I purchased a license for Affinity Designer quite a while ago and recently decided to actually try creating some images with it. It’s not perfect and I experience some very weird quirks when working with it, but it’s very easy to get into.
It’s been a while since I posted a bird. This one wasn’t based on a specific bird, it’s one of a few sketches I did exploring further simplification and abstraction of general bird shapes.
This page was in some ways harder to draw than last weeks’ page. From the start, I had a clearer idea of what I would draw and how it was supposed to look, but I enjoyed the process a lot less and also look at the final result differently. I noticed while drawing this that I started to compare myself to others; not specific artists but rather against my expectation of “professional, good market quality artwork”. And as soon as my mental focus wandered from the value the artwork has for myself to the value the artwork might have for others, my enjoyment of the process lessened. It’s quite challenging for me to not think this way though since all professional work rarely held any personal value and was always primarily created based on the value determined by and for others.
After doing the influence-map two weeks ago and remembering that sequential art and storytelling are important to me, I figured I try it myself. I haven’t done any storyboarding since November 2017, unsurprisingly I felt stiff going into this. But I enjoyed the process. So however successful or unsuccessful this one-page comic is, I had fun doing it. That’s a step in the right direction.
Partly because I thought it might be interesting, partly for self-therapeutic reasons I created an “influence-map”. These artists did and continue to influence my own artistic development.
While doing this overview I realized that none of the cool conceptart.org artists had any lasting impact on me. I have some collections from that time, but I never turn to them when I need to rekindle my interest in art. Similarly, I appreciate a lot of traditional artists like Menzel, Sorolla, Sargent’s Watercolors, Repin, Alma-Tadema, Waterhouse, etc. but it’s “just” appreciation.
On the other hand, less surprising is that artists like Henrik Fetz, Torsten Wolber, Igino and Roberto Freire who’ve helped me learn and grow in many ways continue to inspire me not only with the works that I got saved on my hard drive but with their current work as well.
It also shows that I don’t look at concept art (for movies or games) to be inspired, I prefer illustration. I appreciate the craftsmanship and the thinking behind concept art, but when I look to be motivated, I turn to interesting compositions, color-choices, interpretation, reduction & abstraction, storytelling.
Finally, even this condensed influence-map (my initial set was double what I collected here) shows that the stylistic inconsistency in my personal sketches comes from the variety of artists that inspire me.
This was an interesting exercise and while it left me with a few questions to work through in my head, it also helped me feel something positive about art again and motivated me to do art.