These 3 pieces are some of my favorite from the AP vault. Not only are they a fun batch of mix-n-match monster features, but visual proof that buried somewhere deep within my DNA lies that love of creating monsters. My beloved grandmother recently just turned 86, and as my mom put it - we are 'attempting to mine her memory as much as possible' in regards to grandpa's work. There is just a lot she doesn't remember. My uncle states: "I'm not sure what the purpose was. He may have used them as examples when he was negotiating or demonstrating options to a client". Ahh, character comps. Sounds familiar.
Grandpa was always larger than life to Ryan and I. His career laid the foundation for our love of art. Unfortunately during most of our youth, we lived in different states and didn't get to see him as much as we would have liked. We grew up in Central Oregon while our grandparents lived in a little town called Oroville, about 90 miles south of Sacramento. I remember the yearly visits and the family gatherings at Christmas, but like most families at that time, we didn't have the money to travel often. Unfortunately, my memory of art conversations with him are fairly limited. I just remember always being in awe around him. He had a deep, soothing voice that commanded the attention and respect of everyone nearby. And I remember him always smiling and laughing. I like to think that had something to do with loving his 'job'. But on the other hand, I'm not convinced that artists really differentiate 'job' from 'life'.
In 1989, my father landed a new job in Sacramento. Relocating from a sleepy town in Oregon to a larger city was a big culture shock for me. And ironically - shortly after that, grandma and grandpa actually relocated to Washington state. Grandpa passed away in 1995. I was 20.
At the time of his passing, I was playing music and touring. Being in a band was my life. Art (visually at least) was on the back burner . I knew that it was something I was going to circle back to, but it wasn't in my immediate future.
Now that I'm 35 and have been doing this 'professionally' for almost 10 years, you can imagine how many questions I wished I would have asked him. It's something I can't spend a lot of time thinking about because of the obvious reasons.
I am grateful to have most of his pieces that he left behind, and the many family members who are helping to remember/research where and when these amazing illustrations came from. Many, many, many more to come.