Thursday, September 20, 2012

the autonomous artist

As you all know I am promoting my right to exercise as a digital artist. Today I dabble, tomorrow the world!, yeah. Part of the problem of the digital artist is the connection to the world via the computer. This is why I say disconnect the connection and get some work done. OK, connection is not bad, but a lot of the time it is time consuming. Hey you, blogger, step away from the computer.

I spend time looking and perusing other artist, research material, textures, fonts and brushes, all tutorials and seeing how I am perceived on the net. NO TEXTING WHILE DRAWING!!!! You people with smart phones have it worst than I, I dare you to turn it off for peace and solitude, I dare you. Ha, separation anxiety, lol. You're addicted like me or phone busy (a phonie). If all our words and finger fussing could be put into a picture what would look like? I'm talking about diverting energy here.

 My secret weapon is a wire bound notebook and a ball-point pen. I carry them almost everywhere. I jot ideas down and review them. I even scan them into my PC so that it is easy to review them. WHY? because ideas are fleeting, but if you let them pass the eyes again and again, they become part of your script. You know you write something down forget it and later disregard it because you've moved on in your thinking. Record the idea to keep it still, then review it to nail it down. The mind thus programmed begins to work it out. You may have to put other things on hold while you attend to this idea, but eventually just swishing past ideas is not going to cut it. And I'm talking about doing art not wishing for a fancy car when you are broke. Hmmm, I wonder if........come on lets keep it real.

Having scanned my sketches into my PC also means I can use them directly. All drawing programs that have layer tools will let you put your sketch on a layer to use as a guide as you draw on another layer, like tracing on onion skin. This is cool because often the sketch has the awkward proportions your mind originally captured, that you can't seem to duplicate with applied drawing principles. Actually my methods haven't changed much from my first epiphany. I took a small sketch to work that I scanned into a file at home. I enlarged it in Autocad and plotted it out on the large plotter. My eyes were so big, it took a week to push them back in. Today I try to perfect my line quality and color and texture and such. Especially because in Autocad we dealt with lines, on todays' inkjet printers we approach photographic qualities even with drawings made in paint and vector programs.

Again as I promote Open Source Art programs, it is about the tools and the processes. GIMP, Inkscape, MyPaint, LibreCad, Blender, there are many more, are cross platform collections of FREE tools with similar to commercial software processes. The important thing is to learn the processes to get the work done, then you can obtain what ever tools you want. Neither the free nor the paid for software will do the work for you. In that aspect they are exactly the same. Ha ha and you can never be totally autonomous with folks like your Linuxville guide around aiding and abetting. So after you read this, disconnect and get back to work.

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