Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago Celebrates Creativity

Christine Griswold Animation, Film, Opportunities, Performing Arts, Production, Visual Arts

Help Restore Walt Disney Birthplace Home while Celebrating and Encouraging Creativity and Innovation. Join in the Walt Disney Birthplace Indiegogo Campaign.

Award-winning Themed Entertainment innovators Dina Benadon and Brent Young of Super 78 Studios celebrate and awaken creativity in others by restoring the home where Walt Disney was born, and establishing The Center for Early Childhood Creativity and Innovation (CECCI) in his honor.

“Helping people to develop that creative, innovative self that exists in all of us; and helping to foster that creativity through the family environment.  That’s where I’d like to see CECCI grow, and give back to the world.” –Dina Benadon, Founder, Project Director CECCI at the Walt Disney Birthplace

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How Linda Borgeson Finds Creativity in Post Production

Christine Griswold Career Advice, Film, Post-Production, Visual Arts

Linda Borgeson (Senior Vice President of Feature Post Production at the Walt Disney Studios) has worked on over 200 films in her 25+ years in the film business.

0-3Linda spoke with Artzray to help demystify the world of post production, highlighting why it is important for young filmmakers to understand and embrace this integral part of filmmaking. Post-production sits at the intersection of creativity and technology, which makes this work central to the creative process of filmmaking.

“What I love about post, is that I do think it is a creative process…the importance of sound, the importance of music, editing, visual effects…the movie doesn’t become the movie until post production. I see the creative power of technology daily.”

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High School Student Ballot Guide 2016 CA Elections

Marshall Ayers High School, Opportunities, Parent/Educator, Student Resources

Student ballot guide “Letters 2 Dena” developed for the 2016 California elections.

The Letters 2 Dena project is designed to give John Muir High School students in the Arts, Entertainment and Media Academy a voice about the issues on the complex 2016 CA ballot, to understand the propositions and then share their results with their community through the development of a website.


English teacher Manual Rustin responded to a few questions about the project for Artzray:

What is the idea behind “Letters 2 Dena” project?

“This is an atypical election year—CA has a record number of initiatives on the ballot and the presidential race has produced headlines that would have been inconceivable in years past. We wanted to develop a project that would help students wade through the waters of this election and gain clarity about the wide range of issues and policies that will be on the ballot. More importantly, we wanted to develop within students a sense of civic responsibility to inform their community about how various ballot items impact them.Read More

Carlos Nieto III – Mixing Art, Culture and Day of the Dead

Marshall Ayers Along The Way, Animation, Artist Profiles, Drawing & Painting, Uncategorized, Visual Arts

Carlos Nieto III finds beauty in Day of the Dead celebrations.

As the fall arrives, chances are good that you will see Dia de los Muertos celebrations popping up around your community. From dancing to face painting to sugar skull candies, the tradition has its roots in ancient Aztec rituals and starts on the first of November corresponding with All Saints Day. This is the time of year when the boundary between the world of the living and the realm of the dead are believed to intersect. It is a chance to celebrate life and honor loved ones who have died.

Day of the Dead has also become a cultural crossover experience and artist Carlos Nieto III embraces this in his art characterized by images of skulls and skeletons.  As he says, Day of the Dead “celebrates the time we have here on earth.” When he’s not making art, Carlos is also an educator and musician and plays bass and does back up vocals in a pop punk band called Harmful if Swallowed.

1. Tell us about yourself
I was born in and raised in Silver Lake a neighborhood in Los Angeles, CA. I started getting into art in high school, I joined a punk rock band while in school and a few years out of school I landed a job working on the Simpsons. After 3 years I was let go and used what I had learned to do free lance work. I found later on that I loved teaching how to draw so I began teaching library workshops, also around the same time, I started working at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as a visual artist where I do art with kids to this day, I also still play in my band, and do library workshops AND I am writing a “How to Draw Anime” book as well as a graphic novel.Read More

Faith in the Creative Endeavor – Mark Salzman

Marshall Ayers Artist Profiles, Books, Music, Performing Arts, Writing

No one word or label can characterize the many creative pursuits of Mark Salzman. Yes, he’s a musician, and a writer too, but he is also a teacher and a Kung Fu master along with many other descriptors. Artzray interviewed Mark as he was recently profiled in the new book, Advancing Confidently to learn more about what he believes are the essential ingredients for a creative life.

Where are you from and how did you get your start in music?

I was born and raised in Connecticut. My mother was a pianist and my father was an artist, so I grew up assuming that music and art were things that everybody did. I tried the violin for a year, then piano, but when I was seven I heard Aldo Parisot play the cello, asked my parents if I could switch to that instrument, and that one stuck.

Who are some of your major musical influences and what music are you listening to these days?Read More

5 Things to Know if You Want to Make Comic Books

Andrea Davis Career Advice, Drawing, Getting Started, How To, Illustration, Visual Arts, Writing

So you want to make comic books?

Writer Shea Fontana and artist and colorist Monica Kubina, two of the creative team behind the DC Superhero Girls Finals Crisis Graphic Novel, recently converged at Earth-2 Comics in Sherman Oaks for a meeting of S.C.R.A.W.L. (Secret Comic Readers and Writers League) to answer questions and sign copies of the comic book for their young fans. Monica and Shea shared some of their perspectives and career wisdom with the members of the audience, many of whom proved to be budding comic book artists and writers themselves.


Writer Shea Fontana and artist and colorist Monica Kubina

1.  Write or draw. Every. Single. Day.

If you’re an artist, if you’re a writer, do something to hone your skills every single day. Write a scene. Sketch. Design a character. Create a backstory. Every. Single. Day.

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The Art of Politics – Presidential Survey of Artists by Acceptd

Marshall Ayers Opportunities

Acceptd, an artist network of young artists, professionals, arts education programs and cultural organizations with nearly 200,000 members, has launched a nationwide survey of artists to help match their political ideology to a presidential candidate.

The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be one of the wildest in history. With both major party candidates polling with low approval numbers, independent candidates making a bigger impact than ever and a new scandal seemingly popping up every day, it’s hard to make sense of it all.Read More

The Heart of a Curator Irene Tsatsos – Armory Center for the Arts

Christine Griswold Uncategorized

557476_10151870329242206_1573511328_nGreat Galleries are part community, part collaboration, part curiosity, and full of heart – An interview with Irene Tsatsos, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibition Programs at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA.

The gallery is closed to the public, but it is a busy day at the Armory Center for the Arts, as the crew is beginning the painstaking work of taking down and properly cataloguing and storing one exhibition while mounting another.  Irene Tsatsos and I climb the stairs of this community jewel to settle in and talk in comfy chairs above the bustle of activity occurring within this open, high-ceilinged, artistic space.

This is not your average gallery, as self-described in press releases…at the Armory’s core is a conviction that making, teaching, and presenting art can transform individuals and communities, and that artists, through their practice, can serve as educators and advocates in this process.

Fittingly, its chief curator is brimming with intelligence and passion for art, its integral place in society, and its potential for encouraging curiosity, collaboration, community, and balance in our lives.

“…you need to love what you do.  Think about that.  And feel that.”

–Irene Tsatsos

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5 Quotes for Surviving a Fulfilling Lifetime of Creativity by Marco Menendez

Marshall Ayers Artist Profiles, Beyond, Career Advice, Visual Arts

Along The Way - Artzray

Marco Menendez for “Along The Way” a series about working artists.

1. “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” –Mark Twain
Let’s get this one out of the way. Discouraging individuals spend a lot of time standing still in their own toxic atmosphere when they could very well be investing that precious time moving forward. Unfortunately, they can also be contagious. Chances are you will encounter them throughout every stage of your life. Look at them as you would a hurdle in a race…why waste your time being frustrated by an inanimate object when you have places to go and trophies to win?

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