Artist, Animator, and Bay Area native, Arik Ehle has had a successful career with Pixar Animation Studios for over 20 years. Outside of his day job as a Lead Animation Artist, Arik is an avid sculptor and painter, working on larger one of a kind pieces as well as Limited Edition runs. He lives in Sonoma with his wife and two children.
"Art has always been a part of who I am, not only as a means of
commenting on the world around me, but as a physical manifestation
of my constantly active imagination. As a kid, I spent most of my
time in school doodling rather than studying, always dreaming. I
also developed a passion for movies during this period as well,
and found that it greatly impacted my day dreams by infusing them
with a strong sense of narrative and visual style. I fell in love
with filmmaking when I was 12, mainly shooting 8mm stop-frame
animation flicks of my GI Joe figures, and then on to live action
episodics with my friends. My passion for art and film became a
life long ambition and I finally found my niche in animation. The
computer is a wonderfully powerful tool, but in my spare time I
love to still get my hands dirty and explore personality, thought,
and emotion through the manipulation of physical mediums."
Urban Taxidermy inspired sculpture
Wild WestSide is a series of faux taxidermy sculptures with an edgy, urban twist. The pieces blend realism and caricature with a flavour of the Wild West and West Coast lifestyle. Each character exemplifies the juxtaposition of primal struggles in the natural world with that of the human condition.
"When I was little, I became transfixed with a deer mount that my
Grandparents had in their family room. I knew it was obviously
real, and had once been alive, but couldn't shake the fact that it
felt completely unnatural and devoid of a soul. There came a
turning point when, as a teenager, we jokingly dressed it up a
little, and suddenly a slight hint of personality appeared. From
that point on, I thought a lot about what it would be like to make
my own taxidermy, but really focus on creating a character and
telling a story. By incorporating a lot of the same tools that I
use as an Animator, I found that through caricature, posing, and
expression, I could reach that goal. All of my pieces are
sculpted, cast, and painted by hand, and are completely faux."