Monthly Archives: July 2012

Where Does Your Inspiration Come From?

Where does your inspiration come from? Chuck Redux thinks this photo of Chuck Jones sitting in the high desert outside of Los Angeles in 1961 on the folded-down convertible top of his Ford Consul painting is inspirational. There's beauty all around us everyday, whether it is the wet pavement on 35th Street in New York City or the dry, parched desert of southern California, and all that's needed is for one of us to stop for just a moment (put down that digital device now!) and look for it. See, it's right there.

Please share with us where you find inspiration to be creative in the comments section!

Chuck Ford Consul 1961
Photograph of Chuck Jones courtesy the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

“The Chuck Jones School of Creativity” by Jen Myers

Chuck Redux stumbled upon the blog of Jen Myers, a professional designer/writer/speaker/teacher, and a post she wrote recently titled "The Chuck Jones School of Creativity". In her post, Ms. Myers writes about how she came to understand and nurture her own creativity as she read Chuck's autobiography, "Chuck Amuck." Her perspective is one well-worth sharing and so we've posted a bit of it with a link at the end to the rest of her story on her own website. Enjoy!

School of creativity

When I was a teenager, after I had completed the mandatory girl career aspiration phase of marine biologist, I determined I wanted to grow up to be an animated cartoonist. It seemed to be the natural fruition of my interest in sketching, my attraction to the bright and frenetic and my affinity for philosophical anarchy. I studied the limited number of films I had access to, planned to go to art school and thought that, since Disney was likely out of my reach, I would shoot for a job at one of the smaller network studios.

I am not an animator now. I didn't even come close. I decided not to go to art school, with the help of stunningly nonsensical logic along the lines of "I'm not good enough" (isn't that what you go to school to fix?), and thus began an almost comical progression of educational and professional missteps, false starts, backtracks and strange, unforeseen successes. I managed to stumble into a job I love but which is very unlike the one I first anticipated.

At least, it is superficially. As a web and interface designer, I'm not drawing cartoons. But I am creating things, and creativity draws both inspiration and instruction from a variety of sources. There are still lessons I learned from cartoons that I apply to my life and work now – especially as it concerns the creator who me want to make them in the first place.

I have a theory that Chuck Jones is the most well-known and yet most overlooked creator of the twentieth century. Everyone knows what he made, but not many people know he made it. Which is a shame, because beyond his legacy as the artist/director who made some of Warner Brothers' most famous characters and short films during the 1930s-60s, he was also an astute observer of human character, a learned storyteller and one hell of a writer. Most notably, he knew how describe and explain his process of creation. This is very rare, and equally valuable to someone else learning the process. His two autobiographies/drawing manuals are treasure troves of stories, advice and guidance on how to be creative. Which, as I've discovered, you can be no matter what you do.

START ANYWHERE AND STICK WITH IT

… my first instructor at Chouinard Art Institute, like Nicolaides at the Art Students League, greeted his beginning classes with the following grim edict: "All of you here have one hundred thousand bad drawings in you. The sooner you get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone." ¹

More than ten years after I more or less gave up on being an artist, I started drawing again. It was, in a word, demoralizing. Whatever skill I once had has most certainly fled with disuse, and I'm essentially a beginner again. There's an impulse to repeat history and declare I'm simply "not good enough" as a precursor to quitting.

But I think often about this anecdote. It's not truly grim, even if you're just starting out. In fact, when you're just starting out, it's liberating. It takes away the pressure of being judged. It's okay if you create something bad. It's okay if you create many things bad. You need to get it all out.

And it leads you into the next lesson – you need to keep doing it, over and over again, until it is good.

To continue reading, click on The Chuck Jones School of Creativity, it will open in a new window.

 

 

Tennessee Loveless at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego

Last Saturday, POP artist Tennessee Loveless made an appearance at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego during Comic Con. His fans and collectors made a point of stopping by to say hello and to look, consider, and acquire his latest editions and original works. Loveless unveiled his first Bugs Bunny portrait (below) and told us that he's planning a series of paintings of Bugs Bunny not unlike his Mickey Mouse works; it's a project that everyone here at Chuck Redux is looking forward to seeing in the future from this talented young man.

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Tennessee Loveless at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego on Saturday, July 14th with a selection of his original works on canvas and paper.

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Tennessee Loveless (fourth from right) poses with the Chuck Jones Gallery staff, from left: Sarah Knox, Joel Shapiro, Stephanie Owens, Dave Hausmann, Erin Liddell, Loveless, Mike Dicken, Scott Dicken, and Kate Bowerman.

Critical Opinions on Chuck Jones’s Work

We're in the midst of a big scanning project here, digitizing press and publicity from the past couple of decades so that we can share it with you at some point in the future as a resource on ChuckJonesCenter.org. Today, a sheet of paper, a photocopy really, surfaced that had a series of comments from a variety of writers, historians, and critics about the work of Chuck Jones. They're just too wonderful not to share them with you now. 

"Chuck Jones is considered by many to be no less than a seminal figure in the development of the animated film." –Alex Ward, Washington Post

"He has made moviegoers laugh as often and as well as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. His work is among the best of American film comedy." —Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine

"Chuck Jones is a worldly-wise child who knows animation downside up and outside in and can also do a perfect imitation of a cat swimming…" –Joseph Morgenstern, Newsweek Magazine

"[With animation becoming a vital part of modern cinema] is Chuck Jones the real successor to Walt Disney? Many knowledgeable observers of the scene think so." –Dr. Richard MacCann, Professor, University of Kansas in an introduction to an evening with Chuck Jones at the University in 1967.

University of Kansas Jayhawker 1967 cropped copy

"I may get an argument from people franticallly pointing at light bulbs, but yesterday I met the greatest inventor in the world, a man far greater than Edison–and funnier–Chuck Jones…" –Herbert Lockwood, San Diego Daily Transcript

"Since Jones never made topical jokes, his stuff remains, like all good fables and only the best art, both timeless and universal." –Peter Bogdonavich, Film Director, writing in Esquire Magazine

"For more than a generation, Chuck Jones has been one of the most imaginative and accomplished film makers in the America…" –Jeff Simon, Buffalo Evening News

Artist Mike Kungl at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego, a Comic Con Moment

Artist Mike Kungl and his beautiful wife, Dana, made a rare public appearance last night at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego, the first night of Comic Con 2012. The gallery displayed the largest collection of original paintings by the artist to have been exhibited in many years. 

The gallery, located at 232 Fifth Avenue in San Diego's notorious Gaslamp Quarter (just one half block north of the Convention Center) was thrilled to premier new original work and the artist's rare and sold-through editions, such as "Illudium Q36". Kungl has been chosen as a Chuck Jones Homage Artist, celebrating the Chuck Jones Centennial.

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Mike Kungl (center) poses with a Storm Trooper at last night's reception for the artist. Is this a case of art imitating life or life imitating art? You tell me.

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"Rocket Squad" original mixed media on board by Mike Kungl, 14" x 11" available at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego. 

Mike Kungl participated in this year's Chuck Jones Center for Creativity's spring fundraiser, the Red Dot Auction, and in this short video talks about his work and the Center.

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"Duck Dodgers–The Quest for Planet X", mixed media on board by Mike Kungl, available at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego. See this and other works by Mike Kungl when you visit the gallery!

Birthdays, Super Heroes, and Comic Con

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that yesterday was Joel Shapiro's birthday. Now, you're probably asking, "Who is Joel Shapiro?" Well, he's our Super Hero expert at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego and you couldn't ask for a more informed consultant than he to help you build your collection of Alex Ross or Jim Lee or any of the other DC Comic and Marvel artists the gallery represents. If you want to read more about Joel and his collection, we profiled him on this blog way back in February of 2009 (read it here). His collection has grown since then, as has his knowledge. If you're in the neighborhood, 232 Fifth Avenue, just one half block north of the San Diego Convention Center, stop by and wish Joel a "Happy Birthday" and ask him about the Silver Surfer

This evening the Chuck Jones Gallery will celebrate the Chuck Jones Centennial (another birthday!) with an amazing selection of original Chuck Jones artwork, as well as work from the Chuck Jones Homage Artists. There'll be door prizes awarded throughout the night PLUS! a trivia game that will make you dig deep for that tidbit of Chuck Jones knowledge that you've been storing forever (such as "What is Chuck's hat size?). Prizes will include art, t-shirts, hats, and much more.

Meet Chuck's grandon, Craig Kausen, who'll be our special host for the evening. It's an event you won't want to miss. Open house starts at 6 PM. Chuck Jones Gallery, 232 Fifth Avenue. Your one-stop gallery for all things animation, and Super Hero. 

Joel bday 2012

Joel and his birthday cupcakes!

Also, you'll note that the Chuck Jones Gallery was visited by Wonder Woman this morning, who was kind enough to pause for a photo op with Wile E. Coyote (he didn't seem to mind.)

Wonder woman WEC

Lining Up at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego for “Faces of Evil”

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Fans and collectors of DC Comic art are in line to add DC Comics latest release, "Faces of Evil" to their collection. Available now at pre-publication pricing of just $1795.00 unframed (that price is good through Sunday, July 15 only), "Faces of Evil" (approx. 32" square) is the companion art to "The Faces of Batman" that was such a huge hit at last year's Comic Con, and will be signed by all of the respective artists. Order yours today for delivery in October. Call 888-294-9880 or write SanDiego@ChuckJones.com. Shop online at ChuckJonesGallery.com

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Don't miss out on all the fun! Join us at the Chuck Jones Gallery, 232 Fifth Avenue, just one half block from the San Diego Convention Center. 

Lines Are Forming at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego for the Release of the New Alex Ross Art

Line in front of gallery
There's no doubt in these collector's minds that the Chuck Jones Gallery at 232 Fifth Avenue is the place to be before, during, and after Comic Con. Today, the gallery releases new work, "Rough Justice" from DC Comics master artist, Alex Ross. Tonight, from 7 to 10 PM, meet contemporary Art Deco artist, Mike Kungl, and view his new mixed media works on paper, canvas, and board. They're awesome (see a sampling below)!

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"Duck Dodgers" mixed media on board, 18" x 12", by Mike Kungl

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"Gossamer Brand" mixed media acrylic on board, 14" x 11", by Mike Kungl 

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"Rocket Squad" mixed media acrylic on board, 14" x 11", by Mike Kungl

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"Pepe: Tour de Romance" mixed media acrylic on board, 12" x 18", by Mike Kungl

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"Black Widow" mixed media acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30", by Mike Kungl

Contact the gallery for pricing and availability. 888-294-9880, SanDiego@ChuckJones.com or visit us at 232 Fifth Avenue, just one half block from the San Diego Convention Center 

Shop online at ChuckJonesGallery.com!

A Little Bit of “Rough Justice” for Comic Con-goers at Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego

The Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego, located just steps from the Convention Center at 232 Fifth Avenue in San Diego's historic (and oh-so-naughty, historically speaking, of course) Gaslamp Quarter is your home for the newest art from DC Comics's star artist, Alex Ross. 

CP1523 BM Rough Justice
All of Ross's hyper-realistic artwork begins as a pencil drawing and these new works, such as "Rough Justice-Batman" demonstrate why Ross is the go-to artist for DC Comics. Although some of his drawings never get painted, the new series (including Superman, below) show how the drawing evolves into a painting. 

Rough Justice

In this short video, Alex Ross talks about what it takes to be a comic book artist and how he works.

Visit the Chuck Jones Gallery at 232 Fifth Avenue during Comic Con! 866-294-9880 or email SanDiego@ChuckJones.com.

Comic Con Show Schedule:

Thursday, July 12: 7 to 10 PM — Meet artist Mike Kungl

Friday, July 13: 6 PM to ? — Fun and Games with Prizes! Celebrate the Chuck Jones Centennial

Saturday, July 14: 2 to 5 PM — Meet artist Tennessee Loveless

Shop online at ChuckJonesGallery.com

Tai Chi & Art Day Camps at the Center for Living Peace

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Animal Tai Chi & Qigong will present three days of Tai Chi and Art Camps at the Center for Living Peace, July 31st through August 2nd, at their facility at 4139 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA. The three days are broken into two segments beginning at 9:30 AM and concluding at 3:30 PM each day. For more information and to sign up, visit Center for Living Peace.

Artist and educator, Irene Prestinary, will be leading the three days of art camps.  Ms. Prestinary has been a visual arts educator in schools, libraries and museums for seven years. Her experience includes developing visual arts curriculum, and designing and teaching art workshops and tours for the Norton Simon Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Center. Ms. Prestinary’s artwork has sold at the Bowers Gallery Store, the Craft and Folk Art Museum Store, Galería de la Raza, Museum of Latin American Art Store, and the Orange County Museum of Art Store. Her volunteer work includes art workshops for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Children’s Hospital of Orange, Watts Towers Art Center and Circle Painting.

The three art camps will focus on: 

Bugs Bunny Meets Marc Chagall: Art, whimsy, imagination and music, see a work by Chuck Jones and what inspired it. Create a colorful collage using materials that moved Chuck Jones.

Sceneries: See some works by Maurice Noble, animation background artist, layout designer and longtime collaborator of Chuck Jones. Create a vibrant landscape or cityscape on colored paper with oil pastels.

Composite Creatures: Is it rabbit, or is it a man? It is both! Look at some familiar and unfamiliar characters created by Chuck Jones. Design and draw your own composite creature on paper with colored pencils.

IP pic
Irene Prestinary will take your children on a unique journey through creativity.