Thursday, November 19, 2009


Hi hi. I figured I couldn't put photos of my inspirational artists (which I need for a class presentation) on my food blog Purple Dinosaur Sprinkles. So I made a new blog. I've been meaning to make one for a while, but...well, no excuses. On to the presentation.

So the assignment is to pick an artist or piece of artwork that inspires you. This is sort of difficult for me, because I have too many, and yet I'm not very strongly influenced by one particular artist--I tend to pull bits and pieces of everything I like and smash it together with glitter and rainbows. After much digging around in my head I've come up with two artists who are known for using elements that inspire me:

Tim Burton

Both filmmakers, even though my intended major is fashion. And their styles are crazy different. Let me explain.

I'm a person of opposites. When it comes to spectrums (aesthetically, at least) I seem to usually prefer the extremes. So, it's either white-blond hair or raven-black hair. Greyscale or hot pink and lime green. You could probably make an argument for it being because I don't like half-assed things. But really, it's just because I'm unbalanced.

With Tim Burton, I love the muted colors he uses for all of his films, like someone went on Photoshop and turned down the saturation on everything. It's really distinctive--I remember watching "Sleepy Hollow" at a friends house one morning and saying "You know, the style of this movie is really Tim Burton-y". And then the credits came on and lo and behold, it was indeed directed by Tim Burton.

I was so proud of myself.

[This is both Tim Burton-y and not Tim Burton-y. Note the Nightmare Before Christmas-esque candycanes behind Willy Wonka.]

In addition to just the colors, I love the slightly grotesque and macabre touch that is present (if not front and center) in his movies. Even his movies for children, like The Nightmare Before Christmas (brilliant because it gets shown twice a year during holidays) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (this one kind of deviates from his usual muted color palette, actually) are a little dark and a bit not-so-kid-friendly in bits. At the same time, I find the morbid humor and the blood and gore to be in a kind way very beautiful.

[I'm so excited for Alice in Wonderland. Why hasn't he done this sooner?]


On the other hand, I also love Hayao Miyazaki's animations. Where I love Tim Burton for his dark, twisted style, I love Miyazaki for the bright, cheerful colors and lovable characters in his animations. Miyazaki's films are often very fun and whimsical (like "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Spirited Away"), but he also likes to use recurring themes, such as the relationships between man and nature (in "Castle in the Sky" and "Princess Mononoke"). Miyazaki's films are the kind of heartwarming and touching stories that are completely family-appropriate.

[We watched Miyazaki films in Japanese class. It was awesome.]

Plus, I really love the backgrounds of Miyazaki's films. It's something I've always loved about Japanese animation--where in American cartoons the background and characters are usually very simple to allow for easier animation (think SpongeBob), the backgrounds of Japanese animations are complex paintings, not just cel shaded backdrops.

[You can't tell from this still, but those hydrangeas were highly realistic. It was amazing.]

I like to pause the movie on my computer and note all the little details because I'm a dork.

Anyway, that's all for now. Yes.

[I want to have a Tim Burton and Miyazaki movie marathon now...]