Friday, 11 June 2010

The inspiration and the methods


I just wanted to talk here about the inspiration and the methods behind this project - there has actually been 2 main people who have made this come to be!

Firstly after seeing Glamourpuss for reasons I still do not entirely know I thought I would try my hand at following what Dave Sim showed in his making of here:-


But I figured as I have never really even tried to draw that I would do it all on the cheap so I got a plain paper pad with paper thin enough to see through that was the same size as the "handbag" glamour magazine, a hb pencil, a handwriting pen and a eraser.

I then just would hold the bit of plain paper over the photo from the magazine up to a light blub in one hand while I traced what I could see with the other hand.

And then I would send a bunch to Dave Sim in a letter.

And I did this consistently for nearly a year and my focus was on treating doing a tracing as being a way to wind down after work I find it relaxing and  id did not even contemplate on the results.

Quantity not quality is the key when you start.

And it seemed to work as by being consistent my ability was improving (very slowly) but none the less I could see I was actually getting somewhere which is a bonus I was not expecting and that helped me put more effort into each bit of work I slowly found that the time I spent on each piece and the quality was getting higher.

Then came Glamourpuss 12 like a shot out of the blue, Dave Sim had been telling me about it for nearly a year but I just thought that Dave was kidding, who would want to feature my art I thought!

Until I saw how that was going to be done as a riposte to serious art magazines with their overblown dialog and high priced yet low quality featured creations.

Well that was the second inspiration and it made me attempt to seriously up my game, I started off with the George and Lynne panels and as soon as I saw how good (relatively speaking) they was coming out it became a joy to do more and this continued to expand as I went along, with panels appearing nothing like I thought they would considering what I had done just literally days beforehand.

But that was the start- where it got crazy is when I tried to do actual glamourpuss figures, of course I had to do the same ones that are in 12 the question being -how far could I go?

Again the envelope of time spent and quality increased but it went as far as I possibly could, the last tracing I did represented a whole week of effort and I don't think I could have spent another second on it .

This does show in quite a few places on the finished piece that this was an attempt where I failed to meet the standard and the mistakes crept in as I kept on pushing on regardless.

But I had a brilliant lesson that has informed everything I have done since; I had to push myself as hard as I possibly could to really see what I was capable of.

And now I find doing anything both a joy and a education as well as fun.

And then came along Matt Senca - Matt saw something I never saw myself in what I was doing - that’s one of those things about me - I wont see what I am doing I wont even know how I am doing it, but somehow it just happens and Matts words of my efforts after less than a year of tracing was the most recent inspiration which has shaped and informed this project.

So this is what I would like you to take from this:-

1) Anyone of any ability can produce art that has some potential - with potential there is the hope that it can improve - the only bad bit of art that can be done is to not try a drawing at all.

2) Drawing can be both fun and relaxing, focus on this, not the results to start with - given time you will improve naturally.

3) If your lucky all kinds of strange and wonderful things can happen - but you have to share what you are doing in order for that to happen - I know I found that bit to be the most difficult - certainly not without including reams of text saying how bad what I was doing is - the lesson I have had to learn is to not worry - people will either like what you have done or they wont - just focus on having fun and then share it – don’t add commentary as to how it sucks! (or even how brilliant it is – let it stand alone as it is - a act of creation).

4) It pays great dividends to occasionally attempt an experiment where you completely push the boundaries of everything you have done up to and possibly even beyond breaking point, you will surprise yourself at how well you can do and this informs everything you do past that point.

So come on - this is all part of the reason why I started this project in response to Matts brilliant inspiration.

Have a try - that’s what it’s all about.

I will never fault anyone for trying - so what are you waiting for?

R

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