the art of ian hastings



ToonBox Entertainment 2014


All images © ToonBox Entertainment

The Nut Job marked my debut as an Art Director on a feature length film.  The distributors, ( Open Road Films) and everyone at  ToonBox was elated to see the movie break all box office records for an independent animated film on its opening weekend.

The Nut Job also received unanimous praise in the mainstream press for its visual appeal... a wonderful testament to all the hard work of the many talented artists that made this possible!


“The movie certainly looks nice. Colors are vibrant, particularly the reddish autumn shades of trees in Liberty Park, in fictional Oakton City, where much of the action takes place. There’s a lovely moment where shimmering water reflects the leaves above." - Jocelyn Noveck: Associated Press


“Art Director Ian Hastings instills the film with a warmth that adds a layer of emotional resonance that you don't always find in these kinds of films...” - Richard Propes: The Independent Critic


“... the production squeaks by on the visual charm of art director Ian Hastings' period touches and warm autumnal hues.” -  Michael Rechtshaffen: The Hollywood Reporter



Below are a series of stills that have been  released to the press. Once artwork is released from the studio, this portfolio will be updated.


All work copyright © 2014 thotblot inc. unless indicated otherwise.

All rights reserved by respective copyright holders.

Material may not be published or reprinted in whole or in part without prior written permission.

Website design by thotblot !

Made with Adobe Muse

ToonBox Entertainment 2012


All images © ToonBox Entertainment

The Beet Party was a novel concept hatched at ToonBox that eventually became a 104 episode series of 2 minute shows.

Prior to the series production we created a teaser episode as proof of concept.   I provided the character designs, title design and art direction for this quick 2 week project. Lots of fun!

For more information visit the ToonBox website here.



Some of the concepts and designs are below.


ToonBox Entertainment 2011


All images © ToonBox Entertainment

While the initial concept work for the Nut Job feature was getting started, ToonBox put together a juicy animated short featuring an early version of Surly Squirrel and Buddy along with two bank robbers who bear an uncanny resemblance to a couple of hoods from the Nut Job.

The short titled "Nuts & Robbers" , which I had the privilege to name, went on to win both a 2011 Prestige Award for animation, and an Amigo Award for best character design.

I art directed, and designed both the opening and ending credits, and even contributed a little story boarding.



Below are the color keys which I painted to establish the look and feel for the film.


ToonBox Entertainment 2011


All images © ToonBox Entertainment

Bolts & Blip was the first project initiated by ToonBox. Needless to say, it was very ambitious at the time for a new studio producing what would be the world's first 3D stereoscopic TV series.

The show was created by Andy Knight and was centered around a character, originally named Dandy which had been designed at his Red Rover Toronto studio in previous years.

While all the writing, boarding and designing and directing was done out of the ToonBox studio in Toronto, a portion of the modeling, and all of the animation, effects and composting were accomplished at various Korean studios.

Bolts & Blip aired around the world and is currently still airing on Vortexx, the CW Network (2014)


Below are a few of the more legible art direction sketches and designs that I did for the show.



Nickleodeon, Nelvana - 2007

Wayside School is a very funny show directed by Riccardo Durante. Although produced back in 2007, it's still seen quite regularly on television (2014) and episodes are also easily found on YouTube.


Some of the more enjoyable moments art directing this series were spent designing the title cards and the simple motion graphics that play at the beginning of each of the 52 episodes.



Jetix Network/Disney, Red Rover - 2006

Get Ed was a very adventurous endeavor of Andy Knight and Red Rover Animation. We had an excellent time designing the myriad sci-fi elements and characters that the writers kept coming up with.


Below is a small sampling of the design and art direction work I created for the show.