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All artwork and text is copyrighted by Frederick Gardner, unless otherwise attributed to the respective copyright owner, it is illegal to publish or print any such artwork or text without written permission by the artist or copyright owners.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"The Life and Times of Juniper Lee" (Part 1)

In 2004, I was hired at Cartoon Network to work on a new series in development, "Juniper Lee". This was a great opportunity for me to reunite with some old animation friends, Alan Bodner (Warner Bros Classics, Iron Giant), Frank Squilacci (Big Guy and Rusty), Steve Lewis (Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, WB Classics) to create the look of a new series from a blank page. To that date, the shows I had worked on at Cartoon Network were all well established visually (Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab, Samurai Jack)... so I was anxious to try something new. 

I had a few interesting design issues to address with "Juniper Lee": first, the show took place in San Francisco, a challenging location to draw for tv with its elegant architecture and rolling hills. Second, the show starred characters of Chinese origin... I wanted to make sure this interesting aspect of design was NOT overlooked. Third, the main characters were "witches"... this was the most exciting and inspired part of the design challenge. I took these three ingredients (San Francisco Victorian architecture, Chinese design motifs and witchcraft) and tried to serve each visually. I  really grew to like the design direction the show was going in. I had the rare chance on this show to really explore a few locations in complete detail. By the second season, I had won an Emmy for Background Design on "Juniper Lee" (the only one in the series). 

You can see a big influence of my prior work in these designs. Warner Bros classic cartoons (Maurice Noble), Dan Krall's art direction on "Powerpuff" and my own affection for bold shape and strong silhouettes were a big inspiration for me. This is a small cross section of the background designs and visual development for the series...


  1. Hey Fred,

    Beautiful work! I think I have the color versions of four of these pieces. Any interest in having them as well?


  2. Hey Ashby,
    Of course! Send it on over... I would love to put the paintings up with the layouts.