Dylan in a bar

Found this video of early Bob Dylan. Really cool, worth watching for any Dylan fans:

A bunch of barroom Canadian's nonchalantly enjoying they're smokes & cards and Dylan bopping about between playing some classics.  Brill!

It's that time of the year again...

As customary as a christmas tree or mistletoe, Arsene Wenger's massive jacket.
(and a dejected, empty look..)


Here's O'Neil too:


Bam bam! Yep, standard sexy ladey photoshop painting. Gotta be done from time to time right? I went for the cowgirl rather than the sci fi girly or fantasy ladey. Mixing it up. I call it PMT.

To JH Reynolds 19 February 1818 (excerpt)

"I had an idea that a Man might pass a very pleasant life in this manner - Let him on a certain day read a certain page of full Poesy or distilled Prose, and let him wander upon it, and bring home to it, and prophesy upon it, and dream upon it: until it becomes stale - But when will it do so? Never - When Man has arrived at a certain ripeness in intellect any one grand and spiritual passage serves him as a starting-post towards all 'the two-and-thirty Palaces.' How happy is such a voyage of concentration, what delicious diligent Indolence! ...Nor will this sparing touch of noble Books be any irreverence to their Writers - for perhaps the honors paid by Man to Man are trifles in comparison to the Benefit done by great works to the 'spirit and pulse of good' by their mere passive existence. Memory should not be called Knowledge - Many have original minds who do not think it - they are led away by Custom. Now it appears to me that almost any Man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy Citadel - the points of leaves and twigs on which the spider begins her work are few, and she fills the air with a beautiful ciruiting. Man should be content with as few points to tip with the fine Web of his Soul, and weave a tapestry empyrean full of symbols for his spiritual eye, of softness for his spiritual touch, of space for his wandering, of distinctness for his luxury. But the Minds of Mortals are so different and bent on such diverse journeys that it may at first appear impossible for any common taste and fellowship to exist between two or three under these suppositions. It is however quite the contrary. Minds would leave each other in contrary directions, traverse each other in numberless points, and at last greet each other at the journey's end. An old Man and a child would talk together and the old Man be led on his path and the child left thinking. Man should not dispute or assert but whisper results to his neighbour and thus by every germ of spirit sucking the sap from mould ethereal every human might become great, and Humanity instead of being a wide heath of Furze and Briars with here and there a remote Oak or Pine, would become a grand democracy of Forest Trees! It has been an old comparison for our urging on - the Beehive; however, it seems to me that we should rather be the flower than the Bee - for it is a false notion that more is gained by receiving than giving - no, the receiver and the giver are equal in their benefits. The flower, I doubt not, receives a fair guerdon from the Bee - its leaves blush deeper in the next spring - and who shall say between man and woman which is the most delighted? Now it is more noble to sit like Jove than to fly like Mercury - let us not therefore go hurrying about and collecting honey, bee-like buzzing here and there impatiently from a knowledge of what is to be aimed at; but let us open our leaves like a flower and be passive and receptive - budding patiently under the eye of Apollo and taking hints from every noble insect that favours us with a visit - sap will be given us for meat and dew for drink. "

- John Keats


Done in Photoshop. Check out me updated website toooo: www.tomgameson.co.uk

 Here's two work in progress's. TBH I think I prefer the black n white one.
Also update on current project coming sooon... stay tuned.

on the road

just finished watching On The Road. it was a film I was pretty worried about, worried they'd mess it up, but more importantly  worried they'd make it something its not. when I saw Kirsten dunst and the  twighlight girl on the cast list I really just expected to see this years next big fad.. was getting ready to see the 16 year olds out in force with their on the road hoodies and happy meals. watching it though, you quickly realise that its a more mature film than to fall to that.
once I realised 'okay this isn't just some blockbuster', I found it interesting to watch. interesting because you know this is someone's, or a group of peoples (the director, DOP, actors, tea lady's) 100% vision of how they saw the book in their head. that was a really cool thing to feel, like someone else telling you what they thought was so great about the book. watching it feels real strange.. actually seeing the characters there on screen is kinda like looking at a cariature. not the acting, I just literally mean seeing these people in the flesh.

I guess ultimately the fault of the film wasn't its own fault at all but that of the medium of film. I think actually seeing Dean Moriarty in the flesh, going from scene to scene restricts that character to what you see of them. the great thing with reading something is it fitting your own mental interpretation, own built up series of feelings and the way you see things. books are objective rather than subjective. having it as concrete on film stiffens it, no longer loose fit. also, much like animation, jk caricatured Dean with his writing, having him shoot from key pose to key pose, what falls between, the reader fills in themselves. this is, by default, lost somewhat in a film. also, is harder to agree with a film.. a book, you head it, they tell you what they felt, but you hear it in your own voice, so eg, the bit when the three of them are in bed together.. you don't read it in disgust, you read it with beauty in mind because that's what keruoac says,  he says beauty so you think of beauty. film, were naturally more likely to object. Same with Old Bull Lee.. seeing him lying in a chair with a child in his arms and heroin tracks up his arm isn't nice, but hearing Kerouac's description in the book of children running free in the garden you understand. I guess you look at it less two dimensionally when reading it.

There was more sex in it than I remember in the book too.. oh and my final niggle.. this is just a silly thing.. the guy playing Dean I think was too good looking for the role. I always picture Dean as ugly but beuatiful, like beautiful behind the eyes you know? I think this would have been a good thing to portray on screen.. we often see the reverse (beautiful people who are ugly inside).

anywho, I guess the truth we've all known all along is that the book isn't film material, and its true. I think someone who hasn't read the book wouldnt enjoy the film, although i can't comment as I probably enjoyed it mainly for its iterations of things I have imagined. I think it went someway to capturing the book, how it was montaged, a lot of beauty in the shots. my verdict would be, if you love the book, don't be worried about watching it, to me, its just like hearing your mate tell you about the book and moments in it. im very glad its not a blockbuster. I'm interested to know what people who haven't read the book think of it.

sorry for any typos written hastily on a touchscreen


Have been doing some painting/pastels recently. Am really enjoying doing them, I've a lot to learn, every new painting is another lesson learnt.
Another good thing about it is that every new picture is better than the last.. its good to feel that upward climb again, I felt this way about sketching a while ago.. probably a year or two ago.
I'm enjoying using gouache most of all, that's what the George Harrison picture was done using. I've been using acrylics too, but I find the finish look is much too much like a poster paint picture you'd do in school.. the final line looks a little amatuer,. At least, that's my impression. No doubt with further practice I'd improve the line. The one of Leonard Cohen(bottom) is done in acrylic.
The other one is of Neil Cassady & Jack Kerouac. I actually did this s one back in July. I've not got a very good eye for colour, and both the Harrison one & the Kerouac/Cassady one are examples  of me averting the issue.. that one uses really varied eclectic colours thrown on as I see fit, the Harrison one is just blue & brown. 

The one of the girl is me pal Katy. Close but no cigar as they say. Getting there though.

Animation test

So here's a style i've had in mind exploring for a while. I guess the idea originated back when me & Rozi did the Royal Wedding animation last year. I really liked the look of that piece, although wanted to take it away from rotoscoping. I think what I liked was the looseness & how fickle it appeared, especially for subject matter like the Royal wedding - the imagery sorta floated around like feint memories.

Virginia Woolf is also a big inspiration on this thought. In her writing she connects present moments with passed recollections.. all strung together through time as if on a dainty string.. things linger in and out of thought.

 ...from Orlando -
“Nature, [...], has further complicated her task and added to our confusion by providing not only a perfect ragbag of odds and ends within us—a piece of a policeman’s trousers lying cheek by jowl with Queen Alexandra’s wedding veil—but has contrived that the whole assortment shall be lightly stitched together by a single thread. Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind. Instead of being a single, downright, bluff piece of work of which no man need feel ashamed, our commonest deeds are set about with a fluttering and flickering of wings, a rising and falling of lights.”  - Virginia Woolf

I want to explore the whole stream of conciousness method with animation. Not by sitting down and animating and going 'straight ahead', but instead by taking my sketchbook out with me and picking up on scenes around town, then elaborating on them later at the lightbox.

Heres attempt one, this is from a drawing I did in Annecy -

It's perhaps a little too delicate in the line, I think what I may try doing is adding a watercolour background to it.

Anywho, i'll be doing a few more of these tests over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned.

Oh also while on the subject, here's a painting I did of the woman herself for me pal Sion:

And finally - Oh Cleggy weggy... you poor old sod of a dog.. Whatever have you done?
Wanted to repost this after watching the Lib Dem's get ripped to shreds on Wednesday's Newsnight.. I was photoshopping together a picture of Cameron then just happened to catch Cleggy's face in all the shots... speaks for itself really. Someone drown him quick.

Quincies poster

See you all (within reason) there!

Update & on artists

Here's a brief update on me life right now. It's been a while since I last posted but that's cus I don't have the internet where i'm livin. Since then, I got a job (harrassing people down the phone line) lost it (in rediculous circumstances) and am now back to where I want to be. This Charles Bukowski quote sums it up for me : 
"Baby, that's grammar school. Any damn fool can beg up some kind of job; It takes a wise man to make it without working. Out here we call it hustlin'. I'd like to be a good hustler"
Anywho so like I say i'm back to where I want to be. Spend most days going down town, using the library, drawing people coming in and out of shops. My plan is to compile them all into a moving sketch animation. Had the idea for a while and soon i'll start.

Have just been on a brief tour of the country which was really good fun. Went up to Cardiff to watch the Speedway, then over to Brum for a few days to visit family & also got to see the villa, then up to York where met up with everyone's old pal Rosie, then we drove up to Glasgow to crash at me mates for a few days. After that headed back to Brum for a family party. Best thing is the whole trip cost me about £40... not a bad bit of hustlin' ey? Am looking to go to America in the next month & end up in Vancouver, where the animation career will (hopefully) spark to life!

Like I say i've been reading a bit over the summer, currently got my noes in Cloughie (Brian Clough's autobiography). It's nice to read, good to hear the man talk about his life. He swings from these very humble statements to being mr.Big head.

Have been reading some art books too, and it's made me realise little niggles I find with art. I really like Jamie Hewlett's work, really like it. But I don't like this whole attitude..:

It's just all a ego trip. Howard Becker describes art critic's & texts as mystifying... mystification being 'explaining away the truth'. This is the whole tone & make up of this video... the black and white.. the wandering cameras... the reminscent ho ho ho's about drawing chewbakka. Artists aren't these mystical creatures. Another book Kathy recommended (Drawing from the Right) is a good one to bring you back down to earth. Artist's need to see themselves as yes, gifted, but gifted in the same way a good bricky is or manager at Tesco's. Don't believe the hype.

"Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls' pants. Use it to get into their heads." - Dan le Sac

"An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way." - Charles Bukowski 

My life right now

"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for." - Socrates

Gunna do lots of reading. Got some good stuff to get through.. next on the agenda.. Orlando by Virginia Woolf, Ways of Seeing by Howard Becker, Chronicles by Bobby D. Also got the complete works of Plato, altho i'm not going to pretend to even make it through the whole thing. That can be my toilet book.

Have moved into me dads, and coincidentally, Virgin are putting a new episode of original Star Trek on his telly each day... so... beggars cant be choosers.. I've never watched it before but I think its a good decision to employ an hour of each day, for the forseeable future, consuming Star Trek. Yes, definetly a good idea.

Gunna do lots of drawing too. Maybe draw a different story from every day, saw a thing the other day about a lady who has been drawing her kid every day of his life (he's about 2 now) and sounds like fun. Maybe a different story from Torquay every day.

..."Cant start a fire without a spark..."

Anywho, that about sums it up. I'm gunna keep active and the animation ideas will come flooding in.


France Sketchbook

Here's some drawings from France.

(on occasion) tried to focus on relationships between people (eg the very last one), tried to draw people's heads at more interesting angles than side on (altho this is hard as the preferred drawing angle is side on - if there atall facing you - they usually will clock you, and there's only so many times you can draw the back of a head) & tried to focus on French features a bit too. Enjoey. PS look out for a cameo appearance...

This one was hard because the guy was about 2 foot away from me wooing a girl, and he was very aware I was drawing him ha. Unfortunatley didn't get to finish it, he'd pulled by then!

From a photo (the Lumiere brothers - great museum in Lyon)

These next few were up the top of Lyon.

This one has a funny story. I did this of a woman opposite on the underground in Lyon. She kept waking up every time we got to a stop, and then would fall asleep again. I had Fran sat to my left, so was asking her when she was asleep and i'd keep on drawing her. The whole time the women sat to my right was looking at what I was drawing and laughing to herself. Turned out - The girl sat next to me was her pal, and the girl I was drawing was concious the whole time I was drawing her. Her mate had told her - so she just pretended to be asleep. She had a quick look and laughed before jumping off the tube.

Really liked France, seemed like a good place. Didn't come across any 'sterotypes' either that us English love to put on em - TBH - get the feeling we're just a bunch of hypocrit's. I can't imagine too many people in London would be helpful to a Frenchy asking for directions. The French seemed much like us, the food seemed much like ours (sorry Frenchies, its true), & they were simillar people to us - except less 'cuddled' and more liberal. Cool place, will be back at Annecy next year.

Show Reel 2012

Here's my show reel 2012, ta for watching. - From Tom

Thankyou especially to any person viewing from Annecy.

Look at that subtle off white colouring...

Suffice to say lunch today wasn't fun. Major business card envy has set in and I tell you for nothin I am at breaking point. Why didn't I go for the egg shell colouring... my god.. it even has a watermark..

Escuriado Descente.. the final update

Just a quick one. Films getting there, I think i've literally only... 3 more shots to animate now, 1 is relatively difficult, the other two are simple ones of the dog.

Mig posted an update the other day with some nice images which you can check out here..
...As did Em, she's jumped onboard to help get the colouring finished off along with Darrien & Luke too, all under the watchful eyes of Grethe, the Norwegian Colourmatron.

Its really cool to see things coloured for me, really bring it to life. Loving Mig's backgrounds also.


Anywho here's the draft for the last difficult shot i'm working on.
I've just slept for about 16 hours, so no doubt am going to be awake till friday now on. I'm not really worrying, I think for the first time in my life i've worked as hard as you do in the final week, the whole way through. Once i've finished the animation will help Mig get all the compositing done and jump on any last little jobs that need doing. I may do the backgrounds for Scene 7 too which would be nice, we've still that to do, it's only 3/4 shots though mind.

Rozi has jumped on board to do the sound effects. Have also told her to get some music recorded, and she's told me she's got some nice violin/achordian stuff done today, so am excited to hear that.


Gunna be really nice to get this all finished and shiny, has been a long long process, but most certainly fun.


Just watched this. Was dubious to watch it (got my eye on the clock) but so glad I did watch all 15 minutes. The kinda animation I want to see get made, more often, immense:


Here's some other stuff i've recently come across..:

This is quite cool to see the breakdown of the shots:

I really like the whole sped up/slowed down photography/film stuff that is really finding prominence on Vimeo:

Pity me...

Here's the old man come the end of the film. He's meant to be all broken down and beaten.


One week left today. Got 2 or 3 more old man shots to do... 4 more dog shots... and the few shots of the ghoul's. It's quite strange to think that we got to this point and i've done all the animation (besides bits here and there from Luke and a walk cycle from Thomas). I wasn't expecting that atall when I came onboard, the idea was to get a team of animators together, but clearly the course isn't layed out for that. I don't blame the second years in the slightest, they're lesson plan only leaves one day to work on the 3rd year productions, which isn't enough in the slightest. It's quite irritating also, since I may aswell have just made my own film. Oh well, anywho, am very grateful to have been able to work closely with Mig on it and I think we've made a good team, along with Grethe blitzing through the colouring, and Kirk also now who's really taken up the baton on the special effects.

Still though, you sit at home working all day, thinking to yourself... the constant question in your head.. 'I pay £3,000 a year to do this... is it really worth coming to uni?'.

If I were a student applying for universities now, I wouldn't be. £9,000 tuition fees are a joke. Don't come to uni, rinse your local library & Amazon for books, and practice practice practice.


Have agreed with Mig to do the dog. Agreement being i'd do it if we changed him to a Welsh Springer. Essentially is my cheap bargain just so I can get my dog in the film.

 Here's how he's gunna look:

Keeping him simple, did 6 shots of him in 2 days, so fair to say he's not the toughest of characters. Has actually been a fun experience because I don't usually draw dogs, so has been a nice little learning curve.


However, if we had more time....:

No doubt he'd be looking a little somethin like this.

But he wont because there's two weeks left. So instead weve gone more 'rigomortis the dog' rather than 101 Dalmations.

funny quote..

"You could always tell by his conversation which volume of the Encyclopaedia Britannica he'd been reading. One day it would be Alps, Andes and Apennines, and the next it would be Himalayas and Hippocratic Oath."
- Bertand Russell on Aldous Huxley

Aims for the project.

Long post coming up... so here's a song to whistle your way through it..

Originally when I came on board, my intention was to really push the whole metaphor idea in the film. I really liked the film as an embodiment of when you just lose it mentally and feel like being a bull in a china shop on your way down... I wanted the ending to be the old man in the cabin, furious at his encapsulation by this gripping fear, thrashing about destroying what he had. I wanted him to seem like he just couldnt continue anymore, and I wanted, by that point, the audience to clearly realise that the whole struggle was a mental issue rather than any sort of physical one. I wanted him to not only be angry and aggressive, but upset, at his end, teary eye'd and tired.

That dwindled as time went on, we decided to have him outside the cabin at the end, so my above idea wouldn't really work in that situation.  As the project developed along with the weeks, the rudimentary aim became more about 'getting it done', getting the shots down. I think perhaps the audience will register some of the above intention, but its so hard to say. I feel like its harder to know whether an idea is consistent in the film when you are so close to it.. 'cant see the wood from the trees' sums it up. (ta to Rosa for that one)

However anywho, here's my goals for the film:

Get better.
I wanna get better at animation. Simple really? I can already see the difference, no so much in my work but in my opinion. I used to be less confident with it. I think this is the main problem with our course, we don't animate nearly enough. If you ask most people in the 3rd year if they like animating/if there up for animating, they say they're not very good at it or cant do it. This is really poor for students of an animation course to feel this way in their third year. The antidote? Just do it. I think this is what alot of the Kernel crew have found, eg Jake wouldn't have been up for it, but he has pressed on, and look at what he can do, and what's more, look at what he has realised he can do. This is how we should be coming out the course feeling, and I think currently most people in the class do not feel this way.

I wanted to get better in the industrial sense too. A big part of animation is the ability to knuckle down and crack on with it. You're half labourer half artist really. You can't just flunk off if the juices dont flow, you have to roll up the sleeves and get on with it.

Get it finished
Else what's the point? I may aswell be on the beach.

Make people feel emotion definitely.. I want them to feel that genuine horrorifying feeling... that terror that comes on slow and you want to leave but cant look away.. leaves you frozen. I dont want to just resort to cheap jumps 'scary movie' style. Genuine horrific feeling to me is best epitomised in Psycho... not in the shower scene, but in the last scene, where Bates is sat in the police station and the camera slowly trains in.

Im not a big horror movie fan mainly because they usually just resort to the cheap tricks (scary movie style) and I dont watch them often because of this, so hopefully we can have a good attempt at this.

Horrorified isn't the only feeling I want to command.. I want people to feel sorry for the character breaking down on screen. This is the biggest challenge for me I think, because it involves genuine acting with the character. I feel like i've got away with alot of the film thus far not having to 'act', most shots are short for me (3 seconds average) and its the character moving from A to B. Acting involved, but more in the characterisation sense.. 'This is how he moves', 'this is how he stands' etc. I'm really chomping at the bit to get going on one specific shot, which is the apex of the characters emotion, when he gives in to the 'dark' and goes under. If I can create emotion here i'll be really happy.

Animation isn't typical for enticing strong negative emotion in adults. I can't think of alot of examples where it has,  except for Toy Story 3 and past Disney films (eg, Bambi's mum). I think one thing i'd really like to tackle throughout my life is using animation for creating strong emotion in film. It's up for debate whether it can rouse stronger emotion than film can... Film has going for it that (surely I presume) we naturally feel a greater sense of empathy for human beings.. It comes down to an atavistic response to feel sympathy for someone who appears hurt. However as a counter to this, i'd say one thing animation has in its favour is that by limiting the visuals and making them more iconic (less detailed, therefore more 'specific' of what's important - EG, the smiley face) the audience are quicker to understand the feeling, quicker to read it.

It's just a hunch but I suppose that it is possible for animation to trump film in this department. Another thing that it has going for it is the complete control we animators have. We can manipulate each and every frame, making emotion stronger. I think that's very useful when you think of the gentle nuiances of the human face.. a split second (or in our terms.. 3 outta 24fps) expression can tell the viewer of a hidden secret, a lie, an alterier motif, etc.

As far as I know, Disney have come closest at pulling at the heart strings, here's a really good example:

If anyone's got an opinion on this or know's a better example of animations acting possibilities, please please post below.

Get better in other areas
Eg collaboration, team management, communication etc. These are things that I hadn't considered when joining Mig's project, but have come to light during. I've half-heartedly handled some of the 'producer' roles, mainly just in the document sense (sheduling, shot lists, etc etc)

Collaboration though also in another sense besides communicating, collaboration of ability. I think me and Mig are both consistently 'good' at what we do, but working together I hope we can push onto the next plateau and make something 'great'. Maybe this whole film wont be great, maybe it'll be a load of rubbish, but hopefully there'll be a few gems in there. Also in relation to this, am really looking forward to Grethe getting her teeth into the colouring now that the block colouring is completely caught up with the animation. Her job now is to work on shadow/highlights, so am very keen to see what she cooks up.


That about sums it up.

I feel like we're about 70% done on the film. I'm nearing the end of the animation.. I'm hoping to bosh it out within two weeks. I have 14 or so more shots to do, so atleast one a day from now on. I've also taken on the editing, it was just temporary but tbh am quite happy doing it. I've had a few issues, but nothing to much, and plus its a nice alternative to animating - collating the recent work and then seeing how its coming along. Emily is coming on board tomorrow, which means the block colouring will keep right on my heels, while Grethe catches up with the highlighting. Also, the effects are starting to pick up, Kirk has been very pro-active and is cracking on with some, and the twins (Kai & Liam) are also working on some bits.