October 29, 2010

Artistic Indecision....

I think the main activity of being an artist is deciding things. The problem then becomes a question of what do you like? Or more precisely, which do you like more of two similar things?

Or maybe it can just be further refined down to the quesiton: WHO are you? lol!

None of these are easily answered questions, so the artist is left with indecision. This is especially the case when they're starting a new project and wondering what might be different this time.

I think all artists go through this phase, where they have to try a zillion different papers, pens, brushes, etc. This complex process if made easier with the advent of photoshop, of course. But that also can just add to the zillion & 1 choices.

For instance the attached graphic shows some versions of a new book I'm starting on... my last book ever? Anyhow, the details that I argue with myself are the following:

paint: real paint vs. digital paint
color: bright vs. subdued
characters: simple vs. complex
line: brown vs. black vs. no-line
design: complexity vs. simplicity
eyes: dotty eyes vs. drawn round eyes

Add in topics of perspective, texture and overall effect... and it takes an artist to decide it all. As you see, I've spent days trying different approaches... each with it's own merit.

One reason I like digital is that I'm finicky and completely undecided about everything a lot of the time. I have too many ideas and can't keep them sorted.

And I like changing my mind halfway into things. In other words, I'm nuts.

Now, if only I had decided to become an insurance agent instead of an artist, I might just be struggling to decide where to go on my next 2 week vacation.

October 22, 2010

A Presidential Visit!

Because we aren't New Hampshire or Ohio, we almost never get visits from Presidents here in the 'other Washington'. So imagine my surprise to discover that President Obama had spent the morning at a backyard business summit just a mile away from where I live... in the quiet Seattle neighborhood of View Ridge!

Presidents usually only drop by for quick airport speeches... then they're gone. I'm sure no president has ever been to a backyard in View Ridge before. I missed the neighborhood summit, but at least I got to see the President of the United States yesterday... at the campaign rally at the U.W. It was amazing. I was lucky to even get in... I sat on the aisle steps.

I arrived late and didn't even realize that there was an overflow crowd of 2,000 in the football stadium. Obama was mesmerizing... at times you could hear a pin drop in the crowd of 10,000. He is a dreamweaver and spellbinder... I felt like I'd been hypnotized.

The President also told what has to be the funniest political joke I've ever heard. A sort parable about the broken down car in the ditch that is our present miasmatic economy. The perfectly timed joke was delivered with the moral lesson being - R for reverse - D for drive.

I'm glad he didn't stop at the View Ridge Top Pot donut shop... that would have been too much to miss!

October 5, 2010

So long ye olde Powermac...

I'm immune to wanting a Cintiq... but I finally did upgrade ye olde G4... to a new machine I bought on ebay. Such a confusing experience... shopping and comparing all the components. If you need any information about the attributes of PCI cards... PCIe vs PCIx vs plain old PCI, I'm the guy to ask.

But I'm now enthralled at the ability to open ginormous files in a fraction of the time it used to take. A huge increase in productivity. I see CS 5 has changed lots of things around... most for the better but some for the worse.

But it's the making of images that a computer can often help to expedite. Especially if the artists has too many ideas or is too hard to please.

It's the artist's inclination to forever change things around that I find so compelling. And it's often so quick... but probably the best thing of all is I don't have to tear things up the way I did in the good old days.

I still plan to keep real paints... because they offer unique aspects... but digital has it's advantages!