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Re: artsednet digest: March 03, 2003


From: Alisha Vincent (alishav_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 04 2003 - 06:35:38 PST

I have to de-lurk to agree with Michelle Berlin here. My husband and I are
both successful, working artists who owe a LOT to our art school teachers
(as far back as elementary school even). And to give you a bit more
background my hubby is an animator by day - for a computer game company.
So, needless to say, animation has brought home the bacon for more than a
handful of years. We still visit life drawing sessions every week where he
puts down the "animation style" and picks up realism. (And he is quite
talented at that) BUT, my point? Animation is where he found his love for
art. It was the hook that kept him obsessed with it all those years in

I came to art in a more classical way. I never really considered animation
an "art" until I saw how the animators he worked with came to their final
product. They study movement (stop animation) and the human form more than
many artists I went to art college with!!

My suggestions to instructors wanting to sway students wanting to draw "ALL
ANIME and nothing else"? Take them on a tour of a local animation studio
(comic books, gaming, movies, etc - they are all across the US). OR call
and have several of their employees come in to talk to the class. Ask the
animators to bring in examples of their personal art work. AND/OR ask them
to bring in examples of their realistic human studies to set next to the
final animated/cartooned versions.

Sometimes the quickest way to steer a kid away from tunnel visioning things
is to embrace what they are looking at and then show them you are on their
level. You can't expect children to take instruction as anything more than
"typical adult over reaction" if you aren't even willing to take their art
form seriously. They know Japanese Anime and cartoon is a valid,
progressive art form... isn't it about time you learned a little from them
for a change??


PS... Also there was a comment from a graphic design teacher acting as a
"client" and assigning something with the stipulation of NO ANIME.... well
if it WERE the real world he wouldn't be hired. He wouldn't get the job.
But then again if he were an adult living the lifestyle he currently has we
would all consider him a trust fund adult - right? No need for
accountability. So fine you aren't going to teach him what 'accountability'
or 'work ethic' is. And he fails that assignment. But perhaps you should
go to the library and pull one of any dozens of animation books that show
him first hand how animators use realism as well. Or better yet pull books
on Muybridge (all classics) and one called "Species Design" by H.R. Giger.
THOSE will get his attention!!!

> . This comic style is a crutch that most young artists cannot throw
> away. Yes, the Old Masters copied other artist's work....but I do not
> think that we should condone this copying activity. In history, the
> young artists copied the great artists who copied from nature. These
> young artists are copying art that has been copied from art that has
> been copied from art. Some of my students have successfully built on
> their lessons from this figure drawing practice, but most will be
> drawing these figures when they are 40! And the eyes will always
> relate to the Manga genre and the ears will always be pointed....
> Just my biased opinion, but this thread struck a nerve.
> Marcia H in IL