inspired

6 11 2008

on my lecture trips over here in asia I have a chance to meet and talk to a lot of students. what you wanna know of course is, what inspires them, who are their favorite artists. maybe there is someone
they admire and want to do something similar in their future. what is kind of depressing that I very rare get a clear answer. only very few have a raw model they wanna follow. even worse, only a few are even informed about successful artists in the animation field. the most I hear is – we love anime. well… I don’t know what is going wrong, do I meet the wrong people? I would expect with all the information you can get through the internet there is a bit more enthusiasm.
following I have collected some designs of the artists who inspired me when I was a student. ‘giants’ like EYVIND EARLE, KEN ANDERSON, WALT PEREGOY, JOHN HUBLEY, a lot of artists from ZAGREB FILM STUDIO, JIRI TRNKA, TERRY GILLIAM + MONTHY PYTHON, comic strip legends like ANDREE FRANQUIN, MORT DRUCKER, ALBERT UDERZO and HUGO PRATT, – and a german comic series MECKY.

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© disney enterprises, inc, HUBLEY, ZAGREB FILM, JIRI TRNKA, TERRY GILLIAM, ANDREE FRANQUIN, MORT DRUCKER, ALBERT UDERZO, HUGO PRATT, SPRINGER-HOER ZU

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7 responses

6 11 2008
Nancy Beiman

Hi Hans,
Did you know that Disney is publishing a book on ‘inspirations’ for their artists? I’ll bet you’re one of them aren’t you?

That’s a wonderful idea. Let’s list our inspirations. Mine rarely came from animation, but here they are:

Chuck Jones
Ronald Searle
John Hubley
Charles Schulz
Walt Kelly
Bill Peet
T. S. Sullivant
A. B. Frost
Smokey Stover (comic) by Bill Holman

there are more, but them’s the main ones.

from hans
nancy, I will not be in that book, I am sure. they never liked me that much – the
critical german! and you never needed inspiration, listen to you the way you get
excited about this. that is what I am missing – when you start talking, the sparks
in the eyes, and within a short time you have the beginning of a story, a character,
a style. anyway…

6 11 2008
Nancy Beiman

Oh, and I can’t forget Mort Drucker and Jack Davis and Al Jaffee from MAD magazine!

7 11 2008
roz

” I don’t know what is going wrong, do I meet the wrong people?”

maybe, but then again im a student and i dont really have a list of artists that i follow thoroughly. what i DO have is a massive collection of images that ive either clipped out of magazines or saved to my harddrive by artists who’s work i happened to stumble across and found inspiring.

the only problem with that is i have to guess their techniques………

from hans

that’s already a good start. technique is not that important.
you will develop your own over the years. it needs to be
something you feel comfortable with and that fits the work
you have to do. when you have time go through the links
here on my blog, you will find already tons of inspirations.
usually the links on these linked blogs are interesting too.
by my experience you find through the internet, especially
blogs, way more interesting art through all areas, not just
film, than in all the books they are on the market. and you
can even contact the authors/artists and talk to them.

9 11 2008
Nancy Beiman

Yes, Roz, a clip file is very useful. But it is crucial not to imitate them; use them for inspiration. Look at the artwork, put it away, then draw your own character while thinking of your inspiration. Better yet, use two. Combine different influences (the way Jamie Hewlett uses Jack Davis’ style and anime in THE GORILLAZ) and make something new. Artists have always been inspired by what has gone before, but I am always surprised to see how many animators feel they must ‘pay tribute’ to the older artists by copying, say, the same hand model sheet of Milt Kahl’s without relating it to the character’s design or story context.
The internet is a good resource but the best materials are still found in old books and magazines…check out the arts section of your local library and be inspired!

Hans, thanks for the comment about the sparkling eyes…someone once even caught them on movie film. They were kind enough to hand them back to me.

12 11 2008
Drake Brodahl

Hans, this is a very interesting discovery. Hopefully many of those students will develop their list of influences as they progress… that, or maybe they aren’t serious enough about their craft to fully explore it? As a teenager, I could list all my favorite comic book artists, then in college all my favorite graphic designers. Now, I have a massive list of favorite illustrators old and new with folders of their imagery. With blogs and flickr and other sites the way they are, how could one ignore and not take advantage of all these terrific resources?

My motto: Fill your head with too much inspiration and you will find it very difficult to keep inside.

Here’s a partial list:

Eyvind Earle
Mary Blair
Martin and Alice Provensen
Al White
Hawley Pratt
Charley Harper
J.P. Miller
Mel Crawford
Tom Oreb
Marc Davis
Fernando Montealegre
Art Lozzi
Bob Gentle
Ralph Hulett
Scott Wills
Bill Wray
Jenny Gase-Baker
Chris Reccardi
Lynne Naylor
Lou Romano
Lorelay Bove
Sandra Equihua
Ramone Zibach
Richard Daskas
Walt Peregoy
Elisabeth Brozowska
Lowell Hess
Leonard Weisgard
Jeremy Bennett
Hardie Gramatky
Frank Frazetta
Tim Biskup
Amanda Visell
Al Dempster
Harry McNaught
Feodor Rojankovsky
Tibor Gergely
Gustaf Tenggren
and Hans Bacher, of course!

The list goes on and on and on.

16 11 2008
Jamie Metzger

Hans, we’re still out here! We exist! However, yes, art students today, namely animation students, tend to focus on mass media and don’t research what has fueled those artists. In school, professors try to teach us about past artists and encourage us to investigate all forms of art, but there are few (only a couple I can immediately think of) who actually go outside of the classroom to extend those studies.

That being said, those of us who drool over inspiration from Velazquez to Mary Blair continue to indulge our creative curiosity through the best resource: the library. Of course, the internet is an invaluable resource, and magazines show us the work of today, but it is through the good ‘ol library that we eager art students truly learn the methods of the masters.

Keep in mind as well, Hans, that as you were inspired by the work of your predecessors, the students of today are inspired by theirs. It is the Glen Keanes, Brad Birds, and Hans Bachers that are our Bill Peets, Chuck Jones, and Milt Kahls. We are inspired, by YOU.

So don’t worry, there exists a (small) clan of us who continue to read and study and encourage each other to do the same. Hopefully, we won’t let you down. :)

17 02 2009
seth

Hi, Hans. I linked one of the images here to my blog to showcase as an inspiration; specifically the first image by Eyvind Earle. Since I’m linking the image, I would like to include you as well. I also linked your blog and your ‘Dream Worlds’ book since that book brought me here, and to Eyvind’s work as well. Thanks.

from hans -
thank you – very nice…

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