Friday, July 31, 2009

On the subject of style

So the idea of style (I think I've written about this before) is still one that I can't wrap my head around. I feel like every so often I pick up a new medium, or a new format, or a new style of illustration/painting/design, etc., and I get really into it for a while. Then, I just get tired of it and want to do something else.

I don't know if this has some sort of strange block going on, or some primal defense mechanism about success or failure, but it can get really frustrating sometimes. I know the road to success-it's shit loads of hard work and following your dream. But what if you don't know what you want?

I want to be a well-known artist that can live off his art. Cool, main goal set. But I feel that's such a broad goal. Realism? Art Brute? Lowbrow? Comics? Graphic Design? Wtf.

I know that "a style will find me," and I've only been doing this whole art thing seriously for two and a half years, but damn, it's frustrating.

I wish I had the motivation/drive like Gue to sit down and hammer something out for 2 weeks straight. If you check out his piece, that shit is dope. I've had a class with that dude, he's awesome and he works hard. I feel like I'm waaaaay too distracted these days to even attempt a painting that takes more than 6 hours to finish.

I feel like a lot of the cognative dissonance that is going on in my head right now stems from the fact that I know that if I paint/draw/create in a manner that I love, I'll make it. But I feel like I don't even want a certain style at all. I like having the freedom to do a series of paintings that are super loose, stupid, and are painted really quickly like this one:

but then I also sometimes enjoy sitting down, taking a bit more of time, using reference and thumbs and color comps and all that stuff and coming out with something more refined like this:

which admittedly is not the best example of a more finished piece of work, but the point should be clear enough. And then, I got all into screen printing last semester and did stuff like this:

which I guess isn't too unlike the way I currently do my pen/digital coloring illustrations, such as this example:

And then, of course, there's also my more abstract, visceral, stuff I've done:

which is to say, different from anything else I've done. Sigh. I guess I'll just keep painting/drawing/crafting/illustrating/creating and hope that some day I'll find something that fits.

Perhaps an added anxiety is the fear of not making it. I think if maybe one style became more commercially successful than the others, I would stick with that, but then again I wouldn't want to do something just because it paid well.

I don't know of any artists that "make it" with four or five different styles - they all get really good at one and do that. Perhaps I'll just try and remake the ideal of the renaissance artist, who does varying jobs just to keep things interesting. Guh. Well, I guess I still have 50+ years or so of makin' art, so hopefully I'll find "my style" sooner rather than later.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Illustration Friday - Idle

The tangerine sat there, motionless and waiting, its fate inevitably sealed.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Push Up Challenge

So I've decided to take this one hundred push up challenge and just took my test today. I'm sorta weaksauce after the long lapse in physical activity, so I managed 17 before my arms failed. Since I started in the middle of the week, my workout days are going to end up being something like Thursday, Saturday, Monday. Weird.

Anyway, I also finally got some of my new mat board paintings up on the skagawa (skylar-kitagawa) website which is currently acting as Eve's fundraiser site. It's not nearly like anything I was doing before at the Academy, but that's the way things seem to be going these days.

I also made some stationery sets tonight (pirate stationery, to be exact) but I still need to photograph it and get it up on our Etsy site. It will be on sale at the SF Zine Fest (which, by the way, still has tables, so sign up now!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Illustration Friday - Tango

Although filled with heat and passion, the tango, for some, is known as the Dance of the Dead.

Marginally finished on time, I wanted to for something that was moody, yet captured the energy of the tango. So, I made vampires (although you can't really tell) doing the tango so fast the lady vampire's shoe is sparking due to the friction.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New work

So while I've been working on a complete update/overhaul/redesign of, I've been changing up my painting style. Long gone (for the most part) is the pursuit of classical realism.

Now, I'm painting 100% for myself, which means quicker, dirtier, more visceral, and with shitloads of poorly painted words that (in theory) add to the piece in ways that a pure image would lack. I've always been a fan of words and art (hello comics and graphic novels) and I think they can be used to tell stories that either just art or just words can tell (although in my case, I'm not sure if I'm achieving this lofty goal all the time, or just being obnoxious...either way is fine).

So I'll shut up now and just show some of the art. They're painted with acrylic paint on black mat board ~3"x4".

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Illustration Friday - Hollow

Quick and dirty sketch - I think a lot of the mark making and the roughness of it sort of adds to the piece though, so I kept it in.

The small girl and her magical charm is the only hope for the hollow being that has been following her and plaguing her classmates, feeding off their fear and insecurities.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Illustration Friday - Shaky

Ug, drew this two weeks ago, didn't get a chance to scan and color until today. Anyway, everything seems a bit Shaky about this one, from the support beams to the precarious situation the acrobat is in. Looks like the cat has her routine down, but she seems pretty upset that her show partner doesn't.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Art school for us?

So Eve and I aren't 100% sure if we're going to be able to go to art school next semester. I think I might be able to take just 2 more classes before I have to drop out. Sooo, I came up with some creative solutions, and decided to peddle my art, my talent, my crap, and my labor (for a certain price). Anyhoo, check out this little site I made to help fund Eve's last year of art school. She's worked so hard to get where she is, it would kill me to have her put off her last year when she's so close to getting the final few classes she needs.

Me on the other hand, well, I've been doing this little very non-traditional paintings (as in, very poor inner illustrator/Academy voice speaking) that I LOVE and I'm sort of okay with not taking any more classes. I definitely still want to take a few more, but I'm pretty good. Anyhoo, you can read more on the site. Check it out and buy some stuff!