Tim Burton Early Artwork for Sale

Tim Burton has certainly come a long way from his days at the California Institute of the Arts, where he created his first student films.

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How did Tim Burton Get His Start?

It was one of those CalArts films, Tim’s 1979 Stalk of the Celery Monster that brought him to the attention of the Walt Disney Studios, where he did early concept work on The Fox and the Hound, Tron, and The Black Cauldron. One of Tim’s early films after leaving CalArts is the short Vincent, which featured one of his idols, Vincent Price.

Vincent Illustration by Tim Burton (Tim Burton, 1982)

Vincent Illustration by Tim Burton (Tim Burton, 1982)

Tim would go on to stellar career as a director of both animated and live action films; some of his biggest hits include Pee-wee’s Big Adventure; Beetlejuice; Batman (featuring Jack Nicholson as the Joker); Edward Scissorhands; Ed Wood; and one of our personal favorites, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Now comes word that a new retrospective of Tim’s artwork is coming to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. The exhibition is scheduled to run from October 15, 2019 until February 15, 2020. The interest in all things Tim Burton is beginning to reach a fever pitch, and that all ties into our upcoming Animation Art Auction. In this sale, we’ve gathered some very interesting artwork from Tim’s own hands, including a couple of original concept sketches from The Black Cauldron.

Tim Burton The Black Cauldron Gurgi Concept Sketch (Walt Disney, 1985)

Tim Burton The Black Cauldron Gurgi Concept Sketch (Walt Disney, 1985)

The Nightmare Before Christmas is well represented, with original storyboard art by Jorgen Klubien, who has worked on many Tim Burton projects, including the recently released live-action remake of Walt Disney’s Dumbo.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Storyboard (Touchstone Disney, 1993)

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Storyboard (Touchstone/Disney, 1993)

Our offerings in this sale go beyond hand-drawn art, though. Case in point: a very unusual Jack Skellington store display, created in cloth and standing (with help from a pole) a full 70 inches – that’s almost six feet tall! For the Nightmare Before Christmas fan who wants it all, this is a must! Think of the conversations that will start when visitors see this displayed in your home!

By all means, we urge you to start making your plans now to attend the upcoming Neon Museum exhibit in Las Vegas, but before you go, please take some time to look over our auction listings. We have Tim Burton-related material to fit just about every collector’s wants, with items that fit most every budget. We believe you’ll find some extremely interesting and fun things that you’ll not see anywhere else from this iconic artist and filmmaker. The world of Tim Burton can be a dark and scary place, but never less than fun, entertaining, and thought-provoking. He is one of the true modern masters of American film, and his original hand-drawn artwork is getting harder and harder to come by. If you’re one of the ones out there searching, fear not – we’ve got you covered!

The Art of Tim Burton - Lady in Blue Illustration (c. 1979-80)

“The Art of Tim Burton” – “Lady in Blue” Illustration (c. 1979-80)

Posted by David Tosh

David Tosh is a cataloger for the Animation Art department. He is also the author of Rise of the Superheroes: Greatest Silver Age Comic Books and Characters and editor of the Eisner Award-nominated Walt Kelly’s Fables and Funnies. His most recent book is Jumbo Mumbo.

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