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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saramel View Post
    Fine artists and political cartoonists often at least create work that makes us think about the world we live in/our human nature/etc.,
    Decent sci-fi and fantasy does that too.


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  4. #17
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    Thank you everyone - these are exactly the kind of perspectives I was hoping to get from artists less pessimistic than myself at the moment. It all probably seems pretty obvious, but it's hard to think of or remember these things when I start going down this path of thinking. EmiPark, you are absolutely right - I am able to be very emotionally and spiritually influenced by good movies, music or books, and if impactful enough, I can have a lasting feeling of optimism, motivation and/or inspiration for days. I do want my art to have that affect on someone. Just reading everyone's responses has really lifted my spirits. I hope I can return the favor if and when any of you is ever feeling down or empty. (pardon my gushiness, I'll try to keep it to the secret girl sector)

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    I worked in the advertising agency/studio world most of my life. I made the decision early on that I would work more with non-profit social welfare groups and the classic entertainment areas (ballet, symphonies, etc.). I didn't make a lot of money compared to my peers, but it just felt better helping someone who actually needed my help to survive rather selling flashy rubber underwear to business executives or convincing a yuppie "housewife" she wasn't up to level unless she owned the Nixon-Commemorative stainless steel matched cooking set, when I knew damn well she couldn't tell the difference between sitting on a tomato and asking the maid to make cereal for the brats.

    Man in the modern world works, lives, and sleeps in a techno-utilitarian/mass produced world. What we artists/designers should exist for is to insert some anarchy into that world--Elvis on velvet, teddy bears with removable guts, entertainment outside the establishment mainstream, something to think about or give our straight neighbors a good shock or laugh. Make your mom wipe a tear away with one of your pieces, or giggle, and you've changed her world a bit and brought back something nice up out of her memory pool...

    I would call that a good thing.
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  7. #19
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    "Decent sci-fi and fantasy does that too." --Melonkov

    Sci-fi and fantasy may be the most important genres in our world right now. They give us a sense of hope, and actually can change history through "sparks" of ideas that actually become reality years later, often because someone read the right story/comic or saw the right piece of art at the right time. Mainstream equivalents often just remind us of now, and the meaning of normal and abnormal in the now...entertaining maybe, but not all that helpful usually...

    It often just demonstrates that my 10-year-old niece is a more dangerous piece of potentially cannibalistic protein than any vilains in all your in all your funny shoot-em-up video games.
    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary

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  9. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae View Post
    Man in the modern world works, lives, and sleeps in a techno-utilitarian/mass produced world. What we artists/designers should exist for is to insert some anarchy into that world--Elvis on velvet, teddy bears with removable guts, entertainment outside the establishment mainstream, something to think about or give our straight neighbors a good shock or laugh. Make your mom wipe a tear away with one of your pieces, or giggle, and you've changed her world a bit and brought back something nice up out of her memory pool...

    I would call that a good thing.
    Mmm, yes, I definitely agree with you on that. I am currently surrounded by very straight neighbors, sometimes I fantasize that I am better able to vocalize and illustrate my opinions in order to deliver that shock or laugh, but I think I need more practice or something, because what I show to my friends (or mom) for critique in that area seems to conjure more confusion and a need for detailed explanation of the message than strong feelings or ideas.

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    "Is fantasy concept art and illustration completely superficial?"

    Thousands of years' worth of illustrated myths say "no".
    If people weren't getting *something* out of all those legends and fairytales and religious iconography why's there so much of that stuff hanging around? We need narratives to make sense out of a life that's largely senseless and it's not just pictures of politicians in donkey and elephant suits hanging out by an oil derrick that's labelled "The Middle East" that make you think.

    I mean what's fantasy illustration? And why aren't YOU loading it with meaning?
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  11. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    I mean what's fantasy illustration? And why aren't YOU loading it with meaning?
    When I think of it, there are many great examples of fantasy and sci fi visuals/narration that have been loaded with social/political/ecological meaning for me and many others. I hope I have the insight and creativity to merge such powerful messages with my interest in drawing and painting 'cool characters and stuff' in some actual finished projects someday (some of which I have in the past began formalizing, only to end up realizing that their meaning is phantom or paradoxal), but for now most of my stuff is just for the sake of being pretty and cool, in order to hopefully demonstrate my ability to illustrate the ideas of others in exchange for money. Like I said, this has probably left me feeling so self-centered because outside of drawing I am working a day job, but when I can make this my real job, then some voluteering in my spare time and maybe some meaningful pro-bono work will help begin to fill the void.

    One day, though, if I could make other people feel about something the way Miyazaki makes me feel about nature and human kindess, that would be boss.

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    Creativity discovers things that science cannot, or it takes science longer to discover because science is limited to observations. Invisibility, time travel, teleportation and etc. were all first thought up by creative individuals. These phenomenas were said to be impossible in the past, and a majority, including scientists, agreed. Now we know that invisibility (for the time is to certain wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum), time travel (theoretically possible until the neutrino's speed is confirmed, hence the scientific limitations), and teleportation (when Austrian researchers teleported a photon across the Danube river in Vienna) are all possible, at least theoretically for time travel. This realization came across as a wake-up slap for scientists to rethink about the notion of impossibility. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist and CUNY professor, says what is impossible now may only be a matter of time before it becomes possible. It is a matter of seeing and imagining. Our imagination is able to see things that won't come for centuries or millenniums, or which may never even come to being for the life of our universe. And for that, creativity or art for sci-fi and fantasy is valuable.

    Creativity in fantasy just does the similar thing, as they grasp the concept of history (rather than the facts) in historical fantasy (such as conflicts or dramas that could have existed but did not), or biological fantasy such as dragons. This creates options, even though intangible they are, they are enough for us to indulge in. We indulge in it every time we go see a movie, read a book, or see a painting that conveys a story or situation.

    Creativity, in a sense is a top down approach to "discovery", which we start off with a greater realization no matter how absurd they may sound and go forth with such an idea. Science is a bottoms-up approach, only accepting those that can be observed and collecting data as we go.

    You may never know, if the multiverse theory is true, there can exist things with your designs (but don't expect an exact match). Say a biological event happened and Tyrannosaurus Rex grew wings, which would split their time line from the time line of our universe like a forked river (our T-Rex don't have wings). The thing that separates these two time lines is the universal constant. If the universal constant can be surpassed, such as with a wormhole, we can travel to different times with altered evolution or history different from ours. You can also theoretically travel to a universe where different cosmological events happened, resulting in different laws of physics.

    Of course when it comes to a zombie apocalypse, most of art is rendered useless, because function takes over form; you want to survive rather than indulge yourself in almost non-existent opportunity of luxury to make art. One of my teacher said that "art is a sign of civilization". Why science is better in a zombie apocalypse is because of its relatively bottoms-up approach, which allows it to take advantage of more fundamental resources necessary for survival. This is because of the factual and technical knowledge that science gives as opposed to wild speculation in art. But I believe, even in a zombie apocalypse, people may find value in a good painting, with which they will hang in their bunkers or shabby fortifications to remember the good times with or for emotional connections.

    Emotions can go a long way, and the story of the Trojan War represent just that, whether it happened or not. Because art, like beauty, appeals not to our necessity for survival, and at the same time can have such a profound and magnificent effect on our lives. This is what differentiates us from robots.
    Last edited by Vay; September 26th, 2011 at 08:37 PM.
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  14. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saramel View Post
    One day, though, if I could make other people feel about something the way Miyazaki makes me feel about nature and human kindess, that would be boss.
    Why not start now? The problem with "someday" is that one day someday arrives and you realize that things have gotten no easier in the meantime. In fact they might be harder because you'll have clients and family putting pressure on you.
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    Vay - wow, that's a very in depth look at the values of works of imagination vs science, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. And you're right, besides happy accidents, most inventions and advancements came from imagination, and as we get further technologically, more inventors seem to be looking to the 'impossibilities' of science fiction for ideas and inspiration.

    In a zombie apocolypse, I'd be happy to have my painting hanging on a bunker wall but mostly, yeah, I'd probably be focusing on push-ups and my aim with a crowbar.


    Vineris - you're absolutely right - things will probably not be easier in the future, and they could just as well be harder. At the moment it is much easier for me to illustrate the ideas of others than come up with a solid idea that makes sense when I say it out loud, but brainstorming and fleshing out ideas seem like they should be practicable and improvable skills like any other.

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    There have been other posts that have explained my thoughts on this far better than I could, (in short, making yourself and other people happy is a worthy pursuit and a valid way to spend a life) but there is one thing that stood out for me that I'm not sure anyone else mentioned (forgive me if someone already brought this up):

    Quote Originally Posted by Saramel View Post
    Fine artists and political cartoonists often at least create work that makes us think about the world we live in/our human nature/etc.
    You're a fool if you think that the best science fiction and fantasy is anything but a metaphor for the world we live in/human nature/etc. That's largely what makes the whole thing so interesting in my opinion.

    I think, as well, that you're too hard on yourself in the "Dawn of the Dead" example. To become a good sci-fi/fantasy artist, you have to learn a little bit about the form and function of a lot of things, I'm sure that would come in handy?

    It's an interesting post, though!
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  17. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by GHudston View Post
    You're a fool

    oh! well, then. But I do agree, after looking back at the great sci fi and fantasy that has moved me; it is often due to the use of fables and parables that I have found myself engrossed in deeper thought about our own real universe.

    Maybe I could use my drawing skills to help design better skull-bashing weapons or something, that would be cool. Yeah, now that I think about it, I'd be way more helpful than that chick, she's useless (plus, remember when she went out into the horde of zombies to save that dog who wasn't in any danger? stupid).

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    you answered your own question lol~

    arts, entertainment, communication can be really meaningful for society. it is what you want it to be superficial and petty or meaningful.

    OF COURSE that is going to seem petty and self-indulgent to some, but if you have a skill already why shouldn't you use it? Get used to people criticizing you. Embrace it. Let them call you petty or superficial (your parents ever do it? mine did) You will get used to it and learn how to handle it. Most people just appreciate the passion though. You can always train yourself to do other things that make money. Have you ever heard of digital tutors?

    Just kick back. Get a job at a place you find decent. Nobody can take drawing away from you.

  19. #29
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    I think fantasy art is actually improved by the influx of other disciplines. That's why some of the older high budget animes are so outstanding: they draw upon the resources of highly educated creators and implement real-world knowledge into building realistic mythical settings and characters. And yes, maybe it is selfish for me to say that those other disciplines can serve the agenda of creating better art, but as Vay so eloquently pointed out, the opposite is true as well.

  20. #30
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    I thought about either going into physics or art after High School; I was in indecision. I went with art, then later I felt that something was missing, because I also valued academics (luckily my college requires academics). If you find a value in something and you pursue it, then chances are, you won't regret it at the end of your life; on the contrary, you might regret at your death bed knowing you hadn't tried it, at least I will.
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