Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Honoring Ollie Johnston

The creative legacy of the Walt Disney Studios was pioneered by great artists and animators. Among the greatest was Ollie Johnston, one of the legendary "Nine Old Men" and co-author of "The Illusion of Life" which helped resurrect the fine art of animation by educating and inspiring a new generation of talent in the 1980's and beyond.

On August 18, 2008 at the Sheraton Universal in Hollywood, the family of Ollie Johnston hosted a reception in his memory as he had passed away on April 14 of this year at the age of 95. I was invited to help set up for this event and while at the hotel, I met one of Ollie Johnston's sons, Ken Johnston. I had the opportunity to express to him my appreciation for his father and he was gracious enough to pose for the photo below.

The framed picture you see next to him is a remarkable image which the Johnston family brought along as a centerpiece for the memorial event. It's a shot of his father, in the company of he lady who would become Mrs. Ollie Johnston, his mother, at the Hollywood premiere of "Fantasia" in 1940.

More photos are featured on the AnimationNation forums. Follow this link to view them:;f=1;t=013237

It was a great honor being part of Ollie Johnston's memorial and representing The Animation Academy in this way.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Andre Medina's first publication

Since the foundation of the school, The Animation Academy has always encouraged creative enterprise, entreprenuership and independence in one's career, even if the artist is employed at a studio. You see this in many of our most successful students.

I'm excited to be introducing yet another one. Andre Medina worked on "Barnyard the Movie" and is currently on "The Simpsons" crew. He's been a long time student of the Academy and is one of our recent standouts.

At our last session, Andre debuted his first publication. A 16 page collection of some of the sketches and artwork he'd been creating in class. They were quickly bought up at $5 each.

Here's the cover. Click on the image for an enhanced view.

Check out Andre's blog and you'll get an idea of how talented he is:

Why limit your portfolio to studio submissions only, when you can package your portfolio and sell it. With this kind of creative excellence, an artist can prepare their portfolio as a publication and begin to build their own independent economy and fan based community.

I'm sure this won't be the last time we see something in print from him. Andre's very dedicated and will be entering Cal Arts this coming fall. Another Academy student on their way to Cal Arts.

Great things are on the way from Andre Medina.