Everyone’s work is deeply idiosyncratic: in our regular Spotlight segment we explore artists’ experiences and inspiration to understand what creates these idiosyncrasies. Dennie Bright is an illustrator, animator, the founder of TwoThumbsTV and has done work for Mashable & HuffingtonPost. Check out his Spotlight.
I learned pretty early in my life that I conveyed my self best through imagery and drawing. I would almost always get flustered trying to explain something and just end up saying, “Let me just draw you what I’m trying to say.” I went to the Huntington School of Fine Art during my high school days and ended up going to The School of The Art Institute of Chicago for college. I studied Animation and Illustration, mostly 3D, but after college I fell back into 2D and mostly illustration. I’ve done work for The Huffington Post, Mashable, and currently I’m venturing into VR illustration at my own studio TwoThumbs. I tried VR a couple years ago, and since then it’s completely grabbed ahold of me.
Being in New York you see so many different people while commuting. Everyone is so different and I constantly find myself thinking, I need to draw this person, or use their style on a character design I’m trying to develop. Everything’s constantly changing here too, so there’s some place new to always explore and things to experience.
Disney and Looney Tunes. Most people my age had cable television growing up, so they were exposed to Nickelodeon really early. All I had was old VHS tapes of really classic Disney and Looney Tunes cartoons. I would just watch the same ones over and over. Nothing beats a classic cartoon smear.
The animated short Destino, which is Disney's & Salvador Dali's piece that was finished in 2003. I love the abstract and surrealness of Dali's paintings, and the animated short is like watching his work come to life. I rewatch it every now and then, it always inspires me to push the limits of what I do and can think.
In my experience the more you learn, the different mediums and styles, the better you will grow as an artist. Traditional work helped me when moving over to a digital medium, and having actually done sculpture, helped me when I wanted to learn sculpting in 3D. My advice is to never say no, and always try to learn as much as you can. Be a jack of all trades and a master at them too.
It's not so much a tip or trick as it is a mantra that you should live by, "Draw every day." If you want to grow and become a better artist, keeping up with your craft and drawing each day will make you that much better. Figure drawing also helped me a lot with working with a time limit and drawing from life.
You can find me at
and on my website: denniebright.com
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