Sunday, January 6, 2013

a new year....

Hmmm...I don't normally type much on my blog, it's pretty much a spot for dumping pictures, but I've been spending some time recently thinking about my artistic goals, and I don't think I've been narcissistic enough lately,I need to share!

Last year was amazing for me and my growth. I really felt like I started on the path to being the creator I want to be. I did a ton of photoshop painting, and solidified my goals to be an environment concept artist/vis-dev artist of some kind.

The biggest thing I got out of the entire year was that I had been trying to be someone else for entirely too long. I started wanting to be Dylan Cole, then moved on to Jim Lee, then Mike Mignola and Arthur Rackham, Frank Stockton and Tomer Hanuka.

It was all a waste of time. I make a very poor version of any of those guys. I'm just beginning to realize that I make a much better Seth Rutledge than I do anyone else. There's a part of me that loves to paint fantastic landscapes, and that's great! There's another part of me that is having a great time drawing sketchy cartoon characters, and that's fine too :)

The other thing that is starting to penetrate my thick skull is that medium isn't really that important. I like using Photoshop. I also like watercolour, gouache, pencil, ink, sculpy and china marker! Sure, I need to be good enough with one or more of those that I can work "professionally", whatever that means, but the idea and the core principles of design are far more important than how tight I can render a character's arm (at least for me.)

Anatomy is important. Rules are important. Perspective is important.

They just aren't as important to me as the story I want to tell, and the mood I want to convey. In many respects, I have the online class I took with Chris Oatley to thank for helping me think about these things and come to this conclusion. If your piece evokes a mood, people will overlook incredible amounts of technical imperfections. If your piece doesn't have a mood, you had better be PERFECT technically, because it's all people will judge your work on. That's the trap of technique, it's very seductive to think you just need to learn this one more *thing*,and then you'll be better. You don't. You have to be able to help the viewer feel something when they look at your work, and that's both much easier, and much harder than knowing the exact colour your bounce-light should be.

Maybe for some people, that level of realism is important. I certainly don't mean to negate the need for study, observation and improvement. I picked this career because I wanted something that I could never learn all there was to learn. For me though, I want to tell stories with pictures. I don't want to show reality, if that were enough for me, I'd have stayed with photography!

As I move into 2013 and my last year of school at Emily Carr, there are a couple of things I want to remind myself every day:

1: I am an artist, and a storyteller, I'm not faking it.

2: My way of seeing things has value, even if it doesn't quite work yet.

3: My teachers exist to help *me* achieve *my* goals. They should be listened to but not necessarily agreed with simply because they draw a paycheque.

4: I want to remember what Pascal Campion told me at CTN-Expo "You need to decide how to apply them, but you clearly have the skills."

5: It is within my grasp to work in the industry I love for the companies I think are doing amazing things.

6: It's still going to take a lot of hard work and discovery, but that's what I love in the first place!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. hmm... interesting post. i like what you say about being yourself artistically. And to keep experimenting in whatever mediums you find interesting. it's obviously important to have one or two mediums which you can work professionally in, but you still need to keep room for Play. otherwise you don't grow. Good stuff. you should write more.

    1. I wouldn't mind doing that, I'm just not sure what sort of things to write about :) Any ideas?