Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bertrand Russell Doodle

I was working on a character concept for something, and I remembered the philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russell, thinking he might make a good reference. Here's a quick doodle I did based on his features (which, by the way, didn't work for my character at all).

Friday, July 06, 2007

To be honest

I have to admit: when browsing through my art blog feeds, I usually look at the pictures, briefly go through the the text, and proceed to the next blog. A post from Emma's "Art, plz" blog made me stop and read carefully. It's really, really well written. It has a touch humor, a touch of personality, and a ton of wisdom. And good sketches to go with it, too! No wonder she works for Pixar. Have a look. Then come back, I want to add something.

[No no, don't continue - read her post first!]

So. Drawing honest is absolutely where the gold is. That's a great notion. Problem is, most of us consume mind-food in the same way we consume body-food: if it's not tasty, we're not going to eat it, no matter how good the nutrition value is. You can be honest till you're blue in the face, and it won't do anybody any good if it's not well put together.

That, folks, is the catch22 of good artwork: if you focus on good form you lose the honesty, if you don't – you lose your audience. How do you get honest, then?

I think, by taking the long road. You spend some years climbing up the mountain of craftsmanship, working hard to conquer form. Then you spend some more years climbing down again - down to reality, down to where your audience lives, down to content. It takes time and effort to learn how to use the craft as a consultant, not a tyrant. Once you can do that, then – and ONLY then – you can, and should, draw honest.