This may be an odd question, but how exactly would you go about capturing the essence of someone in a portrait? How do you not only put their face in it, but also some of their personality and spirit?
When assessing the spirituality of your subject matter, you must become your subject matter. You must feel what it’s like to be inside of them, beneath them, on top of them, riding piggyback on them… you need to wear their pants and walk a mile in their shoes with no socks. Literally steal a pair of their pants and shoes and walk a mile. If it’s not hot enough out for your feet to get sweaty walking, you need to do some light jogging in them. Only once you have sweated in another person’s shoes and replaced them without them knowing can you truly begin to absorb the essence of a human being for a portrait. Once the essence absorbing has begun, you need to start absorbing their herbal essences. To do this, take a damp sponge and lightly dab the back of their hair after they take a shower. Squeeze the sponge into your eyes without closing them. Now you should have bloodshot eyes and tears streaming down your face. You are ready to paint.
Pick up your tool of choice (rock, pen, pencil, wacom, brush, etc.) and now draw exactly what that person looks like without focusing on a single thing outside of what they actually physically look like. You have now captured their personality.
You've actually inspired me to go to college to get the qualifications and skills I need to have a job I actually enjoy doing. You're one of my biggest role models and I've actually done a few projects on you and shown some people your work :) if I didn't discover you I probably wouldn't of been going to college
How does it feel knowing you have such a big impact on someones life?
It feels better than any other victory I’ve had in my artistic career so far. Thank you—I am at a loss for words. Thank you. Simply—Thank you.
If you look like Kat Dennings, hate mayonnaise, are obsessed with Jim Carrey, know what Wingardium Leviosa is, don’t smoke, are open to the idea of base-jumping, listen to Broken Social Scene and Kanye West, are accepting of all faiths, races, and sexualities, love Arrested Development, can beat me at Halo, know the differences between “your” and “you’re” as well as “there” and “their”, have aspirations to be the best at whatever it is that you do, and are substantially more intelligent than me… then absolutely—I will marry you.
i have a very hard time with artists. in general i see them as guilty until proven innocent. guilty of what? being pretentious assholes who don't really deserve the recognition they so desire, being too big for their britches, generally overly demanding, etc. i have formed this opinion after working with many, many artists. i worked at a shipping and printing store, and they were all (yes, every single one of them) so demanding and pretentious.
you (in my book) have been proven innocent. you are a very down to earth person from what i've seen from your blog, and it's refreshing. not that my opinion really matters or anything, but there you are.
Thank you, anonymous—you are incredibly kind. Admittedly, I definitely have a degree of pretentious asshole-ishness to me. I don’t believe in false modesty but also have no shame in admitting that I am pretty good at what I do. Having pride in your work to me is acceptable and even important—I just always keep in mind that there is a world of people far better than I in every aspect with skill levels I will aspire to and pursue throughout my entire life and potentially never reach.
I think it takes a certain degree of arrogance to share your work with the world and promote yourself as such—and I’ll be candid about that. However, I think that no matter how proud you become of what you do—so long as you never believe you are above learning more and being more—you can stay grounded. I think an assumption is made about artists often that because they put themselves out there so publicly they must be these raging assholes who worship their reflections. A lot of times people can’t get past that and the gut-reaction is all they see. In reality, I’ve met some extraordinarily talented people who exuded that artistic snobbery before getting to know them, but beneath that public image, are really just fantastic human beings.
I do what I can to bring my more private facets of care and morality to the surface for you all to avoid that douchey artsy vibe, but even that is often misinterpreted and deemed pretentious. When you put yourself out there, people will trash on it and hate it—it’s the natural order of chaos. Am I going to stop sharing my work and what I love because some people think I’m a twat for doing so? Absolutely not. I don’t think anyone should.
No, I do not have a “girlfrind” nor the more commonly spelled: “girlfriend”—I am delightfully a free agent much like my profession.
While I don’t EXACTLY have kids or a wife… I do have plenty of hopeless friends who need their vomit cleaned up and can’t make decisions for themselves, as well as a landlord who takes my money and doesn’t have sex with me. So… to that I answer: “kinda”.
These internet memes I have recreated are not “beneath” me—just as a can of soup wasn’t “beneath” Warhol. No matter how seemingly trivial these may appear on a surface level, they are not only a part of pop culture, but they have become a facet of visual communication across the web. The web… is not trivial. It isn’t a fad and just as illustrators established the communication arts of early print magazines, so have they on the internet—in web 2.0.
Artists do not have to be starving. Art doesn’t have to be the field that nonintellectuals venture down or that confused teens need to explore in order to “fight the man”. It doesn’t have to be the hobby of a drug-addled hippy and it doesn’t have to be unstable, scorned by your parents, or that thing you gave up to pursue something more “secure”.
If you want to be an artist, do it. If you’re reading this—you are part of web 2.0. You are in a time where you can live in bum-fuck nowhere, have no money, and no job—and if you make something beautiful then post it on the web, you can be making more than the doctors and lawyers the world tries to tell you to be.
My dad put Photoshop 7.0 in front of me when I was still in high school. When I asked him what I do with it he said “anything” and when I asked how I do it, he said “any way you want to”. When I asked what I can do with my life and how I go about doing so, his answers were the same. Parents: take note… that’s how it’s done. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!