Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Holidays

When we decided to give up (after several frustrating years) trying to have a second child; we told ourselves a kid, a cat- we're good. But watching Maggie play all alone in the backyard was a tad heartbreaking. So, we got a puppy. A Golden Retriever is the prince of all dogs- so damn beautiful, you can't stay mad at them. Now, he's been with us 9 mos. He is completely the second child. He keeps me company all day, drives me crazy wih his whining and chewing and spazzes out at the most inconvenient moments. I'm totally in love. And so is Maggie. And I think my husband is the biggest mush of all. Look at the family resemblance! Where does her hair stop and his start?
The cat has been ill. We have all turned into nursemaids- pushing tiny pieces of tuna down his throat and coaxing him to drink. He's bouncing back. He's old and cranky - but we love him too.
This Holiday season I am happy to have my crazy menagarie. I hope in your holiday "Stressmas" you pause and revel in the chaos that is life. It's all good.

Happy Holidays too all- see you in the New Year. Kelly

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Today's memory sketch

This was a little girl coming out of school at dismissal yesterday. Man, what a hat and glove set. Big fleece polka dots. It is exciting to see the first snow flakes of the season.

Oh, and I got a B+ in my class. It's the best non-A I've ever gotten.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Won! I Won! I WON!

I won the T shirt, water bottle and tote bag design contest for my upcoming cruise with the BARENAKED LADIES! WOOOO HOOOOO! I won, I won, I won! I never win anything! AND I WON!!!! Woo HOOOOOOOOOOO!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Schoolism and Stephen Silver and the quest for character

The class is over this week. It was a great experience. I felt both at home doing the character design work and at moments completely out of my element. It was fun, challenging, inspiring and humbling. The talent pool is sooo deep out there. My classmates were great. The work they did pushed me to do better. This, I can honestly and whole heartedly say, was a rewarding experience and will change how I approach art for the rest of my drawing days.

I came to the conclusion that after 37 years, I was taking my talent for granted. I believed I could switch it on and off when I needed or wanted to. Now, after these nine weeks, I see that to continue doing good work and to hopefully do better and better work, one must draw everyday. It's that mysterious "zone" that athletes talk about but for artists. No pain, no gain- but with a pencil. It can be really hard to stay in that zone when you've got PB&J sandwiches to make and soccer and swimming to run to and homework and housework and husband and oh yeah, freelance....

BUT- I can say, being in that Zone feels like home, and I want to stay.

I will miss hearing Stephen Silver's almost british accent every week. The way he so enthusiastically begins his sentences and pronounces, " W-Ow" and "Fan-tastic!" or "good Job!". Even "failure" sounded good from him. Schoolism is a brilliant concept. I wish them and Stephen Silver much continued success.

I hope my final character design of Fat Joe gets me one more star this week. Or at least a "W-ow" or "fan-tastic" and maybe a "good job".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

IF "Zoo"

IF "Zoo" this week! I know I've done the tiger here before... the invite was for my daughter's 6 1/2 birthday party. It was a a safari party..we had some real, and really stinky animals in my TV room. It was fun!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hope you all have enough tums

I never want to eat turkey again. Here's this week's homework which was to sketch from life in a sketchbook daily then do a sketch from memory. It's a mom I see everyday at Mag's school. She seems to be perpetually annoyed at her son's happiness.

Been under the weather..

I've been sick for a few weeks with what I guess was the flu. My homework suffered a bit. But I'll put up the stuff I've done.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Assignment 5 homework

Sinus infection this week. I feel I haven't produced my regular level of homework..but such is life. Inking is TOUGH! No wonder there are inkers extraordinaire in the world of comic books. It is a very specific skill. Oy.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Homework #4

This was a great exercise. Back to the fundamentals in structure. I, as I think a lot of cartoonists do, tend to cheat on these details. So... I am definitely going to keep doing this. Especially noses which I found I had difficulty with. It's has just been a great mental switch to think about this as a discipline and not as an automatic thing I do when I want to. You get out of it what you put in to it. No more laziness if I want to succeed in doing cartoon Illustration as a career.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

No one said it was gonna be easy...

This is the first part of assignment #3 from the Stephen Silver Class. First draw from reference. Then, put away your drawing and reference and use basic shapes to caricature the man in the bowler hat. This was frustrating and fun. I have trouble getting loose. I was trying to be perfect but the looser I got, the better the drawings so, I am going to start doing this a lot.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Latte full of life

Another afternoon of joe and drawing joy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

IF "Extremes"

Illustraton Friday - "Extremes"

I went to my college reunion up at Syracuse this past weekend. There were 8 people out of 3,000 + from the class of 1992. BUT the class of 1957 was there in all of their geriatric glory. It was a wild weekend.. walker racing, Triple E cup bikini competitions...
I actually saw a very old guy stumble out of a frat. Ah, Glory days.

Anyway, Rutgers- the dome- all of the alumni were sat next to the Rutgers' section..good times. We got our orange ass whupped.

My husband and I met the first day of freshman orientation, 1988. It was great to stand on the fourth floor of the dorm we're we had our first kiss. I shall always be indebted to the big orange school on the hill, he's worth more than the 80,000 in tuition!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just before the Buzzer...

11:48- due by 12. Can't get the G** Damn second file up! I'm a computer looser. If something goes wrong I'm lost.
I drew a lot, and didn't put it all up. I can't figure out how everyone gets multiple pages of sketches up on the site. If you are in the class and reading this-HELP!

Final idea below:

WHO: TV host of daytime show. A Guru of homemaking (a-la martha Stewart)



PERSONALITY: Type "A" control freak

APPEARANCE: Perfect, cleanly upper class suburban

AGE: Forty-something

MANNERISMS: Prim, Proper, Perfect

ATTITUDE: Superior, demanding

PHYSICAL DETAILS: Blonde, cardigan sweater-khaki wearing, sensible shoe chic, pearls

STORY: Her show gets canceled a fury she goes on a decoupage binge and inhales too many glue fumes and turns her into a glue gun toting monster. The monster is insane about decorating & crafting and goes on destructively beautiful rampages and wants to take revenge on the TV execs who cancelled her show. They will be "Glue Gunned"!!

This is what I went with- cause I COULD NOT decide, so I just did something. I still like my first drawings a lot of the 1950's idea but it was too "Nutty Professor"- with Jerry Lewis not Eddie Murphy. Off to bed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I am finding this "Thinking in silhouettes" very challenging. I am off to my college reunion. Will have to draw while traveling. Hope I get this assignment done.

Acorns are falling on my head.

It is hard in life to avoid all of the nuts. Last night a particularly big one hit me when I wasn't expecting it. I was up with a headache til 2 am.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Another idea...I'd better choose. Nana as Jeckyll. Nice jewish Grandma,living in Boca in a retirement community. Drinks some tainted ensure...and transforms into NANAMONSTER! The terror of Florida. Her massive breasts knock over large objects and she emits tremendous guilt. - disclaimer: I love my husband's Nana.

Token Halloween image

Seth Hippen, major talent... created a great sexy witch. Long ago, I drew this. I think it was 1995. I was a huge Archie Comic nut as a girl. So, it was fun working on that license. Dan DeCarlo, the longest running artist for that series was fantastic. I still think of him when I draw womens' legs, shoes, curves, lips. He's worth checking out.

PS- the broom was originally BETWEEN her legs- my bosses idea.... nasty. pps: This was done in marker- back in the day when we rode our brachiasaurus to work. the hell is she staying on that broom? She must have shelf butt.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Next assignment. To interpret Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Either literally or go nuts. It can be in the future,past,current time..I'm just doing mental spew right now.. I love the 1950's, so I had the thought of the nerdy girl who dreams of being glamorous. Much gratitude to Liz Taylor and Sophia Lauren... sorry for the scribble scrabble...must spew some more ideas...

Tuesday Doodles

Memory sketches. First Our Lady of the spray on tan from Starbucks. Second...Purple Lady from Pumpkin picking this weekend. She really had purple hair and all purple on...she was unsure if the picnic bench would hold her... It makes me wonder, what leads someone to do this? It certaily gets one noticed..but it is odd. One thing for sure, you could always spot her in the corn maze!

Monday, October 8, 2007

zoo day doodles again

Went to the Bronx Zoo yesterday, drew some ....

Zoo Day doodles

Friday, October 5, 2007

Doodles of the day

The first doodle is a memory doodle of a mother of another student at Mags' school. I walk my 8 mos old golden retriever, Jabba to school most mornings past her and her pug loving friend. They block the side walk. When Jabba was tiny, he endured butt sniffing galore by these two dogs whose owners encouraged them...."Oh look, they're letting him know who's boss..." So, this morning, the now 60+ lb Jabba happily wagged his tail and sniffed the poodle and pugs noses for a few moments when this treasure said"I think they've said hello long enough."- this drawing looks remarkably like her.

The next doodle was from a picture off of the American Girl Doll catalog. I was doodling, but it looks pretty good. Maybe I'll get to color it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Lost (at Starbucks)

I love the show Lost..and am eagerly awaiting it's return. Today I gave myself 1 hour to sip a grande nonfat vanilla latte and draw...and think. As I sat in Oceanside Long Island...I started to draw parallel's between my being stuck in Long Island and those poor schmucks stuck on that island. I am totally for the theory that they are in "purgatory" and now am for the theory that living in Long Island is my metaphorical purgatory. And there may not be an huge polar bear running around...but have you encountered some of these charming individuals? And the invisible colossus killing people, well just read my post on all of the hummers around here.

The others: There was a woman who was brown. Not a woman of color. A woman of the spray on tan. She was like pantone 147 uncoated. (I guess she would be coated)...anyway, that has got to come back to haunt you some day. I HOPE it was spray on, and not pure tanning booth. My cells were terrified just looking at her.

Hurley: And then, this Mom who was wearing too tight clothes on a pudgy body. Oh, I wanted to take her shopping, since I couldn't, I drew her and her daughter who looked like she knew the deal.

Mr. Echo: And the big haired lady. The theory of big butt/big hair...I'm all for it. Being chubby myself, a little poof in the coif, well it doesn't hurt so you don't look like a pin head. But she talked soooo loudly on her cell Mike...who I now know has a hemmoroidal condition. Thanks Big Haired lady, I stopped sipping my latte about then....

Kate: I like the character of Kate, but the occasional unnecessary slow camera pans of her body in panties and a bra...not so much. T & A, it's at Starbucks too. This 20-something blondie walks in...looks at the table of men sitting together, then..poses. One hand in the hair, one hand on the hip, back arched, butt pushed out (ass crack pants) and gazes for about 12 minutes at the menu board.... until one of them notices. Then she orders , turns, sips her straw suggestively...and sashays out. Now if this is not some alternate reality.... then.. I might go insane.

Anyway, If this is my purgatory (which when I was young and catholic the church still taught)- I must try to learn from all of this. Perhaps tolerance, integrate better. I think it's supposed to be a transitional time for me. I am trying to better myself... maybe getting to "Heaven" or "Nirvana" is making a career in art again then moving to New England. Living in a victorian, it can have pearly gates...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

IF "Blues"

The only thing better than listening to the Blues, is watching people listen to the blues.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

You can take the girl out of animation...

But you can't take the animation out of the girl!
Yesterday I started my Character Design Course at Schoolism with STEPHEN SILVER. He's one of the best character artists (cartoonists) working today. Perhaps best known for designing Kim Possible. Anyway, I have been drawing since last night and all I can say is I'm clicking my chucky t heels and sayin' "There's no place like home...there's no place like home."

Our first assignment is to design this character from "The Long Voyage Home" by Eugene O'Neill. "The bar of a low dive on the London water front. At the far end of the bar stands Fat Joe, the proprietor, a gross bulk of a man with an enormous stomach. His face is red and bloated, his little piggish eyes being almost concealed by rolls of fat. The thick fingers of his big hands are loaded with cheap rings and a gold watch chain of cable-like proportions stretches across his checked waistcoat."

This is what I came up with.

Clarion books? my eraser dust.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A conversation with a young girl animator...

First...who the heck am I commenting on your blog? I'm someone who studied and worked in animation and was a licensed cartoon character artist. Stopped for a few years to raise my young daughter and now works freelancing as a character designer and illustrator. I suppose that's my disclaimer like.."the words you are about to read have a lot of experience behind them"....

I am an avid reader of John K's blog as well, where I found your post. Which lead to your blog..which I read...

I grew up, as you did, a Disney fanatic. By the time I was four, I wanted to work for them. Eventually, I was trained by them as a character artist for merchandise and freelanced regularly. It was a realization of a dream in some ways and an eye opening experience to the Dirty side of Disney. BUT... I have never lost my "awe" of the art. Today, they are not what they once were, but I have high hopes seated on the back of John Lassiter.

As I got older, watched more and more different kinds of animation, my knowledge of techniques..styles...GENRES grew. I love Hanna Barbera and Warner Bros and Terry Tunes and Jay Ward and Walter Lanz.....Aardman...Colossal Pictures, "Aeon Flux" I drool over Miyazaki and Pixar...and I freakin' love Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends. BUT .... my love or dislike of one has no effect on my feelings on another. Cause I see them as seperate styles and genres. I don't compare Norman Rockwell to Rauschenburg. But I like them both. There's plenty of art that's not my cup of tea, but all of it, I respect. Because that's someone's soul up on that canvas or at least their sense of humor. Or someone's three+ years of sweat and skill in that film.
And one can debate anything...on and on..Skill vs. Style...Story vs. Comedy...Cartoon vs, Animation. The actual word "cartoon" comes from Italian cartone "pasteboard, a sketch of a planned drawing or painting done on heavy paper," from carta "sheet of paper," from Latin charta "piece of papyrus". Da Vinci's and Michealangelo's sketches and studies are called CARTOONS. Cartoons are not by definition funny. They are a reflection of life which is all things...funny...touching, sad , grotesque, sarcastic, weird, heartbreaking.. magical.. satirical..political...and damn it, I'll say it....sweet and CUTE.
If you can love Robert can believe that the Frank and Ollie boys existed. Because Robert Crumb is a reaction to that culture. The man lusts after the early twentieth century. Unfortunately for him, he was born too late and into a wacky family...but we all benefitted...from his..kookiness.
I had the pleasure of meeting Chuck Jones while working on some Warner Bros. merchandise. He was his work. He was sweet, funny, mischeivous, flirtatious and so kind. I also had the greatest thrill to correspond with Charles Schulz. He was as dry and subtlely funny as Peanuts. Artists of that era poured their whole beings into their work. And if there is something horribly wrong with cartoons today, it's that young cartoonists/animators don't get that. When I read your blog... I read a dismissal of an entire generations' work. And that sucks. Take from everything...draw from every artistic expression available..put it in your mental blender and consume until full...then pour out what you don't want. But be nourished by some parts of all of it.

John K- I respect him..I love Ren and Stimpy... I'm not a huge fan of his ego, remember: He is only one source. Choose your mentors carefully or mix and match them. He shows only his way...or the highway. That's fine if you want to be like him. But he took so much from so many....I think the best way to follow him is by following all who came before him. And they...were all classically trained artists. So draw...draw...draw and draw some more. And best of luck. I love to see young women aspiring to be cartoonists..there weren't many when I was aspiring....Kelly

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


IF "Juggle"'s a wonder I even had time to do this.... I'm still trying to figure my time management out.

at 17....

Inspired by a post on Tony Diterlizzi's blog...and humming that Janis Ian tune, I look backward in an attempt to help me look forward:
1987. At 17 I was a junior in high school. I was a cartoonist for the school paper, yearbook and drew on anything that remained still for 2 seconds. I had always drawn...and I knew long before others did what I wanted to do with my life. I had an unusual affinity for Hawaiian clothing. I wore anything and everything with palm-trees,pineapples and "op" on it. I didn't dress like the other kids. Most being extremely preppy , some what we called in NJ "Cheesesdogs" they were trampy and then there were the smoking kids, they were the metal heads. I was shy with everyone but my friends, which I suppose I have to say we were nerdy. Somehow, I was either in total denial at the time, or believed so completely we were just us...that I never realized I was a nerd. I just so desperately wanted to be recognized as a an artist. So, this pic is me..looking not too thrilled...being awarded the National Art Honor Society Award - SECOND PLACE. Behind Dave Cook, the guy I worshipped for four years.(???) He went on to Cornell, studied Law and the last thing he ever drew was his Fraternity's T-shirt. He never intended to pursue art, but I never intended anything else. I was robbed! My art teachers were wonderful, Ms. Haness and Mr. Herb O'Brien. I found ways to spend lots of time in that art room. It was the one room I owned. I owned that room...and when you're awkward and shy..that means everything.
I was a vegetarian. I was a nut. I painted peace signs on everything, especially cows. "Peaceful beef"...Ai-Yai-yai-- yeesh...
I plastered my walls with art and Beatles posters. I was in a bubble of naivete...I was probably filling out all of my school applications. I wanted to go to the Rhode Island School of Design or the University of Honolulu...
At 17 I spent a summer in Brazil. My Grandfather took all of his grandchildren in a VW Bus through the country to meet his family he left behind. It was one of those life defining experiences. To find out you belong to another culture.. you have history that goes back on hundred year old plantations...
At 17(in 1987) I had thick, curly brown hair and bushy eyebrows that had never been waxed. I was chubby(still am), I had never had a real boyfriend. I was pretty. Although I never thought that then, I see it now. I told everyone I was going to work for Disney some day(eventually I did freelance). At 17(in 1987)the whole world lay out before me...every possibility artistic or otherwise...and I was scared. Scared of failure, of disappointing people and letting myself down.
If I could tell that kid of 17 somethings, they would be, believe in yourself, trust your instincts, boys will eventually notice you focus on your art lunkhead!, Dream it, Believe it, Be it! -'cause you can.

I will tell my daugter these things. I will tell her how I met her Dad and how he was the first boy who was sweet and kind and cute who treated me wonderfully and that's how I knew he was the one. I will tell her to follow her passion whether it's art or animals. I will tell her to be a little selfish with her time. Take care of yourself first, so you can take better care of others...after. I tell her now, how I want to do children's books. I told her about rejection already with the Clarion Publisher...and I told her I still believed in myself no matter the opinions of others... Twenty years is a loooooong time. Life's quite a ride, isn't it?