Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some Thoughts

After Marshall's lecture, I had some discussions with my art director, who is possibly the most left-brain, analytical artist I've met in person.  His belief is that a good artist is always thinking about why he or she is doing what they do to their image, and what message they are trying to pass on.  He doesn't believe in the "touchy feely" kind of art.

Being a newbie artist who is just coming out of the eggshell of ignorance and "lucky accidents" of doing things just because they "feel right", I found a lot of merit in my AD's viewpoint.  I've known for a while that I need to think about why and how a lot more rather than striking out blindly, hoping to hit the target somehow.  On the other hand, the notion about absolutely relying on the left brain bothers me.  I found myself mulling over this on my way to and from the grocery store.

I have seen pieces of very well-designed art, with great composition and nice craftsmanship but lacking in something.  My right brain would say "this feels souless, synthetic, and generic."  It's like a beautiful face with empty eyes.  To me, a good piece of illustration carries some true feelings from the artist.  There is something intimate and personal for the viewer to grasp on.  Just like the craftsmanship of a piece should not outshine the message of the image, I feel like the design of the piece is also just a tool to make sure the message gets through, rather than being the most important part of the piece.  While design and craftsmanship makes for good art, a masterpiece should require sincerity and deep feelings.  It's like the difference between a piece of sweet, tangy candy that dissolves quickly and a dish that have a great, immediate deliciousness but also leaves a lingering flavor in the mouth.

I know these are still very right-brain words, and I failed to analyze this "sincerity" in a more logical rather than touchy-feely way.  Maybe more thoughts on this subject will help down the road.  I also found it funny that as a new artist who can't even produce mediocre "candies" reliably, I'm thinking so much about gourmet dishes.  I'll probably look back on this a few years down the road and smile, like I do now when I look at my old diaries from teenage years.


Tyson Murphy said...

really interesting thoughts, I think about that same stuff a lot, too. My painting teacher at school thinks the same way, very left-brained. he's like a human 3d renderer. Whenever I try his approach, I start to overthink and I freeze up.

The best I can do for now is to try and balance between a heavy thought process and letting things happen just because they look good.

you are pumping art out at an enormous rate!!! awesome, grace!

Grace Liu said...

Thanks a lot Tyson :) You know, I love your art not only because of your insane design sense and badass painting skills, but also because you express so much of "you" in your art.

And thanks for the encouragement. If I don't have quality, at least I'll have a little more quantity... Can't hurt ;)

B.C. said...

I'm not a pro or even a skillfull artist, but my opinion is that a good thinking is the perfect foundation for a awesome art, it doesn't mean you cant put you feeling into it, feeling give the artpiece a "mojo" one thing i like to do is trying to feel like the character i'm going to paint(rpg helps alot in this) is he feeling pain, anger or happiness? why he would carry this gear? this sword its just a random sword or an old family relic? things like it.

i think both ways can walk together but i'm just a newbie xD