James Wojtal is a talented puppet designer and builder. During his career he has worked on projects like Avenue Q, Bear in the Big Blue House, Crank Yankers, Saturday Night Live, Sesame Street (the American and various internationl versions), Mop-a-Top's Shop, Kermit's Swamp Years, Animal Jam, and more. In this interview I asked him to share his thoughts about puppet building.
SJ: Are there any artists, designers or puppeteers that you look to for inspiration?
JW: Lots, Jim Henson obviously, but there is a huge list: Chuck Jones, Bill Waterson, Gary Larson, Brian Froud, Jeff Smith (the creator of BONE), Michael Frith - numerous children's Illustrators who's names I do not know, Wayne Barlowe, Brom, the list goes on and on.
I also find a lot of inspiration in nature itself, natural history always has and still does fascinate me. I can spend hours staring at the Dinosaurs at the Museum of natural History.