Um, hey. I guess it's been a while since people posted here but uh, I like this topic and it shouldn't die, you know!
So at the end of the semester my drawing class teacher evaluated everyone's work and tried her best to, well, provide pointers. Except when my turn came about she was clueless. Apparently my artwork is all over the place. While it's a good thing to have variety in your work, she said, it was also important to have an idea of what exactly you want with your art. And that's something I couldn't quite answer about myself.
I mean, I suppose I will focus on the cartoony stuff you'd expect from me but I feel it's important for an artist to be able to draw anything? I feel like a single style would grow stale after a while.
So for you people who are in or went through art school: How was your experience there? Did you figure out exactly what you wanted or were you in a similar situation as mine? Anything useful you've learned that you feel like sharing?
Also of relevance: I was the student with the highest work output in the class. There were just so many drawings. I don't really know what to say about that either - I start drawing and suddenly the pictures pile up. I suppose this means there's a bigger chance of good pieces to show up among the garbage, but I don't know.
In my experience, Its good to just put some thought into what you're style is like and where you could expand to, especially if you want to live off your art. Despite what "draw everyday" mandate seems to imply, you can draw 100 of the same face and never get much better at drawing it. Don't get me wrong, High output is good, it means you really like drawing and you can put the time in, But energy is better spent being focused.
Goal setting is important because, while everyone needs to draw from life, the rest is entirely up to you as an individual as to what you want to study. Think about it this way: Do you want to be a concept artist who does comics on the side with a golden age animation influence? Thats cool, But that doesn't come out of thin air. How does concept art look? What are the principals of golden age animation? Do you know that John K blogs? How is the drawing you are doing right now helping you get better at any one of those things? Do you have reference images? Can you copy them, where are your skills lacking?
So many questions come out of having goals, and answering those will propel you forwards. So my point is to think about some reasonable but flexible goals and move from there. You will then be able to do many different "types" of work but be working towards unified and productive outcomes.
Does that help at all?
Yeah all that stuff is kind of a no-brainer, although it's good that you went ahead and said it. I didn't exactly copy verbatim what the teacher said - but essentially, what she's been telling us the entire semester is that an artist should ask themselves what they want from their work, ask themselves why they do things the way they do, and ask themselves what can be changed, what else can be done to achieve our goal. She did mention that versatility and experimentation are good things, but I suppose one shouldn't focus on those forever - you need to go somewhere with your experiments.
I also didn't mean that I keep drawing the exact same thing. I know the importance of drawing constantly and the importance of working towards improvement, especially in recent years. I tend to change my "style" once every six months and I grow a little upset if I don't because it means there was no improvement. Looking back at my work from a couple years back is such a relief because I can see exactly how I've improved since then.
Well, it sounds like you already understand what shes getting at. Have you drawn some conclusions about what she said, Do you have some goals in place for the future of your work?
I was more of a jack of trades artist in school, I was in the animation program though I still studied and worked on illustration constantly, also dabbled in general fine arts and played in 3D. Despite this, Generally when my teachers asked me questions such as what my focus was, it really wasn't about my physical work at all, but about what goals I had for myself artistically, and the ideas I was trying to put into my work and share with others.
When I got through my program I was much less concerned with my "style" and much more concerned about my communication skills. But this sort of goes in line with my goals, because I'd rather be a concept artist and story teller, and not a one off illustrator type. Personally, I don't think visual "style" changing is necessarily a mark of improvement, though flexibility is always good, as your teacher says. My school was largely conceptually based, so I was constantly being critiqued on the ideas I had, and not the skills I had. There were downsides to this, but as you can tell, you can generally start routing out your own technical problems just by reflecting on your work.
You know what I always wondered?
Why does Snowman play the violin...
If she's so afraid of FROGS???!!!!
Yeah, definitely, Avi! I mean ... Peter and the Wolf? Most symphonies? "Tone poems"?
Also um I think that's a really silly thing that Andrew said. No, people don't "completely co-opt" the narrative of a song. That's just not how music works. As he's said before, the right song for a flash is the song he picks: fine, he's right that there's no other metric. But to say that a song doesn't have any other associated qualities until he picks it is just wrong. Sunslammer:
1) has a strong melodic line, strong enough that lyrics have been written for it (multiple sets)
2) has a really driving pace
3) with a pop chord progression
4) and vaguely eighties instrumentation
and those are things we associate with, like, Journey and Bon Jovi. So we already have prior associations with the music, even without getting "really used to it", which it's necessary to work around or work with. And I agree with him: they tend to go over action scenes in films, or over the end credits, not over huge emotional moments. But it's rare that they're used to score, for example, a repetitive clicking task with no resolution.
edit: Okay, I went back and Googled the original quotes about Sunslammer from Beatfox and Radiation. Radiation pictured Sunsetter as Dave's strife theme, associating it with jrock; Beatfox talks about how it's not actually a story-driver for the whole of Homestuck. Apparently a bunch of people have associated Sunslammer with an anime opening. So there's that!
ahh, brain fart! How could I forget Fantasia? I've been watching it for years.
Now there are three kinds of music on this "Fantasia" program. First, there's the kind that tells a definite story. Then there's the kind that while it has no specific plot, it does paint a series of more or less definite pictures. And then there's a third kind, music that exists simply for its own sake. Now, the number that opens our "Fantasia" program, the "Toccata and Fugue", is music of this third kind, what we call "absolute music". Even the title has no meaning beyond a description of the form of the music. What you will see on the screen is a picture of the various abstract images that might pass through your mind if you sat in a concert hall listening to this music. At first, you're more or less conscious of the orchestra. So our picture opens with a series of impressions of the conductor and the players. Then the music begins to suggest other things to your imagination. They might be, oh, just masses of color or they may be cloud forms or great landscapes or vague shadows or geometrical objects floating in space.
Haha, yep, exactly! DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO
(Relatedly, I think it's p interesting that people have been saying The Felt is a really synaethesia-triggering album, art-provoking album, etc -- I'm not synaesthetic but I too feel like it's super, super visual.)
Yeah, The Felt album has been EXTREMELY mentally stimulating for me. It's inspired a full drawing and a sequential piece from me, and I have mini-stories for several of the songs in my head.
Hmm, that's interesting. What about the music makes it visually stimulating? I think this album focuses a lot more on sound design than the other albums; would that have something to do with it?
I honestly can't answer that. Music is often a driving force behind my art, be it mood-setting or direct inspiration, but there isn't any kind of consistent trigger that I'm aware of. If I REALLY like a song, chances are it will make me imagine stuff.
Not sure how to describe it. The Felt album seems a lot more... cohesive maybe? Complete? Bigger? There just seems to be a great deal of substance to it.
Maybe it's the fact that it's orchestral music. I read somewhere that it has something of a focusing effect, and that it's a good type of music for studying. That could be a factor.
I totally know what you mean about some music being "visual". For example, Tortoise is a band that always evokes really vivid images for me. Same with some of Battles's stuff.
I think the reason those bands provoke more of a response is because they use a lot of unusual sounds and song structures. Same thing with the Felt album.
edit: add Weather Report to that list too
Last edited by Stij; 12-13-2010 at 10:30 AM.
I'm flattered yet again from reading that.
Yeah! Felt was definitely designed to be a soundscape, and, honestly, that album is the style I've been pushing toward for quite awhile: orchestral-electronic soundscape. Incredibly vague in terms of genre definition, seeing that it could cover an incredibly wide range of music, but who really cares?
Simply put, I suppose the best way to describe the way I go about composing and producing is "painting a picture in sound."
Glad you all have enjoyed the music, though.
So I managed to shoot those 2 rolls of Kodachrome and mail them off to Kansas before the Dec. 30th deadline.
Now it's just sit back, and wait for the 3 days from LA to Kansas, 3 days to process and scan, and 3 days back.
Anyway, Kodachrome is a great film and I'm really sad that it's being discontinued.
In case anyone is interested in trying out drawing with a tablet, Here's a hundred dollar tablet for 40 bucks.
Edit: Amazon seems to be having sales on a few different tablets, so look around. The one I linked is kinda cheap, but the way things are going, you may be able to find a better one for not much more money.
Last edited by Decker; 12-25-2010 at 11:34 AM.
I was angry with my friend. I told my wrath. My wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe. I told it not. My wrath did grow.
Dudes, I want to form a band. I already thought up of the main idea for a rock opera with 12 songs, and also wrote down some lyrics. I don't know anyone who plays music and would be in a band with me, though. So, um, any of you know how to assemble a band?
Plus, consider location, not everywhere has a thriving music community or musicians who are willing to try more than one genre. The amount of cities in the U.S. and Canada that have nothing but country or moldy rock nightlives is staggering.
A good way to see if you've got any musicians floating around and what kind of things they do is to A) read local papers, B) dredge Craigslist postings, and C) try musician classifieds like Musolist. That and just be active to an extent, you should kinda already know the types of things that are popular from having lived wherever you do.
So yeah. As much as I like music, I am pretty much forced to study without it. Curses!
yeah off I go now