Consciously or not, we often look for the existence of the human in the art we consume. Sometimes, that presence is visible, and sometimes it’s just outside of the frame of the filmmaker’s camera or the words on the author’s page or inches away from the artist’s canvas. But we want and expect some form of humanity to be present in what we watch or read. In film, this manifests differently in live-action versus animation, the latter of which has been criticized for the “uncanny valley” effect, when human characters are rendered in such a way that’s off-putting, distracting for perhaps being too realistic, uncomfortably human. Pixar Animation Studios has not yet fallen into the uncanny valley, but it’s interesting to watch the evolution of their computer-animation technology from as far back as their pre-feature shorts up to Brave, in part because so much of their work is infused with the presence of humans even when none physically appear. Except for the films in the Cars franchise.
2007 was an excellent year for cinema, one of the best in decades. This was the year of No Country for Old Men, Once, and There Will Be Blood, all films that deserve to be called works of art, ones we’ll pore over and analyze for years to come. And 2007 was also the year of Pixar Animation Studios’ best film yet, Ratatouille. Ratatouille, in many ways, is the culmination of all the blood, sweat, and tears put into the hopes that Pixar would ever be successful. They proved in various ways that they could do more than the average family film, but Ratatouille was a purer triumph. Though no full-length feature can be perfect, Ratatouille comes close and, in its climax, stands as the poster child for the (patent pending) “Pixar moment.”
This month’s PixArt is a first for us – a husband and wife team. It features a mash-up between Ratatouille and Harry Potter. Who needs the Hogwarts Express Tea Trolley when your pet rat is Remy? The creators Joel and Ashley Selby, AKA This Paper Ship, run an Illustration and Art Direction studio that turns out truly wonderful work. Make sure to check out their site, store and portfolio for information about their beautifully crafted images. What started out as an Etsy shop has transformed into an international business with an impressive list of clients. Read on for more about This Paper Ship in their own words. [Read more...]
If you’re a fan of pop culture, you really need to check out the work of Ian Glaubinger. His online gallery is chock-full of great images celebrating everything from Star Wars and superheroes to Ferris Bueller and The Big Lebowski. Don’t miss his John Candyland and a great line of cereal boxes – available on his Etsy shop! Read on for more about the artist in his own words. [Read more...]
We know a thing or two about cute here at PixArt and that’s why we’re such fans of artists like Chie Boyd! Her adorable creations and cute takes on favorite characters are a joy. Make sure to check out her links to see exactly what I am talking about. We’re so thrilled to have this special Holiday image from Chie and would like to thank her for her time and effort on this sweet piece of art. Read on to learn more about the artist in her own words. [Read more...]