When I first told about Walt Stanchfield book, “Drawn to life” I was looking for a book that explained, in depth, the fundamentals of shapes and our deep psychological connections that we have with them, which I was relatively aware of, thanks to the lessons given to me by my course tutors on character design and the lecture I received from Weta digital. Reading through the book, Walt does explain how shapes are used to communicate character personality, however Walt goes deeper by explaining how certain shapes, symbols and line arrangements can provoke specific emotions, thus explaining why those same shapes are used for certain story archetypes.
Although Walt touches on all aspects of animation, covering all the basics, as well as giving us a lot of life lessons about working in animation, and as an artist, Walt’s book focuses a lot on gesture, explaining how to best capture it, how to create it, and its role in animation. Walt’s lessons and writing really give one an understanding of how a character’s actions, mannerisms, and body language are used within the art of nonverbal communication.
Upon researching this book, and more importantly its author, I started to realise that Walt Stanchfield has had a bigger effect on my life than what I would have imagined, in the book Walt Stanchfield states a few names of people that he taught in his drawing class at Disney studios. One of these was Don Bluth, who founded Bluth studios, which employed artists who, later, taught my course director, Conann Fitzpatrick, who is now my tutor.
Walt also mentions that he believes that all creative pursuits are connected, and that the teachings learned from one creative aspect can also aid the others. I believe that my topic may be what connects them.
I have come to understand that not only are the shapes and lines that form the image important to communicating it meaning, but also, how the shapes move and change, perhaps even more so, than what those shapes and line are.