Tag Archives: artwork

While doing some housekeeping, I came across some old Fluffy Gardens development work. Fluffy Gardens had a somewhat unconventional visual beginning and was then refined in several stages until it was ready for screen. I have put this design process together in some collected images in my GALLERY, including a few explored yet unproduced ideas that have never been seen before outside of the Geronimo Productions (then Monster Animation) studio. I do hope you find it interesting!

I also found my notes to the new animators on series 2 of Fluffy Gardens and among the notes is something that struck me as relevant in any area when you are getting to grips with something new, whether that’s learning a new skill, new software, writing outside your comfort zone, etc. It is written about animation but, if you’re not an animator, consider how this can be applied in your own area. So here it is, a thought from the animation notes of Fluffy Gardens:

1. Don’t get creative!

At least, not at first. The first thing to focus on is just getting basic movement looking as if it came straight from the most controlled scenes of the first series. Walking, picking stuff up, showing different expressions and that sort of thing. They are surprisingly easy to get wrong. So don’t go in attempting anything fancy. Keep everything grounded and just try to get it all working.

But… when you have got that (and be sure that you have first)…

2. Get creative!

Add little touches. Try something unexpected. It may not always work. That’s okay. But look at some of the more special scenes in series 1. You’ll see they’re always simple and never go crazy (well, except for Poppy the Tiger’s dream sequence) but, every now and again, there is an extra touch in the animation. A hidden smile from George the Mean Yellow Dog, a close hug, wet fur, that sort of thing.

Do be careful and certainly go sparingly. But when it’s right for a scene, have a think about what extra you could do. Add something special. Surprise me!

So there it is. First, know your field and know what you’re doing. Then get creative and deliver something special, something exceptional, something unexpected. That’s where the magic lies.


The last couple of weeks have been some of the most hectic of our production yet. We are in the process of improving many of our studio systems to make sure we get the absolute best results we can for Cosmo with the resources we have. There really isn’t any ‘off’ time, where the brain can rest. But when I find it, even in short moments, I like to get my iPad out and doodle. Just a few digital brush strokes here and there. Sometimes even just one before I have to switch it off and move on to the next task.

The thing with taking small steps is that, as long as you keep going, you will eventually have a result no matter how small those steps are.

For Halloween, I present the one of my results above – a simple iPad digital painting made with the Procreate app during those little quiet moments. A little witch for Halloween. Hope you all have a ghoulish time this Halloween!