okay i think i get it now... thanks innabok i was getting annoyed with putting all the text up front all the time. i was wondering how other people were doing it.
thanks tensai, i went to your website http://www.lokjansen.com and looked around a little. i like the way you do those cityscapes. it's kind of like that one continuous contour line running through everything. really cool. i also noticed you're based in tokyo. i lived in yokohama for a year opposite from the Chinatown and i went to school and was skateboarding a lot down at Sakuragicho-eki and Minato Mirai 21. I've been meaning to go back one of these days, but there have been family illnesses and school loans preventing me from doing it. i'll drop you an e-mail and exchange contact info thru your site. cool stuff. thanks for looking again.
as far as quicksketch goes, somebody pointed out to me the bigger view of things. everything can be interesting, everything can be the start of something bigger, everything can imply a narrative. every once in a while, i need to smack myself upside the head and remind myself of that. keeps me both humble and excited. it should be fun and exciting, not nervous and tense. there are so many things left to do once you think you have a grasp on anatomy or drawing from observation.
if they say that rock stars play guitar on stage like they have sex, then the same should be true for artists and quicksketch, right? i just tell myself--don't turn it into a masturbation race or you will definitely make her (Lady Art) unhappy.
Absolutely fantastic figures, man! I really love the statutes, you got the look of marble down dead! I've looked through your book at least four times now and I still find myself staring and trying to figure out how the lines went on each peice. You've helped me knock off a few afternoons, and I've learned a ton just by looking. Thanks!
Magic Man: Thanks. Your sketchbook is awesome! I stopped by a while ago. Very cool stuff.
Viking Raider: Thanks. I think you're talking about the bargue drawings, right:?
Jushra: Thanks, unfortunately all the places i go for figure drawing are between terms right now, so i have to wait another week or two before I can get some more life drawing in. I don't know why they bother to take those weeks off for the uninstructed sessions I go to... complete waste of two weeks. i've got the urge to do a big figure painting. hopefully it will come together.
This is some f'ing test at a design studio in LA. I'm not happy with it, like usual, because it feels like i just pulled it out of my ass. I'm not a big TV fan. I didn't have any tv for about 2 years, and then for another 2 years, I only watched one channel--TVJAPAN on satellite--to keep up with the language skills and watch sumo.
anyway. did this on super cheap tracing paper with prismacolor. scanned it in, made some bullshit adjustments and threw it out there.
storyboarding practice...or reverse-engineering from a jittery trailer.
i did these as practice from the online quicktime trailer of "300." i'm not a huge fan of the movie as a film simply because the whole thing played like a two-hour music video. that said, it was well-crafted visually and carried a lot of heavy-handed punch.
anyway, not going for the whole photo-finish, but going for the biggest bang for the buck for this kind of movie. good practice, but not the same as doing it from scratch. strangely, this is almost harder than working from imagination in some ways.
I love the ballpoint sketches of the first couple pages, your tutorials, and I can really relate to your 10000 hours rant, having worked my way through college for 9 years to get my BFA, to only find MUCH lacking in my actual drawing skills, although I would say, callow youth that I was, I was as little interested in actually learning formal drawing skills as the school was in teaching them.
I appreciate also your remarks on circumstances not preventing you from drawing. I recently got a hard look at how I was still seeing myself too much as a victim in this regard when My mentor brought as guest lecturer to class an artist visiting from China who is currently carving the Martin Luther King Jr statue which will someday stand on the MLK Plaza on the Mall in DC. Master Lei is an astonishing artist who was caught up in China's Culture Wars in the midst of his studies, and was sent to hard labor in the fields, which meant as far as he knew for the rest of his life, he would never make art again. His response? To excel at whatever tasks were presented to him. With time his work ethic gained him the favor of his over-seers, who asked what he'd done in his previous life.
"Painting", he replied.
the over-seer's response? "Well, do that from now on."
The point of this story for me is not that dilligence will be rewarded, but how Master Lei comported himself, with no expectation of reward, showing a great example of discipline and professionalism. He did not compartmentalize his intensity and commitment, "save his best effort only for his art", but honored his conception of himself as an intense, committed individual whose efforts showed this whatever he was doing.
Also, to this day, at 45 years of age with the care of a 2 year old son, I still find it easy to say "circumstances won't let me pursue my art to the degree I'd like, oh well", but how foolish and cowardly this sounds to me after having met an artist for whom this was literally the truth, circumstances in the form of party officials with the power of life and death over Master Lei basically told him "Go till that field, you will never draw again so long as you live."
Incidentally, my mentor informed our class that "Master" is Master Lei's official title, that in Chinese society the title is granted to a practitioner of a discipline who shows unsurpassed excellence in that discipline, and that out of a billion or so people in China, currently only 10 are considered "Masters" in their discipline.
I haven't seen 300 the movie, but I like your storyboards better than the original comic!
art is the single most USELESS profession. it doesn't make food, it doesn't make tools, it makes nothing tangible. it is all pixels and rearranged raw materials. Any other job is more useful--doctors save lives and deliver babies, janitors keep our buildings clean, bankers help organize our economy, scientists further human knowledge. why the hell should anybody care about the mess you've smeared on a piece of canvas?
the answer is that art has the potential to be one of the most MEANINGFUL professions. your job as an artist is to spend the time and energy that all of those other people do not have to spare. you as an artist give the busy doctor, the tired janitor, the welfare mother, the video-gamer the opportunity to share a common experience, to offer them something to interpret on their own instead of force-feeding them the final answer, to comiserate, to laugh at themselves and remove their own obstacles, to exorcise demons, to notice how even the most obese model can be beautiful in his/her mass and solidity, to inspire action, transcend tedium, run around naked, explore their kinky side, stop and smell the roses, criticize their long-held institutions etc. etc. etc.
that is an incredible responsibility and a remarkable way to organize your life.
i don't mean it to sound too preachy or overly positive, because art doesn't have to be that way, and i am a notoriously negative person. sometimes it is hard work, and sometimes it is a good one-liner at the right moment. but either way, it does have to be "liberating" to at least one person, right? you had better get something out of it at least.
on the one hand, you've gotta be humble because you're one person representing all those who don't have the chance to collect their experiences or imaginations and share it with everybody. and, like i said at the beginning, you're nothing but a luxury item from a certain point of view. on the other hand, you've gotta come out of that corner ready to swing a fist and take a beating with a big bloody toothless grin on your face.