Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Lights

To ring in the New Year, I present to you the holiday animation I made for 2006. Here's the text I sent to friends to setup the animation:

Dear friends,

I've been doing holiday illustrations for a while now, but recently I've received numerous requests to do a special animation for the Christmas season. So in the spirit holiday giving, here it is - an animated festival lights.

If I may say so, I think it's quite a thing of beauty which perfectly captures the illuminated holiday displays of the season. But isn't not just a spectacle for the eye, oh no, the music for this animation was carefully selected for it's emotional impact. Extra bonus points to anyone who can identify the rich orchestrations I used in this short.

It's my sincerest hope you'll enjoy this celebration of electrical wonders, and harmonious sounds of the season. So without any further adieu, please join me as we visit a serene and picturesque winter carnival where the magic unfolds...

video

Not to belabor the joke, but here's an explanation in case my animation left you scratching your head.

So the "joke" was what you could call a switcheroo. In the setup I made it sound like I was animating elaborate holiday light displays, and I start the animation with fancy orchestra music and the winter carnival setting. But I then start pulling away from the carnival, and switch to wacky animated neon and illuminated signs that have holiday themes edited to the music from the closing credits of the Bullwinkle show.

But you probably knew that didn't you?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #7

I discovered Microsoft Publisher in 1997, and thought it would be a great tool for creating my cards (I'd barely even heard of the Adobe's Photoshop or Illustrator back then). Kinko's told me they could print my Publisher file directly on to card stock. Great news! This was going to be my best card yet, but, unfortunately, due to some odd quirk my artwork printed in B&W. So I had to settle for some weird colorized look...

Front

The colorized look sorta works since my card was supposed to resemble a poster for an old cartoon. Still I would have preferred my artwork to be in full color, so for the first time ever here's my original art...

Original Art

On the inside I made up a fake news clipping about my fake cartoon...

Inside

And finally my fake company name for the year...

Back

Well this completes my homemade card posts for the season. Thanks to everyone who left comments, or emailed with some kind words. I truly appreciate it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #6

I used a paper cut-out technique for the art on my 1996 card. This wasn't my attempt to copy the look of South Park (South Park didn't premiere until 1997), but to copy the look of Mary Blair. Mary's art is very cute and charming, and I wanting my elves to look cute even if they were doing something very weird.

Front

Head cheese has to be one of the grossest food products ever, and about the strangest thing I could think to substitute for gingerbread. On the inside I didn't have any clever text, it just said "Happy Holidays."

Here was my fake company name for 1996...

Back

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #5

In 1995 I got a little religious, but it was a geeky kind of religious with the three wise men depicted as robots.

On the inside it read...


On the back is my fake card company name for the year...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Spirit

Here's my Christmas gift to the world, or at least the handful of people who visit this blog each day.

Instead of sending out cards each year I've stated doing short holiday animations. This years animation is about a cute bell ringing elf, and the holiday spirit that possesses him. Enjoy...


video

I'm planning to do a few more homemade Christmas card posts this coming week, and one last special animation to ring in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #4

We're now up to 1994, and I decided to place something disturbing on the front of the card.

Front

On the inside it read...

Inside

As you can now see it was disturbing, yet highbrow at the same time (hey isn't that Hooters' slogan?) with my idea of how old Pablo Picasso might have drawn Old Saint Nick.

Also I put another fake card company name on the back...

Back

You may have guessed by the company name I do like using a thesaurus from time to time.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #3

Two years of hand airbrushing each and every one of my Christmas cards, not to mention coming up with a totally original idea, is grueling work. So in 1993 I made a quantum leap into the future by photocoping my cards, and I further cut down my labor by simply altering the artwork of an existing card.

I found a cheap card that featured some corny old-timey artwork, and I spiced things up at bit by carefully painting in a stick of dynamite. Years of watching Loony Tunes is bound to have an effect on ones' mind.

front

I kept the original inside text which now took on a slightly new meaning...

inside

On the back of the card where you'd find the Hallmark logo (if this was a real store-bought card) I made up my own brand name. I don't remember where I found the word dactylogram (it means finger print), but I think I liked how it rhymed with the word brand. It also sorta ties in with the OK hand gesture clip-art.

Back

The addition of the dynamite in the pants was so subtle that some people didn't even notice it. Upon news of this one of my friends profoundly stated, "In life there are those who notice dynamite in the pants, and those who don't."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #2

For Christmas of 1992 I made another airbrushed card, but unlike the snowman card I only did the front of the cards this time.

I liked the word play of "Christmas on Easter Island," and using the island's iconic statues in a fun way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #1

In 1990 I got the idea to make my own Christmas cards. Here is my first official card. I only made about 15 since the cards were a bit labor intensive. Each card was hand drawn and airbrushed. That's right no photocopying here, each card was an original, and made with love.

Front

Inside

As you can see my card tackles a bold hypothetical question about snowmen having skeletons. I liked the idea of a sweet looking Christmas on the outside hiding a something slightly ghoulish on the inside.

This time my idea was totally original. Although I think I've seen a cartoon in resent years that used this same idea. I'm sure it was just a coincidence, or maybe it was karma payback for the Seasonings' Greetings photo.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Holiday Rip-off Artist

Christmas is a time for peace on earth, and goodwill towards men, and all that stuff. But it's also a time for people getting ripped-off. Embarrassingly, I'm guilty of up some yuletide theft of my own.

No, I didn't steal someones presents from an unattended car. I am guilty of intellectual property theft.

When I was in high school I took a photography class, and one assignment was to come up with a Christmas card. Mine was titled "Seasonings' Greetings" which you can see below.

I believe I got an A for the assignment, and people who show this picture thought it was cute and clever. But what they didn't know is that I totally riped-off the idea from Bil "Family Circus" Keane's book Jest In Pun.


Here's Bil Keane's original cartoon...


Looking at my photo now I wish I positioned the hands better so you could read the entire "Ground Beef Seasoning" on the bottle. I did title the photo "Seasonings' Greetings" so that, with my other cosmetic changes makes this more of a "homage" than a rip-off.

Oh who am I kidding, homage is just another word for stealing. I'm sorry Mr. Keane that I knowingly used your idea for a high school project, and passed it off as my own. Please forgive the misguided actions of a school boy.

I hope that apology was sufficient. I'd hate the thought of Dolly, Jeffy, Billy, PJ, and Barfy pissed off at me.

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