Leon Danziger is a larger than life character. Equal parts Chaplin and Pagliacci’s Clown, The Ballad of Leon The Barber, paints an endearing portrait of a complex man, defined by a childlike optimism, even in the face of crippling self-doubt.
Having penned the song about Leon from which the documentary draws its name, it was a natural next step to create the cartoon character and animated title sequence.
The character started life as a series of rough pencil sketches which were subsequently scanned and then used as a substrate for creating a vector version of the character in Adobe Illustrator. As this was a time before Wacom tablets, it involved the very slow process of creating all of the Bézier points, one by one, and then shaping the various curves from there.
The artwork also draws on the dart board and retro timber room divider that featured prominently in Leon’s barber shop.
The finished illustration was then animated for the title sequence in Adobe After Effects.