Bickford in his living room, where he spends most his time drawing vampires nowadays. Photo by Kelton Sears.
Getting to spend a day with local animation legend Bruce Bickford for my arts feature on him last week was a pretty magical experience—partly because he looks like a wizard, but mostly because the breadth and volume of his output is indescribably massive and awe inspiring to see in person. You don't really realize how much work this 67-year-old man has done over his 30 years of reclusive animation until he pulls out boxes upon boxes of line animation stills and drawings for you.
The best part of my day with Bickford was the tour he gave me of his home animation studio. Located in his garage, the huge two room warehouse-like space is overflowing with clay creatures and landscapes from his masterful stop motion claymation films, the medium he made his name on during his famed stint working with Frank Zappa. This is the warehouse where he made Prometheus' Garden, perhaps one of the most labor intensive claymation films of all-time.
While I was happy with my first article on Bickford's newest project, a graphic novel entitled Vampire Picnic that forms a good chunk of the current Vermillion gallery show on his work (Ending Feb. 7), I wanted to capture the amazing studio tour he gave me as well. Take a walk through Bickford's garage with me and try not to get too dizzy on the clay fumes like we did: