Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hollywood Watchcat

In Hollywood, many tourists drive down Beachwood Blvd to get a photo or selfie in front of the world famous Hollywood sign. 
You have to drive carefully, because at any moment a group of tourists will run into the middle of a street to snap a photo of the large white letters on the hill. 

At the corner of Beachwood and Belden Drive, outside the Beachwood Market sits a small sculpture of "Figaro" by artist Sharon Loper. A small statue of a black cat sits looking at a round garden in front of him and I suspect he's keeping an eye on the traffic as well.

Most people are more interested in the nearby Hollywood sign and will never notice this small work of art. So the next time you are visiting the LA, stop by and get a picture this bronzed Watchcat of the Hollywood sign area. I am sure there is a more of a story here, and so, I contacted the artist, Sharon Loper, who was nice enough to reply to some of my questions.

It turns out that, Figaro was her cat for seventeen years. Loper writes, " Figaro is a very popular cat with the children and neighbors. Figaro was my best model for the cat series, which you can see on my website www.sharonloper.com. "

I gave her a link to our Watchcat files blog and she wrote back, " I love the idea of a black cat protecting the neighborhood. I'm an avocat for animal rights and Figaro was one of my rescue cats. He was the model for Number Nine Cat , now in the permanent collection of a museum in Amsterdam. BTW, Number Nine cat is on the left and Picasso cat is on the right.

I found Figaro while I was working across the street at "We are the Mighty" studios. I was there last week to help finish one of their future animated show. Here is an example of their first series called "Gunny". Character design/Animation by Douglas Vannick: http://www.vannickartz.com/

The project I worked on was animated in ToonBoom Harmony and used rigged animation character assets, which make it faster to animate, then traditional drawn animation. I learn a lot about how they set up their files and their animation pipeline.

Do you have a real Watchcat story or a picture of your real life Watchcat? Let us know and we will include it on this blog. Send your stories, images, etc to heyjimr@gmail.com

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