June 19, 2017

HONESTY - Character Education Animation

I have this great friend named Kymberli Barney who once drew me as a gangsta. You might leap to the conclusion that this is frivolous but in my animated world, I equate it to being Knighted. Kymberli can see the essential qualities in a person or a situation, through the clouds and confusion.

I draw many. Few draw me. Kymberli did tho.
She also happens to be the rather brilliant teacher of the Middle School Humans of BHiveU. Which leads me neatly to my next point:

I opened up my shop on Teachers Pay Teachers earlier this year, and while I've been a "pro" artist for over thirty years, it's been a struggle to figure out where I fit as a content provider to educators. Are my specific skills best applied drawing clip art? I'm definitely happier doing story-based projects, and things that provoke empathy, and that's what I do here on my blog, or in my books and films. So when Kymberli suggested I do some PickleWeasel 'character education' drawings and animation for the teacher market, it lit me up. Thank-you Kymberli!

Fun with watermarks.

The first six posters are already up in my shop: Honesty, Trust, Kindness, Cooperation, Perseverance, and Accomplishment. It was pretty challenging to depict these character traits in a single still image, I had to dig deep.

And here's my special announcement: HONESTY is now an animated film. Here is a preview:



Synopsis:
When PickleWeasel meets someone he likes, he decides to cut some flowers to give as a gift. But, when he discovers the flowers belong to someone else, he finds himself in a pickle. What to do! Pretend he doesn't care? Run away? Or be honest? PickleWeasel learns how to listen to his conscience and choose honesty, even when it's difficult.
This HONESTY life skills animation is a fun too to help you teach kids the value of honesty. So important, right? And there's lots of room for discussion of alternate outcomes and feelings in this story. If you want to see the whole thing, check it out here.

Thanks for supporting my work!


May 9, 2017

American thrill ride: The TRUMP

The view of the USA from Canada:
Would you trust these coaster supports?
Today, Trump fired James Comey, the FBI director who was leading the Trump/Russia investigation.

What the hell is going on in America? Every day, several times a day, there's a Donald Trump related twist. What with Donald lobbing big bombs at other countries while blathering praise for dictators, the GOP's weird obsession with undoing Obama's legacy, or the US government plugging Ivanka Trump's really dumb book, it's several full time jobs just trying to keep up!

Will democracy survive? Will The World survive? Just watching it from the outside makes me want to hurl my popcorn.



May 1, 2017

Mother's Day Flip-Cards Are The Bestest Cards.

A couple of months ago I hopped on Teachers Pay Teachers and set up shop, making clipart (clip art? One word, two words??) for teachers.

Like any new business venture, it takes time to build both a catalog of art for sale and a customer base. I'm drawing furiously! There are obviously some great artists out there already well established in the market so how do I find my niche?

And so, for Mothers Day, I give you ...FLIP-CARDS!


Yessss! Mother's Day Flip-able greeting cards - I am so smart.


Once assembled, these babies animate when you flip them up and down. I used drawings from my book, Motherhood, which is on Amazon, but I think I'll soon be posting a download in my shop as well.

I'm still figuring out all the do's and don'ts around selling clip-art and printables on TPT. The learning curve is kinda steep, even for an established stick-figure-drawer like myself. But I'm thinking more animation-based products is where I'm headed.

Each card is $1, or you can get the set of 4 for $3. Don't wait for shipping or delivery, just download, print and BAM, you're making something awesome for the mom in your life. That's my sales pitch; I hate marketing my stuff so I'll shut up now.

Love you!



March 25, 2017

"Papa Pasquale" - Awards and Official Selections.

Happy! My film "Papa Pasquale", the true story about an adventurous young man who immigrates to Canada from Italy in the 1950's, has made the rounds of a few festivals and won a couple of awards.


Here's the updated list:

• Anim!Arte 2015, 12th International Animation Festival of Brazil, Official Selection.
• Canada Independent Film Festival 2016, Montreal - Official Selection, WINNER, Best Animation.
• The Humboldt International Film Festival 2016, Arcata CA - Official Selection.
• WINNER Ledo Matteoli Award For Best Film With An Immigration Theme.
• SOHO International Film Festival 2016, NYC - Official Selection.
• The Italian Contemporary Film Festival 2016, Canada - Official Selection.
• Athens Animfest 2016, Greece - Official Selection.
• USA Film Festival 2016, Dallas, Texas - Official Selection, Finalist.
• Salento International Film Festival 2016, Italy - Official Selection.
• INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION AWARDS 2016, Rio de Janeiro - WINNER, Short Film Competition
• Montreal International Film Festival 2016 - Official Selection.
• Detroit International Festival of Animation 2017 - Official Selection.


The Detroit festival is coming up on April 7th and 8th, wish I could make it, but alas! I cannot (sad face).

Otherwise I'm pleased as punch.

And ...since the topic of immigration is important right now, I'm making the film available for download through Teachers Pay Teachers. Good fit for social studies and history. There's a very small fee to help me towards my next animation project, "Flowers", so please enjoy!



March 17, 2017

PickleWeasel Shamrocks.

Took a little break from making a zillion clip art drawings to do some animation for you.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!


March 15, 2017

The Very Bored Elephant.

It used to be the biggest thing in the room, and now, three years later, the shrinking elephant is so very bored.


Definitely not drinking is easier than drinking; my struggle ended when I made the decision to quit. It incinerated this punishing loop of self-loathing.

I remember being scared, like, what if I fail? And my mom said, "Yes, you might fail. But if you fail, it's alright; you start over. You're allowed to fail." And I was like, oh, that's pretty straightforward. I can do this.

Life is a little different. I lost a friend or two along the way. It forced me to re-evaluate my friendship goals. And that was sad, but ultimately liberating.

I don't get invited to aaaaalll the parties anymore. Though I do get invited to some. I was at a friend's birthday celebration and I was laughing and having fun. A man offered me some wine. I told him, "No, thanks". He then straight-up told me that he was going to order a bottle and that I was going to drink some. After momentarily toying with the idea of just telling him, "I'M AN ALCOHOLIC" I thought, but why give any explanation when "no" should be enough? So I simply repeated myself, "No. Thank-you." He backed away.

I have the power. I'm good. Love you guys!


February 25, 2017

Dog poop.

Last week on a dog walk...

Stranger: Do you have a spare poop bag? I forgot mine at home. 

Me: Sure thing. (Gives some bags).

Today on a dog walk...

Me: Do you have a spare poop bag? I forgot mine at home.

Stranger: Sure thing. (Gives some bags).

I wish this story had a happy ending, but alas! My dog got rolled in some non-bagged poop while playing with another dog*. Dear people who do not pick up after their dogs in public spaces: If you don't want to pick up poop, you should not have a dog. Your dog's poop does not magically disappear. The snow melts and THERE IT IS. Shame on you.
I had to hose my dog down when I got home, but HOLY HELL did he stink up the car. But he's nice and clean now, so there's that.

* He didn't choose to roll in it like my last dog, he inadvertently rolled in it while playing. I'm just saying.