Karen Krajenbrink describes her job quite succinctly: “I do art.” Going into perhaps a bit more detail, she elaborates: “Associate Art Director at a mobile gaming company by day, freelancer by night. I’ve worked in games, film, and TV for art direction, visual development, character design, story, pipeline creation, BG paint, prop design, and technical pitches.” Add to that one more achievement: In 2015 she completed her first illustrated children’s book called Fox & Boots, “… a 24 page story about friendship, love, and loss, illustrated in full color.” It’s available at her store, along with her sketchbook and several art prints. [Let us wish you all a Happy and Safe New Year in 2017!]
Another artist with a distinctive style goes by the distinctive name of Edwardian Taylor. He works as a concept artist, storyboard artist, and children’s book illustrator. According to his web site, “Edwardian Taylor has always loved to draw. It became so bad, that his parents had to hide his crayons from him because when he was out of paper he would draw all over his bedroom walls. He got familiar with the uses of cleaning supplies at an early age, but this never kept him from drawing.” Among his interesting current projects is a new book called The Animal Alphabet Fairy Tale Edition, which presents each letter of the alphabet via a different creature from myth, legend, and classic literature. His Shop also has a collection of his books and art prints.
Paul Schoeni is an artist, illustrator, and animation designer who has spent much of his career working for Dreamworks Animation. According to his web site, the films he’s worked on have included Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs Aliens, Megamind, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Shrek Forever After, The Croods, Turbo, Trolls, and The Boss Baby. He works in 2D and 3D on computers, but he also has a passion for working with good-old pencil and paper. Not to mention that he has a very distinctive art style! At his Shop you’ll find his sketch book called Monsters and Mayhem for sale, plus many examples of his other works.
Our friends over at Cartoon Brew are finishing up the year with an article about 60 (!) animated films scheduled for release in 2017. Some are brand new releases, and some have already made the rounds in other parts of the world but will not be premiering in North America ’till next year. And of course, with a huge set of films like that, more than a fair share of them are definitely going to have some interest for the anthropomorphic fans out there! Taking a quick look ourselves, the upcoming animated films of furry note — some a lot, some a little — include (deep breath…): Animal Crackers, Beast of Burden, Blazing Samurai, Bunyan & Babe, Cars 3, Clara, Despicable Me 3, The Emoji Movie, Ferdinand, Foodiverse, Godzilla (yes, the first animated Godzilla movie!), Here Comes The Grump, Kikoriki — Deja Vu, Kung Food, Lino, Manou the Swift, Mune — Guardian of the Moon, My Cool Dad, My Little Pony — The Movie, The Nut Job 2, Ping Pong Rabbit, Pokemon The Movie — I Choose You, Punyakoti, The Red Turtle, Richard the Stork, Rock Dog, Sahara, Smurfs — The Lost Village, Spark, The Star, Urfin Jus and His Wooden Soldiers, and Underdog. Whew! The article at Cartoon Brew includes several trailers. Of course we’ll be talking a lot more about each of these films as they get closer to release. Happy New Year!
Mary J. Lai creates art and animation under the moniker of Birdzilla Studios. According to her web site, “She has a fondness for birds, which are a frequent subject in her work and cause of quite a few shenanigans in her life. Her achievements include receiving the Matt Groening Initiative award for her thesis film Velo Hoot (which was also selected for an encore in the Best of the NorthWest Animation Film Fest), featured filmmaker for UCLA’s Film & TV’s Director’s Spotlight for her second year film dream(drem)n., and multiple donor awards.” And of course, there are lots of animal, monster, and anthro-animal characters in her portfolio too. Check out her demo reel!
Tyler “Ty” Amato is another artist we met at CTN. He describes his skills as Art Direction and Illustration. Or more precisely, he says it like this: “Hi, I’m Ty! I’m an art director, designer, illustrator, doodler, and a dreamer based in Orlando, Florida. I’m passionate about intricate art that tells a story and I’m hoping to make the world a better place by making it a better looking place.” To that end he has lots of illustrations (of furries, humans, and many other characters) at his web site, as well as a well-stocked Society 6 page where you can buy his artwork as prints, t-shirts, coffee mugs and other fancy stuff. [And of course, Merry Christmas to you all! We hope you and yours had a good one.]
Janice Rostenthal is an illustrator and character designer whom we met at the CTN Animation Expo. She describes herself as a “Disney Imagineer, Ringling College of Art and Design illustration & visual development alumna, dog-person.” As you can see from her web site, that seems to cover all the bases! [And with that, we wish you all Happy Holidays and a Blessed Solstice!]
There’s a new full-color trade paperback on its way from IDW publishing, one that brings together comics from several celebrated Disney comic artists — all of them presenting stories set at the Disney Parks! Here’s what they say: “Sixty years of Disney Parks—who knew? Now IDW is celebrating with decades of Disney’s classic Park-themed adventure comics! Carl Barks‘ Scrooge McDuck and Donald travel from the Mark Twain Riverboat to the top of the Matterhorn… then Mickey investigates the strange disappearance of the Country Bear Jamboree. And is that the real Pegleg Pete standing in for the Cast Member who plays him?” Featuring stories and art from Carl Barks, Giorgio Cavazzano, Massimo Fecchi, and Victor “Vicar” Arriagada Rios, Donald and Mickey: The Magic Kingdom Collection comes to comic book stores this January.
Like many other fans, we were disappointed to recently be informed that Dreamworks Animation has pushed back the release date of How To Train Your Dragon 3 again — this time to the spring of 2019. But in the meantime came some good news: Early next year Dark Horse Press is releasing a new full-color graphic novel, How To Train Your Dragon — The Serpent’s Heir. “Picking up just after the events in How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup, Astrid, and company are called upon to assist the people of an earthquake-plagued island. But their lives are imperiled by a madman and an incredible new dragon who even Toothless—the alpha dragon—may not be able to control!” The big news is that Dean Deblois, who has worked on the Dragons movie series as both writer and director, is one of the co-scripters of this new graphic novel (along with Richard Hamilton). Hollywood Reporter has an interview with the creative team.