Yesterday I attended a fabulous lecture by Sam Payne from Mother advertising agency. Sam shared with us the process of creating a commercial or an ad. In the end he gave an example on the necessity of killing our creative ideas. After all, it doesn't make sense to stick to an idea that doesn't work. Today I experienced in real life his words.
Since next week is the final presentation to summarize the past month of drawing practice, today our mission is to show the tutors our sketches done in Pitts River Museum a few days ago and our drafts of the final illustration. This morning when I woke up, I had the feeling that my optimism, which had abandoned me for a while, returned. I didn't have many finalized drafts, but I was very certain that the tutors would give me all sorts of advice. After studying for 40 minutes this morning, I left home in a hurry to meet the challenge of the day.
Today only half of the students came in. But the crit on Thursday is extremely important for me because the feedback I get today will last me through the coming three days. I can draw anywhere, and the main reason why I came here is that I want to get feedback and know what others think of my works. After Lu explained the schedule for next Thursday, Jake went on to say, "Would you like to be the wooooo... next week? Last week some people made us wooooo..." Hearing his dramatic expression, I was tempted to give my life for that final illustration...
Today I was in Jake's group. Because light had come back to my life, it occurred to me that I could learn loads of things from him. He is probably the most talkative tutor, but he shares everything including basic drawing techniques. Besides, in trying to explain the word "skull" to a Chinese boy, he drew it rather than using words. He is definitely a very interesting hyper person. However, he's also very honest when seeing a bad drawing.
Elie likes the colored skull on the top.
Jake likes the claws in the drawing above.
I know that my objective life drawing doesn't seem to excite people, but that's not my main concern now. I was doing my best to collect as much information as my eyes could see in the museum. I'll leave quirky life sketches for later.
As I was brainstorming, I focused on the plumes and the tail. I contrasted the hard, steely-looking robot with the soft plumes. However, as usual, my messages were too indirect, full of symbols. The viewer ended up reading the illo different from my original message. As a matter of fact, I had told myself to be straightforward a week ago.
I'll let you guess what I want to say in this image!
I thought of the soft tail as a soft spot in everyone, but many people ignore that part and hurt others ruthlessly. Since the dodo bird is extinct, my classmates said they read in the image the death of the bird by the dark robot.
The brainstorming process was a lot of fun. Next I went on to research how to draw robots, from flat ones to 3-dimensional versions. I told Jake that robots are not my thing, so I can tell my HUGE change. These pencil drawings excited a lot of my group mates. In fact, I was developing my ideas rather freely. So this was what others saw!
I wasn't especially satisfied with this drawing, but Jake liked it. I meant to draw a menacing-looking face, but my classmates found the tender face with eyelashes nice.
Interestingly, as I said how I'd like to improve, for example, I could do a better job with the robot, Jake commented that it is my robot and that it doesn't have to look like anyone's. Instead, I should work on some basic drawing skills to enhance the texture or convey my message directly. He said, "Illustrators are not fine artists. We don't have to draw super well, nor do we leave our drawings for the free interpretation of the viewer. Our job is to communicate, so the image has to say what we want to say, and the viewer can get it right away."
This is the shadow of the robot from the next image, but Jake liked the beautiful accident here.
In the end Jake asked: Where is the dodo bird? I got sidetracked. Thus Jake said that my images are lovely, but I am not hitting the target. Tomorrow I am going to an exhibition on extinct birds recommended by Jake and then I'll rethink about my image.
Well, I might leave the robot for other projects. I am not afraid to kill my baby. After all, I have nothing but overbrimming imagination!