Thorsten Hasenkamm

My first though on Thorsten’s work was: “What nice character designs.” But, as I got further and further down his tumblr , I began seeing more and more work that made this artist really stand out from the plethora of other great illustrators.

Can you find just one influence in the work below? The seamless merging of old masters Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, and Wassily Kandinsky with ‘contemporary’ masters such as Mary Blaire and Lou Romano. This isn’t someone who just wanted to work at Pixar and started tracing animation stills from The Incredibles, but instead someone who wanted to be a great artist. His sense of design is of course in top shape, but its not just a style: he pushes the way he sees a shape, the form and function of it, and pushes that idea to become something greater than the subject he originally intended to represent.

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Robert Kondo

Robert Kondo works as a set / background designer for Disney / Pixar (meaning he was kind of the ‘mood setter’ for some of my favorite animations) , and was one of the forces behind my favorite project “Sketch Travel” as well. So, I’m pretty amazed I haven’t really heard about him except for recently – how silly I am. But, in the wide world filled with incredible artists, its better late than never.

His work is stylistically similar to Dice Tsutsumi, which means its amazing. Everything you see in his images are simplified down to only the necessities – but what is defined as a necessity is what is interesting here.  The ideas are simple, the moments splendid and the characters placed in an environment which surpluses the kookiness of the entire scene. Its brilliantly done. Can’t say  always like the ‘fuzzy brush’ thing he uses often, but that is simply aesthetic differences – I definitely like the child like “coloring book” effect it has, but for me its just a bit too much! I myself am a  huge fan of pen and ink (as we all know), so his almost 101 Dalmations-esque pen and ink background sketches below are just heavenly for me.  I always revel in the energy and instant gratification a pen and ink drawing delivers – and mixed with his vibrant palette it makes the pieces all the more exciting. His use of shadows (light vs. dark) brings an element of fantasy and drama to each piece, and it is wonderful to see such craftsmanship in action.
His work includes the short ‘La Luna’, Ratatouille, and Monsters University (and hopefully many, many more to come!)

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Always been a big fan of Dice Tsutsumi, and so I am super excited to see his collaboration with Robert Kondo on The Dam Keeper. Check out some behind the scenes stuff below.

Box + The Dam Keeper from Spencer Sass on Vimeo.