|John Watkiss 1961-2017|
John Watkiss, the brilliant animation artist famous for his stunning visual development work on "Tarzan", has been taken by cancer at the far-too-young age of 55.
I first met John when I was just 16, when I used to tag along with my sketchpad at the life drawing classes that he taught at my father's old animation studio in Soho Square, and later at "The Diorama" Arts Centre in Regent's Park.
John wouldn't just tell you how to improve your work - he would sit down and show you how to make it better. Anyone who attended his class took home his drawings - on the corner of the page, mocking your own unskilled efforts, and encouraging you to do better.
At the time I thought all art teachers did this. It was only later that I found out how few teachers have the confidence and ability to personally correct their students' work. John knew he was better than the rest of us put together, and he didn't hesitate to show you where you had gone wrong.