Tag Archives: art exhibit

Cakes and hors d'oeuvres prepared by the students of the culinary school at the Art Institute and their restaurant, 5ifty Forks.

Birth of a Notion–Celebrating Chuck Jones’s 104th Birthday!

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and the Art Institute of California–Orange County celebrated Chuck Jones’s 104th birthday with a gala inauguration of a new exhibit, “Birth of a Notion” on his birthday, September 21st. The exhibit chronicles Jones’s passionate belief in the power of the human form as it relates to the production of the animated film.

From left: Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity; Sheila Estaniel, Director of Campus Relations at the Art Institute; Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones's daughter,

From left: Michael J. Hansen,  Director of the Aussic Gallery at the Art Institute; Sheila Estaniel, Director of Campus Relations at the Art Institute; Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones’s daughter, Lindsey Morgan, Dean of Academic Affairs and Mark Lucero, President of Art Institute of California–Orange County.

Cakes and hors d'oeuvres prepared by the students of the culinary school at the Art Institute and their restaurant, 5ifty Forks.

Cakes and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the students of the culinary school at the Art Institute and their restaurant, 5ifty Forks.

Linda Jones Clough, right, and her son, Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, blow out the birthday candles celebrating Chuck Jones's 104th birthday.

Linda Jones Clough, right, and her son, Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, blow out the birthday candles celebrating Chuck Jones’s 104th birthday.

Film students at the Art Institute interview Linda Jones and Craig Kausen.

Film students at the Art Institute interview Linda Jones and Craig Kausen.

Robert Patrick of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity curated the exhibit, "Birth of a Notion".

Robert Patrick of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity curated and installed the exhibit, “Birth of a Notion”.

Chloe DeMore, 16, a student at Music Vault Academy in Laguna Niguel, performed an original composition in honor of Chuck Jones's 104th birthday.

Chloe DeMore, 16, a student at Music Vault Academy in Laguna Niguel, performed an original composition in honor of Chuck Jones’s 104th birthday.

Santiago Pinzon, a student at Music Vault Academy, manned the DJ booth during the reception.

Santiago Pinzon, a student at Music Vault Academy, manned the DJ booth during the reception.

The hors d'oeuvres, prepared by students at the culinary school and 5ifty Forks restaurant were themed to the artwork. P.S. It was delicious!

The hors d’oeuvres, prepared by students at the culinary school and 5ifty Forks restaurant were themed to the artwork. P.S. It was delicious!

Many thanks to the Art Institute of California–Orange County for hosting the exhibit and presenting the reception. It was a perfect celebration of the creative genius of Chuck Jones!

Photos courtesy Stephen Russo.

 

 

Tickets Now on Sale for the Grand Opening of “Chuck Jones: Drawing on Imagination” Exhibition at the Cartoon Art Museum — San Francisco

Chuck Jones: Drawing on Imagination
Opening Reception
Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 6pm to 9pm


The Cartoon Art Museum and Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will host a special reception for the exhibition, Chuck Jones: Drawing on Imagination on Saturday, March 23, 2013.  Special guests include Chuck Jones’ widow, Marian Jones, his daughter,Linda Jones Clough and grandson, Craig Kausen, who is the Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, as well as other guests from the family and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cartoon Art Museum and Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

Tickets are $50 for the VIP portion, $10 for the reception and can be purchased through: http://guestli.st/151239

Additional level tickets offer discount memberships to the Cartoon Art Museum and charter membership to the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.  Please visit the ticket page for details.

From 6pm to 7pm, the VIP portion will include an exclusive Docent Tour of the exhibit by Linda Jones Clough and Craig Kausen. Exclusive items will be available for auction, including tribute pieces from artists at Pixar Animation Studios and an original Chuck Jones piece.  Refreshments courtesy of Square MealsShmaltz Brewery and Garden Creamery.

From 7pm to 9pm regular ticket buyers can enjoy refreshments, mix and mingle with our special guests and participate in the auction. Exclusive items will be available for auction, including tribute pieces from artists at Pixar Animation Studios and an original Chuck Jones piece. The auction will close for live bidding at 8pm.

About the Exhibition:  February 9 – May 5, 2013 
The Cartoon Art Museum presents a centennial retrospective of the art of legendary animation director and creator Chuck Jones, on display from February 9 through May 5, 2013.  The exhibition, comprising 100 works of art from the late 1930s through the late 1990s, is entitled Chuck Jones: Drawing on Imagination100 Years of an Animated Artist. Artwork for the exhibit is provided by the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa, CA.

Chuck Jones, a graduate of the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts in Valencia), drew $1.00 portraits on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles before he began his career in animation as a cel washer at Ubbe Iwerks Studio in 1932. He directed his first cartoon, “The Night Watchman,” for Leon Schlesinger Productions in 1938 and went to helm such classic Warner Brothers shorts as "What's Opera, Doc?" and "One Froggy Evening."  Winner of three animation Oscars and an honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscar for "the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters," Jones is today considered synonymous with the "Golden Age" of studio animation and has inspired many of today’s most significant film directors, artists, and animators.  

“I have been a fan of the Cartoon Art Museum for many years and to finally have such an extensive exhibition presented here is like a dream come true.  My grandfather loved San Francisco and its denizens. This exhibition, with many never-before-exhibited works, is a masterpiece to celebrate Chuck’s Centennial Celebration,” said Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck’s grandson.

“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to partner with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, and to bring our patrons 100 pieces of classic and rarely seen artwork from one of the greatest and most influential cartoonists in American history,” said Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago.  “Chuck received the Cartoon Art Museum’s Sparky Award for lifetime achievement in 1998, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to further celebrate his extraordinary career and talent.”   

About The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is a non-profit 501(c)3 charity located in Costa Mesa, California. Founded in 1999 by four-time Academy Award recipient and legendary animation creator, Chuck Jones, the Center’s vision is to inspire the innate creative genius within each person that leads to a more joyous, passionate, and harmonious life and world.

The Center is dedicated to re-invigorating the creative spirit and they are doing it through art classes, exhibitions, lectures, and film festivals, all of which spring from the material in the Chuck Jones archive. Jones was a determined saver and his writings, art, and other ephemera from a nine-decade life along with his philosophy of guiding and nurturing instruction form the basis of their programs.

About the Cartoon Art Museum

Founded in 1984, the Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum in the western United States dedicated to cartoons and comics.  The museum was started by a group of cartoonists and collectors who wanted to share their appreciation of this unique art form with the rest of the world.  The museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, study and exhibition of original cartoon art in all forms to benefit historians, cartoonists, journalists, artists, collectors and the general public.

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Cartoon Art Museum * 655 Mission Street – San Francisco, CA 94105 – 415-CAR-TOON - www.cartoonart.org <http://www.cartoonart.org>  
Hours:  Tues.  Sun. 11:00 – 5:00, Closed Monday
General Admission: $7.00 – Student/Senior:$5.00 – Children 6-12:$3.00 – Members & Children under 6: Free

The Cartoon Art Museum is a tax-exempt, non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the collection, preservation, 
study and exhibition of original cartoon art in all forms. 

Two Artists Two Events One Day!

For
immediate release

Contact: Robert Patrick, rpatrick@lje.com,
949-660-7791 x 22103 

Two Artists Two Events One Day!

“Simpsons” Storyboard Artist, Stephen Reis

Free Fun for the Whole Family! 10 AM to 1 PM                                                      

Painter, Mike
Kungl
  
 

New Work, Exhibition and Sale – 1 to 4 PM                                                                                     

Saturday, November 3rd

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity &
Art Gallery

Costa Mesa, CA: The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
announced today that on Saturday, November 3, 2012, beginning at 10 AM “Simpsons”
storyboard artist and director, Stephen Reis, will lead a workshop on creating
storyboards and character development during the Center’s “The Great, Grand
Chuck Jones Family Happening!” This event is free and open to the public and
will end at 1PM. The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is located at 3321
Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa in Orange County’s hippest new gathering place, South
Coast Collection (SoCo).

Immediately
following “The Great, Grand Chuck Jones Family Happening” the Chuck Jones
Gallery will host a reception for painter Mike Kungl whose work graces the
halls of Warner Bros. Television, DreamWorks Entertainment and Ingram Micro to
name but a few of his corporate collectors. His Art Deco and Art
Moderne-inspired imagery is always in full bloom whether he’s painting a
beautiful woman or Bugs Bunny and one of his adversaries. The reception for
this artist will end at 4 PM and is free and open to the public.

“We’re
thrilled to be able to bring Stephen Reis to the Chuck Jones Center for
Creativity’s ‘The Great, Grand Chuck Jones Family Happening!’,” says Craig
Kausen, Chairman of the Center and Chuck Jones’s grandson. “His ability to
guide and nurture creativity is inspirational and a wonder to behold. Children
and adults will thoroughly enjoy their time with him.”

“Both
of my parents were very encouraging of my artistic pursuits. Not once can I
remember them trying to talk me out of going into an art-related career, while
at the same time reminding me that it is still a business and that you have to
be a professional to work as a professional,” says Stephen Reis about his
choice of career.


Stephen reis sm
Stephen Reis

Currently the storyboard artist for the longest running
animated sitcom on television, “The Simpsons”, Reis brings a child-like
intensity to the work he creates tempered by an adult’s more realistic
approach. The results: hilarious!

“Mike Kungl is one of today’s art stars, known for his Art Deco/Moderne
influenced paintings and fine art prints,” notes Scott Dicken, VP of retail for
the Chuck Jones Companies and director of the Chuck Jones Gallery at SoCo.
“This will be his first exhibition at our Costa Mesa gallery and we will be
featuring never-before-seen original drawings, mixed media, and works on
canvas.”

"I strive to produce work that I'm
personally going to have fun designing and painting. Therefore when it's
complete my goal is having the collector be just as entertained looking
at it as I was creating it,” states Mike Kungl on his approach to selecting
subject matter and the creation of his artwork.

Mikekungl sm
Mike Kungl

A resident of Orange County,
California, Kungl is the official artist of the 25th Annual Miami
Beach Art Deco Weekend. The Miami honor is just one of many in a
succession of developments that highlight Kungl’s growing reputation as a
recognized artist across the country and around the world. His work is featured
regularly in magazine articles, how to books and television shows. The Chuck Jones Gallery at the Center for
Creativity is pleased to represent his original work and fine art limited
editions.

Founded in 1999, the Chuck Jones
Center for Creativity’s vision is to inspire the innate creative genius within
each person that leads to a more joyous, passionate, and harmonious life and
world. These are important goals, particularly in today’s world, when arts
education is practically non-existent. The Center is dedicated to
reinvigorating the creative spirit and is accomplishing that through art
classes, exhibitions, lectures, and film festivals, all of which spring from
the material in the Chuck Jones archive. His writings, art, and other ephemera
from a nine-decade life along with his philosophy of guiding and nurturing
instruction form the basis of the programs of the Center.

The Chuck Jones Gallery has been an
Orange County institution since 1991 and a magnet for collectors and visitors
from around the world. Located inside the Center’s 8000 square foot building at
South Coast Collection, the OC’s most fashionable shopping and dining
destination, the Gallery regularly exhibits the work of Chuck Jones, Dr. Seuss,
Disney Studios, and the Chuck Jones Homage Artists which include Mike Kungl,
Bob Elias, Jeff Degrandis, Mike Peraza, James Coleman, and Tennessee Loveless.
Gallery hours are 10 to 6 Wednesday through Monday, closed Tuesday.

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity,
3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626. 949-274-4834

Stephen Reis and Mike Kungl available
for interviews subject to their schedule. Images available upon request.

 

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.

Kungl and storm trooper
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.

Kunglorig-11
"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.

Kunglorig-9
"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!

“What’s Up Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones” at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

STYLE GUIDE -MISC-2 copy
Robin Miller, writing in Sunday's "The Advocate" (the daily newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), interviewed Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones's grandson. She begins the interview: 

"You stand among Bugs and Daffy and Porky and Pepe.

"Ah, yes, The ever-romantic Pepe Le Pew, who has been a part of your life since, well, when? Since you can remember — really remember — laughing? Since you first watched the fuse blow up in Wile E. Coyote’s face while the Roadrunner zooms by?

"Or could it be the realization that though the characters and gags haven’t changed through the years, your understanding of them has? That’s when it hits you, when you realize Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes characters are a part of your life. No, it runs deeper than that. They’re as much a part of you as they are Craig Kausen." To read the entire article, click here or on the image above. 

“What’s Up Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones” at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

STYLE GUIDE -MISC-2 copy
Robin Miller, writing in Sunday's "The Advocate" (the daily newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), interviewed Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones's grandson. She begins the interview: 

"You stand among Bugs and Daffy and Porky and Pepe.

"Ah, yes, The ever-romantic Pepe Le Pew, who has been a part of your life since, well, when? Since you can remember — really remember — laughing? Since you first watched the fuse blow up in Wile E. Coyote’s face while the Roadrunner zooms by?

"Or could it be the realization that though the characters and gags haven’t changed through the years, your understanding of them has? That’s when it hits you, when you realize Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes characters are a part of your life. No, it runs deeper than that. They’re as much a part of you as they are Craig Kausen." To read the entire article, click here or on the image above. 

Our Heartfelt Gratitude

Oscar sign tca

Tempe Center for the Arts: "Chuck Amuck: A Legacy of Laughter" exhibit

Late in his life, Chuck Jones began to receive long
overdue accolades for his prolific body of work.  These included a film
retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of the Moving
Image, London (for which he created, on-site, a multi-story mural of his
much-loved Warner Bros. characters,) and an interactive art exhibition at the
Capitol Children’s Museum, Washington, D.C.   And of course, there have been
multiple film festival tributes world-wide honoring the man who brought you such
classic animated fare as “What’s Opera, Doc?” and “The Dot and the Line.” 

But, for the first time, his art (drawings, paintings,
writings) and his life (photos and ephemera) along with his film work have been
the focus of an exciting triple-site retrospective, lovingly constructed and
executed by the amazing curatorial staffs of the Tempe Center for the Arts
(Chuck Amuck:  A Legacy of
Laughter)
, Tempe Public Libraries (The Books of Chuck Jones:  Black and White and Read
All Over),
and Sky Harbor Airport Museum, Phoenix (Chuck Jones:  An Animated Life).  Their
obvious love for Jones’ work, along with their creative energy and
professionalism, has made these exhibitions a must-see event for Chuck Jones
fans around the globe.

IMG_1801 

Sky Harbor Airport Museum: "Chuck Jones: An Animated Life" exhibit

The Board of Trustees of Chuck Jones Center for
Creativity would like to particularly thank,

Michelle Dock: Gallery Coordinator of Tempe Center for the Arts;

Lennée Eller: Museum Program Manager of Sky Harbor Airport

These two made these three exhibits exciting, exuberant and exceptional.  Thank you.

IMG_1849
Tempe Public Library, "The Books of Chuck Jones:  Black and White and Read All Over" exhibit

The Center for Creativity would like to thank the
Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe Cultural Services/Community
Services, Tempe Public Library, and Tempe Parks and Recreations for their assistance
in bringing Chuck Amuck, A Legacy of
Laughter
to the valley of the sun.  Of course, there were so many
people involved at all three locations: art handlers, registrars, graphic
designers, and docents; each and everyone an important facet of the final
product.   Here is a list of those who worked so hard to make these exhibitions
so beautiful and so successful.

Adrienne Richwine, Cultural Services Deputy
Manager

Don Fassinger, Facility Manager, TCA

Mary Fowler, PR/Management Assistant

Kathleen Dooner, Production Coordinator

Sally Garrsion, Front of House Coordinator

Kara Osburn, Box Office Manager

Marilyn Gliddon, Facility Maintenance

Cameo Wall, Administrative Assistant

Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn, Business Development
Coordinator

Gail Fisher, Mel Kessler, Diane
Cripe: Friends of TCA

Sherry Warren, Tempe Public
Library

Clay Workman, Tempe Public
Library

Marco Albarran, Gallery

Laura Hukill, Gallery

James Sulak, Gallery

Carrie Meyer, Gallery

Donna Smith, Gallery

Jennifer Campbell, Gallery

Chris Vialpando, Gallery

Sam Carrera, Gallery

Karen Drazek, Intern, Gallery

Christy Brown, Gallery

David Uhley, ASU volunteer

Mary Erickson, ASU/Curriculum Consultant

Kathy David, Tempe High School/Curriculum
Consultant

TCA Docent Volunteers

TCA Front of House staff and
volunteers

TCA Production Crew

And, yes–all three exhibitions are
still open to the public!

Stephen Reis: 20 Questions with “The Simpsons” Animator & Storyboard Artist

(Editor's note:  Stephen Reis will be the special guest of the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego and Santa Fe (via podcast) on Saturday, February 13th.  For more information about The Simpsons exhibition, please contact the galleries: 888-294-9880 San Diego and 800-290-5999 Santa Fe.)

Stephen reis Stephen Reis was born in Los Angeles, California in 1974 and raised in nearby Santa Barbara.  The artist within emerged around age three, and as a young child he would spend countless hours drawing the world conjured up in his imagination. 

Regular family outings to the movies, along with a healthy addiction to late-night monster and horror films, instilled the love of cinema in Stephen, an din 1992 he enrolled in the film program at Loyola Marymount University; the highlight of his studies was studying drawing and photography at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy in 1994.  Being immersed in Italian culture and surrounded by much of the finest art to be created by man proved to be a defining time for the both the artist and the young man.

In late 1996, Stephen joined the animation crew for Fox's long-standing hit series The Simpsons.  The work environment on the show provided him with a second education (as well as a paycheck,) as he learned more about drawing and storytelling than ever before.

Chuck Redux took a moment to ask Stephen Reis questions about his life, his work & his passions:

CR: Tell us about the early years, growing up, what part painting and drawing played in your childhood.

SR:  I've been drawing for as long as I can remember.  My brother, Ed, four years my senior, also enjoyed drawing and I suppose it's natural to do what your older brother does.  It was a great fit for me.  Like any kid, I'd spent a lot of time in front of the television, but I'd be drawing!  I'd use the TV for sound.  It's something I still do to this day.

CR:  Did your parents encourage you in pursuing your artistic expression?

SR:  Completely.  Both of my parents were very encouraging of my artistic pursuits.  Not once can I remember them trying to talk me out of going into an art-related career, while at the same time reminding me that it is still a business and that you have to be a professional to work as a professional.

CR:  Was there a point in your young life when you knew that art would be your career?

SR:  It actually never occurred to me that I would do anything else.  I never had any teenage angst over what I was going to do with my life, career-wise.

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CR:  Are there any major artistic influences that you would want to cite?  Artists?  Genres?

SR:  I loved horror films as a kid.  Couldn't get enough of 'em.  Sci-fi and Fantasy as well.  Comics and cartoons.  I gravitated to the highly visual genres.  As for comedy, Looney Tunes and Monty Python pretty much shaped what I thought was funny.  Still do.

CR:  What has been the highlight of your artistic career?

SR:  I'm hoping it hasn't occurred yet.

CR:  Any lowlights you'd want to mention?

SR:  Seeing the sunrise…again.

CR:  Do you have any special superstitions about working on a painting or a drawing?  Do you have any favorite fetishes (toys, special pencil, a can of brushes must face east, etc.) that adorn your work space?

SR:  I'd have to say that I'm the polar opposite when it comes to special superstitions.  I have absolutely none.  As for my office at the studio, it's actually been mistaken for a spare desk because I have nothing adorning it.  I realize these answers may seem, well, boring, but there is a reason.  A decorated desk is a time-honored tradition in animation and early in my career I was no exception.  Throughout my time on The Simpsons, I've jumped around to different positions and departments so often that I've had dozens of desks or offices.  For a few years I was never in the same place long enough to get settled, so I just gave up and went the sparse route.  It's so much easier to pack up.

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CR:  Tell us about your working methods.  Early to rise and work, or work late at night?

SR:   Always have been and always will be a night owl.

CR:  What are you working on right now?

SR:  I am currently working on my final storyboard for this past season.  As for painting…at the moment, I'm painting my house.  Different type of artistry involved there.

CR:  What's your favorite color?

SR:  Probably blue.  In the shade of Dodger Blue.  (My mom will love that answer!)

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CR:  What's it like working on The Simpsons?

SR:  After 14 years I still approach each new script as a fresh challenge.  There is this enormous history that you want to honor, but the script in front of you is it's own story, and it dictates its own way of being told.  I feel this approach helps keep the creative part of the work brain fresh after many years and many, many episodes.

CR:  Is it solitary or do you work with other animators?

SR:  The storyboarding job is a solitary one.  With the exception of meetings with our directors and Supervising Director, we're off on our own, dra
wing away.

CR:  You're credited with a lot of story board work.  To a neophyte, what does that entail?

SR:  The storyboard artist is responsible for the visualization of the script.  Armed with that and a rough record[ing] of the voice-actors (the little accents and inflections they put into their performances can affect the whole way a scene is played) the board artist draws out the camera angles and basic acting for the episode on panels that match the dimensions of the television screen.  We also work out camera moves within a scene and other basic technical elements that artists will employ in the animation.

We then meet with the director of the episode and the show's Supervising Director.  We present the board to them with the voice track, and then we break the whole thing down and rebuild it.  This is my favorite part of the process.   I like these meetings because they are highly creative–I like getting the director's reaction to the work and digging into the drawings, removing all the elements that don't work comedy-wise, combining shots, coming up with new ideas, streamlining.  

The board artist then takes all the notes and sketches from this meeting and revises the storyboard into a cleaner presentation form.  That board is sent to the producers for their notes before heading to animation.

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CR:  Who are your animation influences/directors/animators?

SR:  The Looney Tunes guys first and foremost.  Looking back, I feel so fortunate I was a kid at a time when they were still shown every Saturday morning.  I got to literally grow up with them, so my appreciation of these cartoons has just matured with age.  They put a stranglehold on my comic sensibilities from the very beginning and have never really let go.

As for modern days, Pixar has really cracked the code when it comes to raising the bar visually while never losing focus of the story.  Special mention goes to Brad Bird, former Simpsonite and director of The Iron Giant, a true masterpiece.  [Also] stop-motion classics like The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Wallace & Gromit series are major influences.

CR:  What's your favorite short animated cartoon?  And your favorite episode of The Simpsons?

SR: I'm going to go with a non-Looney Tunes answer on this one because it's impossible to pick a favorite among them.  It'd have to be Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers.  Not only did Aardman created a true stop-motion spectacle, they also gave us arguably animation's greatest villain: Feathers McGraw.  A stone-faced, jewel-robbing penguin that disguises himself as a chicken during heists; he's cunning, ruthless, could have stepped out of a Hitchcock picture.  This, of course, makes him utterly hilarious whenever he's onscreen.  

Favorite episode of The Simpsons?  I'd have to say the first episode I worked on, Homer's Enemy.  I'm really lucky my first episode has gone on to have its own identity and fan base for Homer's frustrated antagonist, Frank Grimes.

CR:  Will there be life after 3-D?

SR:  Absolutely.  As long as there is a good story to tell, the medium that it's told in will find an audience.  Every advance in technology was supposed to make the former ways obsolete, yet we still have painters, classical musicians, sculptors.  Traditional animation will evolve with technology and the times.  But if Looney Tunes have proven anything, it's that a good story told in this medium can become timeless.

CR:  What's your forecast for The Simpsons as they enter their 21st year?

SR:  Every time I've tried to do that, I"ve been way off.  Each season is it's own adventure.  I just jump on for the ride.

CR:  Do you have plans for your own cartoon?

SR:  Never say never, but my focus right now is on the residents of Springfield.

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