More from the archive; a magazine illustration done while living in JAPAN, for a story about the TOKYO CAR SHOW (in ball-point pen and water colour).
The article claimed that the prestigious CAR OF THE YEAR award was won not on the merits of the car itself but on how much money was spent in the media campaign to win the award.
I used to do illustration as a side job while still working in the animation industry and I kept it up for several years, mainly because, back then, I didn’t think my animation career was going to last. Almost from the day I began working in animation, it appeared that the business itself was done for. All the older artists said so, and it was hard to disagree when looking at the quality of the work that was being done; not just by us, but at the best studios in the world.
I vividly remember a screening of THE BLACK CAULDRON, and a slump-shouldered group of us animation youngsters coming out of the theatre to discuss it afterward. The general consensus was that if what we’d just seen was the best that DISNEY could do then then animation was indeed on its last legs. We’d had the bad luck to show up just in time to witness the death-rattle of a once-great industry.
Of course, a few years later everything turned around. We started to see things like THE FAMILY DOG, ROGER RABBIT and then the renaissance of DISNEY, which led to the founding of Dreamworks, Pixar and a host of other successful studios. But before that happened, I had to think what I would do if, as everyone was predicting, the biz was not going to last. And illustration was my PLAN-B.
I started doing small illustration jobs while still living in Sydney and continued, even when living in Asia. In Tokyo, I had a few magazines that I would do spot illustrations for each month and I really looked forward to those assignments because, as I said, the quality of the animation I worked on back then was not very good. The illustration assignments were my chance to have some fun.
These days I channel most of that extra energy into pottering about with personal projects but I sometimes think about doing some illustration again someday…