Monday, August 3, 2009

Art Post: Pen Sketchbook (Music-Inspired)

The following are sketches from my Pen Sketchbook Project, my ongoing series of personal drawings of weird things from my head, drawn just for myself, in little bits of free time. There is also a lot of personal blabber about my creation process which you are free to skip, don't worry.

This ended up being long so I split it into two entries. This first group has images inspired directly by a certain song or songs; they're what ~I~ imagined, not meant to be a direct illustration of the lyrics. You probably have your own idea about the songs, different from mine! And that's cool, too.

About the Project: Again, like all my Pen Sketchbook scribbles, they're really just glimpses of what I draw for myself, when inspired by a song or words or a feeling; they're not meant to be finished pieces (hence the pupil-less eyes on many of them), and many of them aren't meant to be any particular type of animal at all. When I draw them I'm letting the art go where it wants to; I'm not thinking about what other people will think, or worrying that everything's perfect, and so on.

Why are the drawings like that? Hm. Some people might look at, for example, this "face the rain" piece and say, "that doesn't look like a real lion!" — and they'd be right! But here's the thing: it's not meant to. That's the whole point of my Pen Sketchbook pieces: they're purely for myself, drawn to express certain things and/or for my own enjoyment, and though they may seem sort of like real creatures, they draw very deeply from my own personal mythology and symbolism. If someone asked me to draw a realistic lion for a project or commission, I would do my best, but my Pen Sketchbook pieces are just for *me*. There are a million artists out there who can draw more realistic lions than I could even if I tried, but that's not the point of my ~personal~ art, to draw things realistically. I LOVE very realistic art and I admire artists who can do it, but that's not the path I follow with my personal art; my own mythology pulls me too strongly.

Besides, I enjoy not knowing where the image will take me. It's a... high? - to just keep drawing along with the inspiration, not knowing where it'll end up. To me, that is the essence of *my* art (YMMV!): drawing directly from inspiration and personal symbolism. My artwork for projects and commissions is very carefully researched and planned, so my Pen Sketchbook stuff is a change from that. And yeah, it's fun to not be neat sometimes. Scribbling in pen is very tactile-y-pleasing. :) Plus, if I don't get my personal-art fix every once in a while I get frustrated and crabby.

Man, it's really had to put my process into words. :/ Thanks for coming along for the ride! I would love to hear about how YOU create (art, stories, music, crafts, anything!), if you ever want to discuss it, too. That's one of my favorite things to discuss.



First: Inspired by R.E.M.'s Hyena (NOTE: Video Link; I like the album version even more). I saw the hyena as a sort of ancient spirit/symbol: "Night time fell at the opening / In the final act of the beginning of time / Hyena, take your role, the stage is set..." The heavy, powerful teeth are what was in my head when I drew it more than anything; I was more interested in the feel of the teeth and snarly mouth and glimpse of expression than in drawing a real hyena.

Second: This is one I had in my head a long time, in various forms, and was inspired by Pearl Jam's Immortality — not the lyrics so much as the melody and the title itself. You may notice it has a little bit of the same symbolism as my 1993 Arak: Absolution piece. The claws are that shape on purpose. Is it a statue or not? Hm. Well sort of.

Third: Rammstein's Du Hast. This song was all teeth and hissing and snarly demon dogs.

Fourth: Alice in Chain's I Stay Away. This changed from the original image in my head, which was much more human-looking, of a guy furling his wings closed and pulling himself up and away. Maybe sometime I will draw that version, too.

Fifth: The Cure's Lullaby. Cure fans (and I am a HUGE fan!) will recognize the inspiration for this. ;) "On candy stripe legs, the spiderman comes / Softly through the shadow of the evening sun..." I love the actual video for it, too (love love love it, yay, creepy).

Sixth: Nine Inch Nail's Sunspots. He is somewhat like my 1990's Syn'Asp, and has six fingers like she does. Bonus points if you guess what "inspired" his face! Also, my FAVORITE video of this song, featuring images of the Mars Rover, is here. I also listened to U2's Magnificent when doing this, though I imagine a golden angel guy for that song as well.

Seventh: Erasure's Breath of Life, especially the lines: "Now I'm coming up for air" and "I never had to call the tune / 'Cause I always drifted with the tide of the moon (Ah la luna, my love, my love, my love)" Another water-spirit like (but not exactly the same as) Aqua'Demia. Her arms and fingers are extra-long on purpose.

Thanks, as always, for looking! :)

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