Friday, January 28, 2005

Artists Who Have Secrets


Recently I took a freelance gig that required me to live in New York for a month. During the course of the project I came across an illustrator whose vector artwork was pretty hot. I watched as the design team and staff looked on in awe. Then amongst the ews and ahs someone asked him how he achieved a certain effect and he responded, "I can't tell you... It's a secret".

This brings me to the point of this section. The art business is over run with people who believe they have unearthed some super "secret", and that is WACK!!! There aren't any secrets. Art has been around since the dawn of man and for some reason there are artists out there who feel that sharing info will cut them out of the art biz or give away their recipe so people can copy their style. To me that is artistic insecurity.

The best example I can offer is this: Michael Jordan could tell me everything he knows about basketball. He could show me every move, every dunk, every pass, but I will never be Michael Jordan. Why? Because I can't think like Michael Jordan (and I'm not 6 ft 7). Until someone can think like you, at best they will be just a parody. It can take years for an artist to develop a style or styles, so there really isn't much in a tip that will lead to your artistic unraveling. If you read a book with great info, recommend it to other artists. If someone needs an easier way to do something and you know how, pass the knowledge on. By sharing info with others it may encourage others to share info with you.


1. Take some dope photos of yourself (look as fly as you can) it helps when magazines do write ups on you and great for pushing your image in press kits.

2. Get a HOT website!!! Take your time and craft the message you want to convey. Look professional!!! If you have a site, look at the sites of other artists whose work you dig and ask yourself "Is my site equal too or better than theirs" if the answer is no to both revamp your idea. It took me about 4 months and 2 versions to get my site together. Also PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make it easy to navigate and make sure the purpose of the site obvious! Most folks can't stand it when they go to a site and have no idea where the nav is or what the hell the site is about.

1 comment:

Frank Juval said...

You hit the nail on the head.

When I was younger I was afraid to tell anyone how I did things. But that didn't last very long. I began sharing and teaching other designers and illustrators about my process. Sure enough they all began to share to. If anything it's made me and them better artists.

You can learn so much from sharing your process and vice versa. Things that can even save you time. Materials you may not be familiar with that could improve your work. The list goes on.

Love your work. You rock.