Thursday, February 23, 2006

playing


just playing around to see what I can do. This is a sketch I did of my daughter on Fathers Day last year when she and my wife took me to the Isle Of Wight for the day. A good time was had by all as they say.

what is an artist?

I've been thinking about this and I've come up with a cross media definition that I like. An artist is the outcome of the sum of their influences and experiences. That stands true for grafitti artists, painters, makers of video installations, cartoonists, game designers, mathematicians, musicians etc etc. For any artist an enormous number of influences work on their creativity, a painter may begin by appreciating and being influenced by the works of Titian and seek to emulate it, he may then be introduced to paintings by Mark Rothko and find the use of colour will completely change the way he approaches his work. That same artist may then hear Miles Davis for the first time and his approach will modify again. Eventually the sheer quantity of influences, large and small, will be passed through the lense of the artists experience in the world to create something unique to them. Influences may still be visible, or may simply lead them to produce something that resembles anothers work in some way that suggests a school of thought but in some respect the work will be unique.

Without life experience to shape everything the art may be hollow however.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Frustration central

Today has been one of those days. Everyone, with one or two exceptions, has been put in my work place to make my life more difficult. I'm currently doing two jobs for my employer and really not doing either as well as I should be. Fortunately their filling the extra post I've been doing very shortly at which point the pressure should drop off. I hope.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Gooseland

I think, with me, it starts with titles. When I was much younger than I am today I wanted to be a cartoonist, a comic artist, but I really had no interest in drawing Superheroes or Science Fiction. This meant there was really no professional outlet for my ambitions and with no potential end result my natural laziness meant I stopped working at my drawing skills and began to let them atrophy.

Then I discovered Eddie Campbell and Dave Sim. Dave Sim proved it was possible to do your own thing if you were totally single minded and prepared to make sacrifices along the way. I thought he was a true artist because he was so single minded in pursuit of his vision. Fortunately I wasn't that crazy. Eddie Campbell on the otherhand........ Eddie held down menial jobs, had a life and relieved his creative needs by by transcribing a series of fictionalised autobiographical stories in his spare time. And more importantly he did it all in a scratchy pen and ink style that I could actually connect with on an artistic level.

Now.... titles. For several years, since first hearing Lester Young play the tune, the title "Round Midnight" had reverberated around my conciousness like a tumour growing in my head or a love growing in my heart. Eventually, over several years I turned it into 200 pages of intensely personal comics which I published in 50 page chunks and sold maybe 30 copies of each book. Ten years followed where I desperately wanted to draw another story but every attempt to create something crashed after a dozen pages. Then a title hit me, "Cowboy" and I worte and drew a short story about learning to draw. Now another title is setting up house in my head, "Gooseland". I don't know where it came from or what it means but I'm waiting to see.