Thursday, August 21, 2008

Clash of the Titans

The Clash of the Titans is a film from the very early 80s about Perseus and his battle against a lot of opposing forces, such as the Kraken (pictured in the DVD cover, above). I remember it quite vividly because of the then cutting-edge special effects and stop-motion animation, particularly the flying horse Pegasus, and the "snake-lady" Medusa. But today my thoughts on clashing titans are different. It's something I've been learning as I've been working (even in a slight capacity) in the art industry.

I realized this a little in college as well, but in the real world it's different, and I've felt this from the last several projects I've worked on, including pieces for different clients/companies. A lot of times someone has a vision--something they would really like to have done, a clear mental image of what they want it to look like, specific instructions. Then, the trouble lies in transference of ideas. I think most people realize that when you commission a piece of work, you trust heavily in the artist to come as close as possible to your vision, and then tweak it a little, but then realize it's going to be a compromise, since things can't look exactly as they do in your head sometimes (even my own drawings have a hard time being transferred directly from mind to hand to paper). This is one reason films have such extensive crew and take so long to produce, especially animated films. It's hard to communicate one person's ideas to another's work. The point is that sometimes you compromise and work things out until it's close enough to how each side envisions it. Another point where the clash comes is when people from different mindframes and backgrounds meet in the middle and try to find middle ground. I've also been working with a lot of techie people, which has been so interesting. They have these ideas for the actual programming of something, but with the artistic assets available and the technical requirements of the project, some of the things just can't be done without serious adjustments to the art that you're given. It can be difficult as an artist to communicate the trouble I'm having so the technicians can see the point of view. I realize techies are artists too, but it's just a different type of art, a different side of the brain as it were. It's been challenging to work with the technical aspects while trying to get them to understand more of the aesthetic side of things, but it has also been rewarding and a real learning experience.

So yes, just some random musings about my work experience as late. Lots of good portfolio builder work, and people skills experience too.


  1. How could you be so stupid as to not be able to take the descriptions people give you, and make them into exactly what they want? Isn't that part of being an artist? How could you ever even CALL yourself an artist. Floating wagons displacing grass at the imaginary wheels is the easiest thing I could ever think of drawing. You sir, are a cotton-headed-ninnymuggins.

  2. Drew, don't listen to that dumb anyonymous. The stuff you have to do seems very challenging. Good thing you ARE such a good artist or no one would ever be able to come close to what they are envisioning. You drew some people from a dream I had once and they were marvelous! And like you said, not exactly what I saw in my mind, but who could ever see that but me? Your work is inspiring and you always to such a wonderful job at being patient with the "clashing" views.

  3. Finally, this blog has been a little dry as of late without some good anonymous comments. The weird thing would be if Drew was actually anonymous, and was performing some sort of social experiment about blogging! (Twilight Zone music playing in the background)

  4. That is hard. It's the same with writing projects. It's never exactly what people expected, but as long as it works, it works. I figure, if I can't draw, I have to deal with what others draw for me. Sure, I've got the ideal picture in my head, but I can't show that picture to someone else. So I have to deal with their interpretation. That's just how it goes.

    I can't even actually understand what anonymous is saying, so I give up.

  5. I think it is time to change your settings to not allow anonymous comments. It is a bit silly that someone is spending their time being such a coward. It does add spice when reading your comments.

    Your work is amazing. We all see life through our own filter, which makes things interesting. Wouldn't things be boring if we all saw things exactly the same way?

  6. Oh anonymous, go sit on a pin!

    And I agree, it is cowardly to post as anonymous, whatever your opinion is. I have considered blocking anonymous comments, but I have come to quite look forward to them for the amusement factor, so I decided not to. Besides, I've been censored more than once and know how much it bites.

    Still, those times I at least had the noob qees to post under my name.