Monday, June 29, 2009

Drawn to Life- A book review.

For all you animators, aspiring animators, and animation lovers out there- I would highly recommend reading if not buying this book. Based of the lectures of Disney's amazingly talented animator/drawing teacher Walt Stanchfield, this book is a lovely step away from those ruddy how-to books. I'd hail this as spectacularly informative as Richard Williams' "Animation Survival Kit", and I personally feel this book has indeed retained the author's (deceased before the book was published) voice and uncanny love for his craft. I couldn't help but be uplifted and inspired by the passages, and entranced by the photographs of animation "treasures" such as keyframes from Milt Kahl, T. Hee, as well as many others.

Here is one particular bit I was captivated by early on in the book-

"...quick sketching is the shortest route to training yourself for capturing those spontaneous gestures and poses that are so essential to good drawing. Break one of your bad habits today. Which one? That habit of not sketching! ... Listen to some jazz, some symphony, a string quintet, and some contry music. Stop everything and just listen...Feel the leaves of a sycamore tree, a wad of cotton, a piece of sandpaper. Pick up a stone from the beach or from the mountains and fondle it. See if it has a message for you...Sharpen your senses in all ways. Life will open up its vistas of adventure and courage and venturesomeness. Then, when you make a sketch you will feel an authoritateve confidence flow into it. It will have the rhytmns of the music you heard, the drama of the books you have read, and the tactile influence of all the things you have touched."

Walt's passion and energy makes for a spectacular read, especially to those who share his everlasting love for animation, art, life, and all aspects inbetween.

(this particular rant of mine is also host on

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