Whoa, what’s with her all of a sudden?

People are so quick to point the finger when others treat them badly that they fail to realize that they themselves can be assholes sometimes. Take me, for instance. I would hope that most folks think I’m a nice gal, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of being a pill when a situation arises. As one inevitably did last Friday night:

Dynamic Circus drawing 1

Dynamic Circus drawing 2

The scene was Dynamic Circus, a figure drawing workshop with a trio of exceptionally skilled contortionists for models, at the Gnomon Hangar. I was chatting with Justin Chiang, my co-worker on American Dad!, and my friend Andrea Berg, each of us zombified after a full day of work and amazed at how we could possibly be functional enough to draw in spite of it all. A hand on my shoulder brought the conversation to a halt, and I turned to face an unfamiliar man in a baseball cap, who then greeted me with a “welcome” that was so diplomatic, I thought he was one of the organizers of the event. Something about the way he was looking at me told me that he knew who I was, but I wasn’t sure how, and all I could do was stare at him blankly with wide eyes, completely unprepared for this sort of encounter; I’d be damned if the exhaustion I was talking about earlier wasn’t a factor in this.

He must have sensed my confusion because he said his name to me as if to jog my memory. Tim, it was. I guess the proper thing to have done at that point was to reply with an “Oh, hi Tim, I’m Kristina!” coupled with a handshake, but no, I had to be so engrossed in trying to figure out whether I had met this person before that I completely forgot my manners! I just repeated his name back to him as if he had spoken Latin, and he walked away, obviously finished with my severe lapse in social graces.

When I turned back to my friends, they were just as perplexed as I was.

“Does this happen to you all the time?” Andrea asked.

“Dude, I have no idea who that guy was!” I said. I am such a classy lady.

It was only when I saw the mysterious Tim talking to Nguyen Dong, who was sitting several seats away from me, during a subsequent break that I finally made the connection:

Drawing party! Me, Tim, and Nguyen at Leen and Nguyen's creative abode the night Tim and I met for the first time

Oh, Tim Weber! Tim Weber that I met for the first time over a week prior for dinner and a drawing party at Nguyen’s house. That Tim! Oh, my Lord…

Of course, I did the proper thing by going over to him to apologize and explain my side of things. He had been wondering why I had acted so coldly towards him, and now he knew that none of it had anything to do with him; though he jokingly mentioned that his hat could have been the culprit in my befuddlement.

Needless to say, we had a good laugh over the whole thing, and we all sketched happily ever after, yada yada yada, the end!

Point is, whether we realize it or not, we all screw up in the etiquette department from time to time. So never take things personally when someone treats you less than favorably. You have only to look at yourself to realize that oftentimes, the actions of others have nothing to do with you. Maybe they’re having a bad day, or in my case, they have a tendency to freeze up like a deer in headlights when they have no idea what’s going on or who the heck they’re talking to. We’re all just doing the best we can. For realsies, yo.

Tiki Girl

Tiki Girl flyer

Went to Nelson Creative Spaces with the illustrator dream team Leen Isabel and Nguyen Dong for Tiki Girl, a themed costume life drawing event hosted by Pierre Bernard. The model of the evening was Jennifer Fabos Patton, who is practically Queen of the Gallery Girls, so a successful turnout was inevitable.

Tiki Girl sketchbook page 1

I was satisfied with the fruits of my labor, of ballpoint pen etchings over failed attempts with Palomino Blackwing pencils. It’s an example I’ve been following from Alex Wilson, a freelance visual development artist whom I recently discovered on Tumblr. I am in love with the economical approach she takes with each sketchbook page she touches, allowing images to overlap one another and sprawl across the surface until nary a dead space remains.

Tiki Girl sketchbook page 2

As wonderful as it was to have Jennifer as the pièce de résistance, I think the real highlight of the night was when Pierre gave each artist in attendance a pack of Cosplay Life Drawing markers, his personal brand. We were all so pleasantly surprised, one guy happily exclaimed, “Now I can draw just like Pierre!”

Cosplay Life Drawing markers

Writing that last bit makes me want to break open this pack of babies to see if I will be infused with the creative powers of my EXTREMELY Pissed Off! friend. I must be insane for not having done so yet.

Family Guy makes the Top 10 Highest-Rated Broadcast Series of 2014 list

The Hollywood Reporter on The Highest-Rated Broadcast Series of 2014

"Family Guy" takes the seventh spot in the Top 10 Highest-Rated Broadcast Series of 2014

My boss Shannon Smith recently sent a mass email to the Family Guy crew with the wonderful news that our show made the Top 10 Highest-Rated Broadcast Series of 2014 list, and included the following excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter:

7. Family Guy
Thanks in no small part to that gargantuan season opener, a one-hour crossover episode with The Simpsons, Family Guy is one of the most-improved series of the 2014-15 season and continues to find much of its exceptionally young audience online. The Seth MacFarlane toon, and only animated entry in the top 10, is up 18 percent from last season in the key demo and jumps to 11.7 million viewers per episode with 30 days of multiplatform eyeballs.

The only animated series on the list? Wow, I am so proud to be a part of this amazing show. Congratulations to the Family Guy crew!

Family Guy veterans Kara Vallow and Mike Elias among this year’s Annie Award nominees

"Family Guy" executive producer Kara Vallow

"Family Guy" editor Mike Elias

Congratulations to Family Guy veterans Kara Vallow and Mike Elias on their Annie Award nominations!

Kara has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production for her work on Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
. She is responsible for developing and producing the unique animation style for the historical reenactments of the show. Best known as the executive producer/producer on Family Guy and American Dad!, and with a resume that includes shows such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Johnny Bravo, and Drawn Together, she is definitely the TV animation production aficionado. She is also an avid reader and writer, as is made evident in her blogs The Haunted Library and Teen Sleuth.

Mike has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production for his work on the one-hour Family Guy/Simpsons crossover spectacular, “The Simpsons Guy.” An editor on Family Guy since the show’s revival in 2004, Mike has been working in the film and television industry for over three decades, and has done work for such shows as The A-Team, Walker, Texas Ranger, and the brilliant, yet underrated, Clone High.

Winners will be announced on January 31, 2015. Let’s cross our fingers that these two plushie enthusiasts win!

CTN 2013 and 2014: a photo essay

The Art of David Boudreau booth

For this photo essay, we’re flashing back to 2013, back to my very first experience at CTN Expo, where I spent most of it working at my cubemate and co-worker David Boudreau’s booth.

Craig Knowles at CTN animation eXpo 2013

Sitting next to us, was character designer and animator Craig Knowles, who hails from Manchester, England. When he wasn’t chatting with CTN attendees, he was sketching away on post-its.

Post-it sketch by Craig Knowles

Here’s a post-it sketch that he gave me.

Thank you post-it sketch for Craig Knowles

And here’s a post-it sketch that I gave him in return.

The event served as a reunion for me and some animation folks that I hadn’t seen in ages, such as:

Me and Mike Morris

“The Simpsons” storyboard artist Mike Morris. Can you not see how thrilled I am to be blessed with his presence? Um, maybe I’m a little too thrilled…

Jessie Velociraptor Greenberg

My Story Development for Animation classmate and DreamWorks Animation production assistant Jessie Greenberg, a.k.a. Jessie Velociraptor, who was working at the Motivarti booth.

Me and Ivan Aguirre

Background painter Ivan Aguirre, whom I randomly met back in 2009 at a Women in Animation event at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Check out his portfolio and prepare to have your mind blown!

I also got to meet new artists, including:

Mike Kunkel

Animator and Herobear and the Kid creator Mike Kunkel. Such a nice guy. And he worked on “Cats Don’t Dance,” one of my favorite animated movies as you can tell from these pieces I did for the Villains of Animation Art Show.

Three of the seven contributors to the comic book "Anthology 451." Left to right: John Hoffman, Craig Berry, and Kris Pearn.

Anthology 451 contributors John Hoffman, Craig Berry, and Kris Pearn. I was so impressed with the artwork in the book, I bought a copy for myself.

The Family Guy softball team with "Children's Hospital" second assistant director M. Ryan Traylor pretending to be Seth MacFarlane. Back row: Patrick Clark. Middle row (left to right): J. Lee, Shawn Ries, M. Ryan Traylor, Francis Lucas's brother, Andrew Goldberg, and Matt Gerardi. Front (left to right): Drew Graziano, Lisa Hallbauer, Francis Lucas, Kristina Bustamante, and Kyle Lau.

Fast forwarding to 2014 now, I was only able to attend this year’s CTN on Sunday, November 23, because I was playing with cheerleading for the Family Guy team in a softball game against the McCarthys the previous day – sad news: we were annihilated. Photo above is me and the Family Guy team with second assistant director M. Ryan Traylor after our game against Children’s Hospital, which, for those of you who know me as the least athletic person in existence, serves as proof that I actually played and that I’m not making this shit up. Now that game we actually won.

CTN animation eXpo 2014

With only a few hours to wander the convention this time around, I was more concerned with talking to as many artists as I possibly could, which meant opting out of taking a lot of photos as that would have interrupted the flow of things. Artists that I spoke to, but aren’t pictured here, were Zach Bellissimo, Tara Billinger, Mingjue Helen Chen, Clio Chiang, David Colman, Alice Herring, Rad Sechrist, and Gabe Swarr. Check their stuff out. You won’t be sorry.

Me and Megan Nicole Dong

I did, however, get a snapshot with the lovely Megan Nicole Dong, whose comics are a huge inspiration to me. I bought a copy of her comic diary and sketchbook Shark Bites Vol. 2.

Me, Pierre, and Satine

And through my friend Pierre Bernard, I was introduced to a lady with the coolest name ever, Satine Phoenix, who was working at the MAXON booth. She is the co-creator and illustrator of the graphic novel New Praetorians, and has a rather colorful resume. We hit it off right away with our love of comics and fashion (and probably made one of Pierre’s dreams come true in the process).

For more photos from CTN, check out the sets on Flickr:

CTN animation eXpo 2013
CTN animation eXpo 2014

The hunt for David Derks at the Villains of Animation Art Show

"Meowrice Makes his Move on Mewsette" by David Derks

I arrived at the opening reception of When Good Toons Go Bad: Villains of Animation Art Show an hour into the event, only to wish I had gotten there sooner. For I had just missed the chance of meeting David Derks, the artist of my favorite piece, “Meowrice Makes his Move on Mewsette,” a Gay Purr-ee tribute. I was talking to Phillip Graffham, the organizer of the event, about how much I loved that piece, when he informed me that Mr. Derks might still possibly be floating somewhere among the sea of people. With wine in hand from the open bar, I then went on a mad hunt for him, hoping that he had not already left, so that I could sing my praises to him for his work.

"Big and Loud" and "Li'l Ark Angel" by Kristina Bustamante

Thankfully, the gallery provided name tags for the artists, so that the curious could spot the contributors from the general crowd. The downside to this, however, was that it made me an easily identifiable target of interest, thus beginning a series of interruptions to my search for the elusive Mr. Derks, as a few people wanted to know which piece was mine (two actually: Darla Dimple Cats Don’t Dance drawings “Big and Loud” and “Li’l Ark Angel”), or, in the case of mosaic artist Juliana Martinez, if I was some other Kristina that she knew.

Me with artists Joe Vaux and Mark Covell, and company.

Me with "Pole Dancing Adventures" artist/author Leen Isabel and "Hiraku" artist/author Nguyen Dong.

The arrival of friends and co-workers was also a distraction, but pleasant ones indeed, especially that of show contributors Joe Vaux and Mark Covell, with wives in tow, and – surprise! – my comics friends that I hadn’t seen in ages, “Pole Dancing Adventures” artist Leen Isabel, and “Hiraku” artist Nguyen Dong. These run-ins pretty much defined my night at the gallery, which was basically about me trying to focus on the art/finding Mr. Derks but failing because I couldn’t resist being social.

Me and Phillip Graffham

By the time I bumped into Phillip again as he was conversing with another artist, I was undoubtedly feeling the effects of the alcohol, and melodramatically lamenting that I might have missed Mr. Derks, which sucked “because I just love Gay Purr-ee so much!” Phillip and his companion seemed quite charmed by this display of girlishness. With a glimmer of hope inside me, I asked Phillip what the man looked like – maybe he was still at the gallery and just not wearing a tag? – and Phillip started spinning some magical description about how insanely tall and good-looking Mr. Derks is, with intense amber eyes, tan skin, and a deep voice made irresistible with an Australian accent…

Of course, I knew he was joking, but, being a single woman and looking (HA! Yeah, right), that didn’t stop me from humoring him with an exclamation of “Damn it! Now I really wish I could have met this guy!”

"Black Wolf" by Joe Vaux

In the end, I didn’t get my man- I mean, meet Mr. Derks, but at least I got to see some amazing artworks of animation’s most notorious villains. Joe Vaux’s “Black Wolf” was a definite standout in my book, especially since Wizards is my favorite Ralph Bakshi flick.

Show ends on November 29, which is coming up fast. Stop by Van Eaton Galleries today for some exquisite villainy.

For more photos of the event, check out the set on Flickr.

Coming soon: “When Good Toons Go Bad” Villains of Animation Art Show & Sale

When Good Toons Go Bad: Villains of Animation Art Show window banner. Evil Queen image by Mark Hammermeister.

I will have two pieces in the upcoming When Good Toons Go Bad: Villains of Animation Art Show at Van Eaton Galleries. Some of my co-workers and favorite artists will be participating, including: Mick Cassidy, Alina Chau, Mark Covell, Andreas Deja, Kaya Dzankich, Kali Fontecchio, Jeff Rebner, and Joe Vaux. Opening reception is this Saturday, November 15, from 6 PM – 10 PM. Hope to see you there!

For a teaser of my contributions to the show, go here to my Instagram.

Inktober: Day 3

Inktober: Day 3

Remembering my brief stint at MLG Productions with this drawing of Torunn, daughter of Thor. I was a freelance storyboard revisionist for “Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow.” Don’t bother looking for my name in the credits, though. You won’t find it because there was no obligation for the studio to credit freelancers on the project.

That being said, I had a completely different drawing in mind for today’s post, but that one will have to wait because there’s a dude in it, and I just seriously have a hard time drawing dudes.

Inktober: Day 2

Inktober: Day 2

Day 2 of Inktober, and still standing. Here’s another original character of mine.

My drawings never seem to turn out the way I plan them to be. I’m kind of embarrassed, honestly, but I’m not going to let it stop me. Might as well fail spectacularly on the way to success.

Inktober: Day 1

Inktober: Day 1

Attempting Inktober for the first time ever. I hope I’ll be able to keep up with the daily posts. First entry is a character from one of two comics that I’m working on. Man, there’s too many ideas in my head. It’s hard to choose just one!