Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Go To Hell

As part of the promotion for EA's new video game,
DANTE'S INFERNO, EA along with G2 created a free Facebook app called GO TO HELL. In it, you can condemn your friends (or enemies) to 72 or so various torments in hell -- whether being bathed in boiling oil, being melted into wax, or being chewed up by Lucifer. I was hired to create a ton of digital paintings depicting these torments, and while many are up right now, there are many more on the way (seven of the torments currently up were created by another artist). You can also propose to condemn various famous people to hell and other users can vote on whether they should be punished or absolved (Sarah Palin isn't doing too well right now).

Many thanks to my friend Nick Braccia at G2 for thinking of me for this job!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Earlier this summer I did a little bit of freelance work for an indie film company called SP Pictures. I did the illustrations for a couple of concept film posters and helped them create the artwork for their new logo. This is one of the posters I created for them for their project called I/O. Find out about it on their website here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Couple of New Commercials

Here are a couple of commercials I did recently for a commercial production company called Bl:nd. The links go the the company's website where you can view the commercials and get a behind the scenes look, including my storyboards.



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Belated Post Comic-Con Report

Well, I've finally managed to get a little free time to blog following the craziness that is the San Diego Comic Con! It turned out to be a fruitful convention, with me making some great new connections (leading directly to some new freelance work beginning mere days after the convention!) as well as catching up with some fellow geeks I haven't seen in a while. A few of those said geeks can be seen on Parkablogs, the blog of Teoh Yi Chie, who took the above photo. There is great coverage of Comic-Con as well as great reviews of art related stuff!

My new book "Show Me the Body" sold well for me, and if you weren't at Comic-Con, you can still order it through Stuart Ng Books, who any true connoisseur of illustration know is THE one stop place to shop for quality, hard to find books featuring eye-popping illustration. You can also order it through
or through my CreateSpace e-store.

I'm not used to doing a lot of public speaking, so I was a little nervous on Sunday morning when I did a little talk on storyboarding and illustration. But things turned out fine as I showed some of my storyboards from past jobs and the resulting footage. I also showed some of my animation from my LucasArts days and answered questions from the audience. Things went fairly smoothly and I was relieved when I was told it was well-received.

Although the start of the convention was disappointingly slow saleswise, it picked up considerably on the weekend. Vice, a reliable top seller within my oeuvre sold pretty well. The big surprise was the popularity of my original animal sketches, many of which I have posted on this blog, like here and here and here and here and here.

Keep your eyes peeled for news on buying your own animal sketch online in the future.
I'm sure an animal sketchbook won't be a long way off either.

By the way, if you like my animal art, you'll love it on a canvas bag or on a mug or shirt! Check out Anson's Artzoo!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Comic-Con, Baby!

Well, San Diego Comic Con is coming up! If you plan on being there, come by and visit me at my Artists Alley table EE01. Where is that? Right here:

I'll be selling my new book Show Me the Body as well as my older titles, Saturday Nite #1 & #2, Diddly Squat, Vice, Hand of Fate and Babes In Space. And while you're there, make sure to say hello to my brother, who will be sitting next to me at his table EE02. He will be selling, among other things, his new sketchbook, Striking Work. I will also be selling some original sketches (a couple of samples are below). If you're not going, you can still pick up Show Me the Body by ordering here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My New Book!

Here's a little preview of what you will find in my new book, "Show Me the Body". This is a collection of my sketchbook art, life drawings, oil paintings, and creature designs featuring a 7-page comic story, drawing tips and how-to's, and an animated flip book! It's 72 pages, 8.25" x 8.25", square bound and features full color throughout.

Order it today!

Click on images for a larger view.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Robots on Parade

More concept art. These are part of an upcoming project I'm working on that I will be announcing soon on an upcoming blog post.

Monsters on Parade

My concept art portfolio was long overdue for an update. So here are a bunch of creatures I designed with one taken to completion.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wolverine, Bub!

Well, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is out and doing strong box office. And on the Nicktoons network, the new X-Men cartoon series, "Wolverine and the X-Men" is well under way. I happened to storyboard on an episode of that series, the one premiering this Friday, called "Code of Conduct". My scenes are basically a warehouse fight involving Wolverine, Rogue, and a bunch of ninjas, with an appearance by the Silver Samurai. The scene required a lot of martial arts and swordplay, so I really had to bone up with a lot of research of old ninja movies, anime (particularly Samurai Champloo), some of my favorite Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies, and Kill Bill. From what I understand, this episode was banned in the UK (the entire first season has already had it's run overseas) for it's use of swordplay.

Here's a taste of the episode with a few samples of my storyboards on my Flickr site.

EDIT: I got the airdate based on the episode number (17) and the episodes already aired. When I wrote this, I was unaware that the show had taken a two month hiatus. The episode will air at a later date.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Morning Sketch

Drawing is a lot like athletic ability; it's very much "use it or lose it". If you don't practice, you may experience a decline in your abilities. Regularity in practice is also important--practicing one hour a day, every day is superior to cramming in seven hours one day out of the week.

In order to maintain a certain level of proficiency, I recently started a new ritual for myself: my "morning sketch". Every morning when I wake up, before getting out of bed to brush my teeth or anything else, I draw in a little sketchbook I keep next to my bed. I choose to do it this way because if I just pledge to do drawings in the sketchbook at any other time during the day, it would be too easy to be deterred by the inevitable distractions of life, and not get it done. I do not put any restrictions on myself as to the quantity and quality of the drawings. That way, if I fall short of my own expectations, I won't beat myself up about it, because that can eventually lead to me just giving up.

The only restriction I put on myself is that I have to draw something. So if the drawings suck, thats okay. If I only come up with one tiny little doodle, that's okay too. This doesn't mean that I don't challenge myself, I just don't turn it into a pressure situation; you can see that over time, the number of drawings increases, that I experiment with the complexity of the poses and in the later drawings I write down the beginning and end time of my sessions to try to gauge progress on improving my speed. Click on the strips below to see the first month's worth of sketches. As you scroll across to more recent pages, you can see a gradual improvement in the drawings as time goes by.

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

Sketchbooks are a great way to get the rust out. But you gotta be regular about it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Theo Jansen

This is one of the most amazing, beautiful things I've ever seen. Theo Jansen is a Dutch kinetic artist. He creates mobile autonomous "animals" made from plastic tubing and water bottles. These creations are able to walk via a simple mechanism that is kind of an extension of a wheel. They are powered by wind energy that they are able to store. They can act in self-preservation via a simple "brain" that keeps them away from water and other dangers. Here is a talk he did for TED:

and here is his website:

This is absolutely brilliant!


Here's a simulation of Jansen's reengineering of the wheel that makes this locomotion possible.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Think of Lara

Drawn in pencil, inked in Sketchbook Pro, colored in Photoshop.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hey, Hey, We're the Monkeys!

More simian fun!

Board Out of My Mind

Hey, if you haven't already, check out Leif Peng's Storyboard Central blog. On it, several storyboard artists blog about their work. I just posted my first entry there. it will be an ongoing series showing my commercial storyboards along with the final spot for comparison.

Check it out:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Open Letter to Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall

To: Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall

I was very disappointed when I heard the news about the casting for the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It seems to be very clear that this story takes place in a stylized version of ancient Asia. The characters wear the costumes and practice the customs of ancient Asia, write in Chinese and eat with chopsticks. How did four Caucasians and their families end up there?

Whether the decision to cast this way was artistic or financial, the implicit message you send out with this type of casting is that 1) stories that feature Asian people are not as appealing as those featuring Caucasians 2) Caucasians can play Asians better than Asians can and 3) nobody wants to go into a theater and see movies with Asian faces in it. Even if this is NOT your intent, these are the implicit messages you send out.

And these messages make me feel bad.

I feel bad for every person of Asian descent, who will get the implicit message that even though Asian CULTURE is endlessly fascinating to audiences, Asian PEOPLE are not.

Additionally, I feel bad for a lot of white people and other non-Asian Americans. A majority of them voted a black man into the White House because they wanted change, but now they are being told in so many words that they are narrow-minded and intolerant, and that change is coming no time soon.

I feel bad for every Asian actor, who has surely spent much of his time knocking on doors in Hollywood only to hear, "Sorry, this role was written for a Caucasian, you aren't right for the role." Now, in 2009, he also gets to hear "Sorry, this role was written for an Asian, but we found a Caucasian who was better for the role."

Mostly I feel bad for every Asian child, someone who is surely within the demographic for this film, who will look at this movie and say, "Daddy, look at all the pagodas and Chinese writing and mountains! How come there aren't any Asian people there?"
Perhaps he might be told the "facts" of life: "The people who made this movie believe that if you put Asian people on the movie screen, not many people will want to come."
The kid may ask "why don't many people want to go to movies with Asian people in them?"
"Most of the people in the audience are white, and they only like to see white people, son. Not Asians."
"How come they don't like seeing Asians? I don't mind seeing white people."
"That's just the way it is, son."
"Even all my friends at school and neighbors on our block?"
"I suppose so."

You are successful filmmakers who have earned the right to lead rather than follow.

Do something.

Anson Jew

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Bull, It's the Year of the Ox

2009. It's a brand new year with a brand new president (Yay!) Over 54% of Americans voted for change, and in 2009, the year of the ox, they will get it. The Ox in the Chinese zodiac symbolizes ambition, tenacity and hard work. A great symbol for change in difficult times.

There are some things, however that NEVER seem to change. One of them is Hollywood's casting practices. Throughout film history, most Asian roles that require any heavy lifting have gone to Caucasians. Background or sidekick roles, small comic relief roles and thug roles go to real Asians. Whether you're talking about Peter Lorre playing Mr. Moto in the 30's, John Wayne playing Ghengis Khan in the 60's, Peter Ustinov playing Charlie Chan in the 80's, or Brian Dennehy playing Kublai Khan in 2007, this is a tradition that seems outlast all of the other cultural advances that have been made in the last century.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a popular cartoon on the Nickelodeon network. It's setting is clearly a stylized version of ancient Asia. A live action adaptation by Paramount Pictures is set to go into production soon. It will be shot in Asia. Yet not one of the principle roles that have been announced so far have been given to actors of Asian descent. The roles were given to Caucasian actors.

By a large margin, Americans voted in it's first African American president. Yet somehow, the makers of The Last Airbender don't think they can bank on Americans spending their money to see Asian actors playing Asian roles. They still think America wants to see Caucasians playing Asian roles. Isn't it time Hollywood got up to speed?

Although the roles have been announced, they are not set in stone. Contact the producers of this film and let them know how your feel. Go to this website for more information:

It is especially important that non-Asian people get in on this. If the makers of this film see a bunch of letters from people with Asian names, they can easily just write it off, since Asians only represent 4.5% of the American population (and ticket sales). They need to see that their poor casting decisions could have a significant effect on their bottom line. This isn't just an Asian issue, it's a people issue.

Also check out this excellent blog entry by cartoonist Derek Kirk Kim on how he feels about the issue:

I'll be having Dim Sim with some friends at a restaurant near Alhambra in honor of the Chinese New Year. I'll be leaving behind this flyer. Feel free to copy and distribute it.