May 27, 2008
Tissa David's Titania
drawing by Tissa David from Michael Sporn's blog
Every time I visit Michael Sporn's blog I find something unusual or amazing or both. I think of myself as a packrat but I've nothing on Sporn, who in the course of his animation career has not only worked on a wide breadth of subjects but sought out the work of others that he admires. This drawing is by a friend and frequent colleague of Michael's at his studio, veteran animator Tissa David. It's a cleanup of Titania, the faerie queen from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and I love its lush, sensuous feel. If you go to Michael's blog to read the entry you'll see the wild color styling of the final version along with a good amount of other examples. It looks like it was an interesting project-done by four people in two years(and animated entirely by Ms. David).
Tissa David is one of those people I'd dreamed I might one day share an aperitif with after some sparkling New York dinner party. I first read about her in John Canemaker's book about Dick Williams' "Raggedy Ann & Andy" feature, which had a chapter that recounted her early life and painted a very vivid portrait of a spirited individual. It ended with a quote from her that made an impact on me-to paraphrase: "even when I was wandering Paris so broke I collected cigarettes from the street for my next day's smoking, I thought life was the most exciting adventure imaginable".
That's how I remember it though I have probably mangled it. I've thought of that statement many, many times over the years. It gave a profound impression of an animator who was eternally optimistic, seeing her life as an "adventure" no matter the obstacles, who survived, who never stopped practising her art. I believe she works still.