Thursday, February 23, 2006


One gripe I have with some of the animated shows I see, is that too often each episode looks as though it has rolled off an assembly line. It's easy to see why once you've experienced the incredible deadlines and pressure to simply "get it done", but I've always felt that one of my duties as an art director was to make sure every story felt special, that each episode was easily discernable from another. Early on, Rob and I knew we wanted a show full of expressive color, that it would be the story that would dictate the sheme sof each episode, but this would require much work and planning.

These are some of Seonna Hong's "color scripts". We'll descibe the story to Seonna, then she'll create these rough color sketches of the key background drawings.Lined up, they'll start to give a sense of the emotional highs and lows of the narrative.
These are all tiny, about the size of a match-book.Once we are satisfied with the flow of things, the paint team will paint these and additional layouts slightly larger.
It is worth noting that Teenage Robot is one of the very last shows at Nickelodeon to have hand painted backgrounds.


Brian Growe said...

I was always so impressed with your use of color on Teenage Robot, beautiful work!

Clarke (Csnyde) said...

Yes I couldn't agree more with everything you have said about the use of color in an animated show and how important and all too often overlooked aspect of most shows on the air today.

I have always greatly admired the way you guys and girls working on Tennage robot have implemented smart and inventive use of color throughout the entire series run.

I even recently made reference to this in a post about the importance of using color as a character (so to speak ) on my own blog The Inspiration Grab-Bag where I am posting examples of pre-1960's animation, comics, and illustration work that I find particularly inspiring. Check it out if you have time. The specific post I am referring to is the one regarding Gerald Mcboing-Boing.

Sorry for rambling on here, but I have one more question for you.

I have already purchased the incredible MLAAATR book that you guys were selling online and was wondering if you might consider printing another... perhaps in color with full backgrounds and such. I would really love to see that happen.

tyde45 said...

I second that idea above my post.

I've always been deeply in love, and constantly amazed by your backgrounds...One of them said 'Biker Planet' on the bottom...Can't wait to see that episode! Hello, LETTA!

The Great One said...

The artwork on this show is museum quality.

Ir has won Emmy Awards and international awards and acclaim. If there were any justice in the world, it would have won a number of Annie awards as well, but that is amother story.

I only hope that somehow, there is another book published of the artwork of this show, both of the characters and of the beauttiful backgrounds and prop work that was done, if only to honor the people who worked so tirelessly for such a wonderful ideal.

I cannot believe that Nickelodeon would leave such talent buried in it's schedule like an abandoned stepchild.

I hope that Frederator or whoever Alex, Rob and the rest of you work for next, appreciate your skills
and give you a wide open canvas and plenty of time to show what wonderful things the human mind can produce.

God bless you all.

wichobot said...

Very colorful and good designs!
Maybe you can put some bigger images to get some wallpapers!
wichobot -