Monday, May 18, 2009


"The Liberator"

While teaching this computer art class I've noticed some significant difference amongst the students. The students that are excelling are those that just have an eye for art whether it's painting, ceramics or digital. These students often live for art as if it were an obsession. Despite all of the advantages of using Photoshop and Illustrator to create art, it's still up to the artist to make it happen. I think many people are under the impression that you hit one or two keys and the computer will create the art for you. Although that would be nice, if the person using the programs doesn't have a vision for what they're trying to achieve then the tools/ programs are useless. Think of it this way...if you were a skilled craftsman and wanted to build a bench what good is it if you don't know what kind of bench you want to make.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Good and the Bad

"The Liberator" (phase 1)

When I was in school (way back when) I often complained about doing math homework. I didn't care about what time train A was going to pass train B. I certainly didn't care about what equaled X. My parents often approached me with "it's a means to an end and you have to get to the end" followed by "while you're complaining about it you could be doing it." It's not poetry but it is true. I can hope that, in this last quarter before the summer, students decide to press on and finish strong.

Well we're in the second half of the Spring quarter and you can see that the pressure is getting to some but not all. Every year I have the dubious task of grading projects. Many times it's easy because I have so many students that decide to slack off towards the end of the quarter. This makes it easy for me to separate the good from the bad but every so often you come across a class that is full of superstars. These superstars are those students that eat and breathe art and that's their primary focus. They may drag their carcasses into class looking like the wrong end of a bad day but the quality of the work is what defines them. No complaining about projects, lack of time, or begging for leniency. Every quarter I look forward to a superstar class.

Monday, May 11, 2009


"The Liberator" (sketch)

As always I start with a sketch and work on top. In addition to keeping my references up on the screen, this is my digital process. When I work in illustrator I don't try to shoot for super realism. This is especially true when working with Adobe Illustrator. Less is more.

When I first began working in Illustrator there weren't all of the nice bells and whistles of the newest versions and so I've developed a style that could be achieved with the most basic version of Illustrator. This is not to say that I don't venture out and experiment. Although it's digital it's just like working in any other've got to take chances or you just won't learn. It often drives me crazy when I see artists who won't take chances or try new techniques. It's one thing if you're an accomplished artist who's tried very techniques and found your style but it's another story if you're just starting out and you're too nervous to venture out. Experiment and Learn.