Thomas Blackshear was in town and stopped in to pay us a visit. What a phenomenal talent, and genuinely nice guy. I had met Thomas years ago and had the good fortune of crossing paths again at ICON6 in Pasadena. I have always admired his work and was tickled when he stopped by on September 22nd. He gave an inspiring presentation of his work, from movie posters to ceramic figurines, and spoke about his career, apprenticing for Mark English, working at Hallmark, and moving on to the world of fine art and collectibles.
The next day, on September 23rd, the guys from Methane Studios were here for the opening of their show in Gallery See called "Fuel to the Fire: The Poster Design of Methane Studios".
The show was amazing, and featured dozens of their gig posters and other beautiful screen print pieces.
Robert Lee and Mark McDevitt came by the classrooms to spend some time with the students, which was really a bonus. They spoke of their humble beginnings, what they found valuable about their time in art school, and the importance of drawing.
Their lecture that night was also inspiring; they showed lots of their work from Dave Matthews gig posters to advertising and logos, to packaging for clients like Blue-Q. The panel was moderated by Michael Ouweleen, Senior V.P. at Cartoon Network, another very talented and very nice guy. It was an amazing night of great artwork and smart, insightful, funny banter.
On Thursday, Oct. 14th, Steven Charney, Art Director for Rolling Stone Magazine dropped in for a visit. His lecture was about his tenure at the magazine, his earlier career at other magazines and ad agencies, and the amazing illustrators he's worked with for the Review section of Rolling Stone.
He also took some time to do portfolio reviews for several illustration students, and by all accounts was very impressed, indeed.
"You're supposed to act all impressed" was the theme of his visit, and we were. VERY.
He charmed us with his genuine Southern Gentleman demeanor and the rich tapestry of stories that flow so effortlessly from a man who has done everything from working on his junior-high newspaper to designer and puppeteer for Pee Wee's Playhouse.
Here's a small snippet from Wikipedia:
Wayne White is an American artist, art director, cartoonist and illustrator.
After graduating from Hixson High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and studying at Middle Tennessee State University, White went to New York City and worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for a number of publications including The East Village Eye, Raw, The New York Times, and The Village Voice.
In 1986 he worked on Pee Wee's Playhouse where his work for his set and puppet designs won three Emmy awards; he also supplied a number of voices on the show. Other television credits include production and set design for Riders in the Sky, The Weird Al Show and Beakman's World.
He art directed two seminal music videos, Peter Gabriel's "Big Time" in 1986, for which he won a Billboard award for best Art Direction in a music video, and in 1996 he designed all the Georges Méliès inspired sets for the award-winning video for the Smashing Pumpkins, "Tonight, Tonight".
And, he's a very nice man, to boot. If you missed his talk, you missed a lot. Thanks, Wayne. You are welcome back any time!
It's been an awesome quarter so far, and we have even more inspiring and humbling stuff planned, so stay tuned!