24 Nov 2009

Raiders of Noah's Ark

Raiders of Noah's Ark is my final graduate film.
Here's the first draft of the poster. Story synopsis, character designs and animatic up soon!

12 Nov 2009

Update: Some Pirate Film Work

Si Coco
More pirate film work

More to come later!

7 Oct 2009

More Pirates!

A new image collaboration in an attempt to define the style for our film. By me and Martin Woolley

2 Oct 2009


Some concept work for a new animation project with my friends/colleagues George and Martin. Unsurprisingly it involves pirates and hi-jinks on the high seas. More soon...

30 Aug 2009


Been away for a while as you may have noticed. Been a busy old summer, but I'll tell you about that later sometime. Just wanted to let you know I haven't died or anything!

12 Jun 2009

More Flash

Here's a little Flash walk cycle in GIF format.


9 Jun 2009

Flash Banner


Here's a little banner I made for myself in Flash. I'm pretty impressed with it, for a first attempt. It's based on the work of Saul Bass. Not sure why it doesn't quite fit on here though...

7 Jun 2009

Results & Plans

Soooo, on Thursday, less than a day after I'd handed my work in and watched everyone present their work for almost 10 hours in a hot sweaty room, I got my grade.
I got a 2.1. Although this is really good, I felt that I deserved more than that. I thought I'd put a lot of work in on this project, but the tutors thought my final piece was a bit 'obvious'.

Ah well, finished for summer now! Lots of plans, I'm going to Italy and to Bloom Festival, and between these two things, I plan to do lots or uni work. I want to get myself a portfolio together and sort out the professional side of things. Also plan to draw lots and hopefully have a film made by the end of the summer. Me and my housemate Jaz are planning one which should be pretty interesting as she does Fashion and Textiles, so that should bring a 'new direction' to things. I am also going to learn to use Flash, because although I don't really like the majority of Flash films, its still a useful skill to have. Whether I achieve all or any of these goals, I'll let you know!

2 Jun 2009

'Desolation Row' - My final piece

Here's the promised images of my book!
The book and accompanying CD cover
The book in action!
An example of a mixed up character

1 Jun 2009


So, I have finished my book! Just thought you all should know. Pictures will be up a soon as I can find some batteries for my camera! Bear with me!

27 May 2009

The Covers

Here are the front and back covers of the book:

All prices correct at time of going press

26 May 2009


Here is how the verses of Desolation Row are going to be presented. They will be on the opposite page to a corresponding character and they can be mixed and matched just like the characters.

I'll only upload one, because they're in essence the same.

Definite Final Line-Up

So, here's the final drawings of each character.
I have had to limit the number down to 10 so mix and matching works with the verses. Pretty pleased with them, check it out:

Look At This

Found this 'nice' depiction someone else has done of Desolation Row. Personally, I think its awful and very tacky, but I suppose its nice to see that someone else has taken a literal interpretation of the lyrics like I have.

However, if you would like to buy it, go here.

23 May 2009


If you search Joe Collins on Google, I am on the fourth page of results!
Amongst others, I am beneath a dead baseball player, a deputy assistant secretary at the Pentagon, a 'twentysomething church leader' and a cocktail that shares my name.
Just so you all know.

21 May 2009


Have got round to organising my Flickr account.
There's some stuff you won't have seen on this blog before
Check it out here!

19 May 2009

So here's some developmental drawings trying to change my sketchy characters into the more polished graphic style. Not sure if they're still a bit rough still, but I think they're looking pretty good. I like the coloured smears behind them, a touch I've borrowed from Paul Rogers. If I can get this to fit in the book, it should look good. And obviously these drawings aren't lined up to fit together yet, I was just working on the style.
Here ya go:

17 May 2009

Nearing Deadline...

My deadline is in a couple of weeks, and I'd like to think that everything is on track. In my tutorial the tutors liked my idea and told me to go ahead and make the book. They did suggest a few changes however, the biggest being that I change the style I do it in. They thought the sketchy style made the drawings look unfinished, and that I should do them in the style of this mermaid which I drew earlier.
This means I have to redraw pretty much all of the characters, which might take a little bit of time. I also need to track down a decent printers in Bristol, so any ideas anyone?
In other news, the 'screening' at Thekla went well, with my animation and two others playing all through the night. Here's Smokey The Monkey and Stickmen , the two other films.
In more other news, I might be getting some work experience at Aardman! Best news ever. Its all still 'maybe' though, but hopefully I'll find out soon. My friend George starts there tomorrow, and if it goes well with him then I stand a chance! I'll let you know how that and everything goes soon!

12 May 2009


Hi all,
Tomorrow night the BLUE animation I worked on, and two others from my class are being screened at a club night at Thekla in Bristol. Here's more details.
Its kind of a showcase of the the second year talent at UWE, and should be a good night. Especially as I'm on the guest list haha!
Hopefully it might be a little bit of publicity too, which I am severely lacking at the moment. Ah well.
Also tomorrow, I have a tutorial about my Desolation Row work which should be useful as I might get the go ahead to make the final book. My tutorial might be with Ben Newman, a really talented and nice guy. I'd check him out if I was you. AND come along to Thekla tomorrow!

7 May 2009

Here's a nicely rounded woman I had to storyboard for something at uni that involved selling weightloss pills. I won't put the whole thing up here as its quite big, and not that good. But I like this little character.

4 May 2009

A Showreel of Sorts.

I'm working on constructing a showreel. This isn't the best, but at least I have one that exists now. But man I hate that ending

3 May 2009

Front Cover

Hi hi.
I'm working on the front cover for my little book thing, although I still need to see if my tutors like the idea. But anyway. Its based on American street signs, as it seemed fitting, but maybe a little cliched? Maybe...
Anyway, here it is so far:

In case anyone's interested, I got the font from here. Its cool the websites some people make.

Or how about this one?

It fits better with the portrait style of the book. Bear in mind this isn't finished and is still rough. Would appreciate some feedback from anybody...?

27 Apr 2009

So here's the plan

I'm going to make one of those books where you can flip over the different parts of different figures and mix and match their different body parts. This idea was inspired by the line in Desolation Row where it says 'rearrange their faces and give them all another name'. So here's some pictures. Sorry it's just links, but they're massive.

Hangman & Mermaid
Neptune & Riot Squad
Einstein disguised as Robin Hood, and a jealous monk
Calypso Singer/Dancer & Fisherman holding a flower
Fortune Telling Lady

Blogger image uploader thing was being lame,

More stuff soon!

26 Apr 2009

Apologies For That Interruption

Haven't posted for a while for two reasons:
1) Computer broke, but now I've managed to fix it
2) I was on my Easter holiday and at home I have no access to the internet

But now, I'm back at university and blogging can begin again as normal. I'll get some images up later tonight. But I just thought I'd let the two people who read this know what had happened.


31 Mar 2009

Fantastic News!

My ever reliable PC has broken again! It's amazing! Probably the best thing to happen to me ever! I wish I'd broken it before now!

All of the above is obviously sarcasm. My computer has indeed broken though, and now work progress will slow down considerably, great. And I bet it'll cost loads to fix it. It might mean however, that maybe the next time I make an entry here, I will have lots of work to show all of the two people that read this! Wow!

24 Mar 2009

'Lovely Mermaid'

Here's the mermaid from my Desolation Row sketch coloured in. I like this style, not sure if its right for this though. I was influenced by my friends' animation Smokey The Monkey


Been doing some thinking about what my 'final piece' could be.
The last verse of Desolation Row is:
Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the door knob broke)
When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they're quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can't read too good
Don't send me no more letters no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row

This could be interpreted as everything that has happened in the song has been told to the singer through letters. Therefore I could make an image for each verse and put them all in envelopes along with a letter containing the words of the relevant verse.
Another idea I had was based on one of my rough assembly sketches I knocked up. My use of one point perspective made me think of old paper theatres and 'peep shows'. I think this could be a really good way of showing the song in a new and interesting way. I have a tutorial tomorrow so I'll see what my tutor says. Only problem is, I'm not too sure I want to do this song. I like it a lot, but the problem is I don't think I have explored the subject enough really...

My rough

22 Mar 2009

Some Sketchbook Work

Laughing calypso singers, a lovely mermaid and Ezra Pound and T S Eliot fighting in the captains tower

Spoon-feeding Casanova, the Phantom of the Opera in the image of a priest, and a fisherman holding a flower

The riot squad is restless, they've got nowhere to go. Painting the passports brown, the blind commissioner with his hand in his pants.

Postcards of the hanging, sailors in the beauty parlour and the tightrope walker

Einstein disguised as Robin Hood with his memories in a trunk, and a jealous monk sniffing drainpipes

19 Mar 2009

Crazy Tutorial

Today, I had the craziest tutorial I've ever had, and ever likely to have again.
My tutor told me to look at the work of 'Wille Guthrie' not Woody Guthrie as I'm pretty sure he meant, he also informed me that meerkats have bigger brains than mongooses, so that although essentially the same creature, the meerkat is better at making relationships between things and as such is a more sociable animal. Also to influence my style, I should look into the combine harvesters and tractors of 1930s America. Needless to say, i didn't take much from this tutorial, but it was entertaining although baffling. Oh and he tried to do a Bob Dylan impression.

ANYWAY, here's another piece of work from Visual Narratives where we had to draw a poem in a way that represented it best. It was meant to be an onomatopoeic one, but me and George (whom I worked with) chose 'Mental Cases' by Wilfred Owen.

16 Mar 2009

Research 2

Luckily, part of my research for this project also includes listening to a lot of Bob Dylan music. I need to decide what song I want to illustrate. Today I realised quite how good 'Desolation Row' was. LOTS of imagery that would be good to illustrate.
Here's the song in Deezer form:

Discover Bob Dylan!

15 Mar 2009

Research 1

So, research. This is proving hard. I have been poring over the internet fervently for the last coupla days looking for material that I can use for my project. Mostly I have been looking at the sixties and everything connected to them. Its very hard to find anything particularly useful, especially regarding typical examples architecture from that period.
This is one of the best photos I found, though it looks a bit too fifties actually:

I also found this photo which sums up the sixties quite well, but isn't really too useful, but I thought I'd include it anyway:

Anyway, I'm going to go and check out some old newspapers at the library as soon as I can and see what they can throw up.

13 Mar 2009

Sixties Research

After talking with my tutor about my project, I have realised I am rushing into this project a bit too fast without thinking things through.I need to analyze Bob Dylan's songs more and find one where the lyrics can be easily put into pictures. The song I choose also needs to have enough 'actual' things in it that I can study with observational drawing.
I am also going to research the 1960s so I can make my work more authentic in both content and style. I shall be looking at as many sources I can. As such, I emailed Paul Rogers asking what reference he used for his book. Surprisingly he replied:

'Hi Joe,

Thanks for the kind words about 'Forever Young' and good luck with your
project. I looked at a lot of books about New York in the sixties and
read as much as I could on Dylan's life. His book Chronicles is
fantastic for insight into his ideas and influences. Magazines from the
period can also be a good source for the way things looked.

Best Regards,
Paul Rogers

Nothing specific, but still good to hear back from him. I owe him one.
Any progress will be posted here!

10 Mar 2009

Speaking To Some French Girl Who Says She Knows Me Well

I'm developing an idea for my Visual Narratives work based on illustrating a Bob Dylan song. Not sure which one yet, so I'm exploring his songs and imagery. Here is the french girl from 'Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again'

8 Mar 2009

Style Study 2

Another one. Like the looser colouring stlye on the pole he's holding. Will develop this further

7 Mar 2009

A Style Study

I have been looking at the work of Paul Rogers, as he has a style that I admire, and I hope to learn from studying his work
Its from his book 'Forever Young'

1 Mar 2009


As part of my course this semester we have the chance to join another course until we break up in the summer. I have joined Visual Narratives, which is a fancy name for Illustration, but more aimed at telling stories, perfect for animation. I have been doing it for little over two weeks now, and it's OK, but a bit arty for me when I've been used to the practicality of animation. The brief is very open and I can do almost anything I want, but I have no ideas as yet. I shall work on it...
We have done some interesting work so far, one of my pieces involved drawing a foam banana puppet 40 times. Don't ask.
Here's one of them, I like how there's no normal pencil lines, just colour:

23 Feb 2009

Blue Animation

Here is the animation I have been working on for the last few months. It is called Blue and hopefully the story is self-explanatory. A man receives a magical quilt into his dank dirty world and it transforms his life. I made this at UWE with George Watson, Lottie Kingslake and Penny Tanous. 

3 Feb 2009


My name's Joe Collins, and this blog is all about me and my animation and design work. I shall be posting the majority of my work up here so as to have some sort of online presence and/or portfolio.
I'm a second year university student at UWE in Bristol, England, studying for a BA (Hons) in Animation. My main interests are in design for all animation, and I also like to animate in stop-motion. Work from both these areas will be posted here for your viewing pleasure. 

If you have any comments or queries, feel free to ask!