Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Intro to Gadgetry with Mr. Smith

So, it wasn't easy getting a strip done this week.  There's been a war going on over here, fought on three fronts; I , on one side, my computer on another, and my ego on the last front, who allied itself at the last minute in a surprise move with  my lack of flesh tone colored pencils.

Let me explain.  I've been fighting digital art for a long time.  I have strong opinions against it, and I often find myself arguing with fellow artists, and "artists," over the validity of digital art.  As you may have noticed, the comic is all digital.  I do this because I save time in the coloring process, but I don't necessarily like it.
I draw the strip in Adobe Illustrator.  I still draw every line, even though I draw it on a graphics tablet instead of on paper with a pencil.  I don't feel one can argue this doesn't take at least some talent to do.  What I have a big problem with is people who just trace something and auto-fill color, or worse, in Photoshop actually just take an image, adjust color levels, apply a snazzy filter, and put it out there as "art."  You're not an artist, you're a manipulator.  You're a technician.

The argument has been made to me that, yes, people can do some impressive things in programs like Photoshop without having an ounce of talent, but artists who use Photoshop can blow those people away.  To that I say, yes, that is true, but to a general audience, they can't tell the difference between someone who creates something amazing and someone who fakes it.  

I feel that digital art is sucking the very soul out of art culture, and is taking respect and admiration away from artists. If fifteen years ago, an employer told an artist to "make me a fully-rendered illustration of whatever, and I want it in four hours," the artist could have laughed at him.  Nowadays, they'd be expected to give them just that, with additional images in a range of various colors and perspectives in multiple file-types, because if they didn't there'd be a slew of artists and "artists" just waiting to take that person's position, all for an insultingly-low wage.

By the way, I do realize that I'm no fine artist.  I'm a cartoonist, and that perhaps makes this more infuriating.

But anyway.  So I finally ended up downloading the trial version of Illustrator off the Adobe website, only to come to realize that my grand scheme of drawing the entire strip by hand and then converting it into vector art in Illustrator was going to be incredibly time-consuming.  In a fit of rage, I decided the night before last just to give a big middle finger to digital art and start doing this stuff on paper and in colored pencil, because I like colored pencils.  
Then I realized I was out of flesh-tone colored pencils.

So, after much muttering and cursing under my breath, I accepted defeat and drew the strip in Illustrator, and I have to say... I like the way it looks.  


Click to Enlargificate.