I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

UP: My name is Dug

The advance copy. I brought it with me everywhere last week. Yup, even N.Y.

My very first one! I've always wanted to make one and I didn't really pursue it like I have many other career goals. Maybe because it appeared to be rather arcane. Who knows how one gets that gig?

Last year the opportunity to illustrate this book for our movie came around and I asked maybe I could submit samples. A long shot at best, I thought, and I have to draw it in as spare a manner as I can so I could--in the unlikely event I get the job--whip through it. I could only do it away from my day job, which was of course just getting into the frenzied third act. Every reason not to do it.

But got it I did. And the editors also wanted (with good reason) for me to put more muscle into it--way more than my scratchy samples. Oh, boy. But I was blessed that the author is the divine Kiki Thorpe (who now works here). She's an old hand at this and she gently guided my newbie carcass through all this. We did a rough pass and tweaked here and there (images, words, placement of the text) to make the reading experience better. Then Winnie Ho designed the graphics of the book took care of the fonts and all the other details not related to illustrating it. I have them to thank for my first effort into children's book illustration.

Oddly enough, though it took forever to do those leaves I enjoyed making them. All done in Photoshop CS3 with two customized brushes.

I hope this leads to more because I am hooked! I need to do more. I learned a lot about the way I work after making this.

I never get tired of looking at that. Not the drawing--the credits!

Now then, on to the commerce. The book is slated to release on April 14, 2009 but you can pre-order it at Amazon right now. See that sidebar image of this book on the right?

Special thanks to Kathleen Chanover, Leigh Anna McFadden, Kelly Bonbright and Nancy Intelli. They made all the publishing dreams we had regarding UP come true. They rock.

The back cover. The entire dust jacket was designed to wrap all the way into the interior flaps. They eventually decided to keep those white with some spot illustrations from the inside pages. Very professional job, I must say.

My Name is Dug on Amazon

Kiki Thorpe

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Blogger Gabe Bridwell said...

Congratulations Ronnie! Looking forward to the movie and I'll definitely pick this up too. Love to hear about someone's long-time dreams coming true.

12:06 AM

Blogger JP said...

Congratulations! The style and execution looks fantastic.

1:13 AM

Blogger Randeep Katari said...

Congratulations Ronnie! I was wondering when you were going to post this - I saw it pop up at Amazon last week. Was talking about it with James earlier, fantastic looking book, can't wait to get my paws on it!

2:02 AM

Blogger Sanjuro said...

It's not yet available on Amazon France but I will keep my eyes open to grab it as soon as it becomes :)

2:18 AM

Blogger geraldraws said...

wow ! appealing designs and great composition, I can't wait to get it ! thanks Ronnie !

2:49 AM

Blogger SHOo said...

That's great! It's fantastic that you got to do one - and what a wonderful one too! Definitely making my wishlist instantly!

4:42 AM

Blogger Bill Robinson said...

The book looks beautiful, Ronnie! Can't wait to own it.

7:58 AM

Blogger Chris said...

Congratulations! What a fun gig!

10:04 AM

Blogger Dani said...

Brilliant illustrations, Ronnie!
You show us all how it's done.

10:05 AM

Blogger RAWLS said...

Haha! That looks great my friend! Super work!!

10:57 AM

Blogger amelia said...

I'm so glad you went for this opportunity! I've been anticipating more illustrated books of yours, either Paper Biscuit or otherwise; hopefully we'll get to see more of this in the near future! Can't wait to soak in these pictures. :)

11:04 AM

Blogger Aaron Hartline said...

Congrats Ronnie. Cant wait to read it to my son for nigh-nigh time.

Also, im going to have to buy another one so papa can have his own mint copy :)

1:21 PM

OpenID reggaenights said...

I'm digging the overall color scheme of the samples you posted. And even though you mentioned that the editors wanted more polished pieces, I still find a nice texture to the drawings that feels very loose, much like your other work. Yeah, this looks great!

6:13 PM

Blogger Amy said...

I cannot stop grinning stupidly at the cover. Just wonderful work, Ronnie, I can't wait to see the finished book. :)

6:24 PM

Blogger kalonji said...

lovely work !

can wait to have it ;-)

congrats ronnie.

(hello from swiss )


7:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ronnie,

It is delightful. I am sure that Dug will like a paper bisquit. Who was the character designer of Dug?


8:29 PM

Anonymous Jen Chee said...

It's really great Ronnie! Good job!

11:36 PM

Anonymous Dennis S. said...

Wow Galing! Hopefully it'll be released here in Manila. When are you coming back to visit? :)

3:14 AM

Anonymous Manning said...

Hi from Sydney, Ronnie. Congrats on the book and I have a small army of nieces and nephews who will be getting a copy.

Combining comments from a few other blogs here:

I also just saw the full-length trailer for UP today and I'm worried I will have to change my "favourite PIXAR film" choice yet again - it looks truly amazing. I was delighted to spot the Pizza Planet truck and the Luxo ball as well.

And despite being delighted with WALL·E winning the Oscar, I am still sulking about Thomas Newman not winning for the score. What does that guy have to do to win an Oscar? WALL·E was (IMHO) the 2nd best work he's ever done (nothing will top the American Beauty score in my book - that's one of the greatest scores in cinema history).

All the best and I've really enjoyed reading your blog.

Cheers Manning

5:11 AM

Blogger Tim Rauch said...

Beautiful stuff, thanks for sharing!

5:56 AM

Blogger XAV said...

congratulations ronnie!! i can't imagine how wondefull it can be to make such a book, i'm very happyfor you and i can't wait to have it !
(moreover april 14th is my birthday, thanks for the gift ^__^ )

8:12 AM

Blogger Meesimo said...

Looks beautiful and super fun!
How do you make the time?
Inspiring to be sure, man.

8:45 AM

Blogger Christopher Denise said...

Nice Job. I have admired your work for films for years and now a book! Any interest in a book swap? http://www.christopherdenise.com

9:21 AM

Blogger Dave said...

Beautifil!!! Can't wait to get a hold of one :)

9:32 AM

Blogger SteveLambe said...

Beautiful work, Ronnie. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

10:31 AM

Blogger elephantmarchblog said...

Very charming. Just like what I've seen of the movie so far.

It really looks like it's going to be Pixar's most inventive and random story; in a good way. I bloody love that bird!

Someday I hope to work their and help Pixar maintain it's integrity.

Admired your personel work for a while now; bought one of your bought one of your paper biscuit books at APE last year.

11:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Ronnie.

It's great to see you have two new books. I'll get them asap. By the way, thanks again for your wonderful gift and excuse again my pitiful English.

David Abia

12:10 PM

Blogger Thorsten Hasenkamm said...

Excellent! Just pre-ordered it!

12:33 PM

Blogger Tom Bancroft said...

Hey Ronnie. I pre-ordered it, it looks great! OKAY, process question: is that traditional media or Photoshop? Or something else? Can you speak into that for us all?

My best to you!

2:00 PM

Blogger Mukpuddy said...

Wow, it looks amazing!!! Great job!!

3:55 PM

Blogger Tony said...

Cool paintings. It's interesting that you did it in Photoshop.
The dog kind of reminds me of this episode of Dexter's Lab: click

3:58 PM

Blogger Lee said...

Excellent! Congratulations Ronnie, you must be elated to have this trophy to your collection. BTW you do know what kiki is in tagalog right?

11:30 PM

Blogger Ands. said...

Ms. del Carmen.
I saw this book. And I had to know who illustrated it. (I know, I know, you don't know me. I promise I'm not a stalker. Just a fan.) But I love the artwork, and the other artwork I have now seen of yours. As a future illustrator/artist/animator, this is inspiring!

10:08 AM

Blogger matt dawson said...

CONGRATS! Looking forward to buying it & seeing the film of course. Many thanks for being so open about the production process of the book... dispels the whole mystery of how a kids book is born... inspirational!

12:30 PM

Blogger Santiago said...

Looks incredible Ronnie, can't wait to see it in person (and own it! Yeah!)

5:22 PM

Blogger Cheryl said...

I love the feel and look of your designs. They make me very happy.

12:56 PM

Blogger the doodlers said...

gotta get this now!

Looks like it's going to sell out. Beautiful style Ronnie. and I appreciate that it follows in the excellent tradition -stepping outside of the rendered style of the feature towards a flat simpler look. Classic! Those leaves are lush and lose. yummy!

7:10 PM

Blogger gamusino Javi said...

looks great!!! congratulations for your trayectory

2:43 AM

Blogger Destiny Wood said...

I just wanted to say that your drawings are beautiful. You have become one of my favorite artists. The Dug book looks so charming, I love dogs and your artwork so I definitely look forward to it.

11:36 AM

Blogger Floyd Norman said...

I've been watching your book take shape over the last several months. Good job, Ronnie.

And yes, Winnie Ho is awesome.

1:02 PM

Blogger lorelay bove said...

Awesome book!!!! is so cute!

9:11 AM

Blogger Segun said...


4:03 PM

Blogger Kelly B. said...

RdC, you were a pleasure to work with on Up. I think our books turned out fabulously! Look forward to working with you again in the future!

Cheers to Dug! xoxo Kelly

9:52 PM

Blogger nick sung said...

MAN! incredible. you never cease to amaze me. when am i going to get my hands on one of these, hm?

11:30 PM

Blogger Kei Acedera said...

Wow! That looks so awesome Ronnie!!! I can't wait to get it..Hope you're doing well!

12:10 PM

Anonymous Dominic Took said...

This is great, nice to see a kids book done in photoshop too. I tend to put things together in Quark myself, but I guess photoshop does a good job.

Good luck with your new book.


12:51 PM

Blogger Becky said...

This looks fantastic - I'll have to check it out :) I'm excited for the movie!

8:58 PM

Blogger Erwin Madrid said...

Hi Ronnie, It was cool to finally meet you the other day at sketchcrawl. I had a great time and I can't wait for the next one. Thanks!

9:37 PM

Blogger Leocartunista said...

Wow........congratulations for all your works...your style is amazing.
Greetings from Brazil.

10:55 AM

Blogger Christian Robinson said...

Last summer I had the privilege of seeing the development of this book as an art intern in consumer products. I was in Awe of your rough sketches, So seeing the wonderfully executed finished book is such a joy. Also thanks for being very gracious toward me, You always had something encouraging to say. Thanks for the Inspiration you share with us all in work like this book.


-Christian : )

11:05 PM

Blogger A-T-G said...

It looks gorgeous! I saw it in the studio store and was so pleased! Congrats!

I can't wait to point it out to everyone I know with a happy "get this! I know this guy" smile on my face. Plus, I get to send one to my niece and nephew - hurray!

Well done, sir!

1:09 AM

Blogger Paul's Paper Escapades said...

Thats so cute! Congratz on the book Ronnie, I'm excited to get my hands on that one

8:46 AM

Blogger Tony Sandoval said...

hello Ronie,nice book! sheers from barcelona it was very nice to meet you in paris and angouleme.


11:40 PM

Blogger Mitch said...

I finally bought your book at a local Barnes & Noble store in my area. (The lady at the register thought that it was adorable....) I absolutely love it! The illustrations are playful and entertaining, the text amusing, and the story hilarious.

Wonderful work, Mr. Carmen, Kiki Thorpe, Winnie Ho, and everyone else who had a part to play in creating this book!

4:36 PM

Blogger Mi said...

I love that DUG..
Best of Luck....

6:36 AM

Blogger B! said...

looks great!!

6:33 AM

Blogger Floyd Norman said...

This is the book I keep in front of me all day, Ronnie. Great job.

By the way, Winnie Ho is only a few cubicles down from me. She's great!

8:04 PM

Blogger Peter Pen said...

-- splendid Ronnie. And UP even made it top news on Germany's biggest selling quality newspaper: Frontpage and review as follows:


6:47 AM

Blogger Whitney Pollett said...

Congratulations!! The book looks amazing!!
I'm pre-ordering a copy right now. :)

10:34 AM

Blogger Octavio E. Rodriguez said...

Looks Great!!

3:16 PM

Blogger Gabriele Pasqualino said...

looks awesome :)

12:27 PM

Blogger Craig said...

I hope this is true: SlashfilmThe book is awesome as well!!


2:47 PM

Blogger The Linsley Brothers said...

Man! This blog is so inspiring! Can't wait to get the book.

8:19 AM

Anonymous Doug TenNapel said...


1:03 PM

Blogger David Gilson said...

Got the book for a moment now and I absolutely loved it! Amazing fresh job, congrats to you, your art and your work on Up Ronnie. ^^

3:46 PM

Blogger Sanjuro said...

I was able to order one on Amazon France. Just a few more days to wait :D

1:30 AM

Blogger Kendra Melton said...

Dug was my favorite part of that entire movie. I was so excited when I found out there was a book about him and that you illustrated it. Wonderful job on that by the way. Love the simple shapes and the fun whimsical compositions.

1:57 PM

Blogger Wouter said...

fun stuff.. =)

i'd LOVE some of those photoshop brushes!
can't seem to find any decent ones in that style..

Anyone willing to share theirs?


5:33 AM

Blogger Jess said...

I am the mother of a toddler and an art and Pixar lover. My husband and I were deeply moved by Up and really felt that it made a difference in our lives. My husband came across My Name Is Dug on Amazon and bought it on a whim for our 18-month-old son to eventually enjoy. We didn't have to wait long. It is now his favorite book. He brings it to me every day for me to read to him and points to the bird on every page. Thank you for bringing Dug and the rest of the Up characters to life for us to enjoy!

4:01 PM

Blogger Jim Mitchell said...

Beautiful book Ronnie-- can't wait

10:13 AM

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