Be in­spired by del Toro

Il­lus­tra­tor Jana Hei­der­s­dorf cre­ates an at­mo­spheric mixed me­dia paint­ing that’s in­spired by the world and works of ac­claimed di­rec­tor Guillermo del Toro

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Issue 142 Christmas 2016 -

One of my most trea­sured pos­ses­sions is a DVD box set made up of the Guillermo del Toro films Cronos, The Devil’s Back­bone and Pan’s Labyrinth. I bought it about five years ago on a class trip to Lon­don. I hadn’t turned 18, so some­body else paid for it on my be­half.

My ob­ses­sion with film has had a strong in­flu­ence on the work I do nowa­days. Hav­ing been only mildly in­ter­ested in old and new mas­ters of fine art and il­lus­tra­tion, I learned most of what I know about vis­ual lan­guage, at­mos­phere and com­po­si­tion from film.

Film taught me what it means to have an artis­tic voice, a vi­sion. Es­pe­cially del Toro, with his world of eerily beau­ti­ful mon­sters, haunt­ing at­mos­phere and po­etry in both im­age and nar­ra­tion, showed me what it can look like when you weave your own web of per­sonal mythol­ogy and sym­bol­ism. So you can imag­ine my ex­cite­ment when ImagineFX asked me to cre­ate an homage to his work!

I’ve been for­tu­nate to work on sev­eral film-based projects this year. When you watch a film with art in mind, you be­come more ac­tive as an ob­server. I be­lieve the goal isn’t to sim­ply en­joy the movie, but to un­der­stand and an­a­lyse it, to find re­oc­cur­ring themes, sym­bols, strong im­agery and im­por­tant de­tails, while try­ing to get a grasp on the film’s emo­tional core.

In this case I’ve de­cided to cre­ate a col­lage of the three box-set movies and Crim­son Peak, which seem to me to be del Toro’s most per­sonal works so far. My aim is to study their vis­ual lan­guage and com­pose a strong im­age that works in its own right, but utilises del Toro’s artis­tic vo­cab­u­lary, the taste of his fil­mog­ra­phy and ul­ti­mately in­cludes ele­ments, scenes and fa­mil­iar char­ac­ters.

I’ll be work­ing in a mix of acrylic paint, coloured pen­cils and char­coal, to cre­ate a close to monochro­matic pic­ture. Most of my works also re­ceive a dig­i­tal colour fin­ish, which I keep to a min­i­mum for this work­shop.

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