• friednonsenseBeing that you're an industry expert, I was hoping if there were any tips or advice you can give to an aspiring Animation Series creator. Any lessons you've learned from working in the industry from so many years. What advice would you give yourself if you were starting out trying to get you're animation picked up by a major network?
  • ianjq

    Yeah I have a big piece of advice! Stop “aspiring”!!!!! Your aspirations end now!!!!

    YES YOU! DON’T WAIT! START NOW! (passionate rambling incoming…)

    The freaking coolest thing about living in the year 20XX is that you don’t have to have anyone’s permission to be an Animated Series creator. Grab a trial copy of Flash, or make flipbooks, or your own GIFs, or make some stop motion with your phone. Just start making whatever you want! Don’t save your good ideas for some big-wig executives or networks. Just do them right now! Don’t be precious with your ideas, just put them out there. 

    Content that’s on TV or in movies is not “more official” than stuff you make in your home on your spare time to share with friends on the internet. It’s all the same!!!!! As long as you enjoy it, who cares!! And if other people happen to like it also, then BONUS!! 

    The experience you get from trying to make something good on your own is so much more important than any future dream of being a big shot. Upload what you do to the internet and get feedback, show it to as many people as you can and listen to critiques. Learn to do stuff all by yourself, and only for your own pleasure.

    From what I’ve seen, the people who end up creating a good animated series are the same people who have been creating their own stories, cartoons, comics and music on their own just for fun long before they ever got the shot at the big-time. Read about how your favorite cartoons are made, and try to do the process on your own. You’ll learn what your strengths are and what you’re interested in exploring.

    (If you don’t have the facilities to create animation on your own, make something smaller scale- like a script, a comic, or a storyboard!)

    OK THEN HERE’S STEP TWO: once you’ve learned to love your work on your own and figured out what you like to draw and what you’re passionate about, you may get a chance to pitch an idea. And thanks to the work you’ve done, you’ll be READY! Instead of some half-finished ideas, you’ll be able to point to all the amazing stuff you’ve created on your own and say “look, I already know what I like, AND I already know how to do it!” —-that’s WAY more impressive than an undeveloped idea with nothing to show for it. PLUS, the bonus of doing good work on your own is that you’ll attract attention and opportunity! I know so many people working in this industry who were discovered from their own silly personal work that was just randomly found online. 


  • Candy-coated with a dash of sweet

    I probably reblogged this already BUT I’M EFFIN’ REBLOGGIN’ IT AGAIN!

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  • AnonymousI have a problem with being a perfectionist. Even in my sketchbooks I try to be a perfectionist, and it keeps me from sketching. For example, it's like I need to have the perfect moleskine or each page needs to have ballpoint pen or pencil, or there should be no painting in moleskines etc. I can't stop this habit. Have any tips?
  • johnleedraws


    "Perfection is the enemy of good enough," says every self-help top-ten blog list, featuring stock imagery of a woman doing yoga.

    In the last question, I touched on why it’s generally best to forego the urge to have beautiful, perfect sketchbooks because it’s counter-intuitive to how one might best use a sketchbook. 

    Now, you might be saying, “John, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You drank too much Nyquil because your voice sounds like Batman, and I shouldn’t have to listen to you.” And you’d be right, but that still doesn’t change the fact that one’s sketchbook needs to be place where anything goes. Because if it’s gotten to the point where you’re not even drawing at all because of fear of failing, well my friend, you might as well reach for the Nyquil too (kidding). 

    So here’s a pointer. I found myself saying this one a lot when I was teaching: physically change your situation to force yourself out of bad habits. It’s easier said than done, but it’s the only surefire way to change a habit that has its basis environmentally. 

    Usually, it was in the context of a student saying “I just can’t get any work done at home/studio,etc.” or “there’s too many distractions.” I would tell them to rearrange their studios, or come work in studio at the school, and physically remove themselves from that situation as to alter it. After all, it’s very, very, easy to fall into habits that have been reinforced over time.

    So! I would say, ADD an additional sketchbook that you have designated as your experimental one, and keep your current pristine Moleskine as a “presentation” book that you can show off to babes. At a certain point in the summer, I was carrying 5 (!) different sketchbooks: one for painting, one for drawing, one tiny one for on-the-go, and two for note-taking and reference. That’s a bit extreme, but you get the point. 

    I guarantee that your “presentation” one will generally fall by the wayside, in terms of your day to day process. It might however, surprise you and turn into something really cool, (like an entire book of, say, nice botanical drawings, or pizzas, or the like.)

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  • Anonymousany tips on creating a fictional town in america? I went through the settings tag and couldn't find much
  • thewritingcafe

    Pick a Region: (Italicized states could fit into more than one group, depending on who you ask, and some people list more or less regions than the ones listed below)

    • Northeast: New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey
    • Midwest: Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma
    • Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada
    • South: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Maryland, Delaware, Louisiana, Arkansas, 
    • West: California, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Montana
    • Non-Contiguous: Alaska, Hawaii

    Once you’ve got your region, narrow it down by state. You don’t have to get more specific than that if you don’t want to, but your character’s world will give away what region they’re in and possibly the state based on clues. Here is what you should know when creating your fictional town in a region/state:

    • Environment: Know the environment of your region or state. There are no wolves (except for isolated incidents) in areas like the lower Midwest, so it would be odd for your characters to come across a pack of wolves in a southern Wisconsin forest.
    • Climate: There are tons of different climates around the US. If the area of your town is specific (like how South Park is a mountain town in Colorado), you’ll need to know more about that climate. If your characters are in a temperate region, you just need the seasons to change depending on the timeline of your story. If your characters live in a region where heavy snowfall is common, snow days at school will be rare.
    • Culture: Slang, common religions, architecture, food, popular music, references (to nearby cities, sports teams, etc.), etc. vary by region, by state, and by city. Some slang is only found in certain cities or certain regions of a state.

    Type of Town:

    • Rural: Rural towns are found in the countryside, often with low populations. 
    • Suburban-Rural: These are a mix of suburbia and the countryside. Houses may be placed farther apart, the town might be larger than a suburb without having a larger population, and there may be small businesses.
    • Suburban: Suburbs are just outside cities and large towns and are primarily residential, meaning there are not a lot of businesses. In the US, it’s typical for suburbs to have single-family homes (though there are multi-family homes sometimes), sidewalks, and gaps between houses. Suburbs are a favorite for authors, especially YA authors.
    • Suburban-Urban: These are between the “true” suburbs and the city, often sitting on the border of the city. They have residential areas, but also everything you might find in a city such as busy streets, public transportation, several businesses, and buildings. You’re more likely to find multi-family homes and apartment buildings in suburban-urban towns than you are with suburban homes.
    • Urban: Urban towns aren’t necessarily in the heart of the city (the main tourist areas). Urban neighborhoods, towns, villages, etc., vary greatly by city and each one has its own unique culture and demographics, especially if there is a large population of immigrants in the area. Some urban towns can resemble suburban towns.

    When you’ve got your town, draw a map for it. Note important places, like schools and the homes of characters. If your characters are in a suburb or a suburb-urban town, pick either a real city or a fictional city in a real state to put it around.

    If your characters are in school and you want a lot of characters, pick an urban, suburban-urban, or suburban town. For the last one you can have more than one suburb share a school. If your character works at a place like a major law firm, they’ll probably need to be near a city. Think about what your character needs to pick a town.


    • Name: If you know what region your town is set in, look at the names of real towns around that area. They usually follow a pattern. The name of the town can be the name of schools, businesses, streets, and parks too.
    • History: If needed, come up with a history for your town. You might not think you need it at first, but it can come in handy. For example, if you need your characters to be at an event, there can be a party for the town’s 100th birthday. The age of the town might also determine the architecture.
    • Appearance: In the town I grew up on, every property had at least one (big) tree on the front lawn thus creating an arch of branches and leaves over every residential street in the summer. What does your town look like? Are there boulevards? Parks? Fences? Alleys? Driveways? Streetlights? Public transportation? Tall houses? Wide houses? Large properties? Small properties? Is it hilly or flat? While there may be a combination of all of these things, certain traits may be more dominant or typical.
    • Activities: What is there to do in your town? Is there a popular hangout? Is there a beach nearby? Do people go to a nearby city for fun? Are there certain areas within the environment (cliffs, clearings in a forest, a lake, etc.) that are popular hangout spots?
    • Keep track of all facts: Write down everything about your town so that you don’t end up with inconsistencies. Keep a list of schools, businesses, public places, government buildings, and everything else that is relevant.

    Your town has to be realistic. Readers should have an idea of where this town is or what is near it. A suburban town in the middle of nowhere with no mention of where it is and varying ecosystems isn’t realistic. It’s surreal, distant, and might only work in certain fantasy genres. A town with a population of 15,000 people, but with four middle schools, two churches, a mosque, a synagogue, two law firms, no variation in economic or social class, eight restaurants, and a car dealership is unrealistic unless this small town is used as a center for several other towns.

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REBLOG if you have amazing talented artist friends!

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