Monthly Archives: July 2015

BOB NICOLL, DEAN OF BLIZZARD ACADEMY, TO SPEAK ON CREATIVITY AND TEAM BUILDING

Coming to the CHUCK JONES CENTER FOR CREATIVITY on Thursday, August 20! 

Renowned Visual Effects & Gaming Educator, Bob Nicoll, Will Host a Special One-Hour  

“Chuck Talk” on the Creative Process and Collaborative Team Building 

Costa Mesa, CA, July 21, 2015—Ever wonder how to get the most creativity out of your team? Businesses today need to be more adaptable and innovative than ever before to stay ahead, but often leaders are unsure of how to get their teams to deliver creative solutions to daunting business problems. Bob Nicoll—wordsmith, speaker, author and Dean of Development at the Blizzard Academy in Orange County—will help you look at problem-solving and team building in new, highly creative ways at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity’s inaugural Chuck Talk on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 7:30pm. 

“We are honored to have Bob Nicoll kick off our quarterly Chuck Talk series,” said Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones’s grandson. “Chuck Talk speakers inform and inspire the listener; providing insights into their creative process and offering audiences the tools to find, understand, and utilize their own creativity in their daily lives. Bob is world-renowned as a passionate, inspiring teacher who brings creativity to everything he does. We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome him to the Center. ”

Bob was a long-time friend of Chuck Jones’s and the Kausen family. When asked about Jones’s influence on his life, he said, “Even before I met and worked with Chuck Jones, his characters, his films, and his philosophies helped shape my own creativity and imagination and it continues to inspire me today in all that I do.”

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Known for his infectious positivity, Bob Nicoll is considered one of the most important speakers and teachers in the entertainment industry. His expertise in both animation and gaming has made him an integral part of companies such as Sony, SGI, EA, and now Blizzard. He has been a faculty member at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Carnegie Mellon University and has sat on the boards of the Visual Effects Society and San Francisco Academy of Art University.

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was founded in 1999 by the four-time Academy Award-recipient and legendary creative genius, Chuck Jones, as a place to promote creativity in all its various forms. The Center’s programs are inspired by the films, writings and art of Jones and are informed by his philosophy of guiding and nurturing instruction.

Doors to open at 6:30 PM for networking opportunities, talk to begin at 7:30 PM sharp. This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited to 100 attendees, RSVP required at 949-660-7793 x 107 or programs@ChuckJonesCenter.org. The Center is located at 3321 Hyland Avenue, Suite A & B, Costa Mesa, CA in South Coast Collection (SoCo).

William Shatner at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego

During Comic Con 2015, on Saturday, July 11, William Shatner, the iconic actor most noted for his role as Captain James Kirk in the television series and the movies “Star Trek” slipped unnoticed through a back door of the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego and stepped into a room full of cameras, press, and VIP collectors.

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He spoke to the crowd about the genesis of the “Man O’ War” cinematic graphic novel and its art program, cracked a few choice jokes, and then he, along with the team of artists responsible for the art for the “Man O’ War” cinematic graphic novel, took turns embellishing and signing one of the canvas editions available for sale that evening.

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Chuck Jones Gallery presented Mr. Shatner with a hand-painted cel art edition of Pepe le Pew which he acknowledged was his favorite Looney Tunes character.

Mr. Shatner greets an admiring fan at the reception in his honor at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego.

Mr. Shatner greets an admiring fan at the reception in his honor at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego.

He then met with individual collectors and signed their recently acquired works of art from “Man O’ War” and graciously had his photo taken with them.

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William Shatner seen here with Kate Bowerman of the Chuck Jones Gallery.

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And after all of the hoopla, the hand-shaking, signing, and smiling, Mr. Shatner just as quietly as he arrived, slipped out of the gallery and disappeared into the night.

Photos by Stephen Russo

Teaching Artist, Denise, at RAD Camp

An inspiring story from one of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity’s teaching artists, Denise.

Nestled within the natural setting of Irvine Regional Park, campers spend the week side-by-side with their Buddy engaged in a multiple of activities. The degree of mental and/or physical disability and age varied greatly amongst the adult campers. The Buddies consisted of young adult volunteers: high school and college students.

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The group was divided into ten teams. They rotated into the Art Studio every half hour to paint a Chuck Jones character of their choosing. During lunch and pool time, we offered open studio to those not participating otherwise.

Our program was well received with Chuck’s characters widely recognized with delight. At the beginning of each rotation I was introduced by a camp director. During my introduction I would explain that I was from the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, showing them each character and asking if they knew who Chuck Jones was. There was a handful that recognized him by name.

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During one rotation, a young man named Rusty (shown with Marvin the Martin) stood up and gave us a five minute bio of Chuck, frankly he knew more than I! Another young woman knew all about him as well and was upset that the Grinch was not given as an option to paint. So, I drew him for her and she sang a song for me as we became fast friends. Another young man delighted the crowd with his spot-on voice impersonations of the characters.

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It was an intense and delightfully exhausting day filled with enlightening antidotes and observations. The vast majority of campers were happy, affectionate and eager to participate, such a fun and loving group of people with exceptional camaraderie toward each other and their Buddies.

I found myself in awe of the Buddies. These young adults, ranging from 16-25, are responsible for their camper 24/7 for the entire week. This may include feeding, hygiene and hand-in-hand painting. The enthusiasm and selflessness of these young adults truly restores my faith in humanity.

A few anecdotes: there is “Rhonda”, a wheelchair bound, middle aged woman without speech. She enjoys art so much she spent the entire day in the studio. I observed her drawing a circular pattern of smaller dots. I interpreted her drawing as a rosary so I created a similar pattern but leaving a space after each group of ten smaller dots. I then asked her where the “our Father goes” and she proceeded to put dots in the gaps of the pattern and then drew a line over the entire dotted circle. Her Buddy then spelled out Rhonda’s name in dots and she was able to follow the pattern to spell out her name. It was a huge breakthrough.

Then there was “Mikey”, a man in his 30’s with developmental and severe speech impairment. The moment he walked into the studio, he lunged into an embrace with me, sobbing on my shoulder. The director suspects that I had reminded him of a loved one. I was able to cheer him up by giving him my name tag and getting him started on his project painting hand in hand.

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I observed a huge volume of left handedness, the most I have seen in a group setting in my career. I saw people with mental “disability” display expertise in specific areas: a girl who knew maps: she asked where CJCC was located. When I said next to the 405 near Harbor Blvd, she asked if it was off Susan or Hyland. She then asked where I lived and gave me the best route home and yet she could not name colors.

RAD Camp is an incredible organization and a pleasure to work with.