Free event tonight! A look at the Islate for artists who love the traditional medium!

Society of Illustrators has a great event tonight. If you’re in Los Angeles, you’re going to want to check out this new piece of technology that lets you use ordinary paper and pencil and digitizes it in real time to Ipad or PC, and Mac. Here’s the blurb from SILA

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ISKN and SILA – Together tonight, September 24 7pm, at the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles in Eagle Rock

ISKN has created The Slate, a unique writing device that allows pen and paper lovers to digitize sketches and notes. Simply put your favorite notebook on the no-slip surface and draw your imagination. Your work is magically digitized on your screen! Stay mobile thanks to the long-life battery and the embedded memory. Enjoy the thinness and lightness of the Slate.

ISKN will be showing their digitizing technology at 7pm at the Society at 5119 Eagle Rock Blvd. Refreshments will be available. There is street and parking lot parking. Questions? Contact Alyce at the office 800-799-6368 or Scott Gandell at the Gallery, 213-241-9741.


Interview with Justin Rodrigues Character Designer with Chris Oately.

Justin Rodrigues, extraordinary character designer talks to Chris Oatley about his character design work. Here’s part I.

Justin Rodrigues is teaching a class at The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles in Eagle Rock that starts October first! Click on the address below for more info!…/14342463-thursdays-oct-1-oct-29-…

#‎charcterdesign‬ ‪#‎characterdesigner‬


How to be an Editor-An interview with Jim Higgins-Comic book editor

Society of Illustrators Los Angeles interview the fabulous comic editor Jim Higgins. Jim has been a writer and editor in the comics business since 1993. He worked in the Paradox Press division of DC Comics for six years where he edited five books – The Big Book of Grimm, Martyrs, The Unexplained, Hoaxes,and the ‘70s – and assisted on all 12 others in the series. He was assistant editor on the graphic novels A History of Violence, Road to Perdition, and Stuck Rubber Baby. He is the editor and publisher of New Thing, an international anthology of short comics stories. He taught comic book storytelling for eight years at The School of Visual Arts in New York City and cinema studies at The City University of New York for four and a half.


In 2003, Jim worked with the Japanese company Seirindo Manga licensing their comics properties in the US. In 2008, Jim began a successful program of classes on comic book writing and drawing at Meltdown Comics which now has six different classes and is continuing to expand. Jim teaches a making comics course at the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles new headquarters in Eagle Rock. Classes start on Monday!


An interview with Rob Goodin, creator of the “Kurdles” Graphic novel by Fantagraphics

Rob Goodin, Cartoonist and animation artist talks about his new graphic novel “The Kurdles” published by Fantagraphics with Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, board member Santosh Oommen. Rob lets us in on his process and the long arduous road to making his first graphic novel. Rob is also signing his new book “The Kurdles” at Pop Secret Gallery on Saturday June 13. For more information click here



SILA Podcast #8 An Interview with Poe Tan, A Journey to becoming an independent artist!

An interview with Poe Tan, great artist, teacher, and now entrepreneur. Poe has work in animation for more than 15 years.

He has worked for Walt Disney Animation Studios, Warner Brothers Animation , Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Fox Animation, Sony, and many others. He has done designs for hit shows Ben10, Rugrats the Movie, Johnny Bravo, He Man Masters of the Universe and many more. Areas of expertise include background design both relating to animation and game design. Poe has received his MFA in 2014 from Academy of Art and has been teaching at many famous art institutes including Art Center since 2000.  Hear  him about his journey from his home country of Malaysia, to one of the animation capitals of the world. Hope you take a listen.

Poe is  also teaching Entertainment Design at Society of Illustrators Los Angeles new home in Eagle Rock,Ca.  For more information click here.

To check out Kommercial Wurkz, Poe’s new venture click here.


How to Storyboard the Rise of the Planet of the Apes!

Warren Drummond, veteran live action storyboard artist did some storyboards for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Here’s some of them. And now he’ll be back to doing storyboards on the finale of Agents of Shield.

Check out an interview he did recently with Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles.

And now he’s teaching a workshop on Breaking into Live Action Storyboarding. on March 28th at the new Pop Secret Gallery/Sila in Los Angeles. Click here.






See more Rise of the Planet of the Ape boards here.


Creativity and Process in Storyboarding-An Interview with Peter Paul

Peter Paul, Storyboard artist at Dreamworks TV animation, talks about his start in animation, his process, creativity and breaking into animation.


He’s also teaching Storyboarding for Animation at SILA/Pop Secret in Los Angeles.


Storyboarding Panel Video Part II- Society of Illustrators Los Angeles-Breaking In

Finally, Part II is online of the Storyboard Panel put on by Society of Illustrators last year.

How do you break into Feature animation, tv animation, commercial and live action. Watch part two and hear profressionals talk about their craft.

Don’t forget Peter Paul, veteran animation storyboard artist is teaching Storyboarding for Animation at SILA/Pop Secret in Los Angeles.

And Warren Drummond, veteran storyboard artist is teaching a seminar on live action storyboarding.


Storyboarding and Quick sketch classes

Great new classes from my friend and colleague Marion Eisenmann


Would you like to brush up your visual vocabulary and storytelling techniques, improve your drawing and compositional skill for the entertainment industry? Take Marion Eisenmann’s storyboarding course held at Art Center at Night.

When: Thursdays 7 – 10 pm
Course duration: 14 weeks (1/15/2015 – 4/16/2015)

To Register


Quick Sketch for Entertainment
Let’s go and sketch. Would you like to improve your quick sketching skill, learn how to draw from memory and be ready for any kind of sketching assignment? Come and join me to exciting off campus locations to sharpen your drawing skills.
When: Saturdays 9 am – 12 pm
Course duration: 7 weeks (1/17/2015 – 2/28/2015)
To Register
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Who is Marion Eisenmann?
In 2005 she joined the pre-production team of the feature film “Outlander,” where she collaborated with acclaimed storyboard and concept artists. This led her into the world of visual storytelling for independent films. In the summer of 2009, she started teaching storyboarding for a night class at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.Her work has appeared on , the website of the Los Angeles Times , and her clients includeParamount Studios , Toys “R” Us, Lancaster Group US LLC , Tom Ford , Victoria’s Secret Beauty . Her specialties are story-driven lifestyle illustration and character development and storyboards for commercial for film.

Perserverance, Phineas, and Ferb! How to Succeed In the Midst of Multiple Failures.

I had an opportunity to go on a Disney Studio TV tour last month with my students from AMVA (Advanced Media Vocational Academy) a school for students with disabilities put together by Actors for Autism. (Thanks to Alisa Wolf!) The tour was led by none other than Swampy Marsh, one of the creators of Phineas and Ferb. We had a chance to see the whole process of putting together a episode For Phineas and Ferb.

Creator of Phineas and Ferb

Swampy Marsh, Creator of Phineas and Ferb

From props (I had a great visit with my old friend Anthony Vukojevich, a veteran prop designer), storyboards, writing, color, backgrounds, and editing. It  was a great  seeing these demonstrations of how the show comes together with amazing character color work by Nancy Ulene, and  Art Director Jill Daniels showing us color scripts and the process of coloring  and creating backgrounds for the shows she worked on. Seeing how they actually script the show was enlightening, considering they do outlines and basic scripts, and let two storyboard artists do dialogue, writing as well as doing the storyboards. They finish editing the show on an Avid. And we got to see how the animatic goes to a finished product. Seeing a particular scene from start to finish was intriguing. Some of the storyboards were just stick figures, but they indicated the story ,action, and camera well enough to understand what was going on.  We got to see the “Tatooine song” from beginning to end which was a real treat. Swampy was one of the best  studio tour guides I’ve ever had, showing us around the entire studio and telling us “war stories” about putting together episodes and some of the wonderful people he got to meet, like Damon Lindelof (Co-creator and main writer of “Lost”) who was on a tour of the studio with his son whom Swampy met at that time. Swampy actually got him to write an episode for Phineas and Ferb!

For me the highlight of the tour was hearing how Phineas and Ferb got it to Disney TV. Hearing Swampy telling us how difficult it was to get the show greenlit for production was fascinating. Swampy and Dan came up with the idea in 1993, but the show only got picked up by Disney in 2005! They pitched it to over 100 studios in the US and UK,  yet it didn’t get picked up. It went into production several times  at Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network  and even was slated for fall of one year on Fox Kids. And then Fox Kids network was dumped. But Swampy and Dan stuck to their guns, and persevered through the years by continuing to pitch it.  Swampy said it was being more bullhead than actual perseverance. I believe its a bit of both.  You have to believe in your idea so much that in the midst of adversity, you stand tall , not letting anything knock you down. Swampy and Dan would go back to their jobs in animation, yet they never give up, they continued to pitch their project. Even when the project got picked up in 2005. They had an unorthodox way at the time of scripting Phineas and Ferb with a basic outline and then it was given to the board artists who do the dialogue and visual elements further pinning down the script.  The men at top did not like the approach, but Dan and Swampy stuck to their guns, even to the point that they thought that the show would be taken from them. But after several meetings, the executives granted them creative control to do the show as they pleased.  And now Phineas and Ferb has been on the air with 4 successful seasons and been in production since 2005, and have done a number of movies and specials like Phineas and Ferb across the 2nd dimension, an animated special  with the Avengers, and the  Star Wars Universe.

It was a fantastic opportunity to have my students see how Phineas and Ferb was being produced. I loved the opportunity to hear Swampy’s story of how he got Phineas and Ferb made and how he persevered over numerous defeats. It was a lesson for any creator who wants to produced a show or get a show on the air. Don’t every give up on your projects. Nurture and care for them. Stick to your voice and hone it until it stands out. Don’t let anyone change your idea. Perseverance and bull-headedness pays off eventually!  And most importantly you should always be showing and pitching your work. It was Swampy March, and Dan’s Povenmire’s philosphy but it was also Jim Henson’s philosophy. If you don’t get it out there, how is anyone going to know what you treasures you’ve created?

Enjoy this recent panel with the creators and voices of “Phineas and Ferb”


Santosh Oommen is writer, illustrator, and entrepreuner who loves the visual arts, and the written word. He can be reached by Twitter @santosh913