Eyvind Earle, Heroes journey and South Park.

by Silver on Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Posted in: yay
No Comments on Eyvind Earle, Heroes journey and South Park.

I painted this scenery a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t get to post it yet. Hope you like it guys.

The painting was heavily influenced by the master painter Eyvind Earle. He was a prolific background painter and an art director at Disney during it’s golden age. Do you remember Sleeping Beauty and its beautifully stylized backgrounds? I do, and it was mostly thanks to him. Every time I look at his paintings I feel overwhelmed by his skill to make something so simple yet complex and how much I have still to learn.

This article is an oldie but goodie, and while bothersome to read, it solidly argues on the misuse of the heroes journey-format in the films and games industry. If you’re even slightly interested in writing or storytelling then at least read the synopsis of the Monomyth-book, by Joseph Campbell that has dedicated itself to explaining the heroes journey-pattern through the history of stories. You don’t have to read it, but at least understand the theory behind it. There are many writers who avoid reading it because they are too afraid of taking it literally and having their own work having a negative impact, but I think there’s nothing wrong with learning a rule or two about foundation and then learning the confidence and know-how to break them.

Where many stories with Heroes journey pattern go wrong is following the structure so blindly, that they don’t bother to link the beats together in a sensible and linear way. For that, I’d recommend watching this four minute clip of wisdom from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and while not every South Park episode is a masterpiece – at least these guys know how to deliver a story that makes sense week after another, year after another, and that if anything is admirable.

There was once this great quote by Syd Mead, that was basically on the lines that the best ideas are all reinvented cliches. The guy’s a legendary designer, so he’s probably on to something.

Love always,