Meet Victor DeLor
June 20, 2007 12:26 am
Who is Victor DeLor? You’ve seen him. You’ve seen him a lot. At least, you’ve seen a lot of his work. Victor is an artist and he’s devoted much of his life preparing elaborate motion picture sets. Many used in Disney films. You may also have seen his work in the Renderosity Comics. His latest showing is The Incredible Brinkton Agency.
Victor recounts one of his early memories as an artist:
I have always had an interest in art. When I was a child I looked forward to the Sunday newspapers so that I could look at the cartoons and, in particular, those by Disney. Later I began to draw the Disney characters on scraps of paper and I remember my teacher complaining that I was drawing Disney characters in the textbooks! My artistic aspirations were put on hold while I completed my tour in the Navy. During that tour one of the most memorable moments was my service on the USS Boxer when she participated in Operation Hardtack, a major test of our atomic arsenal. I remember vividly the explosion that took place at midnight and burned us right through our white dress uniforms as we laid face down on the flight deck with our eyes closed and covered with our arms. I could look through my eyelids and see the blood flowing in my arm. The light was brighter than seven suns or any light I have ever experienced.
As for Disney: My fondest memory of Disney was the realization that it brought great joy to millions of people and especially the children.
When working on the movie sets, it is easy to get caught up in the engineering aspect of the production. Much like a computer graphic artist needs to know the technical side of the software, so too the movie studio artist must work with the materials and crew and location.
The hardest type of work at Disney was the research and effort put into making a particular ride or exhibit represent exactly what Mr. Disney had in mind when he conceived the original idea.
Victor wrote of his 90-year-old uncle: Retired infantry Colonel James H. Hayes, and I form a good team. As he is quick to point out, he is not a good artist and I am not a good writer. However, together we can interpret ideas in pictures and words. He has written about forty book length studies for the RAND Corporation where he worked on national security problems after retirement from the Army. His studies are all classified and have been distributed extensively in the government and in aerospace companies who have a "need to know" and the appropriate clearances. Jim was an infantry battalion commander during some of the toughest fighting of W.W.II, was in a highly classified staff position during the Korean War and was on Secretary of Defense McNamara's staff during much of the Vietnam War.
Victor is enjoying life with his comics and The Incredible Brinkton Agency that appear on Renderosity. When asked how he came up with such a delightful character as Brinkton, he said:
When I completed my tour in the Navy I began to work for motion picture productions where my specialty was the ability to take ordinary wood (usually pine) and make it look like marble, stone or special kinds of expensive woods. I spent several years with most all the major studios. In 1969 I began working for Disney ( 6 years) until it became a big corporation. One of my interesting jobs was as artist on the TV series The Time Tunnel, where my conception of the door into the future or the past allowed the characters to travel in time. It is safe to say that at some point I wanted to strike out for bigger things that involved more imagination and art. That is when the idea of the Brinkton Agency began to evolve. I and my Uncle visualized this as a comedy series built around actual historical events. The characters were men and women of high intelligence but without special abilities like time travel or other exotic concepts. Unfortunately, Get Smart/ Wild Wild West beat us to the punch. We decided to put the idea on hold even though we had written a proposal that several of the studios thought interesting. In the long run, they decided that Brinkton was too close to the series that were popular at the time. I became a general contractor with, of course, my specialty being the ability to create faux art.
We revived the idea of Brinkton when Renderosity repopularized the cartoon genre. We decided that the cartoons gave us great latitude in creating characters who could have tremendous intelligence and could travel in time. However, the time travel was not to be absolute and had limitations that would develop as our ideas of the Brinkton Agency became clear to us and story lines became apparent. It was at this point that we decided that Brinkton was a mentor that could shepherd the human race into becoming civilized and intelligent, albeit, with problems that had to be solved and great disasters that had to be met and overcome. Brinkton is, therefore, depicted as super intelligent, almost immortal (in earth years) and always present when cataclysmic events threaten to destroy important parts of the world and of mankind. Thus, Brinkton may have been in the Crusades, present during the Dark Ages, the Renaissance and today's era of high technology.
Every artist, of course, suffers from a block every now and then. Victor has his way of dealing with that.
For artists who are suffering a "block" there are several questions that should ask themselves: "am I ashamed of what I am producing". If so, tear it up and begin all over again. "Am I trying to do something that is beyond my capabilities" If so, stop work, determine what it is that you don't know and then try to learn it before continuing with your work of art. Finally, you my have been trying so hard that you have found your subject to be boring. Stop and try something else like doing some that requires physical exertion, uses a different part of your brain (maybe chess?) or try to look at your subject from a different viewpoint. Winston Churchill once pointed out the utility of turning an operations map upside down because habit has required the north always be at the tope of a map. When the map is rotated so that the south is at the top of the map the terrain takes on a whole different set of views and, thus, engenders new ideas.
So with the world of computers and software and modern methods in the hands of the timeless profession of art, what would we as Renderositans want to consider as we grapple with the artistic side? What should we do and what should we avoid doing?
This too, is a hard question to answer but I would say that the main ingredient in producing a new series is to find what the collective imagination of mankind is beginning to see emerge. Recently, the movies and television thought that the collective public was interested only in sex and for a while that was true. However, the young producers and their studios are beginning now to realize that sex, as pornography, gets sort of boring and so the public is beginning to demand stories and clashes of ideas. Out of that has come the Star Wars series of movies, Star Trek still goes strong because it discusses the problems that man will always face such as friendship, duty and loyalty. The subsidiary factors to the imagination must be professional sets and mechanical props and just enough spoofing to keep us all from being pompous but always keeps us within the boundaries of good taste.
The corollary to things you should do is things you should not do. Brinkton, for instance, tries to stay within the boundaries of good taste and eschews vulgarity. For instance, Gun Smoke had a lot of action to include gun fighting and the application of justice. None of it was vulgar. I also try to avoid that which is constantly boring by which I mean that every one of the episodes delivers the same message with never a thought that every message has many different meanings and the effort to unravel those meanings leads to drama. Finally, remember that you are speaking to an audience and you must not insult that audience by making them appear to be stupid, ignorant or by boring them. As an aside, today it is almost impossible to find real humor. The humor of today springs from the fact that much of it depends upon insulting somebody and the audience laughs because it is embarrassed (watch Jay Leno or David Letterman and you will see that what I mean).
Perhaps the best advice any of us can have is to know what makes a truly great artist and keep at it.
A truly great artist is one who has the imagination and the drafting and color skills to reveal what his/her viewers really believe to be beautiful and universally true.
It is difficult for a new artist to gain the attention he needs to build a clientele. Renderosity has filled a gap in that it is a place where young (or old) artists can show their wares and be assured of something on the order of 50,000 + viewers. We should all ensure that Renderosity has a variety of different digital art forms as well as a sufficient supply of compositions to allow for a continuous stream of colorful digital panels.
All supporting images are
copyright, and cannot be
Renderosity Staff Columnist, Eric Post [EricofSD] reports on breaking news in technology, through his articles, interviews, and product reviews.
I'm quite impressed. I've always wished I had a talent for hand drawing, I have a theory that this is a great help in making purely computer driven work. Another personal comment, I never stop to ask myself "am I ashamed of what I am producing?" for obvious reasons...