Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Please forgive me..

I have all kinds of colorful words about the people I just posted and will fill those in as I go. So keep on the look out as Im tryin to get these up.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Andy Conroy -- Animator / Utahn

His site

Tyler Stott -- Animator

His Site

Paul Johnson --- Senior Technical Artist / Know it all

His Site

Jamie Capsolas --- Sr. Animator / Customer Service Killer

His Site

Brandon Beckstead --- Animator / Animator

His Site

Alan Tew -- Design Lead and Really Friendly

His Site

Gavan Knowlton -- Animator and Bollywood

Shane Olson --Senior Animator and UnicycleGuy

Talk about a riot. Shane is creative guy who rides a unicycle like I walk. Shane hooked me up with my current job and I give him monthly installments for doin so. Another blog guy who I knew long before I had actually met him and its a blast to work with someone so talented in so many areas. Shane is someone who you should get to know if your in this industry as hes a dedicated "somebatch".

Hes been in the industry 11 years ( started as a modeler and became an animator) and worked at Saffire, Acclaim, Amaze, GlyphX, Incognito and now Fall Line where he beats people for a living.

Check out his work here:

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Shane Lewis -- Story Guy / Illustrator

If you ever meet Shane make sure you have 5 dollars to pay him to look like he knows you... I only had three so I got the handshake. Like a disney atrraction Im tellin you.

Shane has been a long time inspiration to me and rocks my sox that Im in the same building with him. Was so awesome to meet the guy who every time he posted made me laff with his stories to his illustrations. I love to animate but would like to understand more story. Hopefully ten dollars will get me a smile and a story tellin tip.

"I always liked to draw but never considered it a possible career choice until I was about twenty. Then I started drawing... a lot. I still wasn't a great artist when I graduated from college... and I'm still not great now, but I was good enough, and I lucked into a job.

"I like animating, but I prefer working in story, which is what I've been doing for the last four years. I'm better at helping decide what should happen than I am at making it happen. I love that I have a job doing some of the things I most like to do: drawing, telling stories, laughing, writing, and playing video games... it's a good life."

Freak Shane.. hooka a brutha up!!

Brian Lefler -- Story Guy / Illustrator

I am so honored to know this guy. A masterful story teller and someone you feel comfortable with the second you meet him. I plan on spendin many a lunches with him so as I can unlock the magic that he posses! He tells great tales and I hope one day he spins one about a happy guy who would bug him so much that he was banned from his office.

Not only is his story abilities freakishly amazing but his illustration prowess is not of this world....seriously. Outer space Im tellin you. If you get a chance to meet him you have become a better person for have doin so.

Please visit Mr Lefler's wonderful Blog:

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ryan "Holly" Wood -- Nuff said

This is the other guy who showed up at my office with Hans Ranum ( pictured below ) I was giddy as all get out. Avalanche and FallLine house many of my all time fav artist. So its like Hollywood for me. Its pretty crazy and Ive got soooo many pics I need to post so please bear with me...

Ryan was really cool to me and wasnt phased by my ultra nerdy ways. ( he also didnt call for security which was also pretty happenin.

I followed closely behind him for a lil part of the day. Sneakily so as not to disturb him in his natural environment. An awesome spectacle..( I was not brave enough to ask for an autograph ... but one day )

Please check out his work heeyah :

and the avalanche blog heeeya:

I know I know. Pretty cool huh. Sorry Im so behind with these. Loads more on the way!

(If I post your pic up and you want to put in a lil blurb about how you got in the industry let me know and I will add it later.) Sorry Im all scatter brained )

Hans Ranum --- Concept Artist / Character Designer

Crazy thing. Two days after I start the new job 2 people come into my office to introduce themselves to me. Hans says to me. " Hey Mel, Im Hans!" and the first thing that comes to my mind is " I know a Hans but hes in florida.." I ask him his last name and its the SAME guy!

Was so crazy to me to finally meet this guy Ive known of digitally for so long and amired like crazy! Ive been a big fan of his work and it was sooooooooo cool to meet him. He was nice enough to put up with my geeky ways and took a pic with me. Blown away Im tellin you. Please check out his work here :
Bask in all its glory!

I would love to pick this guys brain and hope to get a chance to someday soon!

Brandon Plagemann -- Character Rigger

A fine and upstanding citizen in the community of artist. I feel bad cause I really didnt get to know Brandon as well as I wouldve liked to have. As soon as I got to know him , I up and bailed. Brandon sat kitty corner from me in "dead heat alley" where we had a "cessna" sounding fan that cooled us down. He help participate in a weekly bashing of Mitch which always made for fun days. I hope that I get the chance to work with him again. Keep on rockin there Brandon!

"This is my first job in the industry, so I've only just begun. I graduated from school in Wisconsin and another in Florida specailizing on the technical side of art such as rigging. Currently, that is what I'm working on along with some animations."

Not sure if this is what you wanted. If you need some more info or different, just let me know.

Brandon "

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Henry Bawden -- Artist

Oh Henry...where to start..( hey isnt that a candy bar. I guess I could reach down to my sensitive side and say hes sweet, but would you respect me in the mornin..)

I enjoyed workin with Henry loads. Took a while to get him to watch heroes but he got all caught up. His enthusiasm is remarkable and rubs off on you after awhile. ( You would think that would be annoying but its helpful..) Was a pleasure drawing with him on Thursdays for Sketchclub Utah and know I will always stay in touch with him. Hes the kinda person that reminds you how fun all aspects of art is and I dont think I can thank him enough for that.

" I'm just a person that wants to create something that will last. I want to be appreciated and do something that will inspire for generations to come. To that end, I am trying to develop my skills as well as I can.

My education is in traditional figure drawing and painting. My work experience is in modeling and texturing. However, I would like to end up on the concept side of things. On the side I am working on books and animations. So many stories and ideas, but so little time to do them all."

Video game demo reel:

Keep on keepin on Henry!

Earnest Harker -- Pres./Creative Director 8fish

No thats not me next to him. Thats his twin brother. I was behind the cam this time.

This is from my visit to 8fish before I went on my second not so well known trip to Idaho. ( Thats why its not so well known.) These guys were a blast to meet and the work they do is phenominal. Im partial to 2d and the stuff they showed me rocked. Its a fun environment there and the energy these guys have is inspirational. Everyone was extremely friendly as well as talented. If you get a chance, drop by and visit with these guys and tour their fun studio.

"Left college at Utah State University to be a sign painter. Then worked for a T-shirt company as an illustrator designer. Taught me a lot.
My first real professional job in the industry was with Dahlin Smith White Advertising. It was a dream job. I got plenty of work to do for amazing art directors with world class short deadlines. It was a fantastic experience. Started Ernburn Multimedia in October of 1995 as a freelancer.

It was really tough trying to create a business as a freelancer. Clients wanted my work not some guy I was able to get to work for me. Tell ya what, that was a learning experience I'll never miss. Changed the name to 8fish after I had a crew of 8 fantastic people working for me. Now it's a business dream come true. I work with great artists who impress me every day. I finally have my very own custom built building that has everything I ever wanted in a building. I work on challenging and rewarding projects and enjoy every minute of it. Life is great."

I wish my life was great...thanks for rubbin it in there Earnest.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guy Francis -- Illustrator

And lord of the dance...

Now I met this "Guy" for the first time before I went on vacation. I will freely admit that I was kinda sad I hadnt captured the moment on film ( digitally that is )and have been a fan boy of his for some time. The rockin news, he went to lunch with me today at my request. What a "Guy"!! ( I will stop doin that with the quotations now. )

Hes the kinda person that you feel like you've known your whole life and its a pleasure to have finally gotten to meet him. His designs are flawless and spectacular to look at. A true inspiration. I know that I will continue to bother him constantly and see how much magic he will disclose to me. Mr Francis is a person that you should meet if you get the chance. He's flat out royalty. Visit his blog, you will definately be happy you did.

"Most of the work I do is in the children’s market, so I try to think on a child’s level. My wife says I spend a lot of time there.

My clients usually give me an idea of what they want. They give me a concept, a description, or a manuscript. That starts the juices flowing. I think of the overall story, the environment, the mood and the setting. It all seems to play a part in the early design stages. I also try to think of the attitude and personality of the character I’m working on. I try to put myself in his mind and think like he does. This helps me think of the character’s shape, size, postures, and emotions. Sometimes my sketching is very deliberate—I know what I want when I start—and sometimes I just start drawing and the character emerges from the pencil spontaneously. I have a hard time doing anything very serious. Most of my stuff is lighthearted kind of goofy. I like it when my character interacts with the viewer."

His Blog:

Manuel S. Rangel -- Artist / Bartender

So that means not only is he extremely talented as a game guy but he can get you lit up like the ass end of the space shuttle!!! ( Good friend to have in this industry...) Manny is a tremendous personality and one of the many heads of the "Heroes" simposium held every tuesday morning... promtly. And yes, he is a minority. In case your counting. ( you shouldnt be, but for those outside of utah , SEE? )

Loved talkin with Manny about anything. ( and thinkin about it now bartenders make the best therapist... You can bill me for that Manny.) Hes a pleasure to hang out with and someone thats rockin to know.

So, graduated from U of U 1995 with a BFA in Painting and Drawing.
Had three artshows in 1996, two solo and one group.
Worked at SingleTrac from 1996 to 2000
Worked at Beyond Games from 2000 to 2003
Currently employed at Sensory Sweep 2005 to present.
Games I've worked on are Jet Moto, Motor Mayhem and Hotwheels Velocity X.
Thats all I gots man."

Like thats so little...sheesh. ;) Thanks Manny!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Allen Stevenson -- Animator

Allen is one of those guys that makes work enjoyable. Which makes it hard to crack on him...hmm I'll try before I wrap up here.

Allen is a talent pool unto himself. I spent alot of my time talkin animation with him and have become a better person because of it. Hes a modest person who is easy to work with and who you can talk about life in general with. Even though some disassociated themselves with him because of his red hair, I found it appealing in a Ron Weasly sort of way. ( there it is ...not really a crack but amusing to say the least.)I know that I want to work on a project with Allen in the near future and look forward to the day.

"I'm one of those BYU Animation grads (2003), but hold the lofty distinction of not working on any of their award-winning animated shorts. I was missing a few brain cells back then and decided to forego work on the Pet Shop and graduate early. I spent the next three years trying to dig myself out of that hole until September of '06 when I was hired by Sensory Sweep in Utah.

When I'm not getting schooled at foosball, I spend most of my days at The Sweep pretending to know what I'm doing as an animator. I work with some of the coolest people I know and still can't believe they pay me to do what I love. I count myself among one of the lucky ones to know and have worked with Mel, and hope to be able to work alongside you in the future man!"

I hear ya firecracker...I didnt even know of the foosball thing, when did you have time for that?

Sambo Ouk -- Animator

Or "Big Sexy" as I would call him. Since meeting him Ive wanted to be Cambodian..That pretty much sums him up for me.

Ive worked with Sambo at Saffire, Glyphx and Sensory and have enjoyed every second watchin this guy work. Hes a kik ass animator and hot with the lead. Im glad he sent me his bio cause I want people to know that there are minorities out here in utah. I know shocking, but true. Hes been an inspiration to me as he keeps climbing upward and onward. Sometimes he would talk to me and I would blush. Goose bumps I tell ya...

"I first started at Acclaim as QA for Legends of Wrestling and paid my dues until in was given chance to do art for HBO boxing but we all know what happened to Acclaim.

I met my idol Mel at Saffire during Vanhelsing days and have’nt picked up my jaw since Ive seen his work. Working as an animator for great companies as Glyphx, Sandman, Sensory Sweep has been the best job a guy like me could ever hope for. I hope to find some time to start sketching again and posting some of it but who knows….

Remember to always strive to be the best and be humble on the way, life is too short so cherish the day."

What'd I tell you? Warm and fuzzy huh? I got that All the time!!!!!!

Matt Dibb --- Animator

This was my first meeting with Matt. He took my desk. If I had known they let animators sit over there I wouldve said something....They sectioned me off saying " one day Mel, just be patient.." This guy got it his first day. Am I bitter?;)

I never got the chance to work with Matt but he was a great sport as the whole point of this blog is to "Meet" people and he let me meet him. I know it was a bit weird for someone who you never met before suddenly thrusts a camera in your face and says "Hi, my name is Mel" but like an industry champ he didnt call for security to escort me out. Thanks Matt I hope that I get to meet you again!

"My name is Matt Dibb, I'm from Murray, UT, 26 years old. I just started as an animator for Sensory Sweep and I took Mel's desk. I graduated from the University of Utah in film studies with an emphasis in animation in May 2006.

I had the oppurtunity to be the director of the U's first completed group animated short, "Gold Diggin". I worked for the U of U/Artisan Dream/Baby Jock for about 3 months as an animator for a children's tv show/dvd. Animation rocks and all the art that goes into it is awesome!"

I think my chair is cursed so you may want to swap it with someone...

Paul Grimshaw -- Animator/XSI Deviant

Now dont let that smile fool you...I was tryin to hold perfectly still cause Paul has military skills as well. He can kill you 500 ways with a nerf football.

Paul is a Vet in this industry and Im honored to have been in the trenches with such a talent. Want to see amazing watch him in XSI. I left a skidmark in astonishment. Paul has a vast knowledge base and is kind enough to share it with you, all you have to do is ask. Over and over and over again....Just kiddin Paul. I know you can find me.

"I dropped out of college as an English major to do video games in 1994. No regrets. I have met the coolest people and learned so much from them. I am an XSI fanatic so don't bring it up in conversation or I won't be able to help myself. After 13 years and despite the rollercoaster of financial ups and downs, I still love making art. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Hopefully I can collaborate with Mel in the future, he rocks. "

I already brought up the XSI Paul. No need to get redundant....

Samples of his works:

Ryan Hudson -- Animator

This guy Ive had the honor of workin at TWO places with. ( you would think he learned his lesson the first time....) Ryan is a good friend and blast to work with. Our first meeting was at Glyphx, then later down the road Sensory. Hes got a lot of energy which I tell him he should bottle up and sell. Was fun comin up with word of the days that would offend, which of course I had to tell my wife, who in turned asked me to stop hangin around these type of people. Like "rusty trombone" if you dont know ..dont ask.

"I work as an animator at Sensory Sweep Studios in Salt Lake City. In the past I have worked at Glyphx Games and Sandman Studios. I just recently started a webcomic and I'm in the modeling phase of my own short, having just finished my animatic.

While I am primarily a 3D artist, I am striving to be better with a pencil. Making many visits to Mel's blog for inspiration. In my two short years as an animator I have met so many talented and inspiring artists. Seeing the amazing work of my peers is what drives me to be a better artist myself. This job has also allowed for many new friendships that will last longer than the job itself. My only regret is never attending Mel and Dillon's trampoline sleepover parties. My mom just wouldn't let me go. "

For the record I have these sleep overs for networking purposes only...

His Blog:

Matt Wood -- Artist / Animator

Matt Wood everyone! --- ( applause )

Was always fun to hear this at work and everyone would applaud. When I first started at Sensory and I heard this and I was like " How do I get this kind of attention? " And " How can I meet this guy? " Im glad I did as he is a rockin person. Matt is a slick 2d animator and gave me loads of wisdom on the subject . He would always came from on high to lend me support in my 2d endeavors. ( Thats like Mount Olympus, his place o residence...dont remember the numerical addy but somewhere in that vicinity.)

"I studied animation and illustration from 2000 to 2004 at the Salt Lake Community College (the calarts of Utah). After graduating with a degree in animation I was pretty much left looking for work. A good friend from college and I decided that we wanted to do our own thing. So in an ambitious move we created Uprising Motion(rip) an independent animation studio.

The studio later joined up with another independent studio called Cuemedia. A little while after joining up with Cuemedia I was hired on at Sensory Sweep. Thus so began my adventures in the video game industry. Eventually Uprising split from Cuemedia and moved to a larger office. We landed a few more projects, but Uprising had to eventually close down which was a sad day indeed. Currently I'm still working as an artist at Sensory Sweep.

some of my stuff

There ya go Mel. I hope that's what you wanted. If it is too long, short or to brief let me know. "

Hey Matt.Im missing the part about how your gonna start a new studio and hook my ass up with a job... Ive got it in writing somewhere...