Brenda Chapman’s Irish Trip & What You Can Learn From It

So it’s the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. Seeing as I’m writing this on Friday night, I can only presume that I (and you) had a good time and did indeed uphold the fine traditions of my race on the day.

Anyway, Brenda Chapman recently spent some in Ireland to teach a few master classes, but she also did something else, namely take herself all the way up to the wilder parts where I’m from and spend some time in a cottage to herself.

Long story short, she found it a great help to simply focus on things. You should definitely read her post on it, but keep in mind that sometimes disconnecting from life for a while can be a good thing. There’s no doubt that the US is by far the fastest-lived nation on Earth and sometimes that can lead to a lot of unnecessary noise. No, not the traditional kind of noise, like from a road, but the other, psychological kind.

Brenda found taking a break a great help. Perhaps you should do the same 🙂

Do Cartoon Characters Work Their Way Into Your Life?

Via: Cartoon Brew

While reading Amid’s post about the upcoming exhibition of so-called street art at MOCA in Los Angeles, a thought occurred to me. Is there a reason why there is animation in it at all?

What I mean is that, why on earth would such street artists choose to use animated characters? As Amid points out, some have graduated to using their own characters, but the majority will use well known characters (from perhaps some big, evil corporation).

If you think about it, it seems somewhat obvious. We do seem to have a strong attachment to the cartoons and cartoon characters from our youth. Is it a subconscious yearning for the old days? I’m not sure (but feel free to post your theories in the comments below).

I would argue that characters do tend to work their way into your life as a child and they do tend to reside in the ol’ noggin for the rest of your life. They also represent a certain time that you may like to hold dear or perhaps you identified with the character as a youngster. For artists like the ones in the exhibition, cartoon characters can represent a whole host of things, either from their own personal lives or from their work. Either way, they seem to find artistic value in the characters far outside their original purpose.

What is clear is that cartoon characters pop up all over the place. I’ve seen plenty of 18 wheelers with a Tinkerbell sticker on them! I’ve also seen plenty of old folks wearing a Disney sweater or baseball cap. They are surely well outside the target demographic for such things, right? But is it really that surprising to see such things?

All of this is a sign of the relationship that animated characters form with ourselves. If you need any proof, just think about the last time you saw someone some Saved by the Bell merchandise. Such stuff is pretty hard to come by. Now compare it with all the Ren & Stimpy stuff out there. I think the answer speaks for itself.