Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Mary Blair

Today would have been illustrator Mary Blair's 100th birthday. What a prolific and dynamic artist! She began as a water colorist with a naturalistic bent, but her style soon evolved into the more abstract and colorful forms she is known for today. She worked as a color stylist and concept artist for the Disney Studio in the 40's, a time when there were few women animators, and almost none in managerial positions. Her influence can be seen in such well-loved animated films as Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

Disney's animated films were enhanced by her bold ideas about composition

and mood

and color.

She was so versatile. After resigning from Disney, she worked as a freelance graphic designer, and her vibrant colors and stylized designs could be found in TV commercials, murals and children's books.

I loved how she was not afraid to use black to enhance her colors, but I think what I love the most about her style is it's utter simplicity, and how she streamlined all her line work into such harmonious proportions. A great example is this illustration for a product called Choco Milk. I mean, how sweet is this!

For more information on Mary, you can visit the website created by her nieces: here.

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