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Artist Phillip Young

About Phillip Young

Artist Phillip Young at the drawing boardArtist Phillip Young is a painter, sculptor and traditional animator. Growing up as the only child of divorced parents, he became imaginative and independent as he went through a changing cast of parental figures in foster home situations, eventually being cared for by grandparents in Central California.

The vast, open prairie spaces of the area allowed for expansion of his imagination, and he found he could express his daydreams in the form of drawings. His art was the one ability he was praised for from his earliest recollections. After high school he moved south to take a job, was married, then enlisted in the U.S. Army. There he worked as an Army Artist, his first paid job as an artist.

Finishing an undergraduate degree in Illustration through the G.I. Bill, he was hired as a trainee animator by Disney Studios in Burbank, California, progressing to a Feature Animator position at the studio. Working through the 80s & 90s, Phil earned seventeen screen credits in some of Disney’s most successful features. In the early 2000s, with the rise of digital media, Phil left the animation industry to teach. He was hired by Savannah (Georgia) College of Art & Design as an animation professor in a program rated as one of the best among private schools.

Earning a Master‘s degree in Sequential Art while teaching, he then headed for Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he taught at the Southwest University of Visual Arts. There he instructed in Animation as well as Fine Arts and Illustration. While in New Mexico, he found his way back to painting, beginning with southwest subjects, mixing in scenic, figurative, and mythological themes.

Phil and his wife now reside in Central Point, Oregon. The move has subsequently added coastal and other northwest subjects to his body of work. Phil is a member of Art Presence Art Center, where you can view his paintings. Art Presence is located at 206 N. Fifth Street, in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Works by Artist Phillip Young

Artist Phillip Young on Storytelling with Art

“Visual sources have constantly inspired my efforts as a storyteller while working in the film industry and, by extension, my work as a sequential arts illustrator, sculptor, animation and fine arts instructor, and painter.

For most of us, stories, emotions, even déjà vu experiences can be triggered by visual images. This body of work attempts to convey those that stood out in my reflective memory; to share the visual stories I received while exploring areas of interest.

Early on in my undergraduate studies, l became aware that my mind’s eye was often drawn to areas of detail within larger contexts, regardless of any real or imagined importance those details might imply. A look into a cupboard might have the same impact as a seascape; a scan of the space around me might be halted while l pause to study a structural detail of a chair or table.

A seemingly trivial detail can be the introduction to a complex story. How often do we hear a tune or experience a taste or smell that brings back a flood of memories and faces from the past? Those recollections are an important part of our personal story. A well-told story needs a central point. That point needs to then be conveyed to a potential audience.

How is this ability to tell a good story acquired? Works of the great writers, artists, and philosophers are available examples. The influences of other artists on my own work are numerous, and include the Impressionists, the artist/illustrator Maynard Dixon, Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and Alexander Calder. All of the names mentioned were artists who excelled in bringing a story point to our attention, even though that point may be interpreted individually by a diverse audience.

The stories that resonate with audiences will always vary in greater or lesser degree with each individual, although our collective experience will often respond to certain narratives that seem universal. l believe that these stories make a rich and rewarding subtext within a piece of art. My intent is to convey positive moments of visual narrative through these works.”


Phil Young

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