In 1970, when I was 12 years old, I was introduced to the work of Ryan Larkin
and I was transformed. I knew at that moment, that animation was my calling, and my passion.
Ten years later, I worked with Ryan, creating beautiful storyboards for a sequence
that was to be in the movie 'Heavy Metal'. I worked with Ryan every day in his home
and he gave freely of his sublime artistic talent, technique and insight.
I learned more from Ryan than I had learned in all my years of schooling!
Recently, director Chris Landreth created a stunning film about Ryan, dear Ryan
who has lived for the last twenty years on welfare, panhandling for spare change
on the streets of Montreal. I saw the film (a masterpiece) at the animation festival in France earlier
this year, and it brought me to tears. But Ryan was actually there in Ottawa, and it was incredible
to see him, and a special screening of his Oscar nominated film "Walking", the very
film which had moved me to begin my career in animation. His mastery was more apparent
than ever, especially seen side by side with the contemporary films screening at the festival.
His drawing technique and intuitive sense of motion, watercolour brush strokes animating fluidly
and sublimely across the screen....It left me as breathless and awestruck as it had 34 years ago!
Ryan, no matter what, you remain my animation hero, the soul who reached into mine
and introduced me too this incredible, magical artform.....
Ryan and Chris Landreth during the judging of the pumkin carving contest
Ryan would point at me and exclaim, "It's Joe!" I was so tickled, he'll never know....
So good to see him smiling and having a great time!