Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Creative Influences - Tracking a Hero

I built this guy in the summer of 2013. Named " The Watcher" he was the first part of the facless dead motif I had going in our new haunt theme The Witches of ScabTree Hollow. I got a lot of comments from people saying they liked him and that he reminded them of something from a Guillermo Del Toro movie. I don't at all disagree with that. In fact I bet you are thinking of this guy from Hellboy 2:

Which some of you will know looks like this guy:

Now there is a reason for this. This guy is a Wayne Barlowe creation. Wayne Barlowe works with Guillermo Del Toro. A lot of artists with Guillermo Del Toro. What might start as a sketch by Barlowe will get sculpted by someone else, that will get revised by Del Toro and maybe the digital art team, and then changed for executives and so on. So what you see in the final movie is the collaboration, sometimes as a team effort, sometimes it's a game of telephone.

You can see the influence of Barlowe's Inferno and Brushfire images in The Watcher. The cryptogram on his face in influenced by Barlowe's runes which you can see in the above picture. The faceless look of The Watcher is most influenced by Alien creator H.R Giger.

You can see in the final Watcher he has a new head with no cryptogram. It's most like Giger's Alien. My favorite monster of all time. Giger's work in fact set the course of my life. It made me stop caring about cars, and clothes, and haircuts, and being cool. In a moment all I wanted to do with my life was make art. Haunting is the latest incarnation of my creative output but it's still inspired by the artists that influenced me so much when I was teenager.

Of course my first favorite monster was this guy from A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott:

So you take all of these influences, Giger, Barlowe, and the Ghost of Xmas Future and that how I came up with The Watcher. The arm movement is directly inspired by the reaper in the Christmas Carol. I still get goosebumps when this guy appears before Scrooge.

 Guillermo Del Toro is a lucky guy who gets to work with the artist he loves to create something new. You can too. Look for great artists and study their work. Don't worry about copying or being overtly influenced. There is nothing original in art, just new fusions of pre-existing work. Guillermo Del Toro's work is fusions of contemporary and classic artists. The Watcher is a fusion of Barlowe's Inferno, Giger's Alien, and a made for TV special grim reaper.

I started a pintrest page with some cool art by some of my favorite artists. Check out Beauty in the Darkness on pinterest.

1 comment:

  1. Really dig this post. Inspiration sources are big in my book.