Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Although this wasn't the first illustration I did in this style, this is a very early one. I've thought long and hard about why I started doing this sort of thing... big eyes, distorted proportions, etc. I think it all started with Roger Rabbit and Philip Burke. Roger Rabbit interested me because this was the first full-length live action feature with animated cartoon characters in leading roles. Great pains were taken by the filmmakers to make the Toons have a realistic affect on their environments. Cartoon characters had realistic shadows, highlights and ambient lighting.
I think in some part of my mind I wanted to see what would happen if they had given them other three-dimensional characteristics like skeletons, musculature, etc. I think these early pieces were my attempts to distort the human figure into ridiculous cartoon proportions and see how funny it was. The result - older people especially said "Why do you draw so many monsters?" Then they would give me a piercing look like they thought something was seriously wrong with me.
I think the other thing that influenced these early figures was Philip Burke's caricatures from Rolling Stone (even though I didn't recognize it at the time). Here was a caricaturist who had taken it to an almost cubist extreme. One eye might be larger than another and half of his face might be green, but you still knew it was a portrait of Paul Simon. His work is really astounding.