It was really inspiring for me to see his drawings, which combine several styles I admire. I have long been envious of the clean line-based style that has become increasingly pervasive through mediums such as manga, web design images, screen printed t-shirt culture, and tattoo-inspired art. However, I hate drawing in this style and find it extremely difficult. I find myself drawing in an expressive manner which is usually unrepresented in line drawings. The reason I was drawn to Burton’s drawings this semester was his ability to combine comic-style and line, while keeping it expressive and emotive.
Tim Burton was born August 25, 1958. He grew up in Burbank, CA, which he found to be a stifling environment. He was an avid fan of pop culture and collected greeting cards, comics from newspapers (many humorous editorials), and lists of horror films he enjoyed. He also kept sketchbooks, where he started to develop the aesthetic that is so iconic today. Burton also won various local contests for posters. When Burton was 18 he won a scholarship to attend CalArts, the fine arts school created by Disney. In 1979 Burton became an apprentice at Disney and worked in various aspects of animation. Many of his drawings for the projects he worked on were never used, often because they were too dark or strange. He found the studio contract life oppressive and the result was a prolific period in his private drawing. The ideas behind Nightmare Before Christmas were developed during this time.
Burton’s work is dark, surreal, often makes use of distortion, and has a wry humor similar to that of the editorial comics he collected as a teen. The term "pop surrealism" is often used when discussing his work. The child/parent relationship and isolation are both recurring themes. His work is very character focused, which is why it makes sense he went into animation rather than fine art.
These days Tim Burton has become a household name because of his involvement in such smash hits as Sleepy Hallow, Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Batman Returns. Despite his mainstream studio connections, his work is still very alternative and inspires a cult following.