Ice Dragon for McFarlanes

Ice Dragon for McFarlanes

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From humble beginnings...

Hi Everyone,
That is, if more than just one or two people read this, I guess that it is okay to say 'Hi' to "Everyone"! For this blog, I wanted to give you a little bit of background about me, but not so much that I bore you to tears. And, I suppose that I want to let you know that do have a slight idea what I'm talking about when it comes to sculpting and creating toys.

Boy, that's starting to sound dreadfully boring already, Chris...I hope that the next few paragraphs go in a better direction than that! Okay, okay, I'll see if I can do a little better...and get down to some actual 'cool' stuff.

First of all, I'd like to say that it is possible to take good 'foundation' Art classes without going to expensive schools. It isn't really how much money you are spending, it more about what you are putting into it. I went back to school (Sussex County Community College) right here in good old, rural, Northern New Jersey at the age of 25. Now, I'm not going to say that all local colleges have great programs, but the one at SCCC gave me a great grounding in both drawing and design.

My instructors wanted me to continue on in Studio Art as a major and were pushing to try to get me to go to Cooper Union. But I figured that I might want to actually get some sort of job so, the next place I went was the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning in Dover, NJ. And it was there that I learned all about deadlines! And, even though I didn't really go after a job in Comics, it was while I was at the Kubert School that I first did some work on computer...this I liked.

After I decided NOT to go back and give Joe any more of my money, I found a school in North Carolina that looked like it had what I wanted. It was called the School of Communication Arts and they were in Raleigh, NC. They offered a 6-month course in all of the main graphics programs and they also offered classes in Computer animation. Again, I feel that I was very lucky to have had the instructors that I had, and I really put a lot into pulling my portfolio together.

After school I worked dor the RH Donnelly Company in N.C. for about 4 years creating ads for the yellow pages...this was graphic artist hell! If you've ever taken a look at an ad in the yellow pages, you'll see that they aren't so much ads as the are 'cramming as much information into as small a space as possible'. This was not fun.

So, I started looking around a bit for something else and I actually found out that 'Felix the Cat' was building a studio about 10 minutes from my Mom and Dad's house. Now, as much as I didn't want to come back home and be a burden, I soon found myself back in my old bedroom and commuting all of 10 minutes to work! And I was doing some pretty cool stuff...while I was at Felix, I did a lot of work helping them re-create a lot of old original art in Illustrator and helping them create an all new Style Guide for felix the Cat.

Now, as much as I enjoyed my work there, I knew that it would not last because they were still using a pay scale from about 1960! But, I was very, VERY lucky that one of the women that worked in licensing for Felix happened to know one of the guys that worked at McFarlane Toys...and she able to put me in contact with them. I had been doing a little sculpting on my own and really liked it. And, it just so happened that they were looking for sculptors...but nothing could have prepared me for the work that I would soon be doing!

Well, there you go, I hope that wasn't TOO boring...and it brings me up to a point where I can start talking about some of the actual work that I have done over the years. And then, I can talk about some of the stuff that I hope to be doing in the future!

P.S. The dragon picture at the top of the Blog is the Ice Dragon that I did for series 7 at McFarlanes

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Here we go...

Okay, guys, I'm relatively new to the world of blogging, tweeting and the like. But, I'm not so new to writing. Ever since I can remember, I've loved being able to put my thoughts down on paper. Paper? What's that?. You mean, you would actually write out, like words on, you know, like paper. Whoa, you must be really old!

Okay, yeah, I'll give you that much...if 43 counts as being old nowadays, then, I'm old. And if it stays as cold as it was today, then, an going to be 'feeling old' young 'whipper-snappers' Geez, I didn't even want to be outside today. And, as I type this, and can actually feel the bad weather coming in my hands.  Yeah, kiddies, you'll hear it a million times, but it sucks to get old!

So, what is this blog about anyway? I can hear you thinking out, I'm not going to read this blog if it's just some guys random thoughts about life...BORING! Well, yeah, that would be pretty boring, so let me try to bring you up to least a little bit up to speed, anyway.

My name in Chris Raab, and I currently work as a toy sculptor for McFarlane Toys (geez, for over 11 years I've been there!). And, if any of you have been following me on Twitter, I go by Crittersculpt on there. But, there's more than just that, I'm also a husband, a tractor puller, a comic book geek, a digital sculptor, a tinkerer, a cat lover (Maggie, my studio cat is on my lap as I write this), a fan of Science, a reader, and I'm also just a plain old farm kid that grew up here in northern New Jersey. So, hopefully, I'll be able to get some thoughts down here that are more than just random 'goings-on'.

In the meantime, I'll probably also use this blog to help me get my thoughts in order...rant about things that are bothering me...and update everyone about any cool projects that I can actually talk about. I am always having new ideas about stuff that would be cool to do, 'if I only had the time'. But, I'm hoping that I might be able to get some of them off the ground in the next few weeks, months or even years! And, it's up to you guys to pester the crap out of me, so that I'll get something done! I'm counting on you!

So, I've rambled on enough for now. But, look out..I'll be back! And with the next post, maybe I'll  actually start to make some sense! And maybe in the next post, I might explain the title of this blog...or maybe not! Stay tuned, everyone...this is going to be an interesting trip! I promise!

Talk to you again soon!

Chris aka Crittersculpt