January 26, 2011

Crayons & Questions

When it all comes down to it, what does an artist even have to call their own? I'd guess what an artist has is a sense of themselves as an artist... which really isn't much.

Once I thought it'd be interesting to write down a list of the job attributes that an artist could list. What would an artist put on their job description?

Ability to draw
Knowledge of perspective
Knows how to use color

I once applied for a job at Disney. The real stickler was the application where they asked about my last employer. Since it was more than 15 years ago at that time it all seemed absurd. Luckily I didn't get the job.

Pretty nebulous stuff. But the mystery of it is that somehow the marks left on a page can actually communicate a feeling or information. Too many things that are too hard to define. That's what I think.

No doubt it'd be easy to find artists that fail to fill many of these basic parameters, but they're still amazing artists. So I guess it all boils down to the ability to decide things for one's self to discriminate to say I like this, this and this... but not this.

Sure anyone can pick up a pencil and draw. But in fact it's taken me decades to know how to draw a simple face. What to put in... what to leave out. It's harder than it looks. Difficult to fit into a job description. I think in fact every time we put out a new book it's like another job application. Our portfolios are our resumes.

Sometimes it's best to just get out the crayons and color... and not try to think.

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