There is a lot of truth in that Dpaint. I would still like to think it's possible to put a bit of yourself into your work even if you are fulfilling commercial obligations, like painting a book cover whilst maintain integrity. But I totally agree that the best work would come out if artist were freed or freed themselves from these commercial restrictions and started painting what they want to see not what they are being told to paint. But I still believe that the subject matter can still stay close to what we see today. Just be handled with a bit more maturity, depth and care. I guess it boils down to the individual and where they might want to take their career. But working for a corporation can be a seemingly secure and guaranteed income source. However I agree that this should not be the only or even ultimate goal of any artist. Me personally I would always rather paint what I wanted to see first an not be a slave to another persons vision. But despite all this I still think with the constraints and limitations placed upon them many commercial artist today are still producing work that is good and meaningful. You are right when you hint at the point that many people are trying to fill up their portfolios with images that they think hit all the right buttons and will land them the right job asap. It would be nice if a bit more thought went into it at times. I just don't agree with this notion that expressing your vision through classical literature or religious iconography is the only way to produce great Imaginative art or that it confers any special or elevated status.
Again, it isn't about "classical literature" or religio-mythic iconography...it has nothing to do with subject. It has to do with the statement the artist is making (the intent). If the statement is "Hehe...big boobsh...hehe..." then that is pretty limited and kind of duh? Yet at the same time nudes/hot babes and even full on erotcism have always been a major part of visual art. The difference is in how the artist handles the subject matter and the satement they make...are they illuminating some interesting aspect of experience (desire in this case) or are they merely making another superficial image?
And yeah, I don't think non-objective art really even belongs in the discussion, let's keep it apples to apples.
What Jeff said^
I'm just saying that artists need to consider creating their own work and set aside time to interpret stuff important to them personally and make that your best work, not give your best to anothers dreams. I doesn't have to be literary or religious but it should be important to at least the creator of the images.
What Jeff and dpaint have said their last couple of posts really resonate for me as I think of the good fortune I had to be mentored closely by two different local artists at two different stages of my life since graduating art school at age 24, 26 years ago. Looking back, I wish I'd been more open to their wisdom, not so arrogant in some ways, insecure in others. Hm. I'm coming up on 51, and I'm still contending with what one of these men called "the superiority/inferiority complex".
But enough about me.
Both men enjoyed great success in their careers, shared patterns of professionalism, were similarly tough-minded and demanding of themselves, very savvy and very impatient with idle time-wasters, but generous with those they deemed worthy. They shared no more than a nodding professional acquaintance, while harboring a mutual dislike. But each in my time working with them offered me this advice; establish who you are, where your passion is, and make that the center of your work. When you really know who your are and what you do "doors will open".
Swear to God, both men used those very words to me I put in quotes, something like 10 years apart. I know it sounds Pollyannaish, but I need to establish, both were anything but. By their comportment on the job and off, and by the way, even "off the job"--i.e. not actively creating or promoting their art-- they yet considered themselves as still engaged in the business of advancing their careers, and acted accordingly, so that even if they didn't know when or where the next "door" would open, it would still find them ready; by their comportment, I say, they demonstrated that this business of "establishing who you are and what you do " is hard work, maybe nothing is harder, but surely nothing is more worthwhile.
"Three's so little room for error."--Elwell
Well said and very true Jeff it is about lifting your art above merely the visual and actually infusing it with real meaning, emotion and feeling. Weather that be anger, sadness, joy or pure sexual or primal desires. But I do see many artist doing that now. Maybe we can’t always see the intent in each others work. We bring a certain preferential bias when we look at a piece of art and certain emotions of symbols will grab us whilst others will wash over us. But sheer visual box ticking is not the way forward no.
I guess Dpaint you have nailed it. that artist need to start painting work that is personal and meaningful to them even if that is still man vs beast, or illustrating stories that they loved when they were kids ect. I think though its hard because as there is no obvious collector base for fantasy art it can be highly risky for an artist to turn out multiple personal pieces whilst having no obvious root to make money from it. Especially if they keep to their current visual style that may not be understood or appreciated by the buying art world. Whilst turning away from commercial opportunities that make up the bulk of the industry at the moment. Maybe it also has something do with the way these artist are being directed and what they are being told to paint. Just like in music if one thing works then everyone jumps on it. So you end up with 10 songs with the same sound and 10 videos with the same look and motif and I think the fantasy market is slightly becoming a victim of this mentality to.
However lets remember that most of the great works of art from the renaissance tradition were commissions. Patrons paid artist to paint what they wanted. However the artist still were able to turn out some of the most stunning works of art the world has seen. For example the Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Julius II but look what Michelangelo did with it. He imbued it with real honesty and human emotion that it still stands head and shoulders above much of what we see today. I think its about honesty. Taking a moment to think about why you are placing that character in the scene, whats the story between the characters, why are they wearing what they are wearing, does it make sense and ultimately what are you trying to communicate to the viewer or are you even trying to make the viewer think. This is what I mean about handling Imaginative art with maturity and sensitivity.
If our only objective is to turn out painting just to get a thumbs up fro our peers or to amass a portfolio as quickly as possible then we will not tap into those deeper parts of out psyche that will create the best work. Those kind of images take a bit of time and thinking, just like a really nice wine needs time to mature then breath. I do still believe that a market place can be created with the volume of artist working today and the huge fan base that are buying into the art via trading cards computer games and popular culture. There is so much opportunity for huge volumes of work to be produced. It just needs to be handled well and again I will say painted traditionally and reflect something personal . But as Dpaint quite rightly pointed out we as fans of the work would need to start putting our hands into our pockets and support it. Then maybe there could be a value attached to fantasy art that could create opportunities for artist to maybe just paint for themselves and express there own vision. We all have it. No ones portfolio is art directed. Yes it maybe be aimed at getting a job further down the line but as artist we all have our own ideas, we just need to get more of them out there and find a way of getting it on the public eye. But like you say Jeff picture making for the sake of it won’t cut it.
Last edited by ja1307; November 24th, 2012 at 12:58 PM.
[My point with regard to successful people with disposable income is specifically with respect to successful people who aren't aesthetic imbeciles led around by fashionable dogma. Many collectors of western art start off buying romantic cliches and soon learn what the good stuff is, and most of the serious ones end up with a Fechin or two in their collection.
Experience is more instructive than opinion. To say that successful people in general just value things monetarily is missing the point. Money isn't the end value. It is NOT scrooge mcduck basking in dollar bills. The nuance is that everything is valued for its capability as a tool to improve one's circumstances. Art that enriches one's life by speaking truth through beauty adds energy and refreshes. Thus it is a positive force in life. Escapist Fantasy, like pornography or politics, merely drains energy and/or time. For example, World of Warcraft is eating a hundred thousand irretrievable childhoods as we speak. (By whatever name "Virtual experience", as Joseph Campbell so smartly pointed out, is the definition of pornography. Which is why erotic art isn't necessarily pornography, but first person shooter games are.)[/QUOTE]
Okay kev,starting to think I got my wires crossed somewhat now, what you were saying is successful people wont buy meaningless crap, not that they wont buy fantasy art full stop(as they may if its got "something to it" as it were)?
in which, you are probably correct.....and I cant blame them.
still, its probably best in future not to just assume you are that much more well informed than someone you dont know from adam on any subject really, but its your perogative my friend (I deal with the wealthy/upper middle class every day of my working life, and as much as a lot of them are obnoxious and clearly think slavery hasnt ended, there are plenty with different traits, so I dont think we can judge them all with your all-encompassing view - you could say I have experience with the vector of society you are referencing)
Dpaint, just thought id say roberto ferri has impressive skills, would be interesting to know how much his pieces fetch next to the equivalent level of skill in a "serious/non fantasy" fine art piece....I wonder..
What I would really love this thread to turn into is a solution for what looks like the slow death of solid, high quality illustration/ fantasy works in their physical form, which by all accounts seem to be disappearing into the digital mist, and I think the solution lies with the artists themselves - if they arent producing the artwork in a physical "1 off" format such as an oil painting, there definitley wont be a museum or gallery for them in the future, because you may as well get a poster off their website instead - there is no finite quality to them at all, which in a way is exactly the definition if value - a limited resource.
so, I implore everyone, even if only occasionally aside from mainly working in digital for your meat and potatoes, leave something behind in physical form, even if only sketches, as one day Im sure things will come full circle - history repeats itself, so the days of high illustration will be back eventually, just like dungarees and long hair will be back one day
again, its been great to see an informed debate on here, this place could be so much more with more original threads like this going on and not the same things rehashed time and again,dont take this as bashing as I love this place!
peace guys (especially kev)
haljarrett I totally agree. We need to be talking about solutions assuming the work is going to of the right standard. I think fantasy artist need to have a bit more of the fine artist mentality and think how can I personally make money from my art and not only rely upon commercial directed opportunities to make money. I know some artist make part of their income from private commissions or selling the originals of their commercial work which I think is fantastic. Even the high fantasy stuff painted for WOTC (which I like) if painted as an original one off piece would have a market I am sure. Leaving behind something tangible to be potentially displayed in a gallery show one day.
Prints are no means to a long term sustainable income source for an artist. Why even buy a print if you can download an image to your hard drive and print it on your own glossy paper, if having a physical specimen is that important to you. No one should turn their backs on the games companies or the book publishers because they provide a means to connect the worlds imaginative artist realise to so many people worldwide. Which can only help promote the growth of the genre. But artist should and can be exploiting this growing interest and attention that the world of fantasy art is getting. By in my opinion, taking the time to paint your their visions alongside commercial obligations. Continuing to expand their personal portfolio's and if they have any inclination to make money from their personal work, then accept they will have to make the paint brush as much their friend as the wacom stylus.
No one can predict market trends or changes and having a job in a company does not guarantee income for years to come. Ones style may one day become commercially outdated. Artist have to think about longevity and your own original work can be your pension plan in years to come, if the right thought and time goes into the work and it's painted with paint. I would just love to be able to go into galleries and look at the work that so many guys are producing that I think is breath taking at times and not have to rely solely upon the internet to connect with the genre.
Firstly, I am making a distinction between rich people and successful people. I am talking about successful people who become wealthy through effort and their business acumen. I am not talking about "rich" people who have always been rich. I have found that certain characteristics hold for successful people, no matter their differences in personality. I don't see how one can be successful without those aforementioned traits, so I can't imagine what counter-argument you are trying to make, if any. It makes me wonder what your experience is in this matter, which leads to my second question:
In what capacity are you dealing with wealthy/upper middle class people every day of your working life? Are you invited into their homes? Do they invite you out to dinner? Do you work directly with them in your own capacity as a businessperson? Do you actually spend time with them? Do they respect your work? Or do work someplace or with some company where you serve them as an employee of another business?
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
I am not judgmental of any particular type of art and am actually pretty open minded about the idea that people should create whatever they want to. I actually never brought up an argument about what I don't like, I was specifically going after the critic culture and their followers who faithfully repeat their dogma about what to like and what galleries to visit or avoid. My personal taste is more along the lines of the Silver era Illustrators and Figurative fine art Painters; but I am not making a point that Bama's should be going for 75 million.
I'm between Meridian and Kuna by the way. Looked at your website, like your work a lot. Maybe I'll see you around some time, I am going to try to start studying with Gary Holland later this winter if you do any life drawing or something with him.
Last edited by Kolbenito; November 24th, 2012 at 03:28 PM.
A few more thoughts (not to interrupt kev and hal's love-fest)....
I think people (collectors) respond to honesty. Honest intent and integrity...in the face of all odds or convention. Again subject doesn't matter, nor does realism, objective vs. non-objective, etc. So how do we reconcile or understand the artist who is honestly doing "Slave Girls of Gor" (assuming they're doing it at a high standard) but finding no real market or acceptance? I think that is where we must begin to consider depth of work - the statement. Again, if an obvious, kitschy superficial statement is as deep as you can reach then of course no one is really going to care. Here's why imho (and something we haven't touched on)...
People who collect live with their art...they see it every day when they walk into or just through the room. "Real art" (as opposed to prints) has presence...it is often either large, but sometimes small and intimate. It changes throughout the day according to the passage of light. It can act as a conversation piece and as a backdrop for life and gatherings. Now again, if the conversation is "Nice tits"...as much as I might like them that is a short conversation. Compare that to Draper's Icarus (6' x 5' - not giant but much larger than most illustration)...there is a great deal to discuss and consider about that work...what is it about really? What was Draper saying about the human condition by painting this aspect of Icarus? Why three nymphs? [and tbh...this isn't even a really heavy or super deep image...fairly straight-forward as to what it is about - yet still enough there to discuss).
On the aspect of living with the work...our favorite whipping dog (non-objective, some of which I like just fine) often has presence, mystery and an honest integrity. I'll try to give a hypothetical: The large canvas with a variety of colored markings, which we may criticize as "a four year old could do that", may in fact remind the collector of an attempt to capture music in visual form. Every time they come into the room (ok, at least often) they glance at the work...they "see" a different piece of music - a crescendo, an adagio carefully spaced by intervals, rhythms, etc. At a social gathering someone may comment, "That is an interesting new piece...it reminds me of ____________"..."Yes, it reminded us of X but I can see how it relates..." etc. Or a piece may remind one of a storm on one day...an underwater reef another...depending on the mood of the viewer, the light, other's comments, etc. All things generally left out of superficial imagery.
Another problem I see is the "illustrated to death" scenario. I won't name names but a certain "illustrator", who I admire very much, paints some really interesting concepts and scenes - full of interesting meaning and depth of statement. The problem is they are illustrated to the nines with no real mystery, as if they are very real scenes with no room for interpretation or imagination...they mean and say only the one thing. What happens is the statement again becomes a bit obvious or superficial, even though the concept might be interesting. In this case the clarity, the realism the "directness" of the symbols, possibly the scale of the work and media as well seem to get in the way. We pay more attention to the detail and the brilliant execution, amazed by every pebble illustrated, to the point that the statement or concept is lost...or at least drowned out. In the end again it becomes a pretty short statement because there is no room for the viewer.
Anyway, just two more cents. And yeah - great discussion - thanks to dpaint for kicking it off.
[Edit: I have to chuckle at the "Post Quick Reply" button...]
In a nutshell, this whole thread is about "Commercial Art" vs. "Fine Art." Or, perhaps, Commercial Art Trying To Be Fine Art.
Goes a bit deeper Kamber...we're discussing the possible why's behind the issue...the perceptions, market forces and their various consequences we must consider as artists. Not to mention all art is commercial art. We're not hashing over the same "fine art vs. art I like" definitions...just trying to shed light on a fairly interesting and pretty important aspect of finding a market for our work...and why it doesn't seem to have one.
[Edit: at least that's what I think we are discussing...]
At the risk of rehashing a bit of what has transpired, I'd say there is a distinction between the Commercial and the Fine. In other aspects of commerce, there's a big difference between grabbing lunch at McDonalds when you're traveling for business and taking a client to lunch, at a higher scale establishment, when you're attempting to make an impression/maintain a certain level of decorum.
From an ownership perspective, this would be the difference between being a McDonalds franchisee and the originator of a high-end French bistro somewhere in LA.
This is where I have a certain amount of apprehension re Kev's Blockbuster Video guy's contempt for his own product. At a certain time in our country's history, people took pride in what they produced. They had a concept of "ownership." Bankruptcy, for such owners would have been as shameful as going on foodstamps for an individual.
But, I'm glomming together, perhaps, a couple different concepts here. Let's back up a step: N.C. Wyeth was a "commercial" artist. His son, Andrew, was a "fine" artist. Both dang good artists. But, Andrew Wyeth made his way in the gallery world.
But, there is a difference!
So to answer how to go about gaining acceptance.
If you work traditionally, enter shows either locally or nationally. And by shows I mean traditional art venues for portraits, figures, still lifes and landscapes. Even if you don't get into them, I think we learn something about what we're up against as a genre. Many local shows don't charge entrance fees, instead taking a cut if something sells. Go to the openings and be an advocate for the work you do. If these shows are made op of relatively younger people I think you will find a sympathetic audience. Try to get press in local media for what you do. Participate in open studio programs or start one. Join local art clubs anything to gain exposure. All these things help gain acceptance. Don't apologize for what you do be proactive.
ok, actually you are completely correct kev, turns out no successful person indulges in their fantasies,silly me to think that variation exists in individuals.
Kamber - you missed my point...if you think the "gallery world" isn't commercial...it's all about what they can sell. Professional artists create work for two main markets - either someone else (illustration/design) or themselves...either way they do it in hopes of earning a decent living, therefor it is commercial. But this is a bit beside the point and probably best left out of the discussion at hand.
"ok, actually you are completely correct kev, turns out no successful person indulges in their fantasies, silly me to think that variation exists in individuals, (unbelievably boring sarcasm that causes eye-rolling in any adult human)."
Watching The Avengers is "indulging" in fantasy. Which can be done by sitting on a couch for a few hours at a cost of less than five dollars. We're talking about spending three or four orders of magnitude more than that for a work of original art. At such a price point, obviously things become rather more serious than a simple whimsical indulgence.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
I think the fact that you fairly routinely see particularly valuable comics, or major film props, auctioned off for five to seven figures shows that their is a high-end market for fantasy art. It's just not focused on buying things directly from the artists.
Last edited by JeffX99; November 26th, 2012 at 10:53 PM.
I've been following this discussion but it's a long one and I've probably lost track of a lot of what's been said. But I just wanted to quote a couple of things because they stood out to me and I think they're what's pretty important overall.
P.S. I also don't really think it's a case of fantasy art versus modern or abstract art either. What I said about that before were just random thoughts and not really meant as a caveat for people to use in some kind of us versus them competition. Really just thinking along the lines of wanting to see a wider range of art being accepted by the establishment as worthwile etc.
Last edited by JeffX99; November 27th, 2012 at 05:07 PM.
I keep giving this thread 5 stars and it's not showing up, so I'm going to say thank you to all those to have added to the conversation for one of the best discussions and reads here.
This also goes back to my earlier point. That as the nature and look of the genre changes it’s easy to see how it might alienate itself from the older collector market. But art should be produced that is first truthful to you. If that’s big boobs (and yes I admit Jeff this is not the deepest statement an artist can make) then so be it. Nothing wrong with big boobs or the porn industry would be in a lot of trouble. My point is that you can obviously make work with a very commercially shrewd mind. Thinking who is my target market and who has the money to buy it at the best price. But this would be dishonest if you really want to paint big boob fantasy. Yeah it may not be the deepest in your opinion and many others. However, it certainly has its audience and people like making that work and should be able to. The base truth is not everyones work will be able to appeal to the mainstream. It is just fact just like in all other forms of artistic expression.
Yes we want acceptance for the genre and a market to be created where artist can make top dollar from their work. Well then those artist who want to make that money must stop and think who is their target audience and like you say will my work resonate with them. But we are still not accepting the fact that these same 13 years olds who may only be able to muster $20 dollars now for work will one day grow up and one day have the kind of disposable income to pay top dollar for work of their choice. Which most likely will be the type of work they have grown up with. Buyers markets change. Yes if every working artist now started painting work that resembled the “intent” as you call it in Icarus maybe we would have a booming market where artist could just live off their own personal work free from commercial restraints. But people must first paint and will always paint what they like.
Rightly so you don’t see value in a lot of the work being produced at the moment because it does not resonate with you. The truth is also that much of the buying collector market probably share your views about what intent and integrity in work looks and feels like. So also there are a lot of younger imaginative art fans now who would not care much for some of the older artist you have mentioned and I don’t mean that discourteously. I just mean that it may not resonate with them because it’s not what they have grown up with and they will not see the same intent and meaning in the work as you do. In fact many of them may see it as boring. Now of course we could say that they have bad taste and maybe they do. However, it does no matter you only buy into finically and emotionally what you like and understand. This same work being made now that you say has no meaning and intent does to so many others. Just because you or others don’t see it does not mean its not there or others don’t see it where you do not. We all project a bit of what we want to see onto things and not everything will capture or move us.
However, these same fans now who are following their favorite artist online or buying trading cards or what ever other means they access imaginative art will one day grow up and have money to spend. They may not become part of the gallery world no, but they still have the ability to buy art if the art is available. If it’s is not available in one off original traditionally painted formats then they will not pay more the the fair price for a print. Although even this may change unless we can predict the furure. But if given the option to buy the work of their current favorite artists then they just might do that. Hell I would even buy art from some artist I have already mentioned. Maybe I have bad taste because their work has no meaning or intent and does not appeal to current collectors, but I like it and it speaks to me on some level. But I can’t pay more then a print is worth. I would rather buy the work of many of the current crop of artist. Even guys on here over that Icarus painting, because to me its dull. Yes it’s painted well but to me it’s dull and I don’t read those same stalemates in it that you do. Which just goes back to my point that we all see different things in different things and thats the beauty of art and all forms of expression.
Ok so I am being very long winded. I would love their to be a booming market at this very point in time and gallery owners to be all over the work. Wanting to spread it all over their walls but I know that this is highly unlikely. Because they may not see the value and intent in the a lot of work being made now, because quite frankly it was never really made or conceived with them in mind. So maybe artist can or should show more commercial savvy and start painting more work that resembles the works that these collectors are comfortable with or used to. But we would lose the feel and energy in a lot of the work being made at this very point. To some yes that would be a good thing but to may others it would not be. It can’t be all so bad otherwise it would not be selling products or commercially viable for companies like WOTC to employ any of the current crop of artists. The market is not their now because the main bulk of the work being made now, has a different look and flavour. Lets call that "immature" for arguments sake. But there are many people out their I am sure who will be at some point willing to buy this immature work when they have the cash and maybe more then $20, if its available in the right format.
So maybe we will just have to wait a few years for this booming buyers market in the imaginative arts field. Or if you want to appeal to current collectors change up your style and make it resonate with them. Everyone must choose what they want to paint and what they want to get out of their investment and time put into their own work. That could be rightly so working for a large company like EA or WOTC, but that could just be the springboard to so many others things down the line. Then maybe as their interests and priorities change so will the look and feel of their work.
Don’t get me wrong Jeff I agree with much of what you are saying. I just don’t think we should devalue work because we don’t understand or like it or it does not appeal to a particular target audience. Even if they do have the cash to splash. Whilst ignoring the fact that it has a very big and genuine fan base, who might presently or one day be willing to invest in it if given the right opportunity.
Last edited by ja1307; November 28th, 2012 at 06:32 AM.
I'm in my mid thirties and I'm looking for more from art than what I liked in my twenties or my teens. I'm not looking for different kinds of art - I still love fantasy or imaginative art (I figure if we're going to coin a new term I might as well get used to using it) - but I am looking for more depth of meaning in the work. Cool stuff with monsters and warriors kicking arse and alien landscapes and horror and blood, and all that stuff I love, is all very well but it doesn't stay with me for more than about five minutes of enjoyment. It's not enough to make me want to hang any of them on my wall and live with them. If I can use a couple of examples to get my point across without pissing anyone off...
I love this painting of Smaug by John Howe -
It's everything I love about fantasy art. The dragon is beautifully painted and the character of Smaug is perfectly realised and it's definitely one of my favourites. But beyond that, it's just a fantastic picture.
Whereas, this painting by Kev Ferrara, albeit a life study, is very much more than just a beautiful picture -
I look at something like this and I wonder about the guy and what his story is (even though I know he's a life model and probably wearing a costume), and that makes me think about wider things - people and their places in the world and how they live and why. And then that'll set me off thinking about my own place in the world and who I am etc. That's just one example of one aspect of a connection between the art and the viewer. There are so many more but for the purpose of this discussion, it'll do for now. But thatís what I mean by emotional resonance and what Jeff and others mean by a deeper universal human experience, though, I'm probably only skimming the surface of it. I'm not very good at translating my thoughts.
Some imaginative art has that extra magic but a lot of it doesn't because it's not aimed at anything more than fulfilling its obligation as an illustration from a book or a concept for a cool movie or game. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just different to what I'm talking about. And the ability to appreciate that difference and the wider story in a piece of art also comes with maturity and life experience, to me anyway. So, if I came across an imaginative painting that pushes the same buttons Kev's life study does, then that would be the kind of art I'd like to see in the wider market place. A bit of maturity of purpose and execution can only be a good thing and would go a long way towards getting imaginative art accepted by the mainstream/art establishment. There should be room for all, or at least, a lot more than what's out there right now.
Chandra I agree totally with the point that what we like as adults can change as we get mature ect, but also some of it can stick with us and often does. I love that John Howe image that you posted up I think its brilliant. I have always admired his work for its grounding in reality and culture. But this painting was him fulfilling commercial obligation as it was painted as a book cover for the Hobbit (great book). So here we have a clear example that even if you are painting a book cover you can still handle the subject with maturity and sensitivity. But it's also because John Howe is a kick ass artist just like Alan Lee.
But I still don't agree that this type of work is necessarily any more mature or valid then the work of artist painting monsters or alines. A stand out image for me is one of Brom's. Daemon Slayer that he painted for Inquest Magazine again a commercial project. To me this painting does have that extra magic and the image lasts more then five mins. I am no young kid so I am not just being sold on a badass image. It's the action, the dynamic in the pose, the juxtaposition of the warrior and his foes, the intense look of anger and concentration on his face, and the play with colour that moves you through the painting. All these things grab me. I like lots of types of work and some of it quite sappy and sentimental and some hard and aggressive. If its done well and and rises above the generic and still pays attention to the qualities of good picture making and story telling. Again I refer to Frazetta's Conan. Are we going to deny that it borders on the cartoonish in terms of its concept,compared withe the work of artist that others have cited as good examples. I have watched He-Man and yeah the crappy Conan cartoon when it was out lol. But its more to do with the way he chose to compose the painting and handle the subject painting it as though it were a moment in real life and still find the room for real human girt and emotion and physical power. Its this that allows it rise above that cartoonish in my opinion, and its this that can be missing from a lot of imaginative art which is box ticking. So again I say its not so much the subject matter, it's the way the subject matter is explored and presented.
But lets not suggest you have to be old to appreciate good art. There are many young artist turning out stunning work in different fields outside the imaginative field that people would say has this same maturity and depth that you are referring to. Your final point sums up the whole argument. What you are looking for is the type of art that you like as we all do. But the art that does not resemble that is not necessarily immature it's just not to your taste. I believe there is the room for all types of work because it's all out there. What we are saying is if there was more of the type of work that resembled John Howe then it would be easier for the industry to gain acceptance by a wider audience. But if it's not out there in the volumes to make this break through possible it's because the individual artist do not chose to express themselves in that way and there is a whole host of reasons why that's the case.
Last edited by ja1307; November 28th, 2012 at 01:03 PM.
And then there's the parallel of commodification of products in terms of Starbucks or Apple, at a purported premium level. Or so they claim. It's that sense of commodification that destroys the uniqueness of a product and unfortunately, in this industry when it comes to game art, it is a form of commercial art. What is applied becomes a commodity to the masses, like coffee.
I think in the sense of keeping things unique, there is one artist whom I bought a print from and she's pretty well known in the field as an artist. What she did last year on her sale of prints, she kept it a limited run, rather than print by demand or unlimited in stock, and autographed. I still have it in my hands and it has'nt been framed yet, although I plan to. Her work was done traditionally, by the way, not digital.
On the digital side of illustration, I would think limiting a print run add more value to the investment. When it comes to an original piece, it's one of a kind and that should command something higher in which the patron or those who wish to invest in would be willing to do so. It has to resonate with them. It's not unheard of art collectors to swoop down and by pieces of art for their collection. I've seen this one guy locally who does that and he goes to every art show, literally, to buy art, even though he's not an artist himself and loaded with money. Now, he's not doing that to collect but out of passion, however and from what I heard is that he was planning on building a gallery to house them eventually. Currently, they're in a large storage space at an undisclosed location.
There was more I was going to add but now I forgot what to say, but I've got to head out to fencing class to stab more people. But when I recall more, I"ll write again.
I'm glad those examples were relevant though. It's such a subjective thing, talking about art and what resonates or what we personally like or dislike, so it's alway going to be difficult to choose pieces that illustrate a point on a universal level.