Now, whatever your personal opinions are of this picture is, I have to say that this one is important to me.
Not because it’s better or worse than the other’s, but it is basically one of the most important pieces in the Experimenting process I have done as of late.
I through out 99% of my art from Art 10/20/30 (High school art classes). I wanted to try and recreate one of those pieces. From memory. From over a decade ago. No references/no direct related references.
Now, context for THAT context, for those interested:
My art teacher loved me as much as she wanted to smack me over the head.
She saw me as this brilliant expressionist painter. She saw me and my art in her’s and her own.
She’d talk about how we were both messy, and approach things from the inside out rather what most folks do. Especially in Art. Or how she would put it “Teaching people to let go and be messy is harder than teaching people to refine.” Or rather, teaching someone to colour in the lines is harder than teaching someone to colour in the lines.
Basically, people climb up a latter to get from the bottom to top, I was trying to figure out how to climb down the ladder.
Enough metaphors for you?
So, if it wasn’t obvious enough I wanted to do art for cartoons and comics, even back then. Or even before. Though I can’t say that I wanted that consistently through out my childhood, I CAN say I wanted to draw what ever I thought was cool at the time. So a lot of my inspiration from art was and is IPs verses VIP classical painters and movements. I drew more from things like Power Rangers and Pokemon than I did Picasso or Leonardo.
And that frustrated her. She didn’t get why I would want to do hyper-labour repetitive drawing than big, expressive, emotional pieces.
And to further our frustration with each other, I didn’t necessary understand her teaching methods? Like, Disney life draws loins for YEARS before they do a cartoon Lion. But, I, we, were different, right? If I was a bigger, messier, looser drawer… wouldn’t it make sense for me to draw Scar (which would have less detail) and work my way UP to a real lion? If I was learning backwards, wouldn’t it make sense for me to practice, say, rubber hose styles to get approximation of figure and THEN start life drawing?
That is it’s own topic of discussion, and I think the answer is more complex than I, her, or other Art teachers/Students want to accept.
But needless to say, there was tension, even though we had a mostly good relationship.
That’s why My expressionist piece and my Cubist piece we so important. I could really show her that I figured out how to take those refinements and make my big expressive things more precise. I could finally flex my art muscles AND give her what she wanted. This was an easy A.
Except, it wasn’t. I started out super strong in both concept and design. Expressionist, dark, emotional, not two surreal but surreal enough. Off putting, but compositionally strong.
Problem. The green Sky and read worked really well, probably better in the original. The Mermaid was off center, so it wasn’t a “center focus” composition. Something I had been dinged for on other’s pieces that year.
I can’t remember what specific colour choices killed the tension of the piece, but as soon as I put that Mermaid up… I accidentally lost all of the energy that came from the red and green sky.
That was a common theme in that art class. I was close. Some ways, closer than I had ever been to make something that stood out. That met both my teacher’s and my creativity needs. That wasn’t me blowing off instructions and demonstrating I actually LEARNED stuff.
But I would either mess up one thing or not stop adding stuff to the point… that it wasn’t like, not good. It was just. Good. Not great or excellent. But, more than alright. In fact I think she still liked it.
But I could tell she was disappointed.
It got so frustrating that she was keep pressuring me to show my portfolio to the local art school, and I just couldn’t.
I couldn’t handle being so close and yet still missing one key ingredient. I couldn’t handle that it was my own vision or love of what I did that was holding me back. It made me mad. So frustrated.
Policy was that if we didn’t pick up our art, it was tossed. Pretty sure I never did, or tossed it even if I had.
Never bothered to apply to art school because I just thought I couldn’t make it. And Knowing I probably wasn’t going to be an anime/manga creator (I wasn’t as big of weeb as I was in middle school, but I still was in highschool) I had set my sites on teaching in Japan. That’s what my degree was going to be for (that didn’t turn out as planned, either).
But, even if I am still working out the kinks or learning, or that I created it through infrequent doodles, my current style has technically be been formed after many years. Ever since that day I still doodled, learned, re-learned, forgot, and re made again. That Even though I still don’t full understand the basics she tried to teach me, or that I often start and stopped, I never REALLY gave up on Art.
You can see in things like the Landscape photo, or other things that I have drawn, that I have tried to re tap into the skill sets I had when I was younger. I NEED to play with them if I want my cartooning skills to improve.
For example, things like this make me focus on the basics in ways I often forget to do when I am just doodling
– rendering (Shading)
Like I will actually remember to thing in terms of fore/middle/and back ground, actually fitting stuff on a page rather than just drawing 180 medium shots.
It makes me blatantly more aware of my flaws: like missing details/ over adding, not being aware of where the light is hitting an object/ 2D vs 3D, shaky lines and yadda yadda.
And just like how certain studies with marker in real life helped me try to draw things right the first time to not over correct, this study makes me try and force me to think in the terms of art. Not just doodling or shit posting, but actual art.
TL;DR: This pick being “good” or “bad” means less to me. Not completely irrelevant, but second to that I m recreating old works from almost a decade ago straight from my brain. In access to re access and channel the things I was good at before, with my cartooning style, and trying to capture and master the basics that I struggle with.
It ain’t perfect. But it’s an important step and I’m PROUD OF IT DARN IT. lol
So, here you go. An updated piece that you can’t compare to the original.
Hope you like?
On my phone this one looks a little better cause filter