February 28, 2013

Picture THIS.

FACT: People remember more from images than from text. Do you ever wish you could express an idea by drawing it?

Visual thinking is the key to creating concepts that play out in pictures.

And I've noticed that quite a few people could benefit from it so I developed a workshop to inspire people to see "stories" as "pictures".

I'll also be sharing a few of the little tricks I use to convey my stories and concepts using some of the most straightforward and easily accessible digital tools.

Maybe you have a story, article or PowerPoint presentation that you want to illustrate; or you'd like to promote or teach something with images or video. Whether you draw it yourself or hire someone else to do it, having a clear idea of what you want is invaluable.

My workshop will give you skills to distill your concepts to their most basic forms: lines and dots.

I'm keeping it uncomplicated - there's no hi-tech blathering.

Also it will be funny.

And sweet.

If you're interested in bringing The Art of Visual Storytelling to your event, contact me. I am nice.

If you're in Montreal, you're in luck. The Art Of Visual Storytelling is being hosted by ELAN English Language Arts Network, Tuesday, MARCH 12. It's right downtown in a great space - the Visual Voice Gallery, BELGO building, 7-9PM. Fee for ELAN members is $10 ($15 for non ELAN members or $5 for full-time students). Perfectly do-able prices, amiright? 

This workshop is filling up quickly, so you should totally register now!

February 26, 2013

Green scream.

Hopefully you're seen some greening out in social media profiles today. I add my voice to those in solidarity with the visual FX artists who labor on most of the films you see and love. Films like the Oscar-winning Life of Pi. Without VFX those films would look like this:

This is the hidden cost of make believe.

And it's not just VFX; it holds true for most of the animation industry. Though I hafta say, visual FX and compositing takes place at the end of the production pipeline. Everything impacts there in terms of budget and schedule. Those artists typically fund productions with their blood, sweat, tears and love.

February 25, 2013

Best Pickleture.

"The Award for Best Pickleture goes to..."

With trembling hands the A-lister opened her envelope and face-palmed before joyfully announcing,


The stunned hybrid cucumber / mustela rose from his seat in the audience. PickleWeasel somehow actually made it onto the stage without tripping, was kissed on the forehead by a human celebrity and tearfully thanked his creator (me), as the award was placed in his paws.

Then he farted and blushed, relishing the moment.

The audience cheered and even Mr. Spielberg blinked admiringly.

Congratulations on your Golden Pickle Award PW. Your fans love you! *sniff* ....so proud.

February 23, 2013

Audience Participation.

I'm sooooooo late in cutting this video together. Sorry. It was the "audience participation" segment of my Opening Keynote at the Aiming Low NonCon in October 2012. I wanted to empower the crowd while paying tribute to Anissa Mayhew, who leads Aiming Low.

Anissa Mayhew and everyone from Aiming Low are pretty special in their outlook. The incredible irony is that as I post this video, Anissa is recovering from breaking the wrist on her stroke-affected arm. And in her inimitable style, she jests that she "wasn't really using it anyway".

Here's the simultaneous "I can. #noncon" tweet stream generated.

Dare to dream; the world needs more of it.

February 19, 2013

Party FOOD.

The 15 year old girl will soon be 16.

In case you were wondering what kind of party food would be appropriate to serve at a Sweet 16 party, one of my daughter's friends made some suggestions on FaceBook.

I hafta say, the celery kinda surprised me.  Celery is a ninja.

On Friday night this place will be crawling with starving teenagers. Any advice?

February 15, 2013

Harlem Shake (PickleWeasel Edition).

This meme is perfect for limited animation. Creds to my firstborn daughter for walking me through its nuances. So much fun, I animated it in one crazy day.

Also... PickleWeasel.

February 12, 2013

6 Moments of life.

This is Shelagh. Sometimes she talks me off the ledge.

My brother came to town. He was just sitting on the sofa unwinding and catching me up on his life in Toronto.

The 12 year old boy got his hair cut.

Our 15 year old daughter has copper locks. I was happy to find her without mascara.

I went to see The Huz playing bass in Carolyn Fe's Blues Collective at the House of Jazz. Carolyn always brings a fan onstage.

My friend Kayo at her going-away-dinner. She's leaving Montreal, returning to Japan. We didn't spend enough time together while she was here and it makes me sad.

These are moments of life.

February 6, 2013

My Birthday was OUT Of This World!

Yes, today is my birthday and I'm fifty-one. BUT I'M A HAWT 51. Last year when I turned fifty I spent my birthday animating a little film. This year I got an MRI. Which turned out to be not an MRI at all!

It was a vascular CT scan - which is a fancy name for being probed by extra-terrestrials.

When I arrived at the hospital neuro place I got put in a room with a space ship in it. I was warmly greeted by two women, Lucy and Denise (aliens). They told me I was going to be injected with some kind of liquid that would make me feel weird while they took pictures of my head. And I'm not allowed to move. Oh great. Happy Birthday to me.

I lay down on the horizontal surface with my head just inside the space ship. Lucy inserted the biggest-needle-ever into my arm and attached it to an actual machine that goes "ping".

Then Denise and Lucy went and hid behind a window, watching me and likely laughing at my helpless earthling ways. 

I was wiggling my toes to keep from becoming airborne and they told me to stop it. NO moving allowed. The space ship was making strange noises and the operating plank I was lying on moved in and out of it. It was bizzarre. 

Then came a rush of weird bubbly and probably radioactive liquid coursing through my veins up my arm making my heart feel hot and like I had to pee. I was trying not to move but I was breathing in and out really fast and I'm pretty sure I blinked more than Romney and Obama combined in any one of the debates. 

Then the scan probe was over and Lucy made me stand up. I asked her if my pee would glow in the dark. She laughed, took the biggest-needle-ever out of my arm, wished me a happy birthday and left. I guess the gauze wasn't packed on tightly enough cuz my arm started pouring blood onto the floor.

Luckily Denise was still there so she fixed it up. I was kind of disappointed that it was normal colored blood. They were both really nice to me. I always knew the aliens would have a sense of humor.

The Huz took me out for brunch and gave me a massage and stuff so at the moment I'm feeling pretty good. This was not the worst medical test thingie that I've lived through. Some day I'll tell you all about my colonoscopy other probe.

I am brave.

February 1, 2013

Still the ONE.

Happy Anniversary my love!

Twenty-one years and I still wanna jump him.