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....
PS> In the interview, I announce a new product on my Charactermentorstudio.com site. Check it out!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-mentorDrawing Tip Videos are up!4 years ago in Personal More Like This
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....
My Progression as an Animator at DisneyA friend of mine is writing a book on animation fundamentals and asked me for a "paragraph or two" (which I can't do) on the subject of timing. I considered it and ended up writing about my progression of learning while a Disney animator in the traditional animation days. It was good therapy for me to really think this through and consider the order of things. I hope you enjoy it. "Like" or "fav" this so others will see it too. Thanks!My Progression as an Animator at Disney3 years ago in Personal More Like This
My Progression As A Disney Animator
by Tom Bancroft
Walt Disney is quoted as saying that it takes 10 years to make a great animator.
When I was first coming out of California Institute of the Arts and joining a Disney internship in 1988, hearing that quote was devastating. 10 years? That's FOREVER! I wanted to be a full-fledged Disney animator in TWO years! I rationalized that that was a way of thinking from the 40s and today, we move at a quicker pace, so-
Tip of the Day: PurposeTip of the Day: When you have a purpose, you stand by it. Something special happens when you show an undying drive to achieve a goal.Tip of the Day: Purpose3 years ago in Personal More Like This
Sending positive vibes to you all!
MORE KEY ANIMATION FROM SPACE DANDY!!Another collection of 2D key animation from my favorite animated TV series on American television right now, Studio Bones's Space Dandy on Adult Swim!MORE KEY ANIMATION FROM SPACE DANDY!!1 year ago in Personal More Like This
Space Dandy groovy-ass track "Stardust Pipeline" by the amazing Junk Fujiyama. Featured in the memorable space surfing scene in Ep 6. "The War of Undies And Vests, Baby”
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
MORE SPACE DANDY KEY ANIMATION...Another collection of 2D key animation from my favorite animated TV series on American television right now, Studio Bones's Space Dandy on Adult Swim!MORE SPACE DANDY KEY ANIMATION...1 year ago in Personal More Like This
Space Dandy Ending music track "“X Jigen e Youkoso” (Welcome to Dimension X) by Etsuko Yakushimaruan and the amazing Yokko Kanno.
The Making of YOSHINARI'S LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIAFor all aspiring artists/ students who whish to work in 2D animation production, and those already in 2D animation who know little to nothing about actual 2D animation production, here is but a glimpse of what it's like. This is also a pretty brilliant program enacted by Japanese grants to nurture the talent pool for the new generation. Watch director Yoh Yoshinari (gurren Lagaan, Evangelion, FLCL) train 5 young animators at his newly founded animation company STUDIO TRIGGER (KIll LA KILL), as he guides them through the process of helping him create the first episode of the wildly popular Little Witch Academia OVA. Inspiring stuff and a true peek behind the curtain of what it's like for young artists/creatives/animators who work under a giant like Yoshinari.The Making of YOSHINARI'S LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Video Tutorial: Creature illustrationVideo Tutorial: Creature illustration4 years ago in Personal More Like This
Click on the image to view my video tutorial of ImagineFX magazine cover illustration (issue 72). Don't forget to "LIKE" or Comment on the interview page if you want to see more of these kinds of vids.
Sending you all positive vibes!
Zutara Week Dates and Prompt Announcements!Looks like this year we'll be having it from July 14th - July 20th! Thanks for everyone who cast their vote in making our final decision on dates and prompts! We're proude to announce that our sixth annual Zutara week will feature the following prompt works:Zutara Week Dates and Prompt Announcements!2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Sunday, July 14; Calor
(Noun); Spanish word for "Heat".
Monday, July 15; Euphoria
(Noun); A feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness.
Tuesday, July 16; Voices
(Noun); The sound produced in a person's larynx and uttered through the mouth, as speech or song.
(Verb); Express (something) in words: "get teachers to voice their opinions on important subjects".
Wednesday, July 17; Gravity
(Noun); Heaviness or weight. (Seriousness/Solemnity).
Thursday, July 18; Bound
(Verb); Walk or run with leaping strides.
(Verb); Form the boundary of; enclose.
(Noun); A leaping movement upward.
(Noun); A territorial limit; a boundary
Video Interview with Pixar's Louis GonzalesVideo Interview with Pixar's Louis Gonzales3 years ago in Personal More Like This
A public service announcement for the kiddies:I know there are plenty of you out there who are capable of presenting yourself and interacting with others in a civil, intelligent manner even though you may only be 14-16 years old. In fact, some of you have shocked me more than once when I've found out your actual age! I was one of those weird kids who skipped the teen years mentally/emotionally (or as my parents say, I went straight from 12 to 22 age-wise), so I know it's possible. I've had the pleasure of talking to more than one of you about everything from anime audio tracks to art history, artistic integrity, and art criticism. Some of you have even let me teach you some things about drawing, anatomy, digital media, etc., and I've really enjoyed that. All of you have bright futures ahead of you if you're able to behave in such a mature manner at such a young age, that's for sure.A public service announcement for the kiddies:3 years ago in Personal More Like This
To the rest of you, though, here's a pro tip:
Acting like an idiot doesn't make you look cool.
It makes you look like an idiot.
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
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
DO YOU KNOW THESE ARTISTS?It's been a while since i've shared some of my favorite deviants. Here's a list of talent that some of you may or may not be aware of that i've been drooling over lately. I love this place!DO YOU KNOW THESE ARTISTS?3 years ago in Personal More Like This
Check 'em out!:
:iconmonk-art: Fabian Schlaga. LEGEND. If you haven't heard of this guy, you're missing out!
:iconsaspy: Saspy's work is amazing. The female mega-talent from Italy shows no sign of slowing down with her bright and fun approaches to character design, expressions and energy.
:iconjoel27: Joel is currently my FAVORITE ARTIST on Deviantart. Just flip through his gallery and you might find yourself there all day.
:icontchokun: French Artist who worked on online games and flash shorts such as WAKFU is not to be missed. serious talent here
:iconrikkitikki: Rikkitikki's light hearted animation influence illustrations are something to fall in love with. He's got a detective concept he's been playing with that shows the main characters quite often and i usually fave when he draws th
Fear of discovery?This has been my mantra over the last couple years but didn't discover this quote till today:Fear of discovery?3 years ago in Personal More Like This
"Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy"- Tim O'Reilly, tech mogul
As artists/creators we are scared that people will steal our ideas/characters/IP, but we should fear never doing anything with them EVEN MORE!
Great Storyboarding Tutorials from Codename:KNDSome fanTAStic storyboarding tutorials from Codename: Kids Next Door storyboard artist/director Guy Moore. This stuff is practical real-world training that WILL improve your storyboarding skills if you put them into practice. See all 21 generous pages atGreat Storyboarding Tutorials from Codename:KND2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Thanks to KND creator Tom Warburton for sharing this treasure