Lecture at Savannah College of Art and Design

The series of lectures (4 in a day!) in Savannah was a real success. Way beyond my expectations. A big thanks to Courtney, Missy and Larry. It was fun meeting a fellow animation industry pro, Phil Young (Disney Vet). I feel like I've made some new friends

Thanks to the students who made me feel so welcome. You were so receptive and talented, I felt inspired (and a little intimidated at times). It was a memorable visit.

Here's a pictoral report of the events as well as a couple of amazing emails I received following my visit:


MICHEL GAGNE at Savannah College of Art and Design

by Courtney Kays

A Recorded Visit by the only Graphic Designer in CAS (Classical Animation Society)

May 12nd-13th, 2005


Around 9pm Missy and I left Downtown Savannah to the airport to pick up Michel Gagne. For those who don't know who this talented fellow is I suggest you go to his website (www.gagneint.com) or else you'll be reading ten pages from me =) We arrived an hour before his plane landed so we sat in some pretty comfy rocking chairs and held up a sign with an illustration of one of Michel Gagne's infamous Insanely Twisted Rabbits. We loved seeing their reactions to the signas we rocked in the rocking chairs. Needless to say we got a few double takes from some passengers leaving the gate. Michel reconized it right away, completely dumbfounding the other people in the airport, heh.

Missing Picture (I'll try to fix this as soon as I get the picture from Courtney)

Norris Hall, the Sequenical Art Building is Michel's first stop. He dazzled the class by sending around some binders filled with comic and design work for DC and Flight Volume II (starring Rex! )

Michel shows off some of his current and past designs from his books and animated features. I had to crawl up around the crowd of people itching to see his work. The book in the pic is from "Odd Numbers", a counting book of delightfully weird creatures. I need to order this one soon!

Giving a great speech about where he stands in the industry. We were in awe after he finished. I can only wish that I will that happy and content in my career.

Showing off the goods! Wow, so awesome...

GivdsdWoooh! Look at that character design!er.er.

The main lecture at Byte Cafe was wonderful! At least over a hundred people showed up at 9 pm in the cafe. Some of my pictures didn't turn out because the room was dark, but I did manage to take a small movie on my digital camera of Michel Gagne reading a section from " The Bird, The Octopus and the Spider". Aw, the amusement of amputation in invertebrates...

It's not very high quality, but at least you can hear him clearly.


No trip to Savannah is complete without a walk on the famous River Street! After a quick brunch, Michel and a few members of CAS strolled the cobblestone walkways. Michel was on a quest to find the perfect gift for his lovely wife while we cruised the sidewalks. We found a bunch of weird things such as a bean plant that had words mysteriously typed on the sprouts when grown!

"Look children! Copyright infringement!"

Michel Gagne is so into his work he can become one of his illustrations! Actually this is a wacky, but cool packaging cover he found to put over a red metal slinky he found for his wife! What? Red Slinkies are awesome!

A pic of Michel and the gang from CAS in front of the Savannah bridge. Who's giving Michel bunny ears? How very appropriate =)

Well, that's it for my photo collection. We really enjoyed Michel's visit and the school will be talking about it for a very long time. I'm sure he'll be having more book orders from Savannah than he'll know what to do with.


Subject: Thank You for the Presentation
Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 17:41:46


I am a student from the Savannah College of Art and Design of which you just made a presentation to my Animation Portfolio class at 3pm today. I am emailing you to thank you for the oppurtunity you gave myself and the rest of the class, to talk to you on an informal basis. Your presentation of your work and the passion you exhibited for it through not only your stories, but your philosophy and how you view your art as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed how you presented a part of an animator's life that is much overlooked, I think, to students when they go about launching themselves into this industry. I love how you have an incredible amount of work in not just animation, but in all areas of art from illustration to installation. Your work has been an influence on my own work for awhile now, even more so now that I have been given the oppurtunity to see you speak in person. Your illustrations are great and you mentioned during the class presentation today that you create art that amuses you. I too have pointed myself in this direction, basing much of my art to appeal to myself but in the process, as you too found out, I found my art appealing to others as well.

I thank you again for the oppurtunity you gave the school and especially my class. We are all getting ready to graduate and I am sure nobody has any idea what to expect. You gave a different perspective on the industry that I may have overlooked, so I am thankful for this perspective. I wish you much luck in all that you do, as you have had a lot of luck it seems judging this from your personal stories, and I hope to one day work alongside you or possibly meet you once again. I remember you mentioning your vision to direct a film using a contrast of thrash metal (Manowar) and classical (opera) music, so I hope to one day see that as a reality.

Best wishes,

Matt A. Pennetti
'aspiring animator and artist'



Subject: Re: I met you today.
Date: Sat, 14 May 2005 17:13:20

Thank you. I'm glad you came to lecture here. I would have never discovered your work otherwise...sometimes its difficult to see art outside of ones own bubble of influences. One thing I really love about your work is the diversity and ability to just go exploring. I feel that as a student we have to focus on one aspect, whichever is closest for us to get a job..and thats all we should be focussing on. Which is probably true, but it's definitely not as fun to just go in whatever direction you feel like. I read that you were influenced by Moebius. I discovered his work this past summer and it has had a profound effect on me for that very reason of exploration.

Good luck to you on your future endeavors, you're in a place (career-wise) I hope to be some day.

Thank you for your kind words.
-Mike Bear


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