The Inventors

By John Dilworth · September 27, 2014

Portraits of some of the world’s greatest inventors with their creations.

The Inventors is an update to a series of illustrated portraits started in 2008. The first of the series, “The Father of Television” was based on memories of my childhood where my grandfather always referred to the television as the “One Eyed Monster.”

The Father of Television

The Father of Television Farnsworth detail The Father of Television (2008,2014) + Detail

After completing the work “The Father of Television”, in 2008, I had always wanted to do a few more portraits of different inventors. I had started additional portraits of Thomas Edison and Alexander Bell and used them in a small book project, but never finished them at full poster-size resolution.

The Father of Commercialized Electric Light

The Father of Commercialized Electric Light Edison detail The Father of Commmercialized Electric Light + Detail

The Father of Telephony

The Father of Telephony Bell detail The Father of Telephony + Detail

In the complete series, the theme expands on the concept of inventions and ideas having a dark side, or being used in ways that are unintended, or perhaps the opposite of their inventors intentions. Farnsworth felt saddened to see his invention exploited for advertising and commercial entertainment. Bell was annoyed by the interruptions caused by the telephone that he refused to have one in his own office.

The series explores this idea, with portraits of the inventors and their monstrous children.

The illustrations are created digitally, built up from several layers of individual detailed lines (or scribbles). Additional layers of detail are added as the images are increased in size. The latest edition allows for 18x32 prints at the highest, most detailed resolution. In the coming months I hope to increase the detail on these images so that larger images can be printed.

The updated works will be available for purchase, and will be on display during the month of October at the Weber State University Student Union Building in Ogden, Utah.