Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Shoulders of Giants

I'll have to, once again, direct your attention to Brian McDonald's Invisible Ink blog. I've been making my way through the amazing entries in his archives, but this one in particular struck a chord with me:
Standing on the shoulders of Giants.

In one section , he mentions telling his students to find what he calls a 'virtual mentor'. That is they should find a person or two or three (giants) to follow. That "When you find these virtual mentors try to be as much like them as possible and they will teach you things about your craft that you didn't even know were there to learn."

I thought it'd be cool to share the people who, consciously or subconsciously, I've used as "virtual mentors." (up to this point.)

Pablo Picasso- Like many others I've talked to, I was initially turned off by his work, and also like many others, was shocked to discover the virtuosity of his work as a youth. Here was an artist that spent his lifetime challenging and reinventing himself. He kicked off the modern art movement w/ a few paintings. Picasso came in, learned the rules, broke all of the rules, and changed the way people looked at art forever.

Glen Keane- What can I say about this guy. He is the single biggest reason I'm an animator today. I was in the 3rd quater of art school, I saw Tarzan, and it was over. The timing was perfect as I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. We all know of the rest of his illustrious career, but you listen to the guy talk now, and his passion for animation has not waned in the least. 35 years into his animation career and he still feels like there are things he could be better at. His work is always coming from some place personal and emotional, because that is the only way he could work. He's very candid about the struggles he's had in his career in a way that is completely relatable for someone like me.

Michelangelo Bounarroti- Every time I come across something I think is completely beyond my capabilities, I tell myself that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. The effing Sistine Chapel son! And he didn't even think it was any good, he thought it would surely ruin his career. I could go on and on about this man, most of which wouldnt be news to you. But after all of his accomplishments , I recently found this quote from him.
If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all. "

Suffice to say there are many many, many other artists along the way that I've followed to a greater or lesser degree. But I'm comfortable with these 3 sitting at the top.


Scott said...

uh...what about Scott Mayhew?

Bobby Pontillas said...

Salient point! Scott Mayhew did come in at #4. Michelagelo's David just edged you out by a hair to take number 3, but it was close.

When I animate, I post a sign above my desk that says,
"What would the 'Hew' Do?"