Doug TenNapel has been one of my favorite artists since before I knew I could consider him an artist. By that I mean that when I was six years old, I would have tried to think of a painter or classical sculptor if someone asked me if there was an artist I liked. However, I did not realize until I was older the influence that Mr. TenNapel was having on me.
When I came home from elementary school, I would hop on our family’s Window’s 95 and play the greatest game ever created: Neverhood.
The world of Neverhood was created through Claymation, and looking back on the characters and environments in the game it’s amazing to see the similarities in my own work. The blend of humor and grotesqueness or eerie discomfort is something I have always admired, and have a natural tendency toward in my own work.
This was the cover of the game.
Inside Klaymen’s (the main character) house. I love the tactile feel of the clay, and the completeness and believability of the world these characters inhabit.
Another part of the Neverhood world.
Willie – another Neverhood character.
Unfortunately I have not kept up with Doug TenNapel and his company’s work, but I recently did a little digging. They are putting out another video game that looks aesthetically very similar to Neverhood, but most of their work between the two games was in short videos and graphic novel type work.
Personally, I don’t do any graphic novel work, but I respect it from an illustrative standpoint. What really gets me about these guys is the claymation. I wish I could have found better pictures that would have done the world of Neverhood some sort of justice.
Check out the Neverhood and TenNapel’s other work at tennapel.com.