////Animation Director/// Animator /// Illustrator/// Optimist////_______"Don't be discouraged, be INSPIRED"

Jazz... [my therapy]

Seed Shack by Gene Ammons on Grooveshark

Monday, 6 January 2014

New Year, New Beginnings...

Happy 2014 everyone! Sorry it's been so long since my last post here. Oh how time flies... Feels like only yesterday I was writing my annual list of "Things to do/ Achieve in 2013", yet here I am again, now compiling a new one.

Last year really was one of the most exciting, pro-active & eventful years I've had... Industry-wise, at several stages I was actually having to turn down other freelance work as I was far too busy to take on any more (crazy!). Just to share some of the highlights with you; I worked for Aardman on a short commercial job for 'Swatch' watches (which I'll post up as soon as I get a copy of the masters). Worked for a great studio called ETC (Electric Theatre Collective) as an animator & character designer on a series of idents for 'Talk Talk' which featured on the X-Factor TV show. I was there for about 5 months, & it was a great experience as I got to work with old friends of mine I hadn't seen in years, plus make some new ones too. Best of all, I learnt a lot! Thanks to these two "superstars", Daniela Negrin Ochoa & Margot Tsakiri-Scanatovits (who were animators also), I now know how to animate in Photoshop (Thanks ladies x)! I attended two epic weddings of good friends of mine; one in Serbia & the other here in London... 

And lastly, as of late December, I moved into my very own brand new apartment! All these things I have God solely to be thankful for. I still have a whole bunch of picture frames to put up, but for now, here a snap of my studio corner.

In other news (which I really should've mentioned above), back sometime in December, I was contacted by a producer from 'Tiger Aspect' (a British TV production company here in London) with an invite to interview for a job as an animator on the 'Mr Bean animated series' (now entering it's 2nd season). Admittedly, I initially wasn't looking for such a role, as I've been freelance for the past 6-7 years & have been fairly comfortable; but from walking through the doors of the studio, being greeted by a very jovial receptionist, observing that all the employees had smiles on their faces- seeming genuinely happy to be there; lastly, to the fact that the interview was one of the most fun & informal I've ever had... I got the general vibe that this would be a great place to work. I accepted the offer a few days later.

So as of the 27th of this month, this'll be my new 'industry home' for the first half of 2014.
Here's to a happy, healthy & prosperous new year for us all!


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

"Interview with the Insider"!

Hi everyone. Sorry it's been a little while since I've posted here; as always commercial work eating into most of my free time... No complaints though, good to keep busy!

I meant to post this here sooner, but here's my recent interview with the awesome Animation Insider. I'd like to thank Mike Milo for reaching out with the invitation; was a lot of fun to do! I hope you guys enjoy reading it & find some of it helpful ;)


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Interview with the "Animation Insider"

I was recently invited by 'Animation Insider' to do an interview. Just wrapped it up lastnight, so should be up on the site next couple of days! Will let you all know once it is, but in the meantime, do go check out some of the other great artist interviews ;)


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Everyday Folk...

Spottet a guy today that looked like this... Sort of shuffled along taking small (quick) steps, gazing into every shop window he walked by... His hair really was that long, & he had this very same expression on his face... I tried, but couldn't help starring as I walked past him...


Friday, 28 December 2012

Sequential Reactions...

From my 'Sketch-A-Scene' study last week, here's a page of sequential reactions I was exploring, & decided to colour up... I wouldn't quite call these 'keyframes' to flow in an animated sequence; more just a study on sequential expressions, focusing specifically on the facial features & body-language alone to tell the story.


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Seasons Greetings...

***Merry CHRISTMAS to ALL, & to YOU ALL, a very Merry CHRISTMAS*** 
So in the spirit of this season, I'll be giving away ***3*** of my Faux Movie-Poster Prints (A2) tomorrow; FREE DELIVERY/ FREE SHIPPING!!! Stay tuned, by heading over to my FB Page to find out how you can grab one ;)

Lots of Love, Joy, Peace 'n' Good vibes, y'all.
God bless,



Monday, 10 December 2012


Hey all here's a new exercise I've decided to give myself, titled, 'Sketch-A-Scene'... The main objective here being to capture a story, attitude & general emotions of a scene in a simple line drawing/ sketch... Think of it as though a film has been 'paused' in mid scene. I think this is a great exercise for every artist/ animator.

For animation, it'll help push the strength of your 'keyframes', & hold the structure/ guide-path of your animation together... Plus the stronger the 'key drawing', the more you'll believe what your character's going through, thus putting you right there in the scene also... & that's when you start making weird sound effects with your mouth, & contorting your face like a mad-man.

Betty: "... Darling, have you been drinking aga..."

Give this exercise a go! You can even try it whilst watching a film, pausing it on dramatic scene, where for example, a character is in a rage, possibly threatening someone with a raised fist, or something (you know?).
Throw a little written dialogue in it & see if it reads & looks believable.

Anyways, hope this is helpful to someone out there. I'll be doing this for the next few weeks, so love to see what you guys come up with also!

Sketch page...


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sketchercise #73

Here's a scene from last week's Sketchercise, I titled 'Celestial Anomaly'; & here's my piece from the previous week... Before I had any idea what I was going to paint, as usual I did a quick search through some of my categorised reference folders; but found nothing that sparked my imagination off... I did a quick Google image search for "epic scenes" & came across this image as a thumbnail, a few rows down... At that size, I wasn't sure what it was or where it was from, but from what my brain interpreted of the image, the scene below was what suddenly jumped into my mind... at least an idea of it anyway...
Vers 01...

Vers 02...

I knew I wanted our view-point to almost feel as that of someone (... say a shepherd) stumbling across & secretly being witness to some sort of celestial anomaly taking place in the still of the night, on his way back to his village.

This 2nd version is really just the same image, but without the dark, sinister-looking wispy things; which originally were a slightly off-white colour & represented 'gusts' of wind... Decided not to go with that (which may or may not have been the right choice), & opted for 'tentacles... No, you're right, let's just say they're dark wispy things, same as before... Lastly, I wouldn't necessarily say this is a hostile event... I actually imagine the suspended megaliths & debris are just gently floating there, slowly circling the light-source... What do you think?


Friday, 23 November 2012

Sketchercise #72

Here's the scene I came up with for last week's Sketchercise #72. "Silent Scouts". And here's the previous one... I call them "silent scouts', but I'm imagining these crafts would give off a single-note 'whistle' sound as they enter hearing range... I think that'd be pretty cool... and eerie.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sketchercise #71

Hi folks! Late to make this post, but here's what I worked up for, not last week, but the week before's Sketchercise...
Final piece...
Again, as with my last piece,  I really wanted to get away from structures I was more comfortable rendering, so I chose to have the location be a city-scape of high-rise buildings & some sort of ledge... I'm not gonna lie, within about a half hour of roughing out several compositions, I was already gritting my teeth in frustration (not a fan of drawing city blocks... you try it!). Anyway, after a little while, I managed to nail down something I was happy with & could see working... (Line work done)

Mood-wise, I originally went for a twilight lighting setup, but then decided I wasn't getting any or enough impact from it; there was no drama & no suggestion of what kind of city this was... Had a little play around with the contrasts & found the more I increased it, the grittier & moodier the scene got. At that point I could tell, to get across the atmosphere I had in my head, it would definitely have to be a 'night' scene...

Reference board...

Coincidentally, I'd actually been doing a little research on the BG artwork of BTAS (Batman the animated series 1992), as well as having just recently watched The 1990 'Dick Tracy' movie, staring Warren Beatty. Both are clearly set in the same period & I found I was able to draw inspiration from each for the 'look' I was after.

I've been a HUGE fan of BTAS since it first started airing over here in the UK, & still am.
Loved everything about it; the engaging stories, the dynamic character personalities, the character design style, & classy Art Deco architecture/ period... The general lighting & 'moodiness' given to Gotham, which was actually dubbed, "Dark Deco" was definitely something I was drawn to also, stylistically... Visually, there really was no other animated kids show like it at the time.

... I feel myself slowly getting carried away sharing my love of this show, so I think I'll leave it here for now & dedicate an entire post in homage to it & it's creators another time... Look forward to that soon!!

Below is the incredible Harrison Ellenshaw (legendary matte painter) adding the last little touches to this matte for 'Dick Tracy'  [...this is either him or his dad... the other legend!].


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Sketchercise #70

Howdy! Here's Monday's Sketchercise! Thought I'd pull myself away from doing rocky terrains for a change, & work up a location that looks a little more inhabited... So I came up with this; some sort of strange castle-type fortress. The one key thing I had in mind before putting anything down was that I wanted some sort of construction towering over us... After a few rough sketches, I settled on the object being a tower. I wanted it to be the main focus of the scene, with pretty much nothing else near it or close to it's size... So from there, I knew it'd be best to have the sky mostly bare, as the scene would look too busy otherwise, & would disrupt the balance of shapes; not to mention, distract from the focus of the tower... Lighting-wise, I originally started this piece off as a night time scene, but then somehow (adjusting blending modes etc) decided the lighting I already had worked up, worked better for a daytime setup.

Not quite sure what this tower is, but I had decided that it was somehow carved/ constructed out of a giant crystal (hence the surface smoothness towards the top), & was some sort of ancient power source. With the lighting at the peak, I imagined due to the smooth crystal surface, it would reflect other highlighted clouds opposite it (off screen). Finally, as I wanted to convey a strong sense of scale, at the very end, I made a little swipe of a grainy textured brush to represent a flock of birds way up in the sky... that's about it ;)

Here's Sketchercise #70


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Sketchercise #69

Hey all! A little late to post this one up, but here's Monday's Sketchercise. My process on this piece was a little indecisive... It started off as one thing during the early blocking out stage (with the very same shapes, but a completely different perspective), then ended up transitioning into this... I'm sure it's worked out better though...

Here's Sketchercise #69

Theme: "Landscapes"
Session topic: "Epic Scenery"


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sketch-ercise #68

Hi folks! So several months have passed since my last daily Sketchercise Session due to lack of time (& -discipline), so with some stern encouragement & a little scolding from some good friends of mine, I've decided it's about time I fired it up again!! If you'd like to join me & the rest of the guys who have come on board with my sessions, feel free to drop me an add on Skype by searching sketchlounge

As I did last year, I'll be taking a little time off commercial work to jump back on my various personal projects (animated/ illustrated) which I'll be sure to share with you all as I go. With regards to my Sketchercise sessions, I'm not sure I'll be doing it 'daily', I may just keep it to one piece a week (we'll see); but for now... 

here's yesterday's session #68

Theme: "Landscapes" 
Session topic: "Epic Scenery"


Monday, 8 October 2012

Star Trek (TOS) Character re-designs

Hey folks!! So I've just arrived back from an incredible adventure trip to Peru. I had an amazing time there, saw some incredible sights, met some amazing people & made some new friends. It's been a real dream of mine for many years to visit, so I'm very thankful I had the opportunity to go. If you ever have the chance, I encourage & recommend a visit; you won't regret it! Official post to come + pics & travel movie.

Ok back to business... Those who know me well will know I'm unashamedly a lover & fan of the Star Trek (the original series) franchise... Those of you who may not know me as well may remember this post I made back in 2010  declaring my love for the original Gene Roddenberry show & how I'd always wanted to create my own illustrated versions of the characters (for a future animated* project)... Well here are a bunch of the main cast members I actually designed last year, but only just decided I'd post up.

Kirk, Spock & McCoy...

Initially, I wasn't planning to share anything on this project yet till I'd developed the concept & vision I had a little more, but I figured it might be interesting to see what the response would be at this stage... I really grew towards liking the idea of designing the characters with no pupils or irises, only the white of the eye... The thought first came as I was roughing out 'Spock', & since he is after all half alien, I figured it'd give him an instant visual difference to the other characters... But then once I had the other guys in, I wondered how they'd all look with the same treatment... I really liked it! I liked the idea of them all looking slightly abnormal, which I think adds to the beyond-earth science fiction vibe + gives it a little dark/ mature-ish format, which is where I'd take a re-boot of the original animated series if I were ever to direct it. More in development...

Uhura & Chekov...

Scotty & Sulu...