The earliest artist I remember thinking about as an artist was Jim Henson. It’s secretly thrilling when my daughter shrieks with laughter watching new and classic Sesame Street. While I rarely react to celebrity deaths, I feel a pang of joy and loss when I hear Henson’s voice on those classic episodes.
The second artist I remember being aware of is Ray Harryhausen. His stop-motion creatures sparked my interest in horror, sci-fi, and special effects at a very early age. To this day I love stop-motion films, especially those of Jan Svankmajer and the Quay Brothers.
Harryhausen was a friend of Ray Bradbury and outside of their impressive bodies of work, all three of these artists brought a youthful passion to their work which seems almost quaint in an era so inundated with sensationalism and cynicism.
He will be missed.