Chuck Jones and Me

It was 10 years ago from this month that I met legendary Animator Chuck Jones. I have the art work I am holding and the photo both framed on my wall. I looked up and happen to stare at the photo which is framed along with a card he had signed "For Zane, Chuck Jones 11/19/98". When I read the date I could not believe that it had already been 10 years since then. He has a gallery down in Old Town San Diego. It is now run by his daughter since his passing. I remember how exciting that night was. A week before I had purchased the Daffy Duck lithograph titled "the Stinker" based off of the statue the Thinker. It took them a week and a half to get the framing done on it. Because of that they asked if I wanted to come back durring the open gallery night and do a meet and greet with Chuck and have him personalize the signed card. Well, heck yeah! I remember hanging out in the gallery snacking on the cheese and crackers looking at all the art. When Chuck came out there was no mistaking him. He came out with his signature classic suit and hat with a classic cane. He eventually made his way through the crowd to his signing chair. There were a lot of people and the staff was trying to keep things moving. Chuck however was enjoying his fans and giving them all the time in the world. I definitely was in awe when it was my time to meet him. They brought my Litho out and we posed for the picture. He then took took the litho and started talking about it. While talking he even started to sketch over the litho sketches as if to add some lines that were over looked. I told him I was looking to go into animation. From there he started giving me all kinds of tips. I could tell the staff was hoping it would wrap up as there were still a lot of people. However Chuck was the king and it was his gallery. So he continued to talk. The line he said that stuck out the most for me was “every person has at least a 1000 bad drawings in them that they have to get through. The more you sketch the faster you can get to the good drawings.” What I thought was pretty cool is he would have actually kept on talking to me if the staff had not finally interjected. At that point I felt I had taken up enough time. Up to that point I probably had spend the most time with him. I shook his hand and thanked him for all his animation. Amazing enough after all the people got to meet Chuck there was even a little free time. He saw my friends and my now wife standing near by and asked if we all wanted to pose for pictures. Finally The gallery was closing and they politely kicked us out. It was a great moment.

Zane Kohler1 Comment