Artist: Ricardo Corona
Exhibition: The Enchanted Borderlands
Media: Pre-production, Digital
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Ricardo Corona is in his last year of attending California State University Long Beach. He is working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in the School of Art’s pre-production program. His ultimate goal is to work for Pixar, but he’s keeping his options open. He wants to work towards Pixar since if he keeps applying and getting rejected, it will dissuade him from his passion. Ricardo grew up watching cartoons such as Looney Tunes. He also watched television channels like Disney and Nickelodeon. He’s been drawing his whole life for as long as he can remember, so those cartoons and channels influenced him a lot. He’s been leaning towards making digital art more because it’s more portable. Even so, he also enjoys making traditional art. His biggest supporters are his friends and his family. Ricardo is well-known for his environments and landscapes, and he loves to draw them as well. His hard work can be seen through his works on his website, Instagram, and his exhibition!
In Ricardo’s Lavender Haze, there are plenty of outstanding formal qualities. Digital art has a high-definition look to it. You can see the picture clearly even from a distance. The art is not so small that you have to be so close to see it, but the details are better viewed up close. The lines are somewhat defined, and there are some coarse lines that look like they came from a paintbrush. There are also some sinuous lines. The background is also made up of blended colours that are very vibrant. The pink and blue are fused together in a tango of colours, giving it a seamless vibe. When looking at the background, you can get a feeling of freedom and coolness because of how big it spans and because of the cool colours. In regards to texture, it is very smooth because of the background and how the subjects are filled with colours. The characters in Lavender Haze are smaller than the pile of stuff to the left of them. It gives a sense of how big and tall they are for scaling. Lavender Haze has a relaxing and a happy rhythm because of the colours and the characters’ poses.
Ricardo was exploring the ideas of a fantasy Wild West. He dubs it as the “Weird West.” The “Weird West” is not as often explored as he likes it to be, so he decided to work on this concept to give viewers the experience he wants to share. He wants to give characters life and watch as they find adventure in the space he created for them. With Lavender Haze and in addition to other works, Ricardo wanted to create a story that would hopefully give inspiration for the Pre-Production stage. His goal was to depict a magical desert where fantastical races of all kinds would exist, and the races’ goals were to get rich and get glory. The theme of the story is greed in which the races are fighting for power because of a magical crystal that is capable of empowering weapons.
I was genuinely astounded when I entered the exhibition. There was cowboy music playing that fitted really well with the works that were displayed. There were also props and various memorabilia that goes well with the theme of the exhibition. Some of the props were a haystack and cowboy boots. As a whole, the exhibition painted an interesting story to me that I wish I could see a full animation for. The idea of a fantasy Wild West has gotten my interest already. My favourite genre is fantasy, and I have a fondness for the Wild West era. I’m happy to see that they can be combined and so very well at that. Lavender Haze is easily one of my favourite works to look at. It’s so pleasing to the eye that I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. It was easy to talk to Ricardo and get to know him and his work more. He was very kind and patient as I prepared my questions for him. He was also very friendly! When he told me he was well-known for his environments and landscapes, I could kind of guess because his works are focused on those the most. They all look really good, and I can see why he is well-known for them. His work also reminds me of Disney as well. I’m rooting for Ricardo to make it into Pixar!