Oops. This isn’t Challenge #2! You just can’t trust me. Still, if you’d lend me just a moment of your time…
Recently, I stumbled across The Paperwalker Journal, a blog belonging to character designer Florian Satzinger, who’s worked with the likes of Disney and Warner Bros. His art is eye-catching for many reasons, but one of his quirks is particularly outstanding: this man is a duck fiend. Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, “duck-tape”—never have I encountered an artist more dedicated to the proliferation of duck-related media.
Mr. Satzinger’s peculiar affinity makes for an interesting case in character design. He’s able to render visually distinct characters down to the facial structure despite the fact that a majority of them are anthropomorphic ducks. While it’s more than obvious that artists have historically had little trouble making iconic characters of walking, talking animals, a challenge still exists: how do you personify an animal without sacrificing its identity? How do you give a beak the same range of expressions that a human mouth has?
This isn’t just about Florian’s designs, though: it’s about his blog. The Paperwalker Journal is peppered with adorable original sketches and fascinating takes on other creatives, past and present. Everything is snappy and digestible since Satzinger’s posts are light on copy and heavy on visuals. Maybe I should rip a leaf from his book and lay off the indulgent wordsmithing, but—and I’m waxing candid for a sec—I have a word count to hit. Not there yet!
I think what I like most about The Paperwalker Journal is Florian’s willingness to expound on his influences. He wears his inspirations and passions on his sleeve, and he dedicates entire posts to celebrating artists or works he admires. It gives his blog a sense of connectedness, like he’s documenting the journey he’s taking alongside droves of other creators. Satzinger demonstrates both through his drawings and through his words how important it is to indulge in the work of others.
So give this artist’s blog a look-see if you’re in the market for professionals that actually know what they’re doing. I know I didn’t make a single duck pun, and that’s because I think there’s enough pain in this world as it is.