Saturday, March 20, 2010

Benefit Auction a Success!!

A week has gone by since the auction and we are busying packing up all the incredible art to ship to the lucky winners and still tallying up the numbers and the GREAT news is...
Our collective efforts have raised over $26,000.00!!

Not only will the new school for the kids in Freetown, Sierra Leone be built but it is, in fact, already underway!
(I'll write more as soon as we have updates..)
Also we are well on our way towards our financial goal for creating the library for the kids at The Urban Assembly School for The Urban Environment in Bed-Stuy, New York.

Thank you to ALL the contributing artists and all those who participated in the auction. Your generosity is not only inspiring but will go towards helping these kids build better lives.

If you were unable to win your bid on a postcard and would still like to contribute financially you can visit the Brownstones To Red Dirt help page and find out more.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Still a chance!!...

One last postcard is still available in the auction!!!
By an artist one can never get enough of..
master illustrator Peter de Sève!

You have until TODAY..

Good Luck!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Peter de Sève

As promised, the final postcard has been delivered!!!
and one that you have all been looking forward to...

This beautiful watercolor comes from the hand of legendary illustrator and incontrovertible character designer Peter de Sève. A native of Queens, New York, Peter began drawing at an early age developing a love of comics and illustrated books. A graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York City, Peter's illustration and character designs are known throughout the world with work spanning three decades and various media, including books, print and television advertising, animated feature films and magazines.  Best recognized for his many many New Yorker covers and his character designs for the three blockbuster Ice Age movies (“Scrat” is now an international icon), Peter also has been published in nearly every other major American magazine including Time, Newsweek, Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Premiere and Entertainment Weekly. And, as one of the leading character designers in the animated-film industry, Peter has also contributed to such films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, A Bug’s Life, Tarzan, Finding Nemo and Ratatouille. As an illustrator Peter's many distinctions include the prestigious Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators, a Clio Award for a Nike television commercial entitled Destination Moon, a Spectrum Annual of Fantastic Art Gold Medal and a Soleil d’Or Award from the Festival BD Sollies Ville in France. With his artwork included in many anthologies including the Sketchtravel art book and Out of Picture, Peter as well is always a generous contributor to many charities and benefits including the Totoro Forest Project, Help The Hodges, Prevailing Human Spirit to name only a very few. Currently living in Brooklyn with his wife, Randall with whom he recently collaborated on his first children’s book, The Duchess of Whimsey and their two daughters, Paulina and Fia, Peter has also recently published a tremendously beautiful volume of his artwork titled Peter de Seve: A Sketchy Past.

To view more of Peter's delightful characters and masterful illustrations please visit his blog and website.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Brownstones To Red Dirt Postcard Art Benefit AUCTION IS LIVE!!!

Happy Bidding and Good Luck!!

Chris Wedge

This wonderfully whimsical illustration comes to us from artist and multi-award winning Director Chris Wedge. New York born and raised, with a BFA in Film from SUNY Purchase and an MA in Computer Graphics and Art Eduction from Ohio State University, Chris Wedge IS Blue Sky Studios. Whether as a director or an executive producer, his fingerprints are on every project the studio has ever done - as they should be, Chris was one of Blue Sky's original co-founders in 1987. As Vice President of Creative Development, the studio soon became known as one of the top computer animation studios in the world, a few of their early visual effects contributions include first their work in Joe's Apartment, then Alien: Resurrection, as well as A Simple Wish and Star Trek: Insurrection. Blue Sky's breakthrough came when Chris wrote and directed the multi-award winning BUNNY for which he won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1998. He followed up the impressive short with his first animated feature film, both Oscar and Annie nominated and a huge box office hit, Ice Age in 2002. As director of the visually stunning, Annie nominated film Robots and executive producer of all of Blue Sky's subsequent films, Chris has also been the voice of Scrat throughout the entire Ice Age film series, performing all the hilarious character's "squeaks and squeals." Currently Chris is directing Blue Sky's future animated feature LEAFMEN, a property he is developing with William Joyce based on Joyce's illustrated book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Nash Dunnigan

This beautifully inspired painting comes from the talented illustrator Nash Dunnigan, who was especially moved by the friendship between the two young artists, Malik and Balla, and created this piece to show the significance of their bond. The pen-pals' ability to peer over their global fences and empathize with each other could serve as models for a global community preoccupied with war and distrust. Raised in the rural (and often colonial) countrysides of Virginia, Nash graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1991 with a BFA, after studying illustration and film making. He arrived in Manhattan in 1993 and worked in the New York TV animation circuit for years as a designer, storyboard artist, and art director until 2003 when he came to Blue Sky Studios. Since at Blue Sky, Nash has designed and workbooked for Robots, Ice Ages 2 and 3, No Time for Nuts, Horton Hears a Who!, and the upcoming movie Rio. Nash art directed the short, Surviving Sid, and is excited to currently art direct a feature in production that will be released in 2112. He has been part of many art collectives, including both sequential anthologies Out of Picture 1 and 2, the Totoro Forest Project, and was included in the Society of Illustrators Sequential Annual 49. Nash has also contributed to the much anticipated Sketchtravel art book, and has had his work exhibited in both Paris and New York.

For more of Nash's art please visit his blog.

Malik Adamson

This poignant card comes from Malik Adamson, one of the featured children in the documentary BROWNSTONES TO RED DIRT. A Bed-Stuy artist, Malik has an affinity for anime and hopes to use his talents to either be a professional artist, a photographer or a game designer, he has as he says, "backup plans." A self-described "kook," and now in 8th grade, Malik's art reflects his personality: effervescent and sweet, it shows a young man who seeks to escape a mundane (and sometimes harsh) reality through exploring worlds only found in his imagination.

Kyle Macnaughton

Artist Kyle Macnaughton's beautiful diptych titled Movement gracefully speaks to the theme of this event. The fish represents the "movement" - a collection of many people’s efforts toward a cause - and in it’s wake stirs the many individual letters between the children in the film. Raised in Toronto, Canada Kyle was well on his way to a career in film when in his second year at Sheridan College, while studying towards his degree in Classical Animation, he also worked at Walt Disney Studios as a Layout Designer. Currently working as a Visual Development Artist at Blue Sky Studios, Kyle contributes his unique vision and painterly style in the creation of innovative environments and characters for animated feature films such as Ice Age 2, Horton Hears a Who!, Rio, and other projects that are currently in development. Contributor of a visually stunning story to the collaborative publication, Out of Picture 2, Kyle has exhibited original artwork in group shows in Paris for OOP2, and San Francisco for the Totoro Forest Project. All this AND resident tennis expert in his department at Blue Sky!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rachel Tiep-Daniels

Representing growth, giving and prosperity this lovely, intricately illustrated triptych, titled Arbre tordu, is by artist Rachel Tiep-Daniels who was inspired by a beautiful twisted old tree in front of the structure where the children currently attend school in Sierra Leone. Born in Los Angeles and raised Sudbury, Massachusetts, Rachel studied at University of Miami's School of Architecture and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale graduating with a degree in Computer Animation. With over 10 years of experience in the animation film industry, working for both Blue Sky Studios and DreamWorks Animation as a Visual Development Designer and 3D Artist, Rachel's film credits include Ice Age, Kung Fu Panda, Shark Tale, Monsters vs Aliens, Shrek the Musical, Puss n' Boots, Guardians and the upcoming Rio. Outside of her film work, one of Rachel's biggest accomplishments, which gave her a clear perspective and purpose, was volunteering at an orphanage in Ghana West Africa spending time drawing and coloring with the children. Upon her return, combining her passion for animation and art with what she had learned, Rachel co-founded the Picture Book Project Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization which gives artists and educators a way to help and inspire children in need. As President of the PBP Foundation Rachel co-created the Picture Book Project, a soon to be published coloring book, inspired by the orphaned children of Ghana and Tijuana and illustrated by 70 artists in the animation industry to benefit children in need around the world. Rachel, always inspired by her surroundings, is an inspiration to us all.

For more of Rachel's artwork please visit her blog.

For more information about The Picture Book Project Foundation please visit their website.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Balla Musa Tarawalie

Cindy Nofziger of Schools for Salone, Copper Pot Pictures' partner in the effort to build a school for the kids in Sierra Leone, recently returned from her annual trip to survey the non-profit organization's many projects. While in the country, Cindy had a chance to survey the proposed site for the new school and meet with some of the children who will benefit from this auction. We sent Cindy with a package of 36 blank postcards and boxes of colored pencils for the kids at the Children in Crisis Primary School... Balla completed 27 cards himself!!
Below are just a few..

These spirited and imaginative illustrations come from Sierra Leonean student Balla Musa Tarawalie who appears in the documentary BROWNSTONES TO RED DIRT. The 15 year old student's love of his country is captured in his vibrant images of his neighborhood. Balla wishes nothing more than to be a professional artist and his inclusion in this auction is a huge step in that direction! As a baby, Balla's parents were murdered by rebels during Sierra Leone's civil war. Adopted by Ma Musu Tarawalie, headmistress of the Children in Crisis Primary School, "Aunty Musu" encourages Balla to draw and has instilled a love of peace in his heart. Though his pain rips him apart and makes him yearn for revenge, Balla uses his art as a way to reconcile the hurt from his past with his desire for a brighter future.

Marty Fuller

Inspired by the children's stories in the Brownstones To Red Dirt documentary, this beautifully transportive and profound painting titled Peace is by artist Marty Fuller. Hatched and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Marty graduated from Ohio State with a film degree in 1983. Following college Marty co-founded Character Builders, helping it grow from a small commercial house to an award-winning go-to facility for studio feature animation and shorts and then ventured on to Sony Pictures, Blue Sky Studios, Illumination Entertainment, and other creative places. His life as an animator, sequence director, writer and story artist has enabled Marty to play a part in the making of 20+ features, working happily with Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, numerous Disney heroes and sidekicks, Horton, Sid the Sloth, Scrat and many of the nutty geniuses who populate the animation industry. Recently Marty helped make the feature length documentary The Cartoonist, about the life and work of Bone creator Jeff Smith. Currently a story artist on the future animated film The Lorax, Marty and his wife Debby are also hoping to see some of their books for young readers in print someday.

Joan Cabot

Inspired by the Brownstones To Red Dirt documentary’s Emanuel, an aspiring electrician who brings light where there was only darkness, artist Joan Cabot submits this postcard titled Beyond Their Circumstances. Joan was born on the island of Mallorca, Spain and studied art and illustration at the Escola Superior de Disseny de les Illes Balears. He then enrolled in a course at the computer graphics lab at the Universitat de les Illes Balears where he spent many years first as a student and later as an instructor in the postgraduate program. After working for small studios in Spain, he moved to London and freelanced for animated TV shows, commercials and film preproduction. Then he packed his bags and headed for New York where he joined Blue Sky Studios as Lighter and Previsualization Artist on Horton Hears a Who!, Ice Age 3, Rio and a film currently in production. Joan has co-created 5 animated short films that have been selected in film festivals worldwide, and currently has his work included in a Universitat de les Illes Balears CG Retrospective that has just finished it’s run at the Museum of Modern Art in Mallorca and will open as ANIMAR-TE: 20 years of Computer Animation at the University of the Balearic Islands in Spring 2010 at the American University Museum's Katzen Arts Center in Washington D.C.

For more of Joan's artwork please visit his blog.

Marin Petrov

Combining a love for painting and a keeness for all thing technical artist Marin Petrov, along with his wife, learned a bit about gear mechanics in order to create this delightful interactive postcard titled The Messenger. Marin was born and raised in a small peaceful mountain town in Bulgaria, then moved to Sofia to attend university as a law student. In his last year at the Academy of Ministry of the Interior he could deny his penchant for the arts no longer and dropped out to pursue a career in computer animation. He found work with Worldwide-FX as a Character Animator and Rigger, and his film credits include the latest Rambo, The Gene Generation, Lonely Hearts, Undisputed, The Expendables and Righteous Kill. Quite recently Marin joined the Blue Sky Studios team as a Character TD and is working on a film currently in production.

To see Marin's postcard in action, check out his YouTube video!

To see more of Marin's artwork please visit his website.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Robert Kondo

The wonderfully humorous and expressive characters in this postcard come from one of the leading environmental set designers in the animation field, artist Robert Kondo. Raised in Hacienda Heights, California, Robert graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he studied illustration and design with Norm Schureman. Robert worked as a sketch artist at graphic design studio, Oblique Strategies, and Angel Studios, where he met Warren Nung and Steven Olds, respectively, and who he cites as important influences in his professional career. In 2002 Robert joined Pixar Animation Studios as Sets Art Director assisting production designer Harley Jessup in designing sets and environments for the film Ratatouille. With additional film credits which include Wall-E, Robert has most recently worked on the soon to be released Toy Story 3 as a Sets Art Director. Outside of his day job Robert has contributed to the sequential art anthologies Afterworks and Afterworks 2, as well as the Totoro Forest Project, the highly anticipated Sketchtravel art book and Spectrum 15, to name only a few. Currently living in Oakland, California, in his spare time Robert also teaches at the Concept Design Academy in Pasadena and frequently shows his art in galleries and group exhibitons.

For more of Robert's artwork please visit his blog.

Tami Stewart

From the imagination of multi-talented artist Tami Stewart comes this intriguing illustration titled Reaching For You which continues her series of artwork depicting tiny monks who endeavor to accomplish large tasks. Born in Japan and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tami never trained as an artist. After college, upon reading a magazine article about dioramas at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, it was the beginning of her love of natural history museums. She made a bee-line for the Academy in San Francisco, started as a volunteer, and 20 years later continues to fabricate exhibits. As a core member of a team at Academy Studios in Northern California, Tami has contributed to exhibits at the Chicago Field Museum, American Museum of Natural History. Royal Ontario Museum, and MIDE Mexico City, to name only a few, and her sculptures and detailed exhibitry, although mostly anonymously crafted, is viewed on a daily basis by the thousands worldwide. An illustrator and painter as well as a sculptor, and recently contracted to illustrate insects, Tami is currently splitting her time between her inspired natural history sculpting, her beautifully detailed nature field guide paintings and helping organize this postcard art benefit!

Jerod Chirico

This colorful, exuberant painting is from artist Jerod Chirico. Raised in the small town of Conesus, New York, Jerod, along his three brothers, grew up playing lots of soccer, running around in the woods, and drawing while watching his father draw, who supported his family as a freelance artist and designer. Attending Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where he learned traditional animation from Professor Michael Genz, Jerod put himself through school working as a caricature artist in amusement parks for Kaman's Art Shoppes. Upon graduating in 2002, Jerod landed his first industry job as an as an Animator at DNA Productions in Dallas, Texas working on the television series Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Moving back to New York to work for Blue Sky Studios as an Animator on Robots, Ice Age 2 and Horton Hears A Who!, Jerod then transferred to the Story Department to work as a Storyboard Artist on Ice Age 3. Recently storyboarding for the upcoming feature animation Rio, Jerod is currently working on a film in development.

Tony Maki

Inspired by the plight of rhinos that are hunted for their horns, artist Tony Maki contributes this beautiful diptych titled Dove’s Perch. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tony attended the Academy of Art University graduating with a BA in Illustration and Traditional Animation in 2001. Through college Tony supported himself as a UPS driver, after which he worked briefly as a designer/animator of hand held games. Then with the support of mentors he developed a few TV shows and worked on a variety of short films. Relocating to the East Coast, for the past six years Tony has been a Story Artist with Blue Sky Studios, where his film credits include Robots, Ice Age 2 and 3, Horton Hears a Who!, and where he is currently at work on the soon to be released Rio. A contributor to the Totoro Forest Project, Tony is also a freelance illustrator and animator who specializes in character based development and creation.

To see more of Tony's art please visit his blog.

Amy Pertschuk

Inspired by her recent trip to the Galapagos, this piece titled PHATARIA UNIFASCIALIS is by award winning designer and internet entrepreneur Amy Pertschuk. Born in Portland, Oregon and raised in Washington D.C. Amy grew up inspired by spending many hours in the national museums. Moving across country to California, she studied Design and Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and Parsons School of Design in Paris. In the 1980’s, Amy worked as a scientific illustrator at the California Academy of Sciences and illustrated several cookbooks including The Great American Seafood Cookbook and Ginger East to West.  In 1998, Amy co-founded, the Web’s premier nature-discovery resource. Most recently co-founding the Children & Nature Network with author Richard Louv and others, Amy is serving as C&NN's managing director.

For more information on the children and nature movement and Amy's current work please visit

Matthew Sharack

Reflecting his obsession with the Victorian era and a love for architecture, this vibrant, imaginative piece is the work of artist Matthew Sharack. Born in Savannah, Georgia and raised on Long Island, as a kid Matthew was perpetually with pencil in hand and remembers being inspired by Looney Tunes and Disney. He attended New York University and found himself in the film school, Tisch School of the Arts, studying film, television and animation. His first job was working for Nickelodeon on Dora the Explorer painting backgrounds for the research department. After that Matthew packed his bags and headed to California in pursuit of animation work and found a job in the mail room at DreamWorks Animation. Still unsure of his direction, he found an artist there to mentor him and that’s when things took off. Working towards becoming a visual development artist while holding down a job in production, Matthew has been a Story Production Assistant on Shrek the Third, a Story/Script Coordinator on Monsters vs Aliens and currently an Art Coordinator on a film due to release in 2011. Having exhibited his art in group shows in the past, Matthew soon be will be part of a group show at GhettoGloss Gallery in Los Angeles this coming April.

For more of Matthew's art please visit his blog.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sabrina de los Rios

This lovely painting titled Serendipity is by the talented Sabrina de los Rios. Half Peruvian and half Italian, Sabrina was born in Miami and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Sabrina's passion for film led her to Vancouver Film School where she discovered the world of animation. While working there she was able to study various film courses most of which were in Acting and also led to part-time work as an actor. After spending 11 years at VFS as Registrar for Animation programs and then Program Manager for 3D Animation, she fled to New York for an opportunity to work as a Recruiter for Blue Sky Studios. Brown Stones to Red Dirt inspired Sabrina to return to her creative side and sparked a desire to do more. “It's important to always try to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. By doing so, you will grow and be free.”

Vicki Saulls

This subtly drawn portrait of the lovely Augusta, one of the children from the Brownstones To Red Dirt documentary who unknowingly has inspired so very many, is by an artist not often known for her 2-dimensional work, sculptor Vicki Saulls. Born in Idaho and raised in Georgia and California, Vicki began sculpting at an early age. Graduating with a degree in Art from University of California at Santa Cruz she left off any artistic pursuits for a number of years till an extended adventure on the high seas helped her formulate her artistic direction. Returning to San Francisco, where she resided the 20 years following, Vicki embarked on a career as a museum modelmaker and sculptor for natural history museums, aquariums and parks, and where her mostly anonymous work can still be viewed today at such venues as Monterey Bay Aquarium, Yosemite National Park, Papalote Museo del Nino and the National Museum of Natural History in Taichung, Taiwan. From this she easily transitioned to freelance sculpting for similar institutions, as well as awarded commissions as a public artist with many sculptures permanently installed in such locations across San Francisco as Union Square and Golden Gate Park. Besides helping to organize this postcard art benefit, Vicki now works as a Senior Sculptor for Blue Sky Studios sculpting character maquettes for their many development projects & feature films.

To see a glimpse of Vicki's public art please visit her website.

Andrea Offermann

This delightful and delicate submission is by the prolific illustrator Andrea Offermann. Born and raised in Cologne, Germany, in 2005 Andrea received her BFA in Illustration at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where she discovered her love for printmaking, fine linework, as well as nature and it’s patterns. In 2006 she returned to Germany and has since focused on her illustration and fine art, with illustration clients including FILU, Specler and Teaching Tolerance Magazine as well as being featured a number of other publications. Andrea's artwork has been shown in many group exhibitions including the Systema Naturae shows, Illustration West 47 show and the Quinquennium Exhibition all at Gallery Nucleus in Los Angeles, From Scratch show at the Chicago Art Source gallery, SK8 or Die show at Young Blood Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, and most recently a series of paintings at the David B Smith Gallery in Denver, Colorado and the Society of Illustrators Exhibit of Illustrators 52: Sequential and Uncommissioned in January of 2010. Andrea has contributed to Flight 4 and 6, illustrated the German children's book Keine Angst vor Schafen and just completed illustrating the young adult steampunk novel The Boneshaker by Kate Milford which is coming out this spring. Andrea's focus in creating images is a combination of science and history with research playing a major role as she strives to understand a subject’s complexities, mythologies and characteristics. Currently working on a 2D animation short that will be presented at the end of April of 2010, Andrea is also working towards her next show Systema Naturae: Air which will be in Los Angeles in July 2010 at Gallery Nucleus.

To see more of Andrea's art please visit her website and blog.