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Rebecca Dart

Rebecca Dart

I was blown away earlier today when I discovered the work of Rebecca Dart. She has a fantastic sense for funny appealing shapes, and powerful cartoon drawing. It wasn’t surprising to learn that she works in animation, and again, no surprise to see her credits on her IMDB filled with some of the crassest TV trash imaginable. It’s hard to adequately put into words how depressing it is to know that talent of this caliber exists within our industry, and the rampant cluelessness that results in these artists producing shit like this. It’s like hiring Velázquez or Vermeer to paint the lines in a parking lot – an utter, total waste of skill and talent. Though the animation world has no appreciation or use for such skill, she’s at least able to utilize her artistic voice in the comic books she makes.

(via Drawn)

  • Beautiful, no doubt.

    Reminds me a lot of Cyril Pedrosa’s amazing graphic novel, “Three Shadows”.

  • That particular image reminds me a lot of Craig Smith’s comic style.

  • That’s some pretty amazing drawing. What a talent!

  • yes, her last stuff is very good. like your comment a lot.

  • Oh, and she hasn’t worked anything spectacular because she lives up here in Vancouver. It is kind of a waste, but I’m sure she’s happy.

  • stavner

    I heard that “Mission Hill” was good, but the rest of her credits are lame.

    Then again, it looks like she’s just starting out, so maybe, if we spread the word, she can move on to better things.

  • Goldenrusset

    i’ve worked with Rebecca many times, she is definitely an amazing talent more than worthy of being mentioned here, as well as an awesome person. It’s good that her work is being spread around. I’d love to work on a project of her creation one day.

  • I have Rabbit Head and it’s pretty cool and cleaver for a non-linear comic. I look forward to seeing more of her work.

  • Alan

    Amid, you always frame things in the most cynical way possible.

    Is it possible for you to present work on this blog without passing a comment on how you hate this, or how that is depressing? It’s such a downer. The first two sentences of your commentary would have done just fine.

    Cartoon Brew has more often than not become a place where people go to let out frustrations and contempt for the industry, more than get inspired by the art that is created in spite of all the adversity that surrounds it.

  • amid

    Alan: While I appreciate the critique, you’re framing this as if everything I write is negative in tone. What about the Prep & Landing post or the one about Maxine Patin or Telephone Book or Pellet Gun or the NFB iPhone app or Marvel Zombies or…you get the idea? Taking one of my posts out of context and claiming that that’s indicative of my approach is both disingenuous and untrue. Cartoon Brew is a place where I share my thoughts and feelings about the art form, both positive and negative, and while there are plenty of good things going on, there is also plenty of room for improvement.

  • Wow, very beautiful line-work. I’m now a fan.

    And to both Alan and Amid, do you know how giddy it makes me to read people having a civil and articulate disagreement on the internet?

    Viva la Brew! :)

  • Wouter

    i thought it was Cyril Pedrosa his work at first..
    very appealing drawings

  • Love the drawings, they’re downright inspiring. (I see her cat Orson resembles my own Bruno: black, fat, prominent “bald nipple patches,” and sleeps on his back with his feet sticking in the air in an adorable fashion.)

    I wonder about what role, if any, talent plays in positioning within animation/art studio hierarchies. Dart isn’t the only brilliantly talented artist I’ve seen employed far below their skill. I don’t know if studios can really do much about this, because so much studio work is really management, and many brilliant artists aren’t good at or interested in managing others. Or maybe some artists just want to keep their personal art separate from commerce. Although real talent can vastly improve a studio’s output, some artists may not want any more of their talent turned into “product” than necessary. You would think studios would be bending over backwards to better exploit super talents like Dart though.

  • Totally Cyril Pedrosa …

    It’s beautiful but It kind of makes me not like it because it’s to close to someone else’s work.

  • Rebecca deserves all the accolades in the world, she’s a great artist and person. She keeps busy with her own art, which is what most smart artists do working in the industry here.

  • “…no surprise to see her credits on her IMDB filled with some of the crassest TV trash imaginable. It’s hard to adequately put into words how depressing it is to know that talent of this caliber exists within our industry,..”

    that’s life as a working animator. bad projects or product doesn’t necessarily mean bad talent is involved. I’ve been on a few productions that had a lot great people attached to it, but the finished product wasn’t too hot. sometimes (if your lucky) you get to work on something that is great and you are allowed to do a good job. other times you are doing the best you can with a project and you are paying the bills.

    from the pic you posted, I too thought that it was Cyril Pedrosa’s work at first glance, but looking on Rebecca’s blog it looks like her style varies some. very nice work regardless.

  • Dave O.

    I also thought this was Cyril Pedrosa who began his career in animation, working on “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Hercules.” .

    Dart is clearly talented, though this work is a too imitative of both Pendrosa’s style and that of Craig Thompson.

  • I’m a big admirer of Dart’s and was getting a bit annoyed by all the Pedrosa comparisons, but then I googled him and it turns out y’all have a point! I think I still prefer Dart, though. Pedrosa’s a little too angular and baroque for my tastes.

  • Alan

    While I’ll concede that you maybe my claim that every post you have ever done is cynical isn’t wholly accurate, I still think my point that this particular post comes across as needlessly negative in tone is true. By example, the post for the same artist on drawn makes no allusions between master artists doing mundane work and how that is common place, or references to her resume – just that the work is fantastic and inspiring. I’ve noticed quite a few posts from you in a similar vein, hence my original claim. I felt obligated on this post to comment because you really lay it on thick here.

    Your words no doubt reach a lot of people, and while I’m not suggesting you should refrain from negative critique where it’s due, I think the entire animation world could do with a little more positivity.

  • troy joseph reyes

    wow! gorgeous stuff! makes me want to stop drawing! unfortunately everyone has gotta pay bills and artist are only appreciated when theyre needed! so if shes working on crappy t.v shows…well..welcome to the real world! it never lives up to expectations.

  • optimist

    I think the lesson here-apart from the main point, a great heads up for a very talented artist-is this:
    It’s safe to assume that EVERY animation show, no matter how horrible it may look or be in your opinon or mine, has a staff of overqualified and/or vastly-superior-in-style artists on its credits.

    There’s been far too many people competing for spots in all those schools and especially those all too few jobs after school for that not to be the case.
    Some of the newest interns and trainees today are just mind-blowingly good. Always happy to see them pointed to.

  • Hal

    I thought the Vermeer comparison was funny, if totally over the top. Its beautiful cartoon work, but only time will tell if it has the longevity of a master like Vermeer (although be wonderful if in 300 years people are referring to artists like Dart in that regard)! Plus, crappy productions at least pay better than painting parking lots Amid! If anything, Dart is a phenomenal example of not letting the shit productions keep you down from your own body of work. The glass remains Half Full.

  • Rebecca Dart

    Thank you Amid for posting this, I’m very flattered. As far as the Cyril Pedrosa comparisons, they are totally correct. I’m currently working on a graphic novel for Dark Horse Comics and I did this little side project to practice inking with a brush. I was trying to learn by copying a master and… oops… may have done it a bit too much, for I was never, ever expecting the response that I’ve gotten from this piece.

    I’ve worked in animation for 12 years now, and it’s true I’ve worked on a lot of projects I’m not particularly proud of, but for me it has always been about the journey and not so much about the destination. I’ve worked with many brilliant, kind people in a collaborative atmosphere and it has been the best education that any artist could ask for. All that crap has paid off my condo, which has allowed me to take a year off from animation and work on the aforementioned graphic novel. Yeah!

    Thanks again for the shout out, and to everyone else for their generous comments.

  • Everybody should run out and try to score a copy of Rebecca’s stupendous comic-book RABBITHEAD, which is one of the best comix I’ve ever read. Damned awesome stuff. I found one (at great personal cost and risk) and it was worth every struggle.

    I can’t wait to read the Dark Horse book.

  • If Rebecca wants to move to Australia she can have a job in my studio anytime. No, seriously!

  • Grimmy

    Most people grin and bear it through a day of doing something of questionable value, and the animation industry is certainly no exception.
    Good on you Rebecca, (and my son James’ offer of work at PRA shouldn’t be ignored.)

  • James

    Very beautiful! Reminds me of Craig Thompson’s work too, and he’s simply one of my all time favourites.

  • It should also be noted that if anyone can’t find Rebecca’s RABBIT HEAD comic which is out of print now, it was reprinted in the BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2006 book that was published by Houghton-Mifflin.