|An example of finished work from Revenant Cycle #1|
I think one of the things that bothers me the most as an artist is the assumptions that people make about my art. They see one thing and ignore all else. We as artists are the worst about this. We miss the depth often in our need to say "oh I did that already".
I've been fighting a battle this week as I've been producing art in the new Revenant Series. There is a distinct lack of understanding of the art form I am using that I've been forced to create new terminology to try and explain what I am actually doing.
When people (and especially artists) see the final work I am producing they jump to one conclusion only. "Oh Cool Digital Art".
No no no no. What you perceive as digital art was not any photo shopped piece of crap done solely on a computer with a mouse. No offense to the great digital artists out there, but we all must admit there is a lot of crap being made these days also.
So let me give you an idea of the process from a different standpoint than I've written about yet.
What I am creating starts as a concept drawing in the studio. It is an idea and an inspiration that may take from previous pieces of work I've done. There is thought and planning that goes into it which includes consideration for the paints being used, the models being chosen, the lighting, the props and the backgrounds. There is scheduling of both the models and any interns I need to assist.
There may even be the creation of other art to be used also in the process. I've done elaborate backdrops, costumes, etc that are all done artistically to get the effects I am looking for.
That all happens before the art is ever created. Then comes the painting, done in studio the model is transformed into a piece of art. This is no performance art. No one sees it other than those helping. The painting is not done to produce the end product of a body painting. Its far from complete.
After the painting comes the photographing done with special lights and often with something akin to a staged production. Again though, this is not performance. The photographing now takes place. Anywhere from 300-1,000 raw images are taken of the model in varying poses. When done the model is scrubbed down and sent home with a big thanks for their patience.
Now comes the sorting. Every image is looked at carefully and perhaps 10 of those 1,000 images are chosen to take a step further.
Now comes the digital art. Each of those final images is carefully morphed to create something totally new.
After all this work I am happy with even one final piece of art that comes from it. I've had sessions where it all turned out as crap and the process begun again.
Now you'd think the work is done at that stage. The artist has accomplished something that spans several art forms to create something new. But the work is not done.
The portfolio of raw images is set aside but it is not dead. I may bring that portfolio back up a month, a year or a decade later and find something new within it. But more immediately I may spur off other kinds of art. One idea I am fiddling with is creating a set of still cel's, similiar to what they create in animation and done on acetate. I may spur sculptures from the source materials. I may introduce future pieces that interconnect with the original work.
The point is that in Assimilation art you keep morphing into new concepts. And that is where I lose the audience. They can only see one form of art (usually digital) without seeing the complexities of the final work. And thus is my frustration.
So with that said I am going to bed now (at 7am) and sleeping a good solid 12 hours today so I am ready for the task of working with a model tonight. In the meantime, here are some links to things related to this rant. Enjoy!
Revenant Cycle #1 Working Notes
Revenant Cycle #2 Working Notes
Revenant Cycle #1 Finished Work