rednose studio

What's With #ArtVsHero?

If you spend time lurking artists on Instagram or Facebook or are an artist yourself, you may have seen #artvshero going around. The hashtag started with students of SVS Learn, which was founded by Jake Parker and Will Terry, and is a way for artists to see how they stack-up when surrounded by their art heroes. An artist places their work in the center of a 3-by-3 square grid and literal surrounds their work with the artwork of their influences.


Watch a Discussion on Art Versus Hero Here


I first found-out about this creative exercise on the fantasy/independent artist podcast One Fantastic Week when hosts Pete Mohrbacher and Samuel Flegal had Will Terry as a guest. And I spent some time thinking about it, I found that I'm as influenced by collaborative arts like stop-motion and film design as I am by individual artists and if you've followed any of these artists, there's a through-line, between many of them.


Watch the One Fantastic Week Interview with Will Terry Here



My Art Versus Hero Grid

ArtVs.Hero Will Terry.jpg


Going across each row, the artists (or production companies) are: 

Rednose Studio (an independent artist), Brian Froud, Rankin/Bass Productions, Laika, myself, Tony Diterlizzi, Jim Henson Company, Brom, and Dave McKean. I try to take little bits and pieces of inspiration from all of these wonderful artists with myself acting as a filter. This is by no means an exhaustive list of artists that have influenced my work- I also draw inspiration from many, many more fantastic artists.

Brian Froud worked with Jim Henson films to design the characters for Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal and I know these films were hugely influential on Tony Diterlizzi as early in his career he dreamed of working for Jim Henson. Rankin/Bass produced stop-motion films throughout the 1960's and 70's and it would be easy to see their work informing later animation studios like Laika or the work of Rednose Studio. I love the work of both Rednose Studio and Dave McKean because they've both shown themselves to be near limitless in their process to visually story tell. I also owe Rednose Studio a debt of gratitude for raising the bar for dimensional-illustration! There have been traditional photographed three-dimensional picture books in the past, but they had the unfortunate ability to be unintentionally unnerving (a college friend had showed me a "Goldilocks & The Bears" picture book from decades ago that was nightmare inducing).

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