Out With the Old, In With the New

Man! The Year 2005 here at The Ward-O-Matic was quite a wild one. It started out with a bang early on when I decided on a whim to submit my POLAR EXPRESS post to Boing Boing. I would've never guessed the amount of traffic and attention that my lowly little rant on the ill-conceived motion-captured kids in that film would garner. It got kinda hairy for awhile, as it was similar to having your front door open and letting the entire world enter into your tiny corner of the world, but it was worth while. Even though it got a little crazy with the spam comments and pseudo bloggers (interesting to see how the ugly side of the net works), I still would never change the fact that because of the extra exposure, I met some fantastic people.

And that's when the internet works: making connections with like-minded people. To say that I met some of the most interesting and fascinating people during the course of 2005 is a major understatement! Whenever I go online and start to click through my blogroll and Flickr contacts, it becomes a daily trek through this wonderful world of ours. I love the fact that I can read the thoughts and check out the mind of a mother in Vancouver, and then suddenly visit my buddy in Toronto, and then onto Melborne, Australia right after that. Mindboggling, to say the least. And I never tire of it!

If I could sum up the Year 2005 in a few short quips, it would be that the year was monumental and eye-opening. It was through this past year where I was able to be a part of a fantastic collaborative blog, Drawn!, and meet some brilliant artists and illustrators, most of whom I had never heard of before when I was asked by John to join that fateful day in March. I remember at first being a little stand-offish about sharing my links with others, as I always revered my links and bookmarks to being something special and only for me. But it wasn't but two weeks into it when I realized the necessity of link-sharing and the warm fuzzy feeling of exposing brand spankin' new talent to the world. It's become one of my all-time favorite sites to visit on a daily basis, and I still pinch myself when I realize that I'm actually a part of the site! It's been a fun ride, that's for sure.

When Andrea turned me onto Flickr, I did not realize the potential that that photo sharing service offered. Not only have I had the most fun uploading and sharing my photos and scans of old books and whatnot to others, checking out the multitudes of other Flickr-ites has been an addiction that will not be easy to stop. I simply LOVE to check out my contacts' photos and see what they're up to, as well as see what people are talking about in all the wonderful groups that I'm a part of. It was nice to be able to upload pics of my workspace and then place them in a cozy photoset for all my friends and family to check out whenever they felt like it. I never knew you guys were so nosy! Ha, well, I knew that it might've been a hit, as I'm just as nosy about checking other people's workspaces as the next guy. There's something about viewing the intimate spaces where artists create that really appeals to me. Something so special and unlike any other area you'll ever find out there. Unique to you and you alone.

So, yes, the Year 2005 was nothing short of amazing for me. My only fear is that it'll be quite hard to top in 2006.

And what to think of 2006? Hmmm.....

I know that I'll never reach the same levels of excitement and traffic that my site got from last January, but that's okay. I've never tried to top that incredible feat, and I never will. I understand that it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and that I've since made the most of it. It opened some great doors for me, as well as allowed me to meet many new friends.

I'm excited to see what this next year has in store for me and for this blog, as I know that I've got some great things to talk about and post in the next couple of weeks. I'm always thinking ahead about what fun and intriguing things to discuss as well as what glorious imagery to share with you all. Inspiration never takes a break as far as I'm concerned and I cannot wait to see what new and fantastic gems are yet to be discovered! Boxes of fun ephemera and books have yet to be scanned, my friends!

What to expect? Well, one of the earliest concepts I've wanted to do ever since I started this thing was to do an on-going 'influences series', basically a series of posts on various artists, art movements, and/or items that have played a major part in my development as an artist. Some may be well-known, but others not so -- but all of it important to me as an artist. I hope to enlighten as well as educate some of you on what it took for me to get to where I am as an artist and animator. Everyone's road to discovery is different, and mine was/is no exception. I think it'll be a fun trip to take. I hope.

Expect more posts on past jobs I've worked on at Primal. There's been a nice backlog of projects that I've been meaning to talk about and so I've been saving all the sketches and conceptual artwork to hopefully scan and share with you all soon. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to find out what spots I've worked on.

Dont' worry, I haven't forgotten about the stories I plan to tell from my Things post from October. I don't plan on getting too personal with some of these tales, but there are some interesting antidotes that I think you'll find amusing, especially when I got to meet Charles Barkley as well as the multiple times I've encountered Andre 3000. Very amusing.

More more more abundancy with the linkage, rest assured!

Oh, and expect more Ava Thursday. But of course!

And so, essentially, expect more of the same quirkiness and bloggity goodness from yours truly. I've been having fun with this thing, and I seriously doubt that I'll stop anytime soon. I'm having TOO MUCH FUN! (I hope that you are too!)

Here's to a great 2006!


  1. Ohh, O0h, ohhh....I LOVE your "Old Man 2005" drawing and your "Baby New Year 2006"!!! As always with your illustrations, it's both clever and beautiful.

    I drew a Baby New Year for my humble baby bloggy, too, but yours is much more...earthly. Mine looks like it had too muh time on its hands to curl its lashes and do its hair. Haha

    Anyway, thanks for being such a cool friend and awesome inspiration in 2005, 2004, 200...etc, etc. Of my friends in Atlanta, you and Andrea are two of the most missed since I moved. But I'm glad we've kept in touch. (Who knew I'd miss that crazy kook that worked next to my cube for the last several months! heh heh)

    I hope you do post some old Primal projects you've worked on, becuase it will be an inspiration to everyone, especially all of us working in TV land. The Ward signature always means thoughtful, thorough, quality work. Here's to a great 2006!

    PS---I hope you don't mind me listing the "Cartoon Modern" site link as well...it was too cool to resist!!!

  2. Happy New Year Ward! Great spot illustrations. Keep that blog on a truck'n as it's one of my top five stops in the ol' RSS reader.


  3. Justin, i'm glad to see that you started up a blog! I'm looking forward to seeing what 'curio' you have to show. And thanks, guys, for the nice comments on my illustrations. For the record, you can click on them to view 'em much larger!

  4. HNY, Ward - I've been checking in each day, a little disappointed not to see a new post, but always happy to be greeted by Ava's wonderful drawing. Very much enjoyed your thoughts/ drawings for the new year. You're right on tha' money, brother, the sharing and sense of community is what its all about and many thanks for your help, encouragement and inspiration in getting blogging, flickring and just in general interacting! Looking forward to 2006. ;-)

  5. Happy New Year and welcome back.

  6. Happy new year, Ward! All the best to you n' yours.

  7. a post most worthy of the sacrifice I had to make last night (which would be highly sought after couch time in front of the boob tube with you).

    can't wait to see what this year holds for you in bloggity-bloggin land.

  8. WOOHHOOO!!! 2005 has been one really big inspiring year for me too! Going thru one great spectecular artist after another...Whew! The days are not long enough. Eee,can't hardly wait for your new posts especially your 'influences series'. Thank you for sharing your world to us all here in blogworld,Ward! ;)Your blog is living proof that there are down-to-earth sorta people around,and not just one of those foppish I'm-too-good-for-you types. Stay cool Ward! And a Happy New Year to you and your family. Rawk ON!

  9. Sounds like an exciting year you've had! Hope this one is just as exciting and full of adventure! Glad you love blogging, 'cause, y'know, I kinda like coming back here regularly...

  10. Wow, Ward--has it been a year since I read that fateful post on Polar Express?! That's how I found your blog...and I'm awfully glad I did. Best animation/art blog yet--a must-visit, every time! Keep it up-and thanks!

  11. Woohoo! 2005 is going to be a hard year to top here at the Ward-o-matic, but I know you'll be able to do it! Fantastic illustrations! I especially like the old year... I too often carry that expression on my face.