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Thread: Art of Grief
February 8th, 2008 #121
Hide this ad by registering as a memberFebruary 8th, 2008 #122
i wanna ask where do you get the motivation and ideas from? But as for the artwork goes, very unique style, im looking towards doing art with bold colors and throwing in a few intense colors. THe contrast in most of your work is pretty cool, i have a few ideas of my own just by looking at yours. I mean thats being an artist right? we learn from each other and we help each other even though we dont think that we are actually oing anything.
Keep up the good work, HIt me up and well chat..
February 8th, 2008 #123Originally Posted by l0stinth0ughts
In this i will ask several questions, and probably attempt to answer them myself. this may also come off as one of those dreaded "help i have artist block" posts, which it isn't, but more geared towards being a verbal communication about the nature of art and how i use it and to what ends.
without this being a damn introduction, you should know that i'm 22 male and single, and while that sounds like a lame chatroom introduction, it serves a purpose to help get into the mindset of how i perceive myself to fit into the contemporary social structure. i was told once in a poetry class years ago that a good place to start from a creative standpoint is with what you know. talking candidly about things in which you have personal experience in will make the work more true and the words are more honest in their expression.
"work with what you know"
my work deals with the strange unspoken rules and aspects of the maturation process which have not been effectively taught to me: relationships, rejection, love (falling in and unrequited), and the elements of allure. i realize fully that claiming these to be the guiding themes of my work is going to sound sappy and "emo" (and god do i detest that word).
i am a product of the first generation of mainstream video games, which fed my desire for the visual for over a decade and a half. at this point cartoons are intriguing, but boring to watch. i really enjoy the ability to represent forms with simplified ideas, and how little you need to establish a character. to me, less has always been more, where the less detailed a costume and character design, the more room the viewers imagination has for filling in the gaps. only years later am i beginning to understand that some people desire the complexity of detail because their imaginations have ceased to be able to produce the ideas by themself.
on some levels cartoons were always lacking for me. i was the kid in school who had odd scribbles and doodles in the margins of his math and English papers. others would note the drawings and comment "so you want to make cartoons when you grow up?", and my limited knowledge of the field made it sound redundant and unappealing, so I'd reply with wanting to be a Ninja FBI Agent, a notion i entertained until i came to college and was disappointed with the lack of humor in 'the real world' (another term i detest)
so this is a story of maturing in a society which preaches that you should be a childish asshole for all of your life. we are taught to buy $600 video game systems, that its okay to watch television habitually, and that war for oil is justified if it keeps us safe from invented and unseen evil. but thats a tangent which i do not feel i am responsible enough to have tackled in my work, although the subtext of our skewed culture lingers with unforeseen prevalence.
on some levels i am aching to be taken seriously, where pats on the back and infantile signs of support do not merit the same respect as a 'mature' critique. so cartoons really patronized me (and my alleged intellect), sure they were visually interesting on the surface, but the story and subject matter always left me feeling like i was being insulted. then i discovered Japanese cartoons.
and while i now see that anime is equally childish (in many respects more so) to the amerikan animation equivalent, it fed my need for more thematic intensity. where story exists for more than one episode, and the realm of fantasy these stories existed in was unparalleled to anything i had previously known. i drank it up like a boy of great thirst. mind you this is a fucking decade before Adult Swim or the absurd barrage of japanese anime everywhere. every summer the sci-fi channel would show anime late at night for about 5 days. to me it held the same guilty mystique of that pornography probably would have had on me, where i would sit alone in the dark having my mind filled with the lucrative world of some strange blue-haired-pointy-nosed culture of animation i had never thought existed. and damn, i was hooked.
at this point you say "oh great you're an otaku fanboy, go start a DA account you little douche". but that wasn't really the case, i still didn't have enough access to it to really be absorbed entirely into the 'scene', so i felt as an outsider, looking in, an 'anime anthropologist' of sorts. so it became this sub-surface interest that i outwardly showed no signs of being drawn towards. and the more i encountered others with a similar interest, the more i faded from liking anime. i have this problem where i base my opinion of things too heavily on their popularity, where if things get too mainstream i tend to analyze what it is i like about it and eventually realize it isn't as cool as i once thought it was. its more than just trying to be an anticonformist and in doing so conforming to the exact opposite of popular trends. i know that sounds shallow that i form opinions based on the opinions of others, but if you've ever sat in a room filled with morbidly obese fanboys arguing about how they idolize asian models better than another fat fanboy, you'd understand my choice to distance myself from that which i like.
i'm from a small town in the middle of bumble-fuck nowhere, and like most towns art isn't something that is generally thought of as high on the social network hierarchy of important jobs to pursue. my high school faced with budget cuts due to an asshole president's "no child" policy, left the school-board with the choice of cutting music or art. and god forbid the football team take to the field without music. so art was cut, and i didnt get any of the basic fundamentals taught to me at a time when i was ravenous for taking my interest in the visual to the next level, i feel art would have fed this desire, but i had not known it at the time. i became disconnected from the community around me, counting my days until i could venture off to college, and leave my hometown like a guy making a jailbreak. my distance and ever present dry sarcasm gave the impression that i was emotionless, as though the concerns of a small town should affect me, and that i was cruel and heartless for not wanting to date some fat chick and get her pregnant so i could live in the town secluded from the rest of the world in peace.
upon writing this i notice that i somehow bridge the gap between being emotionless and 'emo'. but i guess thats the problem with labeling people into stereotypes, they only look at the surface. god forbid i'm a skinny art student that wears black. as though before 'emo' little whiney art kids didn't dress themselves in black. i do it for more economical reasons: it hides ink stains. but i guess i could stop the 'emo' harassment by getting fucking fat and find some remotely female creature to hump. ive always said that i'd rather be called gay than emo, because i can convince people that i'm not gay.
but to contradict everything i just typed, i suppose i am 'emo' by most definitions: i whine about being single, and think about the role of emotions in society, and it probably doesn't help my argument that i dye my hair out of boredom and write poetry. its the music i can't stand, man that shit is weak. it reminds me of another guy who wears black, plays an guitar and sings songs of losing love and livin' life in isolation. his name was johnny cash, but i don't recall anyone calling him 'emo'. you can't even be punk-rock in this day anymore, in a decade of reality make-over television shows i learned that punk-rock isn't dead, but got a faggy make-over and was devoured into the weak entity known as 'emo'. sorry, i digress from the topic of my art.
where was i? high-school was lame as it was for anyone who has any shred of dignity, and i got very little done artistically at this time. as my prime escape and more of expression was videogames. this is still before CA was around, and dial-up was the technological hot-shit, so my exposure to anything beyond the small town i lived in mainly still subsided of glimpses of anime.
i went to college with the intention of getting a degree in "computer science and something something media". and once again, i looked around the room, noted the unibrows of the other CS majors and decided this wasn't the proper place for me, for it consisted of the same sweaty fat otaku guys i had been fighting so hard to not be seen as a part of. i toiled with being an english major for awhile, as i had written several short stories and even attempted a screenplay while in highschool. for some reason i never thought of art as a career option. and in many ways i still have that mentality that the art-scene is pretentious bullshit. i didn't take any art classes until my last term of my freshman year.
and then my friend killed herself. i was off working on my Intro to 2D Design midterm, she tried contacting me via IM, was unable to find anyone to talk to and was found dead about an hour and a half later. i really don't know how to respond to events like this. I've spent too long being taught that males do not show the weakness of emotions, and that its best to close myself off from those around me. i shed no tears, felt no anguish. i just stared at my art project wondering if i was going to suddenly be overwhelmed by emotions. but nothing ever came. i came to the realization that had it not been for art, that i possibly could have talked her out of doing something so incredibly stupid, and how much she meant to me as a friend.
this is the first time i began asking questions of what art means to me. and also when i started exploring the words 'grief, pale, and fade'. yeah yeah, i know you're thinking "enough of the sad bullshit, i thought this was going to be discussing artwork". after this i changed my major to art, as i thought that i could uncover answers about myself if i further explored what it is i am investing into my work.
at the university i attend, each art major needs one main focus area and a secondary area of interest that you only take through the intermediate sequence of classes. i devoured all of it as though i have endless rage to know everything. i have four focus areas: photography, printmaking, graphic design, and painting. illustration isn't offered because there's no interest at this college for anatomy, another heavy blow to my development.
i have a growing hatred for art students. people who have no ambition to be artists who take art classes, do the bare minimum and bitch and moan the entire time as though their life is such a drag. i count my blessings that i am fortunate enough to study something i am passionate about. they do not have the intensity or the fire in their belly, they have no sketchpad or do any leisure work outside of class. my advice to anyone entering a school in hopes of being educated in the field of art is to find something to draw inspiration from, because its not something you can fake.
so what does our hero Grief get inspired by? what feeds his fires? someone this devoid of emotion must have some badass grand goals and visions right? well no. the more i delved into the world of art, the more the big picture seemed to generic. political work, and vast art movements seem shallow in that they barely scratch the surface of the human experience.
art serves a function, for me its a highly personal expression and means to give order to the reason for my in life. i try now to capture every moment, for i see history is fascinated by those who they are able to study in depth. the silent artist who does not speak of his own work is really a jackass. i hate it when people say "i let my work speak for me", because I'm interested not in the final product, but in the process, learning the struggles and triumphs which lead the artist to make the choices which eventually form the final piece. artwork rarely tells this narrative. the personal delicate human aspect of art is what triggers a reaction in me. the grand emotionless portrayals of epic scale and subject do little for me anymore. to me its the equivalent of praising the national anthem as being the greatest song, but honestly folks, that is NO ONE'S favorite song, we all dig the shit that speaks to us and mirrors the same shit we have bottled up inside right? work which is most valuable is not always the most complex and detailed. concept isn't always a substitute for craft, but craft alone is cold and masks the true intention of the artist.
on this site i see a lot of people who really are learning the mechanics of design elements to be working in some commercial aspect where they can use their skill as a medium between client and idea. I'm not at all knocking that choice to take your work, as it is highly demanding on skill and requires a finesse to fleshing out someone else's ideas. that isn't my cup of tea so to speak. i can barely understand the creative motives of my own life, nonetheless consider panning out someone else's ideas. the idea of setting aside my own aspirations for what i'd like to discover to create work for someone else seems to derail my progression. yet the nature of the business requires that the artist must make a living, and commissions and projects for clients seems to be that outlet.
i understand so little about the world ,and cling to the 'rules' of art as a means of translating the human experience though my own vision. i often get slandered with the word “style”. my style is a culmination of everything i have ever experienced filtered through the lack of talent to accurately portray it. but as i build that skill though a more stable foundation of design, anatomy, etc. i find that the voice of my work is becoming louder and more clear.
voice in art is not style. it took me far too long to learn that. style is the mere format of the idea you present, whereas voice is the tone of the message. lets take a color field painting for instance. just red paint on canvas no imagery. one viewer may see it as burning and hateful and full of anger. whereas another viewer may see it as warm, seductive and passionate. the style of presentation remains the same, yet the voice is subjective to the audience. the artist has no control over what someone else thinks, but we can manipulate the method of the message to guide them into seeing the world through our eyes. this balance of method and voice is something i am using to make meaning of the things which interest me.
i am trying to figure out the solution to problems which have no set formula for solving. you cannot plug in every known value for "why is girl X attractive?", sure you can put in tangible points of observation, but you can't ascribe the whole depth of a person into representation. art is a struggle to try to capture the entire essence of something, but lacking the actuality of being that subject. i would like to think that i can load my images with such clarity that more comes out than is put in. its very much possible in art to get more output than initially was input. but by the same cruel token, its also possible to invest very much into your work and have none of it expressed in the final form.
thats really one of my many fears that all my effort is useless, that the end product has no life of its own, it doesn't radiate with the same brilliance that i put into it. we all need periodic affirmation to give meaning to our efforts. the vile aspect of art for me is that i feed off the isolation as a means of producing art. where the guidance i seek sometimes is few and far between. it would be hard for me to realistically make art which depicts the anxious subtleties of romantic love and delicacy of the fear of rejection if i were in a stable relationship right? who in their right mind would buy that? you can't have a guy who just won the lottery blogging about how miserable it is to pay bills, fuck that, people would be outraged. likewise if i were filling the gaps of my life with something other than art, the art wouldn't be as pure. i produce my best work in the process of pursuing these goals. goals of finding love and all that emotional crap which gives me the 'emo' moniker.
so i set my goals high, impossibly high. in vain attempts of always having something to aspire towards. The problem being that I will always fail my expectations, and in turn be consumed in agony of failure. This failure reciprocates to further inspire me to become better. Its the emotional equivalent of physical self mutilation, where i open emotional wounds to feel the pain, to see the pain. I think of my rejection of love and the grand ideas I am endlessly lost in, the one girl I have ever felt anything for and how I can utilize my craft to capture a fragment of what she meant to me. In some regards thats all my art is, an elaborate reflection of trying to show off for the purpose of acceptance. The subject being the contemporary world around me. If I was to boil this entire rant down it'd be love. Love is the only thing which gets me out of bed in the morning and ceaselessly striving to be more. I cannot accept the notion that love is merely hormones and chemicals in my brain. Its been over half a decade since my world was destroyed by the beauty of a girl, and her radiance increases to shine on me ever brighter, giving direction to my efforts. My weak attempts to be a more part of her life guides me forward.
Find something you can love, do anything to gain it, never let it go. Use art as means of documenting the journey, that's all I've ever done.
Sorry that went on a bit long and got derailed on some tangents, did I cover the question?
February 8th, 2008 #124
February 8th, 2008 #125
that photo-collage is really nice looking! keep it up
Incessant Doodlings of a Wandering Mind (my sketchbook)
"Avoidance of what you can't draw well doesn't stimulate growth." -Cory Trego-Erdner
"Only the mediocre are always at their best."-Jean Giraudoux
February 8th, 2008 #126
February 8th, 2008 #127
People die, something is born in the end, im guessing that was your turning point of some sort in your life. Ive yet to discover my inhibitions to pursue that moment. Ill find my love of something and stick everything to it. Again, thanks.
February 9th, 2008 #128
February 9th, 2008 #129
February 9th, 2008 #130
Great 1st POW too, the writing was great.
Is this too asspatish? I'd kick you in the butt, but from me to you that'd be lame as hell. There's a reason you're in my sig. I'm going to go draw some more now.
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February 11th, 2008 #131
February 12th, 2008 #132
February 12th, 2008 #133
February 13th, 2008 #134
February 15th, 2008 #135
1. I take you seriously.
2. I was just joking around about the emo thing in that other thread. Apologies if it was hurtful in any way.
3. "work which is most valuable is not always the most complex and detailed. concept isn't always a substitute for craft, but craft alone is cold and masks the true intention of the artist." Hope I'm not being too pretentious by showing off my mastery of the French language here, but=> Fuckin' A!!!
4. You are one of the few artists on here who stands a snowball's chance in hell of breaking through to whatever other side might still be out there in art. Yes, if you post your failures as well as your successes and struggle in the areas where you are weak you will have scads of people lined up for the chance to tell you you are weak in that area. (It doesn't seem to occur to most people that the reason you might be fighting through those mistakes is because you already know there is no magic bullet to make them dissipate, only the experience of finding your own solutions. I know they are just trying to help, though, and they can't do your drawing for you so they cite some references they hope will help you through the struggle.) If you cut back your weakness and reinforce your strength you will have all the tools at your disposal and you can then do whatever you want. You are a thoughtful and deliberate artist who feels a calling beyond the siren song of commerce and that is a rare thing, notwithstanding the protestations of "art for art's sake" you hear from a lot of really obvious wannabes around here. Hang in there. I don't think greatness is beyond your grasp, though I think you may never be able to achieve staid mediocrity. We all have our own little problems though, eh?
5. I too think there is a line in there where you can be representing an image and yet doing so by pouring your very soul out onto the support. I do not think that it detracts from the image if it has such content. I think it detracts from the image if it has no such content.
6. I'm glad you took printmaking. It's you.
Enough already! Asspat thread bump, Engage!
Last edited by arttorney; February 15th, 2008 at 07:56 PM.
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February 15th, 2008 #136
February 18th, 2008 #137Registered User
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The valentines post is a perfect example of your skill. It's not that the piece is a breakthrough in graphic design, photo montage or illustration, but, in the small decisions you made, it really comes to life. Decisions like having the wings not be outlined or varied in value, but instead be almost a "shadow" and the faded flower forms behind her. Really nicely done. (The typography of the tumbling phrases is rather poorly done by comparison, but that would be quick to fix - maybe more variance in weight and proportion).
As for your "Grief Manifesto," it was really quite interesting. I loved it, actually. I disagreed with probably 70% of it, but I think the 30% that I agreed with was more "weighted."
The biggest problem I see with it is that you are way too interested in other people's opinions. The self is everything. Don't hate art students who don't do art in their free time. Ignore them. They are meaningless. They will fail to ever create anything of importance or reach any levels above being a part of "the masses." Why give them any power, much less the power to inspire hatred within you? That's amazing to me. They are so meaningless as to not even bother being recognized, much less honored with you spending time hating them.
That same theme of giving other people power over you by worrying about their reactions can be carried into a lot of the rest of your manifesto, but I don't have the fortitude to write it all out now. What I would say is only give that power to people you respect. I really respect your artwork...like REALLY RESPECT it, so when I see your post in my critique board on my virtues project, I listen carefully to every single word and weigh it with my own thoughts. Only listen to people or react to people who you WANT to give that power to. And then only in limited scopes. I don't think I like your thought processes very much (you don't carry arguments far enough to see where they fail, I don't think) or your philosophy and politics (which are formed based on your ability to think clearly and ask the right questions), so I probably wouldn't get bent out of shape if you ridiculed my philosophy. I would simply say, So what?, and move on. You should do the same in determining what you like (cartoons, anime, emo, punk rock, etc...). Fuck everything else. Let Grief decide what Grief likes - and make the decision in an emotion/opinion vacuum where the only emotions you care about are your own.
The other thing I notice is that sometimes we wrongly rely on cliches to speak for us. Cliches are nice because, in a short, comfortable phrase, we find a message that we want to convey and that other people will have heard before so they'll understand it faster. Unfortunately those cliches almost never hold 100% of the message we WANT to transmit. That little bit of missed message can be everything. Much of your writing sounded a little...deviant/iconoclastic cliched. However, you probably didn't want it to sound that way because what you feel and think isn't just a cliche, but a thought out (to some extent) philosophy of life as you know it up until now. That little bit of missing message that you weren't able to get across might be huge. The difference between our genetic structure and that of a banana is very small indeed. The devil is in the details, as the cliche goes (yes, irony...kind of).
Finally, all I can say is I am a better person for having seen your artwork and hearing your thoughts both on my own artwork and on your life. So, for purely selfish reasons, I want to say I am truly and incredibly grateful to you for being you and in this forum. Your art is some of the best I've seen and your opinions are, if not exact, very exciting.
Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and your mind. It's awesome. (I can only wonder what awesome thoughts and ideas the world lost out on when your friend ended her life - incredibly awful and sad)
Last edited by snubbed; February 19th, 2008 at 11:34 AM.My Sketchbook:
February 19th, 2008 #138
i'm not even sure i agree with 30% of the things i write :0
i prepared a long explaination of some of the finer points i was trying to get across, but as you noted i probably havent actually developed them far enough for me to preach anything yet. so as it stands this experiment of sorts is still in the process.
i highly appreciate the comment, its given me a number of things to not dismiss in my treatment of what i aim to do.
and now some pencil on paper sketches from class in the last few days:
a bit 'cartoony' for lack of a better word.
no ref, just a somewhat-elderly lady in a baret.
another profile. nothing spectacular.
drawn in art history based on Donatello's David, the slide wasnt displayed long enough in the lecture for me to get a good likeness of it down, so i winged most of it.
February 19th, 2008 #139
i absolutely LOVE your paint splatter squares. you also have a wonderful design sense. in regards to your long post, art will be the longest most challenging journey of your life, with constant failures, doubt of your own abilities, but it will also be filled with times when you excel, when you know that you love what your doing, and I can see you love what your doing just by looking through you're sketchbook. you're having fun. keep it up. i wish you luck.
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February 19th, 2008 #140
get outta here... the squares? really?
well you may enjoy these images then.
just some old nonrepresentational messy work from 2007.
go go classroom studio
ink dye drizzled over wet gesso on wood panel.
spraypaint, ink dye, gesso, acrylic on illustration board
this was actually my paint palette for a terrible 3D design project. acrylic on wood.
encaustic (wax painting) on wood panel.
February 19th, 2008 #141
February 20th, 2008 #142
I like that the graffiti on page 1 is so sharp-edged, instead of fuzzy and runny like other stencils' results. Other than that, I'd say do more life drawing. Study the figure as a whole, and do lots of studies of drapery and anatomical details.
March 6th, 2008 #143Tony
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Wow...That long post was very inspirational. I like you work very much. Haha, you don't do too bad when you "shit on your canvas" (the paint splatters), as my uncle calls it. Keep drawing and use anything as learning material. Keep it up!!!
I'm only 15 and would like some comments/critiques/tips so CHECK OUT MY SKETCHBOOK! Please =] http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=117399
March 20th, 2008 #144
Diggin' the abstract traditional practice there
thats what its all about, how about doodle'n in some stuff on it with some acetate or something? progress is obvious, good stuff
keep it up
my book o' doodles
Interested in some Team CHOW? i'm all for it :3
March 31st, 2008 #145
bit of an update:
internet has been erratic and unpredictable. i've busied myself with things distant from my computer, which in many ways is both harmful to my learning and beneficial. its a trade off i suppose, sometimes it helps greatly, and also hurts to not get more inspiration from fellow CA artists.
anyway, i just returned from a visit to new york, where i devoured the city, the culture, and its art like a man who has never tasted the wonders of food. i am teeming with anticipation to get productive, my inspiration is burning with need to work.
April 1st, 2008 #146
April 1st, 2008 #147
April 17th, 2008 #148
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April 18th, 2008 #149
its nice to see your sketchbook again, i havent seen it in a while, but its looks good. Drop by anytime and spark up a conversation. its would be fun and funny i guess. -lostinthoughts
April 26th, 2008 #150
I'm glad to see you still plugging away at it. I like the stuff where people seem to be made of city textures.
If you haven't yet seen Tensai's sketchbook I think you should go look. You two could probably invent a city language made out of line segments.