Saturday, August 8, 2020

Mr. Rees' Ukulele

 Last night there was a story on the local news about Harold Rees, a luthier (maker of stringed instruments) who was still at it at the age of 100.  For years, concert violinists have purchased his work, or entrusted him to repair and restore their precious instruments.  It was a really wonderful story made more wonderful by the fact that I know this man. 

Harold Rees is the father of my longtime friend and animation colleague Jerry Rees.  Over the past 35 years, I have seen Mr. Rees at Jerry's house on many occasions.  I've also seen many of his handmade instruments - violins, violas, banjos, and ukuleles.   After one such visit to Jerry's with my wife Donna,  she commented on the incredible craftsmanship in Mr Rees' work.  I confessed to her that I had always wanted to buy one of his ukuleles but was afraid to ask.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The New Masthead

For post #501, it's time to switch it up.

Friends of FLiP know that every few years, I like to change the logo.  It keeps it fresh for me. and hopefully for you readers as well.  

FLiP started out as an e-zine website - do they even use the term e-zine anymore?  Monthly, I would post four new pages, plus a cover page.  As I explained in the first issue in May of 2007,  "Each letter in the word "FLIP" corresponds to a differently themed web page.  The F page has articles on animation specifically.  The L page has creative writing by animation professionals.  The I page has non-animation art done by animation professionals.  The P page focuses on animation people and their extracurricular interests."  For the index page I animated four characters (one with an extra head) singing the FLIP theme song - yes, a theme song.  It was sung by my kids, my wife Donna, and me.

I really enjoyed doing the FLiP e-zine as both a writing exercise and means of meeting new artists and hearing their stories.   Three years on,  it became a chore instead of creative outlet, so I stopped.

In 2010,  I was vacationing in London and met friend and colleague Alex Williams for dinner.   Alex proposed that we team up to restart FLiP as a blog. On Jan 9, 2012, we relaunched FLiP in this format.   Between the two of us, we were able to post fairly regularly for years.  Then my wife passed, Alex became a father, and the blog sat moribund for a long while. Despite the dearth of new posts, there have been a slow, steady stream of readers - over a million so far - from all over the globe.  Not bad for a little hobby. 

The COVID lockdown and other current events have brought me back to FLiP, hence the new look. 
I went back to the original logo for inspiration, with drawn characters.  And the flying pig is back!
Viva la hunched and goofy!