One of my creative goals for 2023 is to complete all the online animation classes I've signed up for over the past few years. (There's not enough time to do all the assignments, so I may just watch the videos for some courses and take notes).

I've allowed myself to sign up for one final new course: 2D Animation: Walk Cycle & Character Movement over at Animation Mentor. This workshop is six weeks (mid-February to the end of March) and is taught by Jay Jackson who worked as a traditional animator at the Disney Studio in the '80s and '90s, and at many other studios over the years. Mr. Jackson will be providing feedback via video critiques and then the class meets over live video once a week. I'm really excited to learn from a real animator, after mostly teaching myself using books and online classes. This workshop is a big investment for me, but I hope it'll help push my animation skills up to the next level!

The Animation Mentor online learning platform is super impressive, with lots of ways to interact with other students' and their work (most of them are studying 3D computer animation). Each student has their own profile page, where you are allowed to link to a demo reel, so I thought I'd use this as an opportunity to create my first one!

Demo reels are like a portfolio of recent work for animators looking for work. I'm not actually looking to get hired right now, but it was fun editing together a single video that collected a bunch of what I've learned so far. It's like a snapshot of where my skills were before this last big year of classes.

Starting next year I hope to continue my learning by doing! I'm (slowly) working on an idea for an animated short, which I hope to finish before I turn 50. Wish me luck!

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Countdown Concluded!

For the last several weeks on social media I have been counting down to the launch of the seventh Isle of Elsi story, "R.J. Jr. in The Underground Underground" using my "ite" characters (one for each week remaining).

I'm happy to announce that the story has finally begun! A new page is posted every Thursday which you can read for free on the Isle of Elsi website. This story is 113 pages, so I'll be posting it for the next two years!

If you would like to support the creation of this webcomic, please consider signing up for my Patreon which is only $1/month, and gives you access to behind the scenes process posts, a podcast where I interview other cartoonists, and all kinds of other fun stuff!

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Phase 7 #025

Phase 7 #025 is now available for online ordering! $4 + shipping for 32 pages of black and white, self-published, autobio comics!

This issue marks the twentieth anniversary of Phase 7! It includes the second installment of my serialized story PHASE SIX, all about my lifelong love of Star Wars, as well as my comics from both the 2021 and 2022 Hourly Comics Day challenges. Get a glimpse of what it was like raising two small kids in New Mexico during the pandemic!

The last twenty years have flown by. It feels like only yesterday that I was in Los Angeles in 2002, sitting in the back of my car before work, signing copies of Phase 7 #001. I feel like most of my happiness in life has stemmed from the creation of this minicomic. It helped introduce me to lifelong friends (as well as my life partner), and has helped lead to freelance projects, teaching positions, and other professional opportunities. In my opinion, you can do a lot worse than starting a minicomic and then just keep on making it.

This year I also drew my 2,000th page of comics, a goal I have been pursuing these past twenty years. I feel like I'm fully in control of my cartooning craft. I look forward to spending the next twenty years at the drawing board plugging away at all the stories I have planned.

Some of you have been on this journey with me the entire time, and many more of you have been with me for a part of it. Thanks to one and all for your support of my comics! It has been an absolute blast sharing these stories with you all.

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Domestika Black Friday Sale

This month my Autobio Comics course on Domestika crossed 1,000 students! For the next couple of days the online learning platform is having its Black Friday sale where over 1,000 courses are discounted. To celebrate 1,000 students I also set up this discount code, which takes off an additional 15%:

PHASESEVENCOMICS-1K

That expires on December 22, 2022. Thanks to everyone who has checked out the course so far! It has been really cool seeing so many folks from all over the world create their first page of comics on there.

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Instagram Reorganization

I recently reorganized my three instagram accounts, in an attempt to set clearer boundaries so that I can feel less stress and guilt while using the platform.

@phasesevencomics will continue to be my personal account with photos from my life, but moving forward it will be a LOCKED account with access only granted to people I actually know. I will no longer post comics updates over there.

@isleofelsi will now be my comics account (for Phase 7, Isle of Elsi, and any other book projects). I have started following cartoonists colleagues and friends on there, and am now more open to "networking" with other cartoonists I have not met before. (Similar to my twitter account).

@alecanimation will continue to be my place to post my animation projects. The main change will be that I will no longer follow cartoonists on there, to try and keep that specific timeline filled with only animation artists!

If you follow me on any of these three accounts, thanks! I hope these changes will allow us to connect in a more personal way.

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