October 8, 2016

More Trump Points.

A few more points of Donald Trump, continued from here.

October 6, 2016

Pitching on illustration jobs. Also VOTE.

A few weeks ago I was asked to pitch on an illustration job for none other than Randi Zuckerberg and Natasha Lewin. Pitching on a job can be tricky; it's something that should be approached with consideration.

Trusting the (potential) client is key; often an artist will be asked to pitch on a job just to plump out the choice, so you should have a sense that the client truly likes your work, and is giving you a fair shot. I measure the amount of energy and time I'm willing to invest, against how much free time I actually have. Can I produce something impressive enough in a short amount of time? Above all, does the concept inspire me? In this case, it did.

I guess I spent about a half day on these drawings - their concept was nice and tight, and the briefing was very clear, very professional. I can't tell you anything about the actual job, except to say that I didn't get it. I do retain the rights to my drawings though, so here they are: some cute character poses for my portfolio.

That's all for now folks.

Ps. Always remember: your vote is your voice!

August 21, 2016

Trump Points.

What's the point of Donald Trump? Here are a few:

High stakes ambiguity.

Some dogs will always find a way to chew on their own tail.

"Self control" is just two words.


Many people are also saying that Donald Trump was cursed by a fairy.


Trump qualifier.

More here.

August 8, 2016

The Point of Trump.

"The Art of the Deal" ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, now guiltridden for sicking Donald Trump's inflated ego on the world, recently tweeted that Trump's attacks are pure projection.

The point of Donald Trump is always Donald Trump.


April 26, 2016

The Unbreakable OOPSIE.

WARNING: Small spoilers.

Season 2 had just come out and my friend Sandi faithfully binge-watched right through to episode 13. At the 7 minute mark, her eagle eye spotted something familiar.

“JC!!!! Your Foot Rub Coupon is on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Tina Fey's show!”

When she messaged me, the first thing that popped into my head was, “Holy fark-a-doodle…my prayers have been answered!” Okay, not really. I don’t actually pray.

Actual reaction. Love you Sandi!

A few years ago I published a Last Minute Meaningful Gift Guide on my blog, which was basically a set of hand-drawn coupons to encourage people to spend time with loved ones rather than buying stuff; the coupons are “free to use as gifts” and included things like “Coffee & Me,” “Co-chores” and “Foot rub.” Well, the “Foot Rub Coupon” had somehow found its way into a homemade coupon-book prop exchanged between actors Lisa Kudrow and Ellie Kemper on the Season 2 Finale of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. They open the coupon-book and there’s my actual drawing: the coupon is even filled out “From MOM, To KIMMY”. It’s not an incidental prop in the background: it’s a close-up.

On Netflix.

I was thrilled! And confused… how did they? Why didn’t they? You might say I had mixed emotions.

I put feelers out on Ello, G+ and Facebook, pondering “what should I do?” Apart from enthusiasm, the reactions that followed ranged from the likes of ‘serves you right for giving your images away for free’ to ‘lawyer up and sue those fuckers!’ to ‘Tina Fey should give you a shout out, take you out for cocktails, write you into the next season of UKS, hire you to do some animation, and give you a foot rub!’

But Innocent Until Proven Guilty: that’s my modus operandi with my kids and all wayward artnappers. I decided to give the UKS people the benefit of the doubt and just throw the question out there, tweeting directly to the show's account.
I'm not big on public floggings (private ones are ok though, with consent) so I didn't really push the tweet. It wasn't long before a producer dude – let’s call him SirGur – reached out to me privately and forwarded a short note from Tina Fey herself.

“Hi JC,” because we’re on a first name basis, me and Tina, “I saw that your art may have been used in an unapproved way on one of our "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" props and I just wanted to let you know we’re checking into it with our prop department.  We would never want to use someone’s art without their permission.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention and thanks for your patience!  Tina Fey.”

Okay. That was kind of pretty great. And probably the best part about the whole experience, besides the fact that my art got pulled out of a handbag by Lisa Kudrow.

SirGur turned me over to a friendly fellow from Universal Television – let’s call him ProdTodd. ProdTodd offered apologies, gratitude for my patience & understanding, and fair compensation for use of my artwork. I didn’t ask for any of that, but hey, twist my rubber arm! S'cool. All I really wanted to know was how it happened and why didn’t they just ask...? Their explanation was that apparently someone in props found it on Pinterest to use as a “reference” and in the hullaballoo of shooting the last episode, it got put into the coupon book prop and the whole permission thing just slipped through the cracks. It was, as SirGur put it, “a terrible oversight”. It was an oopsie.

AWESOME. I love love love oopsies! I live for human foibles! Honest mistakes rock harder than Steven Tyler at Stonehenge! Give that oopsie-props-person (who likely filled their shorts when they saw the director do a close-up on my coupon) a hug from me. Better yet, send them some animated Hugs.

Now listen up: this situation presented a remarkable opportunity to have a wider discussion on Intellectual Property rights and The Interwebz. Therefore, I pressed my clear wish upon SirGur that it would be truly great if @KimmySchmidt or Tina Fey could tweet acknowledgement of the oopsie, something along the lines of what Ms Fey wrote in her note to me. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes mistakes are made – it’s how we deal with those mistakes that counts. I urged them to do something like that. A little goes a long way when it comes to putting a dent in the systemic disrespect of artists.

The weekend came and went and lo, yesterday afternoon, a tweet appeared.
Nice. It didn’t totally address my clear wish, but, for the greater good of lowly artists everywhere, I tried. And I think I got most of the way there. It's definitely nice. Thanks SirGur, ProdTodd and Tina.

To those of you who believe, "IT'S ON THE INTERNET, THEREFORE IT'S FREE" I say: Double check that source. If you get caught in an oopsie, do what you can to make things right.

And to those of you who say, “PUT YOUR LOGO/WATERMARK ON EVERYTHING” I say this: My drawing would look terrible with a watermark on it. It's like wearing panties with a skin tight dress, it spoils the look. So when it comes to logos, I go Commando.

Some of you asked me to draw Tina Fey. Well, I’ve already drawn Sarah Palin and everyone knows that’s practically the same thing.

Spot the difference.

Been a crazy week here, but hey, I'm Unbreakable. Love you guys!

April 2, 2016

"Papa Pasquale" festival selections.

"Papa Pasquale", my animated short about the amazing life of Italian-Canadian Pat Folino and his twelve siblings, has been honoured by two more festival selections.

Official film poster with laurels, yay!

The 49th Annual Humboldt International Film Festival has chosen my film in the animation category; it will screen in Arcata, CA, April 20th to 23rd 2016.  I think this festival is cool because not only have they been going since 1967, but they seek films that inspire social and environmental change. AND they have a special award called the Ledo Matteoli Award for Best Film with an Immigration Theme. Hurrah! Fingers and toes crossed for that.

I'm also thrilled to announce that "Papa Pasquale" has been officially selected by the Italian Contemporary Film Festival! It's an annual celebration of Italian heritage, arts and culture, taking place June 9 - 17, 2016 in a number of Canadian cities including: Toronto, Vaughan, Niagara, Hamilton, Montreal and Quebec City. Since I'm half Italian (the top half), this selection means so much to me. I'm excited about the film potentially screening in multiple locations. More people should know about the Folinos' amazing story.

March 15, 2016

The Bored Elephant.

Two years sober, today.

Two years ago, the unspoken alcoholic truth loomed large in the room. Today, I hardly think of it. The elephant is still there...but it's really, really small. And bored out of its tiny mind.

February 29, 2016

Papa Pasquale Wins Best Animation at CIFF16.

So there was a film festival on the weekend, that was not the Oscars: the Canada Independent Film Festival. My little film, "Papa Pasquale" won an award - Best Animation.

Here's some pictures.

The award was presented to me by this little darling...

 ...which was totally sweet.

I was smiling ALOT. This picture was taken by my friend Julia Chiarella-Genoni AKA Ask Mama Moe. I was really happy because a bunch of my family and friends came out to cheer for me.

Ralph Zarboni came to the screening; it was he who brought me the story of Papa Pasquale (Pat) Folino, and who made the film possible. Awesome.

The award is really quite pretty...crystal. It's heavy...and sharp! Don't drop it on your foot.

This was the inaugural event of the CIFF - Congratulations to them! I'm so honoured; and what a thrill to see one of my films on the big screen.

Comments are here.

February 2, 2016

Stop PUPPY Biting NOW.

WARNING: Sharp language.

Puppies have milk teeth, did you know that? Indeed they do: tiny teeth that fall out when their adult teeth come in, around 5 months of age. And they use them for everything - eating, playing, communicating. I knew that! But somehow (in my floof-induced stupor) I'd forgotten just how bad it can get. Those motherfuckers are sharp. I'm talking hypodermic-needle-fangs. I'm talking dragon-slicers, piranha-biters, shark-slashers and alligator-gnashers. Basically I'm totally perforated.

I'm trying to look on the bright side here.
And if you think this is bad, you should see The Huz; he foolishly waved his schnoz back and forth in a tantalizing manner in front of the puppy and basically he can now wear that nose-ring he never wanted.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear some of you saying, "it's your own damn fault, spoiling that puppy." Blame the victim, right? Or, "you need to grab his maw with long-handled tongs and tell him NONONONONOBADPUPPY." Because puppies understand tongs and shouting.

"Just whimper like a puppy when he bites you! It will teach him that biting hurts!" Um, yeah, it worked at first, but since Inkling snagged The Huz on the hooter, the subsequent howling and bloodletting tipped the beast over the edge. Mad dog!

Things have improved somewhat since I discovered my little newf doggie will do anything for tiny bits of cooked chicken, also known as ...puppycrack. He's basically a total slut for the stuff! I carry some around in a little pouch on my belt and give him a morsel every time he doesn't snack on my ankles and fingers. He certainly has me well trained.

It's a good thing he's cute; his survival depends on it.

Comments are here.

January 22, 2016

Getting a Puppy? Read This.

In the past three weeks I have seen more poop than you can shake a stick at. It's no secret that I have got myself a little Newfoundland puppy boy and YES, he is the uncommonly remarkable source of all the poop. Not only is it (finally) of perfect colour and consistency, this little guy can really churn it out. The food goes in - the poop comes out. Totally magical.

Inkling is my third dog, and my second Newf. But it's been over a decade since I had a puppy around. Knowing I had to get my self, my family and my house ready, I tried to prepare, tried to remember, did a lot of reading. However, nothing can really prepare you for a new baby. And that's what having a puppy is like. It's exactly like having a baby.

Because not only do you have to feed it, and teach it and play with it, you also must care for it when it's sick, and be patient with it when it's wrecking stuff, and it's chewing on your arm with those needle sharp puppy-fangs, and you haven't had enough sleep, and you're worrying whether or not you're doing it right. You forget to pluck your eyebrows, you wear the same clothes every day, showers become a distant memory, and makeup seems pointless.

And deep in the corners of your mind, because you've done this twice before, you're thinking, "in fifteen years I will have to let you go", and you just cannot bear it.

In short, you have to love the dang fur-ball floof-baby. Time to pick up some poop.

January 15, 2016


"Papa Pasquale" has been shortlisted for selection in the 58th Rochester International Film Festival 2016 - the world’s oldest continuously-held short film festival. Amazingly, they actually take the time to give a considered critique of the films. This is rare.

Here's an excerpt from their supernice letter:

"Papa Pasquale was well received by a group of thirteen viewers. It is the iconic story of immigration that many people can related to in one way or another. (One viewer expressed his wish though that the story line engage a twist, turn or conflict, beyond a simple retelling of this experience.) A lot is packed into the 4:23 minutes with images that are clever, tender and humorous. Viewers especially noted the boot of Italy kicking the donkey as well as the scenes of the factory/beauty salon and travel modes. The Tarantella provides a cute “refrain” that nicely structures the transitions in the story."

Valuable feedback people!