More work that keeps the lights on at Casa Valeri
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Monday, December 22, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
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
Sunday, November 30, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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
Saturday, June 28, 2014
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.....
Monday, May 26, 2014
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
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!
Monday, March 31, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
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
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
Saturday, March 8, 2014
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.
|jewelry box with integrated clock|