Wrestlemasters – An Ongoing Shamoozal Project

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Usually when I work on a new animated short I tend to keep very quiet about it. I generally like to keep those kinds of things close to the chest. After all, how can I surprise anyone with cool content if they know everything that’s going to be in it? With my next project, I’d like to be a little more open.

What I’m creating is something wholly original and in my mind, like nothing I’ve made before. As of this writing it is being referred to as Wrestlemasters, a name which may or may not be final. Anyway, I’m done with parody videos. I had a good run with Read Only Memory all those years ago now and the 1980s Anime videos literally sucked the life from me, even if I do think some of them had some good ideas thrown in there. It has been a full year since I’ve animated a video, and I suspect it might be another full year until anyone sees an animated video from me again.

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Canceling out Artistic Noise

For the last year I’ve been on what I’d like to think of as an artistic journey. While there have been improvements to my art over the decade that I have been creating on Shamoozal, the improvement has been very slight. I need to push myself. One thing that I’ve also started doing on this journey is finding particular artists to learn from and be inspired by. The problem here is that the very people you are inspired by can also be your temporary downfall.

We all get jealous. We all envy things that people can do or have. There are times when I go sit down to do work, I load up Twitter, see some incredible pictures and it cripples me creatively. I think “I’ll never be as good as this person” and IF I move onto actually drawing from that point, I’m harsh to judge what I put down. From there I usually go further down the rabbit hole of looking more into the amazing work of said person and feeling not inspired, but horrible about my current ability by the end.

Sometimes we need to step back and begin to filter the noise. The downside to having so much available to us is that there is simply TOO much available to us at any given time. If you’re ever feeling down about your own art after looking at great art, then that is your hint to take a break from looking at art. Choose not to look at great art for a day or more. Don’t allow yourself to get consumed by it. If that means temporarily muting an artist you admire on Twitter or another social platform, then do it. Once you feel better, allow yourself to become inspired by great art again. I’d also suggest not looking at art moments before you saw something that inspired you. Chances are you won’t be able to draw or paint what you just saw as good as the piece that inspired you in the first place. This will also cause you to fall into that pit of despair.

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31 Days of Halloween Download Pack on Gumroad

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If you follow me on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter you’ll know that I did a Halloween/monster related drawing every day of October. Now that everything is wrapped up, I’m offering a free download of every drawing through Gumroad. The pack contains high res JPGs along with the original PSD files for the images I did digitally. The PSD file contain all the layers, including the original sketches. You can make your own prints or do whatever! Please know that for a week of October I was away on vacation with my family, so those drawings are simply cell phone shots I grabbed of the drawings I did in our hotel room when I was essentially dead from walking through Disney parks all day. I hope you like the pack.


Download the 31 Days of Halloween Pack Free!

Happy 10th Anniversary to Shamoozal!

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Note: Click the image above for a full size version!

Today I wanted to give a quick shout out to our first short, Candy Corns. It’s hard to believe but it has been exactly 10 years since I uploaded the original Candy Corns short onto Newgrounds.com!

Though Shamoozal existed before this date, which was essentially only a forum and the Zoinks teaser cartoon, Candy Corns was the first short starring Grey and Jacquo and also the first short I tried to get people to see. I knew I wanted people to watch my work, but at the time, I didn’t know of any other ways. After doing some searching I found Newgrounds and promptly uploaded the short. The rest, as they say, is history.

Candy Corns is an absurd short, something I put together mostly over the course of a weekend. I’ve written about it before so I’m not going to bother repeating myself. Sadly, I don’t have a new Grey and Jacquo short to celebrate this momentous occasion. Even more sad, it’s been 3 whole years since we last saw Grey and Jacquo in the much forgotten Candy Corns 2. All I have to offer you is the above newly created artwork. I wanted to in some small way tip my hat to the short and these two characters, if only enough to make a handful of people smile. I wanted this to look like the classic shorts, and I sampled nearly all of the colors from Candy Corns. Those colors aren’t fantastic, but I wanted this picture to seem pretty authentic. Of course I did not create it in Flash, but I’m hoping the Photoshop paint job has its own charm.

I will say I was having lots of fun drawing these two again, and while doing so my mind was coming up with all sorts of ridiculous ideas. It would be fun to have another go with these two.

If you’re actually reading this it means you have probably stuck around with Shamoozal for an extremely long time, and I honestly can’t thank you enough for your support. It means the world to me and I’m sorry if I ever let anyone down in regards to the shorts. Thanks for reading, and a big thanks to all the support from Newgrounds over the years and a biiiig Happy 10th Anniversary to Shamoozal!

Check out Request Night! Thursdays on Twitter!

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The last few Thursdays I have been doing Request Nights on Twitter. I usually come up with a slight theme and then ask users for their drawing requests. Depending on my mood, I’ll either spend time on one drawing or a whole bunch of short ones. So make sure you follow me on Twitter and be on the look out for Thursdays. Hope to see your request!

Here are some samples from previous nights!

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Too Many Games Panel & E3 Wrap Up with Elder-Geek.com!

As usual, I recently had a chance to sit down with Randy from Elder-Geek and Shamoozal alum Steve to talk about this years E3. Clocking in at nearly 2 hours long, the three of us go about as in depth as we can with the latest news out of the game industry. It’s been probably over a year since I last podcasted and I have to say it felt nice getting back into the swing of things. If anything, it makes me want to podcast more in the future.

Outside of that, I have a panel at the upcoming Too Many Games convention that takes place in Oaks, PA. This is the first panel I’ve ever done in my life so I’m quite nervous about it! It takes place Sunday, June 28th at 11 AM in the morning at “Panel 3″ (wherever that is). The panel is called “The Art of the Animated Parody” and I plan on going in deep in regards to how my 1980s Anime trilogy for Maker Studios was crafted in order to have mass appeal. I’ll mainly be using Star Wars as a talking point, but I’ll dive into Harry Potter and Ghostbusters when applicable. Assuming there is time, I’ll open it up to a Q&A as well. In a best case scenario, it’s something that I’d like to be insightful and have some meaning to those who attend it, at worst it’ll be me rambling to five people and nothing of value will be gained. That said, I’ll take five people, it would probably be easier on me to speak with a smaller crowd. I do intend to try and record it however. I’m not sure exactly how that will turn out, but if it turns out well, you can be sure to see it pop up here. Hope to see some of you there!

25 Games for My Son: Chrono Trigger Cover Art

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I recently put together the cover art for a Chrono Trigger tribute album that was created for Elder-Geek.com‘s video series 25 Games for My Son. This was a fun project to be a part of as so much talent was involved in the creation of the album and the video itself. Chrono Trigger is one of those games that was extremely important and inspiring to me back when it was released in 1995. I filled whole sketch books copying Akira Toriyama’s art, not to mention my grade school notebooks that year were filled with Chrono Trigger scribbles. As a result, being able to work on this was also pretty special to me as well. For the piece I decided to go with arguably the most important scene of the entire game, when the actual Chrono Trigger itself comes into play. I have to admit, I listened to the entirety of the original Chrono Trigger OST when I was working on this and it really made me want to play through the game again.

In the video series itself, my good friend Randy writes about the 25 games that had the most meaning to him growing up, and offers anecdotes about what was going on in his life at the time he was playing through the featured game. You can watch the Chrono Trigger video below.

As for the album, a bunch of talented musicians got together and created cover tracks from their favorite Chrono Trigger tracks. I also listened to this album in its entirety while putting the artwork together and I thought it was great. You can grab the entire thing for 5 dollars over on Loudr, and can even bundle it with the Ocarina of Time album that was created for the previous 25 Games for My Son episode for 8 dollars (I did the art for that too).

I hope you like the art, the video, and the album!