Thursday, February 14, 2013

Writing Prompt

1.  I am Travis Fowler.  I am from Russellville, Arkansas but I’m currently staying in a dormitory in Memphis, Tennessee.

2.  I create animated stories.  I also like to draw sketches of things that inspire me and make them into comics.

3.  I’m always throwing around ideas, from serious issues to simple word play.  After a while if an idea sticks with me I follow through and start developing it into a story or a character.  After a lot of sketches I if the story persists I feel a strong need to capture it in comic or animated form.  As soon as I commit I hit the ground running and start the project.  I think school has taught me to make sure to get all my important details in line from start to finish before I jump into a work (unless I’m wanting it to be full of holes by the end.) 

4.  I come from a small town and with a small, personal school.  I have never been too enveloped by the art scene so much as my own interests in cartoons.  I spent my entire high school career drawing comics (amounting up to almost 400 pages worth of graphic novels over the four year period).  My love of visual storytelling led me to study Graphic Design at Arkansas Tech University.  However my love for making posters was not nearly as strong as my love for animating in flash and making cartoons in the school newspaper.  Thus following a recommendation to Memphis College of Art I’ve been concentrating on honing my skills as an animator where I hope to make my love of cartoons a career.

5.  I heard about Memphis College of Art from Hannah New, a high school peer of mine, who recommended the school to me.

6.  One of favorite things in the world is lighthearted adventure.  The idea of seeing something new and facing great odds has always propelled me into fun ideas.  My body of work often deals with the idea of testing the bounds of the everyday and going off into a lighthearted romp into the uncertain. 

7.  I am currently working on my final animation for my BFA in Digital Media.  Agent Aries:  Super-Powered Spy is a colorful action piece about a gogo girl saving a nightclub from robot dancers.  It’s light, fun, and exciting; things that I love best.

8.  Over the past few years my work has become more direct and dynamic.  I have learned to pace a story and bring out the most with my ideas.  One of the biggest keys to this is to regularly second guess myself.  An idea may seem good now, but does will it hold up later on?  Critique has made me aware of my own shortcomings and taught me where to look if something I’m doing doesn’t seem right.  My skills at drawing and capturing movement realistically have gotten better in the past few years, and I’m often trying to break apart my drawing style to create something more uniquely me.

9.   I probably wouldn’t be an animator/cartoonist if I hadn’t watched my first episode of an anime called “Ruroni Kenshin.”  Until that point I had always though of cartoons as a straightforward comedy, a Disney movie, or an action series.  Ruroni Kenshin is a historical, action series using heavy amounts of romance, comedy and drama.  This series showed me what a cartoon could be.  Genres can blend together and give the audience much more than a laugh at the end.  This is what made me love cartoons. 

10.  One of my favorite artist is Osamu Tezuka.  His devotion to his enormous body of work and his interest in all different kinds of stories has inspired me to devote myself fully to my work and consider new ideas.

11.   I would love to work with John Lassiter.  His playful style and creative storytelling have yielded great results in his movies.  He also seems like a fun person to work with.

12.  One of my favorite artworks is Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute.”  The opera is a classic fantasy adventure that gets turned upside-down by the end of the first act.  The characters are both archetypal and dynamic as the plot rises into a quest exploring love in a physical, emotional, and spiritual way.  The hero peruses his lofty goals, but the other characters keep the story from taking itself too seriously.  I also love the music.  Many operas are slow and dreary, but “The Magic Flute” keeps a good pace and the music is a lively as a modern musical.

13.   I’m often inspired by music.  When I hear a song, I see a story.  The 4th Movement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony and Dvorak’s 9th Symphony have recently been inspiring me to make an adventure period piece involving the antiquated idea of arch rivals.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

End of the Semester

Since my last post (almost a month ago) I've probably logged in another 120+ hours of work.  I'm about a week behind my original schedule (11 shots).  Right now I have some 40+ shots, many of which are the most difficult shots to animate.

Overall it's been a challenging semester.  I've definitely gotten a lot more comfortable with long hand drawn scenes.

I'll be recording the dialogue for Aries this weekend with Stephanie.  Over the break I'm going to be making as many backgrounds as possible.  Crowd spots would be very helpful.  Some rough lip syncing animation would also be useful so I could really make the acting good next semester.  I'd also like to do a little bit of theme music work (I've got a keyboard and garage band.)

I've made cover letters for Duck Studios who have a 2D animators wanted page on their website and Titmouse Inc. who have an open submission link.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


After about 12 hours of work today I got back on track completing (until critique) the moped landing scene, the riding scene, the glimps of the airplane, and the airplane shots.  I still need to add a cutaway of Aries looking to the side, then glimpsing the plane.  Overall I'll probably have to add several of these snippits to smooth the editing and give Aries more personality.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Work update

With my internship done I can focus all my time on Aries.  I'll be really buckling down till.... Spring.
Nov 12th spent the night working on tweaking a lot of my unfinished or critiqued shots.  About 7 hours or so.

Nov 13th spent the night working on shot 9 (landing on the moped).  9 hours.  Didn't get as much work done as I scheduled.  I'll have to work hard to catch up.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29th

Spent about 5 hours jumping around on a few shots.
Shot 4 (Aries hitting the missile) and Shot 7 (Aries landing in giant beach ball).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oct 24th

Spent about 8 hours making Aries sideways walk cycle for shot 2.