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Breakdown / Accent / Arc

To thank for the support for our film so far, we are posting some notes on animating originally made for our animation assistants. Breakdown is a very crucial technique of animating. It is a guideline of how every action should be acted out. It involves a thinking process of “hmm, I want my character to move in this way particularly, because of the context/situation/emotion/thought… etc” 

Last but not least, breakdowns are the playground for animators. If you find these notes useful, also check out our film We Have Plenty. It’s a 2D animated film created by the students of SCAD and RISD. Please support us on Kickstarter and help us spread the word! We will be back for more notes on animation! 


Two screenprinted posters I made about two of my favorite albums/title tracks by my absolute favorite band, The Mountain Goats. It was cool to consider the imagery that occurs to me when I listen to this wildly evocatve music, but I’m sure that different imagery occurs to other folks.

Window facing
An ill-kept front yard
Plums on the tree
Heavy with nectar

Transfiguration’s going to come for me at last
And I will burn hotter than the sun


Rafi the flying Rhino

Victo Ngai

I was asked by Robert Gilbane from Gilbane Development Company to create a 5x6′ lobby piece for their new student dormitory - 275 Thayer Street at Providence, Rhode Island. Being a RISD grad who took classes at Brown University, the project was very close to my heart. 

I have Rafi the Rhino, mascot of 275 Thayer, flying through the sky with Brown’s historic green on his back. The center of the green has been turned into a football field with players from the 1930’3 and 50’s shown in uniform. Rafi is shown being greeted by a host of Brown alum, friends, professors and students. Rafi’s escort is led by Dean Barrett Hazeltine and Tom Cookman ’72. Standing between Rafi’s ears is Dave Zucconi ’58. The international entourage of Bengal tigers, Chinese dragon, Russian eagles and birds of paradise represent students from different countries and cultures

It was a great and fun challenge incorporating 20 portraits in this piece. Big thanks to Bob Gilbane for this project and Gordon’s ink for the beautiful print job! Go check out the piece if you ever find yourself in Providence, RI!

I had a fun reunion yesterday with a bunch of my former RISD students (and their friends, and a few not pictured here) who have made their way to LA for internships and/or job searches. Here they can be seen plotting their imminent takeover of the animation industry in Burbank.


“Why are you so afraid of black youth?” My final project for Spatial Dynamics was to make a “lighting fixture” and is heavily inspired by #blacklivesmatter and #laquanmcdonald . As a result I decided to create African American heads that would stand as a representation of the average black male or female. I placed extremely dim flickering lights inside and placed them on a table. My teacher was extremely bewildered as to why he couldn’t see my lights, and tried to call me out on not figuring things out. I just told him to look my heads directly in the eyes. And that’s what everyone was forced to do, look my people in the eyes. Look black people in the eyes. Words that came up by viewers were , “intimidating, scary, haunting.” And each time I would ask, “Why?” I generally didn’t get a response but it did evoke the emotion I was looking for. This is what it’s like to be a person of color, to have people avert your gaze, to be afraid of you, to look down on you. Because it is a decision to kill black people unarmed or armed and it is also a decision to let armed white men walk into custody alive. I wanted everyone to see that behind those eyes, there’s a light, there’s life and how can you just diminish that?? How can you snuff out that flame? I wanted a sense of intimacy and I wanted people to get it. I need people to get it. Not everyone got it, but some people did and to those who spoke up on my behalf today in critique thank you. You got it.


Sketches and finish for Lovecraft’s Providence assignment for my Journalistic Illustration class

This site is the cemetery of the Cathedral of St. John on North Main Street. H.P. Lovecraft would come to hang out and get mildly spooked by scratching sounds and floating lights at night, or write acrostic poems using Edgar Allan Poe’s name during the day (who also visited the cemetery frequently in his lifetime).

Dimensions Variable: 2015 RISD Graphic Design Triennial Catalogue

Publication produced to accompany Dimensions Variable, the 2015 Rhode Island School of Design Graphic Design Department Triennial exhibition. The catalogue is comprised of five printed pieces structured around the distinct themes of the Triennial: Reflexivity (How is the designer visible?); Document (Where does the work live?); Trace (What happens before an idea meets its medium?), Relation (Who makes the work?), and Circulation (What informs graphic design practice?).

Image: Relation newsprint poster featuring student projects.

Available at Draw Down

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