Friday, August 27, 2010

Pretentious Whiney Artist Time.

Lately, I feel like I'm conciously stifling my growth as an artist, and the direction my art wants to go.

As my style becomes more and more exaggrated in motion of character and expression of line, I find myself being drawn more and more towards wanting to draw "bigfoot style" - I keep wondering if I should embrace this.

The bigfoot style is still used in some European books, which is becoming a major influence on my work as far as storytelling and expression.

With my journal comics, and sometimes 1pg random comics, I tend to draw in a more cartoonish, and exxagerated style. I generally like to play with shapes of people's faces, bodies, etc. I'm more comfortable drawing my cartoonish and exxagerated forms than I am drawing for believability.

Even currently, I tend to lean more towards an open line figure and detailled backgrounds.

Many Franco-Belgium cartoonist, like Peyo, use a similar style and his stories for THE SMURFS or JOHAN & PERLOUIT weren't "dated" or outside the realm of believability despite having cartoony figures. Same for Didier Conrad, Andre Franquin. Even Bill Watterson, probably my biggest influence, used a slightly more toned down bigfoot style in CALVIN & HOBBES and those strips are pretty powerful and meaningful when you look at the subtext.

Even R. Crumb maintained his bigfoot style for his serious adaptation of GENESIS.

MAUS was draw with anthropomorphic cartoon characters and the emotional impact of the story still hits you in the heart like a jackhammer hits butter. It won a pulitzer. And I can't help but think it wouldn't HAVE that same impact if he'd done realistic figures.

I think maybe it's because I grew up on American comics, and the American medium has that mentality that it needs to be realistic and believable, even when it's exaggerated, or it's just a "silly" cartoon.

I guess I'll just let it go, and see where the wind takes me.

1 comment:

Peter Bangs said...

go bigfoot, or at least give it a trial. In the right style bigfoot cartoony styles work well for just about everything. It doesn't have to be Milt Gross but even that can tackle serious emotions incredibly well.