Monkey and snake needed a lift to the watering hole.
Sticking with the giant creatures of the deep theme I decided to paint up a giant octopus. Enjoy!
I've put a few Bird and Squirrel related items up on Society6 for purchase. These include everything from mugs to t-shirts. Follow the link to check them out. https://society6.com/jamesburks
Note: The prices are set by Society6.
Wednesday. Today's swim workout was a challenging one. One where you are only a half hour into the hour and half workout and that voice in your head is telling you that "You're tired." "You can't do anymore." and "You're done." Well, you know what? That voice lies. Because not only can you do another set, you can do another one after that one, and another one, and another, and another and...you get the idea. You can't listen to that voice. You can push yourself way beyond what you think you're capable of. Past what the voice in your head thinks you're capable of. Past where you're comfortable. Past what's easy. Sure when you finish you are going to be tired but the sense of accomplishment is going to be amazing. Ignore that voice!
Have a great day!
Twenty years ago today on Sept. 25, 1995, I started my first job in animation. It was a paid internship at Warner Brothers Feature Animation. I had three months to prove that I had what it took to work on an animated feature. And what an incredible three months. I basically got paid to take classes (acting, improv, life drawing, etc.) and learn the craft of animation. I was getting paid to draw and have fun. My artistic skills grew leaps and bounds. (These sorts of opportunities don't really exist as much today. Now, you're thrown right into the job and are expected to run with it and if you can't then they show you the door.)
I, fortunately, did have what it took and on Dec. 20, 1995 I became a full-time employee. I believe a couple people in my group didn't make it. Which was hard seeing that it was 5 days before Christmas. But that's Hollywood for ya. While at WB I worked on Space Jam, Quest for Camelot, and probably the best film of all the ones I worked on in my animation career, The Iron Giant.
After finishing the Iron Giant I was laid off until if and when WB decided to do another film. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait because I was excepted into another internship this time at Disney Feature Animation. It was a bit weird to go back to being an intern after already having worked in the business but I was told that I had to learn "the Disney Way." It had always been my dream to work at Disney so I figured I'd do it. Once again I was being paid to take classes and learn about animation but this time it was from some of the greats of Disney animation. We had classes with Walt Stanchfiled, lectures from Mark Davis, we sculpted, we animated, we went to the zoo to draw. (We also worked on production work while being paid much less but I won't go into that.)
Once again I made the cut and was offered to stay on at Disney. My time at Disney wasn't always rainbows and unicorns but I stuck it out and worked on The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis, Treasure Planet, the short One by One, and Home on the Range. I also received screen credit on Brother Bear but I don't think I actually worked on it.
Eventually the days of traditional animation at Disney came crashing down around us and I found myself once again looking for something to do next. From here I started to work on lots of different things and at lots of different studios. Over the years I've worked on Stripperella, an animated Spawn direct to video feature that never saw the light of day, Wow Wow Wubbzy, Ni Hao Kai-lan, Lilo and Stitch the TV show, The Emperor's New School, The Dinosaur Train, Fan Boy and Chum Chum, and the Bravest Warriors.
My days working in animation had many ups and downs and some definite low points but I never could have imagined back on Sept. 25, 1995 how much my life would change. I've made so many great life long friends, I met my wife Suzanne while working at WB and we both got hired at Disney on the same day as well, I've had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most incredible artists that have inspired me to get better and taught me so many things. I learned how to tell a story and how to act with a pencil which eventually led me to where I am today writing and illustrating my own stories and making books.
I may not currently be working in animation but I'm so grateful for everything and everyone (good and bad) that got me to where I am today. It's been one hell of a rollercoaster ride and it's still going. All proof that with a lot of hard work and persistence you can live the dream. I look forward to the next twenty years and can't wait to see where the ride takes me.
Have a listen to the Bird and Squirrel them song while watching a trailer for BIRD AND SQUIRREL ON ICE.
I’m featured on this weeks episode of the Let’s Get Busy podcast. We talk all about how I made the leap from animation into the world of children’s publishing. How I found my literary agent. How I created Bird and Squirrel on Ice. All that and so much more.
If you'd like to hear other interviews with other great authors and illustrators make sure to visit: lgbpodcast.blogspot.com.
Special thanks to Matthew Winner for producing a top notch podcast and for having me as a guest.
Merlin ponders the future. Sometimes creativity can be mistaken for laziness. Staring into space is a crucial part of the creative process.
I don't usually do super heroes but I thought I'd give it a try. Here's IRONMAN.
Here's a piece that I sketched out and colored over the weekend. I'm trying out a slightly different technique for applying color. Something a bit more painterly. A little looser.
I've been trying to make a point of doing a daily sketch based on the themes suggested by either @daily_doodle or @sketch_dailies on twitter. It's a good exercise. Today's daily doodle theme was George and the Dragon. Enjoy.