Art Show Entry is Free, But You May Donate A Toy

Nearly one year ago this month I had this idea to collaborate with art makers from around the country to pay tribute to one of the most beloved film studios. And although that idea itself was enough to push me forward creatively, I really wanted the event to be an art show that was designed to bring awareness and funds to 3 charities (LiNK: Liberty In North Korea, Invisible Children, and Give Clean Water). 

Donate A Toy

On Saturday, October 11, I will be hosting an art show alongside several incredibly talented friends. The Pixar tribute benefit will take place at 9085 Aero Drive, San Diego, CA 92123. Drop by any time between 2-8:30 pm.

Entry is FREE, but everyone is welcome to DONATE A NEW TOY for children in need this holiday season. 

6 Spectacular Pixar-Inspired Art Mashups

One of the things I appreciate about fan art is seeing how people take a popular idea, character or universe and completely reimagine it. As I was browsing the web for inspiration this week, I was delighted to see so many Pixar enthusiasts do this so well. Here are just 6 Pixar-inspired pop cultural mashups that are worth talking about. 

X-Men meets Pixar mashup. 3D render by Victor Hugo. 

X-Men meets Pixar mashup. 3D render by Victor Hugo. 

Star Wars meets UP mashup. Illustration by James Hance. 

Star Wars meets UP mashup. Illustration by James Hance. 

Ghostbusters meets Cars mashup. Digital illustration by Joey Ellis. 

Ghostbusters meets Cars mashup. Digital illustration by Joey Ellis. 

UP meets Toy Story meets Monsters Inc. meets The Incredibles mashup. Illustration by     Pamela Barbieri .

UP meets Toy Story meets Monsters Inc. meets The Incredibles mashup. Illustration by Pamela Barbieri.

Breaking Bad meets Toy Story mashup. Illustration by Dave MacDowell.

Breaking Bad meets Toy Story mashup. Illustration by Dave MacDowell.

Wall-E meets E.T. mashup. Poster illustration by Luke Flowers. 

Wall-E meets E.T. mashup. Poster illustration by Luke Flowers. 


4 Pixar Announcements You May Have Missed This Summer

Although there isn't a Pixar film being released in 2014, there is still a lot we should be anticipating from the studio in the near future. Some of those projects were teased and previewed this past summer. Here are just a few announcements you may have missed from Pixar.

1. New Animated Short

The animation studio’s next short, Lava, is a musical. It will show in front of Inside Out, beginning June 19, 2015. Watch the short clip below to see the film’s star, a volcano named Uku. 

From Pixar Animation Studios, director James Ford Murphy and producer Andrea Warren, "Lava" will premiere in July, 2015 in front of "Inside Out." 

2. New Animated Full-Length Feature

Director Pete Doctor (Monsters Inc., Up) continues to tease characters and scenes from Pixar's upcoming animated full-length feature titled, Inside Out.  The film centers on a young girl named Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. To help us visualize how Riley deals with this change, the film will take us inside her mind where we'll find five key characters in her emotional "Headquarters".

Click here to get a closer look at some of those new characters. 

Pixar's next feature film,  Inside Out . ©Disney/Pixar. 

Pixar's next feature film, Inside Out. ©Disney/Pixar. 

3. New Animated Full-Length Feature Reimagined

The Good Dinosaur, a Pixar film originally scheduled for release earlier this summer, was pushed back a year later due to creative road-blocks. 

Recently, we learned that the film's story plot had been retooled and reimagined. Actor John Lithgow sheds a little insight on some of those changes here

Concept art for  The Good Dinosaur . ©Disney/Pixar. 

Concept art for The Good Dinosaur. ©Disney/Pixar. 

4. Book By Pixar Co-Founder

Earlier this year, Co-founder and President of Pixar, Ed Catmull, wrote a book about the studio's organizational culture. Here's a review that will surely get you to pick up this incredibly ground-breaking material. 

Creativity, Inc. by Pixar Co-founder Ed Catmull.

Creativity, Inc. by Pixar Co-founder Ed Catmull.

Let These Pixar Sand Sculptures Inspire You

Last month, my friend Kyle posted a link to my Facebook Timeline that directed me to a collection of Pixar-themed sand sculptures. My jaw dropped when I saw the images of these wonderfully crafted masterpieces.     

So, I decided to share them here for your viewing pleasure. Perhaps they will help you nourish your own creativity.

The Blankenberge fest featured sculptures on the beach—like this  massive  Cars  sculpture .  Courtesy: Disney Parks.

The Blankenberge fest featured sculptures on the beach—like this massive Cars sculptureCourtesy: Disney Parks.

When Brave came out a few years ago, Disney marked the occasion by holding a Highland Games Tournament at Epcot.  Courtesy: Disney Parks.

When Brave came out a few years ago, Disney marked the occasion by holding a Highland Games Tournament at Epcot. Courtesy: Disney Parks.

The 2013 Weston-super-Mare Sand Sculpture festival in England featured this  Toy Story 3  piece.  Courtesy: Getty Images. 

The 2013 Weston-super-Mare Sand Sculpture festival in England featured this Toy Story 3 piece. Courtesy: Getty Images. 

Finding Nemo.  Courtesy of: Diswhiz.com

Finding Nemo. Courtesy of: Diswhiz.com

Inspired yet? To view the entire gallery, click here.  

Interview with Writer and Illustrator Jerrod Maruyama of The Pixar Times

I recently had the privilege of asking the extraordinarily talented Jerrod Maruyama of The Pixar Times three questions about his love for art and all things Pixar. Below are his answers.

Signing at the Huckleberry booth – Comic Con 2013 (Photo by  Jian Shen of BEARO )

Signing at the Huckleberry booth – Comic Con 2013 (Photo by Jian Shen of BEARO)

1. Pixar has told incredible stories over the years. Is there one particular story sequence in any of their films that has impressed you the most? 

There are two that come to mind instantly. They are structurally and thematically very similar. Jessie's montage in Toy Story 2 and the Married Life Montage from UP both deal with great happiness and great loss. These scenes truly define the characters they feature and set up their story arc eloquently. They are, of course, touching and emotional so they stay with you long after the film ends. But they also elevate the films they're featured in. I think Carl and Ellie's scene in particular is so powerfully effective and comes so early in the film that it takes you by surprise. And you have to love a film that finds a way to surprise its audience.

Jessie's montage. Toy Story 2, 1999. ©Disney/Pixar. 

Jessie's montage. Toy Story 2, 1999. ©Disney/Pixar. 

2. One of my favorite works of yours is the Pixar-inspired piece titled, Kawaii UP. Besides the film, what other things influenced this piece? 

My love of all things cute it is a constant source of inspiration for all of my work. I have such love for that film and the characters that I wanted to pay tribute in some way. Putting my own "kawaii" spin on these fantastic designs just seemed the natural thing to do. It's what I love to do.

Kawaii UP by Jerrod Maruyama. 

Kawaii UP by Jerrod Maruyama. 

3. Many creatives are fearful of making pop cultural references in their works for fear of compromising the integrity of the original character or property. How would you encourage an artist to explore their own style in the process?

That's a difficult question to answer. I don't believe there is one "right" way to do anything. I think you have to do what comes naturally. Try to find what appeals to you about the character. Animated characters are already caricatures of real life. So in many ways, fan art is a caricature of a caricature. You just have to find some appealing aspect of the subject and either exaggerate that characteristic or go in a completely opposite direction. Either way, you have to bring something to the depiction. Otherwise it just looks off-model.

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Want to check out more of Jerrod's work? Make sure to visit his site by clicking here.

Behind Every Camera There Is...

Woody's Boot: Jojography via Favim.com

Woody's Boot: Jojography via Favim.com

There are a long list of phrases that photographers, in general, dislike. Good hearted people will mistakenly say things like, "Your camera takes great pictures". But the truth is, the camera doesn't take great pictures. My camera is only the tool. My camera is my paintbrush. The image sensor (and sometimes film) is my canvas. The lens is my chisel and the world before me is my giant block of marble. What comes out of my darkroom (digital or otherwise) is a unique representation of how I see the world. It's not the way the camera sees it.  

Painters look at a canvas and see swirls of paint working together to create a painting. Sculptors look at a chunk of rock and see a three dimensional creation that they need to dig out. As a photographer, I look everywhere and see shadows. I see depth. I see colors and tones and textures. I work with light and angles, painting with light and sculpting with my lens.

Jessica Chastain as Princess Merida in Latest Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

Jessica Chastain as Princess Merida in Latest Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

Sadly, in some circles, photography is undervalued as an art form. There is this idea that because something that already exist can be reproduced then it lacks artistic integrity. Yet, I don't see filmmakers struggling with this. The truth is that art is the creation from out of my mind. Photography is simply my medium of choice. Still cameras and two dimensional images make sense to my brain and to my imagination. Whether I choose to share that with paint or stone or digital images or stick figures really makes no difference. That is why I do this. That is why I love this.

For this event, I think that photography is one of the more challenging mediums to work with. If you are going the character route, you have to find locations, models, possibly make up artists - all before you even take a single shot. Finding landscapes to match existing animation is tricky as well. But this is where creativity and imagination will shine. As photographers, it is up to us to take the visible world in front of us, the concept we are in pursuit of, and CREATE. You may want to use silhouettes, special lighting, expressive colors, and anything else that comes into your mind to put together an image that will excite the imagination of others. Best of luck to you in your pursuit of some amazing images!

Pixar Inspired Photography

Photographers eager to participate in the Pixar benefit exhibition are free to get creative with engagement shoots, lifestyle portraits, or landscape photography

Top: Savi Yummy (Brave cosplay). Bottom: Joy-Harmon-Prouty (Up engagement shoot)

Top: Savi Yummy (Brave cosplay). Bottom: Joy-Harmon-Prouty (Up engagement shoot)

Ideas are everywhere. Recreate a scene from Cars, reference the architecture as seen in Ratatouille, or have your friends dress up like The Incredibles

To complete the entry form, click here. All show pieces must be submitted by Tuesday, September 30th.

Kim Jae Hwan (Monsters Inc.). 

Kim Jae Hwan (Monsters Inc.). 

Joel Robinson (Toy Story). 

Joel Robinson (Toy Story).