Monday, January 12, 2009

PASSING THE TORCH



The illustrations of William A. Smith capture the mood of his era. I especially like the gritty, urban paintings he did in the 1940s and 1950s which have a tough, noir feeling. Here, one of his preliminary studies transports you back to a 1940s barbershop at Christmas time:



His artist's eye picked up those little details which are so evocative of his time and place. Note the the hue of the street light on shoppers rushing by outside:



The bored little boy waiting his turn in the barber's chair:



The cluttered array of tables lined up against the wall:



Smith's daughter Kim watched her father work and was inspired to follow in his footsteps. She learned traditional art skills from him. "He gave me LOTS of advice," she recalled. "He talked about composition quite a bit. Also, that the whites of eyes aren't white at all. He taught me to make a good green from yellow and black." Kim learned to draw beautifully at a young age and went on to learn painting, printmaking and sculpting.

But when Kim began to work professionally she discovered that the art world had changed. The work that had sustained her father's generation of artists had disappeared. She moved to the west coast, where she eventually found work in movies building models.

Near the end of his life, Smith visited his daughter in California at the model/creature shop and was amazed by the new applications for her artistic talent. Shortly after he died, Kim returned to painting in a way that her father could never have imagined:
My supervisor in the Modelshop at ILM asked me whether I could paint (I'd been sculpting and making molds up until that point). Lacking anyone else to do it, he put me on repainting submarine models we had inherited from another production company. I had never painted a vehicle before, but found myself enjoying making these 12-foot and 22-foot models look panelized and aged. I started using Art Masking Fluid, something I knew about from Dad, to paint on the models. I then rolled the membrane up in areas to get a web-like frisket for making marks on the surface, which was extremely realistic. I started "hearing" Dad behind my shoulder, instructing me how to proceed color-wise and aesthetically to get the right look. This ghost of my father was obviously very interested and excited about this project. In fact, he got so noisy I eventually had to give a swat over my shoulder to shut him down a bit. However, it was all very successful on camera. As a result, I was often chosen to paint vehicles and dirty, rusty machinery, as well as the "clean" stuff, and eventually started leading small crews and passing on what I had learned.
Kim was off and running. She learned to paint digitally and apply her talents in all kinds of new ways. Compare her father's paintings at the beginning of this post with the following video of Kim's painting and model work today, and consider how remarkably the role of an artist has changed in our lifetime:


video

Kim says that her traditional art training from her father gave her the broad foundation she needed for the challenges of the new media: "All my experience helped me in what I've done in the movies, including printmaking, working in clay, metal, paint and wood. It all gave me qualifications that make me useful."

Old artistic truths have been surrendering to new artistic truths since the world began. No one can stop it. But in stories like Kim's, you see that no matter how much things change, there is a core set of strengths that remain at the center, undiminished.


Ghosts of previous generations of artists will continue to whisper in our ear. We just have to know when to tell them to hush.

44 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you make the video bigger?

1/13/2009 12:07 PM  
Blogger ces said...

I think this is the loveliest blog by you that I have read!

And what an interesting post.

1/13/2009 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Amazing. She seems to have worked on every big movie in recent memory.

1/13/2009 6:47 PM  
Blogger KommandoZ said...

Hello Mr. Apatoff
I like your blog a lot. Good critical thinking, nicely expressed in words.
Please allow me to tell you that the white font on the black background is really akward to read. I suggest either you could change that, or stick to shorter entries (I would prefer the former). I know, the topic is mostly the pictures, illustration or fine art, and these seem to have more brightness on black, but as your thoughts should also shine and be pleasent to the eye...
Maybe there is a blogspot solution for a combination of two background colours.
Thank you for considering my request.
Have a good day and keep on blogging

yours sincerely

the_Q

1/14/2009 2:24 AM  
Blogger benton jew said...

It's great to see Kim's work up on the site! It also brings back a lot of memories for me as a former co-worker. There was a lot of incredible talent in the ILM model shop. I'd always be inspired wandering around the model shop, especially in the early days, when traditional techniques were more in vogue.

Clearly, the wisdom of her father helped take her faar.

I can only imagine what Mr. Smith would have done with the digital tools we now take for granted.

1/14/2009 3:26 AM  
Blogger Rob Howard said...

Thanks for posting that, David. It is so heartening to see the torch passed on and to such good effect. As an illustrator, if I were to start again, that's the field I'd be in. The results are exciting for anyone who can subsume their ego into a group effort.

This is might be the venue for our new Golden Age of Illustration. Exciting times!

1/14/2009 8:49 AM  
Anonymous denis said...

david,
the neon outside the street... is possible to read it whit reference to the impressionism experience and concept or idea "carpe diem"like a new becoming of modernity?

1/14/2009 9:06 AM  
Blogger Czuba said...

I was recently turned onto this blog by a friend who had positive things to say about it. I thoroughly agree with her and think your blog is fantastic. I couldn't find any private contact information for you and had to post this here, so I apologize for that. My main question is whether or not you have considered an RSS feed of your blog. It's very easy to set up in Blogger, and would make my ability to keep up with your blog MUCH easier, and I would really like to be able to do that. Especially since I am working on my own art related blog. Thanks. Holly (holyczuba@gmail.com)

1/14/2009 9:53 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

David's post got ME crying. No surprise, I guess.

There was a time in high school when I had resolved to become a scientst or archaeologist, partially because I was interested, and partially because everyone said to me "You are going to become an artist, like your Dad." As we all know, that is a sure-fire method of assuring a teenager will NOT choose the same route, at least at first. But I do believe that we are often well-advised to pursue the thing for which we have a talent,interest and background. In the end, I always built on something which came from my family past; art, books, and language.

By the way, film is a TREMENDOUSLY collaborative medium. The exciting shots in my reel are achieved by a team of extremely talented people with whom I have been privileged to work.

Also, in reference to passing the torch from the medium of illustration to the medium of film, I have always felt that what we do in my business is add the dimensions of 3D space" and the 4D time factor to the traditional 2D illustration.

1/14/2009 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

naaah, it's all war and explosions...
can't see the art in it; that's just blockbuster crap, not my idea of what an artist would do...

1/14/2009 10:58 AM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Anonymous no. 1-- if I were smarter, I'm sure I could make the video bigger. Others have compensated for my ignorance by downloading it and playing it back full screen. I would urge doing it; it is worth the effort.

ces-- thanks so much!

Dan-- it really is kind of overwhelming, and this doesn't even include her most recent efforts.

KommandoZ-- thanks for reading. I think that black is the best background for art on a computer monitor, and I generally feel that the art I showcase is more important than my words that surround it. However, I recognize that white text may be irritating to read. I plan to redesign this old blog one of these days, and I will look for a solution.

1/14/2009 11:57 AM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Benton-- it's good to hear from someone who knows and worked with Kim. Those early days, when people were making this up as they went along, must have been absolutely fascinating. And now look what might empires have arisen from those beginnings!

Rob-- I think you are right. The golden age of american illustration was driven by technological improvements-- Howard Pyle would not have usheerd in a new era without a great leap forward in printing technology. I can't help but think we are witnessing something similar.

Denis-- it is possible, although I would have to defer to Smith on his intentions

Holly-- Thanks, you are very kind. I will write you back at your email adress. Mine is just David.apatoff@gmail.com.

1/14/2009 12:08 PM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Anonymous no. 2-- I think what you are seeing as explosions and collisions is merely one dramatic manifestation of what this medium adds. An illustrator can draw the height of an impact as a static image. He or she might capture the moment of anticipation before the train hits the ground, or the smoking ruins after it has hit. This medium takes you from start to finish, with all the splintering shards and the coiling smoke. It is thinking in 4D and I think the results are quite astonishing. Explosions are just a good way to demonstrate it.

1/14/2009 12:15 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I think David has hit the nail on the head.

One should look at the wonderful "Art of" books out there to see the highest level of illustration artistry which goes into some films. Those same films may have explosions and blood, but that doesn't diminish the artists' exceptional work. Goya painted about ladies and gentlemen gaily dancing, and he also painted about the bloody disasters of war.

Another place to see amazing painting for film is in the area of matte painting. "The Invisible Art", by Mark Cotta Vaz and Craig Barron explores the history of this fascinating subject.

1/14/2009 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Slanagan said...

Is that her picture we see at the end of the credits? You didn't tell us she is a hottie too!

1/14/2009 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, goya, oh my... but he of course didn't "paint about the bloody disasters of war" to satisfy a bored audience with as realistc depictions of explosions and destruction as possible...

1/14/2009 5:27 PM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Anonymous, Goya of course did paint royal courtiers and aristocrats to satisfy a bored audience with as flattering depictions of their faces and wardrobes as possible.

I am sometimes guilty of blaming a picture for the people who like it, but I try to resist the temptation.

Here is the interesting comparison for me: Look at the helicopter painted by William Smith in the very first picture. It is done with active, vibrant brush strokes, from a dynamic angle, with scuffs and scrapes. A terrific picture. Then compare it with the aircraft in Kim's video. They too, have scuffs and scrapes. They too have seams and panels. But they float and swoop, they turn at different angles, they catch the light in different ways, they break up and come apart with the landscape rushing by in the background. Compare these two art forms from the perspective of a child. The new medium is so much more seductive and attention grabbing, it's hard to see how the older medium can possibly compete.

1/14/2009 8:10 PM  
Blogger Kim Smith said...

One of the great things about this blog is the opportunity to try on someone else's spectacles and change our focus on a particular image or philosophy.

1/14/2009 9:16 PM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Kim, one of the other great things is the opportunity to dig in your heels and bash anyone who disagrees with you for being a moron. I'd say we run about 50 / 50 around here.

Readers should know that I gave you no advance notice that I was writing this post, and that you have been very humble about your contribution. You kindly sent me your DVD of film clips and I stole it to make a point here. Thanks for being a good sport.

1/14/2009 9:41 PM  
Blogger Kim Smith said...

Luckily, I'm quite sure of my position, having thought quite a bit about how I'm inspired by some of the by-products of what I do for a living. One can't work with all the materials I have and not be inspired by the possibilities. One would have to be completely limited to see this work as being only a series of gratuitous explosions.

1/15/2009 3:24 AM  
Anonymous JSL said...

If Kim Smith is still reading this, can an artist still get a job in movies with her background, or is it different now?

1/15/2009 10:36 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Well, since I made the switch to doing computer graphics over six years ago, I joined the legions of people who can, yes, get a job in this industry. My colleagues who are in the traditional model-making end have a much harder time now, and it's extremely hard if not impossible breaking into traditional model-making in the movie business.

My current job at ImageMovers Digital actually entails doing some hands-on concept model-making after my 9-hour CGI day is done, when preparing for a meeting with the director of a new movie. These models are mostly foamcore and card, with more detailed models being developed as decisions get made. Since we are a motion-capture animated feature house, these models of the environments allow the director to plan shots in advance, with removable walls. First-rate sculptors also work in the modelshop (which is part of the Art Department) creating maquettes of the characters in varous stages of design.

Making these all-white models has it's own charm. My mind starts spinning about a movie entirely utilizing all-white miniatures! As I said earlier, there are zillions of creative by-products of this work.

1/15/2009 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, do you really know how all this floating and swooping and light catching is done? Basically you create a model of, say, a helicopter, plus a model of the surrounding, you define the light - and thats pretty much it, the rest is done by a computer / lots of nice little programs which become more and more refined and which you can buy. If the computer is told what material the helicopter is made of, it will create all the beautiful reflections, will do all the light catching for you, you really don't have to give it a thought.

1/15/2009 11:05 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Painting a helicopter on a computer is pretty much identical to painting a model helicopter for traditional motion-control in terms of the detail you put into the various qualities of a surface. But achieving those results on a computer is far more involved. When painting a "real" miniature, I must faux dirt, reflections surface detail and blemishes in order to give the miniature "scale"; the look a full-sized helicopter or whatever, would have. I must do the same on a virtual model, and often resort to photographing Kim-painted scratches and dirt I've painted in the 3D world and applying them to a virtual surface.

Without getting too technical, I'd give you the example of the transformer Bumblebee. I painted the first 90% or so of that virtual model for Transformers. There wound up being about 16 "effects" created for the surface of that model, which would not only give it color, but specular highlights, texture, transparency and many more qualities harder to explain here. I believe the total pieces of geometry for Bumblebee was upward of 4500 pieces, each of which probably averaged about ten appropriate effects. Some of the more interior geometry just had "shaders" attached, which give a basic color and surface quality to a geometry, and only because they would not be well-seen. Shaders are used often for work which does not require me, a texture-painter, and I stay more than busy all the time painting. By the way, Bumblebee is my favorite virtual model I ever painted, though it was an extremely painful process.

Painting a character or animal can even be more complex, because there are all the translucent light-scattering issues that tissue has. I don't know what the record is for "effects" for a character, but upwards of 30 would probably not be too unusual for a character seen very closely. Davy Jones, from Pirates of the Caribbean, was a tour de force of CGI artistry. Even his eyes are CG, and they are wonderfully realistic.

Those of us who come from a "practical" background do still question the use of computer models over traditional models in many cases, due to the complexity of the computer graphic process. But the technology does not improve if no one does it, so... off we gallop. It's the nature of humans.

Rob talks of a new Golden Age of Illustration, and I've often thought that we are actually experiencing a kind of modern-day Renaissance in the search for a beautiful computer-generated object. We are at the point where the artists and the quantifiers have to get together and discover how light is reflected in the real world etc etc....

I have done a number of talks with my partner John at packed museum venues about movie magic. I ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS speak to the audience about the importance of studying painting and sculpture; that these skills not be forgotten. Too few people think that if they know the software, they can do the work. The software and the computers are just tools.

1/15/2009 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Great post, David, and it's great that Kim has taken such an active part in it...must make you feel great, as well!

For a few years, I worked as a texture artist on a popular online multiplayer game, Everquest, and I can say that it does take talent, experience, imagination and lots of time to make textures work (that is, be as ealistic as they need to be). And this was nothing like the level of Kim's work. The Anonymous that harps on all this being the act of a computer does not know what the hell he is talking about.

Once again, we see the anonymity of the internet giving license to feebs, geeks, and shit-stirrers.

But hey, let's remain positive. Great to see Kim giving props to the illustrators of the past. Of course, having a ringside seat to the history of that medium aided in her appreciation. Thanks for taking part in this constantly perceptive and incisive blog, Kim!

Ken Meyer Jr.

1/15/2009 11:37 PM  
Blogger Rob Howard said...

First, Kim, thanks for sharing so much with strangers (some stranger than others). I very much appreciate the artistic sensibilities you bring to the new medium. As is apparent to anyone who's been in the business of art making, those artistic sensibilities are not different from artists of the past. The non-artist gets overly-involved in the subject matter and hasn't the basis for understanding the eternal verities of making art. You and many of your colleagues bring them to this new medium.

I'm old enough to remember similar cries of 'foul' arising when acrylics were introduced. Of course those people mattered very little to the art scene.

Again, thanks for sharing your exciting work with us. It makes me wish that I were starting over again.

1/16/2009 12:54 AM  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

I am impressed by the sheer skill someone like Kim has (and to be able to decide how to make a texture for a 3d computer model certainly takes imagination as well). But I keep thinking of someone like Rembrandt, and his series of self portraits. If you look at his earlier self portraits, while they are certianly better then anything i can do, there is a certian lack of something in them compared to his later ones, and it goes way beyond his technical skill (though that is certainly part of it, as his later ones are done with an almost zen like confidence). Kim might be able to improve her technique, but will she improve beyond that? Is there room in her art for the almost spiritual type of improvement that comes from not just struggling with technique but with all of life (and I don't mean in the films she is working in as that isn't likely, but in what she creates outside of hollywood film)?

sorry if this question is answered on the film, I just haven't been able to watch it yet

1/16/2009 2:40 AM  
Anonymous Ali said...

Kim, since you know what it is like to work in both worlds, don't you miss the tactile feeling of the brush against a canvas? Does your wrist work the same way when painting digitally

1/16/2009 5:09 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Y'all are very flattering....

Th Matthew and Ali, who have such kinds words and also great questions...

I don't miss brush on canvas because I still do that! I'm quite the traditionalist, because I love the feel of oil paint in particular on canvas. I also found some time last summer to work with some of the great printers at Crown Point press and do a couple new little prints which incorporated idea I got while working in the film business. These prints are pretty abstract and remind one most of Russian Constructivist work, but with a LOT more texture. Also, I was experimenting with the use of tape texture in printmaking! I have held the crown as the queen of masking tape (as in masking tape, creating some of the Enterprise surface textures) We accumulated used-tape ball about 3 feet in diameter just from two passes of paint, to give to the producer. The point is, as I said before, you can't use these materials without thinking of the possibilities. In fact, one of the master printers at Crown Point and I got into an in-depth discussion about types of tape, as it's something they occasionally use for frisket, and we actually communicated later about tape! Funny.

I have made some of my favorite bronzes from leftover plywood "drops" from plane model kits, and been inspired by the linework on plans for architectural models.

ImageMovers, where I work, has weekly figure drawing and figurative sculpture classes where we augment our understanding of the body. This is a priceless perk of the job. As we go on, we may have "kit-bashing" classes, where people take random model-kit parts and build vehicles and machines to teach them how, even in a fictitious object, it still has to make sense from a structural point of view. Teaches people to look closely at the objects around them in the real world to see how they are made and how they move.

I've learned TONS from what I do, and continue to learn. Also, I am much more productive when I do my own work, because I'm used to being under pressure. The real snag for me is time. Movie-making is tremendously time-consuming. I'm looking forward to retirement! Some day.

1/16/2009 10:47 AM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Rob -- "It makes me wish that I were starting over again." I have met a lot of highly successful people-- presidents, billionaires, nobel prize winners-- and I think virtually all of them would like to start over again with nothing. No money, no fame,no power and no guarantees of success. They want the exhilaration of scratching and clawing to survive, the stimulation provided by a blank page in life, the chance to do fundamental things with all of the fresh opportunities that new technologies and developments present. So the question is, why don't young artists who are just starting out, looking ahead to a career filled with risk and uncertainty, appreciate the value of wide open opportunity?

1/16/2009 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, I apologize for having been such an ignorant "shit-stirrer", Kim's textures are doubtlessly equal to the work of Goya and the whole thing is nothing less than a "modern-day Renaissance", you guys really opened my eyes!!!

1/16/2009 11:28 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Anonymous, I really don't get what you are so prickly about, but I do thank you, and I truly mean this, for inspiring a dialogue. That's what blogs are about. I say the next statement with a smile, but you sound like someone who was turned down for a job in the movie business, even though I'm certain that never happened.

I'm definitely not Goya (you might be the only one who thought there was that comparison, nor should the movies I work on be compared to Goya. I'm just an artist who found a good job and enjoy and work with a lot of people who are better than I am and deserve to have lovers of illustration know about them. Isn't that why you read this blog, to learn about new stuff?

1/16/2009 12:15 PM  
Blogger Piya said...

This is such a wonderfully eloquent post, David.

As a production artist, I've been chewed out a few times by 'old school' artists who believe digital artists are 'cop outs.' I regret that I probably will never master the traditional media, and I do miss the smell of oils and having a painting on canvas to bring home after art class. At the same time, the reality is that I HAD to learn digital painting in order to stay relevant and put food on the table. Art is my love, but to make it a viable way of life, here and now in the 21st century, there HAS to be compromise.

Thank you for this story of Kim Smith. I feel like I'm in very good company now.

1/16/2009 12:45 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Piya, I'm actually trying to encourage more of my colleagues to weigh in on this discussion. I'm so glad people from the movie industry look at David's blog. It is an invaluable resource, and he knows SO much about the subject.

1/16/2009 1:05 PM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Anonymous (a/k/a "ignorant shit-stirrer") I have often been accused of having relationships with fecal matter myself. Welcome to the fraternity!

I am not confusing Kim with Goya (for one thing, as Slanagan points out, Goya was not a "hottie.") But I do think you underestimate the role that human taste and judgment plays in this process when you write that the computer handles everything and "you really don't have to give it a thought."

I personally have struggled to understand how art as a database of electromagnetic pulses arrayed by a computer compares with the traditional art we have known and loved. (If you go back to January 2007 on my blog, you will see that I wrote two consecutive posts, one arguing that a physical object is absolutely essential to art, and the other arguing that it is absolutely irrelevant. Both were sincere. My answer changes, depending on which side of the bed I woke up on.)

But I do know this: etching was a relatively new technology when Rembrandt seized on it as a way of selling multiple copies of his drawings to the public. Photography was a relatively new technology when Degas and Lautrec employed it as a way of enhancing their work. And we've talked above about how Howard Pyle "caught the wave" of new printing technology. It seems to me that some of our greatest artists were the ones who didn't shrink from new inventions but who instead embraced them with curiosity and enthusiasm.

I can't tell you whether computer art is a tool of the devil, but it seems to me that the results are undeniably dazzling. You say this is not your idea of what an artist would do. Are you talking about the process an artist is supposed to follow to create art or about the impact of the end product on a viewer?

Lastly, I should tell you that I don't know Kim Smith well at all-- I only met her once for a couple of hours, but in that short time she hauled out the battered sketchbook that all "real" artists carry with them. She had filled it with sensitive and graceful pencil sketches of cats, elephants, giraffes and other subjects that a conventional artist might compile in an honest search for information about the way things look. I think there is real continuity between the kind of art you would accept as valid and the images on Kim's video.

1/16/2009 1:42 PM  
Blogger Jack Ruttan said...

Computers, as a tool for art, and a way of getting the art out there, have certainly changed this field a great deal, and it's taken a lot of adaptation from artists to move with the times.

My friend, who had a an art school background, does photo illustrations pieced together in Photoshop, and has also worked painting textures to "surface" 3-D models.

I'm way behind that, but my ink and watercolour illustrations are always scanned for reproduction, and I've learned a lot about photoshop, etc so's I can produce reasonable scans: something the printer used to worry about, much further down the line.

At the same time, I've been writing for TV, and my art training comes in handy as a way of having a "visual imagination" that helps me write scripts. Still draw stuff all the time, and keep a sketchbook.

As a kid I used to build model planes and cars all the time, and this has helped me picture a 3-dimensional object in my mind, and draw it.

It's been a time of change, and hard to keep up with. But still very interesting for all that.

1/18/2009 6:16 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Many people I work with will do a "real" drawing or painting and scan t in to manipulate. Many work directly on the computer and have no problem with it. Some work on the co puter at work, for efficiency, and on paper at home. I, and a few other of my colleagues who come from the real world, often make real textures or objects and scan them in to manipulate. For my colleagues who never did "practical" work, they find this a quaint and frightening possibility for getting textures. They don't feel comfortable "making their own"

1/18/2009 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I can appreciate the skill that goes into making great specialFX you can't really call it 'Art' just as a pop promo isnt a film.Personally I think its a shame that society doesnt have room for a William A Smith in the pages of a magazine but ILM make millions out of the latest blockbuster that's forgotten about 6 months after release.

1/26/2009 9:41 PM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Anonymous, I'm not clear why "you can't really call it Art." We call almost anything art: earth works, body works, happenings, conceptual art, video art, performance art. If we can't call this art, it's apparently the only thing left on the planet that doesn't qualify.

Remember, some of the greatest art in history is about spectacular clashes-- from the Iliad to Shakespeare's Henry V. And Leonardo da Vinci loved to draw explosions and storms. My guess is that he would be mesmerized by Kim's film.

1/26/2009 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,please notice my use of the capital 'A' here,its all important.Its PRECISELY due to the misuse and devaluation of that term that I refer. We have a mindset these days where any kind of self expression is 'art' any kind of commercial application of design is 'art'.In accepting this relativism we debase the currency.

1/27/2009 3:15 AM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Thanks, anonymous. Now I better understand the distinction you are making.

Personally, I think it is a lot easier to classify art as good / bad, or successful / unsuccessful, rather than as Art / non-art. For one thing, attempting to define what qualifies as Art seems comparable to the French trying to legislate what words people are allowed to use (forbidding words such as "hamburger" in order to keep the language pure). People will do what they will do.

For another thing, I often find myself at odds with the prevailing definition of Art: some of what is held out as important "Art" by major auction houses and prestigious Manhattan and London art galleries strikes me as crummy junk, while some of what appears in comic strips and advertisements and digital art in films strikes me as terrific art. With my kind of attitude, it is difficult to tell somebody else that what they are doing is, by definition, not Art.

1/27/2009 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its the difference between Belle de Jour and when Harry met Sally.One good film,one great film if a person cant tell which is which we might as well move into road construction.

1/27/2009 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that the people doing CGI art are "real" artists who know how to draw and who appreciate the older work. This person's relationship with her father seems quite touching. Thank you for sharing.

Alice

1/28/2009 5:35 PM  
Blogger Eric Noble said...

I am in complete awe of this man!! This makes me want to get back to drawing, so that I may possess the skills he had. I too am a firm believer in the notion that you must first gain your skills in traditional art before moving to other technological media. I just wish more people thought like that.

12/20/2010 11:22 PM  

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