......Good for you. And other realisations...
This is going to be slightly long winded so bare with me!In my end of year review
I stated that I had come to accept that it was okay to draw like yourself and not be a slave to a particular art style. Or movement. Over the last few days I've been sitting alone in my room working on my project and I've come to realise certain things.
Here where things become long winded and slightly stream of conciousness-ish as I'm going to be jumping for point to point.
- Although you like a particular artists work and find their work inspiring, the style of art may not be compatible with your natural drawing style: For years I attempted to bend my work in encompass the styles of James Montgomery Flagg, Charles Dana Gibson, Ashley Wood, Jock and various others before I realised that although I enjoyed their work and found it inspiring, their work was so stylised and unique to them that it was 100 mile away from what my brain was tell my hand to try to do. There was no way "in" for me. Meaning that there was no way for me to look at their and learn how they constructed their imagery. They have effectively develop their own visual language and thus their work was impenetrable. Over the past 3 years I've actively been looking at the work of artists who work is closer to my naturally ability. Sean Phillips, Posy Simmonds, John Paul Leon, Disraeli, Alison Bechdel, Milton Caniff, Nihei Tsutomu, Jordi Bernet, Tim Sale to name a few. And sometimes Jae Lee. And learnt significantly more, to the extent that I've been able to fold what they do into what I go. I'm far, far closer to being me than I was 3 years ago. I can't even look at my old sketchbooks anymore. It's just too painful!!
- You can only ever do the best you can do at that moment in time. The more you do, the better you become. I was getting hung up about the images I was producing for my final minor project until I realised that I'll never be judged by what other people are producing. I'll only ever be just on the articulation of my ideas. In essence, I'll be judged again what I'm capable of and not some imaginary high water mark that doesn't exist. Perfectionism kill creativity. Do it. Finish it. Learn, Move on. Do better next time.
- Now this one I've always know, but sometimes it's important to articulate things that run around in your head. The grade I receive at the end of this course will be entirely worthless. Indeed, the very paper that my grade is written on will be worth more than the actual grade. You're dong this course to gain skills not for a fucking grade. How many uni graduates are working for Mc Donalds and Mark and Spencer at the moment? A 100 miles away from the subject matter that they sacrificed 3+ years of their life for. A grade asurses nothing in illustration and even less than nothing in fine art. The portfolio you produce how ever is worth more than bars of solid gold. Rather you fail and have a portfolio that shows your best work and that you're happy with and play lip service to the biases of your lecturers who sometimes get it wrong. Everyone comes with their own personal/artistic biases.
- Some of your lecturers will be major assholes with egos the size of the heliopause. They will be snobs who will look down their nose at your work and your influences. But sometimes they'll drops a peal of wisdom that will help you see the woods thorough the trees. And sometime the advice they give you though will be spot-on even though they're king-sized arseholes. The trick is separating the gold from the bullshit.
And that's it. More later.
Edited to add: This post was prompted by laying eyes on Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein this evening and knowing that it took Bernie SEVEN YEARS to complete those illustrations. Good art takes time.