Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ariel Acosta's latest

After studying with us extensively in Character Design, Background Design and Visual Development, Ariel Acosta is now a leading student at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. We had the pleasure of his company at the last session of the Academy as he stopped by to share with us his his most recent works. Ariel's been featured before on the Academy's blog on December 15, 2006.

This is an illustration Ariel created in Photoshop. Click on the image for a better view.

Ariel is producing very impressive art and is developing a portfolio that is as unique as it is exceptional.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Walter Gatus visits the Academy

We had a surprise guest speaker at the last session of the semester this week. Walter Gatus stopped by and helped enlighten our students with his talent and experience.

Walter enrolled at the Academy full time in our early days. He came to us from another major art school after being disappointed with them. He turned out to be one of the most significant students we've ever had. Starting out at Neopets as a character designer, he went on to Warner Bros and made a solid reputation for himself in salvaging the designs for the high profile and controversial Loonatics series. Currently he's a lead designer at Mike Young Productions in Woodland Hills, California.

Walter shared his experiences and portfolio with the class, giving them a lot of good advice as to what it takes to succeed in the industry. It was great having Walter as our guest and he made the evening a special one. Here's a link to his blog if you'd like to see what he does. http://waltergatus.blogspot.com

The next semester will begin September 4, 2007. We're anticipating another excellent turnout. We're lining up additional guest speakers and from the affirmative responses we've received so far it looks like we'll be hosting more of the industry's outstanding talent for the benefit of our students as a continuing aspect of our program.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Celebrating Kris Anka

Everyone at the Academy is excited to see the success of one of the youngest and most talented students we've had at the school. Kris Anka started out with us in the Teen Program as a little kid. He was younger than the cutoff age of 13 when he began. Now he's 18 years old, a high school graduate and the winner of the first Warner Bros / Hanna Barbera Scholarship.

Kris was celebrated as a guest speaker this past week. Even while his presentation was in progress he was drawing. Please excuse the quality of the photos. I had the camera on the wrong setting and didn't realize it.

Kris featured art from his portfolio which thoroughly impressed our adult students. Remarkable work for anyone at any age much less a teenager.

As part of the terms of his scholarship, Kris is working as an intern at Warner Bros Animation. He chose to continue his full time college education at Cal Arts this coming fall where he'll be enrolled as a freshman in their character animation program.

We all wish Kris the best of luck and continued success in his creative and professional endeavors. We're looking forward with pride and enthusiasm to the great accomplishments he'll be achieving in the future.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Gary Montalbano visits the Academy

Continuing with our special guest speakers for this, the 50th semester of The Animation Academy, we had the pleasure of Gary Montalbano's company at our most recent session of the Adult Program.

Gary has been a visual development artist in animation for many years as well as an established self publisher of his fine artwork. He brought along some of his original paintings which he displayed as part of his presentation. They're partially visable to the left and right of this picture of Gary as he works with our students while going through his portfolio.

Gary's lecture was informative and inspiring, offering up lots of useful career advice for our students.

We're thankful that Gary took the time out of his busy schedule to join us and share his thoughts and creativity with us. It was very much appreciated by all. I'm sure we'll be seeing him again down the line sometime. Meanwhile, check out Gary's incredible art by visiting his website: http://sarkanavon.com/

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The brilliance of Alan Simmons

There aren't many artists who have as high a command over perspective and ingenuity in their background designs as Alan Simmons. Alan has been a long time friend, associate and periodically an instructor at the Academy. He stopped by the other day with these examples of a design he recently completed and gave permission to have it featured on our blog.

This is Alan's concept sketch in which he established the nature of his composition through a three point perspective grid. Clicking on the pictures will enhance the view.

This is Alan's final line of the high tech futuristic background design he envisioned in the above sketch.

Alan is currently on staff at Marvel Lions Gate Studio (MLG) and is scheduled to join us as a guest speaker next semester on September 18.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Academy at the ComicCon 07

By virtue of our illustrious alumni and associates, The Animation Academy was well represented ay the 2007 ComicCon in San Diego, California. Thanks to Kevin Poythress, former student and current assistant instructor, for these photos.

Richard Chavez, head of Visual Development at Sony Pictures Animation with Chance Raspberry, staff artist on The Simpsons.

David Colman from Cartoon Network, author of "The Art of Animal Character Design".

Former student and current assistant instructor James Lavelle Brown.

Jose Lopez, an original founding student of the Academy, character designer and author of "Mariachi Samurai".

Patrick Morgan, creator of "WhaleBoy".

John Nevarez of the Disney Studios.

Stephen Silver, author, educator and character designer.

Development artist Gary Montalbano and wife.

Last but not certainly not least, Kevin Poythress and company.

To see the blog that Kevin created of his 07 ComicCon experience, follow this link: http://mutantpenguinblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/sdcc2007-parti.html

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Alexis Arciniaga's latest sketch

It's important to stay creatively poroductive, even if you're not currently taking classes. That's the situtation with 14 year old Alexis Arciniaga, a teen student previously enrolled at the Academy. She's stayed in touch with us by sending in a current drawing from the sketchbook she maintains, which is worth featuring here on the Academy's blog. Click on the image for a better view.

Alexis did a nice job with her conceptual design of this composition, especially in her rendering of the character's lapel and areas of clothing which exhibit a high degree of sophistication. She used markers for color and a fine pen for her line work. Alexis is another of the up and coming stars involved with our program. As with the rest of our talented students, we look forward with anticipation as to what she'll be coming up with in days ahead.