Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shrunkenheadman Club

Someone spilled paint on a stool in an art school in San Jose, California.

The blob of paint ended up looking like a shrunken head. Student David Gustlin (now a faculty member) looked at that shrunken head shape and sketched the guy that he imagined it belonged to.

A myth was born.

The art students at San Jose State University knew they had the perfect mascot for their  campus organization. They called it the Shrunkenheadman Club.

The Shrunkenheadman  Club was formed in 1995 to to create a sense of community among students in animation and illustration. The club arranges for figure drawing sessions, visiting lecturers, and an annual costumed draw-off known as “D-Day.”

They sponsored me to give my Color and Light lecture a few weeks ago in October. That’s me and my buddy John Fleskes standing out in front of the school.

The students at SJSU ordered 65 copies of Color and Light, which I signed for them today and put in the mail. To make the books extra special, I made a custom rubber stamp using the club mascot. The stamp is made from craft foam glued to a wood block, and then stamped using a rainbow-colored pigment stamp pad.

If another art school, game company, or movie studio would like to put together an order for 40 or more books, I’ll be glad to come up with something equally customized.

Shrunkenheadman history / Official site
Shrunkenheadman program
Ordering signed "Color and Light"books from the Dinotopia Store
Previously on GJ: San Jose State University Art Program.
John Fleskes blog


Tuan Vo said...

Thanks for the amazing lecture James! We really appreciate you taking the time and talking us.

-Shm Club

Christy Morgan B said...

OMG, thats my book!!! Thanks Mr. Gurney, you are truly an inspiration to all the students here!

Your lecture at our campus a few years back was the reason I became an illustration major, it seriously was a turning point in my college career. Now i always take out your Imaginative realism book to show the children at the art school i teach at, its been such a great tool and i think this new book will bring much joy.

Steph Lew said...

Thank you for coming to SJSU and giving us a mind blowing lecture! We really appreciate the time you put into helping us get inspired and further our learning. The SHM stamp is awesome by the way.

Amy Kim said...

I agree with everyone else! It was truly an honor for you to come visit us... Your lecture was very informative and made me realize that I have so much to learn about light and color! I look forward to receiving a copy of your book through SHM

Annis Naeem said...


I just bought your book (color & light). I haven't had the chance to read it all but jumping around every few pages... it's pure gold. It's filled with lots of helpful knowledge that is hard to find in one book. Thanks! and not only that, it's very affordable for books of it's kind. AWESOME!

Leila Beverleigh said...

Thank you for coming to our school and inspiring us to be our best! We loved the lecture and cannot wait until we get the books!

Looking forward to another visit soon!
Leila :)

Carlianne Fenton said...

This is Amazing! Thank you so much for coming to our school and sharing your knowledge, not once, but twice! Both of your lectures were incredible. Can't wait for my book!!

- Carlianne Fenton

James Gurney said...

It's great to hear from you at SJSU. I have great memories of that visit. Your questions at the end were so focused and insightful, and they showed me how deeply you’re all thinking about color and light.

Ian Wing said...

Thanks again for coming to visit at SJSU! Mr. Gurney, I hope you get a chance to view this comment as I would like to apologize for a stupid question I asked during the lecture. I was the guy who asked for a digital copy during a 5 min break. Oh man, it's embarrassing just to type it out! I got a little caught up in my enthusiasm and didn't stop to think about the tact of my question. Hopefully my behavior does not reflect poorly on the rest of the SJSU students. They're great kids and are always a lot smarter than that. Thanks again, it was an amazing lecture!

James Gurney said...

Hey, Ian, don't worry, no offense at all--I don't even remember the question. But it's a reasonable one. I'm interested in put together a digital book or app version of all the stuff on the blog and the books, but that's a pretty big project.

And don't worry about SJSU--man, I was blown away by all the questions the students asked. They were incredibly perceptive.