Saturday, January 24, 2009

State of the Union: Post 3

Describe your typical creative process, from getting an assignment to finished piece.
The first step I take is to sketch a couple of notions that are rattling around in my brain based on the problem. I started doing this to compare them to my informed concept sketches based on research. Sometimes humor or methods to play with that naivety are put to good use. The second step is to do as much internet and library based research as possible. This of course helps me understand the subject better, dispel misconceptions, and most importantly (I think for me anyway) helps me develop an augmented visual vocabulary that aids communication. The next step is to play around with compositions and the acquired ideas and visual references to not only communicate the ideas but also to express my own personal voice and perspective. After the sketches and thumbnails have been narrowed down to the strongest I decide based on what I would like to draw most. Next I execute the piece in either charcoal or ink wash depending on whether I need precision or atmosphere. After that is done, I scan the piece in and color digitally make corrections and touch up the composition and lighting. Also because of my personal illustrative aesthetic, I use scanned in images and textures to add a little visual interest to pieces.

Describe what you think your creative process should be like?

I wish I would include color key sketches into my process and I have seen artists like James Jean using a light box to refine sketches and iron out problems and add flourishes via this method. I would like to use these processes but I often get impatient and end up ignoring them.

Research and describe a professional creator's creative process.
Sam Weber's creative process is one that I've admired for a while because of the process and how consistent his final illustrations are. Also I have found that his creative process is similar to mine, and have found several different methods of his that I have tried to apply to my illustration. He starts sketching after a little research because he says he doesn't want to limit his own imagination. He finds his own sketching (which he does with ink or ink washes) his strongest ability and bases his final illustrations on the experiments, general shapes and spontaneity of his sketches. The most amount of technical energy goes into this step, as Sam Weber says without this vital foundation the digital step doesn't not work at all. He then takes this final ink illustration and adds accents of color or and and adds muted color overlays to the rest of the image. To add a layer of visual depth and atmosphere he then uses textures and 'accidental' marks to add the human touch back into the image. However Weber mentions that recently he has been trying to distance himself from using the computer in many aspects of his work.

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