Artist Craig Davison is able to capture the imagination of every child within us with his limited edition artworkâ€¦question is, how does he do this?
On one level he paints children and judging by their clothes (e.g. bell bottoms) they are 1970s children & this fits in with Craigâ€™s childhood era, having been born in 1965; so visually we are drawn to thoughts of our own adventure filled younger years as we are looking at children.
‘Whooooooooow!’ a limited edition produced on both
canvas board & box canvas editions
But there us something more than this within the art which makes you connect more deeply with it, once you notice the 2nd characters within the background shadows, on the beige. It is that part of you that in the school play ground could, with the drop of a hat, turn on your dreamer mode and imagine you where some magnificent characterâ€¦whenâ€™s the last time you used that ability? Instantly I think of the cartoon character Mr. Benn from the 1970s, google it!
Iconic 1970s/80s cartoon character Mr. Benn
In â€˜Whooooooooow!â€™ the boy is peddling at speed on his chopper bike imaging he is a brave knight riding into battle or a joust. Now tell me, who didnâ€™t imagine there push bike was some amazing motor bike, or a horse or something else?.
Taking a moment looking at â€˜Guns of the Magnificent Sevenâ€™ – A recurring theme for Craig is the Magnificent Seven series of Westerns, this one paying homage to the 3rd in the series from 1969, featuring the legendary Yul Brynner. In this delightful painting one can image two rival gang innocently squaring off in the playground or in the forest or defending their secret base against some imagined enemy. These young guys managed to save the world and get home for tea time!
‘Guns of the Magnificent Seven’ a limited edition
produced on both canvas board & box canvas editions
It seems plausible that Craig Davison would have kept his childlike imagination alive as his work background meant he was both a cartoonist for such greats as ‘The Shoe People’ & ‘Huxley pig’ And later a 3d animator & designer for computer games including ‘The Hulk’ & ‘Johnny Bazookatone.’ In fact Craig your prints and artwork show me that your imagination must be at a ‘cartoonish’ level now!
Iâ€™ve always been a big fan of modern cartoons and animated series. I just love the artwork of the shows. But the question I have for you is, do you think you could draw better cartoon characters?
Most people I speak to say to me â€œI could do better than that!, itâ€™s easy to draw cartoonsâ€ but thinking about it, I really donâ€™t buy into this. I think people answer like that for 2 reasons:
(1) ‘The cartoonâ€™s jokes are often very childish and unsophisticated’ – rocks falling on heads, eyes bulging out when a character is surprised lol, so a person thinks…this is childish and so the Artwork itself is childish and I could easily do better…Not so!
(2) ‘Most of it is done with computer animation, the computer does all the work!’ Yes there is case for this, that lots of cartoons are done with computers, such as Southpark or the Simpsonâ€™s movie used computers at certain points etc…But…
…you are forgetting that the hard part is the initial design of the characters and how each setting or character complements the next one. (So simplistic a task you may think?) It is the intricacy and the nuances of the drawings where the genius lies…A whole lot of thought went into getting Homer Simpson looking right with his 2 strings of hair or the grey parts of his face to show him unshaven or getting Cartman to look like he’s typical outraged self; Colours & colour combinations, shapes, tones…I suspect the creators spent months if not years slowly building up each character and each setting: Mo’s Tavern, South Park Elementary…
Whoâ€™d have thought a family of yellow coloured people would ever be a hit?…on paper that doesn’t work does it? then u haven’t seen The Simpsons!
Who’d have thought a bunch of really simplistic drawings of characters with basic backgrounds…badly animated by computer would work? Then you don’t watch Southpark!
Of course the shows are brilliantly written and are laugh out loud funny, but the thing that makes it work is the design, the original drawings that all subsequent shows are based on, which give the shows their unique ‘Feel,’ there own little cartoon universe.
I can tell you something for free, id love to live in Springfield! :0)