When I was growing up, there was always a lot of incredible artwork around me, but few things created from imagination. With the exception of the comic books I read, almost everything was taken from life. Drawings of trees from the Chicago lakefront. Sculptures created from photographs. Toys and costumes built from plans and photos found in books. My sense of creating art came from recording what was around me. This never changed in my college courses, my work in commercials, and definitely not in my life drawing. Even my comic book work, which continues to evolve in my study of artists and practice in layouts has not changed things. I will use the script I've been given to push the limits of storytelling, and certainly see it move in my head as I'm reading it, but it hasn't changed my essential nature much. This is especially noticeable when I am drawing a story that bores me.
When I was in college art school I would walk around and look at the other student's work. I still do that - whether I'm drawing or sculpting. Sometimes it's a matter of seeing what the other person is doing and filing a tip into my brain. Other times it's me quietly comparing my work to theirs. I almost always get something out of this - even when looking at a newcomer, or amateur's artwork.
When something comes along that knocks me over like a freight train, I know I've seen something incredible. Technique wise that rarely happens. Using imagination to create is a different story.
Anybody who's been following this blog knows that I've been studying sculpture. It's helped me tremendously in understanding the three dimensional aspect to objects. My approach to it has pretty much been my approach to figure drawing - record what you see, do not deviate from reality. A number of months ago I saw something that made me question this approach. Another sculptor took what was in front of her and created a fantasy out of what she was seeing.
The thing that makes what she did extra special is that there is more than one fantasy attached to them: that of the sculptor and those of the viewers. They push the limits of everyone's imagination, which is a true gift of art. Below you will find pictures of some of the sculptures, created by Jordan Russell at The Palette and Chisel Academy Of Fine Art. Jordan is a student of Audry Cramblit, who regularly teaches classes at the P&C
I can not help taking a look at my own art, after viewing these sculptures, and thinking about ways to incorporate this type of imagination into my work.