We didn’t have Cartoon Network growing up. Heck, we didn’t even have cable back then and the only way we could watch foreign cartoon series was through recorded videos from Betamax to the large format VHS! My cousins and I used to spend countless of hours watching foreign cartoon TV series during the summer break like G.I. Joe, Transformers, Thundercats and He-Man!

And then after a couple of years, cable TV happened to the Philippines and the age of PCs, CDs and the internet.

Rain the human
Rain the human

Those cartoons and my love for DC and Marvel comics were the ones that inspired me to draw.  I was the comic book maker in my high school class and I was good at it too, our year book would attest to that but somewhere in between college and early married life, I have lost time and interest because of other priorities.  The good thing is my love for the art is still there and my passion for anything cartoon and comic book is still very much alive in me.

At my age, one would think that my TV life revolves around News, Sports and the History Channel.  Well, yes that sums it up pretty much but I am also a fan of music and kids channels like Nickolodeon, Disney Channel and the Cartoon Network.


Currently, I am very much glued to shows like Gumball, Teen Titans Go, Uncle Grandpa, Regular Show and of course, Adventure Time which you can all view at the Cartoon Network.


That’s why when an invitation for a Cartoon Network event came, I immediately said yes even if I don’t even know what it’s for.

Wayne Dearing - CEO and President of Top Draw Animation
Wayne Dearing – CEO and President of Top Draw Animation

Apparently, the invite was for a special preview of Cartoon Network’s upcoming shows and the launch of the Adventure Time Art Fair that will happen from this month until September in partnership with Top Draw Animation (TDA), the official home of more than 500 Filipino animators that specializes in 2D digital animation.

TDA is the one that produced the shows My Little Ponies, Monster High and the upcoming Cartoon Network series Monster Beach and Exchange Student Zero.

Top Draw Animation CEO and President Wayne Dearing was also present during the event announcing the very first Cartoon Network Art Fair.  Finn and Jake and the zany characters of Adventure Time will go school hopping this year and I am sure that the kids will love it.

Here are some life-size images of characters from Exchange Student Zero
Here are some life-size images of characters from Exchange Student Zero


The Adventure Time Art Fair is an art workshop school tour inspired by the kaleidoscope world of Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Ice king and the rest of the characters of the hit series.  The program will visit 10 schools in Metro Manila beginning with the Lourdes School in Mandaluyong.

The workshops will be conducted by Top Draw Animation’s world-class animators and creative directors like Francis “Kiko” Lerma who has over 16 years of experience in the industry and has worked on both Exchange Student Zero and Teen Titans (one of my favorite show by the way).

Kiko Lerma
Kiko Lerma

Kiko started as a clean-up artist and then moved up from being animator to one of the animation directors of TDA.

Here’s a video of my interview with animator Kiko Lerma:

Aside from the workshops, kids will learn about various arts and crafts at different art booths where they can create their own Adventure Time character from the series.  Participants of the workshop will also get to take home a mini-manual containing the step-by-step process of drawing Finn and Jake, and exclusive items from Cartoon Network and Adventure Time.

P1160219a“We want to encourage kids to tap into their huge well of creativity and the Adventure Time Art Fair is the perfect place for them to express their artistic talent.  We’d like to thank all the schools that have agreed to participate in the event, and for allowing us to help supplement the curriculum with a big dose of fun.” said Gregory Ho, Vice President of Corporate Communication and Marketing at turner International Asia Pacific, Cartoon Network’s parent company.

The event was made possible by their partners Seven Seas, McDonald’s, Kinetic Sand, Zest-O, Tender Juicy, Milkita, Jack n’ Jill Knots, Chubby, K-Zone and Total Girl.

After the briefing, Kiko Lerma gave all the guests a tutorial on how to draw Finn and Jake using the Adventure Time Art Fair Mini Manual that they will be giving away to the participating students during the school tour.

Kiko in Action
Kiko in Action

After that we went inside the Top Draw Animation hive, this is where all the state-of-the-art magic happens, from sketches to draft and the final output!  Unfortunately, just like in call centers, the area is off limits to video recordings and cameras.

This is Top Draw Animation's Front Desk er Car
This is Top Draw Animation’s Front Desk er Car
Adventure Time Art Fair | Cartoon Network, Top Draw Animation Launches First Art Workshop School Tour in Manila

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