Artist: Josh Parpan

Josh Parpan is currently attending his third year at Cal Arts in the Experimental Animation Program, choosing this particular program for its respectable teaching philosophy of helping students develop an individual animation style.

During high school, Parpan became intrigued with the graphic animation and design style of art from the 1950s and 1960s, especially Jules Engel and Maurice Noble, two very prominent artists of the period who were involved with the Cal Arts program. "That really made me feel like experimental animation was the place for me," says Parpan. "As the animation industry has changed the animation programs at Cal Arts have stayed very traditional, promoting good basic drawing skills and strong creative ideals working hand-in-hand with new technology."

Parpan began using Photoshop to make animated films. "I attended an animation summer school at Cal Arts when I was in the ninth grade. As soon as I got home I started looking for ways to shoot animation using a video camera that I taped to the shelf above my bed. Needless to say this wasn't a success," he explains. "What I ended up doing was scanning the individual frames in Photoshop where I would color them and export them frame-by-frame into the Vegas editing program, where I would composite the character layer with the background layer."

Parpan started using Photoshop as an illustration tool during his first year at Cal Arts. "Before that I usually used pens and Prismacolor markers. I turned to Photoshop mainly because I wasn't satisfied with the color that I was getting with the markers. I always draw the illustration out on paper first; I then scan it into Photoshop and separate everything into separate layers," explain Parpan. "If, for example, I want to draw a human character the arms and legs and face would be on separate layers as well as all of the pieces within the face.," he continues. "From there I use the color balance on the separate layers as well as paint directly on top of them for color, shading, and texture. The main goal behind this process is to keep the drawing looking as traditional as possible."

To see more of Parpan's artwork, visit