12.20.13: After I drew this, I ate way too much pizza.
John Lee's Illustration Blog
"Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes" -Oscar Wilde
Process. This print is now available for only $10 in our shop @ tinyhousecreative.storenvy.com!
My buddy Jeremy Luther and his girlfriend Kendall Quack have started a little print-centric design group called Tiny House Creative.
Jeremy is one of my best friends from my KCAI days, and dude knows his letterpress. I’m excited to work with him again on a series of prints, which I’ll be blabbing about in a few weeks. Keep an eye out!
Follow Tiny House Creative on tumblr: tinyhousecreative.tumblr.com
Little known fact: they’re running their studio out of the Hobbs building, which is the same building that TAD has their Kansas City pod in.
How long did it take you to find your style? Was the process wrought with pain and agony or did it come accidentally and like a warm summer breeze? Did you have to get feedback from others to start to go in the right direction? Or, I guess what I want to ask is were you the one to recognize the direction you wanted to go and how did you know that that was the right choice? Thank you for all of your advice. You rock.
Asked by Anonymous
Dude, everything I do is easy like a warm summer breeze. You nailed it.
Style is one of those words that has a bad reputation nowadays. “Voice" is really how we differentiate illustrators from one another. It’s mostly semantics, but there are some important distinctions:
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Bruce Lee absolutely said it best. With his fists. On other people’s faces. Watch from 2:00-7:50. It’s mostly snippets from this interview on the Pierre Burton show in 1971.
Did you watch Bruce snap kick people in the face while talking about self-expression? OK. Let’s continue:
"We need emotional content…It’s like a finger pointing to the moon. Focus on the finger and you miss all that heavenly glory."
Style and technique without content is just that, nothing more.
"We all have two hands and two legs."
There are fundamentals to image making that will continue to be true, regardless of style. Things like: value is how our brains understand depth, cools recede and warms advance, large shapes are more immediate than smaller ones, etc. These will always be the foundation of your images.
"You have to keep your reflexes…when you want it, it’s there. When you want to move, you’re moving. And when you move, you’re determined to move."
You have to continuously train and learn about the fundamentals, so that they become second nature to you in your process. In this way, you spend less time struggling with your work trying to get it to say what you want.
"Style is crystallization…(you want) a process of continuing growth."
Styles lock you into a perception of what something “should” look like. It leaves no room for you to express yourself, or let the image have a say. In terms of careers, getting locked into a style kills your work, as you will no longer grow as an artist if you’re constantly reproducing earlier images.
"And when there’s an opportunity: I do not hit. It hits all by itself."
I just love this quote because it’s badass. I dunno, no real point I guess.
OK. So to sum it all up and answer your questions.
Be like Bruce. Kick butt and take names, your own way.
Whoa, holy crap! I got a package from the Light Grey Art Lab today, and when I opened it up a holiday art bomb went off.
I <3 you Light Grey Art Lab.
(This was part of the 6 Degrees Postcard show, check it out!)