Anomaly Approved: Amy Mebberson

It’s been a while since the last one, but things have been busy and this type of post takes a wee bit longer than normal to accomplish. Anyways, today’s recommendation is Amy Mebberson. Who is she? Well, she’s an animation artist who has a lot of passion for all things Disney (and Pixar) and who currently gets to draw Pixar comics, how cool is that?

Amy likes to draw (a lot) and a quick check of her Flickr stream reveals a wide variety of works. There are plenty of work creations, but she is not shy about putting up her personal art either, be it from her sketchbook or her submittals to the Girls Drawing Girls blog.

While some out there will only be familiar with her Disney pin-ups collection, Amy is capable of so much more. It is safe to say that she has an exquisite eye for both character composure and design. While some artists are content to use similar poses over and over again, in contrast, Amy uses the opportunity to explore new and exciting poses that bring out the best possible expression in the character.

The vast majority of Amy’s works are what I would term cute. The characters are almost always smiling and look like they are in a good mood. Which, unless you’re a troll living under a bridge, will undoubtedly brighten your day.

Like most creative folks, Amy does plenty of doodling. Even though these are drawn quickly, with scant regard for perfectness, they still exhibit a great attention to detail and a dedication to excellent design. Since these are done in a relatively short space of time, there are plenty to be found over on Amy’s art blog, My Blue Sky. Even more of her stuff can be found in her deviantArt gallery.

Now I’m no great critic, but I know what I like when it comes to art. It is clear that Amy displays a true passion for her profession that shines through in the quality, calibre and variety of her creations. So what are you waiting, go check out her stuff!

Anomaly Approved: Ben Camberos

I follow a heck of a lot of blogs (c. 300 at present) and a heck of a lot of those blogs are artists, illustrators or animators. The vst majority of said blogs put out exceptionally good work. The rest also put out exceptionally good work, if only they would update more often! Ben, on the other hand, posts fairly regularly over on his blog.

Ben happens to be one of my favourites, mainly because his creations are totally consistent in their quality. He posts a wide variety of stuff, from sketches, works in progress, completed works and the odd photo or two thrown in for good measure.

His style is pretty unique, relying on strong lines, bright colours and physical features that I guess form a trademark of sorts of his work. He sure does make plenty of pin-ups though, and damned good ones at that. Some are perhaps slightly risque, but that should not detract you from checking out his gallery. His composure is superb and it is clear that he puts plenty of effort and attention into his work. Overall, he compares quite favourably to Messrs. Glines and Timm in terms of quality.

Besides those, ben also indulges his geeky side with plenty of action heroes, comic characters and anime(?) which add a good dose of variety to his work. It is clear to see that his experience serves him well in that regard.

Camberos keeps good company as the links part of his excellent website will attest to, with not one, but two artists already Anomaly Approved.

I would highly recommend checking out his website and blog. He is also currently taking commissions, which means that you too, could own your very own piece of Ben Camberos artwork.

Anomaly Approved: Asterisk Animation

Blogging, it’s a tough thing to get right at the best of times, heck, I screw it up on a fairly regular basis. There are a chosen few however that excel at the practise. Richard O’Connor is one of them.

Emanating from my favourite city in the whole wide world (New York), Richard writes for the Asterisk Animation blog. In case you didn’t already know, Asterisk is a studio based in New York that turns out many projects for private clients but also undertakes larger stuff, like the superb work they completed for PBS’ film, The Buddha (featuring the handiwork of everyone’s favourite Australian, Elliot Cowan).

Regular readers will note that Richard is not the sole animator blogger in New York, he’s not even the sole daily animator blogger in New York. He shares that distinction with Michael Sporn, a most unique animator whom I recommended just last month!

That is where the similarities end however. There are many differences between the two that serve to provide some fantastic variety in the New York animation scene. For one, Richards focuses much more on the practicalities of animation.

What I mean by this is that we get some original class notes from Tissa David! That is not all however, Richard also posts plenty of tips and tricks on how to create good animation, not just who we should look up to in the industry. Besides that, there are numerous posts filled with seasoned advice that can only come from someone who has been in the industry and has seen it all. Indeed, a series of posts has been posted on the correct way to cost a project. That is advice that can be hard to come by at the best of times and here it is being given away freely!

Richard also posts recaps from various events held in New York. Seeing as one person cannot make them all, it is nice to have a few blogs from where to read how events went. For those of us who don’t live in the Big Apple, these are a blessing.

Being the blog of an animation studio, it would be a crime if there weren’t plenty of posts about goings on in the place. Richard excels at posting about the ins and outs of working and running a studio. Besides that, he gives boatloads of background on many of the projects the studio works on. Although times are slowly changing, it is still rare to see first hand information about the nuts and bolts of a studio coming out on a regular basis.

An interesting aspect of the Asterisk blog is the numerous posts devoted to The Animator, the former newsletter of the trade union in the city. These offer a fascinating insight to the industry as it was many years ago and serve as a great reminder of how much things have changed. They are well worth a read if you have the time to spare.

Of course it wouldn’t be a blog if there weren’t a few personal posts here and there. Richard supplies the goods with posts on varying topics of interest. A notable pair of posts was centred on anime and how it came to be in this country.

As I said at the start, blogging is hard to do right. Doing it every day and getting it right is even harder. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Asterisk Animation blog is Anomaly Approved.