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Kevin Eslinger Character Designer, Illustrator

Kevin Eslinger Character Designer, Illustrator

The 80′s in America were a time when entertainment, advertisement, and education blended into an epic world of artistic creation.  For a suburban Caucasian youth characters such as Luke Skywalker, He-Man, Burt and Ernie, Ronald McDonald, and Kermit the Frog were the third set of parents.  Such characters illuminated my imagination through Television, Food, and Toys.

I was born in 1978 in Woodriver, Illinois and live in AltonIllinois for the first three years of my life.  However, my family moved to Chesterfield, Missouri when my brain really kicked in.  Sparing you the details of my childhood, it was during this time of my life I met the characters and icons that would leave the most lasting impression on my imagination.

Years later after many toy industry and product development jobs I find myself looking back to a time in my life when the characters in my imagination did not equal licensed.  I worked for some of the big names in collectible / toys Gentle Giant, McFarlane Toys, Master Replicas, and a couple of projects for Sideshow Collectibles.  To an outsider it may seem my career has been full of dream jobs.   Although this is true in many ways, the characters that inhabited a world of creativity in my mind were slowly reduced to interoffice politics and profit margins.  To go back and revisit the worlds I inhabited as a kid without the eyes of a product developer has been rejuvenating.

My artwork now is a mixture of the techniques I have learned along the way with the admiration for the creativity, characters, and icons that were presented to me as a child.  I am no longer oblivious to the motivations of the characters in my imagination.  Their meaning is a mixture of childhood emotion with adult disillusion.  They all mean something much different to me now than he did back when I was young.  I see Ronald McDonald for the person he truly is.  I see Luke Skywalker as a universal symbol for a hero’s path.

The journey I am on now is to rediscover the worlds I once knew.  To live free of the idea that imagination spawns license product and deconstruct the parental characters of my youth.  My work is never finished.  Only get to a point where I feel unembarrassed to show it to the public.

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