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Art and “That’s it?”

Weekend before last, I was informed that I was watching a genius create three masterpieces, LIVE!

As I watched the artist…perform, doing his best Criss Angel impersonation while throwing paint at a pre-printed canvas to techno music mixes, I gave some thought to some of the people in the audience, and supposed that the person who wrote this artist’s introduction and I had very different dictionaries.

Alice Davis was in that crowd.  Larry Nikolai was there.  Heck, Noah was there.  I totally get “American Pie” now.  Completely.  And I’m dead sober.  To compare Marc Davis’ Cruella to this…without even the slightest mention of Cruella’s creator – it just seemed wrong.

Now, I am not one of those Disney “fans” who lives to complain about how awful Disney is and how it was so much better when they were a child and mommy and daddy were together.  The Motor Boat Cruise was actually not very interesting, the costumed characters looked like something out of a nightmare, and they played top 40 music on Main Street, U.S.A.  There was good and bad then, there’s good and bad now.  Also, there’s personal preference.  I love SpectroMagic and consider a viewing of the Main Street Electrical Parade tantamount to psychological torture.  I liked The World According to Goofy better than The Lion King Celebration.  My husband thinks the corn dogs on Main Street are just so-so.

Nobody I know doesn’t like Trader Sam’s.  There IS a reasonable limit, you know.

I learned a long time ago from John Krikfalusi’s blog, forgot, and relearned, that even the most stylistic artists – the good ones – first learn how to draw, how to look at things, how humans, animals and other things move, all of the nuts and bolts first, then they go on to find their style.  There are people out there who can look at a childlike work of art and they can see by the staging, scale and use of color and light whether or not this person went to school to learn how to draw.

So the next time I look at a stylized piece of art and think “I could do that”, I’ll be sure to add: “…after years of study and hard work”.

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Lemonade for Heroic Creators

The HERO Initiative raises money to help support the people that made comics in the past during their “golden age”.  It provides, according to their website, a “safety net” for medical and other expenses, and helps find them work.

An artist (I use the term loosely) had been making the rounds at conventions selling tracings and copies of other artists’ work as his own.  When this was discovered a year or so ago, there was a huge ruckus and much justified anger directed at the artist.

Most of the victimized artists decided that the best way to make this person go away would be to expose him, and then never write about him, the better for his name to fade into obscurity.

A fan gave artist Ty Templeton a hockey jersey he’d purchased from the plagiarizer, with the purpose of taking out his ire on the object.  Instead, Templeton decided to use his powers for good – rather, to take the lemony situation with the plagiarism and make lemonade.  He passed around the jersey to some artist friends, who drew pictures on it, and then, for good measure, signed each other’s work , which addresses the original problem in a humorous and constructive way.

From Ty Templeton’s blog:

Scarlet Witch by Khoi Pham (signed by Chris Sprouse)
Hulk by Ethan van Sciver (signed by Khoi Pham)
Wonder Woman by Agnes Garbowska (signed by Leonard Kirk)
Evil Ernie by Dale Keown (signed by Richard Pace)
Spider-Man by Ty Templeton (signed by Agnes Garbowska
Sandman by Richard Pace (signed by Ty Templeton)
Gorilla-Man by Leonard Kirk (signed by Ethan van Sciver)
Tom Strong by Chris Sprouse (signed by Dale Keown)
…and a hearty “Sit the @#?!!@ down!” by Ethan van Sciver (this one properly attributed!)

Here’s a link to the auction itself – and there are others that benefit The Hero Initiative.

Way to take lemons and make lemonade.