Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Perfect California Equation

Oh the glory for the California sunshine! Returned to chilly (ok, just plain cold) Kansas City today after a three-day visit to San Jose, CA. Here is the perfect equation for a great visit to San Jose State University:

House of Chai + Shrunkenheadman + Figure Drawing + History of Forks + In-N-Out Burger = Totally rad visit to SJSU!

House of Chai House of Chai is the independent animation studio of Dave Chai, SJSU Animation Professor. Dave's films have screened in over ninety film festivals nationally and internationally, including Sundance, Annecy, and KAFI. While this is all well and good (and pretty darn impressive), the coolest part is that Dave works with a team of his SJSU students to create his films and make them a success! Check out the awards and the award winning films from House of Chai, "Home cooked animation prepared fresh daily." Also note that one of Hallmark's very own Animators was named House of Chai's Artist of the Month for March 08!

Shrunkenheadman The Shrunkenheadman Animation/Illustration Club, founded in 1995, is one of the largest campus organizations at San Jose State University. SHM is a student-run organization that was founded to create a sense of community among the Illustration/Animation students at SJSU. The club holds monthly meetings, hosts guest speakers as professional lecture series, donates money to local high school art programs, and keeps a pluse on the ever-changing animation and illustration fields. I wear my SHM t-shirt with pride (thanks friends)!

Figure Drawing The ever-important skill of figure drawing is alive and well as SJSU. I was impressed by the figure and gesture drawing in the many sketchbooks and portfolios I reviewed with the Hallmark team. Rock on friends! I believe that all of the students are being influenced directly by their faculty's skill in illustration. Here are links to some of the faculty's illustration for your inspiration: Professor Dave Chai, Professor John Clapp, Professor Barron Storey, and Professor Courtney Granner

History of Forks We learned about the history of forks in Leslie Speer's Industrial Design 1st year class. Did you know that forks didn't come to the U.S. until the 18th century (after making a couple-of-century long trek across Europe)? Best of luck in your creative endeavors, ID students, as you design and cast your forks for your second project of the semester! The only question I have is, can I do this project??

In-N-Out Burger Well friends, those of you who know me know that that it was my mission last year to visit a famous In-N-Out Burger during my visit to SJSU. After a jam-packed visit in 07, we did not have time to go (and well, it wasn't exactly "top priority" for us of course!). But this year, the SJSU faculty, namely John Clapp, put it on the official schedule for our visit. Yay! I must say, my first In-N-Out experience was a great one, complete with a convertible ride, a juicy burger, real potato fries, and a cold chocolate shake. Delicious!

All that being said, it was an inspiring, exciting, and imaginative visit. I can't wait to see all of your portfolios and demo reels on March 17th!

Thanks for the great visit friends! "Fire it up!"

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