Industry artist Joe Pitt has started a new Tumblr called Straights Against Curves to share “a collection of animation related art, primarily character development, thoughts, and anecdotes that greatly inspire me in hopes to inspire others as well.”
Pitt is the lead character designer on the upcoming Disney series Wander Over Yonder and formerly a director on Gravity Falls. (He’s also a recent Cartoon Brew Artist of the Day pick.)
There’s only a handful of posts so far, but already some valuable insights, such as this observation about how Disney feature characters were developed in the late-1930s/early-1940s compared with today:
The great thing about the old Character Model Department at Disney is that with Joe Grant running it, the concentration was less on solving a final model, but approaching design from a place of story…It was in the model department under Joe’s supervision that they would work with story to help develop the character’s personalities. You don’t see this process much any more. Finding the characters’ traits and personalities are now mostly solved in the story room. This is not a bad thing, it’s just a lot more departmentalized now. I would love to see this structure brought back though, blurring the lines between design and story. It would breed a more collaborative atmosphere I feel.