Anybody who loves the work of Hayao Miyazaki should know about the Totoro Forest Project. It's an international charity organized by several hard-working Pixar animators. In their own words, the aim of the Totoro Forest "is to save Sayama Forest, also known as Totoro Forest in Japan. Have you watched the movie "My Neighbor Totoro"? This wonderful forest is where Miyazaki came up with the idea for Totoro. Miyazaki has been actively working towards the preservation of this urban forest, which has been in danger of the city's urban development, for many years now." Co-organizer/animator Enrico Casarosa talks about it on his blog
To that end, the TFP has organized an auction of especially created work by over 200 international artists, cartoonists and animators, as well as a gallery show and the publication of a book. Animators are the most energetic and indefatigable people out there, which may explain why their drawings move so much. I'm practically inert in comparison, yet they asked me to do a drawing for the Project, the only direction given was to draw my own Totoro. And it couldn't be Miyasaki's, so no tracing.
Well, I love My Neighbor Totoro, it's the most human-scaled of all of Miyazaki's movies, and little Mei is one of my favorite characters. I stole some from her when creating Alice (though I'm not sure they'd get along well; Mei is a lot more selfless than Alice). Here's my Totoro that I drew for the Totoro Forest Project
So please go poke around on the Totoro Forest Project site, there are some lovely things to see. And if you see one you'd like to hang on your wall consider bidding at the auction. All the info is at the site, or soon will be.