Just A Little Crooked

What will this guy get away with next, after he's shammed some poor little old ladies?

This gentleman must be bonkers, especially going after these ladies after one has fallen madly in love with him.

This is my off-the-wall post for Illustration Friday.


Short Hand Of Truth

I have heard it said that in order for there to be the most truth in a piece of art, you have to extract the most details.  That is why fairytales, Bible stories, classic art, political cartoons, pop songs, dance moves, plays, and mainstream movies hold such sway over the culture. That is not to say that all of the above always maintain the integrity of their message, but that they are a superior form to delivering one in some form or fashion.

Sure the above piece is a ridiculous scenario. Most editorial or political or op-ed comics are. Whether it's Obama as a mere stick figure or Bush as a monkey, it is a short hand for getting the point across. Whenever necessary the artist must practice this short hand.

Some of the basic components of a visual short hand that I have discovered are as follows:
1. On objects and products leave out as many unnecessary details as possible
2. Choose recognizable objects
3. Create easy repeatable characters (made of simple shapes)
4. If you're working with text, make it short and to the point as much as possible
5. Compose, so that your eye follows the action
6. Keep your style secondary to the message
7. Focus on rendering accurate human expressions on your characters

As always, I encourage my readers to explore and find more ways to deliver the message with simplicity and directness. Let me know if you have some things that work for you. I will be glad to talk about it here.


I'm In The Band

I took a brief respite last week to have some fun with Illustration Friday...which I always do! It is an aside, but it keeps things interesting for me as a blogger and artist.

On Labor Day I visited a local arts festival, The Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival. Long name, but fun festival. After I had finished my pulled pork sandwich, I sat under the tent in front of the main stage and sat down to draw. What was I interested in most at that time? The band.

All The Members In The Band.
James and the Jamerson's, a 60's Motown cover band had the chops. They had great musical harmony and rawness. They demonstrated musical authority in horns, vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, and a mix of black and white performers with shared male and female leads. What we don't see often in bands these days are the honest interpretation of the music live. That means that aside from radio formulated orchestration, most groups are too proud or maybe too poor to have the same expression live. Which is a shame. Both because it seems to be a let down for the audience and it dishonestly represents who they are.

I knew this first hand when I got out of college and moved twice in the same summer. I did not find the harmony with other artists when I first moved to Cincinnati, but I also did not find it at first when I moved to Columbus.

Credibility Gap.
We are individuals and we create as filters of the culture that we are surrounded by. Some artists will not admit that they are filters of culture. They think that if they claim there accomplishments as 100% their own that they will be more credible. This is a lie and it is also not necessary.

It is not necessary to claim your accomplishments as yours and only yours. No doubt we all have influences great and small. I often forget some of the minor influences in my life. Sometimes I discover them anew. But credibility comes after accomplishment not because of the rigorous journey done in isolation. I found this to be true time and again after I failed making quality projects on my own.

Dynamic Works.
The dynamic works like this: We conceive an idea from life experience. Which is always based in culture. Then, we begin to execute it if it is a passion. After that we must test it. When we test it, the project cannot be seen by our eyes only. Fellow artists we trust, close friends and relatives must speak in to it to make it great. Then, if the piece is deemed worthy, the culture receives it.

In this process collaboration, insight, experience, and interactions of all kinds criss-cross the making of the art. In reality if the art sings, chances are that it was not done by just one person alone on an island. It was done in a band.