Category Archives: Seuss

Eric Machmer: Commercial Work: Keebler Picnic & the 1st Female Cheerios Bees!

Concept designer Feng Zhu uses a $150 Wacom tablet rather than a $2,500 Cintiq. I found this — first, hard to believe — then (for students and artists in developing countries) revolutionary.
These frames were created last weekend to test a tablet workflow. Now I prefer working on a bright large iMac with a tablet…my Cintiq is used in an elevated contraption above a treadmill (see post below). Hopefully story artists in less developed countries will learn to draw on inexpensive tablets.  It has been liberating to realize we can work anywhere.

When starting most digital artists think: “Shesh this tablet sucks! God please I need a Cintiq!” Once comfortable with Cintiq workflows we remain conditioned to tolerate Wacom’s massive eighty five pound twenty-five hundred dollar desk anchor. Don’t buy a Cintiq — it won’t help. Practice, pay off your credit cards, and travel — with a laptop and tablet.

Update: yes, these bug-eyed bees creep me out. Fortunately HNC will be around for a while…first attempt, long-term project.

During a recent visit my toddler nieces ate Cheerios straight from the box like velociraptors — with no side-effects from sugar (second ingredient). These fun, commercial, personal side-projects help me relax when I freak about today’s economy — hopefully Keebler will have a vegan line and artificial milk with sugar free cereal will be commonplace — in the meantime….

The hero of this blog Dr. Seuss advertised mosquito repellant. Standard Oil kept him alive during the Depression. When Theodore Geisel finally published children’s books late in life he was still known by fellow illustrators as “the Flick guy.”

For more commercial work by Theodore Geisel see UC San Diego’s thorough online archive:
Relevant conversations among artists on Twitter as the economy became part of our public discourse (first conversation initiated by Ward Jenkins @Wardomatic, second by Molly Crabapple @mollycrabapple):

saw that someone left a comment on that Life of a Freelancer link: “you can always say ‘no'” – umm, not if you’re trying to pay the bills.I find artists that claim not to care about money usually have parents who pay for that attitude. And not if you’re trying to keep your two kids from starving & not if you’re trying to keep from getting evicted from your rented home, etc. Exactly. It’s not always possible to pick & choose, especially during a recession. The flip-side is there is an opportunity cost in working with asshole clients…the worst part about shit work is it takes away time from giving 110% to good clients. 1 of 2: There are a lot of people doing great creative work that give advice like turn down a client that offers a rotten deal 2 of 2: most people handing out advice on being a creative pro are NOT 100% freelancers-they have a job that pays the bills
—- Another: At the start of my career, I was often accused of spending more time promoting myself than I did focusing on my art. While it might have been 50/50, or 60/40, or 40/60, this was probably true. I did ALOT of art. But also a LOT of business. And never slept. Now, that I have a crew of amazing people that deals with my schlepping, hauling, calling, invoicing and emailing, I’m 90% art time. Conclusion? Devoting yourself to your art is a fucking luxury, and no one should ever criticize a young artist for being a scrappy hustler. Cause the business stuff- someone has to do it. Before you’re making enough bank to support an assistant or gallery, that person will be you. Me and @KimBoekbinder have talked about how the lie fed to artists is the same at that fed to chicks… that if you’re good and pretty and nice enough, some man or gallery will sweep you off your feet …and if they don’t come, well it’s positively vulgar to get out of your tower yourself, you whore It’s something I think about alot now- how much having cash and a crew frees me to do crazy, ambitious dream projects. The stuff I got criticized for doing when I was starting out still gets done. But it’s considered less vulgar to pay someone else to do it. Considering hustling and business stuff vulgar is just another way of saying people who want to transcend their station are vulgar.

Role Model to Superheroes: Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

A Prayer for a Child is a hand-pulled serigraph on canvas, created from an original painting with an Arabic edition of 850. Each serigraph is accompanied by a copy of Seuss’s poem, “A Prayer for a Child.”

The December 23, 1955 issue of Collier’s Magazine devoted a full-color page to A Prayer for a Child, the only published piece in which Ted Geisel uncharacteristically breaks a self-imposed rule that his work not have religious connotations, which could alter their appeal for children of different faiths.

With that said, it is obvious that Ted Geisel cared deeply about the great issues of our age. His concerns were reflected time and again in the conceptual themes of his books. For example, Yertle the Turtle is about dictatorship and due process rights; The Sneetches, tolerance and discrimination; Horton Hears a Who!, individualism; How the Grinch Stole Christmas, holiday over-commercialization; and The Cat in the Hat, illiteracy and conformity.

The painting, A Prayer for a Child, stunning in its vibrant colors and captivating in its galactic point of view, has been painted from the perspective of one child’s small place in the universe. The prayer, spoken in first person on behalf of that child, makes the connection between their cozy home and the heavens.

From here on earth,
From my small place
I ask of You
Way out in space:
Please tell all men
In every land
What You and I
Both understand . . .
Please tell all men
That Peace is Good.
That’s all
That need be understood
In every world
In Your great sky.
(We understand.
Both You and I.)
(Thanks to the amazing Animazing Gallery for bringing this work to our attention.)

Started on Twitter by Emma Coats (@lawnrocket): #framegame

The funnest game EVER was invented Thursday afternoon September 23, 2010 by @lawnrocket!!  If you are a story artist or just interested in storyboarding check out Twitter hashtag #framegame every Friday ( ).  Anyone can join in — either sketching or guessing.

My first entry in #framegame; final scene in my fav cartoon.
(23rd September 2010 the start of #framegame in storyboarding history!)
Update: All 24 minutes and 49 seconds of Lorax goodness can be seen in its entirety thanks to Google Video, here: