Monday, March 05, 2007

Artists and Art: Strange Bedfellows

I will fully admit to thinking about addressing fear of drawing in this post, as I find myself constantly battling the horrible suspicion that everything I do is complete shit and why am i bothering and all that runs through an artist's mind every time that they sit down and try to work.
And work it is. The "art" of Art is, like many things, is in making it look easy. We pick up a comic or graphic novel and find ourselves not thinking about how the artist sweat over the cover so that we would be motivated to pick it up in the first place. The best athletes make it look so easy when they perform.

We artists, lacking the immediate gratification of the audience standing on their feet as we throw the perfect touchdown pass, take our gratification, like our work, in slow motion. We sweat for hours to make the panel work that you, the reader will zip through on page 10. But we take our gratitude with each smile that the book brings, with each person that mentions a particular scene that they found memorable at a con years later.

This is, in one sense, why I've made it a real quest to go up to artists whose work I've enjoyed and tell them that. Some, like Pablo Marcos, said, "that's nice" and went back to their sketch (and not to diss Pablo, who I respect tremendously, but there may have been a language barrier there), but some are like George Tuska, whose work I read for years on Iron Man, and who I think got a real joy about someone coming up to them and talking passionately about pages and scenes drawn over two decades ago.

My hand only shakes when I'm nervous about starting a line somewhere on the page. And its always with a brush or a pen. Nothing like indelible ink to raise the stakes. Never happens with a pencil. To overcome this, I have a select bookcase of CDs to play and a bottle of Anejo Tequila to take a shot of when things are too tense.

Why would I admit my alchoholic tendencies? More to show the rest of the artists out there: nothing comes easy. For anyone who likes my work and thinks that they have it bad, here is the secret: there is none. We all struggle. And if someone had told me that years ago, when I hadn't had to discover it myself, I think that it would have saved me years of grief.


william ibanez said...

i hear that pal. Jesus christ i hate it that when it comes to inking sometimes i gotta have that shot of jack. ah hell. your right though.

Sound Chaser said...

I would dispute that NOTHING comes easy.

Mediocre comes easy. Even GOOD comes easy. I can speak this from experience.

Greatness takes work. Nobody is naturally great.

The sad part is that these are things I was told, but for whatever reason, it didn't make an impression. Maybe I wasn't paying attention.

There is, however, no secret -- you're right on that score. Progress is fought on every level.