Jim Henson. The upper echelon of fantastic-ness, a legendary man. This portrait I did reminds me of Treebeard from The Lord of the Rings. Kind of a odd comparison, but to me it rings true. He’s rooted in my generation like a great ancient oak, forever there. The Muppet Show and Sesame Street were centerpieces to my childhood, an amazing place to go and learn, to wonder about the world. The Dark Crystal & Labrynith, total masterpieces, brought his talents to a darker, cinematic world, that was the beginning of a new brilliant strain of his work that he would have continued to explore. It really pisses me off that he’s gone, died so young, only 54!, he should be alive today. We missed out on all that he would have done. Computers look over and gave us some cool stuff but I miss the hand craftedness and human sensitivity that he brought to the table. I think the we all could use his warmth right now, in the light and shadows of the real world.
This is the 5th 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 thanks and honoring their role in the creative universe. 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 20 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, innocent souls & magical beings. Stay tuned!