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Old 02 February 2013   #16
I think to me its not about what's inside of you. I think you are trying to justify the way your art is, by saying it matters what only you think about it and how you feel. That might be true, but alot of your art show a clear lack of fundamentals. You dont have to go anal into perspective, and learn every sort of mathematical equation, but stuff like overlap, space, value etc etc is really lacking in alot of these art pieces.

It shows you dont really understand how to control your values at all and how to mass them together, along with lighting concepts. Your last image clearly shows you dont understand composition clearly enough.

I just dont think its good enough to say "perspective issues don't bother me so much as long as I feel I am conveying what is inside of me".

It might all well be good inside of you, but atleats give us a sense of design, shape, value etc etc. You have just plopped this last image right in the centre, but have not thought about the negative shapes and space around it, the POV of the image for a dynamic feel, or just a calm feel from a different view. More counterchange of pattern, and value so our eyes can rest at a point. Think about overlap more. Overlap and scale is a major tool so you dont have to go total anal into perspective. Think about the shapes you are designing.

I will do a rough paintover with my thoughts later on and post it up when my tablet is working. These are just my thoughts. I am not an expert or anything, so I dont claim to know everything about everything, but I do know alotof your art does show a lack of fundamentals knowledge.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #17
I have known a few artists who are a lot like Yoel. They sort of march to the beat of their own drums, and are quite happy doing so. They don't seem to place much importance in the classical foundations of visual art, and when told they need to study/practice those foundations, they simply state they're happy being the way they are. In a way, I can understand their point of view. To them, if it aint broke, why fix it? It's really a matter of perspective (no pun intended).

See, most visual artists in the CG circle have specific aspirations that are more or less based in the commercial world. They want to become concept artists for AAA games or big Hollywood movies. They want to do illustrations for sci-fi/fantasy novels. They want to have their work featured in high profile CG art magazines--preferably on the cover. And to achieve those goals, they need to be at the minimum, technically and artistically proficient, while having a strong sensibility for what today's entertainment market wants.

But what about artists who don't care about any of that? What if they just want to do quirky illustrations for small indie projects that don't want or need highly impressive art like the kind that's produced by high profile concept artists like Craig Mullins or Feng Zhu? What if these artists create mainly for themselves and don't care too much what you think of their work? What if they manage to get gigs anyway, and their lack of mastery of the foundations doesn't seem to bother their clients?

You guys all know from my frequent critiques here at cgtalk that I champion the critical foundations with a passion, yet I didn't really get into that with Yoel, even when he's clearly lacking in those foundations. Why? Because one look at his website and I could tell he's like those artists I mentioned--they don't really see themselves or the world quite in the same way as the rest of us. They're happy doing their own thing. If I preached the virtues of classical art foundations and how important they are for becoming better artists, I'd probably just be cramping his style, and I'd end up sounding like some stuffy, overbearing snob, trying to educate him on how to be a better artist.

So before we try and make Yoel "understand" why his work is "wrong," we need to first make sure he actually cares about being "right." If he's happy, and he's not failing some kind of expectation he's set for himself, then all is well as well can be.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #18
right on mitcoz and Lunatique
 
Old 02 February 2013   #19
Originally Posted by Lunatique: I have known a few artists who are a lot like Yoel. They sort of march to the beat of their own drums, and are quite happy doing so. They don't seem to place much importance in the classical foundations of visual art, and when told they need to study/practice those foundations, they simply state they're happy being the way they are. In a way, I can understand their point of view. To them, if it aint broke, why fix it? It's really a matter of perspective (no pun intended).

See, most visual artists in the CG circle have specific aspirations that are more or less based in the commercial world. They want to become concept artists for AAA games or big Hollywood movies. They want to do illustrations for sci-fi/fantasy novels. They want to have their work featured in high profile CG art magazines--preferably on the cover. And to achieve those goals, they need to be at the minimum, technically and artistically proficient, while having a strong sensibility for what today's entertainment market wants.

But what about artists who don't care about any of that? What if they just want to do quirky illustrations for small indie projects that don't want or need highly impressive art like the kind that's produced by high profile concept artists like Craig Mullins or Feng Zhu? What if these artists create mainly for themselves and don't care too much what you think of their work? What if they manage to get gigs anyway, and their lack of mastery of the foundations doesn't seem to bother their clients?

You guys all know from my frequent critiques here at cgtalk that I champion the critical foundations with a passion, yet I didn't really get into that with Yoel, even when he's clearly lacking in those foundations. Why? Because one look at his website and I could tell he's like those artists I mentioned--they don't really see themselves or the world quite in the same way as the rest of us. They're happy doing their own thing. If I preached the virtues of classical art foundations and how important they are for becoming better artists, I'd probably just be cramping his style, and I'd end up sounding like some stuffy, overbearing snob, trying to educate him on how to be a better artist.

So before we try and make Yoel "understand" why his work is "wrong," we need to first make sure he actually cares about being "right." If he's happy, and he's not failing some kind of expectation he's set for himself, then all is well as well can be.


Very well said.

This is my first post here. It has been somewhat of a culture clash and I have learned a lot.

That is an impressive insight from someone of your talent and frame of reference. Let me put it this way. I agree with all your remarks I am not denying any of your comments. Of course my self taught skill set is still uneven and I work on it all the time. I also seem to value more casual work if it has something creative to it. If you read carefully you will note that I have never denied any of your critiques, I have only questioned to what extent they make a difference.

I only have one point. As artists who are part of a very specific circle and upbringing you have very specific expectations and standards for your art. You might call them high standards. That might be true for you.

However I am an outsider, being self taught. That gives me the disadvantage of a somewhat uneven skill set that grows in a less organized way. I have to use my strengths which I have found to be imagination, zaniness, and art business skills to compensate as I slowly fill in the holes.

The advantage is that I can think outside of the box, and because I am beholden to clients I am forced to prioritize and be keenly in touch with what your average illustration client holds important.

To quote you "What if they manage to get gigs anyway, and their lack of mastery of the foundations doesn't seem to bother their clients?" You are very on target.

I am not talking about Hollywood. I am talking about your average children's book, educational poster, small website game, illustrated advertisement, product illustration etc. The bread and butter of a real life illustration studio.

I have a thriving business thank g-d. I don't have enough time in the day to cover my work. I am not cheap either. Of course a big part of that is because I have a niche client base. That is exactly the type of business skill you should be teaching your students. Instead of heavy student loans I have the advantage of being paid to perfect my skills.

What I am happiest about is that I get to work on what I love so much- art - and i have a real practical growth path to do it.

I don't feel the need to paint the same pictures of monsters, warriors, girls, and fantasy landscapes that seem to crowd this and other "pro" websites over and over ad nauseum. I don't care if that's what the gaming industry is into now. I honestly feel as an outsider who happened to walk into your house that you have no idea how similar you have become.

It pains me to imagine what would have happened to Van Gogh had he went to a modern day art college. His "fundamentals" were very off, even in his later paintings. Gauguin his buddy was no great draftsman either, there are countless examples. (Don't tell me they were doing it on purpose for impressionism, look at their sketch books and be honest) The people who buy their paintings for millions of dollars don't care. It is the fullness of artistic expression, creativity, and passion that created the value that will last for centuries.

Another advantage is that I have a brutal teacher who forces me to prioretize and grow. His name is "average client." He has no time for perfectionism of any sort. What I have also learned is he cares much more about originality, content, and speed, than perfect anatomy, composition, and perspective. I have seen many clients choose me over more technically advanced artists because they want something imaginative, different, and knowledgable about their needs.

Does the curriculum you teach in school match that priority set? How many of your students are really going to get into Hollywood? I can tell you that if they can not work quickly and come up with something original they will be overly skilled in areas that do not help them in the average illustration job.

I wonder if you are over-teaching them technical stuff and under-teaching them creativity, originality, and business skills. You might ask what's so terrible about being overskilled. It's very terrible because it's not free. For an average art student the loans he leaves college can destroy his chances of remaining in art. I have read about the percentages who drop out after 5 years post college. Are you helping lovers of art or destroying them?

I do not believe that I lack much knowledge. I can talk three point perspective, golden mean, balanced composition, zygomatic formation, ambient lighting, consistant values, atmospheric lighting, reflected lighting, color theory, textures, etc with the best of them. I would guess that I have read ( and remember/understand) more art books and theory than most art students and probably many "pro's".

I don't bother taking the time to enforce all of that in my art, or perfect those skills because I much more interested in the "meat" of getting across a creative insight quickly. One day when I have the luxury of working on a masterpiece I will certainly take the time to learn that. I rarely have that opportunity, but that is the tradeoff.

BTW most uneducated clients want the focal point in the dead ugly center. They don't care about rule of thirds,"never split a landscape in half" or whatever you were taught in school.

When I manage to find an extra hour in my day to do something for myself like the fish house picture that is not my priority either. I have 45 minutes to create something quirky and interesting hopping around my brain. I see value as soon as I get that across.

I was under the impression that this a WIP more casual forum for that type of thing. I see that I was mistaken. This is for serious work that is 1/2-3/4 done.

I believe that if I would have chosen the school route I would be heavily in debt and the skills I would have gained (faster) would not keep me above water.

So am I saying to use the average Joe as a standard for what professional art can be. Of course not. There is also the danger that I will only produce up to the average client level and not force myself to grow. I am not afraid of that because i know where I want to go.

This has been a learning experience and I can not thank you all enough for your time and insight.

Lunatique- Your comment was so insightful that i feel you would be a teacher that would respect individual needs. Please direct me to contact info about your courses. I don't know if you can say it straight out on these forums, but I will try to contact you by email.

Last edited by heyjudo : 02 February 2013 at 05:41 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #20
Here are some other examples of stuff that I am happy because they express my creative concept fully even if not technically perfect:



Here is a cartoon I made after Steve Jobs died I did it in around 10 minutes. I could have chosen not to do it because I did not have the time to do a "proper" job. It is one of the most popular cartoons world wide- google "steve jobs death cartoon"image search. It is technicaly horrible- no body cares it has a good content/point they hung it up in Apple.






I am only posting these to give readers a better idea of what I am talking about.

Last edited by heyjudo : 02 February 2013 at 06:06 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #21
Originally Posted by heyjudo: Does the curriculum you teach in school match that priority set? How many of your students are really going to get into Hollywood? I can tell you that if they can not work quickly and come up with something original they will be overly skilled in areas that do not help them in the average illustration job.

I wonder if you are over-teaching them technical stuff and under-teaching them creativity, originality, and business skills. You might ask what's so terrible about being overskilled. It's very terrible because it's not free. For an average art student the loans he leaves college can destroy his chances of remaining in art. I have read about the percentages who drop out after 5 years post college. Are you helping lovers of art or destroying them?

...

Lunatique- Your comment was so insightful that i feel you would be a teacher that would respect individual needs. Please direct me to contact info about your courses. I don't know if you can say it straight out on these forums, but I will try to contact you by email.


As much as I champion classical foundations, I'm also one of the most outspoken in these parts about the importance of having a creative vision that is compelling--be it emotional and intellectual resonance, conveying a strong mood, telling an engaging visual narrative, and so on. I have always advocated that unless your job/main focus is purely technical production, you should always strive to have your work actually mean something--even if the meaning is purely in the context of entertainment and escapism.

In my workshop, the first thing the students learn about is the heart and soul of an image--what it expresses emotionally, intellectually, atmospherically, aesthetically, and narratively. Without the heart and soul, an image would be just a sterile piece of technical visual information that exists for logistical reasons. Many of my students are production artists who want to be more than just a production artisan (some are technical directors, or 3D modellers, animators, texture artists, riggers, etc)--they long to be artists in the classical sense, so they can add that classical artistic sensibility/skill/knowledge to their professional and personal works. I also have advanced artist taking my workshop too--those who are already working art directors, concept artists, illustrators, etc. Some of my students are also professional photographers and graphic designers. I have hobbyists and beginners too. No matter what level or what their industry/focus, they all share that one singular goal--to become better artists in every way possible--both creatively and technically. And that is what I teach.

You can find out all the details about the workshop here: http://workshops.cgsociety.org/courseinfo.php?id=363 (It's actually part of CGSociety, so they'd have no problem with me posting about it in the forums. I've also co-written a book for them on digital painting, as well as been helping out behind the scenes as a moderator for over ten years.)
 
Old 02 February 2013   #22
Yoel,

As an alumni of the course myself I highly recommend it. It truly was a course that changed the way I look at the world and my art.

Also, I'm enjoying your pieces... they are whimsical You will be a unique and great artist if you pursue it and learn to advance it.
__________________
~ We don't stop playing because we grow old,
we grow old because we stop playing ~

 
Old 02 February 2013   #23
Originally Posted by Lunatique:
You can find out all the details about the workshop here: http://workshops.cgsociety.org/courseinfo.php?id=363 (It's actually part of CGSociety, so they'd have no problem with me posting about it in the forums. I've also co-written a book for them on digital painting, as well as been helping out behind the scenes as a moderator for over ten years.)


Thanks for your response. I have looked over the course material and I am very impressed. As a teacher for the last 10 years I am most impressed with your dedication to helping students accomplish their goals rather than just imparting your (extensive) knowledge.

That is the mark of real teaching.

I also admire your commitment to long term personal interaction with students. As someone who works 15 hours a day with a family and two jobs I would not have believed it possible, if not for the clear proof in the quality and time you took to respond to me, an at most potential student. I think you should include time managment techniques for artists in your course because you are obviously a master at it.

an important question:

Does the course focus on or practice female anatomy? If so to what extent? If it is extensive I would not be able to join for religious reasons. That is the main reason I never went to art school.


On the topic of technical/classics mastery vs raw creativity in art - I had a long conversation with a friend of mine this weekend who is one of the most prestigious dealers in Judaica art and antiques in the country.

We were looking at a painting on the wall by Zvi Raphaeli, a popular Israeli painter. It was of a young child thinking. It was certainly far from anatomically correct and is certainly worth many many thousands of dollars.

Most of the art in his gallery does not conform with classic realistic perspective, anatomy, or composition. In fact monetary and popular value seems to have an almost inverse relationship with creativity/originality/ and style vs classic technical realism skills.

Can you make something outstanding in creativity/originality/meaning and style even if your classic rendering skills are lacking? Than you may be the next Van Gogh and sell for millions.

Can you make a perfect anatomically and classically correct portrait with no creativity in ten minutes? Than you might be lucky enough to join your comrades in Central Park at $10 an hour.

Are you somewhere in the middle? Well the value seems to be directly proportionate to the creativity vs technical skill ratio.

The maybe heartbreaking truth is that most of the art on this forum would not sell for a fraction of Raphaeli's maybe horrible painting of that kid that was hanging in front of us.

Why? because art today ( and probably always) is valued by creativity/originality/meaning and style far over technical skill. Technical skill can be learned, real creativity that shows a whole new way of looking at the world is rare genius.

If so that begs the question what is the difference between an amateur and a Van Gogh, Raphaeli, etc if both are missing technical skill? Aside from the creative aspect.

To me the answer is something I said before "consistent inconsistency"

In order to earn the right for the viewer to appreciate your creativity you have to have a certain internally consistant vocabulary working in your art, even (or maybe especially today) if it is inconsistent in the technically/classically correct sense.

A more precise definition would be "generally consistent inconsistency" in other words the lapses in your internally defined vocabulary should not be so loud as to detract from what you are saying. If you are saying something really spectacular most readers do not care of there are a few spelling mistakes.

That is why I think everyone loves Van Gogh even though many of his paintings are not even consistantly impressionistic, forget about realistic. You are willing to let it slide because of the amazing message of an original, visually hyperjoyous, interpetation of reality. The "errors," such as the out of perspective chair, just make it more relatable.

Classic technique is certainly a great tool and a good baseline to develop style, but it is certainly not an imperative, and definitely far from the criteria in defining great art. There are many great artists who have skipped it entirely and developed their own original vocabulary, other's have used it loosely to enable their always original and meaningful message.

I could give an endless list of many beloved artists and illustrators from Grandma Moses to Dr Suess who had a much looser relationship with classic technique than you guys, but you get the point by now.

The fact that only realism /semi-realistic/ or surrealistic styles with very limited content seem to rule this forum so heavily is to me just a sign of the natural usefulness of those styles to the mediums of video and animation.

I do not agree that things like composition/ not putting the main object in the center and classic color theory are universal to all mature styles. They are always helpful, but the extent that they make a difference depends heavily on what the "meat" of what you are really selling is, and who you are selling it to.

Are you making art for the people, or art for artists?

When I illustrate a children"s book I do not get it critiqued by an art director, instead I get a group of 25 unfiltered realistic critics known as children. If they laugh histerically and their eyes light up I know I'm on the right path, no matter if the perspective or anatomy is off.

If I am making a cute mug or designing an interesting music box and my clients tells me that it sold out and their customers loved it I know I did something good and original even if the inking is not perfect.

All this is becoming more and more doable in this wonderful age of the internet as the self righteous gatekeepers disappear in a cloud of elitest indignation. We can make art for the people again. You mean those ignorant, uneducated, boors who have no criteria? Is that who you are judging yourself against, you ask?

No, that is your mistake they are very discerning, they want the same thing generation after generation, all ages, and they know it when they see it - creativity/originality/ inspiration/ and meaning.

The other technical stuff? They'll be impressed if you got it, like a shiny new toy, but they don't care much if it's missing as long as it looks overall consistent. And if there's nothing exceptionally creative about that shiny new toy, it will quickly go the way of all shiny new toys.

In no way am I degrading the value of classic skills as a very useful tool and that is why I am interested in joining your course, aside from all the other universally great stuff you have there.

Neither am I saying to aim low. But think very carefully about how much a rough Van Gogh or Tzvi Raphaeli is worth vs the best picture ever produced in this forum, and also think if your great grandchildren will be enjoying the simple art of Curious George 50 years from now before you decide what low is.

In terms of my own art I do not consider myself to have reached the level yet of "generally consistent inconsistency" aka mature semirealistic style although I think the pieces and direction are there, not because of a lack of classical skills, as I explained, but because the internal language is still somewhat too undecided and unpolished, particularly in my fast pieces.

The question is what is the best way of getting to that level?

I have always been a big fan of "drawing is the answer" and I can see the difference drawing for 6-8 hours a day for two year makes. I estimate at this rate I would perfect it in 2-3 years. As long as I am good enough to satisfy my clients in the meantime ( and they are very happy in general) that is a doable strategy.

I believe and hope that your courses could shorten that time frame.

Last edited by heyjudo : 02 February 2013 at 07:11 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #24
Originally Posted by heyjudo: I also admire your commitment to long term personal interaction with students. As someone who works 15 hours a day with a family and two jobs I would not have believed it possible, if not for the clear proof in the quality and time you took to respond to me, an at most potential student. I think you should include time managment techniques for artists in your course because you are obviously a master at it.


I actually do also teach time management in the workshop--it's part of week one's lessons.

Originally Posted by heyjudo: Does the course focus on or practice female anatomy? If so to what extent? If it is extensive I would not be able to join for religious reasons. That is the main reason I never went to art school.


No, the workshop does not delve into serious anatomy lessons, but it does cover how to depict expressive characters that emote convincingly in both facial expressions and body language. It also covers the differences between male and female attractiveness--how they differ and why, as well as cultural contexts and globalization of aesthetic sensibility due to cross-pollination of entertainment and art in the media. There are even lessons on how to reconcile personal values and taste with commercial demands, as well as where to draw the line in one's career in terms of artistic integrity and personal beliefs, including where an artist may want to draw the line in terms of sex and violence, and what are the issues you need to consider when your creative works contain those elements. And these are just a fraction of the topics dealing with creativity, aesthetic sensibility, artistic development, and career considerations.

Originally Posted by heyjudo:
In terms of my own art I do not consider myself to have reached the level yet of "generally consistent inconsistency" aka mature semirealistic style although I think the pieces and direction are there, not because of a lack of classical skills, as I explained, but because the internal language is still somewhat too undecided and unpolished, particularly in my fast pieces.

The question is what is the best way of getting to that level?

I have always been a big fan of "drawing is the answer" and I can see the difference drawing for 6-8 hours a day for two year makes. I estimate at this rate I would perfect it in 2-3 years. As long as I am good enough to satisfy my clients in the meantime ( and they are very happy in general) that is a doable strategy.

I believe and hope that your courses could shorten that time frame.


One of the most common mistakes I see is artists not knowing how to target their weaknesses and address them in the most effective way possible in their artistic development. Filling up dozens of sketchbooks without an effective strategy will only waste many years of your time and seeing only a fraction of the result you could have gained if you worked smart in your artistic development. This is one of the most important aspects of the workshop--to teach you how to learn, grown, and develop effectively, cutting out all the fat and useless distractions.

Although you bring up examples where the technical skill isn't the determining factor of how good you are perceived as, but you do work in commercial art, and as much as your clientele may not care if you can draw and paint like a master artist, there are still other ways they can compare you to artists of similar styles, such as the respected artist who work on high profile Nintendo games, the Disney/Pixar visionary artists, the giants of the comic book/comic strip world, the leading art direction of the most successful casual games, etc. Those are the masters in your genre/style/market, and I assume it would make sense that you'd aspire to their examples of excellence. If so, then it's extremely important to know and accept the fact that behind their genius, is a ton of technical and artistic knowledge, skill, and creative insight, and there's a lot of distance to bridge between their level and where you are now. That is what we'll be working on--to get you to their level in the shortest time possible.

Originally Posted by heyjudo: The maybe heartbreaking truth is that most of the art on this forum would not sell for a fraction of Raphaeli's maybe horrible painting of that kid that was hanging in front of us.

Why? because art today ( and probably always) is valued by creativity/originality/meaning and style far over technical skill. Technical skill can be learned, real creativity that shows a whole new way of looking at the world is rare genius.

If so that begs the question what is the difference between an amateur and a Van Gogh, Raphaeli, etc if both are missing technical skill? Aside from the creative aspect.


What styles dominate the collector's market is a lot like fashion at times. It's easy to gauge the actual skill of an artist, but it's not easy to gauge his intellectual capacity and creative vision. Who decides on these standards? And should you give a damn?

The world of commercial art is very different from fine art. In commercial art, when a client or boss asks for a beautiful illustration of the main character of a book or movie to be featured on the cover or promo poster, you will have to hit that target in the bulls-eye, or you will fail. Either you have the artistic knowledge, skill, experience, and aesthetic sensibility to pull it off, or you don't. You can't point to a painting that looks like Cecilia Giménez's botched restoration of the Jesus painting and talk your way out of it. And when you have hit that target, pretty much everyone will be able to tell, because we all understand what authenticity and beauty is, and we recognize it when we see it.

In the world of modern art, you can smear your own feces onto canvases and then sell them at astronomical prices. You can also collect used tampons and arrange them into some symbolic shape to allude to some kind of sociopolitical statement. You can even just paint the entire canvas black. But who is to decide when you've hit the target? Who is to decide these works are worth millions of dollars? How do you justify such a decision? Is that specific intellectual thought really worth so much money? Has it actually given something to our civilization that we couldn't haven't understood without it? Who could actually be that arrogant to think their work achieves that?

Modern art has no rules. Even the "consistent inconsistencies" you mentioned don't apply, because it is so much like fashion, and fashion is capricious. If your goal is to be a modern artist, then there are no guarantees that you will "make it," because there's no actual yardstick to discern the good from the bad. How much artistic knowledge and skill you have means almost nothing, and neither is your aesthetic sensibility. The only thing that seems to really matter is how clever you are at selling yourself (or how clever others are at selling you). And if you're already dead and there's something to gain from selling your work, those who will benefit will make you a star posthumously. This isn't to say all modern art is like that--it's just that it's hard to tell who's the genuine deal and who's the charlatan.

But modern art is only one segment of the art world. In fact, there's a resurgence of quality representational art in the world of fine art. Contemporary masters that are carrying the torches lit by past masters of representational art are highly respected today--artists like Richard Schmid, Morgan Weistling, Daniel Gerhartz, Jeremy Lipking, Pino, Susan Lyon, Zhaoming Wu--they're all keeping the fire going. They're carrying the torches passed on to them by artists like Norman Rockwell, NC/Andrew Wyeth, J.C. Lyeyndecker, Gil Elvgren, Dean Cornwell, Andrew Loomis, Haddon Sundblom, etc, and before them, artists like John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla, Anders Zorn, John William Waterhouse, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Howard Pyle, Jean-Leon Gerome, Nicolai Fechin, Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, etc.

In the world of representational fine art, people can usually tell when you hit or miss the target much easier, and knowledge, skill, and aesthetic sensibility makes a huge difference in how good you can be. And you still have the freedom to inject sociopolitical statements into your work, or express emotions and depict visual narratives that have meaning, if you so choose. You are not limited to just portraits, still life, and landscapes.

What I teach, is how to develop your creative vision so you can be the kind of artist you aspire to be creatively, while also teach you the necessary knowledge and skill and aesthetic sensibility for the kind of art you want to create--be it commercial art for entertainment, personal art for self-expression, or marketable fine art for collectors. I don't limit what you can or can't create--it is up to you. But I will shove you out of your comfort zone so you will train in areas that you are weak at, in order to broaden your range and flexibility, which in turn will allow you to produce any kind of art your heart desires, or your client/boss demands.

That, is true artistic freedom--to be able to draw and paint anything, regardless of style, medium, or emotional/intellectual content. Do you want to be the guy who only paints modern art because that's all you are capable of in terms of knowledge and skill, or do you want to be the guy who can paint in any style you want, but chooses to paint modern art? See, one is being limited by your ability, and the other is to choose with freedom what you want. People love to bring up how Picasso excelled at classical representational art before embarking on his modern art path--they respect him more because of it. That is the difference. If he couldn't draw/paint his way out of a paper bag, he wouldn't have the same level of respect.

So it doesn't matter if Van Gough or Bouguereau is your hero, or if you want to be a concept artist working for games/films or a fine artist expressing himself. You will be pushed and trained either way, so that you can become a good enough artist that can do whatever you want, without being boxed in by what your limited ability allows you do.

Last edited by Lunatique : 02 February 2013 at 03:57 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #25
Originally Posted by Lunatique: I actually do also teach time management in the workshop--it's part of week one's lessons.

So it doesn't matter if Van Gough or Bouguereau is your hero, or if you want to be a concept artist working for games/films or a fine artist expressing himself. You will be pushed and trained either way, so that you can become a good enough artist that can do whatever you want, without being boxed in by what your limited ability allows you do.


Bravo! Great response. I'm sold. You are an amazing teacher - I can see it already. I just signed up for the course. Looking forward.

Last edited by heyjudo : 02 February 2013 at 02:55 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #26
Smile

Originally Posted by Lunatique: I actually do also teach time management in the workshop--it's part of week one's lessons.


What styles dominate the collector's market is a lot like fashion at times. It's easy to gauge the actual skill of an artist, but it's not easy to gauge his intellectual capacity and creative vision. Who decides on these standards? And should you give a damn?


In the world of modern art, you can smear your own feces onto canvases and then sell them at astronomical prices. You can also collect used tampons and arrange them into some symbolic shape to allude to some kind of sociopolitical statement. You can even just paint the entire canvas black.


Let me preface this by saying I will not be so argumentative as a student. I am much more interested in hearing what you have to say than espousing my opinion when it comes to the specifics.

In regards to your views on modern art I think you representative art guys are a little lost in your shiny reflections.

I clearly see all art as language.

A language is a self contained consistent set of symbols that allows us to share what is going on inside of us.That is what I mean by "consistent inconsistency." Some languages are more ornate, some are more simple. None are inherently more valid or valuable than the other - the content of the communication is what matters.

Most languages tend to elaborate on the areas that require frequent communication to those they are communicating with, and are more parsimonious in more esoteric less-used areas. The Eskimos do not need 8 ways of describing a coffee latte, and your average Starbucks customer does not need 8 ways of describing different types of snow. They are all equally valid as long as they are consistent enough to allow coherent communication, and are extensive enough to cover what is intended to be communicated.

I do not see any difference in stylistic value between Tupac and Shakespeare, Van Gogh and Rembrandt, or the extensive technical vocabulary of your average plumber, and the high society academic verbiage of a college professor.

They are all essentially doing the same thing. The creative content is what distinguishes them. But they are all acceptable as language and art as long as they have a consistent "vocabulary" and have something creative to say.

In regards to visual art the same is true. As you said the language of visual art tends cycle through styles as the conversation and mediums changes.

Modern art is an extreme.

Do you remember the joy as a three year old of leaping out of the bathtub and streaking through the living room while your parents were entertaining important guests? To me that is a lot of what modern art is all about. If I had to sum it up in a few words, modern arts myriad manifestations come down to one simple message:

" I'm rich now, the heck with you"

A perfectly valid communication.

Modern art is not a good example of what I am talking about. There is a whole universe of languages between representational art and the "feces on the wall". The highly finished Disney style art popular with today's children, and children's products, is also just a style. Not much different than the high sugar cereals we feed them for breakfast. They don't really need or want it any better than an orange or apple, we have just gotten them used to it, and so it has become the style.

To me there is no greater proof than Angelina Ballerina.

I let my five year old daughter watch the old beautiful hand drawn animation videos, filled with charm and whimsy. Then she chanced upon an "updated" version done with CG animation. What a disaster. Stiff, awkward, misery. But hey, it's the new style. She did not care in the slightest and watched them both with relish. Whatever I give her for breakfast is what she will eat. Her favorite book is still Curious George.

A consistent style -no matter what language or complexity- with quality creative content. That is what art is to me. There are no other qualifications.

You can make a brilliant graphic novel with stick figures that people will enjoy all over the world, or a poorly executed mishmash of a story even if you have the inking skills of Craig Thompson. It all comes down to the same thing.

It's not just that you can mess up a great technical work with poor content, the inverse is just as true - you can create great art with very simple- even somewhat rough- technique. It just needs a certain minimum of consistency of style. That is the point where we differ I believe.

Do not feel obligated to respond, I know you are busy. I have really enjoyed this back and forth with you and look forward to the classes. Can't wait!

Last edited by heyjudo : 02 February 2013 at 09:52 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #27
Heck! If I only had $600 to spare, I'd be signed up, too. Alas! it'd be a little difficult to take the class if I didn't have a place to plug my computer in and I don't think the landlady will let me borrow an outlet if I'm not paying rent for two months. Next time, maybe. Definitely something to save towards.

This, though, has been bothering me for awhile:
Quote: When I manage to find an extra hour in my day to do something for myself like the fish house picture that is not my priority either. I have 45 minutes to create something quirky and interesting hopping around my brain. I see value as soon as I get that across.

I was under the impression that this a WIP more casual forum for that type of thing. I see that I was mistaken. This is for serious work that is 1/2-3/4 done.

I believe the misunderstanding comes from the fact that most of the people here are trying to create art that will get into the site's gallery. It seems to me that many critics come to this forum assuming that anyone posting has the same goal in mind that they do. You might have to remind them from time to time that you have a different goal.

Also, unless you extensively describe a largely unfinished work, it's difficult for the viewer to know where you're going with it. I often don't comment on sections of a painting that I know have a lot of work yet to be done b/c I don't know how much of the sketch is the artist just talking to himself and how much is actually set in stone.

Knowing now that you really don't care how "correct" the painting is, I'll return to your original question/comment:
Quote: I have finished the concept stage for this. You can see a bigger version on my site. Any advise before I continue to final appreciated. This is my first time experimenting with an amazing new brush set from Mike Nash check the bottom of his webpage for a free download.

Personally, I like where the image seems to be going. It's surrealistic or maybe realistic fantasy. The buildings remind me of Dr. Seuss, who's artwork I've always found to be engaging and fun. Knowing your thoughts on "correct" artwork and your importance on concept, I still would like to see the rings at the bottom of the island extend around the back, especially on the left. Unless I'm mistaken, this is the path leading up the island, but in those two places, it reads as a drop-off instead of a stylistic curve with a pointy edge.
Also, I have to agree with Lunatique:
Quote: not enough thought given to the premise/narrative. If you did think carefully about the premise/narrative for this image, then please tell us--it'll help explain your concept.

Not that there's anything wrong with landscapes. Not at all. I love them! But I think the image would be more interesting if there was more story going on.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #28
Originally Posted by DorothyTRose: Heck! If I only had $600 to spare, I'd be signed up, too. Alas! it'd be a little difficult to take the class if I didn't have a place to plug my computer in and I don't think the landlady will let me borrow an outlet if I'm not paying rent for two months. Next time, maybe. Definitely something to save towards.

This, though, has been bothering me for awhile:

I believe the misunderstanding comes from the fact that most of the people here are trying to create art that will get into the site's gallery. It seems to me that many critics come to this forum assuming that anyone posting has the same goal in mind that they do. You might have to remind them from time to time that you have a different goal.



Thanks for the excellent critique. You have summarized in a few paragraphs exactly what I have been trying to say for 2 pages.

I do agree that there is not enough story going on yet and that is an excellent point. Not because it "needs" logical justification but because it can further the interest. I threw in the rough figures on the cliff to give some scale but there is potential there for a story. You are also correct about the path.

I commiserate with your financial challenges. I don't know if you are an art student at a college but it underscores my point. You don't need to be technically perfect to make money and get satisfaction from art. If you making art for people that is, not an art professor or only the top industry clients governed by them.

It has a lot more to do with finding a niche and connecting directly with clients. Average people love creative art and admire artists, they really do. If you can find authors who you can connect with directly or companies that service smaller niches I have found that they are more than willing to overlook technical imperfection if you can give them something original that is very specific to their needs. I am not talking about freelance sites - I mean starting with friends, relatives, neighbors, community, and building out from there.

I have actually done work that has sold in Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and several prominant touring companies in the New York area plus seven published books, I have had art featured in the Jerusalem Post, and lots of other stuff. Thousands of children and adults enjoy my art every day.This is all in the two years since I opened my studio ( I have been drawing forever though) All despite the rougher technical edges of my work.

I am not trying to brag. My point is that I wonder if this excessive emphasis on Pixar standards with total negation of anything less than that standard/or a different style is ruining the chances of many young artists to give themselves a realistic opportunity to pursue their dreams as they perfect their talents.

There also seems to be very little emphasis on how to build a business and grow and survive as an artist - if you are NOT taking the Hollywood route. Maybe I am just on the wrong website, but this attitude seems to be pretty pervasive.

Last edited by heyjudo : 02 February 2013 at 07:05 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #29
What level of polish a message's delivery vehicle needs differs from project to project. Some actually have more charm when delivered with a more primitive and raw style by just one person, while others would require over a hundred million dollars in budget and a huge team of cutting-edge professional artists. Some visual narratives are more effective when the execution has a child-like energy and imperfection, and some will require expert draftsmanship in order to convey the beauty and subtlety.

But if one aspires to have the ability and freedom to tackle both approaches (and all those in-between) with confidence, without ever being limited to just one approach due to lack of ability/knowledge, then the only way to get there is to strengthen the critical foundation skills/knowledge of visual art. That, I think we can both agree on.

You brought up language, it's actually an analogy I use a lot. I think it's important to learn the grammar and storytelling techniques of visual art, because they are the building blocks you use to express yourself. In writing, you learn the mechanics of the language, as well as how to artfully use syntax, cadence, diction, and also the different storytelling elements like dramatic structure, thematic development, usage of motifs, character arcs, plot devices, conflicts and resolution, etc, and once you are armed with all that knowledge, you can choose to write a rousing adventure story in the classical approach, or write a post-modern tale about the absurdity of existence, or even write quirky poetry about 21 century technology. The level of polish in your writing is up to you. You can write like Nabokov or write like Twain, or even write like a child who hasn't mastered the language yet, but you better know why you're doing it and for what effect, instead of writing like a child only because that's all you're capable of. You can tell a moving story using a child's voice or a sophisticated voice--the trick is to know how to use each effectively, and ideally, you have the ability to scale up and down as needed, instead of not being able to scale up due to your limitations.

I often use musical analogies too when teaching art, because a lot of artists are also musicians. Among musicians, there a similar debate of primitive/RAW vs. polished skill, such as punk rock and hip-hop vs. classical and jazz. A lot of the rebellious musicians who don't have the knowledge or skill for more sophisticated music like to criticize such music as being "technical" and "soulless" and "uncool" and "conventional." But is that really fair? There are many pieces of music in classical and jazz that are emotional, passionate, rebellious, and full of rawness and impact, regardless of the technical mastery behind them. Heavy metal is equally rebellious and subversive as punk, but it is far more technically complex--so does that render the criticism of technical prowess obsolete? The reverse is also true--there are songs in punk and hip-hop that also have the same qualities, regardless of their musical simplicity. But if you want to have the versatility to create in any genre so you can express yourself however you'd like, you have no choice but to study/practice at a higher level of musicianship, so that if you feel like composing a symphonic score, or go wild with a jazz improvisation, or shredding up a storm, you could. That is the freedom that comes with technical ability and advanced knowledge.

But of course, all of this is assuming the person wants to have that versatility. If the person just wants to write child-like poetry, rap to simple beats, or paint in a primitive manner all his life, and feels no need to evolve or explore beyond those approaches, then everything I've said would be irrelevant to him. It doesn't make his choices any less valid, because his limitations aren't actually limitations when he has no need to stretch beyond them. As long as his creative voice is compelling and interesting, then people will follow his work.

So yes, all creative voices and approaches are valid. But for those who crave to explore beyond their limitations, additional learning/practicing will be necessary. It's much easier to scale down than it is to scale up. A highly capable artist can adapt to a more quaint and casual style, or tap into his primitive and expressive side when asked of him, or even abandon his advanced artistic skills altogether and do something in the modern art vein, but an artist with limited ability will not be able to do work that is beyond his limitation.

That is why I advocate artistic freedom, so we can do anything we want without any handicap. But this only matters if I'm talking to someone who wants that versatility and freedom. If not, I'd just be barking up the wrong tree.

I'm very happy to have you join us in the workshop. Needless to say, we're going to have a lot of very interesting discussions in the next couple of months.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #30
Quote: I commiserate with your financial challenges. I don't know if you are an art student at a college but it underscores my point. You don't need to be technically perfect to make money and get satisfaction from art. If you making art for people that is, not an art professor or only the top industry clients governed by them.

It has a lot more to do with finding a niche and connecting directly with clients. Average people love creative art and admire artists, they really do. If you can find authors who you can connect with directly or companies that service smaller niches I have found that they are more than willing to overlook technical imperfection if you can give them something original that is very specific to their needs. I am not talking about freelance sites - I mean starting with friends, relatives, neighbors, community, and building out from there.


Aaah. Not a student any more. Though I did learn some very valuable things in college that I doubt I would've learned otherwise, I managed to graduate completely unprepared for a career in art...and life in general. lol! I've been spending the time since amending that while living in the country with few opportunities and just about as much internet. Only recently have I been able to move to the city in a different state and am taking the little steps. All my commissions to date have been from friends/relatives/coworkers. I don't even know of any freelance websites. My next step is conventions! I've two lined up for this year and hopefully more in the years to come.

And I have a tenth of my class tuition set aside. Nine pay cheques from now and I should be ready. Mwahahaha!
 
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