Monday, November 24, 2008

London Calling

Hallo everyone! 

Although I've broken my run of posting, I haven't fallen off the map completely-- just the local map.  JJ and I got a great last-minute deal to visit London for the holiday, so I'm putting things on hold for a bit.  (I was hoping to post a few sketches and photos while we're here, but wifi's expensive)  It's pretty frigid over here but we're having a great time and checking out lots of art in warm, dry museums :)

We're also moving to a new apartment when we get back, so I may be off the net for a bit; I'll get back to the hero work (those suggestions you guys posted) once all that settles down.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Spirit

The Spirit-Joey Mason

A character I'd love to draw some stories for one day.

Can't wait for the movie-- was thinking it might end up a bit dark, but based on the trailer looks like it's gonna rock!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Olivia Dunham -Fringe-

Olivia Dunham-Joey Mason

Here's my go at portraying Anna Torv, aka Olivia Dunham... the heroine of Fringe, my favorite show of the season.

Fringe has a great mix of sci-fi intrigue and lightheartedness that makes it a lot of fun, but then again, I am a fan of most anything J.J. Abrams and crew have done to date.

Once again he has cast a female lead with a signature quirkiness; Sidney (Jennifer Garner) had that angry, I'm about to either cry and/or kill you look, and Anna's got this weird uncomfortable smirking and awkward posture that she somehow manages to pull off and still be attractive. I'm sure it will go into full force once her father shows up, or Walter turns bad, or whatever they've got waiting for us.

Anyway, hopefully I caught a little of the quirky smirk here. This is kind of where I'd like my illustrations to go, adding more levels of tone but ultimately still cartoony shapes. Whatcha think?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008


Joey Mason-Wolverine


Looks like the winning suggestions from yesterday are, in this order:

1. Plasticman
2. Tick
3. Harry Potter
4. Link
5. Hellboy
6. Rorshack
7. Robin

Since Deviantart post as "18 hours ago" backwards-time, I'll double check my math in the morning. :)

Heroes/Graphic Spidey

Some of you may have noticed, I have been busy drawing lately!I really needed to get back to drawing and flesh out my portfolio after a year of painting. I thought a good way to challenge myself would be to try and complete 1 simple piece of art a day in my free time. I'm not sure how long I can last with it, but I made it a week! For now I'm following the theme of 'Heroes', representing a new Hero character every day (and, yes, counting the Obama and Generic Samurai days even if they're debatable)

If I get to December with any consistency, I'll switch to a new theme then.

Will I make it that far? Only time can tell, but I thought a little interactivity would help...

For now I'm just picking my favorites, but for the last week of November, I want some suggestions. The first seven people to comment the name of a hero character on my blogger, livejournal, or deviantart, I'll use those characters for the last seven days of the month. It can be from any medium, just follow this definition:

"a male or female character, (fictional or historical) that, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice – that is, heroism – for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence."

Get to commentin'!

.....All that being said, I had to "cheat" today... I was really busy, so I'm posting something drawn about a year ago, but new to the blog at least! See ya tomorrow! ~

Joey Mason Graphic Spec Spider-Man

This is a 'graphic' version of Spider-Man I created for The Spectacular Spider-Man. You can catch him whiz by in the show main titles!

This came about because the director, Victor Cook, wanted to use a few shots with a graphic look, to fit with the hip, flashy feel of the theme song... sort of like the end credits on The Incredibles. I also did some graphic backgrounds which I'll post another day.

I feel very fortunate to get the chance to do this design-- it's a little weird for a show painter to contribute something like this, but Vic fought for me and Sean was cool with the idea. My goal was to create something very flat and gestural, while honoring the incredible design Sean came up with for the show... his take on Spidey was an instant classic, and definitely the best Spidey to hit the networks!

This design is also a bit of history for me; other than a game I had worked on last year, this was my first full leap into the line-less look! This design took me quite a while to pare down to the essentials, but it quickly got me hooked on the style that I'm playing with now.

Joey Mason-Graphic Spider-Man Poses

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Master Shifu

Joey Mason-Master Shifu

A quick one today, in honor of Kung Fu Panda, which just came out on video; and Master Shifu, my favorite of the designs by master designer Nicolas Marlet.

This film is really solid after a second viewing, and is one of my favorite animated movies... there are just so many cool things they did with it, alternating from broad comedy to drama and really pulling it off as an action film.

The 2-D openers and closers are incredible, and had an influence on what I'm doing with my work now... a big part of me wished the whole 88 minutes had looked like that! I'm really hoping it is a sign of things to come-- painting became more expressive after photography was invented, so hopefully 3-D animation gives 2-D a chance to breathe and explore new ground.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Black Canary

Joey Mason-Black Canary

The third thug to make that "It ain't over..." joke got a nice close view of the giant glass wall.


Friday, November 07, 2008

A Brave Samurai Warrior

Joey Mason-Samurai Seated2

These were done at a drawing workshop I've been visiting called The Drawing Club. The theme was "Samurai".

If you are an artist in the LA area this is a great weekly break to do some fun drawing... check out There's three hours of short poses every week with a new theme, a costumed model and props... they even have music and movie footage playing that go along with the theme! Great for people in animation or comics, or anyone who would like to incorporate a story sense into your figure practice.

I have a few more of these posted at my deviantart page.

Joey Mason-Samurai TurnJoey Mason-Samurai FaceoffJoey Mason-Samurai SeatedJoey Mason-Samurai Guard

Thursday, November 06, 2008

History in the Making

Joey Mason-Obama Biden

"This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice." - President-Elect Barack Obama

These two guys (and their team) just finished what has to be one of the most amazing campaigns ever. Not only was Obama's very candidacy historic with great implications of opportunity and equality-- but from day one, the campaign was run with outstanding efficiency, interactivity, not to mention honesty and humility. Under a barrage of attacks that centered on minute details, took policy or statements out of context, and solicited falsehoods, the Obama campaign remained tactful and level-headed. When their opponents dwelled on non-issues, or won people over with impish winking, folksy shout-outs and handyman mascots, they remained on-message with the sobriety a Presidential race deserves.

I've never been that interested in politics-- but for me, and I think a lot of other people, this time was different. Barack Obama has inspired us to think big, he dared to present common sense goals like ambition and service, and maybe most importantly, invited people to get involved; a spirit I wanted to capture here. Obama's the headliner (and should be) but Biden also impressed me with his candor, grasp of policy, and ability to take an outlandish question (or an opponent who wouldn't answer one) and return a blend of frustration and humor that got the point across in a friendly way. They strike you as two guys who don't play around with politics, but are willing to work with you, no matter where you're coming from.

The message of responsibility and optimism worked... we woke up Wednesday with the hope that soon, if all goes well-- we will approach the world as neighbors again -- government will be more accessible and sensible -- students can get a tax break for college by volunteering for peaceful service -- migrating to new energy will not topple the economy but bolster it -- and we'll have a president who tackles the issues of the day AND honors equality, community, and innovation.

Of course, the race was close, and there are a lot of people that woke up unhappy today... I'm praying that they remember this country is built on the freedom for all people to be represented-- and that they don't forget that just reading a quote, hearing a sound bite, or getting an enthusiastic warning from a trusted leader or a radio host, should never completely define your opinion of a man. We all have the ability, and the responsibility, to seek out the facts on our own, and let those unaltered truths shape our mindset.

It's going to be a tough road ahead, but hopefully the challenges will be healthy ones in the long run.

Congratulations gentlemen... we were all proud Americans, you just reminded us we could be excited to be Americans. too.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008


Joeymason Obi-Wan

Hey, if it isn't Mr. Lecture himself. (Or is that Sir Lecture?)

Thursday, October 30, 2008



Here are a couple of sketches that I decided to add some color to.

These were pretty quick, so they're more train-of-throught than accurate. On the truck, I'm trying out some markers, which is pretty fun. Some of the shading there is part of the sketch, some of it is digital. The Honda is just pencil contours with digital paint.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Spidey Hits the Shelves

51I8Xmdeakl. Ss500

Hey everybody! Run run run out today and pick up your copy of The Spectacular Spider-Man Animated: "Attack of the Lizard" on dvd! This is the first dvd release, and weaves the first 3-episode story arc together as a feature-length movie. I think there's a bit of extra footage as well-- a few of the dvds will have a little animation that was cut for tv. So you get all that, plus great dvd sales help make the case for more episodes! :D

Joeymason Spidstreet

Here's a painting I did back in the early days of the show. This is painted in Photoshop, over a line drawing that was provided by our killer layout department, Vince Toyama, Kenny McGill, Art Morales, and a few freelancers. Not sure who drew this one, but I will give credit on ones where I do know!

Generally, background painters do a number of key paintings like this that the overseas studios use as reference, when creating the hundreds that go into each episode. For The Spectacular Spider-Man, we send about 40-50 paintings for the average show. (about half of those are new, others are reuse locations)

Space in Space

Joeymason Space1

Here's a little print I drew up for the Comic-Con of '08!
This might have been done in Illustrator but in fact I painted it up in Photoshop. The plan is to do a series each with its own genre...


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Coming up for Air


"...the pains of producing pictures will have taken my whole life from me, and it will seem to me then that I have not lived."

-Vincent Van Gogh, in a letter to his brother Theo, 1888.

I've been pretty M.I.A. for the last year, a big thankya to those of you who've still checked in from time to time. As much as I meant to be cranking out the personal work, it was time for me to lay low and focus for a while, I guess. Around this time in 2007, I was just settling in as a background painter on The Spectacular Spider-Man; and it's been an amazing, overwhelming, trying, growing, but ultimately rewarding year.

On the one hand, this year has been a test... The hours got long, the budget was tight, and the schedule demanding. All part and parcel I guess-- although by all accounts Spidey's been one of the most challenging productions to date. Throw in moving to a new city, having co-workers for the first time in years, learning a new job with lots of extra hours... and I end up feeling a bit like ol' Vincent did in 1888.

But, I should also point out that the undertone of his letter was that the struggle was worth it.

As tired and burned out as I've been, I have to agree. In the past 12 months I've gained years-worth of hands-on education, been there as brand new processes are implemented, and met and worked with a group of people who (although many days I felt too swamped to really hang out with) were welcoming and inspirational. I'm very proud to be part of a crew that put their all into their work and created something that I think, down the road, will seem like a little leap ahead in tv animation.

To Sean ("Cheeks") who recommended me and encouraged me to send in my work, thanks for the nudge in the door buddy! And to Vic, who was open to hiring some illustrator from 3,000 miles away, thanks for giving me a shot... I'll always be grateful, you guys.

To the new friends -- awesome artists and production crew who helped me learn the ropes -- I'm in your debt and happy to be part of the neighborhood. The freelance clients I've held onto, thanks for your incredible patience. And to family and old friends I've lost touch with, I haven't forgotten and really do miss you... the time it takes to write an email can somehow slip away when you let yourself get this consumed.

As things are wrapping up for our first 26 episodes (keep your collective fingers crossed for more!) -- I guess the best I can pass on is this: If there's something out there that you want or feel led to do-- don't second guess, just let yourself be ready for it. Years ago I decided animation wasn't the way for me, decided that it was too controlled, too under-appreciated, too corporate, and sometimes it is all of those things. But so far (for me) it's also been an opportunity to be a part of something really meaningful and fun-- and I'm glad to be along for the ride.

Next time, less talk, more art, promise :)

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, February 04, 2008

Motocross Twist

Joeym Mc Twist

a 'Recharge' drawing from this weekend ~

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sketch Club

Joeym Sketchclub 1-25

For the past couple of months el Sean and I have gotten to hang out with some cool cats over at the Friday lunch SketchClub

It's been inspirational to visit with this mega-talented and friendly, upbeat crew; and a great refresher, at the end of a long week, to kick back and draw from life... here's a few drawings from today! My favorite was the theatrical woman at the Pepsi machine, bottom right : )

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ready for TakeOff

Jmason Cnnbltakeoff

When blogs came up in conversation this past week at work, I felt a little self-conscious, having gone post-less for months. It's not that I don't enjoy sharing, but the past six months have been a bit of an adjustment; I'd set the first of the year as a good time to get back in the habit, but here it is the 21st...

anyway, enough of that. Here's to getting back into the swing of it... 2008 is looking hot and I'm sure I'll have lots to share! More to come....