General Auditions, #Tim4Crisper, and Set Schedules!

It's a bit comical to start off this blog post by opening with our commitment to having set stricter schedules for podcasts and livestreams - especially after the delay in rerecording this week - but it is necessary! Moving forward, we have agreed to keep the biweekly livestreams on Wednesdays at 7:30 PM CST, and new podcasts will be available on SoundCloud, iTunes, and YouTube by 9 AM CST every Tuesday. Now that a few things have shifted around on our end, we know how to better plan and utilize our time to provide consistent content for our amazing supporters. Thank you all so much for always bringing your creative energy!

In an almost predictable turn of events, we've started a campaign to try and cast Tim Allen as Mr. Crisper. If you haven't already, listen to our podcasts and watch the most recent livestream to get to know more about the "hero no one asked for". We're asking our supporters to join us in tweeting Tim the above image of Mr. Crisper every Thursday until he joins The Crew! Be sure to include us in your tweet and let's get him cast!

Finally, in an effort to continue to cast an even wider net, we are launching our General Auditions page today! We want to work with those who support The Crew, and we believe that by encouraging our fans to submit the voices they naturally play around with, it will inspire us to continue creating heroes and other smaller/recurring roles. We can't wait to hear the submissions and we'll be sure to share all the great finds!

Our Season

It's felt like we've already endured the "April showers," and now are ready for the "May flowers," as the old adage promises. This past month has presented unexpected hurdles that each of us individually had to overcome, and now, standing on the other side, we can say without a doubt that this will be The Crew's season! We'd of course like to thank all those that have shown us so much support and regularly contribute to our live stream concept art session on YouTube and bring their creativity and love for The Crew each time.

It's official - The Arte Fact Production Podcast is now available on iTunes for download! Feel free to share it and don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review! Episode 10 will be up soon on YouTube but in the meantime you can find it on our website, SoundCloud, and of course iTunes.

We'd like to take a moment and congratulate Sarah Alcorn for winning the fan art contest! She has won a Koh-I-Noor pen set and we will be mailing it out later this week. Thank you to all those that participated, and we will be announcing another contest soon with another great prize! Tweet us your fan art or tag us on Instagram to have your artwork displayed on our site.

Lastly, you can expect to see a teaser for The Crew very soon, so keep your eyes peeled! Joey has been hard at work animating, and we can assure you, you won't be disappointed! Until next time...

 

 

Resetting

I don't even know where to begin, so I'll start with another beautiful addition to our fan art page of Matty by the lovely Tahlla Taylor. Knowing the time and effort that went into that piece as a way of showing support is humbling. Thank you so much Tahlla! To enter for a chance to win the next podcast listener giveaway prize, simply Tweet us your own original piece based off any of the concept art session creations or our four main characters!

As Joey mentioned in the podcast last week, we will be implementing changes to our schedule that allow us to get back to the joy of continuing to create The Crew and writing. Tomorrow we will be doing another live stream concept art session at 7:30 CST where we'll share with you new ideas we have for the show and draw some of your own suggestions! Additionally, Sketchy Saturday and Joey's blog posts will happen when he can make time for them to allow his work to remain uninterrupted.

As for casting... WE'VE FOUND OUR MATTY AND DANE! Matty will be voiced by Becca Zabolio, who will be making her professional voice acting debut with The Crew! Next week she will be joining us on our podcast to tell us a little about herself, what got her interested in voice acting, and you'll get to hear a sample of the audition that landed her the role of Matty!

For the part of Dane, we've been fortunate enough to cast someone we've dreamt of filling this role since the beginning - Theo Von. To learn more about Theo, you can follow him on Twitter, watch his Netflix special entitled No Offense, or listen to his new comedy album 30lb Bag of Hamster Bones, available now on iTunes!

Finally, we would again like to thank everyone that has continued to support us and all those that have auditioned! Until next time....

Art for Art's Sake

My blog post "The Crew - Trouble in Paradise" will continue next week. Apologies to those of you waiting for the next part of the behind the scenes story, but I wanted to take a moment to write on something I've been thinking about recently.

There's something to be said for making art for art's sake. It's an idea I hadn't really understood in my professional career. I would think, "Art for art's sake? What does that even mean? Why would you want to make something you can't even build off of?" While many artists struggle with the idea of making something good enough to show off, my problem lies in wanting to make everything I imagine. For every character I design, there must be a world they inhabit, and for every world they inhabit, there must be a history that influenced their design. Both of these problems can be debilitating for an artist, resulting in them either never share their work for fear of rejection or criticism, or never sticking with one idea long enough to see it come to fruition. As you can guess, world building is incredibly taxing, and once a world finally does exist, an artist can find himself populating it with more characters and backstories than they could ever hope to realistically create. I can remember a time when it wasn't always like this - I wasn't born world building, so when exactly did this happen? When did art have to be something more than just for it's own sake?

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I've been drawing since I was able to pick up a pencil. Ninja Turtles would be the subject, and a brown grocery bag my canvas. It was a way to create the fantastical scenes I had in my head, and bring them into the real world. Of course, I didn't know that's what I was doing at the time - I simply drew because I wanted to see Leonardo fight Batman. After all, swords are cool, Batman's cool, and who wouldn't want to see that?! In school I would often get in trouble for drawing instead of taking notes, or doing homework, or paying attention. School was a prison, and drawing was my escape.

It wasn't until high school that I really began tying the ideas of art and story together. One weekend while hanging out with a friend, I was introduced to Toonami, and the iconic anime Dragonball Z. I've had many artistic influences over my lifetime, but none as great as DBZ. It is the only property I've ever really created fan art for. In art class I would spend my time creating acrylic murals or all the characters, and by my Sophomore year I was creating DBZ anime music videos. Although I didn't understand it then, the idea of drawing Trunks (sword!) fighting Broly was a shorthand for something greater. Now there was backstory, a universe for fans of the show against which to frame my art. This period of time was incredibly beneficial for me as an artist - I learned about anatomy, nonlinear editing, shot composition, and DBZ's overall influences can still be seen in my illustrations today. It was art for art's sake, not made to be anything other than what it was: something for me.

High school graduation came and went, and I enrolled in the Art Institute. I had no desire to continue an educational career, but after spending two summer camps in their program, I had come to appreciate the environment. My time at the Art Institute was good - I met great people, and learned things that I probably wouldn't have on my own, but something happened to me as an artist. I remember sitting in a class with the then-director of the video program, and I asked him if editing anime music videos was a good idea. He instantly shot it down. After all, I couldn't make any money editing that stuff, and it wasn't material I had shot anyway, so I "definitely shouldn't" be investing my time in something like that. As a student, I was being told the things I valued in high school - fan art, anime, and editing AMVs - were all to be discarded and abandoned because I couldn't make money on them.

Because I was a student, and because I didn't have anyone to tell me otherwise, I followed instruction and left those things in the past. I graduated from the Art Institute and moved onto a professional career in advertising, motion graphics, and animation. I still wanted to draw and still loved anime, but when I drew, it just felt hollow. I could no longer enjoy drawing a cool character because I saw it as a waste of time. After all, if I couldn't make money off it, so it wasn't worth spending my time on.

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Sometime around 2010, I began thinking about something. It all started with a simple drawing, and off that drawing I began creating story threads. As if overnight, the art I was creating for fun began taking on a life of its own. In my mind, I would imagine scenes of drama, action, and chaos, all tied to one shared universe. I was creating art for its own sake, in its own world, but this was a marriage between what I'd been taught professionally and the need to find meaning in what I was doing. It was world building. If I couldn't find comfort in drawing what other people had created, then I needed to create a place where I could find comfort, and where I could express myself.

This is all a roundabout way of saying that art doesn't need a purpose. It doesn't need an audience to exist - it only needs to make you, the creator, happy. Sure, it would be great to have millions of fans appreciate the work you do, but if you're not finding enjoyment in the work you're doing, then what's the point? There's this romanticized idea of the "tortured artist," and while I can personally attest to that torture resulting in elevated works, it's not a state you're supposed to exist in permanently. There are periods of time in which you find meaning, learn lessons, and condense your experiences into an external manifestation of art. I feel like that has been my life for quite awhile, being unable to appreciate the things I have accomplished, or the art I have created. However, coming through all that has allowed me to make The Crew, and it will allow me to create things that you will one day marvel at. Until that time, I am taking comfort in the worlds I make and in the art I create. When an artist arrives at this point in their development, anything is possible.

-Joey

I hope you enjoyed this week's blog post along with all the art. I think it's important to encourage other artists who may be going through that uncertain time of choosing this as a career.

March on the Horizon

There are only seven days left including today in the month of February; we feel each hour of those days! With cooler weather signaling Spring right around the corner, the Kickstarter we will launch is running up to meet us.

 A rough early model of  The Crew's  house that will be in the Kickstarter preview this Spring.

A rough early model of The Crew's house that will be in the Kickstarter preview this Spring.

In March, we are planning on having our four principal characters locked and will begin casting for minor and reoccurring roles. As many of you already know, we have a podcast that comes out every Tuesday which gives you an opportunity to learn more about who we are at Arte Fact Production and to follow the progress of our animation, The Crew. As we announce cast members we will create profiles for them and we also plan on featuring them on the podcast. We are excited to have them as future guests and for our supporters to get to know what interested them in The Crew!

As we briefly touched on in our latest podcast, we will have another listener giveaway in the coming weeks and all it takes to be entered is a fan art submission. Once you tweet us your piece, we will feature it on our website's gallery. Aside from the main characters, your entry can be any of the new roles we create in our live stream concept art session. Have fun and enter for your chance to win!

Be sure to join us this Thursday again on YouTube at 7:30 CST to catch our hour long live stream concept art session and to get a glimpse of new characters you can expect to see on The Crew. To watch last week's stream click here and don't forget to subscribe and share with friends! Tune in a couple of minutes early and watch the new Mo Chibi drawing join Matty along the bottom of the wait screen.

 

The Crew - Assembling The Crew

Hello, and welcome to the continuation of last Friday's blog post, The Crew - Humble Beginnings.

Now, where did I leave off? Oh yeah! So, this is Myles...

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Myles and I have an interesting relationship. Ever since he knew what he wanted to be, he's said he wanted to be a filmmaker. Being the (much) older of the two, I used to take him to see movies, talk to him about cameras or VFX techniques, and at family get-togethers we'd hang out and discuss current theatrical releases. I once took him to a midnight screening of The Room, a movie neither of us had seen at the time, and it was an amazing experience I'll never forget. (SPOON!) As time progressed, Myles and I, for whatever reason, kind of drifted apart. We'd still talk about movies when we saw each other, but life had somewhat changed us as we'd grown up.

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It was a bit disheartening when we first presented Myles with the idea for The Crew and he didn't immediately jump on board production, pledging unwavering loyalty for eternity. Myles was entering his last semester of college, and along with that he was moving across country to L.A. Catalina had decided to throw him a sort of going-away party with just the three of us, and during this party I let her know that we should try presenting the idea for The Crew to him. In my mind I knew that Myles was amazing at writing dialogue; we'd once entered a 48-hour film race, and watching him produce a script from just ideas was very impressive. We didn't win, and we didn't even get to have our video screened thanks to a rendering issue, but it really showed me where his strengths lied. The going-away party was really fun, but in the back of my mind I was trying to find the right time to broach the topic with him. Eventually a lull in festivities came, and when Catalina and I told him about the project, he laughed at the idea and story we'd presented, but didn't really have the desire to commit. Looking back on it now, there was simply too much on his plate to even consider working on the project. Nevertheless, he said he would take a look at the script and maybe work on it remotely.

A month or so passed, and Myles made his great trek across the U.S. During this time, I really had no direct communication with him. From what I understand, he had gone to L.A. and the program his college had placed him in really showed him what "the industry" was like. He became disillusioned with the prospect of spending more time there than he felt necessary, and came back earlier than expected. Continuing this series of life-altering events, shortly after arriving back in Texas, his long-term relationship ended; needless to say The Crew took a back seat during this time. Myles and Catalina spent quite a while working through things and really reframing the future he had set in stone. It was a very difficult time for Myles, and I don't presume to speak for him – I'm just glad he came home to be with family and with P-Dog (our dog Precious).

2016 was wrapping up, we were entering the holiday season, and to take all our collective minds off things we decided to present him once more with the idea for The Crew. He reluctantly agreed to help, at the promise of future riches. It was a cheap ploy on my part, but not a false one! I wholeheartedly believed then and now that The Crew will be a phenomenon – just wait and see! For a while, we would write and not a lot would get done. That's not to say that we weren't trying, but it was grueling work. Sometimes we would spend hours trying to write one or two lines. This was by no means a representation of our talents, but instead it was reflective of our or collective mental states. Thankfully, as time progressed, Myles became more comfortable with Catalina’s and my writing style (VERY improvisational) and one night it all came together! After a particularly productive evening I remember Myles texting Catalina and telling her that he had read over the script and he thought it was not just good, but he thought it was great! He said it was unlike anything he'd ever seen on TV! This was the moment I'd been waiting for – not just the confirmation that he saw what we had seen in The Crew, but that he was now a part of it! He was now responsible for helping us make something completely unique and transformative, and no one would be able to take that away from him.

I realize now that this is very Myles-centric, but it had to be; the things that came after this have really seemed like a whirlwind. Everything has moved so fast, changed so much, and we're still only at the beginning! Seeing these old photos of Myles and I make me glad that everything that has happened, has happened. I feel like we're becoming a family again, and to me, that's more important than any amount of money, fame, or notoriety.

Next week - Trouble in Paradise! Our first major fight and the completion of the script! While you're waiting for that, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! There you'll find our weekly Podcast and Live Streams! Also remember to follow us on Twitter and Instagram as we'll be having a new artist giveaway starting at the end of February! Finally, remember tomorrow I'll be uploading a new image for Sketchy Saturday, a weekly fan art drawing I do just for fun. If you have a suggestion on who/what I should draw, tweet us and let me know! #SketchyStaurday

-Joey

The Homestretch

It's hard to believe we are already in our fourth week of operation! Where did the time go? We each work 6 days a week on The Crew and still it seems like time is flying by. We hope to have our four principal characters cast by the end of February or very early March to meet our Kickstarter goal of April.

We are happy to announce the winner of our #CageFace listener giveaway prize is Arakachi! Thank you to all those that participated and in the coming weeks we will have another with a prize for those that love to draw!

Also in March, we aim to begin casting for some minor roles for our pilot episode and other reoccurring characters that will show up throughout the series. As we have previously stated in our podcasts, we will cast from the pool of applicants we already have to give everyone an opportunity to be a part of The Crew!

Our live stream concept art session went so well this past week! Be sure to tune in this Thursday at 7:30 CST on YouTube to get a sneak peek at new characters you'll see in The Crew along with suggestions from fans! Above is one such new hero by the name of Cosmic Eel.

Don't forget to tweet us your fan art so we can feature it on our website and check out the newest podcast available on both Soundcloud and YouTube now!