jon birch [creative journal]

January 18, 2007

our cowforce website also wins ‘yahoo’ peoples choice award!


great news for me and mike phillips of ‘paperhorse’, the sites designer (i provided character design and the sites animations).
very chuffed about this indeed! 🙂
a BIG THANKYOU to everyone who voted!


January 13, 2007

why patronage?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jonbirch @ 4:35 pm

my main point is to encourage leaders to challenge the rich amongst us to become patrons… artists themselves cannot do it, because it will always sound like begging…
i believe that the church has a responsibility towards the nurture of artists… it should not be optional.
an irritation of mine is that as an artist you are expected to be good at making money… this is not the case for a nurse, a doctor, a teacher, so why an artist? the only reason this can possibly be, is that we simply do not value the role of the artist… do we even understand the point of the artist anymore? if we don’t, then what a poor and dowdy lot we have all become, with few ways of saying anything meaningful to the world at large. this is a serious issue.

putting food on the artists table (patronage)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jonbirch @ 4:15 pm

this is a comment i put on jonny bakers blog… he said i should blog it, so i have!

if you love money… if you measure success by what you can afford and how many cars, houses and swimming pools you have… don’t become an artist! if, however, you have stuff to say and a creative way of saying it, even if it’s not what the majority wants to here… and if you have a burning need to express yourself creatively and don’t mind having less spending money than your mates, then the artists life is for you!
integrity won’t bring financial reward in itself, neither will the quality of your work.
patronage used to be alive and kicking in the church… sadly, that’s no longer true.
i’m fortunate… i’m making some kind of living being me… and in my professional work i tend to work for causes where the budgets are lower than they would be in the commercial world. sometimes i think, ‘what am i doing… i could be rich!” but mostly i think, ‘no, this is what i choose to do!” i made my decision when i was a bit older than joel (joel is jonny’s son, and wonderfully creative bod!)… i was in my first professional advertising job… and i thought, ‘you know what… other peoples cans of beans are just not important enough to me. that’s not what i care about.’
there were no mentors for me… nobody i knew who’d done the same thing… there was no map… just a kind of god given (i believe) self belief.
i am self employed… but i’m rubbish at business… but why would i be good at it? i wonder how many business people are great at art!
here’s a radical idea. rich people put a portion of their income aside to patronise an artist. all you leaders and ministers out there, challenge the wealthy in your congregation to support someone who has something to say… tell them, they may well see no financial reward for their act, but do it anyway for the good health of everyone!
so much of what we know about the past and the way we were has been given to us by artists, writers, painters, musicians, sculptors etc… do we really only value historical christian artists! if the answer is ‘no’, then it is important that as a christian community we put food on the artists table so that he/she can get on with their calling, as i said above, for the good health of everyone!
are these just the ramblings of a madman, or do i have a point?

January 9, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — jonbirch @ 11:06 pm

i think i’ll turn my website into a gallery/cinema. i won’t be able to do it immediately but will try over the next couple of months to get it sorted. i’ll use this blog as a place to talk about the work and a place for more open creative discussion. i will, as ‘richard l’ suggested, link images to movies on my site.

ike russ

Filed under: animation, audio/visual, character design, movies — jonbirch @ 6:14 pm


here is a better view of ‘ike russ’, the character featured in an earlier blog. i promise these movies will be viewable online at some point, but for the moment they are pre-release.

skateboard spirituality

Filed under: animation, character design — jonbirch @ 6:11 pm


this is a charcter for a mini site i am currently working on called ‘skateboard spirituality’… the characters were made in swift… swift is a great package for simple character design, i love it. it is limited, but as earlier blogs suggest, i don’t see that as a bad thing at all.

front page on yahoo

Filed under: Uncategorized — jonbirch @ 2:00 pm

very chuffed that our ‘send a cow’ youth website ‘’ is front page on still not too late to go and vote for it as ‘peoples’ choice should you wish 🙂


Filed under: animation, audio/visual, character design, movies — jonbirch @ 12:19 am


a simple story of love and faithfulness with equally simple, almost diagramatic character design.
all done in flash.


Filed under: animation, audio/visual, character design, movies — jonbirch @ 12:02 am


this character was designed in swift 3d and goes by the corny name of ike russ!
the planets are also swift. the rest is flash and a bit of colouring in after effects.
i’m fascinated by the fact that a character can be so simple (ike doesn’t even have a face!) yet you can care about it. maybe, just the small inclusion of a red heart on his chest tells you all you need to know.

January 8, 2007

lotte goes lo-fi/hipocritical mass

Filed under: animation, audio/visual, character design, movies — jonbirch @ 11:55 pm


say hi to lotte. there is also a simple 3d lotte in this movie. i wanted her to be minimally sexy, think betty boop for the third millenium.
this movie was made in flash and after effects.

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