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This is my first time posting on here, so I apologize if I do something uncommon or wrong. I've come here because I need some good feedback and constructive criticism. I've realized that I don't get hardly any feedback from anybody anymore, in person or online (flickr and tumblr). I just really want to better myself as an artist.
I work mainly in mixed media illustration and photography but will only be showing recent illustration work. I might show some not as recent work too though. I'd love it if you checked out the rest of my illustrations set on flickr though. And if you'd like to read details or see larger versions of any that i've posted here, they're on there as well.
Most recent works (in my moleskine):
Not as recent works:
I apologize if I posted too many.
Thanks in advance for looking and any feedback you have to offer!
Well, I do like your work, very much. I can easily identify with that sort of collage aproaching, putting together text and images, to offer a glance into a personal inner world of poetic qualities (given your casual usage of a comic format, I think you might find interesting the work La vida en el limbo, by Ahumada; the old drawings of Jose Luis Cuevas came to my mind too); most of your watercolours look very appealing to me; your animal characters look all really well...
The problems, I think, may arise depending on what you aim to do now with this works: do you want them to be exposed in galleries? to develop a personal style that could be recognized, illustrating tales and other books? to develop your own stories/characters/thematics and try to publish them independently? I ask because, depending on the circles you want to strike into, the people in charge tend to find this kind of very personal, eclectic and small format works, likelly amateurish/ambiguous or not really fitting their own necessities. For starters, and althought you've developed a nice style with it, maybe you should consider avoid using a ball pen and substitute it with a Mars matic or calligraphic pens, for a more sober look.
Last edited by elemile; December 18th, 2011 at 01:38 AM.
Yes, I'd have to echo elemile -- what is it you want to do? You've developed a strong personal style that's difficult to critique in the traditional way. It's interesting. I like several of them a lot.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
these are very nice as said above, a good style you have there. I like the blythe-alice in wonderland tea party with i assume yourself present in it (since several of the guys look similar)
since you asked for critisism I'd try and work on proportions/symmetry a bit more in the forward facing faces, even though they look very charming as they are i'd imagine even better with more symmetry.
For what you want to be I'd definitely go towards magazine and book illustration (which is what i want to do also)
edit: just checked your flickr, good that it intentionally looks like iwan cos that's what I thought when i saw it
As far as what I want to do. I want to do everything; show in galleries, make zines, finish my graphic novel idea (that i've had for 2+ years)/get my graphic novel published, illustrate for books and magazines and album covers, etc.
I think I understand as far as some people thinking these small works are amateurish but it's not as if I think my work doesn't have value. I'm a talented artist. I do have plans to do some large portraiture soon though, so maybe that will open me up.
What are the main differences between the ball-point pen and the other pen's you've suggested? What did you mean by a "sober look"?
Definitely! That is something i've been having issues with is the symmetry. My faces are always a little askew. And although no face is completely symmetrical sometimes it's still too much of an issue. What would you recommend for me to get better as far as that? I already use the method of putting a line in the middle of the face, both horizontally and vertically. What more could I do?
lovely colours and technique; the content is a bit gocryemokid but each to their own.
this is my fave by a mile
check out my pal Mydrims sketchbook, hes fucking awesome at wierd pictures you might like.
I can easily identify with that sort of collage aproaching, putting together text and images
If i'm not reading it wrong, please explain. What about my work is emo? Because my work is very personal and is often my way of working out my feelings?
I do like your friend's sketchbook. It's neat.
With the symmetry of the face, more lines as you build it up and reverse the picture (always reverse the picture!) as you work on it to see how it's going. These two things really help.
"What about my work is emo?"
one thing i would say is dont be too sensitive; people in the crit forum are always constructive but that doesnt automatically mean they love everything; if youre weak in an area they will tell you. Many new posters here are used to being told their work is flawless so it comes as a shock to have it picked apart and deconstructed, but its a 100% positive thing and will make you better. Its meant to help, so dont get offended or annoyed.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; December 21st, 2011 at 02:59 AM.
"I was merely asking for more of an explanation which you still didn't give me."
Sure I did. But if you really insist on pressing the point, lets examine the facts; white, male, middle class guy does self portraits, images of self harming, adds melodramatic captions in cursive script, ignores positive comments and responds to critique in a tetchy, peevish tone that speaks of hurt pride and senstivity to criticism. its emo. deal with it.
"Why is my work difficult to critique though?"
because its not concept art, its editorial illustration. its pretty good too. what in particular would you like feedback on? which image? without that specific info, generic feedback would simply be toughen up, keep working hard, seek out and study the best work you can and also find a forum specialising in this kind of art to get more specific help. ass pats are not us.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; December 21st, 2011 at 03:51 AM.
And when did I ignore positive comments? I either say thank you in text or hit the "thank you" button when somebody says something kind because I always appreciate it. I apologize if i've missed any of them.
I apologize if I seemed like my pride was hurt and am sensitive to criticism because I wasn't/am not. I have noticed that the way I write online doesn't always match up with exactly how i'm feeling or people misinterpret what i'm getting at. It's probably just my fault and overreacting in the way i'm typing.
Thank you. I just want to better myself as an artist. I want to know what I could be doing better.
That said: Jonathan, you draw and paint very well...I'd definitely buy the "dog" and "moldy persimmon" pieces and hang them on my wall. If you want to show in galleries, makes zines and graphic novels, sell illustration--by all means, go for it. You clearly have the technical chops to make it happen.
The not-dog-and-persimmon-stuff, while mostly well done (I like your drawing from life a lot better than your drawing from imagination), feels A) unfocused conceptually and even sort of random (What is head-in-a-teacup trying to say? Why does the boy have antlers? Why are your fingers blue?) and B) very 2003 in its use of the "emo" devices we listed above. Seven years ago those things felt fresh and honest and stylish, and now they feel dated. This is, unfortunately, the way the art world works.
Just my two cents. Hope it is of some use.
"Thank you. I just want to better myself as an artist. I want to know what I could be doing better. "
I think youre doing really nice stuff. Carry on, read, think, push your self, figure out your goals, enjoy having a hobby you love which you can turn into a job if you like.
Its all well drawn and doesnt look crap, just 2003ish; but there are standout pieces that show genuine excellence, and show that with practice you could be really good. i think if you pushed yourself out of your illustrative comfort zone into some topics and mediums you might not otherwise use you could make some really kickass stuff and really enjoy yourself, and it would reflect well on your graphics stuff too.
I think you should enter the weekly just for fun contests at the top of these forums, theyre loads of fun. First one is a bit confusing I found but once you have a go its really pretty fun. Anyone who wants to draws something, all on the same theme.
look at this, its astonishing http://www.goodbrush.com/
Do me a favour and look at my work and took it apart, say what i did wrong and what youd change, paint over soemthing, be my guest, im sure other people here would be up for that too, Id be interested in your thoughts and criticisms.
Your obviously intelligent; trust yourself and figure it out.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; December 21st, 2011 at 11:34 AM.
I agree that my work from life is much better. I just work better when using guides and references.
I don't feel the need to have to explain all of my art to you but they do all have stories and reasons. Just because you don't understand doesn't mean it doesn't have meaning.
As far as my ideas and work not being fresh, sure, there are many symbols I use that I know are cliche but they still have meaning to me and that's why I use them.
In 2003, I was much younger - a sophomore/junior in high-school. My point being I wasn't much involved with the hip art world or knew what was going on. Who's fault is that? mine. But you can't expect me to know everything about everything in the art world.
I am curious though, what ideas are fresh now-a-days? To me it's hard to say because it seems as though everything has been used.
As I learnt it, in the occidental tradition there are basically 2 ways to handle ink:
i) With brushes. It constitutes the basis of watercolour; the quality there is given by the most economic and cleanest (without cracks) posible using of grey layers, to accurately render light, volumes and textures.
ii) With drawing pens. The quality comes from that of your own lines; you only have 2 values to work with: the white/base of the paper and the black/saturated tone of your ink; hence, to render gray zones and textures, you must indeed do it with some form of grid or doting, or clearly changing from one blade to another, but without ever loosing the intended quality/intensity of your line in the process.
You can, of course, mix both techniques together wisely with appealing results. What I don't see that convenient is to rest outside any of them, as it seems when you use a ball pen; wich, apart from delivering a weird and uncertain blue-violet colour (instead of pure black or grey), does not have the stability/contundence in line that is expected from an ink pen drawing (hence making it look amateurish); I think you'd do better even in using pencils or a crayon, to make justice to those drawings with differently toned lines. Also: you throw many of those lines quite carelessly/hazardously, when the most appealing factor of an ink drawing should be a well thought, clean and ordered structure and rendering.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by elemile; December 21st, 2011 at 04:48 PM.
Just a note about that - this is one of the reasons why what you want to do with your work is relevant. Of the things you mentioned, this kind of personal work is probably okay for zines/gallery work/etc, but less so if you're putting together a portfolio tailored for illustration. Illustration is, at its heart, about communication - both the more narrative style you see a lot around here, and the more conceptual style from newspapers/magazines/etc. I can't comment on this with individual pieces you've posted, not knowing their purpose (though from your comments I get the feeling they're mostly personal work) but you do have a style that would make for interesting editorial illustration, provided you can show the ability to clearly communicate a concept/idea.I don't feel the need to have to explain all of my art to you but they do all have stories and reasons. Just because you don't understand doesn't mean it doesn't have meaning.
I really love the dog one. =D
And, as Chekhov famously said, "'If you want to work on your art, work on your life."
okay well let me preface this by saying I might not know anything..so with that said...
if you put these two pieces in the same portfolio you might confuse potential clients.....both pieces have value.....you did them, you enjoy them, they mean something to you=value.....but with that said there are 1000's upon 1000's of artists in the world trying to " make it" so what is your niche what sets you apart, in the two pieces I picked there seems to be technical differences...that may be intentional perhaps the second is meant to be more naive.....and yes you are correct you don't have to explain your art to us.....but if you want us to buy it it better mean something to us......with all this said I think you actually deserve an ass pat but also should never be content art is a lifetime passion the day you stop learning is the day you stop living..draw the same thing 20 different ways.....don't seek a style, let your style find you...your style will come by exploring them all...I like what you have done.....is it the best art I have ever seen..is it so new that I stand up and notice.no not yet.....is it good you bet.....so don't stop, keep going, look forward to more....
Oh dear! here we go again!!
Please read this mate it will stand you in good staed while you are here!
http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=219000 - God bless jeffx99 this is cut and paste No 56 from me since it was first posted.
I dont know if you are doing this artwork for a hobby or for a job, if its a job then listen up!
When you put your work in front of a publisher or other customer they are paying for the image in their head (NOT YOURS!! THIERS!) you as the artist have to pull that out and give it to them on paper, canvas, board or whatever. They are harsh they are unforgiving and they have deadlines, get yourself used to harsh critique there will be bus loads more before you are done.
If its a hobby then just smile and move on because it really doenst matter what we think as long as you are getting what you want from your work. I rather like some of your images and so does "velocity" he was trying to help in his own way dont just bin his opinion take a look through his sketchbook and evaluate his skills and you will see that he is pretty good at this art nonsense. So his opinion must carry a little weight, plus you need to know what it is that people are seeing in your art.
enjoy your art matey and if you genuinely want it looking at with a critical eye then post it here, if not show it to your family who love you and will spare your feelings.
all the very best to you with your work and I hope this ramble has explained how things work here.
A great kind hearted lumbering bullock
http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=209918 = my Sketchbook
I never thought it looked amateurish (why would I continue to use it if I did? lol).
Thank you for your explanations.
I'm not hurt by what anybody has said. I want to take all of this information and try my best to use it to become a better artist.. Isn't that what constructive criticism is?
And I will do my best to get used to harsh critique (considering I haven't had too much of it in the past). I am a strong person and have no doubt in my mind that I can handle it.
I will be sure to read the thread you replied with. Thank you!
This would not happen but a good way to test someone, if there was a forum for it (people would take advantage hence there is not) is make requests and see if the person is happy with the result- commission experience if the person doesnt have any. An artist I like ca*tlin shearer (stopping it coming up on google, try searching that though) with a similar minimalist style has varying quality in her commissions depending on enthusiasm for the commissioner (i assume) and you don't want that