For today’s class we’ve been looking at artists and how they choose to represent themselves in their work before doing a mini evaluation of their style. This will eventually lead and help us into the creation of our own characters and drawing skills while (hopefully) being able to use the muscle and skull teachings from last week to enhance our creative thoughts.
We’ve got a choice from four models to research this week and I’ve chosen Alex Pardee and Elisa Sassi from the list below;
- Alex Pardee
- Dave Mkean
- Elif Varol Ergen
- Elisa Sassi
And we also have to answer five questions based on out choices;
- What is the function of the work (so whats it set out to be/do?)
- What do I like/dislike?
- Why did the artist choose to do…? (Pick something I’ve discussed above)
- Based on what I know, how was it made?
- Can I design an alternative, something I can use in my own work?
Starting with Alex Paradee.
I found Alex’s work to be a very satirical take on the modern world often with some disturbing undertones. The top two pictures sum my thoughts up straight away. The top left picture being a child with a balloon; kids love balloons and to them its something simple and fun providing lots of entertainment. They’ll play for hours with them. To an adult, there’s also the dangers of them which obviously children don’t see.
His picture straight away draws your eyes to the happy green balloon while your brain fills in the rest by noticing the child’s happy face through those big eyes. What’s not immediately obvious is the child is hanging by the cord of the balloon, and its this dark side of the picture which is hidden within the initial happiness of it.
Then there’s the image of The Punisher. To anyone who’s read the comics or who knows of him, he’s a violent vigilante who began his ‘career’ of being The Punisher by avenging the death of his family. In Alex’s interpretation of him, it looks as if he’s tried to hide the dark side of him by masking him with a few bright colours and semi disguising him with a figure of humour; the red noses and a water gun are there to try and make him appeal less threatening. There’s also a fairly well known saying about rainbows from the pink poodle that I wont mention here which I think further strengthens my interpretation of the artwork.
I do like both of these pieces of work as I’ve said, they mix light and darkness in a very complimentary way with plenty of satire and humour about the real and comic worlds. Looking on his website there’s a lot more work of all styles following this theme – from Star Trek to Garfield, it seems like nothing is safe! I like his art style and the hand drawn, almost comical effect to them. I like the use of full colours too, and by that I mean they they’re not various mixtures of shades – they’re all the same colour. The only exception to this is using one darker green for shade or a lighter green for light for example.
Looking at the pictures I’d say (my interpretation and educated guess) I’d say the images were made in a program such as Animate or Photoshop after they’d been hand drawn. The style of both pictures, but mainly the balloon one, resembles a care free attitude and has a more hand drawn feel to it but the straight, smooth edges on every line scream the work of a computer program.
Can I design an alternative to this? I’d like to think I could. We’ll see how my drawings progress over the coming weeks/months.
Next is Elisa Sassy.
Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love pixel art. Its a weakness and quite often its the reason I’ll make impulse buys on Steam – I’m a sucker for it.
The above image really speaks out in the way that in today’s world, technology is at the centre of pretty much everything, and at the centre of that technology resides the mobile phone. Its probably the most popular piece of kit around and the one that most of the world owns. To a lot of people its the centre of their lives (and that in itself is a sad thing), that life revolves around it. This piece of technology goes anywhere and everywhere, its a multitude of different things while being portable and compact.
To me, this is what this image is about. This is what I see when I look at it. A mobile phone sitting right in the centre of life. People using it in the park, people using it at work, entire businesses being dependant on it; whether playing games, surfing the internet or actually using it for phone calls, its central to modern day life. Its this giant thing that’s barged its way into the modern era. Its unavoidable. Its there. It has many, many different forms and uses and its not going away.
That’s what I think is the function of the piece and also why I like it (not just the pixel art although that does help).
Then there’s some of the other work that Elisa has done;
I get it that she likes rabbits or weird white alien things but I think they’re rabbits. But I also like the playfulness of them in her work. Again they’re satire from popular culture; Pokémon, Star Trek and South Park to name the few above and the almost child like playfulness of the bubblegum machine picture. They’re also simple and not complicated to look at, using plain, often bright colours. And also drawings that make you smile, not like some of the other more weird artists out there who I’ve had to look at today that’s made my stomach churn!
So, I think these have been made entirely in a computer. Maybe having some pen and paper sketches to get the idea down, but mainly inside a program again like Animate or Photoshop. The pixel art scene definitely. That screams computer work at the top of its voice – incidentally I’d love to know how she done that.
The rabbits too. They’re done in a PC but drawn with either a touch pen or mouse with no correction on the lines. The shaky line edges give that away.
Can I design my own alternative? Of the rabbits, its more than likely. Of the pixel art? Probably not but I’d love to someday.