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And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus
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What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi
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18 posts • Page 1 of 1
It was 12 years ago this month, back in December, 1998, when ArtShark, the mascot of The Animation Academy, made his debut in print.
And now that the Academy is gearing up for online classes in 2011, he's still doing us the mighty good of endorsing the school.
I just came up with promo art for our online program using the standard brand design of Artshark...
...when I realized the anniversary. In December '98 it was the first time the Academy went to color for its printed schedules. Artshark had existed in a slightly different form since the summer of '98 as an image on the school's website, but later in December is when he came out and about.
ArtShark ran twice in every schedule the Academy printed from that point on in December '99 to the end of 2004 when we moved from our building on Olive Avenue in Burbank. From that point on as we turned to the use of the Internet exclusively and migrated from printed schedules, he's made special appearances, usually for a holiday.
He's getting ready to come out of semi-retirement and jive with us now that we're going online. He's excite about the step forward and that's what he does best. He steps forward that rascal.
So then I thought, why not feature ArtShark on a dedicated topic in the AN Gallery. I can tie it in to the school through links from our website and blog. It'll be fun, and everyone can see the wide range of activity he's had plugging the Academy all these years.
It'll be an ArtShark Exhibition!
I'll be back later with the story of ArtShark and lots of art to share.
In December, 1997, I came up with this design for the cover of a two page flyer I mailed to about 35 people I knew. Some friends, some former students, to let them know I was starting a flagship class for a new school, The Animation Academy.
I booked the back room of the Coral Cafe in Burbank in that month and scheduled eight Monday night sessions staring on January 19, 1998.
I spent about $15 on stamps and envelopes. The computer I used for the text of the flyer was a little 486 from around 1992.
I had room for 20 and sold out the available seats.
That's how the Academy got started. From this modest beginning it went on to help change the face of the industry.
Aside from its original mailing, this is the first time this art has been published. It's been patiently waiting for 13 years.
The original idea for an Academy mascot was the character you see here. I would spend the next year experimenting.
In the earliest days of the school, the schedules were printed on a xerox and mailed out. This is the art on the cover of our second flyer. It's the only time I used a human based character and not an animal of some kind for a possible mascot figure, and the first time it's being published since March 1998. None of the flyer art from the Academy's first year has been published until now.
By August, 1998 we had enough revenue coming into the school to afford a professional printing service. I went back to a character similar to the one from our first flyer, showing the process from free form concept sketch, to establishing construction, to final line. The shadows were done manually with zip-a-tone.
This was also the first time that a back cover image was included, reminding students to "come to class prepared to draw".
The little mouse character was the last time I used any character mascot other than ArtShark for our schedules.
From 1996 to the end of 1997, I taught at a friend's art schhol. I was officially the head of the animation department. The school was very popular and did great during the animation boom of the 90s. But I had to leave as things weren't working out.
Later in 1998, my friend wrongly accused me of trying to steal his students for my school. He said some very unflattering things about me, telling people that I was a shark waiting for a wound to happen so I could attack.
Well, I thought about it, and said to myself, being a shark isn't such a bad thing. So I went with the shark version I played with earlier and by the end of the year, the Academy had its mascot.
I don't have the digital file of this image. It was colored in Photoshop by an acquaintance, and I never wound up the file. So I scanned the printed image from the schedule to post here.
This would become the default image of the character and the brand of the Academy.
The back of our schedules from here on out would see ArtShark extolling our students to come to class prepared to draw.
By March 1999, ArtShark made his second appearance in print. Here he is on the cover...
...and on the back of the Academy's schedule of classes.
The Photoshop color was done by a lady who worked at the printer as a graphic artist.
In April, 1999, the school had moved to the building we would occupy for the next six years. By this time Snakebite had taken over the coloring of ArtShark, where his appearance the following month in our schedule coincided with the move to our new location.
The printer didn't do such a hot job, which is why the registration is slightly off around the line.
Here he is on the back cover.
Stepping out in the August, 1999 schedule of classes. Still getting a handle on the character of ArtShark design wise.
And here he is as an academic on the back side, with a map and directions to the school's location in Burbank on Olive Avenue, across from Warner Bros and NBC.
By October 1999, ArtShark was hitting his stride. This is one of my favorite depictions of him.
On the back, ArtShark as a card shark, reminding students to come to class prepared to "draw".
The year Y2K got off without a glitch as some were speculating there would be massive computer problems, but everything was fine.
Here's ArtShark anticipating the year of the Olympics. They were held in Syndey, Australia.
Having fun with the backside composition, placing ArtShark within a scene for the first time.
Into ArtShark's second year in print, I was having fun with him in a Napoleonic pose from March 2000...
And as an ArtShark-in-the-box on the backside, Snakebite handling the color of both.
By October 2000, ArtShark was getting into some bizarre attire, but it's all in fun.
And on the back of the Academy's schedule, it's always a good time to fish for new things creatively.
There's still plenty of ArtSharks to go. If this gets too long I may start a second part to it.
In March, 2001 he was a Yankee Doodle Dandy.
And on the back, ArtShark-in-the-box.
In August, 2001 we saw ArtShark as an Egyptian Pharaoh. This image was used to promote a special event the Academy previously sponsored featuring the two art directors from Prince of Egypt.
And on the back side of the schedule, ArtShark is minted as coin.
A short time after the publication of the Academy's August 2001 schedule of classes, the world would change forever.
18 posts • Page 1 of 1