Concept to Completion – (developing ideas)

March 21, 2011

Dark Fantasy Art, Gothic Cartoons: //comics, graphic novels, cartoons, animation //>>>>What are the sources of some creative ideas???

Art in the classroom is so often inspired by art of popular culture seen in video games, graphic novels, and animated films. The extent of influence current cartoonists and animators have on student work is often evident. Macabre fantasy illustrators like Edward Gorey originally helped popularize the Gothic cartoon style that is popular today.

The Gashlycrumb Tinies-
Edward Gorey – The Gashlycrumb Tinies

“Gorey’s illustrated (and sometimes wordless) books, with their vaguely ominous air and ostensibly Victorian and Edwardian settings, have long had a cult following. Gorey became particularly well-known through his animated introduction to the PBS series Mystery! in 1980, as well as his designs for the 1977 Broadway production of Dracula, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Costume Design. (He was also nominated for Best Scenic Design.)”    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/edward-gorey

A more commonly know animator and film director of the dark fantasy style is American artist, Tim Burton. He has directed and created numerous movies, and is famous for “dark, quirky-themed movies such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare, Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet, StreetBatman Returns, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland.” MOMA in NYC has recently held a retrospect highlighting his creativity through drawings, sculptures, animations and film. The show illustrated the creative progress of concept of characters in sketches through final development. In an interview, Burton explained how he, “doesn’t use a Blackberry, phone, or computer, but he keeps a pad of paper with him in which he’s constantly doodling or taking notes. His passion is “making things — whether it’s drawing, writing, or making a movie” — and he is doing it constantly”.

Jack and Sally-Tim Burton "Nightmare before Christmas"

Drawings of Jack - Tim Burton

Lesson Plan: “Edward Gorey” Images – Edward Gorey Meets Rene Magritte  http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/high/SurrealPenHS.html

Lesson Plan:  “Tim Burton”  http://arteducationdaily.blogspot.com/2011/01/cute-but-not-too-innocent-art-unit.html



Sketchbook page for Hallo - Brittney S.

A very talented senior level graphic art and fine art student, Brittney S. has successfully developed her inspirations in a similar creative process.  Sketchbooks are her constant companion and are an important tool for recording imaginative ideas. By sketching and developing concepts, she has created fantasy characters of her own.Each character has a unique personality and storyline. Brittney has also found inspiration in mythology.

The characteristics of Walter are reminiscent of an Aztec ocean creature Ahuivotl, who uses his hand/tail to lure people into the water.

The character Walter, inspired by Aztec mythology.

Brittney’s characters have founded their way into cartoons, animation, 3 dimensional sculpture, and clothing designs. Similar to Tim Burton, her characters have taken on a life of their own. This progression has developed by an intentional concern for detail and refining of ideas.

Clay 3 Dimensional representations of Brittneys characters. Walter, Ghosty and Hallo

The characters have found their way into an environment reminiscent of Edward Gorey, a gothic scene done in pen & ink. That does not stop the student from also creating in a more technological media.

pen & ink in the style of Edward Gorey - Brittney S.


Click Walter to see animation!!

If you are interested in

farther investigation of Edward Gorey’s work,

check out the show in Boston.


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