art for the Grimm’s fairy tale “The Fisherman and His Wife”
Oscar nominees Best Animated Feature 2014
Earlier today this article was brought to my attention, in which it becomes clear that some of the Academy voters have little to no respect for the animation industry. They openly admit not having watched the nominated films and/or claiming that animated films are for kids, so they didn’t vote. Even the ones shown in the article that did vote barely motivated their choice.
I find this extremely disrespectful of the animators who poured their heart and soul into making these movies, only to have their work be pushed aside without a second glance by the judges of one of the most prominent and well known film awards out there. As an aspiring animator, I am deeply insulted.
Please note that in this post I am expressing no opinion on whether Frozen should have won or not. I think it’s a wonderful film, just as all the other nominees. I am simply saying that we deserve better.
What they did is disrespectful to the creators of every single one of these films, even Frozen. By barely motivating their choice, they make it look like they voted for Frozen simply because of Disney’s status in the industry. Because it’s Disney, and it made a lot of money, so it had to be at least somewhat good. To me it seems like some of the voters just defaulted to voting for the Disney film, and nobody likes to win by default.
Don’t get me wrong, I too have been guilty of loving Disney simply because it’s Disney, but there is so much more beautiful animation out there and it deserves to be taken into consideration. And if Frozen won, it should have won because the majority of the voters thought it was the best film, not because part of the voters was too lazy to even watch the nominated films.
I follow Shaenon Garrity’s comics fairly religiously, but it was still Tumblr that alerted me to the existence of this (good, if sad) one. Shaenon’s website has more of her comics listed (though not this one even though the original file is on the site). And I have to mention that she is the creator of Monster of the Week and Skin Horse which I have plugged before.
I’d dropped Shaenon a line asking if she’d mind if I cut up the comic I previously blogged to make it more tumblr friendly, but I see I’m behind the curve here. Hurrah, etc.
When this moment comes, I will be ready.
Character Design/Dancer Sketches- Fausta.
My year of chairing the Society of Illustrator’s annual show is over. Below is the blurb which will be published in the annual book. It’s a rah-rah speech, which I thought was appropriate to share today, when the Student Competition results were announced. The portrait above is by Kris Mukai.
I don’t think you’re allowed to declare a “Golden Age” while you’re living in it. But isn’t it fair to say that this is a particularly fruitful moment in illustration? Far from being the final deathblow, The Digital Revolution has reinvigorated our industry with new energy and enthusiasm thanks largely to the generation who grew up online.
Context used to define what illustration was. Then the pirate ship that is the Internet stripped illustration of that context, and to some degree, the client, which made us very unhappy and afraid. More fundamentally, this reversal also untethered our notions of what illustration should look like, where it should live, and what it should do. As a result, the community, which is now thriving online, is deeper and more diverse than it has ever been.
Young illustrators, seemingly unfazed by the fact illustration was declared dead 60 years ago, are getting on with the business of making stuff. Not only individual images, but also showcases for those images: anthologies, collaborations, galleries, self-published books, games, visual essays, products sold directly to fans. (Illustrators have fans now.) How thrilling to see illustration cross-pollinating with journalism, comics, design, art, animation, and other disciplines that barely have names yet. Conventional clients have taken note. Why wouldn’t they? It’s good work.
The best young artists are seeking to define their careers on their own terms. I see this in my students at the School of Visual Arts. For better or worse, they are not content to be someone’s hired hands. They desire to be professionals, yes, but not to create work that only “solves the problem”–it must be meaningful on a deeper level too. It must have soul. When I was a student, I was happy just to render fruit in markers, if that’s what was what my teachers requested.
I’m pleased to see so many new names in this year’s annual. Their work sits comfortably amongst that of seasoned professionals. And while I think there is still more work to be done, the Society of Illustrator’s mission of celebrating illustration and its evolving manifestations seems on track. Congrats to the selected winners of this year’s annual, particularly those new to the Society. Let’s push each other higher and harder and see where we go next.
Thank you again to the jurors of this year’s show, Chris Buzelli and John Hendrix for their help and guidance, Vivienne Flesher and Chelsea Cardinal for their work on the poster, Director Anelle Miller and her staff. Lastly, thank you to Kate Feirtag, my right-hand lady, for her patience, preparedness, and dedication to The Society.