Welcome and thank you for viewing my web site. I would like to share my journey with you on the all encompassing World Wide Web alongside its greatest tool since "the wheel": "the computer". Never before has any artist had so many resources made available than today. Where will this technology take us? I can only tell you from personal experience it has open many doors for my medium. I am excited about what I and others can achieve with speed, accuracy, and an array of tools of which the computer offers. However, if you don't have the vision or the skills to pull this off on paper and a pencil first; then the art is as dead as an ornate piece of sushi. Meaning, dead inside but decoratively displayed (Only my opinion folks)……the soul behind the computer, pencil, brush or whatever tool to create a piece of art/design is responsible.

I figure I would tell a little bit about myself….so gulp down your caffeine pills and swig it down with Red Bull energizer drink and stay up with me.
Darrel
Caricature of Darrel Bowen
drawn by Bob Lizarraga
Growing up in the backwoods, swamps, and oceans of Florida taught me to keep to myself drawing; avoiding the snakes and the sharks not to mention the animals within my community. (You can read into this anyway you desire) I was on my way of being a professional at the age of 14 creating and delivering one panel gag cartoons to such magazines as National Enquirer, Boy's Life, and Saturday Evening Post. I didn't (and still don't) think I could have made a solid living doing this, because it wasn't steady enough, so I tackled the marketing route in college. I studied at the local junior college then onward to Valdosta State College, Georgia, and wrapping up my southern tour at Florida State University. I then realized during my tenure through these short years that I was missing something so big that my heart felt like a "black hole" in space. Being the cosmic drifter that I am, I envisioned a youthful less portly Captain Kirk calling to me, saying, "There is life out there somewhere so go where no man has gone before". I took his advice speaking metaphorically of course.

While working at Walt Disney World in Florida, on Space Mountain, the roller coaster ride, making money for my tuition, I had heard about a legendary college out in California, owned by Disney. They trained all their animators at this wonderful school, called, California Institute of the Arts (it was known as Chouinard Art Institute.) A lot of talent came from this establishment such as Tim Burton, movie director, Brad Bird, director of "Iron Giant", Glen Keane star animator for Disney Feature Animation, John Lasseter, pioneer in computer animation (founder of Pixar). Many other well known artists, too many to mention here also attended and graduated from this school of fine arts When I finally applied and got accepted into the class of 25 students out of 1000's that were chosen for the Character Animation Division… I was elated. Whew! The teachers taught us to explore our art and minds to the fullest; and boy did we! In every conceivable way the imagination could think of. It is within this place and its wonderful people in which has reinforced me into what I chose to be today, an "artist".

Artists are quite a different breed than most because it is not your typical 9 to 5 job (even though it has been proven to be done in animation). It is difficult to be creative on a set time 40 hour work week. Many of us like to refer to artist as modern day warriors of which Moebius (famous French comic artist) deserves the credit for this thought. The artist has to battle everyday elements (such as paying bills, taking care of their families) plus trying to improve their skills on a daily basis. However, we choose to be what we want to be from our hearts and a little logical thinking thrown in there somewhere into the mix.

While living in Los Angeles, I have had the greatest pleasure to meet some of the sturdiest breed of artists here in the realm of Television & Video animation since 1989. The stories I could tell you… some are better forgotten and others are a laugh riot that should be shared with everyone. It is within these years my skills were honed into being a worthy artist and gave me some notoriety to continue working in this nutty and ever so changing industry. The greatest experience for me was and still is working with some of the world's best professional artist and animators in this business. After all, these great artists congregate into the heart of Hollywood to create some of the animation you see today in movies and TV for the global market. One needs to be the best to be with the best and believe me… Hollywood has the highest concentration of the finest artists, illustrators, & writers than anywhere else in the world. I am lucky to be living amongst them now.

Well this journey isn't over and more than anything now since the 9/11 terrorists attacks I realize life is too short to waste away. More will be coming, so stay tuned to this channel… err uh, I mean website.
-- Darrel
 
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