I just realized that I have a lovely sketch by Lauren Faust hanging on my wall. It’s not perfect and it’s in pencil, with plenty of rubbed-out corrections, yet I love it.
Right next to said sketch is a model sheet of Klaus from American Dad! signed by Dee Bradley Barker. Fair enough, he isn’t an animator, he’s a really funny voice-actor, but the drawing has the signature of Seth McFarlane.
The difference between these two pieces might as well be a canyon. On the one side, we have a unique, original sketch. On the other, we have a plain, manufactured sheet of paper with a fish on it.
Of course I like my Klaus picture. I received it as a present, but I still like it for what it is and for who signed it. Although in my mind, the sketch is by far the superior artistic product.
Unfortunately, animation art can get seriously expensive (like I could’ve bought a car for that type of money). Yet ordinary animators often have literally hundreds of sketches lying around. Some end up being coloured, others get tossed in the bin. Many of the bloggers I follow will post their recent sketches for all to see. Some are quite spectacular and make you wonder why they ended up on the floor.
I’ve noticed that lots of animators attend comic-cons around the country and sometimes they even sell stuff too! I’ve found this an excellent way to acquire stuff from artists I like, especially if you’re tight with the pursestrings. Many of the same artists also sell art via online stores, so you have no excuse if they aren’t coming to a comic-con near you.
Do yourself a favour and look into it, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s some of my favourites to get you started:
EDIT: I now also have a model of Linguini from Ratatouille signed by his voice-actor one of my favourite artists, Lou Romano!