I've stumbled upon a really interesting blog post by Koshime, CEO and founder of Opus Arts Limited, Creative Vizualization and CGPAD.org (creative knowledgebase for digital artists). I really liked what he had to say about a topic as heady as 'The Philosophy of Art'. I am now posting most of Koshime's musings here, the original can be found here: Musings
I know I have 'mused' over such things in the past but for some inane reason, I feel that this one is really affecting me, you know? I think its like, a good way to like, start off any kind of training I want for myself. What do you think? Does this guy's thoughts make any sense to you? Tell me what you think. Post feedback if you want, there is no charge, and I'm less strict about moderating comments too.
The Philosophy of Art"Metaphorically, you are young (and thus seen to have unlimited energy and enthusiasm. keep this with you for all your life, and Art will be life, not a job, not a hobby but a lifelong passionate affair and part of your fibre) and thus, are in the most perfect place to become exceptional.
Everyone can paint and draw. The technical aspect can be learnt at any age. The young adapt faster. Once you adapt, and learn the basics....to become a great master at art, it is applying that simple basics into perfect basics.
From what i understand, a pro has mastered his basics. Every square inch and pixel. It is there, perfect in the mind, poise and ready to leap out, onto the hand that draws and paints it into life.
Another analogy, is like a warrior who aspires to be a perfect swordsman. When first learning the way of the sword, 70% of the stroke comes from honing your repetition of 100 strokes, and 30% derived from the focus of the mind.
In his mid to advanced stage, perhaps there is a balance of 50% power and mind
As a master, 90% of that killing perfect stroke is purely mental. And only the barest and most economical of effort, the 10% is derived from years of muscle memory, and training of the body as a superb fighting machine.
This pure single minded drive, is NO great secret. people may not like to hear it but really, its pure hardwork, and daily devotion to the task you have in hand....and applying yourself.
Hard and Soft
To reach this state of oneness...and this apply to any field, a artist is in a state of looseness and detail.
A piece of cloth is soft, and thus it is flexible and supple. A brick is hard, and when i throw it at someone it hits hard, but lacks finesse.
A wet cloth, is as strong as steel, and retains its suppleness.
I try to achieve this state of being between supple and firm.
Translated into art, one strives to have a painting that is loose (energy and the right strokes provide for the mind, immense pleasure at every subtle nuance) and yet sufficiently detailed (tight/hard at just the right amount, in the right spot) due to experience of lighting, composition, exceptional colour handling and knowledge.
For the beginner, you must learn from yourself.
Take no one's advice as knowledge, take no training as the truth.
This is not contrary to taking a formal education in art, but just keep in mind the rules, the theory..are simple that. They broaden your horizons, but the ultimate truth of how to paint, is ENTIRELY yours..and the art you produce uniquely your own.
The Practical Stuff
So, you want to start somewhere.
Lets formalise a small exercise. Lots o f them.
1. Draw at least 10 images a day
2. Try to produce some loose quick images
3. Try to produce a single good illustration a week.
1. Repetition - teaches muscle memory. Like the swordsman, your first 10 strokes may feel heavy. They maybe take a lot of brute force even. You must question why. Perhaps, when you're tired...and can draw the same tenth sphere...it will look better and better. I guarantee you now. If you apply yourself, honestly. your tenth character drawing will be better than your first...and your twentieth better than your tenth, and so on...
2. The quick strokes are called gestures. These capture the essence of a person, a creature, the air, the wind, the smell, the ambience of something. It can help teach you fluidity and looseness. It is what makes an artist's loose almost lazy stroke...great art to see and behold. With one stroke, you paint a mountain, with one dab, a multitude of stars appear, with a tiniest scrape, a single focal point of light is made. This teaches efficiency and greatness in one simple stroke
3. In this illustration, you must take it as a personal challenge to produce your best understanding of all you understand and have practised to make that single painting - a perfect painting of your skill. It is almost akin to life and death. There is no victor or loser, and at the end of it all, it marks your progress and growth.
All these, may be hard to read, digest or understand. But hopefully the gist of, may aid some. Feel free to partake of these thoughts, I believe these can make anyone an exceptional artist. The rest is up to your own unique genius. Because anyone can paint...but not everyone should.
Create greatness in your own living image."
And that's that. I love great, informative articles like this, but forgive me if I say that this s*** can get boring! Ah, but nobody said learning and being good at anything would be a piece of cake. But that's precisely why I would like to mix things after these long, informative posts with decidedly irrelevant and trivial things such as "Why this artist matters to me" or "Why Southern Cross sucks to a lot of people" Fun stuff.
So what do I say... now? Hmmm... Oh forget it. Like anyone gives a hoot.