David Bird is the artist who created the Yori disc pictured left with Cindy Morgan. I was able to ask him some questions about his work, art and Tron.
In the movie TRON, (in the scene which was deleted) Yori has the creative power to transform her quarters into a beautiful space filled with color and light. She is the design coordinator of the Solar Sailer. Tron's design and setting is a world full of light, a photonic Oz, where the forces of light struggle for freedom to allow USERS to express their dreams in the electonic world. Yori embodies this expression of creative freedom.
"To me Yori is a Being of Light and also a Designer of Light/Power."
After graduating from Brigham Young University degrees in design and anthropology David Bird worked in various design firms around the country and is presently working freelance work in Utah. He has been working in the “Tiffany” style of stained glass for the last few years and has been working with Disney since 2003.
How or when did you start working with glass as an art form?
"I started working in glass in 2000. It was a natural off-shoot of my"day job" of graphic design. While I love beautiful line work in artwork, working in glass introduces that beautiful, Pure Color of light. no other medium can rival pure light. I just bought supplies and started learning the art. After lots of practice, I began to understand the artform and I am still learning."
"I got to meet Cindy at Comic-Con and it was my first Con.....I didn't realize that a person could actually talk with the celebrities! I found Cindy to be just amazing, beautiful, and personable. I then met her again at the 2011 Comic-con and I had a mickey mouse head necklace that I gave to friends and she loved it. I thought that the next time I met her, I would have to have some kind of gift for her that was in the theme of Tron. I first came up with a disk shape (of course)."
How did you come up with the Yori disc?
"I wanted to have something more personal for Cindy/Yori. To me Yori is a Being of Light and also a Designer of Light/Power. I wanted the piece to literally glow in the room. Glass is my medium of choice of course. Nothing has the Light power like glass. No paint or medium comes close to the magic of pure light. I wanted something of Yori and found it in the design of her suit. That is how I came up with the disk I gave Cindy."
"I am a guest artist with Disney and was lucky enough to do some artwork for the D23 Expo auction and I knew that Cindy was going to be signing on Tron Day. So I created the disk to give her at her signing."
"When I gave her the disk, she got teary-eyed...I knew I had made her happy (It made my day too)! It wasn't about my artwork or me, I wanted to show Cindy that Tron made a difference in our lives as artists and fans. Cindy had fun showing off her disk to her fans that day! .I wanted her to show her friends that the visuals in the movie made a big impression of design, light, and color on not only me but opn many others. I translated that idea into something she could hold."
Do you draw up designs, plans, and then what's the next step for creating one of these artworks?
"I always sketch ideas first with a pencil then I start to tighten it up and put it into lines in Adobe Illustrator. From there I print out the patterns and start cutting the glass."
Glasswork, which dates to ancient times, but historically employed since the 4th and 5th centuries in churches and religious icons, seems to have its roots in religious art, do you find that Tron has a kind of religious style in its design? Not necessarily particularly any specific religion, but for instance Tron enters the I/O Tower, and it looks like a cathedral. Do you have any thoughts on what art such as glasswork is trying to achieve in its power of reflecting light, or perhaps what artists are pointing to with the beauty of art?
"To me, nature is a God given gift to us. The spiritual side of life to me is Light. I believe that we are spirits of light. In literature there is always that confilict between Dark and Light but for me the Light dispels the Dark every time. Stained glass has always brightened the souls of the world. We are always striving to return to the Supreme Being that we call our Heavenly Father. We want to go to the light! When the light goes through the colored glass of one of the pieces in my studio, it is something that is almost out of this world."
Are you a science fiction fan? What is your favorite sci-fi movie or series?
"I love science fiction. I even got to meet Ray Bradbury a couple of years ago at Comic-Con! Of course I love star wars but Tron came out after I graduated from high school. To me, that was the beginning of the computer age. I started working on an Atari computer a few years after that and then I began working on an Macintosh/Apple in 1987 and have not looked back since."
"I loved Tron Legacy (except I wanted to see Yori!!! .....I wondered how could they leave her out?) I loved how they updated the look of the world of Tron BUT it was still the base world of Tron that we grew up with. The characters and costumes were definitely Updated but were still Light Designed. No wonder that my small company is named LightDesign Studios."
A collection of his art can be seen at his website. http://www.davidebird.com/