In my never-ending crusade to prove to Deviantart users that 99% of them are illustrators and that it's a legitimate form of art, I thought I would share this cool article. The blog Muddy Colors is an excellent resource for any illustrator, professional or aspiring or hobbyist, and this is a particularly insightful entry from one of my favourite illustrators, Petar Meseldzija on the topic of making emotionally charged work. Scroll down to the bottom of the entry and this is part I of II so stay posted!
My own commentary as it relates to deviantart: We can get a little short-sighted here. I've been thinking a lot about this recently because I've been looking at some of those "draw this again!" memes and, while it's really inspiring to see so much improvement in technique, there are very few entries which change anything about the drawing (the pose, the scenario, the background, the emotion, basically) to better suit any message. We spend a lot of time here doing character sheets, practicing different poses with the same characters, doing endless headshots, and generally not really challenging ourselves. I'm being critical, I know, but I'm saying this having absolutely gone through the same stuff, look through my scraps if you're in for some ocular punishment.
Sometime last year, when Bryan Lee O'Malley (Scott Pilgrim creator) was still on deviantart, he posted a journal with one of his tweets which said something along the lines of "stop spending so much time obsessing about your character designs and draw some pages!" Needless to say, people freaked out and attacked him and, coincidence or not, he left a few days later.
Okay that was a lot of shit to stir what I'm saying is that I think we get really freaked out about the idea of the BIG IDEA. We have to have a BIG IDEA to justify making a "finished" illustration. But we don't. All you need is an emotion, and I happen to think that that's the most worthy thing a person could try to express in art. It's not cynical or political or subjective (Damien Hirst, I'm looking at you!) and it comes a lot more easily as well.
That got out of hand, all I really wanted to do was share a funky link. Apparently I just can't help myself.