This California animator has become a viral hit thanks to his playful animations that make urban spaces less boring. Marty Cooper – aka Hombre McSteez – from California holds up traditional cel animations of characters to different backgrounds before snapping them with his iPhone to complete the scenes.
Metro talks with the artist about his art and how he became a viral sensation.
Cartoon capers in the real world: how did they start?
It started out on Instagram about a year ago just to make my friends laugh. I was inspired by how the animators of old used cels and paint on the reverse side, so in short I’m doing what cartoon makers have been doing for years.
How does it work?
I doodle in my sketchbook on location until I come up with something that makes me laugh. I trace it onto the transparent cel with a Sharpie, add whiteout on the reverse side, and hold it up and shoot! I take 25 to 50 shots of each drawing.
Do you have some artistic message in your work?
I guess you can trace it to the series’s title, “Aug(de)mented Reality”. There is so much talk about augmented reality in the tech world, and this is so un-tech that it’s kind of ironic, I suppose.
You must get bored with working on ordinary urban backgrounds, no?
Yeah of course, but you just have to work through that. There is nothing more intimidating than a blank page. But when you force yourself to start drawing and creating, eventually some ideas will spring up. It may take 20 sketchbook pages but the possibilities are limitless.