We live in a pretty wondrous age when it comes to
communications, don't you think? Where if you want to get ahold of someone, you
now have a myriad of choices. You can pick up your mobile phone and either dial or text them. Or if you prefer to fire up
your computer, you can then e-mail these folks or instant message with them via
Facebook. Or just hop on Skype and do a
quick video chat.
Ah, but all this instantaneous communication does comes at a price. Whenever I go into town
nowadays to pick our mail, my P.O. Box is this sad, empty thing with
no real mail inside to speak of. Typically just a flyer or some circulars (which
immediately get tossed in the Recycle bin as soon as I get back home).
I miss getting real mail. Letters from friends that you
first have to tear open and then hold in your hands to read. And postcards! Colorful
postcards sent by friends who are in far-off places doing exciting things.
Which is why I think it would be truly great to be Tim
Hodge's pal. This former Disney story artist (You have undoubtedly seen his
work in such WDAS releases as "The
Lion King," "Pocahontas," "Mulan," "Brother
" and "John Henry") actually hand-paints his own postcards
and then sends them off to friends & family.
Copyright Tim Hodge. All rights
I mean, wouldn't be great to open the mailbox one morning
and find something like this waiting for you?
Or -- better yet -- this?
So why exactly does Tim do this? Well, to hear Hodge talk
about his hobby ...
... It's a particular joy to create something that's
otherwise humble and disposable and to make someone smile.
In the last few years, I've started sending more and more
postcards in the hope of being on every refrigerator in America.
Well, Hodge hasn't achieved that goal (not yet, anyway). But
over the last 30 years, he 's created & sent enough of these homemade little beauties that they can now be collected in a
brand-new eBook, "Tim Hodge's Postcards & Doodles: A Collection of
Hand Drawn Postcards and Decorated Envelopes."
There are images in here that go all the way back to the
mid-1980s. Take -- for example -- this postcard which dates back to Thanksgiving
Which Tim sent to his then-girlfriend / now-wife.
And it's not just postcards that Hodge uses as his medium.
Check out these flat-out amazing Netflix return envelopes that Tim personalized
before then tossing them back in the mail.
As you flip through this eBook, what immediately comes
across is the somewhat radical idea that you don't actually need a huge canvas
and/or hours of effort in order to create a genuine piece of art that
someone else will treasure forever. Sometimes all you need is a few markers and
a humble piece of cardboard. Which is what Hodge used to craft this great
caricature of Alan Cumming.
Copyright Tim Hodges. All rights
Hell, sometimes you don't even need paint to make a painting.
I mean, check out this terrific image of a lion that Tim created using only a
postcard, a paintbrush and a cold cup of coffee.
Alright, I know. Given JHM's Mouse-centric audience, I bet
you're wondering if Hodge perhaps included some Disney-related images in "Postcards &
Doodles." Well, let's just say that -- as you page through this 84-page
eBook, you may encounter a red-headed mermaid ...
... a blue-skinned genie ...
... as well as some pretty Marvelous-looking pachyderms.
Yeah, you get all this. Plus a genuinely funny foreword
written by Tim's old boss at Walt Disney Animation Studios, master animator Tom
Bancroft. Who -- just like me -- can't quite wrap his head around how Hodge
makes these " ... brilliant (pieces of) artwork on simple, crude
envelopes, bills and mailers."
Of course, the irony here is that -- because "Tim
Hodge's Postcards & Doodles: A Collection of Hand Drawn Postcards and
Decorated Envelopes" is an eBook -- you can't throw a copy in the mail and
then send it off to a friend to let them
know that you've been thinking of them, that you miss them ...
... or that you're just hungry.
Whatever the case, if you (like me) are suffering from a bad
case of the Empty Mailbox Blues, get
yourself a copy of "Tim Hodge's Postcards & Doodles" and experience
vicariously what it must feel like to have a truly talented friend who periodically shares
his vision & artistry with you, one teeny canvas at a time. This eBook proves that big fun often does come in
I gotta say, TIm is the real deal. I had the privilege of working alongside Tim and some of his old Disney buddies (Chuck Vollmer, Tom Bancroft) while a composer at Big Idea Entertainment (VeggieTales). We'd sit in a staff meeting, and by the end of it, they would have each doodled a masterpiece on scrap paper. They think nothing of something that the rest of us can't even begin to do! I even rescued one drawing that was headed for the trash, and it now sits framed in my studio. Thanks Tim, for you passion!