Thursday, December 4, 2014

Macy's Christmas Animated Window Display

Back in the late 90's I had the pleasure of helping to develop the Christmas window display for Macy's Herald Square in NYC. It was based on a sweet little animated short from "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas" 
I went to Florida on behalf of Disney and worked with the fabricator (Creative Arts) who did a fantastic job on the whole thing. I lost the original drawings long ago but I recently found these photos online of the finished windows. It was really fun and dare I say magical.
Keep in mind that most of the characters were animated with simple movements so you can imagine the budget on this thing....man, those were the days.






Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fun with Pooh

Again, from many moons ago.
This is one of those few occasions when the final product actually looked pretty close to the original concept sketch.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Circa 1996

I designed these for Disney Store in 1995 for the 1996 Christmas offering...(yes, we actually used the religiously insensitive term "CHRISTMAS" back then.)  I have a pristine set stored in the attic and despite how everybody told me back then to save everything Disney, they are worth essentially nothing as far as I can tell...even with the original drawing. Nobody knew the still embryonic internet and it's global yard sale site (AKA Ebay) would result in a deflationary butt whippin' on Disneyana merchandise back then. Oh well....maybe if I hang on another 19 years these things can help finance that biometric/robotic walker that I'll need by then.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Adventure Time Game Cover

I illustrated this earlier in the year. The client wanted an uncharacteristically painterly approach that is way different than the look of the show....it was kind of a fun little project to be a part of....



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Disney Shareholder Certificate (Commemorative)

Inexplicably, I was tapped to do (most of) the character illustration for the new Commemorative Disney Shareholder Certificate available at Disney Store and yes, you actually have to own a share of Disney stock in order to buy one which means I can't get one...It's very close to what I turned in exactly a year ago, but somebody added the Frozen characters and moved a couple of things around. This was actually the second version that was commissioned as the first version was mostly nixed by Mr. Iger himself because, understandably it didn't represent enough of the newer and newly acquired characters and properties. If you're thinking, that Capt. Jack Sparrow doesn't look enough like Johnny Depp, you are right...and that is on purpose for legal reasons. If you are thinking that Walt doesn't look enough like Walt....it's on me.


This was the first version. I liked some of the storytelling happening in this one and the inclusion of some great classic characters that didn't ultimately make the cut.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yet More B&B

 Here are some quick down and dirty product concepts for the How To Train Your Dragon franchise. These were done about a year and a half ago....they were probably commissioned to help whet the appetites of vendors and/or studio upper management to the merchandising possibilities....I had never drawn any of these characters before this, so they're probably fairly off model.....




Friday, September 5, 2014

Bread and Butter

This is a tiny sample of stuff I do to make a living from just one of several clients.....in some cases, the ideas are pretty much dictated to me and in others, I'm asked to come up with the concept. Either way, I feel pretty fortunate to be in this business. These were done over a year ago....










Wednesday, September 3, 2014

In the Rafters

I wrote this as I was sitting in my garage looking at all of the crap I've accumulated over the years.

You've got stuff in the rafters, boxes of odds and ends and vain ever afters

Things you've collected for so many years
Things that you've saved to offset your fears

Boxed, taped and labelled and neatly arranged
You thought they had value before the game changed

The stuff that you salvaged tells a detailed story
Of the steadfast commitment to your late former glory

Trinkets and tools, sketches and toys
and shrapnel from battles with corporate boys

Yes it all tells a tale that no one will read
And will serve as the folly on which carrion feed

And they'll pick through your remnants on a hot Sunday morning
And take bits of you home, but they won't heed the warning

That the stuff in the rafters that you keep "just in case...."
Takes up far too much room in your heart's finite space.

©Jim Valeri 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

TMNT Poster

Did this Noir style rendering last year for Nickelodeon. Somebody else pencilled the layout. As usual, I have no idea if it was ever used or for what reason....meh...I got paid.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Snow White and the Seven.....errr...."Little People"

I did this rough concept waaaaaaaayy back in the mid-nineties. I thought it was a pretty good idea because the Disney Store did a Menorah every Holiday and this just seemed like a good opportunity for some classic storytelling. For some reason it never got made. I can't remember why but.....
I know it wasn't for fear of seeming culturally insensitive, because we did make this one featuring a decidedly non-kosher Piglet.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Stained Glass Pass

This illustration was for a project in which the direction changed recently which is too bad, because I was really looking forward to doing about eight more panels with Disney characters like this one. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

8 The Untold Story



My old friend Michael Mullin is the author of a new graphic novel  for his Tale Spins series to which I contributed a few ancillary drawings, but it was illustrated by the very talented Mr. John Skewes. It's a really well written and well illustrated take on the heretofore little known 8th dwarf. A couple of my contributions are below in glorious non-color....Go check it out! 
Both of you......Go!
21855375

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ben Ten Omniverse 2 Game Cover



                                             This was illustrated back in June for CN....

Saturday, March 22, 2014

...then there was that time that the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade got Rick Rolled.....

video
Back in 2008, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends was a pretty popular show for Cartoon Network.
That year we wanted to have a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and I was fortunate enough to help with the overall concept. I got to go to NYC and work with the puppeteers and to help choreograph the performance. It was a great experience. 
I did some of the conceptualization and put together the crude movie above to help sell the idea to the network brass. I think the whole thing was the show creator's idea...the brilliant Mr. Craig McKracken. I'm not sure if he also came up with the idea of getting "Rick Rolled" in the middle of the performance.
Here's a link to the actual performance....epic!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Connected-2.0

This is a little poem I wrote six years ago after reading some reader comments following a politically charged online article. All I did was update some of the references to bring it into this decade. I'm particularly proud of the second stanza.

Connected

Oh what a contentious world the interweb hath wrought
Tweets, Pins and Walls to post our every random thought
One says it's black, another claims it's white
And neither even bothers to try and spell it right

Pixelated pundits purveying pugilistic prose
Donning threadbare pajamas and socks with holey toes
Geniuses and dunces dance cheek to cheek in bliss
Spewing digital dogma into the great Abyss

There's an App for this and a page for that
An entire site dedicated to a former family cat
There are sites seldom seen and sites too well worn
And a half a billion (!) pages with every kind of porn

Oh, the benefits are many for this gilded online age
But I sort of miss the texture of the ancient printed page
And paying bills online is actually very nice
But we've a million terabyte pipeline for every human vice.

And what is the benefit of all this cyber noise?
Does the Information Age enhance our earthly joys?
Or has this Superhighway on which our world relies
Become our road to ruin...
Sped up our slow demise?

A certain Pop Art prophet* was famous for the claim
That one day we would all have our quarter hour's fame
Now thanks to Twitter, Facebook and the same
No less than fifteen people can be familiar my name...

©2014 by Jim Valeri

*Andy Worhol

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Product Concepts

I love to come up with or execute somebody else's product ideas. Sometimes I'm given a vague idea of what the client wants and sometimes it's very specific. It's not necessarily an exercise in amazing art creation, but I still enjoy is the process of creative problem solving and integrating characters in a meaningful way to a prescribed function. These were done last year for a pitch to licensees probably more as inspiration than for final production.
storage hooks

activity table

meal set

pillow playset

um....hooks

jewelry box with integrated clock


meal set


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Delish Delights

My wife and I worked on these packaging concepts a few years back for a well known toy company that was looking into expanding into a little upscale confectionary line at the time. Kara came up with the names, labels, palettes, patterns, fonts as well as some inspiration boards and I basically just helped to comp up the packaging. Looking at it again now, I think it looks pretty yummy. Good job honey!





Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Zombify Your Pet

My sister asked me to make her dog Henry into a zombie. I was determined not to spend more than 20 minutes at this task and this is the result. The odd part is that this little dude is a holy terror anyway. He will and has tried to bite everyone in the family and anything that moves for that matter so I see no irony in the transformation....but I love my sister so....
I think I might start offering this as a service to my clients.