Mentors

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Jonathan Wright Illustrator
Jonathan Wright Illustrator

Since I’ve been down South for over a month (once you live in the Arctic, the criteria for calling somewhere South is anyplace that has trees), I’ve met up with two powerhouses in the art world.  Although their two artistic worlds may seem completely separate and even opposed, I can’t say how refreshing it was to meet and talk shop with first, Larry MacDougall and second, Terry Mosher, otherwise known as Aislin.  Larry is a renowned fantasy artist who I think needs no introduction (but if you do, go look up his stuff at here or here) and Terry Mosher is arguably Canada’s premier political cartoonist (his website’s here.)

I had the opportunity to meet up with Larry in Toronto since a mutual friend, Neil Christopher of Inhabit Media, is brewing up some really neat animations and is trying to get both Larry and I to work together doing character designs.  Now since I live in Iqaluit I’m quite removed from the animation and visual art world, at least physically.  The internet is great for connecting and exposing me to other artists and projects, but there really is something about being face to face with someone that the digital world will have a really hard time replacing.  I met with Aislin after I emailed him out of the blue to see if I could pick his brain about the ups and downs of being a political cartoonist in Canada. I went into our meeting, more of a breakfast really, knowing full well that his perspective will be a little skewed since he’s attained such renown (every sliver of it well deserved though), something all of us little people can only foggily dream of.

I relished every second of my meetings with both giants.  And you know why?  Because despite of their success, they are both down to earth, wonderful people whose enthusiasm for their craft is shining bright after all this time.   And did I say nice?  Both guys were so genuinely kind- Aislin insisted on paying for breakfast even though I was the one who invited him out for a chat. 

The above sketch I started in the midst of my hectic work this week is an homage to Paul Sellers, whose work is every bit as inspirational to me as is Larry and Aislin’s.  What I think I love most about Mr. Sellers (I don’t think I can call him Paul just yet since I’ve never met him!) is that his gift is in sharing his knowledge so effortlessly and without any sense of ownership.  All that he’s learned is just sort of temporarily resting in his body, and as he gets older, all that knowledge is being disseminated to others.  And that’s the basis of this piece which is just starting to take shape after a couple hours so far: that he’s creating woodworkers, not just pieces of furniture.  I like to think I’m one of those little guys he’s helped mould, and when I get time to finish this piece I plan on giving it to him as thank you gift.

Anyway, hope you like it.  It’s just at the itty bitty beginning stages, and I’m not sure if I need to have so many little guys around.  I can’t wait to have a bit more time to sit down and finish it.  In a couple weeks I should be finished the animation and character design work I have now, so I’ll attack it then.

One Response

  1. Peter Baril

    Indeed! A variation on “Rather than feeding them fish, teach them how to fish.”

    Where woodwork is concerned, Sellers is the epitome!

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