Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Behind the Scenes with Martin "Marty" Mouse at CTNX (updated Nov 26)

Marty Mouse is the internet sensation based on the real-life pet rattie of photographer and writer Sarah Hunt. Her pictures celebrate Marty. They also showcase Sarah's talents as a visual storyteller. 


Artists can look at the "photos" section of Marty's Facebook page and get inspiration for character design from all the creativity there. Sometimes if you're stuck on a character design, try doing sketches of the character interacting in their environment. Show what they do and discover who they are. Sarah's images of  Marty capture this amazing little character with all his charm. These pics prove what actors know: Character is revealed through action -- study how much you learn and understand about Marty from Sarah's images. Her clever use of props and her ability to capture moments and details are exceptional. Marty was not trained and/or posed. All these moments are Sarah's magic at work. And none of this was planned .. she just starting taking the photos for fun, then the comments and fans kept coming... Some photos do have captions --- she even gave Marty a distinctive lisp that sometimes appears while he explains his various hobbies and his roles in "internatshunal bizness"...

 Mostly, he's known for his love of snacks (especially yogies .. a pet treat).
Photos of his travel pod antics shared his sense of adventure .....
and included a trip to outer space. 

He also has a news desk and an advice column. 

Fans got into the act when Marty launched his "state plates" challenge -- and soon MARTIN plates arrived from all 50 states and international plates as well. 

 Other tributes arrived in the form of fan art.
Pet ratties are bright, affectionate little companions who do best in pairs or small groups and form close bonds with their human families. Sadly, they only live about two years. The post that shared the news when Marty passed away has been viewed over 100,000 times. The Marty phenomenon continues. So many people around the world look forward to their daily dose of Marty fun, that the Facebook page continues in his honor. 

It's a great story behind the scenes as well ... and it involves one of my favorite artists, Steph Laberis. I was lucky to be the connection between Sarah and Steph ... and Steph's Marty-inspired artwork then launched a line of pillows ... squeezable Martys in his various roles. 




 Buzzfeed featured Marty's skills as a rat ambassador in their Sept 4, 2014 post on  http://www.buzzfeed.com/kaelintully/marty-the-rat-will-change-how-you-feel-about-pet-rats

and Marty was "interviewed" on  Cute Overload.

With a Facebook following of over 16,ooo fans ... as well as fans on Twitter, Pintrest and Instagram ... there's no stopping the love-fest this little fellow has created. More Marty here: https://www.facebook.com/martymousetherat

I have taken to escorting Marty in his "internatshunal bizness" attire on trips to cons, where he enjoys meeting artists and seeing the sites ....  

including this trip to CTNX http://www.ctnanimationexpo.com/


Marty was excited to meet one of the headliner guests (and super good sport) .... the famous Peter de Sève (New Yorker cover artist and Animation Character Designer .. including Scrat from Ice Age).http://www.peterdeseve.com/
Behind the Scenes at the exhibit hall ... Steph Laberis' table..
These artists/exhibitors Nicola Hwang(r) and Heather Rose (l) recognized Marty right away and enjoyed a photo op...

Before the show opens .. and after with some other artist guests ... Liana Hee...http://lianahee.blogspot.com/


Kei Acedera and Imaginism Studios in Canada (character designers .. Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland) http://www.imaginismstudios.com/



Re-connected with comic con exhibitor Geneieve Tsai ...http://charicreatures.com/
Marty tours with his rock band "Marty and the Corms" .. so he enjoyed a visit with the techs setting up the stage in the center of the CTNX main exhibitor hall...

Here's a behind the scenes view of the tables for Disney and Nickelodeon studios ..
In the main lobby, this 2D animation table also served as a live-demo stage .. with a large, overhead screen so the crowd could see the artist at work during the demo..

Setting up at the Stuart Ng Books booth in the main lobby http://stuartngbooks.com/
Another CTNX guest and famous artist friend, creature designer and animal artist Terryl Whitlatch... at the SNB booth during show hours... http://talesofamalthea.com/
Behind the scenes in the tent ... here's the outside..

Inside there were more rows of tables for artists and art schools .. here's Marty during pre-show hours, at table space for French artist Agnes Fouquart ....http://agnesfouquart.com/
Agnes was an excellent ambassador for French culture .. sharing her art AND she gifted us with the most amazingly delicious and popular French treats .. YUMMMMM!!!

A busy convention like CTNX requires some break time. This con has much appreciated amenities .. like a pool area
and lots of quick and tasty dining options...
There's even a VIP room for some lucky folks to meet up with colleagues...
Soon enough it's time for back to business... artist pal Steph Laberis chatting with fans of her work...
Her new book with artist Jeannine Schafer, "Snorffles & Meeps!3" just released!!
more Steph Laberis art here:
 https://www.facebook.com/stephlaberisart
Marty also enjoyed meeting new artist pals like Jillian Altmeyer ... Her charming "To the Moon" space print (on grid) and little canvas piece (below) reminded Marty of his recent space adventure ....http://squidbrains.carbonmade.com/

Marty really appreciated the conservation themes on the shark prints at Lily Williams table...http://lilywilliamsart.com/

I bought a sturdy canvas tote bag from Lily with the many sharks image (below, with white background). It's a handy, high quality item. See the tote bag .. and view her terrific animated educational video on sharks and biodiversity here: http://lilywilliamsart.com/finconceivable/

Lots of the artists were selling out of cards, t-shirts and prints!! Here's Marty with artist pal Karen Krajenbrink http://karenkrajenbrink.com/

Karen tried out a new line of t-shirts that were big sellers!! So great to see lots of sold out items at the artists' tables at this show ...

I'm a fan of old-school 2D animation... and especially enjoyed these little "gifts for animator" items (below) at artist Abby Lee's table .. witty little magnets are a play on 3 holed animation paper us old timers remember...
The Stuart Ng Books logo also features an homage to animation paper....as does Abby's business card..
 Here's Marty with Abby..http://derpberd.tumblr.com/
And of course... Marty enjoyed the ratties on the print at the Heather Rose table http://heatheranimates.blogspot.com/

Along with her table-mate and fellow Marty fan Nicola Hwang...http://fairygodflea.deviantart.com/
Whew!!! One day .. logged 12 miles walking around at CTNX. Good thing there are lots of nice shady spots to have a coffee break!
Inside and out .. this convention is special!
Always so much going on ...
Lots of fans BUYING art from the artists...
High energy vibe from the crowd...
Any way you turn ... lots to look and learn from.
best of all ... sharing the adventure with friends .... don't miss out!! http://www.ctnanimationexpo.com/