View Full Version : Subject

02 February 2011, 05:38 PM
I thought about my question some time, and don't know it this is the right place but I'm going to give it a try.

I've been drawing and painting al my life and now since 1 year I'm going digital. I really like the extra's that come with it so I want to become better and improve my skills and work.

What I did notice is that what I really like to paint/draw is not very usual in digital work, and that realism with a twist to it. Most painting are fantasy images of monsters, beautiful women and men and other figures, but hardly any realistic flowers or animals.

I wonder if it is worth to go for this in the digital world and become good at this or if there is just no interest for something like that, and that I'm better of in the classic way of drawing.
I've tried to start with fantasy women, but noticed that it's not really what I love to do. I like parts of a face get mixed into my drawings, but not a total image of a person.

I know I should stick to my own designs, but it's hard to get good if there is not that much interest for it.

02 February 2011, 07:25 PM
Things you mentioned are common subjects here. Some like that, some would like to see just anything but those. Generally it's a double edged blade - some places may expecting that kind of work (for example if yoa are going to do art for a game with monsters and babes, it might be a good idea to do those :)), but then again it might actually be very helpful to do your own thing when trying to find your own corner at digital arts.

As my jobs are usually illustrations of some subjects or moods, I have done some sceneries, cars, boats, imaginery environments, abstract pieces, decorative work, still lifes, photowork and what else. Probably not a single monster (well - I did Goliaths feet once and he's kind of a giant) or fantasy style people. Maybe I should. :surprised

So if you are doing your own art and it did succeed before going to digital, is there some reason why it would not succeed now? I personally find it interesting when people do their own stuff and do it well. It feels like they might have something to say and not just copying what others do. You should have your own inner subject to tell.

The other part of work is to do what client wants,then the subject may be whatever. Of course it would be great to communicate even those images with your inner twist and style. That's probably why they asked you to do it - not someone else (if not doing complitely assembly line -style work).

So I'd encourage you to do your images. Or maybe challenge yourself to think how would you do some subject that is hard to you? For example: if you don't like garden gnomes or can't understand people who put those hideous things in their gardens - then design couple of those. What kind of garden gnomes should we have to make em cool? It's a good exercice - gets you out of comfort zone, helps to find those things that are important to you at your art and helps to train that muscle which need to be strong when meeting clients with strange ideas. :)

02 February 2011, 02:50 AM
This question is actually a bit more complex than appears on the surface, since it could involve discussions of career choice, target audience, and personal aspirations.

First, what you're describing is pretty much classic fine art subjects--portraits, figures, still life, landscape/scenery...etc. While many digital artists do tackle those subjects, they tend to do them as personal pieces and not for their jobs, since digital fine art is not yet very popular in the fine art world. Commercial art is where digital art really shines--concept art for film, video games, illustration for publishing, book covers, movie posters, and so on. Commercial artists have quickly embraced digital art because no one really cares about what the original artwork is--they only care how well it can be reproduced on products. Digital art is also very flexible, which is very important when working commercially since you often have to make changes quickly when clients/bosses request them.

The fine art world hasn't quite embraced digital art, and one of the main reasons is that the fine art world cares a lot about the original, as that's the value of a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork treasured by the fine art crowd. Typically, no one wants to look at prints of digital artwork--they'd rather look at an original piece of work--the actual physical original that if destroyed, will cease to exist. Digital copies are exact duplicates of the original, so the perceived value is not the same. Also, doing paintings of "normal" everyday subjects digitally has been devalued greatly in the last ten years since so many digital drawing/painting software have tried to appeal to the hobbyist/cheap commercial art market by adding features that basically allows you to just take a photograph and then run it through filters or quickly smudge around with artsy looking brushes and then turn them into paintings. This entire movement has completely cheapened what used to take skill and talent to achieve. As things stand today, in order to impress anyone, you'd have to have a pretty damn unique and compelling stylistic choice that shows you didn't just use one of those cheap shortcut tools and turned a photo into a painting.

Whether your aspirations are to do art for a living is also a point in this discussion. Do you aspire to be a fine artist? If so, then it's likely that you would end up working traditionally, as that's what the fine art world prefers. This doesn't mean there aren't digital fine artists though--just that they are few and far between. You can certainly try to become one of them.

CGTalk Moderation
02 February 2011, 02:50 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.