Artist of the Week : 2) Hans Bacher
information from his own (astounding) blog:
Hans Bacher has been involved in animation production design for over 40 years. He has influenced the visual styles of some of my favorite animated films such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, and was the production designer on Mulan.
Watching these films as a kid, you don't think about what goes into their creation. You're there, watching them in their completed form never realizing that someone started with a blank page and DESIGNED them. This week while I was searching through Bacher's site and works, I was blown away. These were images I had never seen before, yet were amazingly familiar. These images were some of the raw materials that inspired and helped create the screen images that have been burned into my memory since I was seven years old.
Something that stood out to me was Bacher's process for Mulan, described as "poetic simplicity". The designs draw inspiration from traditional Chinese artwork with the color, shapes, and selective use of detail. This reminds me how simple designs may appear effortless, but in fact require more thought and work than something overrun by specifics. Pairing something down to it's essence requires time and talent. For instance it's easier to ramble on about a topic rather than using a few words potently... and with that, I'll shut up.