Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stylization in Art and Illustration

Currently I'm designing characters and backgrounds for an animated short. While coming up with the look and designs, I asked myself what style I wanted this short be. I thought about other animation and cartoons I enjoyed and considered each one for a direction to go in. Looking over animation how to books I got to thinking about style and stylization.

I tend to enjoy an artist's work during the formative years while he's developing his stye and less once he has an established style (with a few exceptions like Frank Miller and Jack Kirby). I thought about a friend of mine who I love his brilliant pencil sketches, but can't really stand his stylized figures. I realized the reason I like the earlier works is there is less stylization and less reliance on conventions. The thought came to me that stylization is like seasoning: a little bit enhances the flavor of the main course, but too much and all you taste is the seasoning until it burns your tongue.

Looking over my own work that I've posted, I've noticed some of my works are more stylized than others. I really like the heavily stylized work, but others seem to respond much better to the less stylized works. This raises a question of which route should I go? The answer depends on another question: why do I create art, to please myself or to please others? Therein lies the problem, because I want to please both. But you can't please all of the people all of the time. So I do some works for me, and I do some works for others. Is splitting my portfolio a good strategy long term? We'll see.

The drawing above is a digital illustration created in Corel Painter 12 colored like Bat-Manga comics, which I just love. I really want my new series of eDigests to use this style, but I'm not sure if others would respond to it like I do.

Let me know what you think!

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