Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fantasy Art = Future?

Hey guys,

If you'll let me I'd like to abuse this blog for a moment and open up a topic for discussion. One that I think has extra relevance here in this little fuk/shit community we are building. It started when a buddy of mine and I were trolling and found this video.....

This one time... from nelson boles on Vimeo.

Then we got to talking about fantasy art, and how we were sick of seeing 'Star Wars' and 'Lord of The Rings' rip offs over and over and over again. IS THERE NO OTHER WAY TO INTERPRET A UNIVERSE THAT IS FANTASTIC. I feel like there is an accepted and regular way to draw a 'dragon' or an 'orc' bothers me. What really impressed us about the video was that it felt more foreign and alien than any art with an official fantasy label attached to it. I believe that the subtly of the absurd really makes the world of "this one time..." more real and believable....AND MORE FANTASTIC. I don't need to see all the glowly rim lights and friggin' armor plates to know I'm looking into a different world. (although I myself am guilty of using them)

The other point that I want to bring up, is that I think this kind of art is the direction fantasy art is going, and is already occurring in many places. I would site examples like Miyazaki, and House of Cool, Gobelins animation....and even you guys. I think that what is happening there is intriguing and fresh. So keep it up!!!

Does that make sense to anyone else? I'd love to hear if anybody has thoughts on this subject?

thanks for your time :)

-Tamte Volkertron


Sam Bosma said...

I was flipping through a couple copies of Spectrum yesterday and thought this same exact thing. The issues were 10 and 15, and though they are from several years apart, the subject matter was basically the same. Lots of armor plates, lots of cheesecake fantasy pinups, lots of technical drawing ability without much thought behind it.

It's an issue that pops up again and again. There are a lot of fantasy artists who won't divorce themselves from the previous depictions of the genre that they love. It's like copying a copy. We all know Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, whatever, are cool looking. Let's see something else. There aren't enough "fantasy artists" who are concerned with world-building at a fundamental level.

The fact that I can look through issues of Spectrum five, ten, fifteen years apart and see MUCH of the same thing is dismaying.

Kali said...

I definitely agree. I was actually with Sam when we were looking through the Spectrums and having this exact same conversation. I was amazed at some of the stuff that was being represented as the best fantasy art of that year, which, as Sam said, just ended up looking the same as every other year's. I was especially struck by the emphasis on technical ability and detail, often to the detriment of everything else in the pieces. This isn't to say that technical ability and detail is a bad's certainly not, but in the cases of some of these pieces, that's all they had! Do we really need to praise a highly rendered, straightforward painting of a naked angel with a fairy friend as one of the best fantasy pieces of the year?

When I think about it, most of the pieces I had a problem with lacked the original thinking/intrigue you're referring to, Tamte. Here's hoping for more of that in the future of the genre.

Sam Bosma said...

Kali and I make it sound a little like it's JUST Spectrum propagating this stuff -- it's not. We both love Spectrum as a publication, but because it is an annual compendium of fantasy art it's just a good way to point out what's wrong with the genre.

EL Gato Negro said...

To change that industry its gonna take some ol experimenting and self admitting that one continues to cook with the same old oil. that may be a while until that happens but I'm hopeful that it will as Adam stated gobelins', they keep it simple and fantastic Im going to post the LAtest from the schools animation projects!

EL Gato Negro said...

oh an this short film is lovely BTW

Niki López said...

I have to agree. It's like a comfort-zone situation. It's gonna take time before the majority can truly appreciate what's becoming groundbreaking, enchanting, surreal, and unheard of.

speaking of surreal, has anyone checked out an animation short by Tatsuo Sato called "Cat Soup"??

Beautifully weird!! Check it out sometime:

Tyler said...

trends are usually easy to replicate i guess. and its hard to knock the - customer - out of a trend theyre happy with. i'm sure the artists behind said pictures you gave as an example are plenty capable of creating imaginative worlds etc etc ( they did, after all, envision those worlds to begin with )

a lot of fantasy art i see is more business than anything imo, im not taken to the artists mind through the images, im not seeing the story behind that fantasy. yea its neat that you took the time to render out the textural cracks on your shoulder pads and oh, props on the ink splatter you used for a hearty blood effect - but im sitting in your roller-coaster cart here and its not going anywhere - sure is fun to look at though . . . all those twists and turns and woopsidaisies. but the cart isnt moving, its completely stalled. i cant feel the g-force in my loins and the wind blowing on my face - the exact feeling i get when i look at 83% of fantasy art. i want to see the world this guy with the broken shoulder pad is in, and wait? how did his shoulder pad break in the first place jerk? why isnt that being shown? show it to me, get me involved!

involvement is a pretty hard emotion to get a viewer to feel when they look at pictures, i guess. but sheesh, its a priority in my opinion..

sorry for the rant


looka said...

Good thinking! I have to get back to this later on, though! See you then.

andreas schuster said...

this is one of the reasons that sites like got boring for me.
blade runer and lord of the rings. everytime.

part of the problem is that consumers WANT this kind of stuff in their games/movies/bedrooms and part of the problem is that most of those artists are focusing on polish and not on idea/creativity.

but this is happening in comics too.

as long as the french continue to be awesome..

Adam Tamte Volker said...

Thanks for chiming in on this one everybody!!


looka said...

Frakkin' hell, oh my gosh! That video is "fantasy". Atmosperic, for real, thanks for the video, Adam!

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