Sean Bixby holds a BA in illustration from the Hartford Art School. He has enjoyed success with both his painting and sculpting. His painting landed him his first children’s book The Uncrossable Canyon with author James Dongweck of Golden Monkey Publishing. While his sculptures have been shown in multiple shows at the Society of Illustrators in NYC. He lives and works out of Merrimac, Massachusetts.How or why did you start working dimensionally?
In college I did a lot of work from photo reference. I knew that my style ultimately came from inside my head and I wanted to start creating work in that style. My professor knew the benefits of drawing from reference and suggested that I sculpt the characters from my head and photograph them. When I showed him the sculptures he was impressed and introduced me to the world of 3D illustration and I have been sculpting since.
What or who has influenced the way you work?
I believe my style is the product of my fascination with Saturday morning cartoons and comic books as a child. I would spend hours in my room at night filling notebooks with my own cartoons and comics. These days I am influenced by other artist in all different genres of art. I am a history buff and enjoy visiting galleries and museums. I collect children’s books and recently been looking at a lot of work by Bill Peet.
Please describe your working process.
I usually start with the body of a figure. I create a wire armature and use super sculpey for the head and hands. I paint the head and hands with acrylic inks. The clothes are hand sewn. My most recent sculpture “Shiver me timber (the pirate)”, I stitched a wig and beard out of embroidery thread. My backgrounds are created from various items I find around the house and in craft stores. Finally, I photograph the illustrations digitally.
What do you enjoy the most / least about working dimensionally.
The thing I enjoy the most is the process which is always a learning experience and also the satisfaction that comes with the completion of a successful illustration. The thing I hate most is the hazards; burning myself on my toaster oven or stabbing myself with a sewing needle or x-acto knife (Ouch!).
images and content © Sean Bixby