Thursday, May 26, 2011

Momentum in art is like Mario Kart

We have Mario Kart for the Wii. I find it very, very stressful. On some level, it's proof that I should never have passed driver's ed. (especially after driving over that divider on route 22 in NJ).

In Mario Kart- you try to go as fast as you can. The driving requires quick reflexes - great eye hand coordination and a steady heart. You try to get around the obstacles while performing at your best. There is a moment when you feel the  'groove'- you are careening along... passing your opponents... going fast, hitting turbo boost...  when some big, black, too cute bullet explodes your Yoshi. You try to make it to the finish line without loosing all of your lives and while scoring the most points. After that- you try to get on the "List". The high scorers page.

This is my metaphor for today. I try to ride the momentum of life. I try to use the momentum of one project to the next to be in that "groove". But things in life do explode my Yoshi.

It is almost June. June! The careening around avoiding my obstacles tends to make life fly by just like that Coconut Mall in the game. Deadlines were met last month. Spring holidays and birthdays are past. We lost a loved one. Now, Summer kicks off this weekend. One event leads to the next - head down at the drawing board makes me forget objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are. They are all there and it's all coming up so fast.

I am going to SCBWI NJ next week. I just finished a new postcard.
The idea came from my daughter's friend saying "One day we will all drive donuts"
-then it was a sketch over @ The Sketchables.

I am now redoing my homework. We were given the assignment to choose a manuscript. Take one passage and sketch a double page spread. The sketch gets turned in to an actual art director, member of the faculty. Their feedback comes back to you- then you take it to final art, present it at the conference and get feedback/judging. 
Here is the passage I picked:

"’Cause maybe I’ll be a gorilla masseuse Or an artist who sculpts out of chocolate mousse Or a rodeo clown or a great film director Or maybe professional pickle inspector Or big sumo wrestler or hedge fund investor Or smelly pit-sniffing deodorant tester"

I rushed this. I did it in one evening- after weekend guests left Easter Weekend. There are things I like a lot about it : the gestures - the life in the drawings. Things I don't like: the composition. So- the feedback came in and pretty much nailed me to the wall... good feedback, true feedback is not like a frying pan to the face - it's like Mario Kart also. When you play the game and make the same wrong turn over and over again... and you yell "WHY DO I KEEP DOING THAT!?" - The real feedback yells that at you and you know it's true. - Yoshi explodes. Start over.

"Dynamic,playful and eye-catching layout. Good gesture and sense of action in spots. But  I have an issue with the order and rhythm of the images. So much going on it is not clear what to look at first and in what order.What should I look at first, how do you want my eye to move across  the page? Think about the hierarchy of the images on this spread and  what you want the viewer to see first, second etc. Size of the images  and how they fit together as well as the shape of each will dictate  that. If eyes move left to right over the page, use a  progression of  sizes to direct my gaze,  make the text flow in a logical way in the correct order so its not misread. In the end the images need to work  together  as a whole and not just as separate discreet spots

Also, think about the whole book: With a lot of text, very few spreads can  be handled this way or you will end up with a 60 page book! so be  selective about what you show and make sure the images count for the real estate they take up."

Ok- So- I'm reworking now.  I will try to avoid my usual obstacles.. as I build momentum on my journey through Coconut Mall on my way to the finish line in Los Angeles this summer. My goal- new art, new portfolio... hoping to get on that high scorers page. "C'mon Yoshi... hit the gas."


Eric Barclay said...

Love the postcard! And now I want a donut.

Nina Crittenden said...

Great postcard! Thanks for posting the feedback you got on your illo, it is really cool to read what they had to say. You are SOOOOO talented, Kelly!

sketched out said...

That card is fan-freaking-tastic, Kelly! I also thank you for posting that feedback. Very helpful! I've been struggling with those issues, especially with the dummy I've been working on. Thanks!!

Kelly Light said...

Thanks guys!- I hoped sharing would help. I'll post the redo when I get it done

Alicia Padrón said...

Oh man, where do I begin?

First of all, fantastic post!
Second of all, freaking fantastic postcard!!!
and third of all, I wish my quick sketches were 1/16 as good and awesome as yours. :o)

I really think you nailed it with that postcard Kell. It is ALL you. From the line to the characters. From the retro look to the humor in it. I spent quiet a while looking at all the details and they are VERY well thought. The expression of the Panda family, the turtle (LOL, my personal fave), the creativity to come up with this idea. I love that no matter which direction we take, we always end up in Kelly Land.. haha. Great little detail ;o)

Your sketch for the conference text is wonderful. I love the feedback the art director gave you. Very useful, for real! I think you have to keep those gestures, humor, action and characters and just decide how to plan the layout. I know he suggested maybe to only have a few. How about if you illustrate a whole spread with all of them in it but in a real believable scene, where they are interacting with one another? So the kid reading the book will take his time finding all the characters described in the text. That's what I would do. But I'm sure you will come up with something wonderful.

Go girl! :oD

Diandra Mae said...

Oh my goodness, do I looove your postcard! It is simply delish! :)

And I have to say, I think you did a fab job with the assignment. I can kind of see how the zig-zag placement of the characters could lead the eye around, but I can also see how the feedback that was given to you will take your piece to the next level. I cannot wait to see the redo.

Ang said...

I didn't have any trouble reading it in order, but maybe b/c I had already read the passage first? Either way, I loved it. My fav is the director with his fingers doing that framing thingy. Cracked me up. Definitely want to see the re-do!! The postcard is amazing, so cute and clever. :)

Casey G. said...

Kelly I know you have been to the conference now and it went well. Yay! I wished I had checked in earlier to cheer you on at this post, better late than never, Go Kelly Go!

How wonderful to have such honest feedback. I can't wait to see how you applied it. The text of the manuscript is so very you. Active and gestural and silly.

As a person that also has Mario Kart in their house I totally appreciate you comparing it to momentum in art. Perfect metaphor! I get stressed playing that game as well, but when you finally get to take the podium as #1 it is worth all that led up to the win.