3D on 2D
Surprised you there, didn't I? I'm always going on and on ad nauseum about 2D on 3D, like my embroidered dolls. There was a great post on whip up about these types of dolls back in May.
I'm now extending my obsession to include 2D items that depict a 3D environment. Of course, the most common example of this is... a photograph, but I'm particularly interested in photographs of fully manufactured 3D environments and figures. The most exciting examples I've found of this type of image include of course Dare Wright's Lonely Doll series of books, and old viewmaster fairy tale reels (like this one), and your typical lenticular postcard. Rose of the wonderful Crafty McGee blog recently posted about vintage children's books with 3D illustrations, created by a company called Shiba Productions (the one of the kid astronauts is amazing).
Given my interest in this sort of thing, I was so thrilled recently to discover the work of Bill Sass and Maxwell Dorne, artists of the 50s & 60s who created "Claytoons", exemplified by these incredible Gay Nineties "Snack Mats" I found on eBay recently (inspired by a similar purchase by Kallisti of blastmilk, an amazing doll blog). They also created the 3D and 2D illustrations in this Mother Goose book I purchased (for nuthin') from alibris, along with many other children's books of that period. I'd like to learn more about Sass and Dorne, if anyone knows anything - I can't really find anything online.
Oh, and then I came across the work of Chris Sickels of Red Nose Studio, through Penelope Dullaghan's Illustration Friday site - she interviewed him a while back and showed some of his work. I'm stunned by his stuff. I have always loved stop-motion, particularly the Rankin-Bass holiday movies, and his images really depict that same beautiful world that clearly exists in "real life", although it is not depicting anything real or alive. Just wonderful.
Did I happen to mention that this stuff makes me a bit giddy? My primary creative joy these days comes from making toys and taking photos of toys in various environments - I'm looking forward to doing more of this, and these examples really inspire me.