Saturday, March 17, 2012


Its been a really long time since I've posted. What can I say? Life happens. When you get the chance to look up you realize time has flown by which I think is good. When I think back over the last year I have done a lot of stuff, (both fun and frustrating). I am currently trying something new with my career/life and the passing of more time will tell how it will go. At least I'm trying. Talking about it with others made me realize there are lots of other people in the same boat. They are either contemplating a change or are in the midst of it. Whether its a Stock Trader turned Chef, Accountant turned Carpenter, (both true stories people have told me about) its cool and inspiring to see them take the chance at something new, no matter their age or success. I know its been an interesting ride for me so far. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Hopefully before another year passes....


Friday, March 25, 2011

Threadless Design

I have put my first submission to Threadless up today and would love you all to check it out and vote. It's a take on my long and boring commute to work everyday. All you commuters out there will understand. Why haven't they invented teleporting yet?

Here's the link...


Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Team

After a year at my current job I am on the move again. It was something that took a lot of thinking and debating, (with myself mostly)until I came to a decision. I've had great experiences and opportunities since being here and the people are great as well. No doubt, those circumstances are what made the decision so hard.
One of the positive things about leaving is that I will be able to take what I have learned to share and apply at a new place. A sort of paying it forward. My role will most likely switch from student to teacher which isn't bad but takes a different mind set which I am looking forward too. Changing things up is a good way to learn no matter what you're role.

By far, this was the hardest decision I've had to make in my "professional" career and I am grateful for the open door that my employers have left for me. Seeing as this business is a revolving door of employees I am glad this particular door hasn't been locked.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Just Happened?

Whatever just happened couldn't be good. What do YOU think happened to land these unfortunate fellas in this precarious position? Love to hear you're telling of the events leading to this situation.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saying Thanks

Out of the blue I got a call from my high school art teacher. I hadn't talked to him for easily 12 years. It was great to hear from him and to catch op on all the things he's done and is doing since we last talked. He is retired form teaching but like most "retired" people I know he still works most of the time. I can understand that. I'm years, check that, decades from retiring but I'm pretty sure I'll be the same way.
Anyway, to the point! After talking for half an hour we started to say our goodbyes but I quickly cut him off to thank him for the encouragement and guidance he gave me though high school. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have followed the path I have taken. I'm sure we've ALL had people like this in our past, (and hopefully our future). It felt good to talk to him and thank him because when I was younger I didn't realize the effort he was putting forward let alone appreciate it.
I have been lucky to have more than one of these people in my past and I hope I will be quicker to thank those who help me in the future. For all those I have never thanked- Thank you.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The End is Near

I hope all of you had a great year and the next proves to be even better. See you in 2010.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Finding your place

For the last few months I have been back working at a large studio. For most of my career I have worked in a studio with hundreds of artists, TD's, facilities, HR and management all under one giant roof. It is easy to get lost or looked over in such a big place with so many faces. I am encountering this problem right now.
Previously I worked, (for the first time) in a relatively small studio with a core crew of about 20-25- all in. You know everyone and they know you. Your skills and desires are also known so you get the chance to so a little bit of everything and because the crew is small, you get to try things you would never get the chance to normally just because there is no one else to do it! I loved that. I have become what I affectionately call myself and others in the same position, "Swiss Army Knives". We have a tool for pretty much anything you need.
Now, the problem I currently face is letting others known what I am. My background is in layout and that's what I get called upon to do most often but I don't want to be pegged as the "layout guy". I have a lot of other tools tucked away that need only to be flipped out and used. So, I think I need to be more, ummm..... vocal? Boisterous? Visible? In you face? Or any other of those cliche terms that are used. It is too easy to be lost in the crowd so I need to make myself stand out. I'm not normally the type of person that spreads that word of ME but perhaps I need to start, just a little. Hey, if it is taken wrongly, I can just disappear back into the crowd right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I've noticed that my mood directly reflects what I draw. This is not good, especially when you consider the image that goes with this post and some of my past posts. It is true, I have been, shall we say "agitated" as of late. Is it the humidity? Work? Commuting? Life? Probably. I have been doodling on my train commute and the other day I was flipping through past pages and noticed that all the characters are scowling. This has obviously been going on for a while. I think I'll be more concerned when I start drawing Unicorns and magical fairies, (sorry Unicorn and magical fairy fans).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Better do something

Boy, I sure haven't had much free time lately to do any drawing for myself. I did manage some time this morning for a warm-up doodle. I've been busy working, doing home renovations and within the last month and a half have kicked up the training routine. Lots of boxing so I must have it on the brain.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Everyone will tell you that I don't like change. I am one of those people that likes routine and stability. Things of late have not been routine or stable but today marks the beginning of something new. I am trying to see this change as something positive and also as an opportunity. You never know when or how opportunity will present itself but I think you need to be ready for it when it comes. A change from the norm seems to be when you learn new things which is always a good thing.
Oh well, here's to new opportunities.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Batallon 52

In february I had the opportunity to head down to Mexico and teach/talk and draw animation for a week. I was at a studio called Batallon 52 located in Guadalajara. I had no idea what to expect but I was welcomed by friendly, energetic and talented people.

Batallon has the daunting but exciting task of creating 52- 1 minute shorts celebrating the centennial and bi-centennial of the Revolution and Independence of Mexico. The films will be show cased on the big screen before the feature attraction. Each film is to be in a unique style from the ones before it. Its a bit scary when you think how much work that is but I must admit, I am a bit envious. The animation industry doesn't really exist in Mexico and this crew has the chance to be there when it all starts. This could be the start of something HUGE. Not to mention all the fun styles and techniques they will get to try out on all the different shorts.

It was a stressful week for me but the people made it easier. By the end of the week I was really into it. Isn't that always the way when its time to leave?

I wish them all the luck in the world and I can't wait to see the finished products. All 52 of them!


Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Well, lets face it, I'm getting older. I know, I know, I was surprised too. As I age, the decisions I have to make take longer to come to me. Its not because my grey matter is going all moldy and soft, (but that would explain some things) but rather I have more to consider in making a big decision. Thats just it, I feel a big decision coming and I find myself weighing the consequences of it. I have a wife, kids, mortgage, family and friends to consider into the equation as well because the decisions I make now will in some way, big or small, effect them.
My career has taken me to places I thought I would never see, allowed me opportunities I never thought existed and introduced me to people that have become good friends. Maybe thats how I should be thinking right now- an opportunity but I can't help thinking of all the other things that will be effected. For now, it seems like they are winning but for how long? Anyone have any ideas? I could use the insight.

Wow, that was depressing. Sorry. Here's a image I made for my oldest son by request. He was right into the new Spider-man series for a while and asked for this drawing specifically. Man, when he get and idea, he knows what he wants. As for now, he is addicted to Avatar and who can blame him.

Talk to ya'll later,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Digging through folders

I was poking around some of my older folders and found these. They are a couple of vis dev pieces for the kids show Super Readers I did a while back. Just sharing like my mom always told me to do.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Walking the Dog

I was walking around work the other day generally annoying people and causing grief when I heard something that made me really happy. One of our youngest co-workers, (whom by the way has been doing an awesome job, far beyond what is expected of him) said something that I rarely hear. He said, "Boy, do I have a lot to learn still". That may seem like nothing but to me that was amazing. Too many times its seems people believe they know all there is to know whether they are the surly veteran or the student grasping a diploma with the ink still drying. It was truly refreshing to hear, especially from someone so young and someone who has learned incredible amounts already. I try to keep learning everyday and I thank those who share their knowledge with me. Its something that we all should do more often.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

For the Kids

All the late nights, frustrating days, long commutes and missed home time makes me wonder if its worth it. And by "it" I mean the time away from my family. I know my absence is noticed and I don't like being away for so long but I also believe that I am at a time in my life where this is the hardest I will work, (and hoping all the effort pays off). Hoping...... hoping.
I am not the type of person that things come naturally to so things usually take me a wee bit longer. Also, I don't like when a problem is getting the best of me so I will sit and fight with it until I figure it out. A quick look at the clock tells me I'll be late again. Guh. My wife is not going to be happy... again.
The one thing I do know is that all the effort we put into our work is for one special group of people- the kids. So, having said that, this is an image I did for my youngest son. And yes, his cheeks are that red.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Change of Seasons

The animation "business" is an up and down industry. There are times you have to turn work down because you are so busy and oppositely, times when you can't get enough to scrape by. Its those times that I hate the most, (obviously). When you see people that are your core group of hard working, talented and probably most of all, DEPENDABLE artists leaving that makes it harder.

But, and there's always a "but", what has surprised me is the intense dedication I see despite the current conditions. Even when faced with negativity these same group of people are still there getting things done and helping to make things better. Thats really impressive to me. It would be easy to walk away and forget your troubles but to stick to and and try to make things better is something admirable.

I have always believed in leading by example. I would never ask anyone to do something I wasn't willing to do myself and thats something I expect from any person doing any job anywhere. Its hard to get and keep people motivated when they don't see you putting forth the same effort. Its a slippery slope. I've said it before in past posts but I still say it and believe it, "Being a professional is doing your best when you don't like what you are doing". I know this to be true and when I see the "boss" digging in and helping out that makes the extra hours and missed family time a little less painful, knowing your time and effort is appreciated. I hope our crew knows their effort is hugely appreciated, because without them, there would be no HoC.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Off to Mipcom

This has been yet another busy summer season at House of Cool. The guys are off at Mipcom trying to get some more original HoC content out there. This year they took 2 new ones- Roboyo and Spaghetti West as well as last year's Better Banner and La Mancha. Spaghetti West is an idea of mine I've had for awhile now. The finished "bible" looks amazing but it wouldn't have been anything if it wasn't for the crew that steeped up huge to help me. In the end, the bible was 12 pages of full spread images that went from concept to completion, (including getting printed) in 2 weeks. I want to thank Alex, Bernard, Louis, Lubomir, Myke, Kareem, Evelyn and Mel for their help. There's no way this would have been done without all your help and I appreciate it more than you realize. I honestly have never seen a group step up as much as they did for those 2 weeks and thats on top of their regular heavy workload. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Okay, enough of the chatter, here is an image of Professor O', a feisty Irish inventor on the side of justice. More to come soon...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

R and R

The family and I recently spent a week at a cottage in the Muskoka's for some good old rest and relaxation. It was a little late in a pretty dismal summer so we got a lot of rain. We did take advantage of the good weather when it peeked out from behind the clouds, (albeit it to rare). We fished, hiked, swam, hiked and I almost had to fight a bear to defend my better half- but thats a story for another time. And not a very good one. Stories that have "I almost" in them usually don't amount to much.
Anyway, to keep themselves occupied during the rain, my oldest son brought a tackle box full of markers, crayon, chalk and paint. I even managed to sneak in some ink and pen nibs for myself.
During one of our indoor retreats from the weather Justin quietly slipped away and created one of the nicest drawings I've seen him do. It's a picture of himself roasting a marshmallow on the fire under a crescent moon, (thats the curvy thing at top left). The fire is on the bottom left with the embers flying off the top of it. Mind you, he is only 5 so for the harsh critics out there, be nice or I will find you. Seriously. I'll find you.
I knew I had to put it up on the blog for others to see. Oh yeah, here is one of the doodles I did. Its a view from one of the many windows in the cottage. Personally, I think Justin's is better. You be the judge.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Inhaling and Exhaling

Like I mentioned in my last post, (see below) work life has been pretty hectic. Over the last 2 weeks I have stepped back and taken a deep breath and tried to relax. It has been good. I've actually had the time, energy and motivation to do some drawing when I get home. Not to mention getting home in time to have dinner, go for walks and tuck in the kids. I even had a special request from my oldest son for a drawing. He's really into the new animated Spiderman right now so I've been having fun with that the last couple of nights. This drawing is not for the kids but when my wife saw it she thought it was my sub-conscious trying to take over and tell me how I was feeling/thinking. I hope not cause then I might have some serious therapy time ahead of me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What you want to do

For a while now things have been pretty crazy at work and I haven't had time to do much of anything. In a talk with someone at work the other day I was given advise from an angle that I never considered before. Through this advise I have re-thought my position and what I want to do with the future. I know, you're wondering what this secret pep talk was about. The advise that was given to me was quite simple- Figure out what you want to do and make it happen. See, simple right? I thought so too until I thought about it for about 4 seconds. I realized I didn't know what I wanted to do. Well, for the most I know, I like animation and I want to stay in the biz but what I really mean is where I want to take me career. I couldn't believe I didn't know. Things must have been really busy for me to lose sight of that; and it has been.
I've been giving it some thought over the last week and have come up with a plan. I can't wait to see if it works.....

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