November 2008
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Day November 19, 2008

Stupid Robots!

I think this kid goes by the name “Duck”. He likes to work on archaic mechanical things… like power cores, mercuric condenser circuits, and tech-chipper artifacts from the age of the Orange King.

Calliope’s Book : Stop + Rest Sketch Refined

Moving closer to completion on this poster. I drastically simplified the center of the image over what was shown in the original. Simplification goes well with resting, no? I also redrew most of the line work to bring it up to spec.

Thomas Kinkade on Making Stuff Suck

This is terrifying… yet lucrative! According to a memo captured by agents of Vanity Fair, it seems Thomas Kinkade and I share similar ideas with respect to capturing the interest of viewers. Let us examine this awful coincidence more closely!

11) Hidden spaces. My paintings always feature trails that dissolve into mysterious areas, patches of light that lead the eye around corners, pathways, open gates, etc. The more we can feature these devices to lead the eye into mysterious spaces, the better.

Here, Mr. Kinkade clumsily alludes to a technique employed by artists since art began: create a setting, but leave room for the viewer’s imagination. In opening avenues leading to unknown and unseen places, the artist encourages viewers to imagine what might be around that corner, down that pathway, or through that open gate in the presented context.

12) Surprise details. Suggest a few “inside references” that are unique to this production. Small details that I can mention in interviews that stimulate second or third viewings — for example, a “teddy bear mascot” for the movie that appears occasionally in shots. This is a fun process to pursue, and most movies I’m aware of normally have hidden “inside references”. In the realm of fine art we refer to this as “second reading, third reading, etc.” A still image attracts the viewer with an overall impact, then reveals smaller details upon further study.

Is Mr. Kinkade speaking of parasignals? I’ve never run across the terminology he employs (“second reading, third reading, etc.”) but I don’t read a lot of art criticism. In any case, parasignals are intended to appeal to the viewer’s innate curiosity about the messages conveyed in a given work of art. I would argue this technique is only effective if viewers are attracted to the surface message or aesthetic appearance of the work. Someone who despises the visual appearance of your work is disinclined to decode parasignals included within it.

There’s surely more to discuss from this memo, but I’ll leave it there for now. Thanks to Kottke.org for highlighting the article.