It seems like it was only yesterday that I had the chance to make a book with my friends at Blue Sky Studios. It is hard to believe that we started working on the book that became "Out of Picture" four years ago. When I look at all of the projects that I've worked on, O.O.P. has a very special place in my heart. It reminds me of my first few months of living in New York, coming into a dynamic new creative pool at Blue Sky, and most importantly, I met my wife, while I was working on this book.
When the time came to make another Out of Picture, I was really sad that I could not contribute a story. At the time that volume 2 was starting up, I was working on two different children's books, and two different film projects. I could not put the time into O.O.P. that I knew I needed to in order to make something I could be proud of.
Volume 2 is finished and ready to be released in the very near future. I must say that the book is gorgeous. I think that it far surpasses the original, as my friends have really stepped up their game not only as artists, but also as storytellers. I have to admit that I can't help but feel a little bit of regret that I did not contribute a story to this volume, but my friends were kind enough to let me have a little part in the book, by letting me draw their caricatures in the bio section.
So here you go, here are the amazing group of artists that make up Out of Picture, Volume 2.
Dice Tsutsumi is one of O.O.P's founding fathers. He is immensely talented as a painter, but he is just as talented at getting people together and unifying them under a common cause. If it weren't for Dice, we would be finishing up O.O.P. volume 1 in a few months. By the way, Dice's newest story in volume 2 is a tour de force.
Mike Knapp has also served as a indispensable force in the completion of both Out of Picture books. He has been a great leader and also took on the role of book and website designer for the group. I think it is very safe to say that without Mike, we would not have a book. I also have to say that Mike is really difficult to caricature. My favorite part of this drawing, is the logo on his t-shirt because is the proud owner of an evil cat.
Dave Gordon is back again with a very haunting piece in O.O.P. volume 2. Dave is an amazing children's book illustrator. With his work in O.O.P. really exciting to see him stretch creatively and tackle more serious subject matter. In many ways I think his work transcends conventional storytelling, as the final product feels like a fine art series. Dave also happens to be a great person to share an art studio space with. He's an endless source of inspiration.
Vincent Nguyen is back again with a really fun story titled, "The Carnivore". I have had the privilege to sit next to Vince for the past four years and have learned a great deal from him. Vince is a great talent and an even greater friend. He also helped me score a Phil Hale painting, so I am forever in his debt. By the way, in this drawing, it may look like I messed up his shoulders. However, those of you who know Vince can attest, He actually stands with his shoulders slanted this way.
This is Peter Nguyen. He is a very talented color key artist and Vincent's younger brother. Peter earned the proud distinction of being the first person to finish his story on Out of Picture. While everybody was trying to figure out their story, Peter was putting the finishing touches on his story, "The Missive". If you aren't familiar with Peter's work you are in for a treat.
It is very exciting for me to see Lizette Vega's work inside the pages of Out of Picture. Lizette was one of my finest students when I taught at San Jose State University. Her story "Crawdaddyo" is so entertaining, not to mention beautifully drawn. It is hard not to have an ear to ear smile after reading it.
Willie Real is a fellow Northern California artist, who is doing amazing work as a designer at Blue Sky. He is skilled like a samurai with his ever present brush pen.
Kyle McNaughton is also a visual development artist at the studio who contributed an visually stunning story for volume 2. Kyle is a superstar designer who can do it all. He is also our department's resident tennis expert.
Jason Sadler is a character designer and visual development artist at Blue Sky. His story, Sub Plotter is done in a style very reminiscent of the old UPA cartoons. Jason is one of the brightest and hardest working artists I have had the privilege of working with. His approach to draftsmanship and design is very inspiring.
Nash Dunnigan is a man who lives on the edge. While Peter Nguyen was the first to finish his story, Nash was the last. Watching Nash finish his story is not a good activity for someone with a faint heart. I was nervous for him during the entire last month before the deadline but true to form Nash delivered. I love to tease Nash, but make no mistake, Nash is a drawing machine. Nash's layouts are out of this world. If that wasn't enough, his storytelling is top notch.
Benoit Le Pennec is back again with another great story that is going to blow all of you away. His story, "The Youth of Jimmy", is a western drawn in a classic comic style.
Andrea Blasich again shows us another dimension of his ridiculous talent with the story, "Are You the Right Color". When you look at Andrea's drawings, sculpture, storytelling and layout skills, it makes me wonder if there is anything he can't do.
Jake Parker has a wide array of super powers, from the ability to jump over tables and kitchen counters, to the ability to shift drawing styles and story telling genres with extraordinary ease. With the story, "The Antler Boy", He has expanded his range and brought together another beautiful look that we have not seen before. The Antler Boy is some of his best work.
Last but certainly not least is Sang Jun Lee. I have worked with many talented people, but Jun stands out as being one of the most talented draftsmen I have ever worked with. Perhaps you have seen his work. A few years ago he designed characters and costumes for this little independent film called Star Wars episode III. Since then, the good folks at Blue Sky have kidnapped him from the west coast and had him design characters for their films. If his enviable talent and colossal work ethic weren't enough, you would be hard pressed to find a kinder and gentler soul than Jun.