Thursday, March 26, 2015

Things Have Been Hectic: The Wonderful Illustrations of Polly Guo

Illustrator/artist/animator Polly Guo has stolen my heart. Her artwork often captures the most intimate moments in LGBT life in a whimsical yet romantic way. least the life gay geeks like me dream about having. These are the types images that drew me into Polly's rich and diverse world. But, in truth, Polly Guo's illustrations have no such boundaries. She is just as adept at drawing western themed graphic novels as she is at modern super heroes and cartoons.

Currently, Polly Guo makes her home in the LA area where she works on the beloved cartoon Adventure Time. In the past, she has done work for StoryCorps animated shorts and FoxADHD, including the This Week In History GIF series. She has also done comics and  graphic novels for Archaia, Image, and BOOM! Studios.

Her list of titles includes Houdini & Holmes, a graphic novel series in which Houdini is accused of murder and seeks out Sherlock Holmes help in clearing his name, The Hair-Raising Tale of Gabriel Birdsong, Adel's Hammer, Morningstar, and the yet to be published Strongman and Pianist.  Via email,  Polly also added, "I'm doing a comic for Pam Buchanam's Divinity Reimagined anthology based on the Ba She legend. It's about a snake that's so big it eats elephants. It takes 10 years for the elephants to pass through its body. I've also boarded a Digital Graybles short for Adventure Time that's currently in production. It's about Death. Most recently I've done an erotic comic about a girl who gets taken to a sexy spa by her best male friend called Ben's Day Spa."

Polly studied animation at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Though prior to that, she was mostly self-taught. Via our email conversation, she explains, "My first tablet was a small 4 inch Chinese writing tool that we originally bought for my Grandma to write Chinese characters on the computer. I'd steal art supplies from my public high school's art dept and paint still lives at home alone. Some times I'd go to figure drawing classes on weekend hosted by the local community college."

When asked how to pronounce her last name, "I’ve heard it pronounced several different ways, so it doesn’t matter too much to me. My two preferred ways are “G’whoa” and “Go." I think I am going with G'whoa! It just seems fitting based on her talent.

If you would like to explore Polly Guo on your own, I suggest you start with her website, Tumblr, and Behance. Also, check out this great interview from Graphic Policy.

Polly Guo - Co-director w/ Mariel Cartwright!

Polly Guo - lead character designer

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