Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lost & Found
June 17, 2014

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I finally had the chance to throw down on a solo show at one of my favorite spots in NYC, myplasticheart store and gallery.  The show was titled “Lost & Found” inspired by my recent experimentation with found objects. Gallery shows are always a tricky thing for me and it’s super hard to predict how anyone will receive the body of work. I made sure to remember one of my favorite Andy Warhol quotes during the shows production “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While They are deciding, make even more art.”

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While the show was being set up on the inside, I was hitting up the outside. The kaNO storefront will run for a full year.

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DJ Chela always kills it, This is my second time using her for a show and she never disappoints. She totally gets the art and the tone I’m trying to set for the evening.

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The show looked great set up and I was happy to see how certain things popped off of the gallery wall. I shipped the artwork from CA to NY in several installments, so this was my first time seeing everything together.  The show was all set up and we where ready to rock!

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Once again, A big thank you to everyone who made it out to the show, it’s always awesome when I get to show work in my hometown. Almost all of the art work sold, but the remaining of the pieces along with the rest of the show can be viewed online HERE.

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Full Circle
October 20, 2013

A&D

I recently got asked to be a guest speaker at the High School of Art & Design in NYC, it was a special honor for me since I graduated from the school back in 1995. The actual building that housed the old A&D I went to was demolished earlier this year, so I was given a full tour of the new school and facilities.
photo 1 photo 2Although I barely ever used them, nothing says art school like these little guys, lol.

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One of the coolest things that stuck out to me at the new High School of Art & Design was the tiling on one of the hallways, it’s a pixelated version of jimmy Palmiotti’s countdown 51 cover.  As you can see in the floor lay out above, Superman is clearly depicted on the hallway floor. For more pics of the new A&D click HERE, note: these are early work in progress pictures.
showsI’m usually so busy doing my art hustle thing, that I often over look how the animated projects I’ve worked influence younger artist coming up.  The three shows I’ve worked on that got the most reactions from the A&D animation students where “Batman The Brave and the Bold”, 4kids “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “codename: Kids Next Door”. It’s awesome to see the reactions from the demographic that they’re intended for first hand. I look forward to building and connecting more with the High School of Art & Design for future projects and lectures.

My regards to Beaverton…
August 6, 2013

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I’ve been very fortunate to work with some awesome clients in my career thus far, among them is Nike’s Jordan Brand. I grew up in the 90’s in what I like to consider the golden era of sneaker culture, this golden era was led by none other then the Air Jordan sneaker. I’ve been a sneaker head since my first pair of Jordan’s in the 6th grade, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally visit the Nike campus.

Beaverton

It’s always the times when I’m alone…in a city I’ve never been to before, that I realize how blessed I am to do what I do for a living. I’ve been loyal to my art ever since I was a kid, it follows and I lead, all I have to do is believe (corny, but very true). You have to understand, I use to read the back of my Nike boxes before I went to sleep as a kid, the back read “Nike: Beaverton, Oregon, USA” growing up in NYC, that might as well read Mars. I threw my headphones on, tilted my fitted and  jumped on the train to Beaverton.

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I got off the train, and jumped on a Nike shuttle that drove me to the campus. After a long drive way, you get to the pearly gates of sneaker heaven, lol. I had to take a pic at the entrance for all my peeps back in NYC. This place is huge and majestic, I felt like I got dropped off at Professor Xavier’s school for the gifted.

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These time capsules are buried and sealed throughout the campus, can’t even imagine what type of awesome stuff is stashed away for future generations to open up.

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On my way to the Michael Jordan building I pass the Bo Jackson building, it’s like my childhood memories full of Nike commercials are all playing at the same time, I mean… this is where BO KNOWS! was born!!! The inside houses a huge Basketball court which is where most NIke basketball commercials or filmed.

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I walked a little more, passing Nike employees that where all rocking rare Nike Air Roshes and Retro J’s. I never went on campus orientations when picking out a college, but this is what I imagine that feeling like. I was straight up a kid in awe of every detail. I hit this huge lake in the middle of the campus, surrounded by all the Nike buildings, Japanese garden, and several soccer fields, football fields and tennis courts.

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The Nike campus isn’t just corporate, it’s a fully functional sports complex where athletes try out all the latest products, I got to take in a little bit of a Woman’s soccer game that was going on. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t waiting for some Brandi Chastain action to commence, lol.

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My Pops would be very happy to know that there was a huge Bronze statue of Ronaldo by the soccer field, Goooooooooaaaaaaaaalll!!!!!

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The buildings are adorned with these full color banners of all of Nike’s athletes, past and present. The MJ banner is the only one in all red, love it! For my LA peeps, you’ll be happy to know that Kobe was right next to MJ.

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I had to stop in my tracks when I got to the MJ building, I mean this is where it all goes down, no matter where things are outsourced, they are designed here! At this point I linked up with my art director at Jordan Brand and went upstairs to the design floor where it all goes down. NO cameras allowed of course, but it was awesome to meet some of the artist and execs behind the brand. Some of the designers had stuff on their desks that I had designed for Jordan brand in the past, which was awesome to see. I got to see how they picked out patterns, fabrics, styles and fits. I’m not exaggerating when I say there were Jordans everywhere! Jordan brand is an awesome place to work and despite all the revisions and notes that designers go through in the process of making one shoe design, I bet they’re pretty proud to be part of such an awesome brand.

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I took one last picture in the lobby before I left, it was one of the most inspiring and humbling experiences I’ve recently had. You see, I wasn’t just there on a tour, I was there meeting up with an art director I’ve had the pleasure of working with remotely since I lived in NYC. I give this art life my all and it never steers me wrong, not everyone makes it, but if you don’t bust your ass….you don’t stand a chance. The Mets hat came with me on this trip because I had to make sure that everyone who reads this post, knows that Queens was in the building…the MICHAEL JORDAN BUILDING!!!

Tristan Eaton Bodega (BAIT Exclusive)
July 27, 2013

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The Bodega artist series continues with art power house and fellow B&A rep artist Tristan Eaton! Tristan is one of those inspirational artist who is always on the move… from murals, toy design, corporate branding to fine art in a high end galleries, he’s got it covered. Tristan Eaton’s orange Bodega features his classic Amazon Queen, which should be familiar to many of his fans. Limited to 100 pieces, the Bodega was released at BAIT’s flagship store in Diamond Bar, CA.

001TristanxkaNOnewdate2_bait_tk_bodega4_bait_tk_bodega3_bait_tk_bodega21_bait_tk_bodegaIt’s always fun to meet peeps that collect our work, thank you for the support!

002kaNOXTrisshirtflyerAs part of the evenings events, we collaborated on this T-shirt promotion for the first 30 fans to purchase a Bodega.

7_bait_tk_bodegab1151adee02b11e291b222000a1f98fa_711_bait_tk_bodegaBait did a great job on the shirts, and if you missed out…you can cop it HERE!

…and if for some weird reason you know who I am and don’t know who Tristan Eaton is? well, CNN did a feature on him just for you!

a584f0cac8a411e29a5b22000a9f15d6_7Thanks again for all the support guys!

Paying my respects…
June 4, 2013

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8917_144807699314_341767_nLoosing people in your life never gets easier, no matter how many times it happens. I lost an old friend this weekend who left this earth way too soon. Alexis was a super talented artist and a great friend. We both graduated from the High School of Art & Design, followed by The School of Visual Arts. Upon graduation we both went our professional routes and kept in contact throughout the years. Alexis went on to a blooming design career in the music biz, working with some of her favorite recording artist, something I always admired. She was a beautiful spirit that came along with tons of jokes and snappy comebacks, my favorite type of girl. I’m choosing to celebrate her life, rather then mourn at this moment, I truly believe it’s the way she would of wanted it. Her memory will live on through all of her friends and family, here’s a little snippet of one of the last convo’s we had, gonna miss you a lot homie…

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Pencil Mileage…
May 30, 2013

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When I was younger I use to focus on speed and pencil mileage when it came to drawing, this was drilled in us at SVA’s animation department. The mentality of it was…the more you draw, the more bad drawings you got out of your way before the good ones came along. I never questioned it, because at the time 2d animation was huge and it made total sense.

Years after graduation I came to the realization that pencil mileage, just like any other type of mileage needs focus and direction, otherwise you’re just driving in circles and not going anywhere.

Slow down, look at a map, study the options before hitting 90 mph. I learn to slow down and pay attention to what I was doing, I didn’t feel a need to fill up a sketchbook every week anymore. My sketchbooks became more of an exploration and study of where my lines could go and what they could form. I guess in short I am saying….pay attention to what you’re doing and stop rushing your work, it’s important to give it the attention it deserves.

LA, 3 years later…
March 23, 2013

Three years ago today, me and my wife packed up our belongings, we sublet our place in New York and moved out west with our little 2.5 year old daughter. We checked in to the Safari Inn in Burbank on a Wednesday afternoon, with no place to live, no jobs, and no car…did I mention we had just found out we were expecting our second child two weeks prior. Our plan was to rent a car and find a place to live by the weekend. Being that all the animation studios were in Burbank and Glendale, we knew where we had to be.
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The weekend came and after hustling like a New Yorker for cheap rental, we found ourselves moving in to our Burbank spot on a Saturday morning. As we moved in the hustle continued, I had a couple of phone numbers from contacts I’d made through working conventions, freelancing and friend recommendations. I made some calls and was able to score two tests, one from Warner Brothers and the other from Disney. This meant I had to run to Ikea to buy a table to draw on, being that we didn’t have any furniture yet. The Disney test was for storyboarding on a show called Kick Buttowksi and the Warner Brothers test was for character design on Batman, The brave and the Bold. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what I chose to focus on, lol. While I waited for a call back, we decided to up the stakes a bit by buying a car…I know right, wtf?
The following week came with a phone call from WB and a job offer, I couldn’t F’n believe it!
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Warner Brothers Animation is a union studio, this means you get health insurance, that health insurance kicks in when you’ve put in 6 months of work. I mention this because my son Niko was born on THE day my health insurance kicked in!!! How fucking crazy is that??? I am not a very religious man, but…THANK GOD! Working at WB is exactly what I dreamt of it being as an animation student at SVA, the artist caliber is really high and it is truly inspiring working with many of the artist there, I have learned so much from my co-workers and I have to thank James Tucker for giving me a chance to rock that test.

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While I was busy at WB, my daughter Maya was in pre school and Niko started up at day care. My wife Toni, who is an animator, was working from home remotely for a couple of east coast studios. She managed to score a gig animating on the Ricky Gervais show at Wild Brain studios before landing a full time gig at Disney Publishing World wide, where she gets to animate on apps for mobile devices.
552648_10150997701292696_1914535883_nBefore leaving NY, I had decided to walk away from animation and focus completely on my personal art and my brand. The truth is I had lost a lot of love for the medium and industry being that it was merely a shadow of what once was. Despite all this, I still felt like I owed that kid who spent all nighters animating away on his senior thesis a taste of what the west coast had to offer. We were so focused and confident on making this happen that we never stopped to think what if it doesn’t? Looking back at it, I feel like I had a lot of people looking over my shoulder making sure we were in the right place at the right time.

Custom Toy Documentary
February 14, 2013

final draft from dope vinyl on Vimeo.

Hey guys, peep this dope kickstarter campaign for Jordan Ahearn’s new designer toy documentary. I know there’s a bunch of documentaries made already about the subject matter, but this one seems to focus on custom toy artist. Jordan came by my studio and interviewed me for the film, I checked out a couple of segments and so far, it looks pretty dope. Here’s the video, if you like what you see, click HERE and fund the project!

MF Fonzo! NYC
January 14, 2013

Fonzo Love NY

I got a chance to rock this cool little platform figure called the Fonzo, designed by Gary Ham and produced by Freak store, it’s a simple little pug with lots of DIY appeal.

MF Fonzo sketch

As soon as I saw the figure I knew exactly what I was going to do with it, luckily the concept came with a soundtrack to keep me focused.

4d766a5e512a11e2b7d622000a1f968a_7 I pushed myself on this one in terms of shades and lighting, had a blast and learned a couple of things in the process.09c0f56e585e11e28dfe22000a9e288f_7

I was pretty happy with the final product! MF Fonzo will be on exhibit at the myplasticheart gallery in NYC until mid February.

Back at WB…
December 20, 2012

Well, I’m back working in-house at WB animation on a new direct to video movie. I haven’t worked in-house since the summer, I’ve pretty much been freelancing from my studio since then. It’s always a honor to work with all the insane talent at the studio and a blessing to have a steady paycheck. I lucked out this time around and got a pretty cool office space, which I share with Lynell Forestall, another kick ass character designer. The nature of the animation biz is project to project, so we’ll see where 2013 will take me.
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