Jake Kobrin is 19 years old and is studying fine arts (drawing and painting) at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. The following is a selection of his work. Please give honest and constructive critiques.
(mockup for oil painting I'm working on)
My drive to create art is more than an interest. It is not a hobby. It is a compulsion. It continuously consumes me, leaving me broken, sleep-deprived, and unsatisfied. This yearning to create, although exhausting, however, is the most rewarding pursuit that I could ever envision. In each artwork, I discover new attributes about myself. I explore new philosophies. Each work allows me to perceive reality in a slightly different light. It also allows me to share a touch of beauty with the world that has the potential to inspire and bring joy to a great number of people.
I have every intention of realizing my dream of becoming an artist and I will dedicate my life to the creation of my artwork in service of this vision. Like an “aesthetic monk,” I have undergone a process of renunciation, uprooting all of the aspects of my life that distract me from my art practice. Art making, aside from the occasional concert and my job as an art store employee, is sole activity that occupies the entirety of my time.
I was born and raised, and continue to live, in Mill Valley, CA. At the age of 12 I began to pursue art as a career goal. By the age of 13 I was attending art workshops throughout the country studying airbrushing and concept art. A breakthrough in my artistic development came about at the age of 14 when I discovered a vast network of aspiring artists on the Internet who encouraged academic studies as a supplement for artistic development. Around this time I began to study anatomy, attend figure-drawing sessions, and routinely draw self-portraits as well as still life arrangements.
My true artistic passion, however, is for Visionary Art (which is closely affiliated with Fantastic Realism, Art of the Imaginative, Neo-Surrealism, and Psychedelic Art.) This summer I was awarded a scholarship to study for a week in New York with the visionary masters Alex and Allyson Grey. I was invited by the couple to attend Burning Man, where they performed live painting and gave several talks about creativity and its place in the evolution of human consciousness. At Burning Man I was also exposed to the works of Andrew “Android” Jones (who I have known since I was about 14 years old from my participation in art workshops at which he taught,) Amanda Sage, Michael Devine, Luke Brown, and several others who fully ignited my inspiration. Other visionary influences of mine include Robert Venosa, Zdzislaw Beksinski, H.R. Giger, Odd Nerdrum, and Ernst Fuchs. It is my immediate goal to “break into” the community of visionary artists that exists within the Bay Area and around the world and to show my artwork within their facilities and events.
For now I am studying at the Academy of Art University and attempting to build the most solid foundation of classical techniques possible with which I can most accurately illuminate my imagination. When I am not at the Academy I am working on commissions and my own personal work. Hopefully my intense and dedicated workload will result in my becoming an artist of great skill. I fully abide by the theory that it’s “better to burn out than fade away.” Truly, however, there is nothing I would rather be doing than creating artwork.
You can view some of my artwork at the following websites:
Last edited by OldJake666; December 4th, 2012 at 01:05 AM.
My impression is that there is too big of a divide between the fractal/abstract work and the observational work. I'd like to see you bring the two together, as either alone isn't quite impactful yet. The fractal parts aren't very unique compared to many other artists, the very abstract ones it's hard to find any meaning beyond "well here are some psychedelic colors". The representational ones are pretty well done, room for improvement but you're well on your way, however I see them more as studies than portfolio pieces. On the self portrait and a couple other pencil drawings I see the representational and the psychedelic come together and those are definitely my favorites; there is something tangible that viewers can grip onto with combined with the foreign that can grow interest.
That's just my opinion, you might disagree. You obviously have a lot going for you and it's only a matter of time spent experimenting and exploring before your stuff really comes together.
And the music ones are just great!
These are interesting and show promise. But you've always shown promise.
Let me talk more specifically about some principles you may apply to your work to make them stronger.
Firstly let me tell you my worry. I think there are parts of the anatomy that you are less knowledgable about and you are somewhat using your newfound decorative imagination to hide those anatomical bits that you aren't up to speed with. I see this kind of thing all the time. I used to do it myself until my mother, who was a professional artist herself called bullshit on it. My favorite thing was avoiding drawing feet. The solution is to get bridgman's anatomy books and do the boring thing of copying them page by page, maybe two pages a day, into your notebooks. And then trying to apply the volumetric information, the simplification of form to your life drawing or drawing from photoreference.
Some thoughts about improving your psychedecorative flights.... First, check out Odilon Redon. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-T1fpQh2vSi...te+Heymann.jpg I think you are already looking too much at Android Jones. There are other ways of making amazing patterning. See Vuillard http://uploads4.wikipaintings.org/im...work-table.jpg
There are other ways of bringing abstraction into realism, see Vrubel: http://artinrussia.org/wp-content/up...mon-Seated.jpg
There are even ways of getting abstraction into realistic pictures without compromising the reality of the picture: NC wyeth: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rDHXR79E9I...e_1914june.jpg
Group your stream of conscious ideas more into larger masses of whatever concept it is. Mass similar things, simliar colors, similar shapes, similar textured things, into bigger masses or spots or groups. Don't just throw spaghetti at the wall. Or else, in order to get harmonious transitions, you start fading one thing into another using photoshop and you get muddy stuff. Don't fade things, its too cheap. Some of the butterflies, when you fade them the way you are doing are losing coherence. Why not, instead of fading the butterflies against the background, fade them against a flat tone, which is the exact shape of the butterfly underneath it. That way you can fade the butterflies without combining them with ugly earth tones and textures and you can get a nicer color effect.
Love that skull with the eyes. That's a great idea and I like the way you realized it in pencil.
Defy photoshops filters. Defy blur effects and transparency effects. Defy "liquify" filters. Defy warp filters. The bean counters want you to use them. But these tools are stupid and cheap compared to the sensitivity of a human heart and imagination. Be an artist, not a software jockey.
Read up on the concept of breadth in Poore: http://www.readcentral.com/chapters/...f-Pictures/013
Last edited by kev ferrara; December 3rd, 2012 at 09:25 PM.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
That was a fantastic critique, Kev, thank you so much! I do look for other artists for inspiration for patterning, such as Islamic art and rug patterns, and the works of Gustav Klimt and Harry Clarke to name a couple of sources.
Last edited by OldJake666; December 4th, 2012 at 02:45 AM.
I think Liffey and Kev have covered the bases.
Kev is vastly more articulate and knowledgeable as regards other artists, and specific techniques, so Ill limit what I say to picking the ones I like the best:
Really solid consistent look, i wasnt sure if this was an actual woodcut or a simulation of one, either way I like the tone, and the execution a lot. Nice lineweights. Not easy to get right so kudos. Reminds me of the band Gentle Giant, who I like a lot.
10, love the colours and the dynamic; this could be a nice abstract or is, or with a tiny hovering ship its a Sparth style alien ship
11 Love this, i think it works really well.
my advice would be start dragging in influences from all over the place and mixing them. Your work so far literally recalls a mixing pot; what happens if you drag in nepalese eyes, or tropical reptiles, or nuclear physics or...
also, one of my favourite hobbies is illustrating images from the books i love, its a great way of getting interesting ideas for images from very creative people, ie writers, and directing the scene you would film if you were making a movie of the book. more fun than fun!
i think youve got a good eye, you can observe and draw proportions well, and a nice sense of design. you enjoy what you do, now just go and try everything! Youll just get better and better and enjoy it more and more. g'luck!
sb most art copied to page 1
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Some of your works reminded me of Andrew Jones,
you are great anyway.
Amazing work, both digital and hand done!