October 28, 2009

What a painter can learn from rockbands and vice versa

Today I was working on some original pieces of art, the third part of the broken and fixed series and the second part of say no good/ see no good / hear no good -series by doing so it comes to my mind that except for some retouching work I only did work on digital artworks and illustrations this entire year!

This led me to some thoughts about how others do their artwork and which effect the digital creation of art has to their balance, development, etc...

Then I have to think about musicians and how many there are that try to get there music out while dreaming the dream of getting a star and signing THE big deal one day.

But then again I realized:"isn´t it unfair, that a painter can offer an original piece and sell it to a very high prize, and paint a similar one or a complete series, while a musician can only sell some cd and dvd´s, but not the original for example such as the masterrecord?"

Ok, if a rock band or single musician sells 100000 cd´s its quite a lot that can be seen as a reward, but still others are earning with them.

The only medium that a musician can use to come close selling the original (like a painter does) is to go on stage and show a profile, beeing personal with the audience and give eveything. But thats not everyones cup of tuna and some bands better would´nt go on stage because there is either no personality left or they are just not good at live gigs (yet).

If you are a musician and that is your main problem, I´d say there are a lot others out there with the same hesitations and heres a solution that works for every artists; do what you do best, make it sound or look great and give it away for free!
Mp3 or jpg distribution doesn´t cost that much, except for the time... When the massive demand is there after years, do small packages and make them special or limited standout offers and give a small number of collectors something worth the money. One man projects like "Wumpscut" do this since over 10 years without even playing one live -gig! Here is also a very interesting statement from Trent Reznor what emerging artists should do to sell their music nowadays.

I´d go so far to apply this rules back to the visual artists, the internet is big and even unknown artists can find a platform to show their work to a wide audience. In the end it depends on what every individual wants to do -commissions, fine arts, graphic jobs or exhibition and building a collector base. But always keep in mind that the audience isn´t foolish and claiming to be someone else or showing with the skills of someone else can be easily unmasked.
Some may think that doing some drama like celebrities and wine about beeing ripped off would help getting exposure, but in fact it does not.
The converse is case, its pretty that simple: do the stuff in small for everyone to see and the high detailed limited or originals series for serious collectors and art appreciators or even art directors that wants to set theirselfs off from the crowd.

Back to my work after this rollercoasterride of thoughts, but still thinking:"I´m so glad i can do these sculptures and artsy thingies, make photographs of them, make them even more trippy with some digital skills and prepare them for the world to see like a directors cut ( and available to a limited number of collectors)".

The possibility is, that Leonardo da Vinci and the likes would love to be artists in these times.

October 24, 2009

Kingpin of the artworld

Yesterday we saw Marvels Daredevil flick on dvd again, and by doing so i observed some similarities with stereotypes of some real life characteritics. Its one of my favorite Marvel movies besides Ironman, what i like most is the story of a tragic hero - beeing that tragic figure, the daredevil has more in common with artists than you might think:
  • both have a gift and some hide it very well for example with a different identity (pseudonym)
  • both have the mainspring to become eye level with the kingpin of their field
  • both have the need to do what they can best to reach a certain level of perfection
  • both have passion in what they do, and by doing so it safes them from going insane
  • both have often very weird homes ;-)
But if artists are the daredevils, who is the kingpin then?
Easy question, easy answer, every market has their kingpins or Wilson Fisk´s; in the comic -universe its probably Marvel / Disney, while in the computergame business Blizzard entertainment or in the fine art market Charles Saatchi are names a real artist cannot help to avoid if they are serious about their business aswell.

But how to come to an eye height with the kingpins of your business?
Well, i suppose there are a lot of approaches, but i ask myself if there is a need for that at all?

My conclusion and the message i got from the movie is that when you do what you can best and climb the ladder step by step and enjoy every step you take, chances are good that you meet the kingpin sooner or later, because he knows that he cannot help avoiding you any longer.

October 22, 2009

Old Vs. new work and why change is crucial to artists

Yesterday I stumbled upon an older piece and was shocked to see from the data -time stamp that this must have been from year 2000 / 2001!

"Good lord" how time passes!
As mentioned in my first post, I´d like to critique myself...
With that in mind I decided to think about what would i change today to achieve the same expression and look but more teasingly?

For tech geeks or people new to my work here are some technical aspects: This piece was created with Photoshop 7, i guess a 1,8 Ghz /512 mb Ram PC with an artpad 2 -graphic tablet from Wacom, my first tablet ever!

Except for the machine and tablet i work now on, the Photoshop version is still in use and after 9 years now of getting used to it - i still deny the overblown CS flagships (at this point a call to adobe: make better European prices and give people a tool that works, not just code that blows the hardware specs!)

But i won´t delve deeper in this "what programs to use" -type of discussion any further.
My main aim was to critique myself when viewing the picture above from an objective point of view:
  •  the idea is nice, nothing new - but it could still serve as a character portrait of a fantasy story
  • technically weak, as gradients seem to have no smooth flow and the face is the only thing that fits the title: "Pale"
  • From color theoretical aspects there is no clever use of complementary colors for shadows or skin depth, the only thing that attracts from the thumbnail view is the blue and orange from mouth/eyes
  • The portrait is too close to the edges, positioning and a use for cover artwork are not easily possible without cropping / painting a new background
  • not a real critique because it could be intended: it looks genderless!?

The last one is indeed a very slap in the face, especially if it should represent a male character for example.

As far as i remember that time of the creation i was inspired by some works of Linda Bergkvist and it was trendy somehow to paint genderless characters.

But overall , this is part of my integrated rules of observation when going through artworks everyday.
And this list isn´t complete, the 9 years that lies in between and the study has affected my view and appliance of these and other rules to a routine when working on either personal or commissioned pieces. (where in personal pieces experimenting and prototyping of new techniques where practiced a lot)

With that in mind i pushed myself to work this piece over also to see if i could come up with a better result in ca. the same amount of time, and i guess i did:

 I have worked inspired and referencing from a stockphoto from Ladymorgana,  which saved me a little time with the pose, the face is completely re -painted to match the source and also i took the liberty to run wild with some gadget and tattoo -design stuff.

For the arm gear stuff I had lumped together some findings along with some clay, for reference but was too lazy to paint it  bronze colored with airbrush like actually intended - so it would better fit within a "steampunk" kind of theme. But i suppose then i had to add some goggles also...

Well, I´m still not satisfied with some parts, but its possible that i revise them.
The main differences are clearly visible, more space to the edges = editors dream:) a clean background, smooth gradients and a simple yet working color scheme.
In the end another piece that fits nicely into the "Fantasio -girls" portfolio.

Comments are welcome, here or on deviantart.

If you like to hear a story from a specific image from my gallery, just let me know!

October 19, 2009

Where to start when not at the beginning?

I have decided to give this whole blog thingie a go.
After a year of struggling with iweb and distracting
myspace hassles and a not really satisfying deviantArt-
journal I finally want to only have one place to gather my thoughts and news and art talk at one place -once and for all.

Another thing i have thought about long enough was the
language. Even when my mother tongue is German, I feel
like home when writing in english - so I won´t deny this any longer by switching the languages. Local news will be on the front of my homepage for the time beeing and thats it.

Art speaks an international language and so should I.

With this blog I´d like to explore or get hold of the keys  of a successful artwork by analysing my own and work from colleagues alike from a censorious point of view.

With that in mind i think it will help myself and others by continuing this adventure to strive for the "perfect" artwork, my current freelancing work experience gives me the objectivity to monitor even my own work very critically.

By doing so I´m focussing on the artwork rather than referring to the artist, as what i´m talking about is the art that speaks for itself (sorry no stickman and no fat on a chair kinda stuff)
What I observe very much on -and offline is an annoying overhyping of artists, or self -dramatization, that seems to get comonplace to some artists, (in the fine arts sector and often by collectors that feel like buying from the artist what they can never have)  but sometimes it distracts from their artworks too much (stickman beware).

To me this looks very often like its necessary to overplay the educational lack of mediated knowledge about self employment of some very famous artschools or they deflect beeing autodidacts, to some degree i understand this. But provocative self presentation or even beeing offensive brings an artists down to a television kinda level.

I´m all about collaboration whenever possible, and learning is on my shedule  everyday - maybe someday i learn that some impressions are wrong - but then i´m the one to acknowledge that.
In a fraction of that time that I post on myspace or deviantArt i have become more successful with twitter,  and to be frankly I love the rule: less is more!

I kept the older entries from my homepage blog, so for reading some of them, go here.
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