Walt Disney! Uncle Walt. The first movie I ever saw in the theaters was a re-release of Pinnochio, one of the best, if not the best, animated movies of all time. I found the ending, with Pleasure Island and then with Monstro, to be absolutely terrifying, and amazing. Today I just find it to be amazing, and terrifying. There is a jaw dropping amount of brilliance and artistry in every frame. Walt led those artists, cracked the whip, built a white castle, created an empire. I grew up on Disney, all of Disney – the movies (animated & live action), the cartoons, tv shows, loved all the characters, played in the Magic Kingdom, ate Tonga Toast at the Polynesian Hotel, rode the monorail, freaked out at Space Mountain, took pictures with Captain Hook. It’s in our blood now, fused into our DNA, part of our thinking. Disney changed what was possible. The world is a better, cooler, more imaginative place because of him.
This is the 3rd in a series of portraits I am doing entitled “Influences”, honoring all of the great artists that have inspired my work and imagination growing up. They’ve all touched me to the core, and this is my way of saying thank you. The group includes writers, illustrators, video game creators, animators, painters, puppeteers, comic book artists and film directors, some of them many of these things rolled into one. So far I have 16 portraits lined up, and will release a new one each week or so for the next couple months. At the culmination of this collection, I will be launching a new website showcasing the world I’ve created inspired by their works. A fantastic & dangerous place, full of funky creature-folk, shrill despots, fantastical beasts, militant chancellors, magical beings and innocent souls. Stay tuned!