Author & Illustrator, Kelly Light, to Lead Workshop at the Center!


Kelly Light is the author and illustrator of the picture book Louise Loves Art.  It is a story about the importance of creativity in all its forms. Louise loves art more than anything; it's her imagination on the outside. She is determined to create a masterpiece—her pièce de résistance! Create your own pièce de résistance on Sunday, March 8 from 3 to 5 PM as author and illustrator Kelly Light leads a one-day only workshop at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, 3321 Hyland Ave., Suite A, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Admission is free and open to the public, but reservations are a must. Call 949-669-7793 x 20107 or email for more information and to RSVP. This program is appropriate for ages 7 to 12. 

Kelly will talk about the connections between cartoons and children’s books. How she used what she learned in animation to write and create characters that may be still on the page, but alive to the reader.  How acting with your pencil can put personality into your drawings.  

Together, doing drawing exercises with character prompts, the children can create a character of their own and a short story board to start them on their own creative journey. 

Kelly Light also loves art, especially cartoons. Growing up she loved watching cartoons and drawing cartoon characters. She went off to art school determined to start a career in animation which lead to working as a character artist for cartoon licensing. She spent a very long time drawing some of the most beloved cartoon characters, including the characters created by her favorite artist of all time, Chuck Jones.  

It was a chance meeting with Mr. Jones that sparked the desire to create her characters. Years later, Louise was created and published and is now a seven book series that hopes to inspire kids to be creative and pick up their own pencils and draw out their imaginations. 

Louise Loves Art will be available for sale that day and Ms. Light has agreed to sign copies purchased at the Center.

This Is No "Jump Cut"; Jeff DeGrandis Tells All!


Jeff DeGrandis of DreamWorks Animation (formerly producer and director of "Dora the Explorer" at Nickelodeon) spent Sunday, February 23, with 18 eager-to-absorb-his-knowledge students of the animated film. From 12 years of age up to some in their 30s, Jeff laid it all out for them. Here's some of what he had to say:


"Once the script is written for a film or animation, the next step is to make a storyboard. The storyboard is a series of drawn panels, which visually tells the story of the animation as clear as it possibly can, sort of like a comic book. Though not entirely mandatory, storyboarding is one of those aspects of filmmaking that takes your film from the deep, dank, and dark recesses of your imagination and brings it to life.


"The storyboard becomes a visual script, letting you see action of the characters, dialogue, acting, transitions, background layout / locations and camera planning. In my opinion, storyboarding is one of the most exciting parts of producing an animated picture. You’re the cameraman, actor, set designer and planner. As a storyboard artist, you are the first person to visually layout the picture."


At the end of the 5 hour session (they did break for lunch in case you were thinking otherwise), everyone left with a new found sense of accomplishment and all were eager to take their new perspective on the importance of storyboarding and apply it to their own projects. Thank you Jeff for your amazing talent!


Photos by Stephen Russo.

"Simpsons" Storyboard Artist Stephen Reis at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity


Writing from Costa Mesa: This reporter was fortunate enough to witness "Simpsons" storyboard artist, Stephen Reis (center in photo below) in action this past Saturday, November 3rd, at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity during their "Great, Grand Chuck Jones Family Happening!" With a sharp pencil in each hand (many thanks to for the gift of Chuck Jones's preferred drawing instrument, the Blackwing 602, which all of those in attendance were able to use), Reis wowed those lucky aspirants with his dexterity and command of character design.  Over a three-hour period, over 30 students of animation, both young and old alike, learned from one of the most creative storyboard and character design artists working in animation today. By the end of the session and because of his guidance and nurturing manner each student had produced a group of characters from "The Simpsons". Smiles all around!

Everyone at the Center extends a heartfelt thank you to Stephen and we look forward to his return in the future!