Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Creativity is a responsibility

"Creativity is a responsibility"... a phrase I saw on one of those "inspirational" videos.

I'm realizing that whatever it is I exist on this planet for... the expression of story, understanding, emotion, wisdom... hell... the expression of my personal truth... is becoming hidden, obscured, belittled, and made of lesser and lesser consequence by the vagaries of life and the crass information overload offered by the internet. Millions of shouting voices, saying nothing, and I'm down here under their armpits trying to squeeze my mouth upward to shout, too.

If I have something to say--in art, or in life--I haven't been saying it. The message is getting more and more buried. It's being made less and less important. It is becoming more and more unlikely that any message I have to express... any important thing I have to share in my life... will ever be expressed to those who need to receive it.

If I'm basing my life on this one tiny multi-faceted diamond of truth... and the ability to share it... it's not working.

I have to fight, and claw, and scratch, and yell, and get angry and throw things and battle and mightily struggle... just to share this tiny kernel of gold. The sea of the world's mediocre dreams are rife with duller goals and mediocre waves splashing indifferent seawater, and it's drowning me and my bright little idea.

I know, god damn it, it my heart that there's something important for me to say... but I'm getting angry over the fact that the 'early returns' or 'early projections' for me to ever be able to exquisitely and precisely share my message are low.

I have a unique personal viewpoint that on very few occasions I have successfully been able to put over in my work. But very few. And the audience has always been very small. Attention spans are short... and by God... there are millions and millions of boring voices out there blabbering away with careless pixels and thoughtless paint, telling stories of incredibly banal nonsense. These serve only to dull the senses of potential audiences to any real good work coming from unknown artists.

I can't blame any potential audience for tuning me out, as if my message weren't just simply more blabbering pixels or unintelligible Photoshoppery. But if I don't bust my freakin' ass to get this message of mine out, I will have lived life in vain.

I have to try, God dammit. I have to try and articulate my message much better. And then, I have to unleash the message with such a force that it would knock a good thousand people right over. I have to get to that point. I have to learn how. Because I know there's good stuff inside of there... in that very center of my mind and heart. There's something really awesome is in there, and I need to express it.

I'll either do it or die trying. And it better not take me 50 more years to try.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Modus Operandi

Maybe this will inspire you to organize your drawing work and approach to study. Thought I'd post this, though, to commit myself to it and to have it as a constant reminder.

"COOL PIC" == Something I like that is also challenging. There must be some drawing problems to solve.

DRAWING CHALLENGES  (hard drawing problems)
  • Compositions with many characters, each in compelling action/storytelling poses. The poses and characters should be related to one another
  • Working out all panels on a comic book page in less than a frickin year/month/week (too slow!)
  • Shapes (of bodies, etc) need to read in all cases
  • Mens wing tip type shoes (w/the soles) from all angles
  • When there is free time, get to work!
  • Open an unfinished work and start tweaking it or trying to finish it. There's less of a drawing challenge here. This forces me to keep working. Possibly I'll get inspired to work on more things
  • Decide what I am putting off and why. If there's a reason, write it down in the DRAWING CHALLENGES list
  • Doodle with 3D/depth in mind. Don't just scribble.
  • Tumbling box exercise
  • Spiraling circle exercise
  • Do sphere gestures in charcoal (real media)
  • Loomis/Bridgman/Mattesi/Hampton   (2 solid studies a day... morning? If not, then evening! Fill a page!)
  • Master Studies (from Disney or personal contour) (1 a day)
  • Having 2 to 3 "cool" pics in the pipeline, but not many more! If you have 4 or more, finish at least one.
  • Animating something at least three-times a week (every other day). Build up to every day.
  • Sketching people (when there's an opportunity)
  • Posing a character. Do a full turn-around.
  • For every study you do, starting a new "cool" pic and get it as completed as you can the first night
  • Posting to and CGS/Chang for feedback and crit if possible
  • Portfolio full of product parodies
  • Quickly/successfully put out pages for my series B****B***.
  • Fulfill old goal of becoming SW****** and ...
  • Be able to animate something in a reasonable amount of time
  • Work on my Tom & Jerry animated parody
  • Work on my ultra parody of ________
  • Swiftly and successfully pull off the tutorials for the FIS and other sections
  • Support people in FIS and other sections.
  • Quickly do new FIS work
  • Redo all my good ideas from the past and make them much more successful

Work on hard drawing problems daily!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cookin' now

Good, solid work is coming. Getting the taste for this back in my mouth. Stay tuned.

Oh, and I ordered one of these, too.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Transition to "Dedication" from "Motivation"

Have been working off and on doing drawing and design; not a lot of time right now. Understanding more about dedication and hard work.

It's those two things that push you through the anxiety of procrastination. You're a motivated artist if you feel that angst; if you know you want to be drawing something, but somehow can't. But, motivation alone isn't enough. Just that kick in the butt with no additional effort will lead to nothing except a sore ass.

You may be motivated to draw something, but fear that you can't draw it. You know what? You're absolutely right that you can't draw it! (YET) So grind through it. Figure it out. Be willing to suffer a bit (or a lot) and see where you can get. The word for that is "Dedication".

You're definitely going to have to spend the time getting over these obstacles; these difficult drawing problems. But the good news is that the more you do that, the better you get and the quicker the understanding comes. That's what I'm experiencing.

Just have to do it.

And, you have to plan it. Know what it is you want to create. Plan it out.

Then you'll know just what you're sacrificing when you start to procrastinate or waste time.


Sunday, July 22, 2012


Have been studying the work of some really good digital artists. I've been analyzing the physical aspects of the work (composition/layout/shapes/relationships/unity/etc) and I'm getting somewhere; I'm learning.

In the past, other people haven't really "gotten" my finished pieces. My message wasn't understood; I got very little feedback. I'd always assumed something was wrong with my technique. Contrasting that with the same group's enthusiastic support of other artists, who didn't have great technique, I begin to understand something about artistic voice.

Again in contrast, there are some artists who really have amazing technique... they blow me out of the water. One guy in particular is very prolific; but he draws the same subject every time. I've seen thousands of  his finished pieces. Technical masterpieces, but the message is crass and unnecessary. Other people respond to his work the same way... either by ignoring it, or by half-assedly acknowledging it.

The inescapable conclusion is that while technique can add tremendous power to your artistic message, it can't take the place of it. You don't want to compromise your artistic voice and draw a bunch of stuff you know will be popular. However, you do need to find a clear way to communicate that people will identify with. You do need an audience for your work.

You can work in obscurity and amass a ton of work, ignoring the need for audience. The risk is that you won't be discovered or appreciated in your lifetime.

But; there are ways to become understood, I believe. If your mind is way different than that of the average person, you can lead them toward understanding with storytelling... comics, serials, even screenplays. First, you do need to understand that your mind is different from that of your audience. Then, you need to transport this audience from point A, where they're at, to point Z... where your mind is. Only then will they begin to understand your message.

If you really believe strongly in your message, it may be the only way you have to get people on board with your ideas. You may need to tell them stories to move their minds. THEN the one-off pieces you do.... the still lifes, the pinups, the portraits.... then they will begin to make sense to the average viewer. Then you have a chance to have an audience who appreciates your work, your voice, and you as an artist.


On the drawing front, I am doing more... just nothing I can post here or on CA. Soon I hope to begin producing some stuff to share there and here.