Fashion.

Fashion.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

Production Designer’s Notebook #004

Because the Director’s wanted to achieve a more graphic look for the second film, I realized we would get the best results by designing our establishing shots in 2D and then building the establishing shots to camera as often as we could.

These are some of the establishing shots I designed for the approach to Swallow Falls. The directors asked me to make it feel spooky and emphasize the scale of the giant plants growing on the island.

I went a step further and tried to compose the shots so that it might feel as if the characters were walking into the jaws of a giant creature, literally being swallowed by the island as they journeyed closer.

Huge thanks and well-deserved credit to Dean Gordon for the final color on the last image of the bioluminescent jungle.

Today’s warm-up sketch. Drawn straight ahead. Kinda fell apart on me halfway through. (graphite)

Today’s warm-up sketch. Drawn straight ahead. Kinda fell apart on me halfway through. (graphite)

zombie is my co-pilot

zombie is my co-pilot

More house cleaning: a samurai jack BG from ‘02 (pen & ink with prismacolor tone)

More house cleaning: a samurai jack BG from ‘02 (pen & ink with prismacolor tone)

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

Production Designer’s Notebook #003

Whenever I start a new location design (in this case, a typical scene in the jungle) I do extensive thumbnails exploring different staging and composition before settling on an image to design in more detail. My goal is to search for compositions that capture the mood and feel unique to the project. The directors and I will sit and discuss the possibilities, choose a few that we like, and then take them further with color and texture.

These are were all done in one afternoon on 8.5 x 11 paper with graphite.

Sketchbook Practice: Hellboy for #HellboyDay while listening to Sunnyside Podcast this morning.

Sketchbook Practice: Hellboy for #HellboyDay while listening to Sunnyside Podcast this morning.

Some practice: sketchbook drawings of a Viking.

Some practice: sketchbook drawings of a Viking.

Waiting for inspiration is for amateurs. Just get to work. You just have to fail through the fear until you get something good.

Justin K Thompson

shinypinkbottle | @shinypinkbottle

(via webspire)

Been working hard lately.

Been working hard lately.

From today. A warm-up drawing of a tree.

From today. A warm-up drawing of a tree.

Lunchtime post-it note sketch.

Lunchtime post-it note sketch.

Hi Justin! I'm Sharon, a graduating senior at Ringling College interested in visual development. I am a big fan of your work! You have some flat and graphic styles for the powerpuff girls and samurai jack yet you are able to approach and render other projects in a more realistic manner. How do you become so versatile in so many different styles? And which approach would you say is your favorite? Thanks Justin! — Asked by s-huang

Hi Sharon, this is a good question. I wish I had a good answer, but I’ll try to stumble my way through one.

First, I don’t have a favorite style. I think every style is valid and can be beautiful and effective if it is paired with the right story to support it. Inversely, I believe every story is unique and self-contained, and therefore deserves a unique and self-contained style to support it. In my mind, it’s a circular construct that is constantly evolving, with story & style influencing each other in an endless, expanding loop. Because of this, I also don’t think a style ever finishes developing either. It grows on and on, living well past the people who originated it and eventually develops so far that it becomes genre.

But I digress…now for the truly esoteric part…

So, how did I become (as you say) so versatile? The answer lies somewhere in the first paragraph. I just truly love it all. I am fascinated by art in all its forms. I have no snobbery of any kind towards any art. And I have a deep, deep wish to understand it all. To this end, I study art in all its forms constantly, hoping to learn something or gain some insight that can inform my own choices. Out of that impulse, I have always tried to create art in every style and in every medium I could get my hands on.

These impulses have existed throughout my whole life. When I started working professionally, I would look around at other shows and say, “Hey that’s something I’ve never done! I want to try!” I jumped around from studio to studio, pursuing projects that interested me because of what I could learn from them.

So, when you add all that up, it’s not that I was so versatile that I was able to do all these things. It’s that I became very versatile by stubbornly refusing to work within one style and doggedly pursuing jobs created in styles I had no idea whether or not I could even do!

The pros: I can draw in lots of styles. It makes me very versatile and attractive to many different studios.

The cons: I don’t have my own signature style. Yet. ;)

On my desktop right now: 3 Perspective Studies & some sort of Warm-Up Sketch

On my desktop right now: 3 Perspective Studies & some sort of Warm-Up Sketch

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

Production Designer’s Notebook #002

I created these images very early on in the development process, when the Directors were still figuring out the story and I was still figuring out the look of the sequel.

At this point in the writing process, the scene where Flint finds his Father’s house and his old Laboratory, was a much more personal and quiet scene. Flint had lost his way, and had been separated from his friends emotionally and physically.

So, when I thought about his predicament, I envisioned a sequence that featured light streaming in through the canopy, creating a stage where flint wanders in and out of shadows, spotting familiar objects, trying to find his way, until *crunch* he steps on an old family portrait. The familiar image of a happier time jolts him out of his stupor and he’s suddenly reminded of what he’s here to do: to protect those he loves.

(And by extension, save the world…again.)

-JKT

(Oh…and in case you missed the film, the river is red because it’s made of salsa. ‘nuff said.)