Bio

My art career spans many different venues, industry, and medium.  I started out as a political cartoonist in college.  I professionally drew for daily and weekly newspapers in the early 1990’s until I discovered the technology to pursue my satire in the animation realm.  I moved to the west coast to pursue my animation studies at Cal Arts and then to work for the Cartoon Network, MTV, Disney Interactive, and Nickelodeon.  I continued with my independent films that were broadcast on MTV, PBS, the Independent Film Channel, Tech TV, and screened in film festivals in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Tokyo, Berlin, and Sao Paulo.

In the summer of 2002, I received an artist residency grant to produce a film, “Bubba Ganoosh” at the 911 Media Arts Center in Seattle, WA.  “Bubba” was a 3-D digital film based in the tradition of Warner Bros. legendary animation director, Chuck Jones.  In the fall, I was awarded a scholarship to pursue an MFA at Bowling Green State University.  During this time, I explored the sketches I did while traveling in Italy to produce a thesis film called, “Pulcinello”.  The film is also influenced by the history of the Commedia del Arte a theater and puppet troupe based in 11th century Naples, Italy.  Pulcinello had its world premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival in June 2004.  After graduating from Bowling Green, I took a position at Sheridan College in Toronto, Ontario, teaching storyboarding and animation.  Along with my teaching duties, I played a key role in developing the Bachelors of Animation/Art degree, the first in Canada.  During my tenure at Sheridan, I produced a documentary on my late grandfather that illustrated and animated his stories from his birthplace Malta to Detroit his adopted town.

In August 2006 I became an associate professor at Clemson University in South Carolina to teach and develop the new Digital Arts Production graduate program.  In 2007, I completed an animation/documentary based on two South Carolinian art quilters, Dottie Moore and Dixie Haywood.  The animation is based directly from the quilts abstract design and colors.  The music is from Charles Wood, a world champion banjo player who has performed with Steve Martin and played on “A Prairie Home Companion”.  May 2008, I received a $100,000 grant to produce an animated film based on the Appalachian clog dance.  This film project incorporated the various talents of Wade Hampton High School, Clemson’sigital Production Arts, and the musical talents of Pickens County and the clog dance team of Bill and Simone Nichols.

Today I have come full circle applying my animation and film making into political satire.  My political animations have been published on The New York Times, CNN, CBC and the Wall Street Journal.

8 responses to “Bio

  1. Lonna Levine

    Hi Dave!

    I am certain you do not remember me. My maiden name was Atwood, and I lived in the same dorm as you (Pittman Hall) when you were a freshman at EMU.

    Saw one of your animated shorts on TechTV several years ago, and your name at the bottom of the screen caught my eye. I think I dropped you an email then to see if you were the same guy who designed our 1st floor sweatshirts.

    Was just Stumbling this evening, and came across another artist who made me think of you. Curious as to what you’ve been up to, I looked you up. When I read the entry about the art quilters from South Carolina, I just had to read your bio. And what do you know? We’re practically in the same neck of the woods again!

    My husband and I just moved to Charlotte with our two daughters this summer. And this past winter, I met a fabulous photographer who teaches in the lifelong education program at Clemson. His name is CJ Elfont, and he was a former partner of my photography teacher and boss back in Michigan.

    I remember a few years after college we were having dinner with Tera and Anthony Fisher one night, reminiscing about EMU and the people we knew. Anthony often talked about how talented you were. We’ve since lost touch with them, but I do know through friends that they are living in Savannah, GA.

    This was way too long….but I wanted to say hello. Your work has always been wonderful, and now I’m anxious to hit YouTube and look for more…

    Sincerely,
    Lonna (Atwood) Levine

  2. Brandon

    Hey Dave! I was just talking about that $30 glass of scotch I bought in Detroit many years back and wondered what you were up to. WOW! Go Dave! I can’t wait to see this film and if I had known sooner it would be in Asheville I would have made the trip down.

    I love and miss that part of the world so much. I am glad you are doing so well. Congratulations!

    Brandon

  3. I am the editor of a magazine for clog dancers that is reader by over 3,000 readers in 14 countries and I would love to feature your film in the magazine and interview you and Bill for this. I have known Bill for many years and can touch base with him if you would like to proceed but I wanted to start with you. What I have seen of this project is wonderful and done with such respect and whimsy. Kudos!

    • politicalgraffiti

      Thanks Jeff, we could use all the publicity so I’m excited about having it featured in your magazine. I sent you an e-mail with hi rez pics.

  4. Jeff: Your readers might be interested in our “Pixar Artists’ Masterclass”, coming this summer… INFO: http://www.vanarts.com/events/pixar-artists-masterclass-2012-tour / — cheers, VanArts

  5. Ron Mac Kool

    Hi Dave. For some reason your name, after 20 years, popped into my brain last night. I hope things are going good for you. Sounds like you continued to follow your passion. Congratulations on staying true to your self in that fashion. Ron Mac Kool (EMU/90)

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