Jared D. Weiss
is a LA based freelance illustrator, animator, and filmmaker whose characters from odd to charming.
Lazor Wulf (2019)
Frog Dog Log (2018)
Hog & Fog (2017)
A Message For Brazey (2017)
Jared’s interview with Milk & Honey, as seen in Milk & Honey Comic Anthology Issue 2:
M&H: You’ve been primarily working on a lot of great cartoons as a designer and storyboard artist. What does your job entail on these productions and how did you get that position?
JW: In my experience so far, every studio operates differently, especially in cases when you’re bouncing between different roles. Sometimes you’re on a show where you work on every phase and you still have no control over the final product, sometimes you storyboard an episode a few times and its still not right, or you draw something you think isn’t that great, and it becomes the final product. Basically, a lot of putting in your best work and hoping it lands, and sometimes finding out it doesn’t matter. As for getting into that position, I would say it’s all about timing and practice.The timing you don’t have control over, but the practice you do. I think it was just noticed at the right time, to put it vaguely.
M&H: With that practice in mind, how has the internet helped you build your career?
JW: Right now, the internet is the artist’s most important tool, for better and worse. For a long time, I kept personal work offline. To some extent, I still have current projects that might not see the light of day. But I can say without a doubt that putting my films online got more attention than I did from any film festivals. Getting work out there for people to see, on a semi-consistent basis, is really the only thing that reminds folks that you exist.
M&H: Brazey is my favorite recurring friend of yours that I can only describe as creepy and adorable at the same time. Where did the inspiration for him come from and what does he mean to you?
JW: I wouldn’t call Brazey creepy, he just can’t change his expression, and his expression is always :). Brazey was basically a joke taken so far that it has absorbed into my mental state. I was being antisocial and drawing at a party with a couple friends, and drew this big nosed character semi-reminiscent of late mid-century European cartoons, and my friend looks and says,“Is that a nose, or a flap?” So then I drew his head, flap up, and couldn’t look away. For the rest of that party I just kept drawing this character over and over. I joked that by the end of the day, I’d be selling Brazey shirts. By the end of the month, I would start a short staring Brazey. He’s a character that I can adapt into any kind of media and it just feels kind of nice.
M&H: Brazey been making appearances during the holidays last year! How has Brazey’s interpretative feedback affected your artwork?
JW: More than anything I’ve made before, Brazey is something to be shared. Not the copyright, that’s mine, haha, but I like sharing the Brazey experience. For that reason, in October I had a crazy idea to turn a squash into a Brazey jack-o-lantern. I didn’t have the time to carve one myself, but thought I’d throw the idea out there, and if anyone took the time to do that, I would sent them a personalized Brazey drawing, anywhere in the world, for free. And quite frankly, I didn’t think anyone would do it. But then, sure enough, halfway through the month, I got home late, checked my email… and there it was. Someone actually turned a squash into Brazey and it blew my mind. I couldn’t even sleep that night. That feeling to me is better than a commission. I hate when doing something I like feels like work, and seeing people make Brazey out of non-traditional things that they can enjoy (and maybe eat) is really cool to me. Of course I’ll trade that experience for art. I think that’s ultimately what Brazey’s about, something you can look at and instantly get positive vibes, and to be able to share that experience all over the world is, for lack of a better word … Brazey.