Category Archives: Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

Bob Elias — March 22, 1949 — August 5, 2018

We connected with Bob only a decade ago when I learned about his passion for Creativity and the Arts and also for the art and films of Chuck Jones.


I think for some people, it is not only the achievements and the work that they produce while they are on this earth, I think sometimes it is about the quality and sincerity they bring to what they do.

Bob definitely was an incredible artist who brought a perfection to his craft throughout his life and was renowned in so many circles over decades. But what struck me most of all about him was his genuine love and caring for those he came in contact with. He had such a gentle glow that permeated all those around him. His humanity was only matched by his humility.

Whether it was the twinkle in his eye as he mentored a youngster as he painted or the joy in his smile as he sang the theme song from the Grinch to amazed onlookers, he brought out a stillness and calm that brought pause to us all.

No words can come close to fully describing a person like Bob because there was an infinite goodness about him. Every time I saw him with someone there was a truly sincere attentiveness by him and it was obvious he felt the other person was more important to him in that moment than he was.

I miss him now and I will miss him for a long time to come.

Peace be with you Bob, and all of us who love him.

Craig

Craig Kausen is Chuck Jones’s grandson and the president of the Chuck Jones Companies

Daniel Killen Named Official Artist of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Orange County Artist Daniel Killen Named Official Artist of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Killen to Create Posters Leading up to the 50th Anniversary in 2021 of the Iconic Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Classic Chuck Jones Cartoon Characters, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Return in the “Full of Hot Air” Poster

Costa Mesa, CA: The Chuck Jones Companies of Costa Mesa announced today that Orange County artist, Daniel Killen, has been selected to create the poster images for the iconic Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta leading up to its 50th anniversary in 2021. Killen, represented by the Chuck Jones Companies for his work incorporating the Looney Tunes cartoon characters made famous by four-time Academy Award recipient, Chuck Jones, has produced the first of four images, “Full of Hot Air” for this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The official 2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta poster by Daniel Killen. It is a fine art serigraph, printed one color at a time on archival paper, 30″ x 20″.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen by the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to represent the spirit and joy of the first Fiesta and the 50th coming in 2021, said Killen. ”This first image, “Full of Hot Air”, shows the morning sun breaking over the Sandia Mountains outside of Albuquerque with the Road Runner aloft in an early rising balloon and each subsequent poster image will represent another part of the same day as Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner participate in the festivities of the Fiesta until the last one has them enjoying a sunset over the western plains.”

“Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner appeared in the very first posters for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta,” said Lisa Mulder, merchandise manager for the Balloon Fiesta, “and bringing them back to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary seemed like the right thing to do. We’re delighted with Daniel’s concept and artwork and feel it represents the exuberance and fun spirit of this international gathering of balloon fanatics”.

According to Craig Kausen, president of the Chuck Jones Companies and Chuck Jones’s grandson, “My grandfather was fond of quoting American philosopher, George Santayana, about Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, ’A fanatic is someone who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.’ We’re extremely happy that the comic genius of my grandfather has been channeled so perfectly into Daniel Killen’s artwork for this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.”

The Chuck Jones Companies announced that they will be selling a very limited number of hand-embellished Artist Proofs of “Full of Hot Air” through their Chuck Jones Galleries in Orange County, San Diego, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. An interest list is forming, contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant for more details.

About Daniel Killen

Daniel Killen was born in 1965 and raised along the coast of Southern California, where he still lives and calls home. The youngest of four, Daniel’s family originally immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1963. Always feeling like an outsider, he began creating and using his imagination to cope with his own shyness.  As a child, Daniel created creatures and worlds out of clay, cardboard, and any other items lying around the house. His love for creating grew to include illustrating and painting all of which set the course for his life’s goal of being an artist.

He studied animation at Roland Animation School in Hacienda, California. Learning the basics of 2D animation principles, Daniel was recruited in mid-1995 by Warner Bros. where he worked in their animation division on Space Jam starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. Trained primarily in visual effects, he fulfilled a lifelong dream on his first professional Hollywood project by getting to work with all the classic Looney Tunes characters. Performing tasks as an animator’s assistant, he was given the responsibility of animating certain EFX scenes on his own. These experiences lead to work on eight additional animated feature films over the next eight years for Warner Bros. and DreamWorks SKG Animation Studio. Daniel also created concept and prop designs for Warner Bros. The Iron Giant, directed by Brad Bird, where he designed the giant’s visual readout, including the font design used in all scenes where the giant’s viewfinder was shown. He also was responsible for the creation of other items in the movie as well as the words ATOMIC HOLOCOST, which reads across the main character’s Duck and Cover school safety film.

His other movies for Warner Bros. were The Quest for Camelot and Osmosis Jones with Bill Murray. DreamWorks SKG projects included working in the EFX department, on Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. He also did freelance work for Rich Animation’s The King and I. Daniel continued to hone his drawing and painting skills in classes provide by the major studios, as well as the Animators Union.

Daniel now works with the Chuck Jones Gallery bringing to canvas such inspired Warner Bros. properties as The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Story, The Iron Giant, and the classic Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and the Road Runner. Greatly influenced by such artistic giants as Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper, Frank Frazetta, and Chuck Jones, Daniel incorporates sly wit, poetic beauty, and adventurous themes into his work. He brings his whimsical sense of humor, pleasing colors, and clever layout to all his creative endeavors. In 2018, Daniel was chosen by the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to create the poster for the 2018 Fiesta and to conceptualize and execute the designs for future posters leading up to the 50th Anniversary of the Fiesta in 2021.

Daniel Killen signing posters at the headquarters of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 23, 2018.

About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

From a small gathering of 13 balloons in 1972, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has grown to become the largest balloon event in the world. Held each year during the first week in October, the Balloon Fiesta now attracts almost 600 balloons and 1000 pilots.

The first gathering of 13 balloons in 1972 was held in the parking lot of Coronado Center Mall in Albuquerque. The following year, 13 countries took part in the “First World Hot Air Balloon Championship”, the world’s largest ballooning event, held at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. By 1978 Albuquerque was playing host to 273 entries. The number of balloons steadily increased, with 600 in 1988 and 903 balloons in 1999. The organizers of the Balloon Fiesta registered over 1000 balloons in the year 2000.

In 1972 there were about 10,000 guests that viewed the first Balloon Fiesta. Hundreds of thousands of guests visit Balloon Fiesta each year, and hundreds of thousands more fans watch the balloons from outlying areas and on TV. In order to accommodate the increases in balloons and guests, the Balloon Fiesta’s home field has grown from a corner in a mall parking lot, to its present home, a permanent site which is more than 350 acres.

The Balloon Fiesta has not only grown in numbers of balloons and guests, but in the number of unique events as well. In addition to the spectacular Mass Ascensions, the Balloon Fiesta has added the annual Balloon Glow, the Night Magic Glow™, and the Special Shape Rodeo™. These additions have grown to become guest favorites. In order to preserve the magic of these spectacular events, it is estimated that more than 25 million still photographs are taken of the Balloon Fiesta, repeatedly earning the title “the world’s most photographed event.”

For more information, visit www.BalloonFiesta.com.

About Chuck Jones Companies

The Chuck Jones Companies include Linda Jones Enterprises, the Chuck Jones Galleries, and the not-for-profit, Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Linda Jones Enterprises was founded in 1977 by Chuck Jones and his daughter, Linda, as an art publishing company representing the art of the four-time Academy Award-winner, Chuck Jones. In 1991, the first Chuck Jones Showroom, a retail art gallery, opened in Corona del Mar, California. The Chuck Jones Galleries quickly grew to three locations besides Orange County, it now includes a location in San Diego’s historic Gas Lamp Quarter and the iconic Plaza area of old Santa Fe, New Mexico. The not-for-profit Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was founded in 1999 by Chuck Jones. Its mission is to inspire the innate creativity in all of us through the philosophies and work of Chuck Jones. Its vision is a world where creativity is known and experienced in every discipline, by the many, not just the few.

Visit www.ChuckJones.com for more details.

Images available upon request. Contact Robert Patrick at 949-660-7791 x 1103 or by writing Robert@ChuckJonesCenter.org for interview and image requests.

Tommy “Road Runner” Martin Celebrates 50 Years at the Five Crowns

Longtime Corona del Mar resident, Tommy “Road Runner” Martin, celebrated his 50th anniversary at the famed Five Crowns restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach’s Corona del Mar this past month.

Tommy Martin, far right, with Marian and Chuck Jones at the Five Crowns restaurant in Corona del Mar.

Tommy met Chuck Jones in 1980 and he describes his relationship with Jones in an article in a recent Los Angeles Times article.

“In 1980, he met his best friend, Chuck Jones, the famed animator who drew the Road Runner character and so many others for Warner Bros.

“Before Martin became a regular runner, he was an avid tennis player who darted around the court. His friends nicknamed him “Road Runner” for his speed.

“One night, Jones, who lived in Cameo Shores with his wife and daughter, was dining at Five Crowns. Jones asked for something to draw on and sketched the Road Runner with a tennis racket and signed it.

“Throughout their decades of friendship, Martin considered Jones a father figure. Martin even joined the Jones family when the animator received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Each Father’s Day, Martin and Jones’ daughter celebrate the life of the cartoonist, who died in 2002. Martin continues to wear a “Looney Tunes” tie and pin.

“What he gave from his heart was so much more important,” Martin says. “Meeting Chuck Jones and gaining employment at Five Crowns are the biggest moments of of my life.”

Read the full article clicking on this sentence.

VALENTINI! O, HOW DO I LOVE THEE?

MARTINIS + ART-MAKING

…let me count the ways…

Gaze into the eyes of your loved one and/or your best friend as you paint their portrait or express the colors of your heart through brushstrokes.

DELICIOUS ARTISANAL MARTINIS + APPETIZERS 

My love is like a red, red rose.

…will be served as we paint 12″ square canvas to classical music. Bring your plus one and come EXERCISE YOUR GENIUS with usand enjoy a creative, fun, and entertaining evening!

Valentini 2017 in full bloom!

VALENTINI is scheduled for Sunday, February 11 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Center. $75 per couple or $130 for two couples includes two martinis per person. Dining options available at South Coast Collection (SoCo). Buy your tickets here: ChuckJonesCenter! Proceeds from ticket and raffle sales benefit the programs of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a 501(c)3 public charity.

 

What Will Your Photobomb Be?

This is a big month for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity!

Along with our participation in this year’s Festival of Children—be sure to stop by on Saturday, September 9 between noon and 4 PM at the Carousel in South Coast Plaza—we’ll have a fun, easy creative activity in progress—we have a great opportunity to win a $50,000 grant from Festival of Children Foundation by participating in their NCAM Photobomb Challenge. But we need your help!

During September, you can upload your favorite photobomb photo or video to indi.com/2017ncamchallenge and select the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. If we are the first charity to win an “Indi Buzz” score of 500,000 we will win the $50,000 grant to spread more CREATIVITY to the children who need it most.

SPREAD THE WORD! This is where you can help:

  1. Upload your favorite photobomb to indi.com/2017ncamchallenge and select Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.
  2. Create “Indi Buzz” around your photo or video by sharing on your social media. The more likes, comments, reposts, etc., the more the score will GROW!
  3. Want to get extra CREATIVE? Use the Looney Tunes characters and/or backgrounds shown below in this blog post to enhance your photobomb! Remember to include © Warner Bros. in your photo or video bomb if you do use these images.

You can share as many photobombs as you want. Use #NCAMCHALLENGE when sharing to stay connected.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this great opportunity to help the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity win $50,000 by exercising your genius! Thank you for helping us make a better, more productive and creative world.

Terri Hardin and Looney Tunes Fortune Tellers at Red Dot Auction!

The incomparable Terri Hardin, Disney Imagineer, sculptress, puppeteer, creator (you know those Foster Farm chickens, right? Terri created them) has designed the most amazing Looney Tunes Fortune Tellers EVER! She’ll be folding them on Saturday, May 6th for a donation to the Center. Add them to your “must have” list!

Tickets for the Red Dot Auction are available at www.ChuckJonesCenter.org/RedDot. Be there or be square!

 

The Linda Jones Clough Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 3

Note from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. We had a beautiful, big yellow tom cat named Passmore (yes, named after the street we lived on). One day I asked my parents, “If Passmore had kittens, could we have one?”  Of course, their answer was that Passmore was a tom cat and therefore could not have kittens. I said, “But IF he had kittens, could we have one?” With a knowing glance at each other, they agreed. I took them across the street to our neighbor’s black cat who had just had five adorable little yellow kittens…Yes, I got not only one, but two…I named them Rudy and Bennie…Here is Part III.

CJCC - Part III Illustration from Canyon Crier

[PART III] House with Long Haul 

I decided to employ logic. Even if I lost with Dottie, I might impress Linda. I indicated with patient yet pointed logic that the two miles to the nearest lady-ridge-resider ride-sharing intersection was Woodrow Wilson and Mulholland, while the nearest market was but a scant half mile from our home on Passmore Drive…and all down hill, including one hundred and eighty-seven steps connecting our street with steps connecting our street with the one below. Furthermore it would take a full day’s supply of gas in our gasping Oldsmobile to struggle up Woodrow Wilson to Mulholland and share in the economies of the ridge girls in their gay junkets to Finkle’s market at Highland and Franklin.

She had gained confidence through my maunderings and gently exhaling a fragrant cloud of rum, maple and tobacco, said that down-hill empty-handed became up-hill grocery laden, that the one hundred and eighty steps was a farce going down with gravity as a friend, but became an endless cement ladder going up, laden with salmon, Spam, short-ribs, and such. Furthermore the steps were dangerous; behind a fence paralleling the last fifty feet lived a psychotic Doberman Pinscher, a reject from the Canine Corps—who in being taught to bite enemy soldiers had carried instructions a step further and now bit anything. He had gnawed a head-sized hole out of his chain link fence, and travelers on the steps could only avoid the action of his garbage-disposal jaws by wading through a breast-high orchard of greasy poison oak opposite him. When Linda was with her, she had to carry her—and the groceries—over her (Dottie’s) head. All this she was willing to endure, she said, but in her illogical woman’s way she just couldn’t see what having poison oak, hydrophobia, and a weakened hearts was doing to further the war effort.

[Come back next week for part IV!]

15 Years

It’s hard to believe it has been 15 years and, at the same time, only 15 years since my Grandfather, Chuck Jones, passed away on February, 22, 2002.

Chuck Jones working on layout drawings for his 1975 television special, "The White Seal".

Chuck Jones working on layout drawings for his 1975 television special, “The White Seal”.

On the one hand, I still have instantaneous thoughts of calling him to ask about this or that during my day to day activities. It feels like he is still actively involved in the world, at least in my world, because so many people continue to talk about him, continue to study his vast creations, and continue to use his guidance and principles to shape their creative careers.  And I personally continue to unearth answers from him to new questions that arise from his writings, scribbled notes, an obscure interview, or a story that someone relays to me about him in a happenstance conversation.

On the other hand, the world seems to have so dramatically changed since he died in 2002, certainly my world has, that it feels like an eternity since then.

I suppose that these instantaneously contradicting perspectives of time illustrate one of his most often quoted philosophies.  Although it is apparent that the mechanics of animation is an illusion created one moment at a time, he profoundly observed that “Animation isn’t the illusion of Life; it is Life.”  Perhaps this contradiction of illusion and not illusion points to a piece of why he and his films, philosophies, and teachings are so timeless.

I miss him but fortunately he is timelessly with me always. –Craig Kausen

Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones's grandson, at the Huntsville Museum of Art's Smithsonian exhibition, "What's Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones", 2016.

Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones’s grandson, at the Huntsville Museum of Art’s Smithsonian exhibition, “What’s Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones”, 2016.

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 2

CJCC - CJ illustration for Canyon Crier article #2_400px
CRIER IN THE WILDERNESS by Chuck Jones

Part II

Note from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. We had a live-in mother’s helper named Mary. Mary was a junior at USC and had been born and raised in Los Angeles. Mary was my bestest friend…and I was heartbroken when she (and her parents) were taken to the Internment Camp for Japanese citizens…Here is Part II of the Canyon Crier article started last week.

 [PART II] – Wifely Wiles

The fact that my wife was not working, an activity usually associated with car-pools, did not really constitute an incongruity in my mind. She already owned a rapier, a euphonium and a suit of formal riding attire, even though she had no interest in swordsmanship (“buttons”), tuba-class instruments, or fox-hunting (‘driving a tack with a sledge hammer”). She simply liked these articles for themselves, and I found it quite believable that she would join a car-pool just to drive out to Cal-ship, wrap bandages, and read Dickens in the back of the car all day, and ride back with the boys at night.

“I read about it in ‘The Canyon Crier’”, she said, producing this miniscule yet action-provoking sheet from behind a package of RUM ‘N MAPLE cigarettes. (Why was it always possible during the war to obtain cartons of RUM ‘N MAPLE cigarettes, when less exotic brands where available only in butt form?)

“The girls up on the ridge do their marketing together on a car-sharing basis,” her lip quivered, “eye wan tu-tu.”

“Eye wan tu-tu?”

She pursed her eye-lids. “I want to, too. I want to car-share, too. I want to ride with the girls and market with the girls. Other wives get to, why not me? I’ll plan a plan so I’ll get it all done at once.”

She was about to offer to hold her breath and turn blue if I refused to listen.

I felt this might be a poor example to our daughter Linda, whose seven-year-old blue-eyed naiveté concealed only too well a jaundiced cynicism toward our ostensible maturity.

[Part III next week!]

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones

The "Canyon Crier" masthead drawn and designed by Chuck Jones, a long-time resident of the Hollywood Hills.

The “Canyon Crier” masthead drawn and designed by Chuck Jones, a long-time resident of the Hollywood Hills.

Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones

Note from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. I was in the second grade at Valley View School, to which I walked each day…actually uphill (and downhill) both ways! There were 72 steps from the street to our front door. My father’s studio was a room over the garage, which was only 40 steps from the street, but 32 steps down from the front door. I called this the “castle house” and from what I can see of it these days, it looks very much the same as it did in the early forties when we lived there.  —   I have decided to publish this article in six parts, along with the illustrations that accompanied the article at that time. Here is Part I.

[PART I]

The first time I knew that there was such a publication as the “Canyon Crier” was that night during the war when my wife began to make whimpering noises and little dog-like running motions in her sleep. This type of restlessness always presages a complaint or new statement of policy at the following breakfast table, so I was as prepared—to use the term so loosely as to be idiotic—when she gave her first post-orange juice cough. This then was going to be a statement of policy, a new venture or something current on Linda’s up-bringing from Ribble, Ilg, Gesell or Spock, known as RIGS in our household. If it was going to be a complaint, she would have cleared her throat rather than coughing. Thus do we survive through understanding the delicate code of marital communication.

“I’m going to join a car pool,” she said, smearing a quarter pat of butter on a heel of raisin bread toast. (Why is raisin bread so easy to come by during war-time?” The time necessary to chew up and swallow a rag of raisin bread toast was the time allotted me to consider a spate of short-handish thoughts: “Car-pool? Why? Where? Who? How? Huh?”

[Stay tuned…more next week!]