Peter Clarke

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  • Artist Statement:
    "My work is about setting fantastical characters in surrealistic and symbolic, sometimes abstract environments. As the cubists broke classical aesthetics apart to show its facets from unexpected perspectives, I am trying to break apart the aesthetics of traditional illustration and animation in order to rearrange the symbol sets of their visual language within new frames of reference."

PeterBorn and raised in New York City, Peter Clarke developed a passion for magical creatures and mystical places at an early age. He spent countless hours at the movies and even more hours creating his own characters and worlds with pencil, paper, and paint. Later, at Parsons School of Design, he dreamed of becoming a fantasy illustrator – quite counter to the rage at the time for high concept editorial and studio art. He nevertheless pursued this direction on his own, looking to such greats as Howard Pyle and Alphonse Mucha. He graduated with a B.F.A in illustration.

After graduating, he started getting various jobs – book jackets, fantasy magazine covers, and the odd prototype illustration or creature design. Peter continued to study with David Passalaqua, a dynamic instructor from Parsons who held his own workshops. Then, after a conversation with a friend about what kind of portfolio was necessary to get a Disney Studios internship, he applied and was accepted into the program in 1992. Six months later he was hired to work at the Disney studio in Burbank. He spent the next several years doing visual development for Dinosaur, Fantasia 2000, Brother Bear and Atlantis.

Peter returned to New York in 1997 but continued working for Disney as a conceptual artist on Treasure Planet. In 1999, he was hired at Blue Sky Studios, which was embarking on its first feature film: Ice Age. As the “environmental designer,” he imagined the locations with an angular and faceted look, which set the style of the environments for all of the films. Following the completion of the first Ice Age film, he took a year off to produce a body of personal work, which became his book MYTHOS: A Collection of Fantastical Drawings and Paintings.

2012 ArenaNet (concept development)
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (concept designer)
2007 ArenaNet – NextGen (art director)
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown (concept designer)
2006 The Ant Bully (visual development)
2002 Treasure Planet (visual development)
2002 Ice Age (environmental designer)
2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire (visual development)
2000 Dinosaur (visual development)
1999 Fantasia/2000 (visual development)
1997 Brother Bear ( visual development)
1995 Pocahontas (layout assistant)


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