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
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
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 Disney1 year 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 interview2 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
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
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
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
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 Disney2 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-
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!3 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....
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?2 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
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.31 year 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.21 year ago in Personal More Like This
I believe there are T
Working hard (not) for the moneyA friend of mine just showed me a blog post from screenwriter and author of INVISIBLE INK, Brian McDonald. Read this! This is talking about writing screen plays but APPLIES to all of the arts and BREAKING INTO THAT DREAM JOB. I get emails all the time from artists that want "TIPS" about how to get better- THERE ARE NO TIPS! It is hard work and lots of it that makes you great. Read on from Brian......Working hard (not) for the money2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Working Hard for the Money
My step father once told me, when I was a kid, that what made someone a professional rather than an amateur was that they were paid for what they did. He was wrong.
Many people use my step father's explanation for what makes a professional and I find that it leads to shoddy workmanship because it takes the focus off of getting good at what we do and shifts it to getting good enough to get paid. Or even worse just getting paid. The craft is often thrown out the window in favor of just doing whatever it takes t
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: Purpose2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Sending positive vibes to you all!
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...7 months 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 ACADEMIA10 months ago in Personal More Like This
SPACE DANDY KEY ANIMATION!A collection of Genga Animatics from one of my absolute favorite animated shows this year, "Space Dandy." It makes me happy to see this kinda content is still all done on paper. No Command Z. Japanese 2D TV animators continue to inspire me beyond no end. featuring some of the work of key animators Tadashi Hiramatsu, Yutaka Nakamura, Norifumi Kugai, Gosei Oda , Bahi JD and others!SPACE DANDY KEY ANIMATION!8 months ago in Personal More Like This
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!!6 months 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”
Video Interview with Pixar's Louis GonzalesVideo Interview with Pixar's Louis Gonzales3 years ago in Personal More Like This
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:KND1 year ago in Personal More Like This
Thanks to KND creator Tom Warburton for sharing this treasure
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!2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Video Tutorial: Creature illustrationVideo Tutorial: Creature illustration3 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!
The DreamThis was a Facebook status I made last night, but by request, I'm posting it here:The Dream3 years ago in Personal More Like This
I hate when people call me "lucky" for the successes I've had. I worked hard for them. Real hard. Possibly too hard. For that same reason, when people who give up on their dreams complain to me about their lot in life, I'm not gentle with them. I can't be. I know life can get really tough, but to give up in the face of adversity shows a real weakness of character. To watch people give up saddens me, and kind of angers me as well.
Getting a First Storyboarding GigThis question came in from Twitter today: "How would I go about getting a first storyboarding gig?" I thought I'd put my answer on the blog so others can read it too. Here it is:Getting a First Storyboarding Gig3 years ago in Personal More Like This
When I was starting out I had absolutely no idea how to look for work myself. It ends up being different for everybody. The big thing when I was starting out was to make sure LOTS of people saw my work. This was before the Internet got started, so I was working on my college newspaper, making comics and showing them off at conventions. It was meeting a Ren & Stimpy director at a convention that helped me get my start. He liked my comics, and he told me all about how storyboarding for TV works.
The main thing that helped me get started was that I got my work OUT THERE where people could see it. That's a million times easier to do now than ever before; no publishing costs too get your work see by countless people through blogs and Facebook and Twitter, etc.
Here's a crazy story: last year I came across a guy on