Animation Guild

Fall 2019

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CHARACTER DESIGNER DAVE CREEK'S TREEHOUSE CREATIONS "Shrink me down and let me live here, please," comments an Instagram admirer in response to one of Dave Creek's beautifully constructed bonsai treehouses. It's not an unusual request as anyone who views these whimsical creations can't help but imagine what it would be like to actually inhabit them. Creek, a character designer on Bob's Burgers, began creating miniature treehouses in bonsai trees 15 years ago, an activity that developed separately from his journey into the world of animation. Creek graduated from CalArts and freelanced for about five years, doing hand drawn animation and design until a producer asked if he would like to work on a network animated TV show she was starting. The show happened to be Bob's Burgers. "I just lucked out [on] timing and knew the right people," he says. Almost 10 years later he's still working on the show and also teaches a film workshop class in the Character Animation department at CalArts. Creek's treehouses, on the other hand, are a passion project that provide a creative outlet completely separate from his animation work. Creating bonsai treehouses is a Zen-like activity that he finds therapeutic. "When you're working on them, you can't really think about much else," he says. His obsession with treehouses started in childhood. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he was always out in the woods, climbing trees and building forts. He learned basic building from his carpenter father who frequently took him along to job sites. When he moved to California, he missed the outdoors and so turned his attention to bonsai trees, which he's always seen as an artistic collaboration with nature. WOODS OF WONDER top, clockwise: Creek's most recent project; a detailed look; the artist's meticulous detail; Creek assesses his work. A F T E R H O U R S 18 KEYFRAME

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