Definitely. People often need to associate any two things they can find to “paint a picture” of things they don’t know. I’ve found the best way to combat this is to be as random in what I make as who I am. That’s not an explicit effort to make random things, I’m just skipping the thing everyone teaches you in art school: be consistent in the imagery you make. I think that’s bullshitty, we should make whatever we want to, and not be required to “brand” it so as to set a uniform mood or tone.
I have creepy and morbid pieces, immature and juvenile ones, regal and sophisticated, geeky, conceptual, cute, funny, serious, sarcastic, ugly, pretty, and a million other descriptors because I feel, think, or am all of those things. If people see one and it rubs them the wrong way, I completely understand, I can’t make art that is universally loved. However, I CAN make things that hit on many different parts of who I am and how I view things. Strangers familiar with the wide body of my work know me better than most people in-person who actually do. People are multi-dimensional, I don’t think we should repress certain sides of who we are just to brand ourselves — even if it makes some people slink away.
I used to use red pushpins constantly for normal things like securing paper to cork boards or making elaborate, color-coded, string diagrams in order to track down terrorists and werewolves — but lately, tumblr is gradually conditioning me to use the pushpin’s inferior cousin: the thumbtack.
Do you find it at all helpful to have items of interest “pinned” at the top since you might have glossed over them otherwise? Or if you see something pinned (even if you like the content of the post), do you feel an involuntary rage towards the post, the poster, and every red pushpin that has ever dared to cross you?
1. My work, puns, and beluga whales.
2. Coke addicts, Diet Caffeine Free Coke, coconut water, oontz oontz night clubs, and radical religious types with picket signs.
3. Most things. I’m a happy person.
4. Youtube comments.
5. (Outside of whatever literal things I need to actually be alive) The ability to create and my family — everything else is transient.
6. Just another girl with pouty lips and a Deathly Hallows tattoo.
7. One month into my first job after I graduated college, my boss told me (and I’m para-phrasing here, he was probably more asshole-ish): “Sam, you may have been great where you came from, and you may be great still, but right now you are merely promising, and that’s not worth a shit until you prove there’s something to it. You aren’t anything yet — know your current place at the bottom of the pole so that you can get your bearings well enough to climb it.”
8. Scotch, good company, good music, and heated debates about television.
9. My vices could be your Monday morning — or the other way around.
10. I will list two of each because 10 is too many. Music: Broken Social Scene and Childish Gambino. Movies: Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind and Anchorman. TV: Arrested Development and Six Feet Under. Games: Halo: CE and Perfect Dark.
Since I get several of these in singular question form, thank you for the master-question-spree. May I never have to answer the basics again.
I’ve had a few people who make things with computer mice crawl up my ass like I’m some sort of Daniel Tosh because I illustrated the technical advantages of a pen tablet over a mouse. I’m all for preference, but don’t get elitist because you choose the more difficult tool to create with. You are people who bitch about how traditional-only artists look down on your medium, why perpetuate the same thing? Nowhere did I say that art made with a mouse is lesser art, I brought attention to the advantages of a TOOL intended for people unfamiliar with it. To me, you can make whatever you want WITH whatever you want and it’s being constructed on the same plane of validity as any other medium. I don’t care if you use a toothpick to chisel marble out of a wall or a 3D modeling program and a trackball, it’s your choice how you craft your creations and your medium is irrelevant to its level of “art”.
Outside of the very small global market that understands digital art, what a wacom (or other digital arts tablet) can do is fairly mysterious — those are the people I aim to inform — to say: “Here’s a tool that works a lot like tools you already know how to use”. I was skeptical as hell of the digital medium as I began with a mouse, it was accurate but didn’t handle smooth movements or variation terribly well. That’s a technical limitation of the tool, but when I learned there were digital pens that worked like real pens and paint brushes, it stuck, and I made the leap. If you are a digital artist and you actively choose to use a mouse over a pen may it be for preference, challenge, disability, or availability — props to you. It’s a tricky tool for non-vector-based work, but I have seen people achieve photo-realism with it with a lot of patience, skill, and time. Regardless of whether you choose to use it or not, it has blatant technical limitations to a pen tablet. That’s not a matter of preference, mice literally do not have the pressure/tilt/rotation sensitivities of a wacom/digital tablet. As I said before:
“if a mouse is a pistol and a click is a bullet, a wacom pen is Iron Man and using it is like having a salvo of laser-guided fly-by-wire rockets… that play Black Sabbath. “
Both can kill a man deader than dead, but there are more efficient means of doing so that are more appealing looking from the outside in (the people my post was directed at). If you make art with a mouse, you are on the exact same level as someone who makes it with a wacom pen, who is on the exact same level as someone who makes it with a fountain pen, who is on the exact same level as someone who makes it with a paintbrush, a chainsaw, a windex bottle, a dead horse, or a single splinter of a mahogany tree. They’re not all the most practical of tools or mediums… some more difficult to master than others, others are technically more capable and efficient means of creating, but just because those differences are highlighted, doesn’t mean that what can be produced and its validity are in question. If you made a beautiful image with chocolate sauce and a toothbrush, and I reproduced a visually identical image with chunky nutella and mint-flavored dental floss : I don’t think I should get any bonus points for the weirdness or difficulty of my medium and I certainly won’t attack people for informing me that I could make something in a much more efficient manner if I used an electric toothbrush instead of the floss and watered down my nutella a bit to let it flow smoother.
I define something I make as a sketch for one or more of the following reasons:
- It’s something that took less than 4ish hours.
- It’s not something I consider to be something I will execute in a finished state ever.
- It was done experimentally.
The majority of the work on my website takes at minimum, 20 hours, a few go below and a few go upwards of 70, so “sketch” is really just a relative term. Some people define 5 minute gestural line drawings as sketches while many oil painters consider anything (no matter how long it took) done in graphite or charcoal to be a “sketch”. Like most things in the art world, we make up our own bullshit definitions for everything, so don’t get hung up on the terminology!
Simple: A person doesn’t require people to be happy.
Now I realize this is tumblr, land of introverts giving angry rants on how “you should respect me liking being alone” — but I love being around people — they’re just not imperative to keeping me happy, motivated, working, and active.