Tim Burton is an American film director, painter, screenwriter, producer and illustrator, born in 1958 in California. As a child, he watched horror movies by Roger Corman. His enrollment into California Institute of Arts (CalArts) to pursue animation was based on his childhood dreams. Upon graduating, he landed a job with Disney but later quit to pursue his dreams. Since 1982 when he released Vincent he has a collection of films. This paper will discuss the life of Tim Burton as an illustrator, the illustrations he did and the medium he used, his style as well as what attracts people to him as an instructor.
Burton’s art revolves around fantasy and horror illustration inspired by his drawings that are creepy. The medium he uses is pencil and animation paper which is an inspiration from the cartoons he perceived as a child. Watercolor is one of the media that assists him in producing an effect of motion pictures. Burton’s use of pocket pads and napkins was unusual and helped him achieve an animation practice from history. The type of illustrations was not familiar in his time, so he struggled to connect with his audience. Eventually, he brings out the lives of social outcasts to the limelight and brings humanity to the people.
The use of recurring themes and metaphors is a handmade setting that gives his movies a distinct taste. Tim’s use of phantom as a technique has helped people understand the lives of the oppressed personalizing phantom which represents his juvenile life revolving around watching horror movies. This connection is impressive and influences his audience; people develop gothic imagination thus they appreciate his work. Isolation of emotions from the views enhances protagonist’s thoughts and increases phobia. Use of both drawbacks and flashbacks deviates from the norm themes and creates a unique style. The expressionist style used by Burton stimulates visual environment to the audience. The impressive imagination demystifies the belief that biography influences art and not personal experiences. The manipulation of bodies through bondage in the cartoon context translates to loneliness and puts emphasis on issues in the society. Each piece of art in his collection tells a story of oppressed and sideline people in the society. His work is a channel to expose such injustices through art.
Burton’s artwork started from his hometown of Burbank in the 80s with his shots of Vincent and Frankenweenie in 1982 and 1984 respectively (Lee, 2011, p. 10). While at California Art Institute, he was exposed to traditional art theory and history, and this resonated with his art profession. This unique environment allowed him to discover his potential. He joined Disney as a raw talent in 1979. He managed to climb the ladder from an assistant to concept artist. Although, he felt imprisoned by the type of art he performed, his professional work was impeccable. He later founded a studio that developed traits and themes such as character based creatures and the emergence of body modification. These projects prepared him for a big break into a solo career in which he did what he knew best (Lee, 2011, p. 11)
Burton made his first film named Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) that went on to become hit at the box office, and heightened his reputation as a filmmaker (Lee, 2011, p. 15). 1988 was an important year for Burton due to Beetlejuice, which made him win an Oscar, widened his audience and increased acceptance of his unusual films. Batman (1989) became his biggest success despite the major conflicts during production. It earned him around $100 million after hitting the theatre in just ten days. Every film he made was a success, and a different character emerged. He made his first collaboration with actor Jonny Deep in Vincent. Burton continues to produce films with mixed reviews and attract more audience (Lee, 2011, p. 17).
The solution to the challenges was leaving Disney to pursue his art appealing to an audience with the connected imagination. However, more setbacks arose when he wanted to film Batman due to the negative energy around the film. He travelled to Britain and achieved his desire though at a higher cost (Burton & Fraga, 2005, p. 22). He managed to get the best actors for his team and hence a vibrant release of all of his movies. Fellow actors have described Tim as a person with a general spirit and the ability to fit in the atmosphere. This calm characteristic of him is important in reasoning with different persons and defines his diverse characters. Burton is a perfectionist who dwells on every inch of the film and is critical about details (Burton & Fraga, 2005, p. 24). Burton’s devotion is clear and throughout his career he has managed to beat the odds through films (Bellin, 2005, p. 183).
The general idea of a fantasy movie is the relation to mental illness. The result is the audience taking up these roles and experimenting on the cast’s behavior. A threat of rejection of the art poses when audience relates Tim Burton’ fashion to the actors in his movies.. The film has a great impact on the viewers and even a greater one when the thought transcends into their everyday lives. A slight difference exists between fantasy and reality and once crossed the worst may happen. The belief in illusions may compromise the judgment of the audience and leads to harmful habits (Bellin, 2005, p. 138).
The filmmaking industry has moved from the animation of stop action films to modern fairy tales. In the 20th century, camera techniques were the most popular and video editing was slow with fixed subjects. However, in present day animation has become mobile with the use of video technique (Fichner-Rathus, 2011, p. 185). For example, in Tim Burton’s film The Corpse Bride (2005), the incorporation of puppets and animation of their movements is incredible. Photographs editing with the help of special software helps achieve the desired effect and the characteristics of personification.
He has managed to capture his audience through the memory of an earlier film as opposed to a recreation. The fact that Tim has written a film based on his idle Vincent enables the audience to relate to his history and thus his beliefs. The use of drawing is common in fashion hence its incorporation into art exposes the audience to the pop culture and its practices. Burton has managed to capture the youths through the gothic look and influenced a lot of stylists. His paintings inspiration is fantasy hence imparting a magical look. However, critics have argued that his work has an adult appeal hence it is biased. The reflection on his movies may present a negative view to children posing a threat to their moral upbringing.
Conclusively, Tim Burton can draw his audience to an imaginative state and hence relate with his fantasy films. He has received a couple of awards including the Oscars for his impressive work. He has been a persistent director who believed in himself despite the lack of approval from the society. Throughout his filmmaking, he has brought out humor in a pleasant way. His dramatic endeavors are clear, and a deep interest lies on the viewer.