Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Back When I Was Still Using a Pencil

"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, 'You mean they forget?'"

Howard Ikemoto

My favourite definition of art was one proposed by scientist and artist Desmond Morris and to paraphrase a paraphrase by Joe Fulgham from the Art episode of the Caustic Soda podcast: "Art is anything that humans do that's not done for survival, procreation and entertainment."

I personally prefer explaining myself through prose while relegating what modicum of visual artistic skills I do command to illustrating my written words (examples here, here and here) and doing pro bono design work for my college's student council (here, here, here and there). Of course, most of what I've showcased in my blog here were created after I've discovered Photoshop and taught myself how not to suck too badly on it. Before that, I made art the traditional pen-and-pencil way, and it was the only way by which I expressed myself before I discovered my love for the English language when I was sixteen years old and started indulging in expressionistic writing seriously (I had a poetry phase but I would prefer not to talk about that). While I couldn't paint, I certainly sketched prolifically in my entire childhood, through high school, and into my early university years. Unfortunately, most of what I produced was lost to the yore of yesteryears with only a handful of later pieces surviving into digitalisation.

Because the internet never forgets, I managed to resurrect a few from my now defunct deviantART account. Do click on them to embiggen,

Typewriter Ogre and Mouse
An ogre toting a typewriter and a bank vole. No reason.

The Shepherd Tree
I called this one "The Shepherd Tree".

Old Man and Girl
An aging pilgrim and a little girl.

From the Mirror
A fan art of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell entitled "From the Mirror".
I experimented with a new technique for this, smudging lines with my thumb and fingers.

A sorcerous wraith: I was mostly practicing how to draw fabric realistically here.

When I was a kid, I always thought that I would grow up to be an artist of some kind before my aspirations morphed into a more literary pursuit. That, and I went to medical school for some reason. I even had watercolour lessons for a spell which did absolutely nothing except convince me that I lack, probably on a genetic level, what it takes to paint with actual brushes - so I quit it like I quit my piano, organ, taekwondo and Chinese classes.

Anyway, what do you think of them?

Has skills useless to his day job,
k0k s3n w4i


Zulfahmi said...

Wow... They're great~

Rainmaker said...

Awesome drawings.

I could never draw half as good as that >_> my hands are not good enough for those.

Aud said...

I'm in awe.. I mean I've been stalking your blog for some time and am already envious of how articulate you are. I would read an entire graphic novel if it was drawn by you. Are you sure you aren't a pair of extremely talented twins?

Liz said...

OMG, they're GREAT! Really awesome work. Kinda hate that you're so good at a lot of things =.=

yuhhui said...

whoa.. you're incredibly talented! Did you take classes for sketching? =) Awesome job!!

yuhhui said...

oh yeah.. wanted to ask you, how long do you take to draw with photoshop? I used to be a graphics designer for my school's magazine before.. but i can never draw with a mouse!! How did you manage to do so? Share your secret. =)

nicoletta said...

so glad you decided to post these up. they're great! and I love the fantasy theme in them! don't know if you've come across Shaun Tan's graphic novel / picture book, 'The Arrival', but it was really good as well, done mostly in pencil.

Terri said...

i think you're an attention-seeking lil boy with some disturbing images in his head! :D

but okay i quite liked one or two and the fanart made me want to read the book (though that might be due more to your easter egg caption than to the drawing)


May Lee said...

holy shitballs WOW. no words. just 'wow'.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Zulfahmi: thanks :)

Rainmaker: i'm not particularly good at it, y'know.

Aud: nope, though i often wish there's another me ;)

Liz: i sometimes think that we are only as good as we think we are. i always feel i can do much better, no matter what i'm doing.

yuhhui: no. no one ever taught me how to draw or sketch. and i can't really say how long i take to draw on photoshop - it really depends on the piece. it can range from an hour to half a day. also, there's no secret to drawing with a mouse. you just have to practice, and pretend it's a particularly oddly shaped pen.

nicoletta: i googled the arrival and the artwork on that is phenomenal. i would love to check it out.

Terri: i don't recommend jonathan strange & mr norrell to anyone, but i imagine that you'll like it and maybe a lot. and who doesn't like attention anyway?

May Lee: oh hey, long time no see!

Sebastian said...

Bastard, make people jelly only.

yuhhui said...

I'm jealous of your skill. =( Some pictures look like the LOTR sort of drawings... damn nice la.. get it published !! you are incredibly talented and you should somehow flaunt your skills or make good use of it.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Sebastian: go work at a skill so you can make other people jelly too.

yuhhui: sketching is very time consuming. between my job, my studies, my reading list, watching movies and maintaining regular updates on my blog - i'm a bit overstretched. if i get any free time at all, i want to work on my novel (which may or may not contain hand-drawn illustrations).

yuhhui said...

haha.. i also am working on a novel. Been working on that since a levels, but i never had the time to finish it. Also,my thinking changes with time. Sigh.. medical students..No time for anything else.. If you ever do publish a novel, please do add your sketches. It will be a shame not to! Good luck working on your novel!