The musings of a fantasy illustrator. Artwork, art-talk, and randomness.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
if anyone can make heads or tails of this site, please comment below. i expect there to be zero comments. in fact, if you manage to actually read the entire main page i'll be incredibly impressed. it is one of the more entertaining sites i've run across on the web.
have fun with that til next week!
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
which brought me to my realization. there isn't much i can do to control the production of "great pieces" beyond what i do for every painting. some that i thought would become fantastic turned out mediocre. some that i thought would be decent surprised the hell out of me. however, what i started to notice was that the more run-of-the-mill pieces done between these highlights were a better measure of progress.
the run-of-the-mill (so to speak) art that i produce, the baseline art, is the bulk of my output. it more accurately reflects my day-to-day inspiration and state of mind and my ability to produce works of whatever quality level under normal circumstances. produced without that magic touch of inspiration, they are the pieces that my skill, practice and applied creativity turn out. and in looking at this baseline work from years back through now, i most definitely could see a trend. my worst pieces and my baseline pieces do show marked growth over time.
particularly interesting are the worst pieces. every once in awhile, much to an artist's shame, he produces a stinker. you know, the track on that album you love that you always skip and you wonder what were they thinking when they are so talented normally? like that. the stinker is the least an artist can expect (or tolerate) when he sits to work. and interestingly, growth can easily be seen over time among these pieces, too.
but those gems--that is what they are like, gems or gold--you spend your time mining for that gold, and you may be a very good miner, your skills may help your search, but you still cry out "eureka" all the same when you hit a vein.
as an addendum to a prior post, i recently had to fly again. guess what--my gate was the one directly in front of the security checkpoint. 15 feet after putting my shoes back on, i was there. it's like someone out there was reading my blog. of course, it was the shortest flight i'd get on a plane for, but i have to admit i finally got my wish.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
i’d done it all my life, but it was surprising to see someone else do it. it was years ago, at a round table with my now sister-in-law. the restaurant had some of those promotional cards in clear plastic holders, if i recall correctly. she was a graphic designer at the time, and she commented on the design. here was something that i normally would never have paid much attention to (so much for the advertising qualities of such items), yet she had seen it and scrutinized it. she had shown that like me, she saw things according to what she did.
naturally, i view things from a painter’s perspective quite often. every illustration or reproduction of art found just about anywhere gets seen through the lens of my experience and knowledge. i suppose this is all fairly normal—advertising people scrutinize ads, concrete mixers scrutinize sidewalks, café workers grimace at weak coffee in a way i just don’t, perhaps...though I do my share of grimacing at weak coffee.
not too long ago, i
not too long ago, ilet my mom see a copy of an issue of cricket magazine i’d done some illustrations for as we relaxed after dinner. she held up the magazine and made a face. i was puzzled for a moment, until she commented that the printer had done a poor job cutting the book. it was crooked. i had the magazine a couple of weeks, but probably a couple of years would not have been enough time for me to notice. she was right, of course. she’d spent some 20-plus years working for various printing companies as a print operator, or in bindery. she knew her stuff. what was most amazing to me was how she spent 20-plus years working in one field and it never occurred to me that she viewed things through her own lens, polished through that experience same as mine.
a probably apocryphal story attributed to picasso has him being asked if he sees fruit--say, an apple--different from non-artists. his reply was supposedly that when he eats an apple, he sees it as an apple. when he paints one, he sees it as an artist. somehow i think he was lying, but that wouldn’t be surprising….
Thursday, February 03, 2005
recently, returning from kentucky (of all places!) it occured to me that, no matter which airport i am at, my gate will always be the furthest possible from where i arrive. it never seems to fail. getting to my connecting flight always involves a long walk to the opposite end of the terminal. that's if i'm lucky, if there is only one terminal. otherwise, i am likely to need to grab a shuttle of some sort and make my way to the clear opposite end. and from where i exit that shuttle, my gate will still be at the furthest possible point.
i don't understand. i walk by all these other gates. some of them have flights going or coming through them. mostly, they are to obscure places. places like kentucky--that is, unless kentucky is where i happen to be going.
quite a lot of these gates will be empty. nothing on the monitor, or just a generic airline logo. none of those people at the gate desk, the ones who handle all the boarding and then transform into flight attendants and follow you to wherever you are going, only to then disappear to who-knows-where. why don't they use these gates first and leave the furthest ones empty? if airports have extra gates to grow into, shouldn't they just make them those at the distant reaches and just close off that last portion of the terminal? it would save everyone a lot of trouble.
and of course at most airports the ends of most terminals are those nasty hubs: the ones with like 27 gates radiating from a circle full of frustrated-looking people, multiple lines of passengers about to board flights and 4-5 desk folk simultaneously talking gibberish into their microphones, broadcast only vaguely in any particular direction so that all people at all 27 gates have to hear that gate z-87 is boarding group 4. first class, and groups 1-4. then there are the completely useless islands in the middles of these things. they usually feature some sort of miniaturized sports-bar which seats like 20 people, with 20 more standing around. the entire area will be blocked in by lines of passengers from first class and groups 1-4.
if this is not maddening enough, about every 43 seconds or so the golf carts come beeping by. now i'm all for accessibility for those who need it. but i don't know if i've ever seen anyone who really needed assistance dropped off from these 3-point turn monstrosities. it occured to me that for all my whining i should just abuse the system too, and hop aboard these things. maybe they'll stop temporarily at auntie anne's so i can get a plain unsalted butter pretzel with honey mustard, then take me to my distant gate. the drivers seem to accept tips, so i could probably do it if i was hungry or lazy enough.
all this, and i consider myself a very calm traveller. i can't imagine the pain of all those other souls.