This is so good -

I've included it in my 'This is why I love animation' bit. Although its obviously not really animation in the typical sense - everything about it, the way the story is told, all the different characters are developed, all the philosophical angles built, all the pop reference, is exactly what i'd like to see, animation's of a similar keel


"Tortoise-shell butterflies burst from the chrysalis and pattered their life out on the window-pane.."


Gig! Next month! Gunna be a goodun!

A short poem:
Find me at the front,
very drunk
and i'll try not to spit on you
like the punk (that I am at heart)

This one was fun because I got to mess with some of my cousin's photography work. Check her out BECKY MAYNES dot COM

If you can't wait that long to see the boys get down theyre's a gig on next weekend in Exeter and I hear there may be a surprise appearance by the mysterious Fifth Mandala himself...

(not) my kind of animation..

First, let me just say..
I'm really really sorry to single out one guy for this. And understand, whilst I am singling out one person - i'm also not, i'm just using it as an example of a whole canon of work - a whole canon of thought about the medium & the usage of the medium. I do not mean to single him out in anyway other than to provoke in your mind ideas of other examples.

There, haha.

This is the showreel of Sandro Cleuzo, someone who has been around for a while, worked on some big films & clearly a very talented fella. However, I wanted to point out this kind of work. I would not be happy on my deathbed to look back at my career like this. It's just regurgitating of the same subject over and over, slick, beautiful, but just dead underneath. What's the point? (besides the holy $...)

I agree whole-heartedly with what Ralph Bakshi says in this clip, and whatsmore the sentiment grows each time I watch it.

I felt that same way about Tom & Jerry as a kid, what's the point? Every episode is the same. Disney films are the same (hyper-Holywood, atleast every now & then live action throws a curveball). Dreamworks etc are largely the same. What's the point? I don't want to do this with animation. Lets not forget, it's a medium with such explorative artistic potential. (someone really needs to put a decent version of this online..)

On the contrary, I have alot of time for Pixar as they do things with heart & the occasional daring (if minor) attempt (Wife dying in first ten minutes of Up, how dark Toy Story 3 almost gets (all things considered..), largely silent first half hour of Wall-E) that I think in their own small but far-reaching way are slowly championing the change in animations public perception.

PS - just to again apologise to Sandro Cleuzo. I see he worked on Chico & Rita, a film I do very much admire, especially for its use of animation to tell an adult tale. Perhaps the above is simply an overview of his more commercial work.

Two contradictory states of mind...

...That is modern life.

I find at the moment my days move between two modes of thought. On the one hand, I very much believe in mindfulness. It's something i've got into over the last few years, beginning when my friends dad lent me 'The Miracle of Mindfulness' as an in roads to Buddhism. Mindfulness is the attaining of the ability to sort of at once be clear minded but also directly focused; it is the cultivation of this ability. Also, inherently moulding a mindset that says "Wow! We are here! What are the chances?" and really basking in the joy of this. To quote some wise man - "The miracle isnt to walk on water; the miracle isnt to fly; The miracle is to purely walk on Earth".

At the same time, I find myself very given over to the '21st century scizophrenic' mindset that Jameson outlayed. That today with all the signs, all the morsels of information that line our streets & days, we have become almost scizophrenic in our thought process - we absentmindedly jump from one ship to another in mind, thoughts of 'whats for lunch' one second, then suddenly, without concious reason, thoughts of a dead pet, or murmers of an ex girlfriend spring the next. We are sort of rolled from the beginning of days to the end picking up signs and churning them in such way. It's a rather disparaging way to think, atleast, when levied alongside the clear virtues of 'mindfulness'; However I find for the creative thinker its a rather attainful way to think. I find thinking like this, ideas spring up out of nowhere, tangents are thought-up and felt-out; a brisk walk back home from the shops may be the kiln for a feverous new idea, built on nothing more than seeing a car drive by or a bird fly low.

It's a mindset that Virginia Woolf personified in To The Lighthouse, perhaps only now (almost 100 years later) we have cranked it all the way to 11 in our 21st century ways. An absolute overdrive of information as you walk the streets, or look around your room (much different from the simple Victorian fixings she would have surrounded herself with). Standing still, how many labels can you read? How many ideas are in ear-shot?

So this is my contradiction of thought-process. On the one hand I am very fond of attaining that fruitful insight that mindfulness brings, but on the other, I like to be the pebble dropped in the river, washed this way & that from wave to wave. I find myself cushioning up in either way, from one day to the next. For animating, I find the mindful thought-process the best; being all over the place (mentally) absorbs you in elsewhere ideas when trying to animate & before long you find yourself hunched over Facebook or the kettle, procrastinating.

The Dark Descent

The Dark Descent is finally live online. Check it out, it's fourteen minutes long so grab yourself either a tea or a beer. Or a tap water, whatever really.

We got the award for daily 1st on Newgrounds, and also put on the frontpage, which was really nice because I always felt it was the right home for the film. It's where I learnt to animate, too, so nice to get something on there.

We got some really favourable reviews from the film, a very humbling breath to take, after the film had been left to stagnate for so long (we finished it back in February). It's good to see people enjoy it, I don't really like it myself, but I spose it's always like that. I think there's some bits in it that i'm really proud of animating, and others... not so much. Ha!

But, my final feeling with the film, is just being resoundingly proud of the ridiculous effort me and Miguel put into it. I think the production time would be around 9 months, and considering it was essentially made by just the two of us is nuts. There were times when we got pretty stressed and strained (mainly me), and there were times when we laughed n' learnt (Mig taught me all about WW2, I taught him all about the 60's) but we stuck it out and that's what I am most proud about.

Here's some of the reviews, starting with possibly the most humbling review either of us will ever get;

"So I created an account just to thank you properly. I am usually on this site to kill time and get a laugh. And I watched this simply because it was the first one shown. But quickly I was drawn into the story and how it relates to me personally. I have been struggling with PTSD for a few years, and always find it hard to express myself to my wife. My thoughts and emotions are lost in translation to her. But this is the closest relationship I have ever felt to true understanding of what I am dealing with. Me and my wife watched this, and all I could say is "that is me". The therapeutic value of this is amazing. 
Myself and my wife have been drawn closer together with this true work of art. I will share this with others I know who are experiencing the same condition as myself. And I truly just want to say thank you for providing this to the world."

"this animation, the graphics, the music, the storytelling was nothing short of amazing"

"Wow. It's been a long time since I've felt this kind of emotion when I'm looking a short movie on NG. With not even a word, you've told a more powerful story than most movies. Bravo"

"Incredible work. The end was really touching, and though I could analyze and interpret it, I don't think there's a need to. Your ability to show emotion without facial expressions other than the eyes was impressive. The soundtrack fit, as did the lack of at certain points. The animation was original, and all backgrounds were nicely made. Definitely one of my favorite animations here on Newgrounds, nice to see a change from the crap put on here half the time. Your effort has surely shown through in this piece."

And the exact reason the dog made it into the film:


"awesome creative artwork, but why leave the dog alone in the end??????
i mean i had my dog on my lap the whole time!!!really made me sorry for the dog... but everything else...masterpiece"

Page of faces

Here's some faces. This is the kinda drawing style im onto at the moment. 
I would say it's a little Schiele/Klimt inspired (for example the guy at the top with the dark hair: straight chins, big eyes or small eyes). 
Also inspired by GTA art, in a funny way i've come full circle - I think when I was doodling in school it was mainly 'GTA esque' biro sketches, so quite nice to be back to it (or another way of saying i've not advanced in ten years, ha). 
But to be honest I think the main part of the inspiration is basically just informed by my own drawing style i've accumulated. It's mainly come from just sketching people in the street (see the Never Ending Sketchbook, which is due an update), quick drawings, caricature-esque I spose, trying to capture quickly what it is about people that is so different and compelling about their face (as is everybody's face) Also making 'The Dark Descent', when I really got into drawing people with shapely faces (eg the dude at the bottom left with the beard).

Anywho gunna keep doing these, like this vein i'm onto.


Also, look who we met the other night!!! (one of these is a real album cover, if you don't know which one you can't be my friend)


Finally, we had an Art Show in Torquay the other night, was an all round success, loads of people getting together, looking at art, live music, all hosted by the friendly faces at Torquay Arts House Collective & Beat Magazine. Stay tuned for more, the seaside-revolution has begun (and everyone is invited)!