Wednesday 10 June 2015

Animation meets Illustration with Steve May

In the second instalment of our feature on Animators working as Illustrators we are thrilled to welcome Denis the Menace Steve May who tells us a bit about which books have particularly influenced his animation work and visa versa which animations have influenced his illustration work...

I think my animation work has been informed by so many books & images from my childhood it’s difficult to actually single out particular work but certain artists with great attention to movement have always appealed. Albert Uderzo’s Asterix work really had a strong influence & I’ve always loved Tove Jannson’s characterisation. 

Moving between illustration  animation often involves by necessity a certain amount of simplification for ease of animation so I also loved the economy of somebody like J Otto Seibold’s images

The other way around, the stunning Tex Avery directed cartoons of the ‘40s have always been a huge influence because of the sheer staggering breadth of visual gags per second & the general ferocity of the movement.The graphic simplicity of some of the UPA cartoons from the ‘50s has always had a strong influence on me along with the very ‘50s influenced Ren & Stimpy cartoons from John Kricfalusi (there’s also a particular slightly twisted element to them which appeals greatly!) 

I’m currently working on a re-imagining of Dennis the Menace for Puffin books & a lot of the dynamic exaggerated movement from these kind of animation influences seeps through into the work I’m producing for these books.

Here are some fabulous examples of Steve's great animation work! Check them out. 

 The Diary of Dennis the Menace - Bash Street Bandit - by Steven Butler (Puffin) 

Image below from ‘Silly Name For a Monster’ by Timothy Knapman 
WITH HUGE thanks to Steve for popping by to say hello visit his website HERE

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