Paint By Monster is an educational comedy about Art and being an Artist, created and performed by me, Dan Wright.
At 54 years old, I feel like I am just coming into my creative prime and having the time of my life!
I've been a professional artist for most of my career. After serving three years in the Army, I attended the Herron School of Art.
I have worked as an industrial draftsman, a vinyl graphics designer, a comic book artist, and a commercial illustrator and designer.
In 1998, a newspaper comic strip I'd been developing got picked up for syndication by King Features syndicate. “Wildwood” which I created and co-wrote with childhood friend, Tom Spurgeon, ran in about 80 papers across the country from 1998 through 2003. Thanks, Tom! (Tom is now the festival director of the CXC Cartoon Crossroads Columbus in Columbus, OH! -- Go SEE!)
If there is one outstanding person who has changed the course of my life in such a way as to bring Paint By Monster into existence, it's Dave Poncé. I love you, Dave. And I always will. Thanks, man. For everything. Half of the equipment I use to make Paint By Monster is stuff that Dave has handed me over the years and said, "Here, take this home and see what you can do with it." I owe you an awful lot, and I am eternally grateful for your presence, your example and your contributions in my life. You have always brought life with you. (watch Dave and I talk about each other in our younger days here.)
I began working with Dave when he hired me to work with him for the good people at CitraSolv on their web-comic, Rustle the Leaf, which I drew and co-wrote. (The last sixth months of which had me producing animated shorts in addition to static comics, and animation was a revelation for me!) Dave and I have been working together ever since, laughing our asses off and making stuff up, now in our second decade!
Today, the work Dave and I do together is for Wings Etc., an Indiana-based sports bar chain with over 70 locations in 9 states.
(OMG! --Order the wings and the rib tips! The burgers are delicious and memorable, which really is saying something, but listen to me -- ORDER the RIB TIPS!!!) I make tv and web commercial advertisements and chicken puppet videos for these guys and it is an honor and absolutely the truth to say that without Wings Etc., I wouldn't have had the idea for Paint By Monster.
A few years ago, while I was producing animation and commercial puppetry for Wings Etc., I was learning to edit video and use Adobe After Effects and I thought I could put all of the things I have ever loved making into one show: humor, original music, drawing, painting, animation, sculpture, teaching creativity and learning about art history. So I sketched what the monster would look like and got to work.
I designed and constructed Easel Monster out of foam and fleece. He's very standard ‘muppet-style’ construction and was built with a lot of love and a lot of trips to the fabric store. My wife Carrie hand-knitted his fur and hand-sewed all of his finishing details. I also created the miniature studio where the show takes place.
The studio is about 5 feet long and took a couple of years to build. I still don’t think of it as finished. I add to it as I go, or I should say, as the show grows and develops. It’s a place I want to be every day and I still look at it and smile.
I have 4 goals in mind for each Paint By Monster episode:
• To INSPIRE others to Go Make Some ART!
• To PERSUADE people that excellence takes time and failure, but is worth pursuing
• To INSTRUCT people how to think and see like an artist
• To ENTERTAIN with humor and a real love for the creative process
Paint By Monster has been seen in over 70 countries and is picking up new traffic all the time. It’s so interesting to me that we are living in days where independent educational programming can not only find an audience, but can also become a viable enterprise. The show is making a trickle of money for now, which is great.
But far more satisfying to me is that I regularly hear from fans that they are laughing and learning and sharing the show with friends and family. It has always been my hope that each visit with Easel Monster would be a visit with rampaging joy.
I am committed that Paint By Monster be high quality, family-friendly (mostly) entertainment. Adults and children have both told me they have woken up with one or another of the songs in their heads, which fills me with joy (and mischief).
Go Make Some ART! -- Dan