Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Post 6

I am the sort of illustrator who loves getting involved with fictional worlds, and the people and creatures who inhabit them. I would love to persue a career working out fantasy-world details and character complexities, either of my own creation, or collaboratively. I like to be loose and expressive with my quality of representation, using a variety of different media, and not limiting myself necessarily to 2D. I hope to stay involved heavily with other forms of the arts for inspiration-- Opera, ballet, theater, fashion, etc.

There are many things I like to do, but wish I was doing in a more proffessional way, to be included in my portfolio: That is, using these techniques, but taking the time necessary to produce a more professional finish: more considered composition, figure reference, tied up loose ends.

1. I would very much like to find thematic content that both satisfies my craving for fantasy, but it also poignant and relevant, in a political way, or in a general way relevant to the state of things in the world. I have started to do this with some of my projects, but I feel it has not yet hardened into maturity and clarity.

2. I would like to do a lot more of this: Very loose collage-type art with photoshop elements overtop. Basically, I would like to make of myself more completely a student of Dave McKean, so that I may assimilate what I need to and move on . It is something I am always looking at, but I feel that if I went about it, even in exactly the same way, with exactly the ratio of collage to drawing to painting, that my work would be distinct. I feel that the mediums McKean works in do not exclusively define his style, and it's the medium, and the tone, that I'm interested in.

Mixed media with little characters/medium scale

3. I would like to work on my anatomy, esp. in regards to movement of the body through space (walking, climbing, wrestling, etc, and either get better at it or find a way around it, perhaps a method of further stylizing my figures in a more static sense, so I am not sort of hovering between extremes.

4. I used to do a lot more photography, and consider myself a very solid photographer... I should set up more shoots that are thematically considered as well as just well-composed. Also, I would like to do some straight photo manipulation, without the McKean-esque messy collage chimera feel.

5.Sci-fi/fantasy themes/fashion and setting design/digital painting

Post 5

If I had to spend the rest of my life illustrating one book:
At the current moment, I am tempted to say Phantom of the Opera.
Grand gilded opera houses, layrinthine underground tunnels and lakes, strange personages living in catacomb-like darkness (The Rat Catcher included) Little unassuming towns in France, circus freak shows, Persian death-trap castles which are architectural wonders used for torture, pretty sopranos in exaggerated hoop skirts, or backstage in a dressing room buried in flowers, elegant monsters in masks, organ music, candles, velvet drapery, intrigue and murder, mannequins, props, backstage ropes and rigging, ballerinas, stage hands
..... Really now, what else could you ever possibly want to draw?

If I could apprentice with any two artists in the history of the world:
Klimt, because his work was so very inspirational to me in my younger years. Also, because through his career he himself morphed through at least three distinct artistic metamorphoses, from highly realistic detailed scenes, to a flattening of the figure with pattern and abstraction, to his later impressionist landscapes. Also, he's a cat person, and Vienna in that time was probably a very happening place. Additionally, Schiele studied under Klimt, and look how great his work was. Probably not excessively the credit of Klimt, but it couldn't have hurt.

Fritz Lang might be a good choice,too. His films are so stunningly visual, and expressionistic, his use of light and shadow are exceptional, his silent storytelling and striking characterizations are brilliant. It would be a lesson in story creation, writing, sculpture (as with the sets in Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis) and composition, as well as timing. He was brilliant in his time, and his films always inspire me visually.

If I were banned from the art world, my alternate career choice would be:

Entomologist. Whether stuck in an office studying bug diagrams or exploring the amazon with a butterfly net, if it were bug related, I'd be happy. Plenty of new species to discover, after all. Alternately, I wouldn't mind being a history or anthropology scholar.

1. If I had one month and one thousand dollars to spend on art costs only:
I would do a graphic novel. It wouldn't be very expensive to do material-wise, so I would self-publish all the copies I could get on the rest of the thousand dollars.

2. Six months and ten thousand dollars:
I would spend it building fabulously elaborate fine-art costume pieces. I would hire people to do the more laborious sewing, off of patterns I made or altered, and spend my time thinking up concepts, and doing finishing touches/elaborations/changes to the rudimentary garmets, once they were sewn. I would spend some of that time and money, after I'd done one or two, seeking out parties who might be interested: art galleries, embarassingly rich drag queens (which possibly don't exist), private collectors of couture, high-end fashion stores....

3. One year and one hundred thousand dollars
I would put on a ballet of some sort, perhaps, or a movie, or musical. It might be enough time/money (though I'm not sure, really) to come up with a full concept, review work of songwriters and lyricists, look up coreographers, hire actors or dancers, design stage sets, design costumes, find a venue, advertise, etc. I imagine it would be based off of some existing form of literature, or a painting, or a moment from history, or a movement (Les Miserables, Hair the Musical, Wicked, Jekyll and Hide, etc, being examples of adaptations of the former list)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Post 4

Ten illustrators whose work you admire

Dave McKean
-DC Comics
-Kitchen Sink Press **
-The Face Magazine

Donna Barr
Tracy J Butler

FSC (Foo Swee Chin)
-Slave Labor Graphics
-Starbucks (Singapore)

Ursula Vernon
-graphic smash

Lisa K Weber
-Graphic Classics
-Cricket Mag
-Prestige Toy Company
-Rich FX
-Raw Films

Clive Barker
-Arcane/Eclipse Books
-Dread magazine/Fantaco
-Rizzoli Books
-Bess Cutler Gallery in New York
-Bert Green Fine Art in Los Angeles

Dame Darcy
(Darcy has provided illustrations for writers Alan Moore, Poppy Z. Brite, Trina Robbins; and fashion designers Anna Sui, Jared Gold, CWC, and Coi Girl Magic, among others.) Wikipedia

Edward Gorey

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Post 3

My typical creative process:

I do a lot of thinking about a thing sort of half-mindedly, before I pick up a pencil to start thumbnailing. I let the assignment sort of swirl for a while, if I have that sort of time. If I don't I skip straight to thumbnailing. I need a quiet place to thumbnail, where I won't have interruptions. Sometimes I go for a walk beforehand to clear my head of unwanted noise/concerns/panic over my procrastination. When my ideas happen quicker than thumbnails I write them down with words. A lot of time I will write lists of words that inspire the feeling of a piece, or what I'm trying to achieve with the composition: "calm, pastoral, balanced, even, peaceful" or "jagged, menacing, directional, oppressive" ect, and that will help call to mind a variety of compositions. It's easy for me to move from verbal/written to images. When I start on my final piece, I like to have my thumbnail scaled up mechanically to my final size, rather than redrawing the smaller thumbnail large: I always adjust to leave more space than there is on the thumbnail, which annoys me, and I don't like to redraw and redraw on the final canvas. I like best to get big areas covered quickly, across the whole of the composition, in a media I can draw/paint back over to refine. In general, I like to rough out the whole thing, quickly and expressively, then get the details in place.

What it should be:
Especially for three-dimensional work I need to spend more time in the planning stages of a thing. I get impatient sometimes, and often I manage my time badly through those beginning sectors, and sometimes through the finish section. I think I need to be bolder about corrections made to pieces: I am still hesitant about erasing or covering things I like, in fear that they won't come out that way again: I should either trust my skills more, or if they are in fact not up to par, practice more.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Post 2

I have no one favorite work, of my own pieces. I find some more impressive, and some less, I am personally attached to some because of their subject matter/idea, but hesitant about showing them as a favorite because of the sloppy execution. I'm going to leave this a blank for now.

The two works that I notices specifically that other people liked:
Warning: photographic nudity/thematically mature:

"Lunar Walk With Shoelaces Untied"

I attribute the success of these two pieces to popular demand for the subject matter, at the venue in which I displayed them: On DeviantArt, there's a big fetish photography community, and in that community, there's a lot of the same-old shot ideas going on: I venture to say no one has done anything quite like covering their nude body in band-aids and house paint.

At the Holiday Bazaar, where I displayed the finished (color) version of this piece (in two panels), it sold like hot cakes. There was a demand at that show, I think, for interesting abstract art that would match the couch.


I was surprised by this piece: I was sure it would fall apart, but it ended up being fully functional, as intended, despite a bit of lapse in the planning stages, for such a large-scale piece. Looking back, I would have made a more complete finish on it, though, esp. with the text.

Five doodles or sketches I like:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Post 1: State of the Union

All about Alice's artistic mode:

Media I like to work in:
Acrylic paint, conte and gesso, cut paper, comics, pen and ink, dip pen, digital painting, digital collage, collaged tissue paper, poetry, paperclay, sculpey, fabric, wire, wood (and drawing on wood).

Media I dislike:
Pencil (for anything more than the under drawing), because it's messy and smudgy, and a lot of (i believe) unnecessary work to get value, when you could have just used a darker/bolder media in conjunction. I don't like glue, though it's a necessary component to collage, because it's difficult and sticky, and I hate peeling glue skins off my fingers. I dislike pastels, because if you don't constantly affix them with an inch-thick coat of spray fix, they smear all over the place and get ugly. I like media that doesn't smudge or smear when you run your hand over it. I like to work on mat board or stiff material that doesn't accidentally crinkle or tear. I like to have a permanence to my marks, so they don't accidentally get ruined. I feel the same way about ceramics: too fragile, compared to say, woodworking or found-object assemblage.

Four classes that have inspired my work:
World Drama: I really connected with the plays in their visual aspects, simple layouts, on a stage, like illustrations, every element placed just so, for a certain meaning. Also, specific plays, like Genet's "The Maids" or "The Screens" and Lorca's "Blood Wedding" gave me very strong visual and ideological inspiration for work.

Surrealism and Film: What can I say, but awesome visual images, and thought provoking conceptually. Especially in the Bunuel films, for underlying social ideas/criticism, and especially with the link between that and sexuality. The Cocteau films for their stunning visuals, especially his Beauty and the Beast. Man Ray's film "L'etoile De Mer" was also pretty inspirational, and Dali's En Chien Andalou. The excruciating strangeness and stilted imagery appealed to my aesthetic senses.

Sculpture/Ceramics: I've been very interested in combining 2D and 3D in my illustrations. In my ceramics class, too, which was combined with a higher level class, I got to see other Illustration students doing just that, as well as exploring some more conceptual abstract concepts and designs myself.

Figure Drawing/Drawing Comp: Helped me a lot technically, to develop the freeness of my line, working large, being bold, using collage and mixed media, mixing markmaking, controlling the composition of works.

Cocteau's B&B... the 2005 Phantom of the Opera ripped him off on those arms-from-the-wall-holding-candelabras, bigtime.

The kind of subject matter I like to incorporate in my work most:
Figures and character designs, animals, dresses/period fashion, swirly organic lines, insects/insect-people, demons, creatures, masks, character designs or revamping of existing fictional characters, elements from nature interwoven into figures/characters. Often, dark subject matter calls to me most: vampires, night-creatures, spiders/bats, chimeras, deformity, death. Also, I gravitate towards historical subjects: especially the 1920s (Weimar Rep. Germany), and 1700s (France), and the Victorian era (1900s, America)

Subjects I read about:
Fantasy/historical fiction, gothic/horror fiction, classic novels, vampire novels, insect field guides,

Rock/metal: Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Abba, Orgy, Bush: A lot of the Rock music I get exposed to is just by listening to the radio. I like rock and techno because of the loud, lively beat. It's good working music for me, also sometimes relaxing.

20's german cabaret/jazz: Marlene Dietrich, Zarah Leander, Ernst Bush/Lotte Lenya: Puts me in mind of a certain place. Also, I think it's sexy,

60's folk: Simon and Garfunkel: Relaxing, pretty, clear, environmentally and politically conscious, reminiscent of a time and place that was pretty happening.

Showtunes: Lively, also, you call to mind the characters and their relationships and personalities, as well as the story and mood of the musical.

Non-art-related interests/hobbies/skills
-Dance: classical ballet, club dancing, swing dancing, latin dancing (interest, rather than skill)
-Fashion design/clothing/costuming

Corset Cameo by Louise Black: How awesome is this.

Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake" : An absolutely gorgeous ballet with modern coreography and an all-male cast.

Something I like that nobody else likes:
Obscure, lame, underappreciated villians. I love most all of them to death. It doesn't matter how pathetic their death scene was, or how little screen-time they had, or how corny their evil-scientist laugh was, they are close to my heart.

Mouse> from Armitage III, Frollo> Hunchback of Notre Dame, Rufus> FFVII , Scarecrow> Batman, Oriya> Descendant of Darkness .....heaps more that I currently can't remember.

If I had the run of the world's museums, I'd like to own:
Winged Victory/Nike of Samothrace.

Klimt's 'Watersnakes'