Originally Posted by iLoveGreenDragon
Anyways, words can only say so much and to me are not really a vision. A concept artist is really the visionary, if you say I want a space ship interior with aliens and give specific details, they are just words. Unless you are working from an even more basic concept reference, which is still concept art.
I don't know. I think there is definitely room for the idea of shared vision. And I think that words often play a significant role. I've been in more than enough situations where the client defined the vision scope, but I provided the vision for the visual within scope. In those cases I can't claim credit for the basic scope of vision, but I can claim credit for the vision employed in the visual execution. Without the client's premise the final vision would have no meaning or context to the client, or even potentially me. Its the seed which is cultivated into the final vision if you will. They can't be separated, the seed from the plant that is.
Its why I tried to draw the distinction between the two directions of concept art and the many possible states of vision development which can potentially exist from 0 to 180 degrees. Its also why I draw a distinction between vision and forward vision. Forward vision, while its a term that appears redundant, really helps at clarifying that kind of vision as more than just shared vision. I think shared vision is most common, however.
I will say that I doubt most feature films are ever created without shared vision. And that along the way to the edit room so many variants and degrees of shared vision are executed. And that unless the producer of the product is also the visionary and sole artist, very few things today are the pure vision of one person. I do think you fully understand that.
Avatar is a great example. Cameron worked for decades on that story concept. Without Cameron's effort, imagination, and shear determination in light of a CGI production environment that wasn't technically ready to execute his specific vision, Avatar would never have been realized. The specific case you cite is a case where the vision was planted by one person and cultivated by another. In the end it was a shared vision and both are visionaries. Society could argue for a hundred years who contributed what percentage to the sum of the vision, but both are involved, both contributed, both are visionaries. Both were executing Cameron's ultimate vision. And from there it gets more and more complex.
40 years ago it was a different world. There were fewer collaborative "art" efforts on the scale of what we see daily in Hollywood today. I'm talking about CGI, not necessarily film production in general. There was more "ownership" of art productions by fewer people, or just the one. That's not the case today, at least not as often.
25 years ago generalist animators were everywhere. They were the rare folks like myself who have had to do everything(conceive, model, animate, light, render, composite, etc), and more importantly were willing to do everything. Today they are the exception not the rule. Over 95% of my reel is mine in context of the created visual. But almost every piece on my reel was defined in scope by someone else.
Schools today are graduating so many CGI artists and artists in general. People know they can actually make a living in art. That was not the case 40 years ago. In fact a career in art was openly discouraged in many parts of the culture, nobody wanted their children to become "starving artists". And trust me, the idea of "starving artist" today is far different than it was when oils, gesso and canvas were considered the most common high end art tool of choice. Back then all artists, and society, knew exactly what the "dues" were that had to be paid to become a visionary artist. The seclusion, the hard work, the training, the focus, the expense, the wasted canvases and paint, the days years and decades until that "groove" or style that tapped into a public consciousness which made them successful was finally discovered. It wasn't pretty.
It is different today. The tools make it easier, the profession is more accepted by culture, but the search for style that connects to an audience has not. What's different today though is that you can expend a hundred canvas' for the cost of your electricity bill. Artists that seek to be visionaries have it great today compared to the way it was. Even time is on your side. But requirement of time, investment of effort, dedication, motivation, desire, none of that has changed, or ever will.
If you truly want to be that visionary, ignore the advice of the mainstream. See yourself as that visionary and pursue it with every fiber of your being. Age is meaningless. Visionary art is visionary because it is contradictory of the mainstream. The visionary conceives and introduces something new and vibrant which others have never seen. It excites the soul. Regardless where the inspiration or seed came from. And in the end it doesn't matter if you share the vision with someone else so long as both are recognized, and both get credit for their contribution to the vision.