A Question about Originality

I’m enjoying doing these pieces. I believe they’re getting more and more refined as I do them, and rightly so; practice makes perfect, and all that. The majority of the illustration is a replication of an existing photograph, albeit my take on said photo. Because I’ve essentially copied a photo and just added some bits of my own, the question arises, “is true artistic originality possible?”

A site called Deviant Art did an interview with an artist a couple of years ago in which the illustrator claimed their art was original and not inspired or influenced by anything or anyone. I found this answer odd, because the artist used ink and watercolours to paint popular landmarks – surely then, they were inspired in some way by the landmarks themselves? Also, without some outside influence or inspiration, how was the choice of ink and watercolours made? As someone who has been making art for a while now, I know how vital the work of others (be that film, music, paintings, etc…) and the reference I use has been to my growth.

At the time of reading the interview I felt angry that someone would claim they were entirely original and uninspired in anyway, but as I processed what this person said, I came to two conclusions; one – they were wrong and the very work they had produced was a contradiction to their statement; two – true originality is a myth. That’s not to say something can’t be original in terms of being unique, but to create something that hasn’t been inspired or influenced in some way is impossible.

Anyway, thanks for reading my opinion on that. I was just going to talk about my process again, but I thought this might be a little more interesting. And as always, I hope you enjoy the work I’ve made. Cheers.

A fresh coat

This one took about three hours. It’s not super complex and it’s actually more of a study than a conceptual piece, but just doing a study of photo reference felt a little boring, so I added the painter/decorator to make it a little more interesting. When drawing from reference I often forget that i’m allowed to use artistic licence and make things my own, which is the case with the mountains. I originally just copied the reference, but the realistic jagged shapes didn’t sit right, hence the change to smooth curves which fit more with the foreground shapes. I particularly like the rocks in the foreground – no, not in a weird rock-fetish kind of way, you pervert! Can’t a guy just have a healthy appreciation for some rocks?! Jesus… anyway, enjoy!

Booking heaven!

This was going to be a quick piece – a bit of drawing from life, but then I got carried away. As with every illustration I do, I get to a certain point (usually when all the flat colours are applied) and I think “I hate this stupid picture and myself! Why do I even do this?! Aggggghhh!” Then I unfold myself from my desk, stretch, and contemplate jumping out of a window. Luckily I’m not a complete moron, so I just go for a walk instead. This one took a long time. Not because the lighting is complex, but because there are so many bloody books that had to be individually detailed – which is my own fault, so maybe I am a moron. My computer is old and slow as well, so I had a couple of instances where Photoshop refused do anything, then promptly died, losing me about an hours worth of work, which is not at all causing me to lose hair. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this as much as it was inconvenient to draw. Cheers.

The Book Man

This is a two hour study of a photograph I found Pinterest. I find that I don’t really do that many studies, which is stupid really, because drawing from real life is so informative. I’ve taken some artistic liberties with the scale, as well as few adjustments here and there. I like the composition in this piece and the way the eye is drawn to the man reading the book. The reason your eye is drawn here is because the shape of the man is so different from the geometric and angular shapes of the books and doorway, so it interrupts the pattern. Anyway, I need to get on with colouring it. Enjoy!