I promised more from the SCBWI Art Intensive last Friday after Shaun Tan’s opening talk on personal style (see last blog) . Barbara McClintock and lovely samples of her work followed. Brave and capable woman! Interestingly she too mentioned how she taught herself to draw and paint with a ‘personal statement’ by copying the Masters….just as Shaun (and most colleges courses in art) had advised. It might be a great discipline to return to often in an artistic career. I loved that she began learning to draw by drawing her beloved cats and cat characters over and over…. do what you love!
Floyd Cooper was very generous in sharing his working ‘secrets’. He actually (right there with one hand, from the side) erased on an oil stained, fixed, ‘cold press’ illustration board to show us how his ‘elimination process’ produces the basic tones, structure and wonderful details of the early paintings. Fascinating to watch. Light source is vital to this process. Love his statement that even using the same methods, each artist’s work will be very different due to personal style. There again - we can’t help ourselves!
David Ezra Stein attacked the dreaded ARTIST BLOCK subject…. oh my! He had many tips but some that stayed with me follow. We need to give ourselves TIME for the inner artist to win over the inner critic. (!) He cited THE ARTISTS WAY book as a wonderful source for tips. (Classic). Put your ‘block’ in the form of a question and then let go of its control. Answers come often when we are not looking for them! Good idea to try working when you are sleepy…that dreamy state can bring up new creativity. Doodle often as it’s a type of ‘mulling.’ (again, ideas coming when we aren’t thinking about them head on.) I particularly like his tip to think of a ‘block’ as a ‘pause.’ YES!
Unfortunately, I missed The Brothers Hilts talk as my panel was prepping for our time. (I’ll share more from that later perhaps) But I hear they were very interesting and hopefully you can catch some of it from other posts (do they have a blog?) I missed Mark Teague’s talk on’ Career Maintenance’ as I was busy looking at 207 portfolios. (wonderful work and presentations by the way you all!) I would SO have liked to hear his thoughts on that subject. As an agent that is what I strive to help my artists achieve…and it IS a big challenge in a changing world. I must see if he’s written on this subject elsewhere!
So much sharing and inspiration for the artistic mind and soul! That’s what we came for, and these giving talents certainly can deliver! deep thanks to you all!