Saturday, May 16, 2015

So Many Art Books and Not Much to Show

I got mad at myself this morning. The night before, I was online looking up gesture drawing videos and finally gesture drawing books. Whenever I find a subject I want to learn more about, I look for books. Yes, I could just continue searching online for blog posts, tutorials and articles, but the quality of those are always hit or miss. At least with books, I can look at the ratings and reviews they've received. Also, books have gone through a professional editing process and the publishers found a reason to publish the books.

This has been my process for years. Before writing this, I had just returned from my mailbox, where I picked up a book I ordered about making comics and two workbooks that were made especially for storyboarding. At that moment, it dawned on me that I probably have a ton of books on drawing that I've either didn't finish or never read. So I searched through my boxes (I know, I'll buy bookcases soon) to look for all of my drawing and art related books. Including the book about drawing comics I just got today, I have 15 books. 15 BOOKS!! To be fair, one of them is from graduate school and two of them are "The Art of ..." books. I've included the "The Art of ..." books because they do show the process of how characters were created and storyboarding techniques. 

The Italian Renaissance art book is a book I had to buy for a master of fine arts class when I was still in graduate school. I never finished it, but maybe I'll start using it as a reference book. The dictionary was an impulse buy while walking through Barnes and Noble.

These are the regular drawing books that I've bought many moons ago. There are no markers in these books, so I gather that I've never read and finished them.

Then I went into my manga phase. I wanted to know how to draw manga instead of focusing on how to just learn how to draw real life and what I see. I did end up reading tutorials and using online material more than buying books, but 5 is still a lot.  I also think I had one or two other chibi related books.  I'm not sure where they are. Maybe I didn't search the boxes as well as I thought. I wanted to learn how to draw chibi characters more than regular size manga. My original character Lavender Sage is based on the chibi look.

I started saving a lot of the books that are about the creation of animated movies to my Amazon wish list. These two books are the only ones I've bought so far. I can say, that I've read both of these books from cover to cover. I even drew some of the drawings I found in the books:


I drew those photos above and then decided to post them to twitter. I didn't realize it was 2 years ago when I did this. All this shows, is that I can copy other people's work but it doesn't show that I can create from my own imagination, or I should say get the thought from my head out onto the paper/screen correctly.

I can't remember if the comic phase came before of after the manga phase (yes I know mangas are comics too), but it has returned. I want to draw and write stories for comics. I would like to draw humorous comics that are found in newspapers and web-comics, rather than dark angst filled comics in comic books like the ones produced by DC and Marvel. If you look in my archive, I have a few comics that I drew. I have a bunch of ideas I would love to put into practice, but I know I need a lot more practice.

I didn't count them, so I don't know which subject is worse, but when looking for these books, I came across a lot of design, typography and photography books. I feel as if I am okay in those subjects, so it doesn't bother me that I have so many of those books. Plus, I believe I've read 90% of them and use the information from them in my photography or at work fairly often. 

I guess I shouldn't be too mad, because I have finished some of the drawing books. I guess I'm mad that with all these resources I still suck. I've had art teachers in junior high, high school and college tell me they can see my potential. Some of them even encouraged me to take more advanced classes (not just the mandatory classes needs to graduate). Honestly, I went to a bunch of art college fairs.  I wanted to go to Pratt Institute or School of Visual Arts. I saw all the work of other people and was discouraged. I was starting late and was told by many others I wouldn't get in, so I stopped thinking about it. Not having a support system is a reoccurring theme in my life.

Many years later when I was accepted into an MFA program at the Academy of Art University, I was shocked. I was surprised and glad my portfolio was good enough to get me into the school. I guess again, it was more teachers saying they can see my potential. 

Even though I know with practice I will get better, something inside me keeps thinking I need to get another book and that will help me get better. I can try and ban myself, but I know from experience that doesn't work. So I gathered all the books to show myself what I've been doing over the years. I understand that now (that I'm not under my parents rules/roof) I am the only person holding myself back. Hopefully doing this today will help. 

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