Damon Bard Industry Sculptor
DAMON BARD – For close to 20 years, Damon Bard has been working as a freelance artist in the entertainment industry primarily as a sculptor and designer of characters and creatures. Since then, he has contributed to nearly 30 films and other various projects during his career.
At an early age, (about 6-7 years old) Damon discovered window putty, (that stuff that holds the glass in a window frame) with the help of his sister who showed him how to make “putty ducks”. His mother would paint pictures on the glass windows during the holidays while his father had a knack for carving wood figures. He was immediately fascinated with the shapeable substance and displayed a natural talent for making sculptures out of not only “window putty” but assorted other mediums that inspired him to make forms from the fantastic to the familiar. These were some of his first exposures to the world of art. Other early inspirations were movies and fine art that fed the imagination and development of the young emerging artist.
Two local sculptors provided fundamental inspirational to Damon during this period. The first was Dan Reeder, who made wacky monster caricatures from cloth-mache, and Kim Graham who instilled the need for precise and scientific anatomy, even in fantasy creatures. Other local artists that contributed to his development were two painters, surrealist Ilene Meyer and fantasy artist Zak Pasco.
Along with sculpture, drawing and painting were also experimented with, and during his first year of high school, Damon had attended college art classes at night in his hometown of Seattle, WA. Upon graduating high school, 16 yr old Damon immediately started working professionally in the entertainment industry on TV commercials at Will Vinton Studios in Portland, OR where his career officially began, although he was selling bronze and clay sculptures for years prior to that to numerous art collectors.
From then on, Damon has been working along side some of the most talented, acclaimed, and awarded artists and directors in the industry and on some of the most successful films ever made; Kung Fu Panda, Ratatouille, Shrek 3, Shrek 2, Star Wars: Episode 3, Over The Hedge, Madagascar, and Madagascar II, to name a few. He is currently developing characters for several projects, one he recently finished is Henry Selick’s “Coraline”. Damon also works on his bronze figurative sculpture and oil paintings between and during projects as time allows.
Bard Sculpture Studio is committed to creating and furthering the excellence of the art of character design in the Animation and Visual Effects Industry by continuing to use traditional and modern sculpture techniques and design methods to bring the most memorable characters and creatures to life for audiences around the world to love and enjoy.
Recently, Damon Bard has been featured in several media posts:
Character Design- Mar 2008: http://damon-bard-interview.blogspot.com/
Character Design- Feb 09: http://characterdesign.blogspot.com/2009/02/coraline-maquettes-over-at-damon-bards.html
WonderCon 2009 WLTV interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJQHsArYDpI
A word on Sculpture:
“Standing in real space, sculpture defies time. Many moving examples of it have come down to us from the past—moving, because this art always focuses directly on the image and work of man, who carved and modelled even before he took to building and painting. For many periods of history, statuary constitutes the sole remaining testimony of man’s awareness of himself and his world.
Yet, of all forms of artistic expression, sculpture remains even today the least understood, the least appreciated. Often set in a public space, often of considerable size and weight, it does not stir the imagination as the other arts do. Nor can it arise and expand with the ease, independence and spontaneity of drawing or painting, for it is closely connected with architecture and needs a social setting in order to reach its full, monumental dimension.”
Excerpt from; Sculpture- From Antiquity To The Present Day – Taschen Books.
“The foregoing quote eventually leads up to a commentary on monumental sculpture and its role in living spaces (i.e. architecture), making specific points about the importance and significance of sculpture from the traditional sense in the fine arts, to the basic perception of space it occupies, and with people’s interactions with this medium. That being acknowledged, I think that additional support and recognition of the sculptural medium should continue to be included in the areas of animation, visual effects, production design, filmmaking, storytelling, and character design. In my own experience, and in recent years, physical hand made prototype sculpture has been disregarded or minimized at times as unnecessary or obsolete to the process of filmmaking/animation/design, since the impact of recent computer technologies have become most prevalent in this industry, among others. Personally, I embrace new technology and evolution in the process. I also have incorporated the use of these modern methods in my own work, but I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel entirely without considering the process that makes it work, regardless of the budget, timeframe, and other production issues. Leaving out this important art form stunts the process and gives weaker results. In the end, though, and in this case, all that really matters is one single stage of the process–the modeling by hand of the sculpture. That is art. All the rest is merely technique. Sculpture: the most enduring and demanding of the visual arts along with painting and drawing are the main foundations of design and the visual arts. I am proud to be a part of this tradition and will continue to be, whether it is in the fine arts, the motion picture industry, or any other sculptural/design application in which my work/services are engaged.”
Damon currently resides in Emeryville, CA where he works and maintains a fully equipped studio, constantly working to hone his skills and evolve his craft.