Drawing Tip Videos are up!Hey all, I hope you're having a good Friday. I just found out that my publisher, FOCAL PRESS, has just uploaded a few videos I made to coincide with the release of my new book, "CHARACTER MENTOR" (April). The first one is a "why I wanted to write Character Mentor video" (which you may have seen before) but the last 5 are short "Drawing Tips" videos that I think you might like. I'm hoping to make more. They will live on my new website soon (Shhh, I'll tell you about that in a bit!), but for now check them out at the FOCAL PRESS BLOG: http://bestanimationbooks.com/general/tony-bancroft-charcter-mentor
PS. Look at the link in you browser when you click it. You'll notice they got my name wrong. As a twin, you gotta get used to that....
How do I find MY STYLE?I've gotten that question a bunch of times. Here's some thoughts on it:How do I find MY STYLE?3 years ago in Personal More Like This
As far as "Style" questions go, I dodge those like crazy. Honestly, I don't feel I have much of a style. I never have. I have an "adaptable" ability to draw like Disney, Nick, etc. Whatever I need to draw like for a given job. Within reason. Some cruder styles (like, say, a Mike Judge style) would be harder for me because its hard to break drawing rules you've been taught for so many years. Yes, I'd say some of my "Bancroft girls" have my style but its also kind of a Disney style. In my opinion there are two kinds of "style" artists: the ones that have a SUPER destinct style (like "Cheeks" or Jack Kirby) that have been drawing that way since the beginning and can't draw any other way, and the rest of us- whose style will evolve through the years based on work experiences and artistic influences. The latter won't have extremely strong styles but will be more adaptable to other styles. We tend to follow up
My Art School RantI mentioned I had a rant about art schools and many of you said you wanted to hear it. Well, its long so I hope you meant it. This will make some of you angry, but I hope not. I love art schools and I love their instructors even more! Many art instructors are friends of mine. This rant is about the art school teaching SYSTEM. Money drives that, just like any other business, so there will be mistakes made because of greed. So, without further ado.....My Art School Rant3 years ago in Personal More Like This
My Art School Rant
I have a love-hate relationship with art schools. I love what they stand for- the pursuit of and love for creating great art! I still get excited walking into an art school. Seeing all the rows and rows of wonderful Macs, the energy (or lack thereof- we ARE talking about art students, after all), the artwork on the walls, the postings of upcoming events and guest speakers, the dirty floors, the whole
New interview with me about Character MentorCheck out this link http://charactersengage.com/, it has a new interview with me about why I made my new book Character Mentor, some early Disney stuff and how I got into character design as a career, etc. The interviewer wisely chopped out a good chunk of the interview where I went off on a tear about my pet peeves about art schools today. Seriously, I sound like a grumpy old man. BUT, I do feel that art schools are not helping artists like they shou-- oops, there I go again. Maybe I'll post a Journal about it someday....New interview with me about Character Mentor3 years ago in Personal More Like This
PS> In the interview, I announce a new product on my Charactermentorstudio.com site. Check it out!
LIVE character design workshop- BETAHey everyone. I'm on vacation this week, but I hope you are all having a good summer so far. I wanted to announce a new program I want to start of live internet workshops/lectures on character art/character posing. I've been thinking about this for awhile, but its very intimidating figuring out the best way to do it- SO, I'm just gonna start! I need your help though. I want to hear your comments and suggestions on what, how, when this is done. Please do two things for me: 1) Comment on my thoughts below on how this can work and what will be discussed- especially any thoughts on the tech side like Paypal and internet conferencing sites and 2) hit the LIKE button on this journal if you would seriously do this. It will give me a rough headcount of what I can expect. Super important.LIVE character design workshop- BETA3 years ago in Personal More Like This
Here's my initial thoughts:
About an hour and a half video conference on the subject of char
Live the dream, don't talk about it!Doug TenNapel, independent comics creator, is an inspiration to me in many ways. He has a fun, accessible art style that is dramatic and fresh. His story telling is always askew in the best of ways. I don't think I've read one of his graphic novels without having some smiles and a surprise or two along the way. On top of that, he is outspoken about almost everything in his life. (I think of him as the Rush Limbaugh of comics- oh man, that sounds really bad, but early Rush, not present day Rush, if that helps.) I agree with most things he states on Facebook. BUT- the thing I am most inspired about him is his drive (in the old days we would call that "work ethic"). The guy does NOT give up. Because of that, he single-handedly will put out a new graphic novel a year. While creating a webcomic. While pitching new TV show development ideas in Hollywood. While running a half marathon. While working freelance jobs.Live the dream, don't talk about it!3 years ago in Personal More Like This
Tom Bancroft Webinar is up!- for a short time.The webinar I did live last night is up on the AnimSchool website archive and you can watch it! Many of you here on DA showed up and asked some awesome questions. Thanks for joining me. So you know, its about 2 hours long, give or take. In the webinar, I talk a little about my career, at the start, you see a little tour of part of my office (the first part got cut off, sorry), I show my new animation reel and discuss some of the scenes, I show some of the early Mushu designs by Chris Saunders, Dean Debeau (can't remember how to spell that), Chris Williams, Peter Dese've, Chen Yi Chang, and myself. In the second half, I teach a little lesson on posing your characters to heighten their Flow, Rhythem, and Tilts- complete with some live drawing demos! AND, I premiered the cover art for my "CHARACTER MENTOR" book!Tom Bancroft Webinar is up!- for a short time.4 years ago in Personal More Like This
What? All that for FREE? You bet.
Here's the link
Glen Keane will be missed! (He resigned)Glen Keane, animator behind MANY legendary Disney characters resigned from Disney yesterday. *sniff*Glen Keane will be missed! (He resigned)3 years ago in Personal More Like This
He will definitely be missed! His 37 years at Disney have definitely left a huge impact.
I hope he finds happiness in whatever he pursues next!
Some characters he worked on:
The Rescuers -- Penny & Bernard
Pete's Dragon -- Elliot
The Fox and the Hound -- The Bear
The Black Cauldron -- Gurgi & Eilonwy
The Great Mouse Detective -- Ratigan
Oliver and Company -- Sykes, Fagin, Georgette
The Little Mermaid -- Ariel
The Rescuers 2 -- Marahute
Beauty and the Beast -- Beast
Aladdin -- Aladdin
Pocahontas -- Pocahontas
Tarzan -- Tarzan
Treasure Planet -- John Silver
Tangled -- Rapunzel
You get the picture. He's AMAZING.
Walt Disney, John Pomeroy, and meWhat do all three of us have in common? Animation, of course. But as far as this posting goes, there are two seperate bits of info I'm giving you:Walt Disney, John Pomeroy, and me2 years ago in Personal More Like This
1) I just saw this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAl9P4T12Rs&featurelayer_embedded to a much loved video of Walt Disney talking about "art style". I as a part of some Disneyland show he did for TV way back when, but it is one of THE BEST looks at the individuality of the artists at the studio back then. Its one of the few times that Disney acknowledges how many different styles reside in the animation studio and that they must all melve together to create one vision. But also contribute their "pieces of uniqueness" in the creation of the ultimate style of a film. It also includes the famous clip, "Four artists paint a tree" that is the second half of the video and plays out all that he says before. A MUST SEE FOR ANY ARTIST!
2) Just last night, I did a podcast interview with leg
Disney layoffs, 2D animation, and youA very nervous animation student (he didn't say, but I assume he is studying 2D animation) asked me about my opinions on the state of animation these days. What are the companies thinking with laying off all the employees, not doing 2D animation, canceling great TV series, etc.? Are the business people just evil? AND the even bigger question: Is John Lassiter a jerk (or worse) for letting all the 2D animators at Disney go yesterday?Disney layoffs, 2D animation, and you2 years ago in Personal More Like This
MY ANSWER: I have a slightly controversial (for an artist) perspective on businesses and business people. Over all, I like them. At times, I have even been grateful for them. (Steady paychecks should never be taken for granted. Wait till you don't have one one day, then you'll know!) Remember, we live in a world where businesses are expected to make money to stay alive. It's called capitalism. Others call it "business". That means, the animation world isn't any different from any other job/company
The Three problems with how we learn art: pt.2 I've been thinking about how and why we learn to draw for a few years now. I started self-analazing my own drawing and character design thought process when I began writing my first art instruction book, "Creating Characters with Personality". It was harder than I thought to verbalize how I've learned and how I process drawing. This has led me to start looking back at my artistic life and how I learned art. What made me learn the most? What drove me to draw and stick with it? What led to others I knew as a child to stop drawing? I think I'm ready to present some of those thoughts here on DA and hear what you think. This is part 2 of three in a series. I'm not sure where this is leading, but step one is my establishing an online art instruction school called Taught ByA PRO (http://taughtbyapro.com) that will (in phase one) concentrate on drawing instruction for all forms of media. Here we go:The Three problems with how we learn art: pt.22 years ago in Personal More Like This
I believe there are T
The Three problems with how we learn art: pt.3I've been thinking about how and why we learn to draw for a few years now. I started self-analazing my own drawing and character design thought process when I began writing my first art instruction book, "Creating Characters with Personality". It was harder than I thought to verbalize how I've learned and how I process drawing. This has led me to start looking back at my artistic life and how I learned art. What made me learn the most? What drove me to draw and stick with it? What led to others I knew as a child to stop drawing? I think I'm ready to present some of those thoughts here on DA and hear what you think. This is part 2 of three in a series. I'm not sure where this is leading, but step one is my establishing an online art instruction school called Taught ByA PRO (http://www.taughtbyapro.com) that will (in phase one) concenThe Three problems with how we learn art: pt.32 years ago in Personal More Like This
Animation Story #8- My first anim. scene at DisneyI haven't posted a Disney Animation Story for a long time. I've written career related "inspirational" posts every once in awhile, but not an Disney career story. Here's the last one, I believe: http://tombancroft.deviantart.com/journal/Animation-story-7-Breaking-into-Disney-pt-3-278516657Animation Story #8- My first anim. scene at Disney2 years ago in Personal More Like This
This story was brought on by a question someone asked on my Tumblr page which lead to me answering with a story. I thought I'd share it here with you all. -Tom B.
Hi! I'm an animation student at UT Dallas, and I've been looking for stories and advice from great artists. What was your first big project, and what did you do? What advice would you give an aspiring animator
TOM: This probably isn't the answer you are looking for but my first animation for Disney was of a foot kicking a pot. I was (the legendary animator) Mark Henn's clean up assistant for about 2-3 years before I moved into ani
Mini Character Design interviewSomeone that is working toward her thesis in Character Design asked me for a mini interview. Here's the interview, for those who are interested:Mini Character Design interview3 years ago in Personal More Like This
When did you start with character design and what motivated you?
WHEN I WENT TO CALARTS, ONE OF THE CLASSES I HAD WAS A "CHARACTER DESIGN" CLASS. MIKE GIAMO, WHO IS A GREAT TALENT, TAUGHT IT. I HAD ALWAYS LOVED DRAWING CHARACTERS AND MAKING UP MY OWN, BUT SOME OF THE PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN HE TAUGHT US REALLY OPENED MY EYES TO HOW MUCH MORE I NEEDED TO LEARN. I GOT HOOKED IN THAT CLASS, BUT IT WASN'T UNTIL YEARS LATER, WHILE AT DISNEY ANIMATION, THAT I STARTED TO ACTUALLY DO CHARACTER DESIGN PROFESSIONALLY.
What are your main resources for inspiration?
ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. I LOVE GREAT ANIMATION STYLE ARTWORK SO I HAVE A LARGE COLLECTION OF OTHER ARTISTS' SKETCHBOOKS AS WELL AS MOST ALL OF THE "ART OF" DISNEY, SONY, DREAMWORKS, AND PIXAR BOOKS. THEN THERE IS THE IN
The Mark of the Beast - Clients from HellFrom the "Clientsfromhell" website...The Mark of the Beast - Clients from Hell2 years ago in Personal More Like This
The best way to avoid a lot of complaints that come with freelancing is to screen clients. However, not every client from hell has a pair of horns sticking out of their forehead. Here are some signs that you may be making a deal with the devil:
Ambiguous expectations: A client is employing you because they lack the skillset or resources to complete a project themselves. However, the client should have a clear idea of what they're after. Failing that, they should be eager to help you help them figure it out. Clients who fail this test have project scopes balloon overnight, or they react with anger and confusion when their idea of what they wanted doesn't match the freelancer's blind attempts to give it to them.
Unappreciative: A client's expectations may not be explicitly tied to the project itself; they may expect behaviour, time, or discounts for no other reason other than they think they deserve it. Unfortunately,
The Three problems with how we learn art: pt.1 I've been thinking about how and why we learn to draw for a few years now. I started self-analazing my own drawing and character design thought process when I began writing my first art instruction book, "Creating Characters with Personality". It was harder than I thought to verbalize how I've learned and how I process drawing. This has led me to start looking back at my artistic life and how I learned art. What made me learn the most? What drove me to draw and stick with it? What led to others I knew as a child to stop drawing? I think I'm ready to present some of those thoughts here on DA and hear what you think. So, this is part 1 of three in a series. I'm not sure where this is leading, but step one is my establishing an online art instruction school called Taught ByA PRO (www.taughbyapro.com) that will (in phase one) concentrate on drawing instruction for all forms of media. Here we go:The Three problems with how we learn art: pt.12 years ago in Personal More Like This
I believe there are T
Animation story #7: Breaking into Disney, pt. 3I haven't taken the time (nor have I had the time) to write a "animation story" for about a year and a half! If you look back at some of my earlier Journals you can find some of the 'animation story' series. Anyway, this is one I have been meaning to write for some time since its kind of the final "chapter" to a series I started called "Breaking into Disney". Its the story of when i first started working for Disney animation at the just built Disney/MGM studios in Florida back in 1989. (If you want to review, here's the link to pt. 2, my Disney internship story: http://tombancroft.deviantart.com/journal/Animation-Story-6-Breaking-into-Disney-pt2-225162059)Animation story #7: Breaking into Disney, pt. 33 years ago in Personal More Like This
As I mentioned in the earlier posted Journal, my twin brother, Tony, and I had just gotten selected (along with about 10-or so-other interns) to move from California to Florida to help staff the new (just built, but not opened yet) Disney/ MGM animation tour studio (later to be called Walt
Journalistic chapt.2Chapter TwoJournalistic chapt.23 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Wake up Sam!" Grace called as the triplets bounded into the corner bedroom, "Wake up mom's goin' to the store!"
The children leaped gracelessly on the bed of their sleeping brother, small limbs flailing as they jumped on each other. Sam jumped in fright at the rude awakening and gasped before he realized just who had woken him.
"Alright, alright!" Sam said with a laugh, "Get off, go see if mom needs help with anything, then we'll go."
"Make sure you're quick!" Ella said as she wiggled off his bed.
"I'll only be a minute." Sam said with an amused smile.
"You'd better be! I'll be counting!" Walter exclaimed, "See? One, two!"
"We have to leave before you can count!" Ella exclaimed as she giggled her way out of the room, the other triplets following.
Once they were out of sight Sam rose from his bed and shut the door. He stretched as he walked toward the sturdy drawers that had held his clothes, and had held his father's clothes before him. He pulled out folded pants and a shi
Of Music and Meister Ch 16Of Music and Meister Ch 164 years ago in Romance More Like This
Another hot day. Soul guessed it was just Nevada's way of announcing that Summer was on its way. He stood outside beneath the intense sun in the back lot of Shibusen facing a fellow student. She was younger than him, maybe a year or two behind him. He had seen her around the school but she was not in class Crescent Moon so he still wasn't really sure who she was. She had approached him in the hallway while he happened to be without his meister asking him to meet her back here. Now that he was, he wished she would get on with it. She just stood there before him, fidgeting nervously in a very uncool manner. Soul sighed. She wasn't speaking and he wanted to go back inside and find Maka so it was up to him to break the ice.
"You called me out here."
" So, what's up?"
"Um that is urrr" She mumbled, not making eye contact with him.
"Yeah " He pressed gently. Cool guys didn't force conversation but he really wanted to finish whatever this was.
Of Music and Meister Ch 19Of Music and Meister Ch 193 years ago in Romance More Like This
Soul was alone as a painfully familiar scene materialized from darkness. He was in a huge, elegant concert hall. His frilly dress and fluffy headband were long gone, replaced with a stiff and smothering wool tux. There were hundreds of people packed tightly yet somehow still elegantly into the Victorian concert hall. The audience was cloaked in shadow but Soul was bathed in scathing light from a hounding spotlight. Obviously, he was the main attraction.
The murmuring forms fell back, giving him room as he left the piano and crossed the room the same way he had hundreds of times before. The silhouettes crowded each other as they clamored for a better look at his miserable form. Hissing whispers clawed at his tortured ears as the atmosphere pressed painfully on his chest and shoulders. Every now and then a clear voice would rise above the hushed gossip and polite applause, each comment lashing him as he passed.
"Just as expected from a son of the Evans' family."
Journalistic chapt.20Chapter 20:Journalistic chapt.203 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Sam could feel excitement run through his body, making his heart race in his chest. The sun had risen but an hour ago, and the young man was already walking around the clinic.
"You're awfully jumpy." Rosie commented, carrying a pile of bed sheets in her arms.
"Vera and I are leaving today; I suppose I should pay you and the doc." Sam said, a grin stretching across his face as he pulled the money out of his pants pocket.
"I suppose so; it'll come to $10.50." The small nurse said as she set the sheets on a counter, going to a cash register.
"Alright." Sam said, exhaling a bit at the cost as he drew out the money, lightly biting his lip as he realized that after that they were nearly out of money, sparing around a dollar and a few coins.
Rosie smiled as she took the money from him, "Hope you see your family soon sir."
"How many times do I have to tell you that it's just 'Sam'?" The young man said, a smile still on his face.
The small nurse rolled her eyes and picked up the she
Of Music and Meister Ch 14Of Music and Meister Ch 144 years ago in Romance More Like This
The massive doors to the Queen Spider Lair creaked open with a deep groan. Soul, Maka, and Medusa stood in one of the many bleak stone corridors within Baba Yaga's Castle, staring up at the massive and ornate double doors, the final barrier protecting Arachne. The others had obviously accomplished their mission to destroy the eight pillars. Soul pushed away stray thoughts and concerns about his friends in favor of focusing on the current situation.
About two months ago Medusa had shocked death city by showing up alive and in the stolen body of a five year old girl. She had gained Shinigami's favor (at least somewhat) by handing over BREW, exposing the identities of 3 witches hiding in Death City, and revealing the location of Baba Yaga's Castle, the headquarters of Arachnephobia and home of the Witch Arachne. She gave all this to Shibusen in exchange for one thing: leading the attack on Arachnophobia. Despite the protests of many, Shinigami-sama had decided to go ahead with the d
Of Music and Meister Ch 13Of Music and Meister Ch 134 years ago in Romance More Like This
Soul concentrated hard allowing his surroundings to fade away. He stood in the black room once more but this time, things were a little different. He stood in the large, open circular portion of the room that housed a shining black grand piano. Ringing the room were tall brass lamp stands. There were no ornaments on the golden stands except for a tear-drop shaped loop that flared at the top, very simple yet full of polished elegance. A single black candle sat in each stand and boasted a bright blue star-like flame. The flames did not flicker nor shed smoke. They didn't even really burn or provide light. They just stood silently on the edge of the room, shining like distant electric blue stars. There was a white ambient light that robed the piano but it didn't appear to have a source. For the moment at least, the damn parasite was no were to be seen.
He stood beside the polished piano and waited anxiously. Memories of the battle for BREW flickered through Soul's mind as he glanced
Journalistic chapt.4Chapter Four:Journalistic chapt.43 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
All Sam could feel was the pounding throb in his head as he opened his eyes. Around him the only light came through small holes in what he vaguely recognized as a large sack which stank of rotted vegetables. He could hear wheels moving under him and he groaned painfully as one of the wheels ran over various things in the path.
"I think he's waking up." A nasally voice Sam knew too well whispered.
"Let him, he won't be for long anyway." Benny replied to the man.
Sam closed his eyes and held his head, trying to gather his scrambled thoughts. He could recall a bridge, and a story, and Walter. The young man gasped as he looked at the sack again and saw the light pouring through the small holes. "It's morning." He mumbled miserably, "They'll all be awake by now, oh no, no, no."
"Shut your mouth rat." Benny said, shoving the bag, making Sam wince.
"Please, you all don't understand, my family, I have to get home to my family, they're waiting for me." Sam begged for a last time,
Journalistic chapt.3Chapter Three:Journalistic chapt.33 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Half past eight Sam had gathered what he needed and fit it into a bag he had gotten when he first started working as a paperboy. He moved to walk out the door when he heard the noise of a single pair of footsteps padding down the stairs. "Sam?" Walter asked quietly as he saw his older brother about to leave.
"What are you doing up?" Sam asked as he knelt down to the child's level.
"I heard a noise, the girls didn't hear anything though, they're sleepin'." Walter explained, "Why are you leaving?"
"There's something I have to do, it'll be really good for all of us." Sam explained with a smile, "I'll be back by morning."
"But I don't want you to go." The child whined quietly, looking up at his brother with a mild fear.
"I promise you all the penny candy in the world that I'll be back by the time you wake up." Sam said, "Every last piece."
"But when Dad left he never came back." Walter exclaimed quietly and frightfully, clearly regretting saying it after the words came out o