One of the best things about running theme park caricature operations is getting to work with a lot of young, talented artists. Theme park artists often get a bad rap because there are a fair number of them that employ “cookie cutter” type techniques where everyone looks the same and the art quality isn’t very good. However there are just as many who do an outstanding job and who are very good, and in some cases incredible, artists. I’ve worked with artists who have gone on to success in comics, animation, fine art, illustration, design, publishing, etc. It’s always cool to see one of my artists become accomplished in some art field.
This past week I saw the above sculpture of the Hulk featured on a few comic book/illustration blogs (like DRAWN!), and was not surprised to see the sculpture was by a former artist of mine named Andy Bergholtz. Andy drew at Six Flags St. Louis for I believe two seasons, and eventually went on to sculpt toys and action figures for various companies. Today Andy is one of the best comic book/fantasy sculptors out there… as evidenced by this fantastic Hulk sculpture he did for Sideshow Collectibles.
Andy once got punk’d by some other caricaturists on a visit to my home in Minnesota in 1998. A group had come up from St. Louis for a year end party I was throwing at a local bar/restaurant. While I was elsewhere in the house, they were in the downstairs looking at my studio. Outside my studio door was a large blank wall. My daughter Elizabeth (who is autistic) was 8 at the time, and she was in a destructive phase where she scribbled on walls a lot. This wall was a favorite of hers. The other artists told Andy that I always invited visiting artists to draw on that wall and invited him to do the same. I came downstairs to find him happily drawing away and signing his name to the sketch. He was embarrassed when he discovered only autistic kids drew on walls in our house. That was a hoot.
Andy’s come a long way from drawing on my basement walls. Check out his other work here.
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929 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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