Art Explorers in L.A and Austin!

Art Explorers in L.A and Austin! Come and join us! Art Explorer's artists, Terryl Whitlach and David Levy, will be giving two entertainment illustration classes in January.
One with David at the Brainstorm School in Los Angeles, January 18th from 2PM to 7 PM! Thanks a lot to John Park and James Paick!
The other one, in Austin, TX with Terryl and David, one of our favorite spot in the US! Thanks to Schoolism and Bobby Chiu.
We are looking forward to meet more artists and announce more of what Art Explorers is about!



Hi everyone! Here's a great interview with Team AE David Levy! Thanks to our wonderful friend Bobby Chiu and his wonderful Schoolism, which we are proud to be part of! Austin Texas here we come ;)
Enjoy the interview HERE

More Plug news and thank yous

Hi everyone, its been about two weeks since we screened Plug at the Gnomon School of Visual Arts. The response has been fantastic and I am thrilled and honored that you all have enjoyed our hard work. Plug was definitely a great experience and a journey I am happy I was on. Thank you all very much. we are honored and ecstatic to have been featured and liked on your site.
PLUG is now a VIMEO staff pick. Ever since I watched and followed religiously all Philip Bloom's videos the day I subscribed to VIMEO many years ago, it was a dream of mine to be there. Done! Vimeo I love you.  LINK to and VIMEO
I am very happy everyone is enjoying the short, the making of and the soundtrack. Thank you all very much! More coming soon! All the best


Enjoy more PLUG pics

The making of PLUG

An inside look at the making of my short Plug! Enjoy and thank you for the kind remarks everyone!
The Making of Plug

Art Explorers present PLUG
Its been an amazing experience. One that I am thankful and appreciative of. Thank you everyone for your support and friendship. It means the world to me. Here it is I hope you enjoy! See you on our next "Art Exploration"


Exploring PLUG

Exploring PLUG

Years ago I went on a long road of working on a project that would be created from scratch. All of the things I love. Science fiction, vehicles, robots, industrial design, film and exploring art. I have worked on many projects, all of them teaching me something different. This project would be fun,  creative and more importantly challenging. That doesn't mean it would not take endless hours and hard work, but it would be something I would be personally passionate about. A journey for myself. Along that journey friends and people would help me bring this project into fruition, as I also learned how to surround myself with the right people. Building props, creating designs and filming actions scenes in the salt flats would all be worth the effort. It was a hard journey, but nothing is ever simple when passion and care drives you. We are never satisfied as artists or artisans. Striving is part of the journey we face, the struggles build character and make us better sculptors, better carpenters...etc.
Saturday October 25 at the Gnomon School of Visual Arts we will present PLUG. If you're in the area please come by, see the screening  and say hi. We will have several talks about making the short film and a gallery showing of art and props that were made.

In the meantime enjoy some pics and the plug trailers.  And stay tuned for the short film coming online in few days! See you soon, on the next Art Explorer's adventure...

missing picture

Here is the missing picture, with Mr. Ed.

Studio Denizens

I was asked to take a couple photos of some of the items that I keep in my studio that make me happy as I work.  Some I've collected over the years, others have been given to my by friends and family.  Since I love all things equine, and could wax poetic about that subject for the next hundred years, I naturally have many horse related items.  Here is a small sample--a dear acquaintance of mine has labeled this one 'The Shrine'.  Yes, that is an authentic Mr. Ed hand puppet from the 1960's.

Here are some other items on a bulletin board -- I have a definite penchant for the color blue... and some other items atop a file cabinet, some from nature, some just playful, including a plastic jackalope amidst the anatomy models, beetle, griffin, and alligator skull.

It would be neat to see what sort of stuff other folk keep around!

I thought we would share this video that Terryl Whitlatch found recently on her trip to Texas. It has been around for a while and is produced by the wonderful people at BBC narrated by one of my heroes Sir David Attenborough. We find it quite inspirational and beautiful. This is what motivates us at Art Explorers.  We hope it does the same for you too, whether to brighten your day or to create something ... Enjoy
Click on the Picture above or HERE

Team AE 


I usually carry a sketchbook with me all the time. If it's not on me it's in my truck. Nowadays smartphones are phenomenal to gather reference and snap pictures one can use for later reference. But to me, sketching on the spot ,whether a particular tree in the Grand Canyon or an elephant in a zoo, there is a huge difference. Sketching trains your eye to observe the important things in a subject. The gestures and shapes that you , as an artist on the spot, will pick out as important "landmarks". Rather than seeing how many whiskers are on a cat or how many buttons are on that jacket we are focusing on an overall feeling. Shapes, silhouette and landmarks that make lines important. Yes details are important but without a strong foundation, they are all useless and irrelevant.
We are going to cover some things that work for us in approaching a sketch. What do we look for? Where do we start? What is my goal? 

 Q - What do you look for?

Manu - in approaching a subject I will look for its general shape. Back to basic cubes, cylinders, spheres etc. nothing new there, "When you feel you are in trouble, go back to your basicsRickson Gracie.
That statement is meant for martial arts, but it applies art perfectly. In drawing animals at zoos or parks, I break the animal in three parts. Forequarters, belly and hindquarters. I look for angles and landmarks in the silhouettes. My sketching approaches can vary from using lots of gesture lines to what I call noodling. I remember once hearing animator Glen Keane talk about this type of sketching. Your pencil make lots and lots of lines trying to find that perfect one that will do the job. One important rule is to stay loose. Do not focus on hair, eyelids or minor detail. Learn to observe. This is what sketching is.

David - My view on sketching is based on surfaces. I enjoy working with masses and contrasts. The line to me is a way to organize my thoughts, design and composition on the page, where I come to life is during the contrast part of sketching. Of course, the line will always be the foundation, but strong contrasts allow me to quickly validate or cancel volumes and shapes. As one of my friend, Joe Watmough mentioned before, it is as if you were an alien who just landed on earth, and you are seeing light and shapes for the first time. By detaching yourself from the subject you observe, you can attain a truer view of it.

Team AE

Terryl Whitlatch joins Art Explorers

It is with great honor and admiration that we proudly announce our newest Art Explorers team member, the incredibly talented Terryl Whitlatch. From drawing mustangs to endless conversations of winged raptors, Terryl was too much of a great fit not to have her with us. Terryl and I can spend endless hours discussing the flights of merlins down to the ways pangolins walk. Her love for drawing and all things wild have led to us being great friends.
Terryl has worked on many projects from Disney's Brother Bear to Star Wars. Her amazing knowledge of animals and creature designs are a well known. She is a scientific and academically trained creature designer and concept artist. Combining in-depth knowledge of zoology and animal anatomy with her incredible illustration skills.
Terryl has illustrated several books including the amazing "Animals Real and Imagined" available at Design Studio Press. I am excited to have her on board to share her knowledge, skills and adventures. We are very honored to have you on board Terryl! Welcome!
Thank you all for the kind messages on the blog , we promise more posts, David, Thierry and myself have been swamped and Kristy is doing her best to round us up. We have some great announcements soon and hope to bring you all more. Including guest interviews and upcoming events.
From all of us at Art Explorers thanks!
Enjoy some Terryl Whitlatch art...

The AWARE Trust

I thought I would take the time and introduce the great organization I am volunteering at in ZimbabweAWARE is the only veterinary conservation trust in Zimbabwe run by veterinarians, focusing on the welfare of wildlife and conservation of wildlife habitats.  The Trust provides expert veterinary treatment and rehabilitation to sick or injured ownerless wild animals on a pro bono basis, especially where these animals have suffered at the hand of man. This may include preventative treatment of wild animals at risk from disease, or pre-emptive rehabilitation of wild animals threatened by humans. 
Dr Lisa Marabini and Dr Keith Dutlow with Chief Ranger
In the lead are two great people whom I've  had the pleasure to work with, Dr Keith Dutlow and Dr Lisa Marabini.  They started AWARE Trust in 2004, the trustees were looking for independent funding to perform an important disease surveillance project. 
euthanasing lionessMoyoKariba ele undergoing treatment
Keith is the Founder Trustee and Director of Operations, Keith was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1994 and became a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons by examination in 1996.

He has worked extensively in small animal and mixed practices in the UK, Australia and Zimbabwe. Dr Keith Dutlow's introduction
to wildlife work came through a job as an ostrich vet in Zimbabwe. In 2001, he took a record breaking 2026 ostriches by ship from Spain to Brazil. He has been working with other wildlife species, in particular lion, cheetah, elephant, rhino, buffalo, hyena and small felids since 2004.
picture of Keith cleaning a dog bite wound in cheetah
Lisa is the other Founder Trustee and Director of Operations, she was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. She graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1998 and became a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons by examination in 1999. She has worked in small animal practices in Zimbabwe, Australia and the UKLisa has always been passionate about the conservation and welfare of wildlife. She obtained her private pilot’s license (PPL) for light aircraft in 1994 with a view to becoming a wildlife vet.
While I was there we had the privilege of working with Dr Erick Mutizhe and Dr Andy Garura, who are also wonderful vets that work for AWARE. I was there on an African Rhino Operation but they handles various projects.
Dr Andy Garura and Dr Erick Mutizhe
Dr Keith Dutlow removing horn and Dr Mutizhe monitoring vitals
Apart from seeing amazing scenery, animals and making new life long friends I was honored to take part in trying to help an animal that is in need of help. Help that we humans can offer. The hands on experience was incredible and Im hoping to take part next time this happens. If anything I hope that we have made a difference in the existence of the rhino. Here at Art Explorers, David Levy (VYLE), Thierry Doizon (barontieri), Kristy Tipton and myself (MANu)
Dr Lisa telling me. "Is that all the strength you got Manny?" :)
are all very passionate about what we do and how we can apply it to our other passions. The oceans, the forests our wildlife something that we all treasure and are thankful for everyday for who we are as people and as artists.
Baby Rhino being tagged and dehorned
Please visit 
If you can donate, please do. If you have any questions send them my way. I hope you all are enjoying the African posts and promise more art exploring from digital brushes to tutorials! Feed your passions by going outside and creating!
Special thanks to Tracey and Chris Hugill, you guys are great! Team AWARE!!