Drew Colby is an award winning puppeteer and shadowgrapher who has been performing puppetry in Africa and the U.K. for over 30 years. One of the world’s only full-time hand shadow performers, his work has been seen in commercials, music videos, TV shows and theatres on almost every continent.
The term “Shadowographer” – much like shadowgraphy itself – is a bit of a throwback. Traditionally, the term “shadowgrapher” was used to describe an artist who performed hand shadows (they are also sometimes called shadowgraphists). Shadowgraphy was an extremely popular form of entertainment in the 19th century, but the art form went in to steep decline with the advent of cinema over a century ago.
There seems to be a resurgent interest in shadowgraphy in recent years, but sadly only a few performers still seriously practice the craft today. Drew is undoubtedly among the best of them.
Just like virtually every other performer in the world right now, Drew has had all his upcoming performances cancelled for the foreseeable future because of the global coronavirus pandemic. In response he’s begun working online, performing shows and producing a fantastic series of short tutorials that teach you the basics of performing shadowography at home.
You can see more of Drew’s entire series of hand shadow tutorials on his YouTube channel and learn more about his work at Shadowgraphy.co.uk.