Entry 23: Dreaming of Winsor McCay
Here's a video of an early animation, or a moving comic as they first called it in the year 1911. That's right, this animation was made over 100 years ago by a brilliant American animator by the name of Winsor McCay.
I first heard of McCay in college whilst I was working on a research project for art history. McCay's most recognizable works are his comic strips, one of which is Little Nemo in Slumberland. His unique style derived from his fantastical representation of the dreamscape, to which his comics made just as much sense as an actual dream. Google even celebrated this artist by using his comic as inspiration for the Google logo. Click HERE to view it, and click the lower-right arrow after each animation plays. This is the typical style and logical sense of McCay, but regardless, I still find it mesmerizing.
And speaking of dreams, I had an odd one the other night about an upperclassmen from high school. He was known for being aloof and comedic, but in my dream he told me something prolific. He said, "Life is a series of islands next to each other; someday we shall meet again." My interpretation of that quote was that life occurs in stages (childhood, high school, college, job, career, and then retirement), and "goodbyes" are actually "see you later."
McCay was also an amazing sketch artist, and thus he would employ his lightning-fast drawing skills as part of his vaudeville acts at the circus. Basically his drawing skills placed him on the same level as others who could swallow swords or juggle. While some people might call them freaks, some may consider his work as talent because it can actually be attributed to society as "art."
His most notable contribution to the art world, specifically animation, was his stance on creating moving art rather than a mechanical trade. When movies nowadays choose to be animated because it is "cost-effective" or "simpler," the notion destroys the endless possibilities that animation can provide.
As an animator myself, I'm still playing with my own art style and the unique environment that the animation world yields. My personal belief on animation is to bring to life what was once a dream or an idea from imagination. I would love to create a fantasy that no other medium can replicate. I want to recreate non-tangible dreams in the physical world.
In due time, of course.