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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Art Proj HCJ Part 3 - The Artist Influenzaaa

Art Project - Hazy Cosmic Jive, Part 3

This'll mainly be a direct copy/paste of what I turned in for schooooool. On a side note, my folders on my computer are extremely organized. Two of my many folders are 'Projects' and 'School'. I still can't believe I have to go to my school folder to find something as fun as this art project in it. Anyways, without further ado...

January 14, 2010

Artist Research

Derrick J. Wyatt (August 10, 1972 - )

Raised in Paw Paw, Michigan
Attended Joe Kubert School of Art, New Jersey
Art director and/or lead character designer of such cartoons as:
                Teen Titans
                Transformers: Animated
                Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated

As a hardcore Transformers fan since 2007, I’ve actively kept up to speed with the continuous waves of upcoming TF merchandise and media by joining an online fan community. When word first caught on about a new TV show being produced (Transformers: Animated), and images started springing up on the web, I was incredibly excited. However, the majority of the fan community, largely comprised of fans of the original 80’s show, was up in flames. The new stylized aesthetic that art designer Derrick J. Wyatt implemented in his designs of the new robots were unlike any previous incarnation of Transformers. The more organic, flowing line art was in complete contrast to the blocky, geometric design style implemented by all previous eras of Transformers.

I, a part of a small minority of people who liked the new artistic approach, was stupefied by the negative reaction to the new approach. While still paying homage to the original Optimus Prime, this stylized nature of the new design was a breath of fresh air, and would immensely influence my style of drawing. 

Once the TV series actually began to air, the fandom began to better receive it, praising it as the most emotive (in terms of story and art) of the 25 years worth of Transformers fiction. Derrick J. Wyatt’s art style had brought the characters to life, giving them much more emotion and character than one could imagine a robot could have. 

Drew Struzan (March 18, 1947 - )

Born in Oregon City, Oregon
Attented Art Center College of Design; Paid off school by selling artwork and accepting commissions
Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree

Began work by painting album covers; became highly acclaimed after his cover of Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare was voted one of the Top 100 Album Covers of All Time by Rolling Stone.
Started small company called Pencil Pushers; during the 8 years the company lasted, Struzan developed his signature airbrush/color pencil detailing style
In 1977, a colleague of Struzan was asked to create the poster for the re-release of ‘The Star Wars’. Uncomfortable with portraiture, Charles White asked Struzan for help on human characters. Struzan oil painted all of the distinctively human characters of the poster.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Struzan would create posters for such films as ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Back To The Future’, as well as continue his work with LucasFilms, creating the posters for the Star Wars movies, and Indiana Jones movies.

Struzan, despite the decline of traditional art and the increased popularity of digital art, continued work by creating collectors memorabilia, comics, and a few movie posters for the first of the Harry Potter movies, Hellboy, and, most recently, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That was his last piece before retiring in Septemeber, 2008.

Growing up with VHS copies of Indiana Jones and Star Wars, I’ve been more than familiar with Drew Struzan’s signature style since I was three. Struzan’s incorporation of movie scenes with the ‘floating head’ motif creates a rather gallant, epic vibe to his posters.

Steve Ditko (November 2, 1927 - )

Studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, New York
Comic book artist and writer; Most famous for co-creating the character Spider-Man
Art has always been a very prominent part of my life. Since I was little, I as drawing made up characters fighting epic, legendary battles to the death. I was a sponge, absorbing any movie or TV show I watched, and drawing it out on paper. Imagine how much I flipped after seeing the Spider-Man movie.

My mom, knowing my love for those types of things, bought me a reprinted collection of the first 20 issues of the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ series. It was through imitating Steve Ditko’s realistic style of art that I was able to grasp the fundamentals of drawing. The dynamic postures of Spider-Man and his enemies granted me much practice, as I unintentionally learned the anatomy and workings of human beings. The settings revealed to me the intricacies of geometric shapes, as well as perspective and vanishing points. The complex inking showed me the importance of adding shades of color to illustrations.

I even began creating comics of my own. A whole new skillset came with that, as I learned the importance of composition and foreground/background.

Hayao Miyazaki (January 5, 1941 - )

Manga Artist, Director, Screenwriter, Storyboarder, Animator, Character Designer
Grew up in Akebono-Cho, Japan
Studied at Gakushuin University; did not study art, despite his already growing interest in the subject
Co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985
After my Spider-Man comic book drawing phase, I got into a manga/anime phase, during which I was heavily influenced by the works of manga artists such as Masashi Kishimoto (most famous for the series ‘Naruto’). Now a little older, and a little more observant, I was able to hone my drawing skills more and began getting the hang of human form. Despite all this, my anime phase had come to an end during 2008. I would sporadically and selectively return to that style of art for a few personal projects.

I took note of the works of Hayao Miyazaki after my anime phase had ended, and was simply marveled at the intricacies of the art. Hayao Miyazaki’s film company, Studio Ghibli, created some of my favorite animated features, including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and Ponyo. The way Hayao Miyazaki masterfully implemented the dynamics of anime to enhance the storytelling experience simply stunned me. The pseudo realistic style of anime simply astonished me, in that it can appear both real and completely fantastical at the same time.

Other Influential Artists:

Jhonen Vasquez
Creator of TV series ‘Invader Zim’
Very stylized, highly geometric artwork; nearly surreal
As Wikipedia expertly put it, “Happy faces are often found in his artwork, trying to evoke an ironic sense of happiness in a world of chaos and darkness.” Well said.

Nick Roche
IDW comic book artist and writer
Very clean linework and inking; overly emotive faces create a strangely realistic presence to his drawings

Ben Procter
Movie concept artist
Has worked on many sci-fi movies such as Tron: Legacy, Transformers, Star Trek
As a movie concept artist, Procter expertly incorporates objects of fantasy into the real world

Mark Crilley
OEL (Original English Language) manga artist
Revered (and loved) by the online amateur artist community for posting detailed and intricate drawing tutorials on open websites such as Youtube and deviantART

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