Picking up where we left off last month, here’s another book idea that’s free for the taking. The proposal is rather straightforward: a collection of fine artwork created by animation artists. This was actually the first book idea I ever pitched (and subsequently had rejected) around 2001. I still think it’s a keen idea.
While most animators dabble with artwork on the side, a certain subset has treated their extracurricular artistic pursuits with the same passion and discipline as their animation day jobs. Seeing their artwork reveals unique insights into the artistic process, and serves as a fascinating study of the compromises that individual artists have to make when synthesizing their work for the group-oriented demands of animation production.
The key to such a book would be curating it with the right mix of artists. It wouldn’t be too difficult to get started. Any number of personal blogs and websites showcase the fine art of contemporary animation artists. There are also a handful of websites showcasing examples of artwork by Golden Age animation artists. For example, Chuck Jones has this page of personal work:
Disney and UPA background painter Bob McIntosh is repped at Trigg Ison Fine Art:
McIntosh’s co-worker at Disney and UPA, Jules Engel, is displayed here:
And Len Glasser has a video of his personal art projects posted onto YouTube:
These guys are just the tip of the iceberg. The richness and diversity of artwork by animators spans across the twentieth century through every conceivable art movement and style. This has the potential of being a beautiful and very unconventional animation art book.