Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I decided to give color a shot. Skin tones were always a huge problem for me with real paint, and so they were again in Photoshop. Thankfully Joe Quinones gave me a few pointers which helped tremedously.

After finishing, I realized I could easily make this a caricature of two other people, so I made a triptych.

Jon Waters, Don Knotts, and Steve Buscemi.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Second Digital Painting

Slowly edging towards color, I go sepia toned.

And some in-progress shots.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My First Digital Painting

I've never been much of a painter, so I've always shied away from trying to paint in Photoshop. Last week, though, I watched Joe Bluhm's latest digital painting podcast, and he talked a bit about about being fearless in your painting, which inspired me to give it a shot.

I wasn't going for a good likeness here, I just wanted to try playing with Photoshop, and to ease me into it, I went monochromatic.

And because I save lots of versions as I work, I can even show some in process versions.

One problem I've noticed with my Cintiq is that the image is usually way too dark. What appears to be a deep black on a Cintiq is barely darker than a middle grey on my other monitor. My solution was to do the painting on the Cintiq, check the values on my other monitor, darken the image using the Curves editor, and then go back in and paint more. Anyone have a better solution?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hey You! I'm a Chicken!!

I made a new video.

This is what happens when I can't find freelance.

A big thanks to Mike for voicing the chicken.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Demetri Martin

I saw Demetri Martin perform at the UCB Theater last night. He's working on new material and it's interesting to hear his jokes before he's perfected them. He also showed some work in progress sketches that he made for his Comedy Central show which is coming out in February (I think). I thought these were the most interesting because they really ran the gamut. He only showed sketches he wasn't confident about (in order to gauge crowd reaction). Some were good and some...weren't, but it's a good reminder that everyone has to struggle to make good work and that sometimes you have to make bad stuff too.

Here's a quick caricature I did of him tonight.

Not that great, but whatever. Also, I tried out a new pen and as you can see it started leaving ugly dots and smudged when I started in on the hair.

Friday, October 17, 2008

An Open Letter To Bob Schieffer

Dear Bob Schieffer,

If I had your face I'd do nothing but dramatically lit self-portraits all day long. How do you resist this urge?

Adam Sacks

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mad Men: Joan Holloway

After Kinsey, you have to draw Joan Holloway. Their subtle (and not so subtle) vindictiveness is pretty great.

Mad Men: Paul Kinsey

The next Mad Men character I wanted to do was Roger Sterling, but after failing miserably numerous time, I switched to Paul Kinsey, played by Michael Gladis.

Drawn on actual honest to goodness paper with a ballpoint pen.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mad Men - Peggy Olsen

Do you watch Mad Men? You should, it's really good. Tonight's episode, I thought, was particularly good, so, realizing I hadn't drawn a caricature in quite some time, I sat down at my Cintiq and gave Peggy Olsen a shot.

I was a little rusty, but it was fun. I think I may do more caricatures from Mad Men. All the characters have such interesting personalities. Peggy is very private and often forces a smile to cover up what she's really feeling which I tried to get across but could have done a better job on. Good, subtle expressions are tough.

Ottawa - Drawing on Menus with Friends

The Ottawa Animation Festival was two weeks ago and it was really cool to see my video in a theater with a bunch of kids.

In between screenings on Saturday, Sean McBride, Erin Kilkenny and I drew on menus for a bit. Towards the end David Cowles joined us and drew some nice caricatures of bar patrons.

I've barely touched this blog, so I figured I might as well share my drawing.

I definitely got caught drawing some of the people, but they didn't seem to mind. Canadians are so polite.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

John McCain: Christian Enough?

I wrote this mock-commercial for John McCain before he picked Sarah Palin as his VP. Her selection has put this issue on the back burner (I guess Evangelicals are banking on him dying), but I felt like making it anyway.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


On my way back from Malaysia, I had about a week in Paris, and then a few days in Brussels and Bruges. During my time in Europe I did a bunch of sketchbook work that I'd love to share with you, but I lost that sketchbook on my last day in Bruges. So, if anyone finds a sketchbook at the Lybeers Traveller's Hostel, let me know.

Luckily I had another sketch book with me, so here are the two sketches I did after Bruges.

This one was done on the train from Bruges to Frankfurt.

And here is one done on the plane from Frankfurt to New York. I misplaced my favorite drawing pen and had to borrow one from the woman sitting next to me that didn't behave as well as I'd like.

I wonder how many sketches exist in the world done by people with time to kill on planes and trains. Probably a lot.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good News and Great Plug

I'm entering my last week in Malaysia! After a bit of time in Europe, I'll be back in NYC August 13th. So soon there'll (maybe) be more stuff here, and certainly less on my Malaysian blog, which you should totally check out if you haven't already.

The good news.

My TMBG video "I Can Add" (aka only thing this blog has covered in months) got into the Ottawa Animation Festival, which (FYI Mom and Dad) is the biggest (and I think only) international animation festival in North America.

To me, the cool thing about this is that Ottawa is now the second convention/festival that I went to and then decided I'd like to get something in it, and actually succeeded. Before my senior year at RISD, I went to the Small Press Expo (an indy comic convention), and afterwards figured I should make a graphic novel and try to get it published, which I did with Salmon Doubts (a book so successful that it's ranked 1.3 millionth in sales and was so hard to keep in stock that Amazon quit trying). Two years ago I went to Ottawa, and now I've got an animation in it, so I can only assume I Can Add will reach Salmon Doubts levels of popularity. The crushing details of reality aside, I am still batting a thousand, so if anyone has tickets to the Academy Awards let me know.

The great plug.

My friends Max and Ru also did a music video for TMBG with David Cowles. It is absolutely outstanding, and you have to watch it right now.

Did you watch it yet? I'll wait.

Okay, so at some point during the video you probably said to yourself, "I wonder how they did that." Well wonder no longer, Max and Ru put together a "Making Of" blog post. Check it out.

Monday, June 16, 2008

H2 - The Winter Killer

In 2007, I was briefly hired by the New York based ad agency Endoplasmic Reticulum. This was a quick "proof of concept" I put together for their pitch to GM.

I was let go a week later.*

*None of this is true.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Video: Dawerism

I made a new video. It's a parody of those Dewar's commercials.

And I even went to the effort of registering Dawerism.com
You can see a higher quality quicktime of the video there.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I am a winner!

This past Sunday, ASIFA East had it's 39th annual Animation Festival. I couldn't make it because I was on the other side of the planet, but the TMBG music video "I Can Add" I directed with David Cowles won an award, which I'm pretty sure means I won an award, which means I probably missed my chance to make an acceptance speech, which when you think about it, is everyone's loss (but mostly mine).

According to man-about-town Sean McBride the award was for "Excellence in Education," which is only fitting because I teach good.

And, lest I forget, let me once more promise a beer to everyone who helped out with the animation.

Joe Apel
Pedro Delgado
Nelson Diaz
Jeff Fletcher
Aya Fukuda
Casey Leonard
Jonathan Renoni
Thomas Sebasian Smolenski
Joe Stucky
Joe Quinones

And if you still haven't seen the music video, what are you waiting for? Check it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

They Might Be Giants

Last year I was lucky enough to work with illustrator David Cowles on a They Might Be Giants music video for a TMBG children's CD/DVD called Here Come The 123s. We worked out the concepts and storyboards together, David designed the characters, and I was lead animator.

Each week on their video podcast, TMBG releases a new music video from the album, and last Friday my video was up.

The song is called, I Can Add, and someone was nice enough to post the video podcast on YouTube. Check it out. And stay tuned for the second music video, Seven Days of the Week, which my friend Sean McBride did with David Cowles.

I did the video entirely in Flash, and I'm proud of how it came out, and how little it looks like standard Flash animation.

Click here to see a high quality quicktime of the video.

And as a special bonus, here is the storyboard/animatic for the video. Because I was going to need some help getting all the animation done in time, I tried to do a decent amount of the rough animation in the boards so that anyone I could trick into helping me would know what I was going for.

And finally, here's the list of everyone who was nice enough to help me out with the animation. I still owe them big time.

Joe Apel
Pedro Delgado
Nelson Diaz
Jeff Fletcher
Aya Fukuda
Casey Leonard
Jonathan Renoni
Thomas Sebasian Smolenski
Joe Stucky
Joe Quinones

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Hello all.

In January I worked on a commercial that aired during the Superbowl. Check it out.

Simon Ampel directed it and did all the key animation. I just helped out doing clean up and inbetweens on Tom Brady's run, but regardless it still sounds cool to say I worked on a Superbowl spot.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Two videos released in one day. How amazing.

Mike and I finally finished Fauxkour. You should go make a comment on YouTube about how amazingly skilled and athletic we appear to be. No pressure or anything, but seriously, go leave a comment or I hope to never see you again.


Last week I did some freelance work for a company that does advertising for pharmaceutical companies, and got an idea for a parody video.

Here is that idea.

I was mostly inspired by that awesome bit of motion graphics done to the audio from a Pulp Fiction scene. The difference being that guy (his name is Jarratt Moody, he hasn't graduated college yet and he has a more impressive resume than me) knows something about typography, whereas I do not.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I directed a music video

Live action is so much faster than animation. Both of the animated music videos I did took months and required many sleepless nights. This took a day.

Music and lyrics by Mike
Starring Sean and Mike

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Greatest Comic Ever

This weekend I was at a friend's country house, and they had a Spanish language collection of Garfield comics. Since I can't read Spanish, as a game I was trying to figure out what the "jokes" were just through the visuals, which was pretty much impossible.

Except for one strip, which I'm sure works much better silent than with whatever he was saying, so I took out the dialogue balloons. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

David Cross Caricature

I drew this after reading David Cross's reasons for doing Alvin and the Chipmunks. I can't really see why anyone would get angry about him doing a movie to make money. Most of my paying work has been on projects I've either been ambivalent about or outright disliked. When I wasn't spending free time on other creative endeavors, this used to really bug me. Now I realize there's only so much I can do about the overall quality of paying projects, and that I should use my time on them to save up money for personal work, and to find something about the actual work to enjoy and use it as an opportunity to stay sharp and improve so that I'll be that much better on the work that I do care about.

Anyone calling David Cross a sell out must be lucky enough to have a job that pays them very well to do exactly what they love.