Sunday, July 23, 2017

That Thin Sharp Line 'Tween Art & Commercialism


Brian Martin - I think the hardest part of transitioning from comic-strip cartoonist to children's book illustrator is remembering to draw the characters with 5 fingers instead of 4 now. Real Life Struggles

April Goldsby McBride - Well at least you don't have to worry about fingers for the Connor books!

Eric C. Martin - Serious question: Is it really important to make characters with 5 fingers?

Brian Martin - I think for people characters... at least that is what the agent I have been working with has stated

Richard Walsh - you could always treat the characters like the Simpson's they have 4 finger and god is the only one with 5

Tim Winstead Cartoonist - At the risk of sounding like an idiot...why is that? I do single panels and the three finger method applies, but why is it different in childrens books?

Brian Martin - I don't know. I think this agent is trying to get me to be less cartoony. Most of the artist I have been looking at all do the five fingers. Maybe another picture book artist can elaborate?

Emily Drouin - To be a cartoonist is to play with form, whether in children's books or comics. Unless the client specifically says not to, I think 4 fingers is fine if it's your style :)

Tim Winstead Cartoonist - Thanks guys for the info. I thought really appreciate it. I'm a four finger guy, but I also understand the need to be flexible

Muhammad Rasheed - You're an artist. Creativity is your realm.

The only rules are the ones you make.

Brian Martin - Unless I want to get paid right?

Muhammad Rasheed - If you choose to align your creative rules to the economically successful tropes of those that are selling, that is still your choice as the artist.

Brian Martin - Well said

Muhammad Rasheed - Fans: "I kinda like this comic, but I just can't bring myself to buy art when the people have only 4 fingers. ew."

Artist:  :(  *applies for foodstamps*

Richard Walsh - @Muhammad... it does not work that way.... there are rules even in the creative field and one can be broken if the argument is in agreement to what is needed. I fought many a battles and won some but lost many

Muhammad Rasheed - It does "work that way." What you lot are describing is when the creativity of art collides with the rules of commercialism.

Just because the individual artist may make the choice to compromise his power of creativity so he "can get paid right?" doesn't mean he can't make up his own creative rules if he decided to do so.

Art is art. Business is business. The line between is inherently contentious in our capitalist tradition.

Brian Martin - As a commercial designer and illustrator I know what it's like to follow orders as an artist. Starting off as a children's book illustrator I never really would have imagined the large differences in comic strip art and picture books. I know that if I want to be successful as a picture book artist there is some molding I need to do. I'm not looking at it as selling out as a cartoonist but as growing to learn another form of art

Muhammad Rasheed - What's needed are new platforms, new markets, new consumers. To get that takes experimentation, but the time and freedom of experimentation is for those who aren't worried about "getting paid right?"

Muhammad Rasheed - It makes commercial art a form of exploitation.

Brian Martin - Exactly... right now I have too many financial responsibilities to just do what I want. The hope is to one day get to a point where clients will come to me for what I do.... not me hunting them down

Brian Martin - @Muhammad Rasheed... any job is a form of exploration. I am just lucky enough to have something in a field I enjoy... so it's not as bad as it could be.

Richard Walsh - yeah advertising is the prostitution of the design field

Brian Martin - I dunno man... I work in product development.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Brian... No, not all jobs. Just the ones where the markets are deliberately restricted by monopoly/collusive cartels. Notice that whenever the artists find a way to break free and control a bigger part of the pie, the monopolizing administrative suits who were eating fat off their art efforts always call the free artists "greedy."

Brian Martin - Who would have thought that 5 vs 4 would've started such a debate... where does everyone stand on using dots for eyes?

Muhammad Rasheed - EVIL!!!!!!!!  >:(

Muhammad Rasheed - j/k

Richard Walsh - I think this was a good debate and we all learn something; 5 finger are better than four when stealing that candy bar off your co workers desk

See Also:

When Art and Corporate Meet

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