Sketchbook: FROM THEN TO NOW, the sketchbook of Erica Zann
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Thread: FROM THEN TO NOW, the sketchbook of Erica Zann

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    FROM THEN TO NOW, the sketchbook of Erica Zann

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Jerry Cross Jr.,
    although I prefer to be called Erica Zann online.
    Compliments, critiques, and questions are all welcome.
    Thank you for viewing, I hope you enjoy!


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    The upper three are ink on paper (upper middle is ink and watercolor on paper).
    The lower four are graphite on paper.

    -E

    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Group two, watercolors

    After high school I wanted to work with color, so I bought a cheap set of liquid watercolors and went to work.

    I had the idea that I was going to work with yellow as my light value (no white and no black) which is why the first
    five paintings have the coloration that they do. Such are the odd (and often self imposed) obstacles that occur for
    the self taught.

    Watercolor experts are also likely to critique my technique which is not standard, it is a heavy layered application
    more suited to acrylics or oils. Even though my technique remained the same for the final two paintings, I did give
    in and use white (which resulted in better paintings in my opinion).

    To my surprise and delight, the first painting (girl with violin) won an honorable mention in the Florida Bi-Annual
    international watercolor show that year. =)

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Hey Erica! admittedly I came in here because of your name..you should call you sb "(the visual) MUSIC of Erica Zann" XD
    anyhow some of your sketches and WColors remind me a bit of Gaimans (sp?) work..really interesting compositions..thanks for sharing

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    I am so glad someone finally got the reference! You would think with how many tentacled
    monster pics people post that an H.P. Lovecraft nod would be more recognizable.

    Gaiman's writing was a huge inspiration to me back when I did these, still enjoy his work; but
    back then the Sandman comic was my everything. =) ...or did you perhaps mean that my
    work reminded you of his frequent visual collaborator Dave Mckean? Either way, They were both
    influential to me.

    Check back in a couple days and let me know what you think of the rest of my work (currently in
    the process of posting). It changes quite a bit when I go digital.

    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Early Oils, The Path To Abstraction

    The first two paintings are oil on board, and relatively small;
    2 or 2.5 feet at the most.

    The last three are Oil on Canvas, and quite large.
    The piece titled "Squaring the Circle: Winter" is over 6 feet.

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    A Few B & W

    Apis, the reptiles, and buildings are Ink on paper, the rest are graphite on paper.

    The reptiles were drawn from life at the Barcelona zoo in Spain, while avoiding
    the rain. They had an albino Gorilla there! ...actually sounds cooler than it
    was. Albino anything sounds intriguing, but then when you sit down pen in
    hand and see the reality of an unhappy ape throwing feces at a wall; well my
    excitement emptied.

    The buildings are from the same trip but the only one I kind of remember the
    location from is the upper mid one. It was done in a small village called Pals
    (or Paws?). I can try and blame it on age or memory, but really I was just a
    bad record keeper back then.

    Great country for art though! The Picasso museum, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia,
    and don't even get me started on the Dali museum in Figueres!

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Thanksgiving Point, A New Career Begins

    TLDR? BEST JOB EVAH!!!

    Up to this point I had been focused mainly on showing my work at small galleries and
    considering myself fortunate if I sold a few pieces or gained a new commission.

    Then came the opportunity to try my hand at something different. Initially I
    was hired as a sort of general purpose faux painter. Faux painting was not
    something I had considered doing before then, but the increase in pay and
    the opportunity to try something new were enticing to me.

    The experience ended up being life changing for me. It tempered my character and
    pushed my talents far beyond the point they existed when I started the job. I was
    able to leave behind a compulsion to work exclusively in a self-indulgent world of
    personal symbols. This new world of art was one in which what I created enhanced
    the environment of an entire community.

    I am not trying to disparage the solo artist, but rather to express a sort of awakening
    that occurred for me during this opportunity to work on a public project as part of a
    group. The importance of valuing outside input, of being flexible during production,
    and creating high quality unified content under a deadline. Learning these lessons
    provided me with a successful career for a number of years to come; employing 12
    other people at it's high point. So I don't think its exaggerating to call the experience
    life changing. =)

    Now that I've finished gushing about how the job affected me let me gush a bit about
    the pieces below.

    All of the paintings below are done using oil or oil glazing techniques on wall surfaces,
    nothing is "real" except the horridly over-sized black lamp on the close up of the wall
    with roses and ivy.

    The techniques were meticulous. The geometry of every stone and outlines of each
    mural was done in brown shades of watercolor pencil. Stencils shapes for the progression
    of light were made for the friezes near the ceilings and the wall pillars. Stones had to
    be taped off and done individually (not in one mass pass) because each had a faux
    beveled edge that needed specific lighting.

    A few months into the project it became clear that the muralist hired to do the paintings
    would have to be fired because he could not resist changing things to fit what "he" thought
    was best. He was incredibly talented technique wise, but one can't go adding goofy
    dragon statues in the background of a reproduction of an elegant Italian garden and
    still expect to have a job.

    As is the way with life sometimes, his misfortune became my opportunity. I was the
    only other painter there at the time who had any experience painting in oils. Even
    though technically I had only painted in oils a few times, when the boss asked if I was
    up to the task, I said yes; and never allowed my mind (or hand) to think/act otherwise.
    The rest is history as they say, a history which you may judge for yourselves below. =)

    I would especially like to point out that those gilded frames hanging from ribbons displaying
    Maxfield Parrish paintings against a fabric covered wall... that is all just paint on a flat surface.




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    Last edited by EricaZann; March 8th, 2013 at 01:27 AM.
    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    So I bought a computer and this happened...

    The first two are products of photoshop.
    Meant to have a retro-analytic sort of feel... low rez problem solving...
    Also the first spark of a concept I refer to in the sixth pic as a
    "Hofstadter Quantum Envelope"

    The next three were done in 3dsmax (the third of the three "GE mkIV" has
    a little touch up work in photoshop to give it a more painted rather than
    rendered feel).

    The sixth pic is a composition using only data from the fifth pic. I had been
    reading Douglas Hofstadter's work "Godel, Escher, Bach" and was intrigued
    with the idea of a creative composition containing repeated motifs at various
    degrees of resolution (that is the simple version... read the book if you are
    curious about the full theory). I was also influenced by works on Chaos and
    Quantum theory. I will give a more in depth explanation of my process when
    I post a full batch of similar works.

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    A few more 3D and some sketches

    The first is from a job for SimplyPure Filters (done in 3dsmax).

    The second and third were done in 3dsmax for a contest with a "junkyard" theme,
    hosted by 3dluvr.com (if my memory serves me).

    The fourth uses only data from the third, its another experiment along the lines
    being explored in the "...Hofstadter envelope" pic from my previous post.

    The remaining 5 are just random concepts from the time period, nothing much
    to say about them.


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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    The Hofstadter Envelope in detail

    TLDR? TRY USING A SINGLE PIC AS THE MEDIUM TO CREATE NEW COMPS.

    I wanted to explore the process of how compositions maintain expressive integrity at
    multiple levels of resolution further. I no longer wanted to use source material that I had
    brought to a finished level of composition. I wondered if this gave a sort of bias towards
    the final re-composition (such as in the pieces recomposed from the egg cell and space
    junkyard pics).

    I also wanted to try this using source material that in itself had a relatively low level of
    expressive integrity. Meaning that the principles of art (harmony, balance, repetition, etc.)
    would be as non existent as possible. Love it or hate it, I think most pornography falls into
    this category of low level expression.

    So for these experiments what I did was chose a random piece of porn and reduce it to a minimal
    piece of visual data (such as you can see in the example pic that precedes the five finished
    pieces). This minimal visual data is then used as the building block to compose an entirely
    new composition. In comparative terms Photoshop is the tool and the canvas, while the raw
    pic is the medium.

    It may seem like a stretch to make that comparison, but its the unique quality of the digital
    medium we are working in that allows for such possibilities. Using traditional analogue mediums
    such as paint, one could never compose this way, but data is different; light is different.

    Admittedly the resolution is a bit of an obstacle currently, as is our own organic ability
    to decode which processes might be employed to achieve a certain effect.

    For example, there are no brush strokes in any of the five compositions and yet the eye perceives
    rectangular looking strokes or parallel curved lines. If one were able to view it at the proper level of
    resolution it would become clear that the "lines" are actually shapes that have been stretched thin,
    overlapped and then warped. Further more the illuminated quality of certain points is achieved through
    layer after layer of slightly shifting opacity and photo filtering.

    The point to take away from this is that the composition you see in the finished image, is (almost
    exclusively) composed from the data pulled from the initial seed picture. I think the only exception
    is in the first pic (Heroine) where I used the text tool to generate the stars. Technically it fits within
    the self imposed rule of using tools and processes, but obviously it isn't sourced from the original seed
    image.

    Eventually if the advances of technology permit, I would really like to try this idea in the constrution
    of virtual environments rather than just 2D pictures, but only time will tell.

    The remainder of the images in this post lean more towards graphic design which is where my career
    headed for the next while. Not really exciting if I am to be honest, but it paid the bills (until I just
    couldn't take the boredom). If anyone really wants to see more buttons, and ads, and worksheet
    after worksheet for grades K-12, I'll post a few... but you won't be missing much if I don't.



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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Last Batch of Past Works

    A few storyboards from a children's book project stuck in publishing limbo.

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    So that was then, get ready for now.

    ...and if its not to much trouble can I get some feedback plz!!!
    225+ views and only 1 comment, is my work really that uninteresting?

    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Look to like religious art?

    If you paint only the beautiful, you're telling only half the story.
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    I don't understand the question Paul.

    Are you asking if I like religious art?
    Suggesting that I look at religious art?
    Suggesting that my work looks like religious art?
    Something else?

    Thanks for the comment, even if I am confused by it. =)

    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Alien Nursery Duel Entry

    Still a couple days left to vote for those who are interested.
    Go Vote! =)

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    You have quite the art journey here

    Subscribed to see what you bring next

    気計 - Quike
    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.."

    The Spaniard's Sketchbook... No holds barred
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    Erica, I barely know where to begin, assyrian carving, science fiction, 3D, Godel Escher Bach, cosmic horror, trompe de l'ils, microchips its.... engrossing!
    This reminds me of the utterly extraordinary A Canticle For Liebowitz, easily one of my favourite books ever. It would make a perfect cover piece for the novel.



    also this might be up your street; the gorgeous nightmarish jewelry of Salvador Dali... the swan is... well put it this way if i ever own a spaceship i want it to look like that.
    http://www.house-of-francheska.co.uk...-jewellery.htm

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; March 9th, 2013 at 06:29 AM.
    sb most art copied to page 1
    Weapons of Mass Creation 2011 ::: Add your favourites!
    skype: velocitykendall
    facebook: Alface Killah
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    What is this sorcery?!
    You don't see this type of work on CA too often, very unique in a traditional way. o.o
    I like et! :>

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    I dotn know hơ to explanied my feeling while i saw your work , just too unique and talented. keep awesome going ><

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    Thanks to VK's post in the lounge, I got off my arse and came for a look-see.

    I love your work. It's so unusual. Love the patterns and colours and also your linework in your sketches and drawings. And those oil murals are wonderful. Amazing detail in all of them.

    Fantastic stuff all round.

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    Your first three watercolor paintings are magic.

    My site:
    http://thecentersphere.yolasite.com/

    DA:
    http://halfshavenbananas.deviantart.com/

    New World Creation: Designers Wanted Environment of the Week
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    @Quike, VK, Harbinger, thuyngan, Candra, and Vulgar: thanks for the kind words everyone.

    @ VK: thanks for the Dali link (didn't know he did jewelery, although I had seen the lobster phone.... did you know he composed a photo shoot for Playboy? lol)

    Last edited by EricaZann; March 10th, 2013 at 09:13 AM. Reason: link problem resolved
    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Up at the top click Forum Actions, click Edit Profile, signature is on the left
    Click the little world with an infinity sign in the menu above the text editor, itll ask for a URL, add the address of you sketchbook, click OK, itll ask you to write what you want people to see, click ok.done!

    sb most art copied to page 1
    Weapons of Mass Creation 2011 ::: Add your favourites!
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    Thanks for the instructions VK.

    Weird, this whole time I was trying to edit it in the little text field labeled sketchbook under edit profile not the WSYWIG for edit signature.
    I'm wondering if I had used the tag if it would have worked earlier... since that's what it used in the signature window.
    ...either way just happy to finally have a link! =)

    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    That bear is just too cute (have I already said that elsewhere?) The alien nursery is a great piece, I bet you'd have a field day with Goldielocks! Your traditional stuff is really really good. Hope you are going okay with the industrial design entry.

    Works Conceptart sketchbook 2011 - 2014
    Tutorials Conceptart links for tutorials, guides "and more."
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    Thank for the kind words Dayle. Just posted a WIP of my IDW in the thread.

    Your IDW idea is great. I was thinking only of Earth, but of course they
    would eventually be Solar System wide delivery too. Brilliant! =)

    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Here is my final for the the IDW #232

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Pixie Trick is offline Industrial Design of the Week Leader
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    Continuing on with the previous discussion... Also please note if I ever refer to snark it's in reference to myself being snarky (I'm snarky a lot). I'm pretty insult-proof though my responses might get a bit excited in response.

    I am new to the realm of concept art and trying to zero in on how different parameters apply under
    different circumstances; so I can produce work that is more in line with what would be expected.
    I think this is a good exercise, though I'm not sure you should limit yourself to producing work that's in line with anything unless that's what you want. Again, if it's done as an exercise (years if you want) and you understand what you're doing, but in my mind that's an eventual path to frustration or boredom depending on your personality.


    ...a key defining feature of surrealism is that
    it is suppose to be inherently irrational; which would imply an inability to traverse that boundary from
    the unreal to the real.
    In regards to surrealism, I'm using the term in it's technical definition as opposed to the art style. I think of it less as being inherently irrational, as more than reality- as in the prefix sur. What makes it more? That's why it's such a vague word. The future might be real at some point but it isn't right now. It's a dream. The dream of the future can be a mass delusion of sorts to the point where it's seen as truth. We have evidence of that from the past and what was seen as the future at that point.

    I still think that the closeness to reality in surrealist art is part of what makes it so powerful. It isn't real but you can almost believe it could exist. You have an everyday experience with the power involved in making the subtle, or not so subtle changes to real objects that would be required and it's sublime. Sublime in the meaning given most closely to what I mean by Kant. From Wiki: "He held that the sublime was of three kinds: the noble, the splendid, and the terrifying." Take the power of nuclear fallout to create deformities that are even vaguely similar to some surrealist manipulations for example. (I suggest if you're interested in philosophy, particularly that related to visual enjoyment, check Kant out.)

    Anyway, on a side track: Dali has surrealist photos: Crazy Cat Photo (my title, lol) Obviously the scenario existed, but it doesn't appear to be possible. Awesome, right? Especially when you aren't aren't as used to special effects as we are now.

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    Erica wanted to respond here instead of in the other thread because I think we could bog it down pretty quickly with that kind of discussion.

    "if someone commissioned a painting of a still-life and they wanted fruit, and you painted them an abstract where you interpreted 'fruit'
    those people wouldn't pay you for the painting".

    That's not really how it works in the art world I grew up in. In what is commonly called the Fine Arts, an artist is expected to study foundations
    and principles
    ; but to develop a style that is uniquely their own. The more outside the box (while still standing on the shoulders of the giants
    that preceded them, i.e. knowing the past styles/theories), the better; those are the artists that are remembered. Returning to the point about
    commissions. In Fine Arts the person commissioning work recognizes that the Artist is the expert, they choose said Artist because they appreciate
    their "style" (or as an investment) and accept what is created. That's one of the key differences between the two worlds. This is true in all the
    Arts (maybe not 100%, but as a general rule). Most people don't tell a Michelin star chef what to cook, you let them compose a meal for you; if you
    want to tell a "chef" what to cook you go to some chain restaurant that thinks they employ "chefs". I hope that doesn't sound elitist.
    I'm not
    defending one world over the other... just trying to explain why its weird making a transition. =)

    A few things here I wanted to talk about.

    Some of the items in bold are places where I think discussion can be had. I understand you are transitioning but I think a lot of people on this site have a 'Fine Arts' side, and I believe it's stressed a lot by the better artists on the site to study the basics and foundations of what makes good art, good, to help make productions better. I can easily tell the people who have studied more, and more diligently than I have right away. Their grasp of perspective, form, edge, color, lighting, etc. can tell me very quickly.

    I am by no means an 'artist' in the literal sense of the word. I do this for pleasure and have a day job that is very different. Hopefully the next part isn't taken as an offensive statement, only a matter of perspective. The responses I put in bold are the points that I have heard more than once from 'artists'. Maybe it's because I come from a world where people pay you to produce a certain product that makes me feel this way. I would posit this though, if you asked someone to paint you a still life and they gave you a landscape, would you think they are experts at what they do? Certainly not, they don't know the basics of the different types of art, specifically paintings. My point was not one of semantics but of an idea that the artist is not 'free' of constraint when asked for a certain genre of art. If a person asks you to create a painting and you give them a sculpture because 'you're the expert' then you really haven't given them anything of value. I don't think people should try to micromanage an artist by any means, if I ask a guy for a steak I'm not going to go back and watch him cook it, I feel he can do this because he's a cook and I let the cook work. I won't pay for chicken if I ordered beef though, and hopefully neither would you. Developing a certain style and uniqueness is completely fine, and should be encouraged, I love seeing the unique take on many different topics on these forums and in real life. However, art has certain definable boundaries just like everything else. Concept art in particular has pretty definable boundaries because it's a conceptualization of someone else's ideas or musings. You should be the expert in lighting, composition, and style, but you have to represent another's initial conception, but for that type of work you're really a consultant. Hell most of the concept art I see is tweaked pretty heavily before final productions are made. I will say this though, go to Feng Zhu's website and just give his free tutorials a listen, he has a lot of good input on the subject of concept art and how to wrap your head around it. http://www.fengzhudesign.com/tutorials.htm

    I do not know about Michelin chefs, except what I just read, but I think I see your point, people do not tell this type of chef what to cook because they are the ones creating the menu. The analogy would be the same in this instance. I would respect the Chef's preparation as long as he prepared what I asked for. If I'm rich and ask the chef to prepare rabbit for a banquet and he serves pheasant, I'm not paying for it, in fact if I shelled out that kind of money I'd be absolutely irate. Also, to be honest, it was an elitist sentiment to imply that no one other than 'Michelin chefs' are actual chefs. Not all physicists were Einstein, Heisenberg, or Oppenheimer, but they were still physicists. Being the least of a thing does not exclude you from still being that thing.

    None of this to say that the artist should not be an expert and try to create an independent and unique style, but I personally find that I cannot really understand what I consider 'hipster' art. I never have been able to relate to it, be it fashion, fine arts, music, or theater. Maybe because I'm a person who wants functionality as well as something aesthetically pleasing. I find things that are completely utilitarian boring, and things that have no functional purpose wasteful. I guess that's my style, to try and find balance, that sort of thing drives me.

    That's my take on things, and a peek into the world I come from. Cheers.

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    @Pixie

    I'm glad I read your point about "not limiting myself to producing work that's in line with anything..."
    as that has been on my mind a lot lately. Ultimately I hope to gain an understanding of what makes Concept
    Art so consumer friendly without losing my own identity in the process. Underlying all the homogenization
    is a fertile new "-ism" ready to burst onto the scene. To use another food analogy, I don't want to be another
    McDonald's franchisee, I want to be part of a food truck revolution... make kick ass 5 star food for masses
    at reasonable prices! LOL

    Hmmm... that is a reasonable idea of surrealism if one defines it based on it's root and prefix.... I hadn't really
    considered that since the "-ism" immediately set my mind along the paths of art movements. =)

    The point about the sublime including the terrifying is interesting as well. That is another angle I had never
    really considered (usually have associated the sublime with concepts of beauty); but since the terrible can be awe
    inspiring I think it fits within the definition, although apparently sublime being linked with the terrible
    is not in use much these days (at least according to Merriam-Webster lol). I think there is also an interesting
    related tangent if you consider the verb form of sublime (transforming a solid by heat to a vapor then letting it
    condense back into a solid), since one of the lines we were discussing was the idea of the future becoming real which
    is a process of transformation... but that really heads off into abstract esoteric territory.

    Loved the "Crazy Cat Photo". I went to the Dali museum when I was in Spain. It was a long time ago but I still
    have crazy vague memories of things there.... it is shaped like a castle (with parapets that are crowned with mickey
    mouse statues and either eggs or loaves of bread... can't remember which), and an entire room is devoted to that display
    of a couch that's meant to look like Marilyn Monroe's lips. Dali, one of a kind human being!

    ...I also have a deck of Tarot cards he designed, but they really aren't that great. =/


    @Flame

    Thank you for the reply Flame. I appreciate our discussion, although I suspect that many of your points of disagreement
    come from applying different definitions to the subjects we are discussing.

    "...but I think a lot of people on this site have a 'Fine Arts' side, and I believe it's stressed a lot by the better artists
    on the site to study the basics and foundations of what makes good art, good, to help make productions better."

    The accuracy of this statement depends on how you define "Fine Arts" vrs. how I define it, the same goes for the definition of
    "good art"; wouldn't you agree? I am assuming your reference to "basics and foundations" was intended as a counterpoint to my
    comment regarding "foundations and principles". Our usage of the term "foundations" seems similar (perspective, anatomy, etc.),
    but I am unclear if "basics" is simply redundancy in your argument or if it refers to something distinctively different than foundations.
    However, I think the key point where our arguments diverge can be clarified by expanding what "principles" means in regards to Fine Arts.

    In this usage "principles" refers to very specific qualities of expression in compositions (principles such as repetition, harmony,
    movement, etc.). The implementation of these principles while not completely absent in concept art, is most certainly rare from what
    I've seen so far. This is understandable considering the different priorities of Fine Arts vrs Concept Art. For example, how often do
    you see repetition of form in a finished piece of Concept Art for a character design? No matter how creative or original the character
    design is or which concept artist made the drawing, it would be highly unusual for a Concept Artist to waste time after that fashion;
    where as an Andy Warhol portrait is an easy example showing how the principle of repetition is used in a Fine Arts composition.

    "Maybe it's because I come from a world where people pay you to produce a certain product that makes me feel this way..."

    I think this is exactly it. This is the manner in which you have experienced the world, and it is what your points of argument seem
    founded upon. I am not offended by this point of view, but I hope that you recognize that your view is not the only view. My view is
    that if the circumstances are such that a client comes to an artist (or chef, or musician, whatever) and says "paint this for me", or
    "cook this for me", wherein the artist (chef, etc.) is simply the technician or the tool by which someone else manifests their idea; then
    the work almost never falls into the category of Fine Arts; it would be better described as Concept Art. Having said that please don't
    infer that I think Fine Arts is better than Concept art. I said that in the post you quoted but since it wasn't one of the areas you
    bolded I'm not sure I made it clear.

    Based on your mistaken interpretation that you think that I think a non Michelin chef is not a chef; it makes me wonder if it's simply
    the use of the qualitative words that seems to have irked you? Does the term "Fine Arts" leave the impression that everything not
    categorized as such is "less than" or do you recognize it as just a different category? I don't believe that anyone who picks up a
    pencil is an artist, or anyone who works in a kitchen a chef? Different terms mean different things right? You may think the line
    cook working in Chili's who is competent enough to cook you steak and not chicken qualifies as a chef, but that other guy/girl that
    owns their own award winning restaurant might disagree.... I'm just sayin'

    Which brings me to my last point of disagreement.

    "...art has certain definable boundaries just like everything else."

    This is one point I would have to wholeheartedly say your wrong (no offense). What defines art has been contemplated and debated by
    greater minds than ours for 1000's of years. One person's art is another person's trash and every decade or so a new "-ism" devours
    the old "-ism" and declares itself rightful heir to the invisible throne. You may not personally understand what you call "hipster
    art" (not sure what this means... do you mean modern art in general?), but someone else might defend that same style passionately.
    The thing that attracts me to Concept Art is the possibilty that it may give rise to it's own original "-ism". Eventually...

    Thanks again for giving me a peek into your world Flame. Cheers to you.

    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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