Sunday, March 9, 2008
Hurricane Katrina came ashore in August of 2005. Everything about it and its mismanagement is very well-documented. Also well-documented, perhaps not as well as it should be, is that, as this post is written, new Orleans is still picking up the pieces of the Hurricane's destruction -- physically and psychologically. I wished to illustrate this.
In composing the art, something that said "New Orleans" should obviously be integral to the scene. Then, there needs to be an element that represents the "scar" left from a storm's wrath.
The water stain is something people relate to in their own way. It's a reminder of an intrusion by water, and everyone will have their own experiences to connect with the consequences of this intrusion.
I am drawn to art that leaves something for the viewer. I enjoy the interactivity and surprise that is possible with illustration. At the bare minimum, one's own "style" is a degree of interactivity. If an illustrator plays his or her cards right, they are producing something that leaves a bit of themselves on the canvas -- the brush stroke, point of view, drawing style, sense of mood, texture, color, etc. But, what truly distinguishes one from another is their thought process. Being able to find that part of you that is different from the next illustrator in the sourcebook, and use it to tell a story is one of the core challenges of an illustrator.
I think one of the least productive things one can do is try to find your style or try to find your way of thinking. Let it come to you. It's already there, usually buried beneath who knows what. Keep moving forward and it will forge its way to the surface. Put yourself in the best environment for your intended end-result to come to fruition. For an illustrator, I think that means to always draw, paint, create, and engage one's self in what's happening in the industry. Somewhat obvious advice, but one would be surprised at how far ahead of the game one would be by just doing these things.
It took me many moons to understand this my own self.
Posted by Allan Burch at 6:14 PM