Coyote’s Place Art Direction

Coyote’s Place exists in a land of “funny wonders.” It’s the humor of classic Looney Tunes meeting the varied aesthetics of Fantasia, in the world of Native American legend.

We hope to spark curiosity in young children to learn about indigenous cultures and Native peoples as they really are, in their own voices, with humor and sensitivity. Everyone has a story of their own: their life, their family, their nation, their world. Those stories have value.

In developing the world of Coyote’s Place we aim to create a rich, varied, lived-in setting with plenty of corners to explore in future episodes. Coyote and Raven will reprise their roles at the station in the bumpers of every episode, while the worlds and characters of the tales will change based on where each tale originates and who tells it.

Coyote and Raven initial concept
Early concept sketch by Tom Bertino.

The World of Coyote’s Place

Close-up station concept
Station painting by Jaslynn Tham.

We open every episode deep in the Southwestern desert, at a last-chance service station that just happens to be a magical nexus. Coyote and Raven live and work here, but it turns out that life can get pretty boring when you’re functionally immortal. To pass the time, they trade stories. New stories are always in demand!

Anytime a traveler blows in, usually with a problem to solve, Coyote asks for a story in return for the help he gives.

Station shader pack 3-4
Paintover by Stephanie Carey, model by Jesus Mario Camarillo Garcia.
Service station props and set decoration
Paintover by Stephanie Carey, model by Jesus Mario Camarillo Garcia.
Early desert concepts
Desert environment explorations by Derek Edgell.
Desert initial color studies
Desert color studies by JoJo Yang.

Coyote is our gateway into the world of the series. He’s tough and cool, seen it all and brought back souvenirs. Blustery, but can generally back it up.

Coyote expression sketches
Expression sketches by Tom Bertino.
Early development sketches for Coyote
Sketches by Abby Munoz.
Coyote shader pack
Coyote model by Benny Gentry, texture paintover by Cindy Lee.

Raven is the station’s man-of-all-work, a wizard with anything mechanical. Excitable and flighty, curious, annoyed with Coyote’s world-weariness.

Raven development sketches
Sketches by Patricia Nardi.
Raven shader pack
Paintover by Cindy Lee, model by Cassandra Michalek.
Coyote and Raven design
Character design by Patricia Nardi.

Tale Worlds
Each episode’s tale transports us to a special world separate from the desert world of the service station. Tale worlds are heavily influenced by the origin of each tale and the people telling it. Design and even animation style will change from episode to episode.

Forest to Sky
Forest concept painting by Lysandra Silber and Jaslynn Tham.

The first episode, “Coyote Paints the Sky,” starts near the Columbia River in a pre-European contact Oregon inspired by the traditional art of the Wasco and Wishram nations.

Coyote Poster
Arrow bridge concept painting by Lysandra Silber and Tom Bertino.
Teen Coyote explorations and final design
Teen Coyote character design by Abby Munoz.
Early Fox concepts
Fox Brothers initial designs by Samantha Moore.
Fox brothers concept for Episode 1
Fox brothers concept painting by Samantha Moore.

When a teenage Coyote shows the Fox Brothers the way to the Sky World, chaos (and a celestial pie fight) ensues.

Early Sky World concept
Early Sky World concept with foxes and Teen Coyote by JoJo Yang.
Early Sky World concept
Early Sky World painting by Derek Edgell.
Sky world concept (Episode 1)
Sky world concept painting by Jaslynn Tham.
Mama Bear character design
Mama Bear design by Abby Munoz.
Cub Bear character design
Cub Bear design by Abby Munoz.

Each episode ends back at the service station, where we learn a lesson inspired by the tale. Coyote and Raven send their visitors on their way.

Desert sky with dipper
Desert sky painting by Lysandra Silber.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s