Hello!

Guys. Hi. I’m busy with some stuffs, but here’s some stuff in the meantime!

CatBox fan-art from a 16-year old girl called ‘Paulina’ from the Ukraine. Dig it. Thanks Paulina!

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More of her work HERE.

I made a whole bunch of MooseBox animated GIFs from the pilot that I’m sharing on my Twitter account. Here are some:

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Please click ‘Continue Reading’ to see more GIFs.

Continue Reading →

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Interview

Hello.

So, one of my buddies’ girlfriends is studying graphic design and part of one of her projects involves interviewing a graphic designer. I explained I’m more of an animation-person than a graphic designer but she seemed ok with that. She liked the last advice part.

Here’s some stuff:

Do you enjoy your career?

Yes! I do enjoy it, especially when it is a bit of a creative challenge and when it’s creatively fulfilling.

If you could choose again, which career would you choose?

Probably the same, though I’d probably have studied a bit more animation – I always knew I was interested in animation but never really thought that was a viable option when I was studying, so I studied some Fine Art, quit that and then studied business.

How do you feel about your Industry?

The Animation industry in South Africa is definitely growing – there are now colleges that teach animation, and South Africa is getting more International service work and I think ‘animation’ is slowly becoming a viable option as a full-time career.

Do you feel that your qualification equipped you to enter the working world?

Well, I’ve got 1.5 years of a Fine Arts degree and I finished a BComm (Business of Communications) degree at Bond University – a 3 year degree squashed into 2 years. I did really well in the business degree and I suppose it equipped me to deal with deadlines and thinking in a particular logical way which has I think been beneficial. However, other stuff like invoicing, tax … it didn’t really cover, and I basically haven’t really shown my degree to anybody. So, in some ways, yes, in other ways, I went into a bit of a different field than what I studied and learned on the job, did a 9-week crash course, read up about animation, read about it on the Internet and got in through the back-door.

Can you tell me what you do in an average work week?

Sometimes I’ll be doing storyboards which can take up a lot of time, or writing animation, or coming up with concepts, or animating, or taking a break from animation – I can’t really think of an average work week but if I had to try make one up – sending emails, discussing stuff with clients / buddies, getting back to other people that have enquired about work (I work on one / two projects at a time and end up passing on a lot of work), reading up about what’s happening in the gaming world / animation world, work on either a client’s project (could be a music video / illustration for a journal / one of any freelance job like I recently designed a background for a varsity student card / I’m doing work with a really nice network at the moment so currently I’m looking at character personalities and figuring out who the main characters are and how they interact) or personal work (a personal animated short / drawing on canvasses to sell (recently sold a canvas in a buddy’s gallery in Muizenberg) / working on my / my brother’s / my mother’s website / doodling), because I’m my own boss I can take quite a few breaks so I sometimes draw in town and go to the beach to surf / chill. And, depending on deadlines, I can have a fairly relaxed week doing very little work or spend a lot of time animating sometimes into the early hours of the morning. I recently did a 48 hour film project from Plett with some Cape Town people over Skype where I was doing storyboards – I started at 9pm and worked through to 6:30am. Yesterday I arrived in Cape Town and have set up a workspace in a Cape Town studio (I normally work from my home studio in Plettenberg Bay) and so the work hours are more regular and there are other people around. Sometimes work spills over into weekends.

Do you feel that there are areas in your ‘job’ which you did not expect to be doing when you were studying?

I suppose I never really got into writing, and writing is kind of an important aspect of animation so I’ve been learning a lot more about that – story structure, character-based humor, etc… But I suppose I had some idea of what was involved. I didn’t really know what I’d be doing while I was studying but I was doing freelance illustration on the side to earn income and have been doing so since high school, so for the longest time I had imagined something to do with drawing.

What was the most surprising thing for you when you entered the industry?

How accessible it was. The first thing I co-pitched got turned into a kids TV series on e-TV. I was kind of amazed at how much ‘initiative’ and ‘goetspa’ can count for.

What part of your ‘job’ do you enjoy the most?

The freedom it allows – I can work (and have worked) whilst travelling, I can be my own boss, how much I want to earn depends on how much I want to work, I can plug in with others when I want to, and generally the animation world is comprised of nice people. It’s creatively fulfilling at times and it’s a way to express myself. Also, silliness and humour have a place in animation which I like.

And the least?

The hours can be ridiculous if I let time-management slip, it can detract from personal relationships because sometimes I can get very attached to a project and spend a lot of time and energy focusing on that. Unlike a salary, income can be a bit fluctuating. It can also be a bit of a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ career, but that’s also why I quite like it.

Do you have any further advise for me as a graphics student?

I’d definitely hire someone without a degree that shows a lot more artistic understanding / sensibility, honesty and originality over someone that has a degree but whose work is generic. In fact, from the people I’ve hired I don’t think I’ve ever asked to see their degree and nobody’s ever asked to see mine. The idea is not to just get the degree but to learn the fundamentals of what is being taught. If you’re successful at that you can tear up the degree at the end of it.

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Mike’s Universe – ‘Thing’

HELLO! So, I made a short. Drew the stuff in my sketchbook first and then scanned the images in, cut some stuff up in Photoshop, animated in Anime Studio and edited and added audio in Premiere Pro.

I’ve set up an online SHOP so that’s nice.

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NEWS from the place and the thing.

Good day fellow human being of planet Earth. I thought I’d give you that welcome because it’s MONDAY and a start to the week. So, you know. Why not.

Listen – some news.

I’ve been animating this little short experimental project this week. I was sitting down at a coffee shop in Plett and doodling. I guess I started getting into free association mode, started doodling this trangle-headed dude. Kind of liked it and drew some more, ended up with 10 pics. Then I scanned them, cut them up in Photoshop, and animated the scenes in Anime Studio. Put them together. First draft above. Decided that if I’m doing a personal project, the most I can do is enjoy the process. And that’s exactly what I did. Great success.

With any luck my bro may do sound for it. Here are some of the original drawings:

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I’m also kind of posting things as I go over at the LostMarble forums if you’d like to see how things progress.

I saw something online that suggested a good hack – a plug in a drawer so that it’s possible to charge devices neatly and then be able to close the drawer. Really simple – drill a hole in the back of the drawer cabinet and feed through an extension cord. I did that. Really simple, now don’t have to crawl under desk to charge things. Yay:

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I got myself a Nintendo 2DS. I like it because it’s pretty cheap and light, comfortable, and I can get nice games from an online shop with wi-fi. I’ve been wanting to play ‘Zelda: Ocarina of Time’ for ages, I often see it cited as ‘the best game ever made’. That’s quite a lofty statement and I never really liked Zelda since playing ‘Twlight Princess’ on the Wii. I think I stopped playing halfway, and that’s the first Zelda game I tried. Anyways, I’m a couple hours in to ‘Ocarina of Time’ and I see why people say it’s the greatest game ever – I imagine back in 1998 it blew people’s minds. I also see how many games copied it thereafter. Anyways, so far it’s stood the test of time.

I also have got the original 1985 Super Mario Bros 1, and Super Mario Bros 3. I clocked the first game recently using a save / restore point – man, it was pretty tricky. Some old games were actually really challenging. And it’s not like a person could’ve saved in original Super Mario Bros – there were no continues either. If you wanted to clock it, for the most part it had to be done in one go. I suppose a person could pause the game for a day and pick up the next day, but…

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Had a halloween party recently. My buddy came dressed as ‘MooseBox’. Classic:

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Some other halloween things we made:

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Some family friends from Arizona, US got me this SCHWEET Super Mario Bros. 8bit shirt. I dig it LANK.

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Also, I recently got 5 of these Goldfish ‘Dog is a DJ’ shirts. I drew it for them on spec and as payment I asked for a couple shirts when they printed them (I think they printed a bunch and sell them at gigs / online shop). They printed really well. I dig them. Dog is from my animated Goldfish videos, this one in particular references my latest music video ‘One Million Views’ where Dog is a bit of a mullet DJ who presses play and poses like this with his arms up, posing for the crowd. Incidentally, the video is creeping on one million views.

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Some more great MooseBox fan art from Alfred / @PaperBoxHouse (what a delight checking these):

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I made a little ‘OctoCat’ gif. OctoCat is a series of shorts animated by David O’Reilly. It’s made to look like a kid made it (‘Randy Peters’ was his pseudonym for this) and I think it’s absolutely hilarious. Click HERE to watch the full OctoCat series.

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MooseBox Stills and Other Stuff

Saved out a couple of MooseBox stills!

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Also, already got Fan-Art! Thanks to @PaperBoxHouse for these:

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And thanks to @Rubenuzo for the one I received today. Brilliant!

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Also, I recently unwrapped my brother’s new album ‘KIFF’ and filmed it. As you may know I designed the album and it’s really nice to see it all put together IRL:

In other news, my lovely lady and I recently put some of our wares up for sale at a local market yesterday. Was loads of fun!

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Also, I received this really nice email from Jake. Thank you Jake!

Hi Mike, I’d like to first say I think your work is freaking awesome! The animations you produce are inspiring and I hope you continue to do what you do for a long time c: […] Long story short, I was re-inspired by your work and I look forward to animating something hopefully a tenth of the quality you produce. Thanks for the boost of confidence Mike!

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