Welcome...

I am in the process of developing my professional website, so I created this blog to show some examples of my work and give updates to my latest projects.
Please visit my other sites
for various and interesting projects, ideas, and additional work.
www.310artists.com and www.youdidthat.blogspot.com

12.18.2012

The Empty Hook "an ornaments tale"

The Empty Hook  now available
Link: The Empty Hook / Dragovich Interview  WYTV ch#33
Link #2: The Empty Hook / Dragovich Interview Fox Ch 8 Cleveland 
 





















 I recently finished illustrating a book for Lt. Joe Dragovich, called The Empty Hook.  This book has a special place for me as I used the likeness of my grandfather who went home to be with the Lord in September, as the main character Milo when he was an old man.
The Empty Hook: Milo's last Christmas

 Recently WYTV ch#33 in Ohio did a story on him and the book.  I wish Joe the best of luck with The Empty Hook, an ornaments tale.

Here is the story as seen on TV.

 Lt. Joe Dragovich is best known for his time on TV talking about the latest serious accident on the roads as commander of the Lisbon post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

But in his spare time, he has been busy as an author,  writing a new Christmas book for children titled "The Empty Hook." Dragovich said it was like Christmas morning when he received his first copy of the book in the mail.

"I was so blessed to find the illustrator I found, and all the detail, I was just smiling from ear to ear when I saw the cover and the way that it looked," Dragovich said.

It's a book he never intended to write, but started thinking about after Christmas in 2009.

"I was sitting in my living room looking at the ornaments on my Christmas tree and I thought 'You know what? I think I'm going to write a story where the ornaments tell the story'," Dragovich said.

The story is about an ornament named Elf, which is based on an ornament from Dragovich's childhood.

"It is modeled after a plastic ornament I bought as a young boy at Kraynak's in Hermitage and I still hang that ornament on my tree today," he said.

Dragovich said the central theme of the book is about putting Christ back into Christmas.

"It's not about packages or ribbons or presents. It's something as simple as a gift that God gave you that you can share with somebody and you can bring joy and make somebody's life a little better even for a moment that just makes the world a better place," he said.

"The Empty Hook" can be purchased on Amazon.com. Dragovich said he already is tossing around an idea for a second book.

1.05.2012

Happy New Year!

While we say goodbye to all the triumphs and traumas of the year past and we look ahead to what 2012 has in store for us, I can only say that I’m excited!

Over the past year or so I have worked on many projects with RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates), specifically on their Farmers Insurance Account.  I have been responsible for the chalkboard art on their television and magazine ads, as well as several web and in house pieces such as the soon to be released Farmers University Coloring Book! 
"Professor Burke" (aka) J.K. Simmons, and myself on the set for Farmers Insurance

Several months ago I was approached by Deb Grisham on behalf of the Creative Director for the Farmers Insurance account Laura Hausman, for whom I love to work.  Apparently they had hit a roadblock with the design for the Farmers Insurance 2012 Rose Parade float.  I was asked if I would jot down some ideas (as a favor) that would illustrate a Rube Golberg Machine style of design, having to do with insurance issues.  Flattered they would ask, I gladly obliged - that is after I called my agent for her blessing.  That evening I took a half an hour or so to sketch out some ideas.  The next day I presented them to Laura. I was greeted with a warm hug and lots of smiles.  She was very happy with the direction I had taken with the concept.  I told her I would add some color to give the shapes some clarity, and get the sketch to her ASAP.  I delivered the files to her via email and cc’d my agent.  Mary (my agent) looked at the images and kept them on her computer's desktop to follow up.  I figured that was the end of the whole thing.  I figured the float design company would take my scribblings and use them as a point of departure for their own designs.

Some time passed…..
 
New Years morning I was online looking at rose parade schedules for my family, and I come across pictures of the Farmers float.  I was floored! The design was MINE!  Of course there were some modifications and minor additions, but they just flushed out the design I scribbled out 4 months ago! Right down to the color of the car and the empty hook on the mobile!

What a wonderful way to start the New Year!  In addition to that, the float won the trophy for Best use of Animation! How appropriate!

Below you can see some of the images from my original concept, the float design companies’ rendition, and some pictures of the float from start to finish.

Congratulations to Farmers Insurance, and RPA for their win, and a big thank you for letting me have a part in such a fun project!




This year's Rose Parade® theme is "Just Imagine," and for the 53rd consecutive year Farmers will be a proud participant on January 2nd.  Our float- “The Unimaginable" - is a floral representation of the little disasters that can happen every day.  Farmers is the Official Insurance Sponsor and the Official Supporter of Rose Parade Bands for the Tournament of Rose Parade®.
 “The Unimaginable” showcases a playful rendering of daily disasters.  A piano hovers precariously above a dream home, while a tornado licks the roofline and a windstorm brews.  These daily disasters loom like a dark storm cloud.  If there’s one thing Farmers Insurance has learned in our more than 80 years of service, it’s that disaster strikes often when you least expect it.  With the help of industry-leading training represented by the University of Farmers sign at the front, your Farmers agent can help you be prepared for these disasters. 







10.07.2009

Disney English: Bringing Disney to Chinese kids through the English language

I recently had the pleasure of being part of the team of artists and pedagogues that brought Disney to China, in the guise of education.  Disney English is a new company under the umbrella of Disney Publishing Worldwide, who has teamed up with some smart technology companies, to offer the English language to the children in Shanghai in new and exciting ideas. 
D.E. is introducing the Disney Family of stories to children who are experiencing them for the first time.  In typical Disney fashion, the English text and speech curriculum is interactive in some very inventive and engaging ways.  So far the results are exceeding expectations!  D.E. Has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, as well as several other noteworthy publications. There are plans for expansion to several other cities in China, and other countries abroad.  
I had the pleasure of dreaming up and creating the visual content for several of the "Interactive Storytellers" as well as interactive activities and general visual interfaces. I was able to play with classic stories ranging from Peter Pan, (as you see a screenshot above) to Pixar's Monsters Inc..  I was a part of the team that thought them up, planned them out , and made them work. In some cases I even did the foley work (sound effects) for the storytellers.  From the beautiful introductions through to the final frames of the storyteller, the process was a great experience.
As always with companies like Disney, I was brought on as a contractor and let go when the project was nearing 1st phase completion.  However, while I was there I was able to meet and work with some great and talented people. I hope when the time comes for Disney English to expand it's horizons, I will be a part of that ongoing process.

6.03.2008

The Cliffs of Serenity


Recently I was asked for some samples of work that were "organic" in nature. You know, things that happen in the natural world, landscape settings and such. All the other work that I have done previously was all under a non disclosure agreement with a previous employer, soooo.... I sat down, did a few sketches, picked the one that I liked the most, and finished it. From the initial sketch, to taking reference photos, and then the actual illustrating, it took a little under a day and a half. Here is the result. I hope you like it.

5.10.2008

Goodbye Barbara,

It is with great sadness that I submit this entry. Saturday May 2nd, my Academy instructor, and mentor of five years, was tragically killed in a car accident that sadly took the life of her husband a few days later.
It was an honor to be in Barbara Bradley's classes. I took every one that she offered, some more than once. Her dedication to her students, and her love of teaching was only matched by her ability to capture the spark and rhythm of life; with a simple twist of her wrist holding a stick of compressed charcoal to a simple pad of newsprint. I always made every effort to stick around and swipe the handful of drawings that were left on the her pad. Whenever I felt especially on my game, I pulled out those drawings and well - tried harder. Often times when we were out in the city sketching, she would make the rounds, and sit beside me and watch me draw. Knowing that she was watching every stroke, and every choice I made, was nerve-wracking, but her suggestions to me were always truthful, never candy coated, and always graceful.
I take her words with me every time I am confronted with a white sheet of paper or a blank canvas.

4.01.2008

The Lady of the Forest

Recently at work, I enrolled in a sculpture class. The first project was a small bust no more than 5" or so. I enjoyed it so much that when it came time for a full figure piece, I just continued the project. When it was finished, I put her to light and touched her up in photoshop. This lady of the Forest has been a wonderful escape from the digital world for which I have found myself of late. I have now started a small wax sculpture of my two boys as monsters that I plan to have bronzed when completed.
Michelangelo once told the Pope that he was not a painter, but a sculptor. I can see why. Sculpting, even in my humble attempts is the closest one can come to God's fashioning mankind from the dust of the earth.

1.26.2008

The New Boss...


The holiday rush has subsided and we are now left to nurse dietary remorse, and all those resolutions that may make it past the three month mark. The Van Eaton holiday charity show and sale was a success! We raised quite a bit of money for the Starlight Foundation. I look forward to their next event.
Studios are ramping up for their summer releases, which look promising. Disney is looking for 2D artists again, now that Lasseter is at the helm. Don't you just love that guy! I have been working on Kung Fu Panda, PDI and Dreamworks summer animated release. From what I have seen it looks promising, not to mention it's stunning production design, and overall look of the film. I am looking forward to revisiting my college days with crunchtime lending itself to 16 + hour days. Oh those are the moments we remember.

11.30.2007

Join me at the Van Eaton Gallery Holiday Show!


I want to invite you to join me and The Creative Talent Network on December 6th from 6-10 P.M. for an evening of holiday cheer, and food, while supporting comic and animation art.

CTN holds 3 events a year at the gallery but this very Special Holiday Event, marking the 2 year anniversary of collaborations with the gallery -will include over 25 CTN Members and guests showcasing their original artwork in the East Gallery. These artists include David Colman, Scott Cook, Ed Ghertner, Francis Glebas, Dave Goetz, Gris Grimly, Dan Hofstedt, Michael Humphries, Cynthia Ignacio, Gay Lawrence, Davy Liu, Ragnar, Rik Maki, Pascual Ruel, Tina Price, George Scribner, MaryAnn Thoms, Valerio Ventura, Glenn Vilppu, Phil Zucco and many more.

VAN EATON GALLERIES represents the single largest selection of works from the earliest days of animation right up to the present day as well as contemporary fine art and would like to thankyou for your continued support by offering a 10% discount on any item in stock in the West Gallery during the show.

And in the spirit of the holiday season, a selection of original miniature canvas created especially for the Holiday Show by CTN members, will be offered for sale with 100% of the proceeds from that purchase going to the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation who's mission is helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.

Admittance is free for you and your guests and holiday food and refreshments will be served. Please allow us to say thank you by joining us at this special event.

RSVP to groupshow@creativetalentnetwork.com or call (818) 788-2357.

A Very Special Holiday Event
Thursday Dec 6th 6-10pm
13613 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA

11.04.2007

Did You Do That?


I am always asked that question when we have guests. Usually the answer is yes. From dressers and furniture to simple things that enrich our lives here at the Cookhouse; necessity is truly the mother of invention. Sometimes the things we need are staring us in the face just waiting to be discovered with a little bit of creativity.
This is the basis for my new project that was just launched at www.youdidthat.blogspot.com! So much of my life is taken up with the functional things around the house I must do, that take me away from drawing. This doesn't mean however that those things can't salve that creative need that all artists have; that is both a blessing and a curse. From serious woodworking projects to rummaging through the trash to find stuff to make cool things, this site promises to have something for everyone. I invite you to check it out and leave any comments, suggestions, or questions you may have.

10.19.2007

A little perspective...


I was recently archiving old artwork and came across this freshman assignment and thought it might be fun to show. I copied one of Soriyama's more tame illustrations for the tart.

Little Leaps of Faith (screenshot)

Little Leaps of Faith  (screenshot)
Scott Cook ©

Goode VS Evil

Goode VS Evil
"TRIBULATION" (book 1 of 7) Scott Cook ©