This morning's Globe and Mail held a pleasant surprise for me in the form of this feature article in the Life section on one of my former Sheridan Animation students, Amir Avni. Amir is currently in his 4th and final year at Sheridan - I had him in my 2nd Year Character Design class two years ago and he was always keen to improve his ability. Best of all, Amir LOVES CARTOONS! :)
In the Globe article, Amir tells of his early correspondence as a fan with his cartooning hero, John Kricfalusi, of Ren and Stimpy fame. I certainly can appreciate what John's letters of encouragement and drawing tips meant to young Amir, as I'd had a similar correspondence with my hero, caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, back when I was in my teens and early twenties. It's really wonderful when a renowned artist takes the time and effort to write back to an aspiring artist, especially when it includes some practical information on how to progress. Much kudos to John K for his generosity of spirit in encouraging Amir some years ago. And I continue to be amazed at just how much John puts into his own blog, John K. Stuff, in his goal of passing along good practical knowledge on solid cartooning skills, which sadly seem to be becoming a dying art in both animation and print.