Is Illustration losing his edge?
LauraA last edited by
I think that social media can be frustrating because it makes you realize just how MUCH art there is out there. It's easier to publish, so more people do, even people without a high skill level. It's also dizzying when you realize that there's so much to see that it's difficult to even choose what you like at times. We "consume" (to use what I think is a Will Terry word) art so quickly! And the Instagram algorithm can be frustrating, not only for artists, but also for viewers.
But, as a person who is just dipping my big toe into the water of illustration on social media, there are things I like about it. Mostly it comes down to the fact that I can put my work out there, but also that I can look at it next to the work of someone who is more advanced. That in itself is a sort of mini-critique, because it almost allows you to look at your work as though it were someone else's. And I know that a lot of my likes (not that I have so many) are coming from friends and family, not other artists.
But, for the last image I posted, I realized once I saw it online that I had spent a lot of time on the face at the expense of the whole figure. The details I had put in didn't even read that much from a distance. Well, that was something I needed to know! And yes, it was just a figure without much context, but I am aware of that and for now I am using characters as a building block to something else. It was useful to see my work within the context of other artists whom I admire.
I also think the SVS guys said in some video or another that even a beginner can find a legitimate niche by blogging or posting on social media as a journal of how they are learning and improving. I took that to heart. It takes humility to post work that isn't at a genius level or even a professional level yet, but I hope it helps someone in some way when offer whatever I have to offer, and hopefully I will also leave a trail of improvement.
So, to sum up, there's a whole lot of work out there, and it's a lot of work to wade through it and find the really genius stuff. And yes, there may be some people who care more about their image than their work. But social media also exposes us to a lot more work, which helps us to sharpen our own skills and gives us a more realistic idea of the possibilities than if we were just in our own rooms, listening to our relatives!
I also love all the artwork the participants have used in this thread, especially the Peter de Sève real estate piece. It's well drawn and I love the spark of color that is the view of the Hudson. And I have so been in that particular piranha tank, so the whole scene makes me laugh. It's perfect!
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DOTTYP last edited by
@lauraa Well said Laura pretty much sums it up ,social media helps us compare and improve.
TessaW last edited by TessaW
Sorry, I guess I misunderstood your first post. You said that art may be losing it's edge, a lot of people with talent are not evolving, storytelling isn't as important, and there will perhaps be a loss of quality because it's not needed for internet viewing. When I read these things, I thought there was an implication that up and coming artists will not be developing skills that traditionally makes a "good" illustrator. This is where my skill-less comment came from, which I realize was a bit hyperbolic. My mind jumped forward to things that perhaps you were not implying.
As for Banksy- I wouldn't say I was sick of his messages, but just ready to focus on other things. I was about a year out of art school, where they heavily referred to Banksy, a lot of students were emulating him, and they generally bashed illustration. I guess I associated Banksy with my angsty art school days and I needed a break from that to immerse myself in good old commercial art. Haha.
Kevin Longueil last edited by
@zombie-rhythm "She asked him why did he not write out his thoughts. For what, he asked her, with careful scorn. To compete with phrasemongers, incapable of thinking consecutively for sixty seconds? To submit himself to the criticisms of an obtuse middle class which entrusted its morality to policemen and its fine arts to impresarios?"
"Dubliners" 1914 - James Joyce
I was reminded of this passage from "A Painful Case" while reading your post - a certain scorn for the average and casual consumer(the obtuse middle class) of art or great ideas as in the case above. I wonder how we each read that quote? I am sure i read it very differently 20 years ago - but now it feels very cynical and defensive on the part of the speaker - one seemingly unwilling to to chance the possibility of public failure of his art or ideas - to subject himself to the opinions of the masses - deriding them instead when really (i believe) they are the audience he secretly wishes to please.
I also think folks could read this quote from Dubliners and share the antipathy of the character and think the sentiment was very well put.
I think in reading your post i get stuck on your idea that some people are not good judges of art ( commercial art?) ..who Is a good judge of art? I feel that even the most casual consumer of art, when pressed, can articulate what it is that they are responding to in a piece of art that they enjoy and that their enjoyment is no greater or less than my own. I personally feel that the opinions connoisseurs may be nice to read but in the end matter very little ...whether we are talking about coffee, wine or art.
Anyways ... interesting topic and i apologize for focusing on a possibly minor point of your post but i did want to share my thought on it
I see you are from Madrid - i hope to someday make a pilgrimage to Spain - to Tetuan De Las Victorias .... i worked for years for a sculptor who escaped there during the Spanish Civil War as a young boy (a group of orphans traveling alone over the Pyrenees Mountains..amazing and tragic story) - he spoke often of it when the wine was flowing after a long day of welding and grinding ..said we would go there some day and i would see what poverty really is - i am sure it is very different now and Manuel has passed away but i would still like to go - perhaps we will get a beer someday and talk about art!
smceccarelli last edited by
@Kevin-Longueil´s post reminded me of a short story by Dino Buzzati I read a long time ago and in hindsight left an enormous impression on me. The story was about a musician who grapples with the same problems of taste, disparaging the mediocre preferences of the masses, aspires to do only original and „special“ music, etc... One day, he listens to something on the radio - music composed by one of his former music school colleagues. This piece of music is such that everybody likes it. The establishment praises it as a superior work of art. It´s performed in the best concert houses of the world. But it´s also the top of the popular charts. Common people listen to it during breakfast and building site workers hum it during their shift. He realizes that is what „perfect“ music is about. At the beginning he is envious and frustrated, but then he realizes that that type of skill, the ability to write music like that, is the pinnacle of art. The bitter end is, he decides to stop composing because he knows he will never be able to reach that goal.
That short story I think contributed to making me embrace illustration as a „superior“ art form to fine art (purely in my subjective taste), in that illustration has more potential to reach everybody. It also engrained the idea that a great piece of art is not the one that a few art critics and a couple of investors think great, but that that the men in the street and the most un-educated and un-sophisticated people will appreciate just as much as people who can judge skills and originality.
The goal is purely aspirational, of course - but I think it´s worth striving for!
@tessaw Yeah, my initial post can be read with different interpretations, I see that now. I explain myself poorly in addition to let myself be carried away for a momentary feeling triggered for a bad Youtube channel election.
I'm a very optimistic person and what I was saying (at least in my mind) it was more like "hey can we have a little problem here? more like a phenomenon than a threat, something that can we worthy to be talking about and perhaps we learn something". But I think that the words I did chose and the way I let myself carried away didn't express that. You are not the only one that reacts.
WOW, I'm Spanish, I live in Barcelona and I don't attend any art school or similar. I don't know if in school art here Banksy was used that way, I know that in general in my environment few people know his work. So I always saw Banksy like as an original street artist who watched how his work was "kidnaped" for the fine art business leechers and Banksy use that to denounce practically everything that its wrong in the art business world, and the irony is that they adore that. Is like one of those t-shirts who reads "I'm Stupid"
I read once something like "10-80-10 rule". In every system there's always a 10% of persons who are ahead and 10% who are behind and a good 80% who are therefore the rule. If I don't remember wrong. And in the John Lydon's (Johnny rotten) book "No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs" he splained that when he was in Sex Pistols band and came out with the phrase "no future" he meant "there's no future written. You can write for yourself, you can create your own destiny, your own fate" but the crowd didn't get the idea and take it like "no future, we all are going to die, destroy, etc."
I suppose that there always this"herd effect" phenomenon even in the more intellectual groups. The way, for example, the hard core of Mac followers behave, reminds me more of a cult behavior that a fan base behavior.
Thank you very much for your common sense. I think I'll going to wrap up this theme, writing a post with the conclusions I made and what I learned. But next week because this forum is addictive and takes away a lot of drawing time.
I look forward to see your book finish, by the way. I'm creating one myself.
Have yourself a nice day!
@smceccarelli WOW this deserves another post! But next week because this fórum is addictive and is taking away a lot of drawing time. English is not my first language and my writing is not fluid enough so I have to take my time.
Thank you very much for your contribution!
@kevin-longueil Thank you very much for your contribution! I'm out of time now but next week I promese I'll take my time to answer!
Yes, I'm from Madrid but I live in Barcelona.
Have a nice day!
Zombie Rhythm last edited by Zombie Rhythm
@dottyp True but incomplete. You can't have White without Black.
LauraA last edited by
@zombie-rhythm Hey, I wish I could write as well in my second language as you do! I understand the difficulty, both linguistically and culturally. It took living in another country for several years for me to instinctively understand that some problems are particularly American but we Americans unknowingly project our own POV onto the rest of world (a topic for another day!). And perhaps vice versa, but that's not for me to say.
Also, I do think we are in a prolonged artistic moment (due to philosophical undercurrents) in which there has been a pronounced dichotomy between "fine" art and "commercial" art. I think that has been changing ever since Warhol (albeit by adding a layer of irony), but like you, I can't spend the time it would take to write out all these ideas coherently right now. And I can't fight with ideology. I'd rather sit in my corner and draw
Off to do just that for a week! This has been an interesting conversation!
LauraA last edited by LauraA
@smceccarelli Not to mention that when we do our work well, we become the first artists that many children know! I am forever grateful to the illustrators of my childhood.
What is the title of the story in Italian? It could be good reading for me in more ways than one