Art Within Reach
Dispersed throughout 417-land is a buzzing art scene that is constantly evolving and growing.
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Illustrator, animator and musician, Hotdogtree.net. Photo by Drew Harris/DHPixels.com
Just scroll through the credits of the latest video game offerings, and you’re likely to see Gary Bedell’s name. Having worked on games for Nintendo and XBOX360, Bedell has helped animate and illustrate a growing list of games, from Iron Chef America–Supreme Cuisine and John Deere: Harvest In the Heartland to several Dora the Explorer video games.
Bedell has been drawing since he was 3, sketching out his favorite TV show ThunderCats. Comics were next as Bedell stocked up on his favorites. “I loved the art as much as the story,” he says. Every art book he could find, he took home.
It’s unbelievable to learn that Bedell, now 31 years old with an impressive resumé of illustrations and animation work, is entirely self-taught. He started drawing professionally by designing concert posters. His first poster was for the heavy metal band Slipknot for a show they did in Springfield. As his artistic skill developed, Bedell slid over into the animated world of video games. At 23, he worked on his first video game, Tabloid Tycoon. “I remember a lot of late nights,” he says, recalling the hellish schedule that had him chained to his desk for days. “Everyone wanted to kill each other with a trident.” Today Bedell has moved into business for himself and created Hot Dog Tree, an artistic collaboration pumping out illustrations, graphic design and animations. He still designs posters and album covers and has been featured in the UK-based art and pop culture publication Cereal Geek Magazine. On top of that, Bedell is knee-deep in a side project he can’t talk much about. Suffice it to say sometime soon you’ll see Bedell’s illustrations in the form of a graphic novel and a bizarro fiction combined. For this project, Bedell is working closely with writer Mark Berryhill. Oh, and one last thing—Bedell moonlights as a turntablist under the handle Agent Traxxident. It’s no surprise to learn that sleep isn’t high on Bedell’s to-do list.