If you would look around my room, there’s a few things you would notice. The area with all the DVD’s for example, all the posters, geeky stuff, a book case and obviously all the Lego. Though I do see myself mostly as a practical man, there’s very little someone would call handy. My pocket knife isn’t far away and I just have to open a drawer to get to things like scissors, pens and paper but the view itself is dominated by ‘pretty stuff’. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m somewhat of a collector, and if I haven’t, I’ve told you now. It’s a side of me that’s pretty much directly opposite of what I would call a practical person, but a part nonetheless. Maybe it’s all here to fill a void in my life where other people would fill it with friends and family, or maybe I just like pretty things. A question I won’t discuss because there isn’t an answer to be found, really. At least not one I really care about.
One thing that I don’t have anywhere is art. I guess the posters can count maybe a little in part, but there’s no painting, no drawing, no sketches of any sort apart from the origami that I folded myself. It is rather odd because I do like some kinds of art very much. I’m not one for going to an art museum, there’s but very few art pieces that I like, exceptions out of the top of my head being “Nighthawks”, “Starry Night”, “Relativity” and most things by Salvador Dali. I’m even less interested in sculptures. I appreciate the technical aspects of the things, I couldn’t even start comprehending how talented some famous artist are, but ultimately that doesn’t really matter to me all that much. The question for me is not “what does it mean?”, “what’s the message?”, neither do I really care about the emotions the artists has put in it. It doesn’t matter to me if the artist is drawing an interpretation of his inner demons. It might be an interesting story to hear in its own right, but it doesn’t make me care about the art piece itself. To me, the only thing that matters, how shallow it might be, is “how pretty is it?” It’s why I like parodies of famous paintings. It makes me laugh. I despise the overanalyzing of art (including poetry and even some books), I’d rather take things face value. But yes, I admit, sometimes the stories behind the art can be very interesting as well. But I’d rather have it written down instead of painted or sculpted. So I don’t want modern or classical art, but fanart.
That being said, there’s quite a few artists I do respect and even admire. It’s mostly small scale artists, people you see pop up on the internet once in a while. People who do those 3D-like or hyper realistic drawings. People whose name I usually don’t remember, unfortunately, because they pop up once or twice and retreat back into obscurity just as fast as they appeared. They’re not in it for fame or glory, not even money. They do it because they love doing it and are absolutely fantastic at doing it to boot. Browsing around on DeviantArt will net you a bunch of shoddy, crude and sometimes sexually disturbing content, but there’s a few gems on the site as well, just waiting to be discovered, though personally I let reddit do my searching for me. Besides them, I’m sure there’s plenty of people in the world who draw fantastic things but it never gets to see other eyes than near friends or family. So I’m not really about the big and famous names. Warhol can go drink his can of soup, Whistler’s mother can go… whistle and Mona Lisa should get rid of that stupid grin on her face. Give me the locals and their pretty stuff.
Something being ‘pretty’ is obviously a very subjective thing, so I think I can do best with showing a few examples. When browsing through my list, I noticed that pretty much every single one has to do with geek culture. I think you can guess why. I’m also not going to discuss cartoons or anime which are an art form on their own. Of course I love the style of animation of “Samurai Jack” and that of “Samurai Champloo”, “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “Legend of Korra”, or even “Jessica Jones” sense of artistic identity and yes, I would love to have some posters of that. But it’s… different. Same with games, obviously I love all the artwork of “Okami” and that of “Transistor”, “Banner Saga” and “Skullgirls” for example. There’s plenty of artwork out there based on them (cosplay being another semi-related field), but that’s separate from art straight from their respective sources. I just want to talk about the works of the fans themselves. For example, pupukachoo on DeviantArt made this:
Now, granted, it’s missing the Twelfth Doctor by now, but it’s still something that I would wear on a shirt, without a doubt. Or hang it up in a picture frame. It’s well drawn, it references something I (adequately) enjoy and its owls. I love owls.
There’s definitely also a few styles and techniques out there that I enjoy more than others. I’m partial to these watercolor things, like Ignasei’s Sombra.
Or what about The Durrrrian and his particular style, and subjects. Semi-related, the Twisted Princesses by Jeftoon01. I’m not an artist, so I can’t name all these particular styles all that well, I just can decide for myself that either “yes, I like it” or that it’s “nah, not for me”. There’s three more artists that I will share with you, just because I follow their doings almost religiously. I will just link to their webs so go see for yourself. They always say a picture is worth a thousand words, and if I have to link every drawing that I love, I would soon reach a billion words from just one of these names. They also all have their own Facebook pages in case you prefer that.
Megan Lara, incidentally also an excellent Billie Piper twin and Rose Tyler cosplayer. She’s pretty much your number one name for art nouveau drawings. Subjects are mostly the women of geekdom, including Star Wars, Agent Carter and Firefly, but there’s plenty of other things to discover.
The Relentlessly Cheerful Art by James Hance. I guess I could have just said “James Hance” but I love the full name so much, I couldn’t help myself. I know him best from his Disney material, where he takes characters like Han and Chewbacca and depicts them like Winnie the Pooh and his friends are usually drawn. Rabbit’s entry becomes a Sarlacc Pit, an AT-AT gets turned into Eeyore, Han is Christopher Robin, … Besides that, he does a bit of the more realistic drawings, including Star Wars, but also Doctor Who, Labyrinth and more Doctor Who. He’s a bit more difficult to pin down, as he has different styles for different pieces. But it usually involves some mash-up of two things that I love. His references can also be a little more obscure as I doubt many of you know “The Rocketeer” for example.
But by far my favourite artist on the internet is Karen Hallion. A few months ago, there was a Kickstarter for a card game called “Wizard School”. It was written by Hank Green, which got me just a little interested, but then I noticed that it was miss Hallion who would do all the artwork. So I backed it. Now, the kickstarter was a bit of a mess with delays, but ultimately I got my copy a week or two back, with the first session of actual play coming up this Saturday. That’s how much I love her work. I’m not sure how many times I’ve taken a look at all the cards by now. She usually does Disney Princess-related stuff, with vibrant colours and clear lines. I got to know her first with her series where Disney Princesses suddenly see a blue police box in front of them, with a hand reaching out. Besides the Doctor Who and Princess references, she does plenty of other Disney movie pieces too, including Star Wars. I guess you can call her a feministic artist, as she usually draws the strong female role models of the franchises, but not exclusively either. Most of her prints are available on t-shirts as well, but strangely enough I never bought one yet. I wonder how much that Alice one is…
Be right back.
Oh, and as for a singular favourite piece… I think I’ll have to go with this one from Legend of Korra. I can’t find the original artist, so if you’re reading this, OC, let me know and I’ll give the due credit.
But there’s very little Korra-related things that I’m not an absolute fan of, there are other drawings that I might like even better, but they just don’t have Korra on it.
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