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Sent on: Jan 23, 2022

The Newsletter: Issue #15

Real artists don't starve, ironing out the details and stylised sculpting in blender

Hey hey!

Here's the latest from this weeks learnings and my top resources, thoughts, 'aha moments' and announcements directly from my brain to yours.

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- What I've been reading this week

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Art related

ā€‹Real artists don't starveā€‹

The title intrigued me.

And checking out this book, I was pleasantly surprised!

A couple of insights...

Putting your work out there...

  • Put your work out there before you're ready
  • Practise in public
  • Think of it as practise, it doesn't have to be perfect

Stop trying to be original

  • Creativity comes from the collection of others ideas, mashed up with our own
  • Be choosy with who you reference, make sure they're high quality ideas
  • Study the greats, understand how they work & don't just copy. Riff off of their ideas and mix them with your own experience/influences

Don't work for free

  • Exposure don't pay the bills yo!
  • Always work for something, don't undervalue your work.
  • Money is a necessary means to building and creating your artistic vision
  • Develop a business/entrepreneurial mindset
  • Your work is worth something

Diversify your portfolio

  • Be willing to go outside your comfort zone
  • Make a habit of tackling new skill sets

Use money as a means to make more art.

I've not finished it yet, but an interesting/motivating read for sure!

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- Videos / Resources

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ā€‹Stylisation notes and thoughts from FORCE drawings - Michael Mattesi ā€‹
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A great live stream on different stylisations of the face and thoughts on stylisation/simplification in general

Notes from this episode

  • Stylisation is 'Editing'
  • Start with more, so you can edit down to less
  • It helps to understand reality first
  • ā€‹Charles Dana Gibson -> Great old master illustrator to reference how he did faces
  • ā€‹J.C. Leyendecker is a great example of stylisation but still being based in reality
  • 'Iron out the bumps'
  • Average down to the essence of what something is
  • ā€‹Glen Keane (master Disney animator) used J.C. Leyendeckers stylisation as inspiration for Pocahontas.
  • He talked about 'ironing out the details' or putting it in a 'rock tumbler' when it came to stylisation

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ā€‹Blender Tutorials for sculpting stylised facesā€‹

A fantastic intro to sculpting stylised faces in Blender by one of the bigger blender channels out there Grant Abbitt
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I'm looking to get back into sculpting with blender, and this is one that I wish had come out when I first started playing with blender at the beginning of the ol pandy.

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ā€‹Video of Norman Rockwells Processā€‹

Norman Rockwell is one of my all time favourite illustrators, and was mentored by one of my other favourite illustrators J.C. Leyendecker.

This video gives you a brief outline of his process in his own words.
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What surprised me when I first heard about his process, was how heavily he used photos for reference, there's even a book Norman Rockwell : Behind The Camera that shows you his illustrations and photo reference side by side.
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But you'll notice that in his illustrations, it's not a one to one copy of the reference, there's a slight bit of stylisation and design vs the original photo that I absolutely love!

If you haven't already, add Norman Rockwell & J.C. Leyendecker to your list of artists to study, you wont be disappointed!

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- Study Experiments

Studying from sculptures

As I've been playing more and more with the idea of getting stuck into some blender sculpting, I've been wanting to start doing some painting studies of sculptures as well.

Ive started to amass a nice little Pinterest collection of sculpts that Inspire me (both digital and traditional) -> https://www.pinterest.com.au/benjamineblen/sculpture/ā€‹

The great thing about sculpture, is that they're often times one material, which gives me room to just focus on the values, edges and shape.

You'll see artists like Bobby Chiu and Sam Neilson sometimes start out their illustrations where it looks like a single material sculpture before getting stuck into differentiating materials.

Something I'm going to do a lot more of, and I highly recommend giving it a go!

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That's all for this week, hope you've all been well and I'll see you in the next one!
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As always, stay consistent, use reference, have fun with it and remember; it's only pixels baybee!

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Cheers,

Ben

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