Oh my goodness, I LOVE your Loki sketches. Perfection. :) You're an artist I very much admire and your work is constantly inspiring me to work harder with my own drawing. I have one question. Your style is so unique and developed. Do you have any advice for artists who are struggling with their own styles and way of drawing? I've been drawing since I can remember, but I still struggle a lot with consistency in how I draw. Thank you for being amazing! It would awesome to hear back from you. -Em
Having a style is something you need to research and study and repeat over and over again to get right. A lot of amateur artists and otherwise believe it’s just something that happens if you do art stuff enough, but I couldn’t disagree more. Sure, if you don’t practice or consciously think about your style, something will fall out of your pen and onto the page, but chances are it won’t be nearly as interesting or focused as it could be. Sometimes style can evolve and grow over time with enough repetition, but i find that’s the slow way around.
Every artists’ style is born from what they love that surrounds them everyday, then looking at these things and stealing bits and pieces. What I would recommend is looking at the styles you love and looking at the real life objects / people that you love and adapt the parts of what you love into your work. Practice how they do that one thing (example: I love CLAMP’s work with hair and fabric… i mixed that with Alphonse Mucha and other varying artists from around the world to get where i am now. I’m still finding new inspiration for fabric and hair and i incorporate them when I see it), and do that thing over and over again, with everything, all the time. Learn how they do it, study the forms, re-draw the forms. This is part of learning how to draw what you see and as you learn to draw, style will present itself and you can either take it or leave it. I would hazard to say that you can’t really find your style proper until you’ve found out how you draw. I’m still figuring out how to draw and my style is still following behind my knowledge, always a few steps back from what i’ve just digested.
And then.. just when you’ve got something.. you’ll want to change again. Style is ever changing, even within the same day, so let it and just do your best to learn. Happy mistakes happen so its really not the end of the world if something doesn’t turn out just how you imagined. It will be frustrating as hell though, and that’s when dedication comes into play.
The majority of Tumblr users are really lovely and respectful towards artists, and it’s wonderful to have a digital platform where art is, generally, so highly valued and appreciated.
However, there are a few problems that artists face day-to-day from Tumblr users that I’m going to address! I don’t feel (I don’t think anyone should feel) that artists are entitled to *special* treatment - we’re not! But we do deserve respect and consideration for both ourselves and the work that we do. Addressing and being aware of these issues will hopefully lead to a happier Tumblr experience for everyone! :)
Appropriate an artist’s original work for your fandom.
Why? It’s rude, disrespectful and can be really upsetting for an artist. No one wants the context of their work to be either erased or appropriated into something else! It’s just disappointing for an artist to work really hard on something, giving their work its own context, background, so on, only to have it completely misappropriated. Getting attention for work because it has been subsumed by a fandom and not on its own merits can be incredibly disheartening.
Instead you can … Check back to the source of the image! Keep your personal fandom attributions to personal work to yourself! This post explains more about what is problematic about the culture of misattributing original artwork to fandom work.
Ask an artist for a request when they do not explicitly specify that they are taking requests.
Why? Art takes time, time is money. Artists hardly get time to work on work that makes them money, much less work they want to do for themselves, much less free work they want to do for other people.
There’s also a culture where art is devalued and I feel that assuming an artist would take a request contributes to this culture. Even if you are asking in the nicest way possible, even if you think ‘well, they can just say no!’, even if you think they’d love to do your request because it’s ‘what you draw anyway!’ why is it that people are so comfortable with asking for free art, but not uncomfortable with the fact that you’d hardly ask for anything else for free in this life?
Instead you can … start from the highest common denominator (instead of the lowest!) and enquire about commissions! If you’d really like an artist’s work, ask them how you can obtain said work. Make it clear that you really value artwork and that you’d be willing to give something in exchange for it.
Try to circumvent paying for art with other means.
Why? If an artist is taking commissions, they probably have a damned good reason for requesting payment in return for their goods/services. Don’t ask if they’d accept an art trade from you instead - that’s really arrogant! Don’t ask if they’d do you a request. If you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money, you don’t get the art.
Instead you can … well, there’s really not much you can do - just don’t do that!
Ask artists if they would like to participate in your contest/charity/convention/comic book/other miscellaneous project while not offering any kind of recompense or perks.
Why? It’s kind of the same as asking for a request, except artists feel about ten times shittier when they have to turn you down. If an artist is actively looking for projects to participate in, they’ll let you know, I assure you. But most artists - however much they would like to - do not have the time to devote big chunks of their time to projects where they’re not offered much in the way of recompense other than ‘exposure’! I find it kind of uncomfortable when artists receive requests asking that they ‘donate’ their art to some ‘cause’. It’s a bit like the equivalent of people standing on the street asking for monetary donations to the cause, except on Tumblr it’s a bit more invasive.
Instead you can … if you really want an artist to participate in a project, offer it to them like a job!
Remove artist comments from work when you reblog it
Why?Removing artist comments erases the artist from their work, and contributes to a culture where art exists separate from its creator. Many artists write a caption along with their work that provides context, and without that, their art can be meaningless and open to the wrong kinds of interpretations. Food for thought on this topic!
Instead you can … leave the artist comments alone! If captions on pictures bother you so much, there’s an array of themes that hide the caption when viewing on your own blog. If you want to be really awesome, when you see art reblogged on your dash, follow it back to the source. You will be surprised how many pieces make the rounds on Tumblr devoid of their original caption.
Repost/edit artwork to your blog without sourcing or crediting.
Why? The same issues as removing artist captions, though this is probably more serious! It’s really awful when unsourced, uncredited art makes the rounds on Tumblr because the artist is seeing NONE of that exposure. Again, it contributes to creator invisibility which is really problematic. You may not think it is, but the attitude that artists are so easily disposable and divorced from their work leads to really ugly attitudes in people. A reminder that we MADE our work! With our hands! And our time and effort! We are allowed to think and feel and do whatever we want about our work, so yes, we are allowed to be upset when people tamper with it because WE own it. By this same token, we deserve appreciation and recognition.
Instead you can … reblog artwork from the original artist! If you DO want to post someone’s art to your blog because you don’t think they have a Tumblr but think their work deserves to be shared, ask the artist first. Source the work back to them AND provide a caption and link. If you see uncredited work going around your dash, you can be a superstar and source it back (and maybe let the artist know!)
“The problem with cultural appropriation is that it replaces the original with a copy created by the dominant culture. It dilutes the original, removes all symbolic value from it and replaces it with a ready to consume product devoid of context and meaning. Cultural appropriation, at its most extreme, is a violent form of colonization because it removes the original group behind the culture and reinforces stereotypes about that group (i.e. ALL First Nation folks are reduced to “war bonnets”, whether their culture uses them or not; all Latin@s are reduced to a stylized version of Catholicism regardless of their spirituality; etc.). The mechanism of commodifying a culture ends up being a tool to re-inforce [sic] racism as it reduces the people behind those cultures to a mere cartoon like representation of their realities. It’s a great way to ultimately Other and objectify entire groups of people by taking something that is dynamic and ever evolving and freezing it for a marketing photo opportunity.”—Flavia Dzodan » mycultureisnotatrend. (via tobia)
why i try very hard not to do requests with things like war bonnets or bindis or even like… feathers in hair. just… i don’t care how cool you think it looks? i don’t. you should really go out of your way to understand what you’re representing when you pick up things like these, and ultimately that you ARE representing something, whether you understand it or not.