Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Birfday card

Medium: Ink wash

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lecture Journal

Here are a few pages from the "lecture journal" milestone hand-in. These are accurate descriptions of the weekly lectures. Originals given yesterday to respective instructors, it made them so happy =)

Classtime doodles

Monday, December 14, 2009

Life Drawing TREASURES

Today was my last official Life Drawing class at Sheridan. I have been very fortunate to be taught by the league of extraordinary gentlemen: Gerry Zeldin and Mark Thurman (Mark can be seen in the background of the "Lyrical pose" parody drawing I did back in first year).

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Haute Couture Debbie

From my final Sheridan Life Drawing portfolio =D

Friday, November 13, 2009

RWTF Drawings

Here are some aminals drawn at the Royal Win Ter Fair

Awwww..... :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's official

I joined the Cartoonists Who Doodle Nude Women On Post-It Notes Society.
"CWDNWOPINS" for short, try to say that 6 times fast!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things that make you go "OIAF"

Attended Ottawa International Animation Festival this weekend,
To Catch Up with old friends, and meet some new ones, T'was fun!
The caricatures of Mitch and Steffi are inspired by my new hero Floyd Gottfredson.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Parker Lewis on DVD!

Parker Lewis Can't Lose 3x07 Beauty and The Kube

This cult classic has been off the air since 1993 and has never even had a video release!
There's been petitions running for years, and finally this June, SHOUT! Factory has released a box set of the entire first season!

If you'd like to see the episode above and more like it in DVD quality, make sure you buy Parker Lewis first season box set from SHOUT! Factory
To show that there's a market for it, this way they may release seasons 2 and 3!

HOLY SHLAMOLY! Ben just sent me this link! Season 2 DVD is in the works and Amazon is taking pre-orders!

Update: I just got my Series 1 DVD! Highly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's not fair

When your brother gets any attention

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Are there GUUUURRRLLLSSS on it?!

Storyboard panel from my film.
More to come

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

2009 Highlights #2: All About the Annie Awards

During the past summers, when on break from college, I've made it a habit to come volunteer at the ASIFA-Hollywood Archive, Since it was so much fun, It didn't cross my mind to get anything in return for it...until this year's Annie Awards!
I was awarded with a Certificate of Merit,
There were 3 other winners in this cathegory: Alex Vassilev (Computer genius, Ace volunteer and roomate =] ) Kathy Turner and Mike Fontanelli.

In this picture, ASIFA-Hollywood president and geniuinly wonderful guy Antran Manoogian presents us to the audience at UCLA'S Royce Hall. We had the Honor of going on stage after Nick Park, who got his Winsor McCay Life Time Achievement Award. He also won an Annie for Best Animated Short : Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, well deserved!

Picture by Claudio Riba
Wallace and Gromit have always been among my favorite cartoons, Upon meeting Mr. Park I said "Your Lordship! This IS an honor!" we shook hands and he laughed with delight. For such a highly acclaimed creative genius, I could not believe how humble he was! We ended up chatting about mutual TV favorite "Doctor Who"

Picture by Dan Riba
Hero of all independent Animators: Bill Plympton

Mr. Lawrence: Great cartoonist and super nice guy, perhaps best known as the voice of the evil Plankton on "Spongebob"! He directed "The Huanted World of El Superbeasto", soon available DVD

I'm still inspired by all the people I got to chat with back stage and at the cocktail party: Vincent Waller, Dan Riba, Shawn Patterson, Jorge Guttierez, Henry Selick, Matt Groening, Peter Avanzino, Tom Minton, James Baxter...It was such a fun night, there's nothing quite like a Hollywood award show.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Went to a party at John K's house last night, despite the hangover I can still draw a caricature of Kali from memory :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Steven Pinker reveals "The Stuff of Thought"

Steven Pinker is my kind of scholar, He uses his science in highly creative ways to explore what makes us tick. Professor Pinker has a wonderful gift for the art of explaining, and he does so in a fascinatingly comprehensible and humorous way.

In his book "The Stuff of Thought" Pinker looks into language as a window to human nature. By far the most interesting chapter is "The Games People Play" in which Pinker explains why we resort to the most common hypocrisy: innuendo, euphemism and double-speak.

Below, Pinker lectures various chapters from "The Stuff of Thought" at Google, "The Games people play" is at the 40 minute mark. Previous chapters about causality (18 minute mark) and swearing as a window to emotion (20:35) are also great.

In "The Blank Slate" Pinker tackles the fallacy of the human mind as a blank slate (meaning that nothing is innate and all is learned, no nature, all nurture) A notion first attributed to the philosopher John Locke.
Pinker debunks this gracefully and even provides an answer to why this fallacy is sometimes appropriate for politics "When the concept of fairness is confused with the concept of sameness".

I also heartily recommend his previous books "How the mind works", and " The Language Instinct" the latter explains universal grammar and the innate capacity for speech (there is also a good audio book version of "The Language instinct" read by Lalla Ward)

Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 Highlights: part 1

Part 1- Assisting Brock

Every year I have helped a 4th year friend with their film, last year it was Randeep Katari, Two years ago Nick Thornoborrow, and this year- Brock Gallagher, who has been an inspiration to me throughout my time in school.
I was fortunate enough to do clean-up on some of Brock's finest scenes, boy I learned a lot from flipping his animation drawings!

Brock is brilliant at every aspect of film-making, he is not only a wonderful animator, story and gag man, he has the skill to see to the core of things and bind them together in the best possible way, that's why his film is cohesive in every respect, One of the best cartoons I've seen in recent years.

Go watch his film- THE PEASANT AND THE ROOT!

Brock has also been generous to contribute his voice talent for the brother character in my upcoming film.

Picture taken by Peter Emslie at Geoff Milne's recording studio

Part Two: the Annie Awards

I will write about this in detail when the ceremony will be posted on the ASIFA-Hollywood Archive blog...

Part Three: interviewing animation legend and wonderful friend Kaj Pindal

In progress...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jonathan Miller sheds light on why we exaggerate

"The Body in Question" is a classic TV program by "that British man for all seasons", Sir Dr. Jonathan Miller. I found episode 3 (titled "How do you feel") particularly interesting.
Miller explains a series of experiments which established a map of how the brain sees the body, it looks like a cartoon character.

note: first 48 seconds show footage of surgery

John Kricfalusi often uses the term "emotional weight", and I am very pleased to see this term has scientific credibility. the parts we tend to exaggerate indeed have more "sensitivity points" as mapped by the brain. it makes perfect sense for why it is natural for cartoonists to exaggerate.

IMO Jonathan Miller is one of the most fascinating and admirable people alive, listening to him is always pleasurable and educational.
Sir Dr. is a real Renaissance man, gifted and skilled at so many different areas, to which he always puts his inimitable personal stamp. It is not by coincidence that he has the most important skill of all-- the ability to see to the core.
His superb analytical skills and critical thinking enables him to apply his varied skill and talent to any topic.

Some of my personal favorite Miller discussions:

Humor/Why we laugh:

Stammering (at 7:17)

"Major" film producers (at 6:00) :

On the fallacy of post-sixties education systems- "everyone being equal is an emphasis on equal talent" ( at 1:25) (This can also be explained in Steven Pinker's book "The Blank Slate- A modern denial of human nature")

On science as a candle in the dark: how medicine removed his fear of death:

Link to the complete series of chats with Dick Cavett

And an interview by Kristy Wark

Sunday, March 08, 2009

"The Barley Way" Pitch

Yehezkel, The teen Science genius Discovers an earth-like planet with his home made super telescope.

He rushes outside to tell his father and brother, who are pre-occupied playing soccer with their heads.

They pause to look at him "Are there girls on it?" asks Joseffat "Or Beer?" asks dad.
"I could only find vegetation and liquid water" replies Yehezkel
The attention is yet again stolen by Jossefat "Hey dad look at me! Forget about that science stuff, check out my soccer ball!"
Dad is captured "That's nice about your lil' planet, son... But I can't pass on a good soccer game!"
Discouraged, Yehezkel walks off... and Jossefat adds insult to injury by saying "You find something worthwhile, and MAYBE we'll listen!"
"Oh you'll see!" retaliates Yehezkel "I'll beat you at your own game!"


Players assemble in a junior high soccer arena, preparing for a big match, Yehezkel at the goal.
In the audience, Dad is rather anxious, he turns to his smug looking boy asking "Jossefat, you think your brother is ready to be a goalie?"
-"HAHA...Probably not!"

The game begins with a super strong kick from the other team, Yehezkel's players run away in fear of this, but he stays determined to protect the goal...but the ball then causes his beheading and hospitalization.


"WHY did you do it SON?"

"Well, *sniff* I just wanted you to be proud of me..."

"But don't you see, I already am proud of you!"

Yehezkel is lead to believe he's had dad's appreciation all along....but wait!

"NASA found proof of life on your planet!"


*to the sound of a referee's whistle, the alien girl anticipates, and uses her head to successfully nudge a football coming from off-screen"

"That's a good one, eh son? Haww Haww!"

We truck out of the hospital as rocketships leave the earth by the dozens.


Copyright © Amir Avni 2009
Background for panel 8 taken from Astronomy Picture of The Day