This one goes way back to 1996. (Yikes, a decade, it doesn’t seem that long ago.) I was asked by the director Roger Allers to do some development work on an epic Inca project he was developing at Disney. The working title for the project was, Children Of The Sun, which then was changed to Children In The Sun, Kingdom In The Sun, and lastly, The Emperor’s New Groove.
I worked on Children Of The Sun through its many reiterations, but after about a year of development the project was torn down and rebuilt with new directors and a new comedy direction. At which point I was no longer working on that project.
This was supposed to be Yzma’s lair! I based my imagedry on Inca architecture and sculpture. Through my research I had also learned that the Inca mummified their dead, but they didn’t have catacombs on the scale of Europeans. So I imagined a giant chasm of corpses as a dungeon for Supai (the imprisoned darkenss). I put it all together with the iron grate with an Inca design holding back the darkness. You can see the darkness creeping out of it's prison cell to snuff out a candle light. In this dark and forboding place, Yzma was to conspire with Supai against the Sun Kingdom.
The image was drawn with graphite on Ledger paper.