Monday, November 18, 2013

Feast or Famine - and a review of Suzi Blu's Mixed Media Girls.

There's a trick some people who do creative commercial work AND creative personal work figure out.  This trick allows them to do both at the same time, in a fluid integrated way.

I've yet to figure out what this trick is. :(

Anyhow, some new personal work, finally.  Sort of personal not-so-personal.

The first one I did

You can tell I'm completely uncomfortable with intentionally non-proportionate bodies! Life drawing FTW.

SO cute! The formula has a point....

A bit more "My own" - face is integrated into painting, eyes are less Bill Keane, and she's awfully tired looking.

Yes, I've been playing with the Suzi Blu girls, like the rest of the internet, and so these are derivative and NOT for sale and all that.  I have no idea why I felt drawn to doing these - go ahead. It's all there to criticize, everything about the Mixed Media art scene and look, and yet, I felt like doing it. Maybe it's a "get it out of my system" but more like a "get it into my system."

I have to say, even for an old dog like I am, there are some really nice new tricks in her courses, and I like the book! I like the book quite a lot! It's not about creative fluff, it's some boilerplate ideas for making things look a certain way.  If you can't stand the idea of having to come up with an idea, it will get you working anyway.

 It also gave me some new technical ideas (beeswax, always hated prismacolors till


Said book

 A lot of people come after Suzi for coming after people who use THE TEMPLATE without altering it. One can get into an argument about the origins of the big eyed girl, whether Suzi is wrong in protecting secret sauce that's not hers to start with and blah, but mainly, I got the book to get out of a rut. It's good for that.

A lot of others complain that you're encouraged to just make someone else's art. Well, this is kind of the point. It's about running something through your own filters enough times so that your own filters start to change it.  This is a subconscious process - you're not going to get that done in time for the next craft show.

It's geared toward non-artists, but instead of pep talks, you've given some actual time making a structured project, not just "feeling" paint at the canvas, as with some of the books I can't stand.

A lot of mixed media books lately are really REALLY content poor and they're just outlets to showcase the artist's work. Some people feel that way about this book, but seriously, have you SEEN some of the others on market? (There's nothing "workshop" whatsoever about Creative Illustration Workshop)  I'm very frustrated with this trend, and I always get annoyed when these books get a huge fanbase.  There's so little technical or useful information in some of them beyond "be brave enough to make a mess!"

Well, some of us don't have the Martha Stewart home with no paint on our pink and white gingham universe or a rigidly neat upbringing to overcome. Making a mess isn't the issue, it's a question of having no idea what mess to make on a given day.

Overall: Book, good, art, OK, making art again? GRAND.

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