Ego is identity.
We identify ourselves with what we believe about ourselves, how we carry ourselves, and what we want others to think of us.
This identity is a wrapper that we twist ourselves in.
This wrapper is safe because it tells what we can be, and where we can go. It’s also constraining because it limits us, and tells us where we have to stop.
I can’t do that. What will the others think?
The wrapper is a container, a border, a boundary.
True growth requires the puncture of this wrapper, the expansion of these boundaries, the destruction of identity.
Thus the need for ego death.
I don’t watch much TV, and I certainly don’t care about advertisements, so when my dad called me away from my most recent project to see a freaking commercial, I was highly irritated. Even so, I lifted my lazy butt from my office chair and went to see what he was calling me about.
“I think someone ripped off your cartoon style!” my dad said.
He played back the following commercial on his DVR:
I was dazzled! What a delight it was to see old-fashioned, hand-drawn animation on television! I was so rapt in studying the art on display, that I didn’t pay attention to what was being advertised. To be honest, I didn’t care.
My dad said that this animated version of Ken Ham looked like something out of one of my cartoons. I was flattered, but this is clearly the work of a professional studio, not an amateur like myself. Still, I can kind of see where he’s coming from: the small eyes, the big, expressive hands, the exaggerated, Chuck-Jones-like motions: these are all common elements of my sprouting style. It’s so good that I’ve been watching this commercial over and over so I can study it.
Even though I don’t care for the museum’s message, I think they’ve taken a clever approach with this spot. It grabs your attention without being crass, loud, or aggressive. It parades a platoon of fun characters in one long shot, without any disorienting cuts. In this age of sterile, overblown CGI, and frenetic, tweened-to-Hell Flash cartoons, I think people are craving some detailed, frame-by-frame animation like this. I know I am.
Here’s a little animation I made featuring Yenny Lopez, star of the webcomic Yenny, by Dave Alvarez Studios.
It’s meant to demonstrate my skills as an animator, and how I would animate Alvarez’s characters. Here’s hoping it leads to something special.
An unusually busy day. I hope to have an animation to share with you by the end of the night.
I’ve debated with myself about sharing this cartoon because it’s not for everyone. However, I think it turned out quite well, and that it’s a good demonstration of my skill with frame-by-frame animation. It’s not explicit or dirty — in fact, most might find it innocuous and cute — but it’s admittedly unusual, so please keep that in mind.
It is a commission made for DeviantArt user Sir Bombers, an imaginative and supportive friend. The original character and concepts are his. The voice is by Jenni Nexus, a talented and passionate performing artist.
Making this cartoon was challenging, not just to my skill, but to my patience. I am a very impatient person, which doesn’t fit well with my desire to animate. I’m also very tough on myself, and I tend to get discouraged when I see all those frames that still need painting. Still, seeing my cartoons come to life is incredibly rewarding, and I think it’s what I’m meant to do. I hope you enjoy my work.