I love cartoons. Growing up, I watched and drew as many cartoon as I could. The inherent humor of cartoons was always a great draw for me, but the unlimited possibilities are what really pulled me in. The fact that: a dog can tell you a joke, a rabbit can cut someone’s hair, a mouse can defeat a cat, and a dim-witted drunk can be the safety inspector in a nuclear power plant has always amazed me. This pervasive silliness was and is a great escape for me in this sometimes up-tight world.
My foray into sculpture was brought about by the recent flood of three-dimensional animation, my interest in character sculptures done for animation, traditional puppetry, and a general love of working with my hands. I would love to animate my characters someday, but for now seeing someone laugh and smile at the sheer sight of my characters is one of the greatest joys I have experienced.
My process for each sculpture begins with a sketch. I first draw the most descriptive view of the final sculpture. Then, I separate each character from that sketch and complete “turn-arounds” to get a feeling of what each character looks like from different angles. Finally, the actual sculpting begins. I prepare the base before sculpting the actual characters so I can fit them into their environment. A wire armature is bent and filled out with aluminum foil. Next, the foil is covered with Sculpey and shaping can begin. After baking the completed sculptures, they are then painted and detailed (i.e. clothes, hair, and accessories).
The anthropomorphic quality of my pieces has multiple origins. In the case of the “red neck” orangutans, I was trying to make a small social commentary on lazy Americans. The fox and beaver construction workers are based on what I envision those animals doing if they were to wear clothes and communicate with each other in a fictional woodland society. The chicken crossing guard was simply derived from the old riddle. And the Nattyboh’s are pure fantasy. Most of my pieces are somewhat of a framework for possible stories and/or animations, but others are purely just for viewing sake. These pieces were a lot of fun to create and I hope they make you smile.