years ago. It was a work in progress for an art show of re-imagining album covers of records that are important to you (unfortunately, the show never panned out).
I have loved CAN for so long that I cannot at this point remember when I was first introduced, though I was fortunate enough to have a local record store that had it's own LP section dedicated to krautrock. The music has been a constant inspiration for me ever since. RIP, Jaki.
EDIT: Per the request of a friend, I did a few touch ups and am making this available as a print in the store for a limited time. It is cool to do something with what was an abandoned project from a few years ago. Long live CAN!
Tomorrow is the opening reception for "Thunder-Snow", the new show at the Thunder-Sky, Inc. gallery in Cincinnati. Myself and several other local artists contributed blizzard-themed pieces in memory of heavy snowfall, other major natural events, and/or the great Cincinnati blizzard of '78. The painting that I submitted is below. I hope to see you there on Saturday (grab a delicious burrito next door at The Comet)! The opening is from 6-10 PM.
- CityBeat has graciously included the show in their "weekend to do list".
- As has Movers&Makers.
- Great article from The Enquirer.
4573 Hamilton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45223
For whatever reason, I have never been the New Year's "resolutions" or looking back, retrospective type. As I sat down on December 31 to make this post about a new book, though, I couldn't help but to ultimately reflect on what has probably been the busiest, most productive year I have had as an artist-educator. So before I get to the book stuff, let me just take a brief minute ...
"Tunnel-Ball" was a truly awesome experience, and it's surreal that it was about ten months ago now that it was published and it seemed like I was spending much of my free time making felt pennants. The release party included the most fun book reading I have ever done to date, the book made it onto the shelves of a few of my favorite stores in the world, and even into the hands of an official MLB mascot. The most rewarding part of all, though, is just hearing the "it has been a bedtime story staple at our house" messages from friends, family, and strangers.
It was also an unexpected year of contributing a couple of pieces to gallery shows in tribute to two musicians who I had always considered massive inspirations (despite obviously bittersweet circumstances). I also did a Kreate-a-Kaiju workshop event, getting to spread my joy of city-crushing Japanese monster creatures with children and adults of all ages in a collaborative setting was simply remarkable.
Another major highlight was/is teaching the Animation Workshop, in which I am doing my best to attempt to create the type of class that I wish had been available to me when I was younger but didn't really have the resources to explore that big, confusing animation realm. I am doing my best to keep the content original, and most importantly: fun. I have big ideas for the AW, starting with gaining some new supplies and materials which should arrive before holiday break is over.
There was also this, which I hope to make in print form at some point in the new year (hopefully by September, which is ITP awareness month). It was also have a new, actual conclusion. would like to print a few copies just to give out or include with regular online store purchases.
Essentially, what I'm getting at is: thank you to everyone for their support in the past year (in any capacity, even if just briefly glancing at this right now), and now, a brief glimpse of one of the things to come in the future.
This current holiday break also means, as I originally eluded to, that I have officialy began the production of a new picture book. I have tentatively had this one in the works prior to Tunnel-Ball coming out, during the final stretch of everything being put together and sent off to the printers. However, as is typically the case, the entire story was reworked numerous times to get to what it is currently. I'm sure there will be plenty of updates here along the way, but all I will say for now is ...
- After a brief hiatus (Tunnel-Ball's b&w), the book will be in color
- It may or may not have words (!)
- There are tentative plans to have a broader scale expansion/"performance" of the book, expanding on how the T-B was done (see link to post above)
- That storyboard in the first picture gives nothing away (unless you can accurately decipher the "TBCP" acronym ... if that is even still the title by the time it comes out)
- The third picture is my brand new lightbox, which I'll mostly be using to make the book. The wooden part underneath was made by my (carpenter) father. I wanted a better solution to keeping the translucent surface underlit without just cramming a desk lamp underneath. This wood panel has a strip of longlasting LED lights that lights it up perfectly.
- Lastly, the final pic (a pencil sketch of one of the earliest pages), also gives virtually nothing away.