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Jan 282011

Today I want to talk about setting goals and finishing your projects, both client work and personal projects.
Sometimes life gets in the way of our art and that’s just the way the charcoal crumbles kids.
The last couple of months have been really busy for me.  I have tons of projects going all at the same time.

Professor Raul.

I recently started teaching 2 classes at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Their administration brought me in to help out the digital animation students by developing the history and principles of animation class as well as the timing for animation class. They want me to emphasize traditional animation techniques and relate them to the digital curriculum the students are taking.

A snapshot of me in my classroom.

The thing was, I had to write the syllabus from the ground up.  So I spend a lot of time each week prepping materials and lectures for each class. But I think the effort is well worth it.


At the same time I’ve been brought on to produce the first act of an animated pilot based on the Mijos property by David Gonzalez. For those that don’t know the Mijos are the “little kid” version of the “Homies”.  Remember them? The little bad ass Chicano figurines that were all the rage?!  I’ve managed to storyboard the first act of the 22 minute script written by Victor Saga and based the art from David’s designs. Check out David’s press kit for the Mijos.

Mijos By David Gonzales

The Producer Father Masseo Gonzalez, is David’s brother. He’s been great throughout the whole process! A week ago I sent in my storyboard and the notes I got were very positive. A few adjustments here and there, which I am working on now. They want me to produce an Animatic for the first act with my boards and a temporary voice track which I recorded with some help from Jim Lujan.

Big whoop Raul. What have you done for me lately?

What did I do in the week between? Well I managed to finish my latest Citizen Sanchez short  for the “We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges”  independent animation show on Saturday January  22nd which went really really well! I actually emceed the show and had a good old time! Check out episode 19 of the Ghettomation podcast for the wrap up of the show!

Citizen Sanchez Cartoon “Por Flavor!”

photo courtesy of Jim Lujan

I used ToonBoom Studio to make this latest short and was very happy with the result.  I’ve been trying to streamline my animation technique and really explore the possibilities of limited animation. I drew my characters on paper, scanned the inked drawings and colored them in Photoshop. I then created separate mouth shapes and eyes for blinks etc. and a few different hand positions. Then I cut up the characters at the joints and saved them as .png files with an alpha channel. This made the “white paper” disappear and I ended up with clear cells with only the character elements visible.

I managed to do it in two days! Barely finishing it in time for the show!

The Independent Animators of We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges!

Dominic Polcino, Raul Aguirre Jr.,Grasiela Rodriguez, Jim Lujan, Steven Sievers, Jose Cabrera, Ted Seko, and Ken Mora.

Sergio Aragones called….He wants his moustache back.

I introduce the nutty Steve Seivers!

The Lovely and Vivacious Hortencia always in full support of my events!

Raul Aguirre Sr.! That’s right! My Dad was there and laughed his butt off at the cartoons!Check out the dude yawning in the background! LOL!

Here is a segment actorsreporter.com did on the show! Indy Animators up the waz!

click the pic for the video!

My Opening Speech for the Animation Show.

Video courtesy of  Ken Mora.

Photo Courtesy of Dominic Polcino.

click the pic to see the vid!

Saturday morning and afternoon was spent preparing my DVD for the show and writing my opening speech for the show which I did  dressed up as a mexican bandido!

By Sunday I was pooped, but spent the day preparing for my Monday class History and Principles of Animation. That evening I took the land vivacious Hortencia out to dinner to our favorite steakhouse and came home and watched Lotte Reineger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed, a feature length animated film made in 1926 that was all silhouette paper cut out animation! Phenomenally cool!

The Independent Animation Media Blitz Continues Unabated!

photo courtesy of Jim Lujan

On Wednesday  I was asked by my friends Richard McManus and Ben McCain  at Time Warner Cable to come into the studio to be interviewed for a special on the  Southern California Indy Animation Scene.  As we all know Animators are experts at making a scene! Get it?!

I asked if I could bring my colleagues Jim Lujan, Ken Mora, the Supa Pirate Booty Hunt guys  Steve Seivers and Dahveed!  Richard is the cameraman and producer and Ben is the host of SO cal’s best on channel 101 that spotlights rad stuff in so cal!

It was great! Turns out the studio is across the street from Gnomon school! Right there on Cahuenga Blvd  just south of Santa Monica Blvd! Ben and Rich decided to shoot the interviews out on the streets of Hollywood and we had a blast! I’ll be posting the interview so keep an eye out!

Here is a behind the scenes look at our Time Warner Cable Interview courtesy of Ken Mora!

So today I finally got back to the Mijos project and made all the drawing corrections and scanned them in. I spent most of the day doing that and decided to leave editing the new artwork into the old board for tomorrow so that I could work on this episode of MVA tonight.

Somehow I still manage to hit my sketchbook every other day or so, keep up on the podcasts I listen to, juggle twitter and facebook, and spend time with my wife.  As you can see my plate is full folks, but I wouldn’t be able to get half of the stuff I get done if I didn’t set goals and plan ahead.  I try to be realistic and not kid myself about how long a task requires. Sure it’s easy to barricade yourself in your studio and go nuts, but in reality it’s impossible. I need to spend time with my wife, socialize with friends, network, make phone calls, email, answer texts, it goes on and on.

Here’s the trick. Every morning I set my goals for the day. This is what  I want to accomplish by lunch…this is what needs to be done by the time Hortencia gets home.  This is what I need to do before bed.  Take it one task at a time minions and you won’t overwhelm yourself!



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 Posted by at 5:10 pm

  2 Responses to “Man vs. Art Episode 42! Setting Artistic Goals and Finishing your Projects.”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kevin Cross, Jose Anibal Gonzalez and Raymond Bonilla, Raul Aguirre Jr.. Raul Aguirre Jr. said: Minions! Man vs. Art Episode 42 is up! Setting Artistic Goals and Finishing your Projects. http://bit.ly/fifQ4Y Get your raging ART ON! […]

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