Mars de la Mancha strums by some windmills

mars de la mancha windmills 12x15 w

I met Mars de la Mancha and Amanda (an amazing couple), about a year ago at the now transformed Cafeina Galeria.  The cafe has since closed, but those who would frequent its twinkle-lighted backyard for storytelling and singer/songwriter sets ( like Marc, Amanda and me) have kept in touch.  I’d like to say we’re still the Fireside Troupe, which is growing every moment.

Marc sings with ease, range and a story telling tone.  He’s a cool guy.  Aloof.  He’s a prolific writer and a perfectionist.  Such a combination is exciting and frustrating (for me).  I wish I could include a link to Marc’s music in this blog post, but homeboy is elusive.  He has big plans.

A week before Marc’s birthday, Amanda mentioned that he liked my animation and she wondered if I could create something for him.  Hell yes!  I wanted to put his music with the animation, but his stuff wasn’t on bandcamp and soundcloud like the other musicians I had drawn.  Amanda used her effective and subtle wiles to get him to email her some of his music files.  She sent a few to me.  I was honored.

I began the drawing once I had looked through pictures I had taken of Marc.  I chose my source photos from shots I had taken of him playing at Cafeina Galeria.  I knew I wanted to include windmills because…de la mancha.  Also, a bit ago I started working on performers’ portraits that included line drawing details of their lives beyond the stage.  Basically, I began his portrait with intentions of drawing him with more than his guitar.  I couldn’t ask him to send m pictures of his off stage life, so I decided for him.  Windmills.

Drawing with animation in mind is tricky.  I get sort of anxious.  Which layer should I save?  How far should I fill?  … For this drawing I got a bit obsessed with the animation process before I even had a final image in mind.  I realized this bottomless pit a few days into the drawing, then changed my objective to focus on backwards planning.  Once I figured out what the final image would be (I added a horizon, some clouds – of course – and mini windmills in the background) I sorted through the layers to see how the animation could develop.

The final animation is my best so far.  I was excited to share it publicly, but I didn’t want to disrespect Marc by sharing his un-interneted music online.  I sent him a birthday message with the animation.  Amanda actually filmed him watching it for the first time.  And the second time.  My heart melted.  He said I could post it.  Ima post away:

[So in my app-daze and impatience I’m finding it difficult to get the version with his music onto my blog.  The music-less animation  is below.  If you want to see it with his music, DO IT, go here.  This isn’t an attempt to get traffic to  my FB page, I’m seriously just impatient and ignorants (don’t tell)…but while you’re on my FB video page, give me a lil like if you want.]



You can catch Mars in his band, Nacosta, and, if you’re lucky, singing a song he wrote for his old – yet still handling it – band FEAL.


  1. thanks! i normally start creating the animation after i’ve completed the final still/drawing. i use the layers from my process as the frames. for this one, i got caught up with the animation, saving frames meticulously for the first half, before even figuring out what i wanted the final image to be. once i realized that i needed to know where i was going in order to get there, i made the final still then worked backwards with the animation. ha that’s a lot. thanks for stopping by! i appreciate your comment!

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