This is the story of how my taste in art developed as told via this thread. This is the starting post.
I was wondering if anyone was every really inspired by concept art, whatever the concepts may be.
I have an example. When I was in elementary school, I remember my first visit to the school library (we have a library?!). We (me and my fellow students) were just there to browse. While there, I remember picking up a book — probably randomly — and finding out that it was entirely of pictures of drawings of futuristic designs.
One design was of an apartment complex several stories high that looked like cement cubes piled on top of each other on a cliff-side. Another design was probably of a mobile city, much like the castle in Howl’s Moving Castle, except far bigger. Yet another design was of a space ship of some sort. In any case, this book was one of those major moments of inspiration in my life.
I have seen plenty of interesting concept art since then, but the most recent that comes to mind are a few for Final Fantasy XIII that were posted on a fan site a few months ago. Here are some of those:
That second one from the top reminded me of some of the scenes shown during the end credits for the anime Outlaw Star. When I was growing up, I watched that series, and I liked seeing the artwork, even though it obviously had nothing to do with the series. Here is the video:
I have been flirting with this thread for most of the day now. Even when I was out.
Allow me to weave this story for you as a distraction from things bogging my mind at the moment.
When I was young, I had a natural gravitation towards emotional expression through visual art. My mother promoted it to some degree since she was influenced by her mother who is quite talented. I created story books and I had the most fun when I was able to make the artwork interact with the text in some innovative manner. All that was hampered by the fact that I was also a perfectionist.
When I got older, I started to consciously see art as a form of emotional expression. Comic books of any kind inspired me, but I did not have access to them in the New Jersey city that I was living in. It wasn’t until the day that my mother dragged me to a small suburban town, called North Arlington, that I actually entered my very first American comic store. I had previously bought a catalog randomly from Rite Aide. I used to collect Wizard and PSM magazine issues there (sometimes Mad magazine), but one day I noticed the catalog so I picked it up. The one thing that really caught my eye in the catalog was an ad for Kabuki: Dreams which was to be released in graphic novel format later that year.
I can’t seem to find the exact image online right now, but..
It was this without the border around it and it took up most of the page. It was the first piece of artwork that truly captivated me in a sense that I don’t I ever experienced before. Sure. Shirow Masamune, Noako Takeuchi, and Kōsuke Fujishima did inspire me, but not like Mack did.
Onto the comic book store. Entered the place and while browsing his archives of comics, I noticed David Mack’s fifth volume in the series. I had written down his name from catalog so I had it memorized by then. From there, his work inspired a greater appreciation for traditional media and the modern genre of Mixed Media (later on I discovered other artworks from Noako Takeuchi that suggested her liking of Mixed Media as well). It wasn’t only the art that inspirted at the time, but his countless references to classics and his prose in general.
Started to draw and express myself without the restrictions of sticking to one style or medium. I discovered my liking towards distorting text and melding it into a design. Somewhere in all of that, I picked up my first Final Fantasy game a few months after getting a Playstation One console. Ended up buying the Concept artbook for Final Fantasy IX.
Bought one of the novels after seeing his work related to D in an artbook of his. The novels are rather good by the way. Beat the pants off of the animated movies.
He also did a collab mini-comic with Neil Gaiman in the Sandman series. It was a collection of short side-stories that Gaiman did with several artists, one of which being Yoshitaka Amano. That’s what essentially made me want to give reading Gaiman’s Sandman a try as well looking into Terry Pratchett via his Discworld novels.
So! Therein lies my affinity for the world of visual art.
Also, Hyperion posting the ending to Outlaw Star. That ending song accompanied by the artwork was the one thing that actually got me into the series.
Alex Ross’s art also inspired the liking towards a more traditional art form. He was known to me through his connection to Mack and his presence in the comic book world.
Should be noted that Yoshitoshi Abe opened my eyes to a rougher more sketchy take on Japanese artwork.
I enjoyed reading that detailed post, [Me]. Is the lady shown in the first image you posted the same one from the first avatar you used at this forum?
Anyways, continuing my post on concept art, it occurred to me to dig up some of the images I saved to my “Archives” folder. This is an eccentricity of mine, you see: whenever I see an image that inspires me, wherever it was found, I archive it so that I may be sure to be able to see it again later. One of my best sources for such images, too, as of late, has been Deviant Art. The first few images I’ll paste or link to here, and that I recalled thanks to my Archives folder, are more reminiscent of the concept art I saw in that library book in elementary school.
Sinix, a Deviant Art member, has two simply titled images that I like:
A few more include StudioQube’s “Navras Reactor, Inner City,”Artbytheo’s Canyon Chase,” =Viag’s “Escape From Earth,” and `Ukitakumuki’s “Blurry Eyes.” (As you can see from all but one of these, I am a fan of speed painting.)
Now, there are a few drawings that strike me as more reminiscent of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. I may owe thanks to one of our members, as it was, if memory serves, upon asking her for the artist responsible for the image in her signature (the first image below) that I became familiar with more of that person’s work, such as the second image below.
Moving on, I’m reminded of another work by StudioQube: “Fade To Red,” that Little Red Riding Hood inspired (and is that a pinch of FLCL influence I see looking at that tower in the background and the prominent skyline?) drawing I got my sister a few Christmases back.
A few more drawings to mention and I’m done. To start, here isanother drawing I don’t know the artist of. What really connects with me about this image is the missile, ship whatever;(no small technological feat, in any case), and even the moon, sitting below and against the heavens, so massive above them.
Next, there is this image which is really like a collage: `Spyroteknik’s “Speedpaint Glut 21.” As would quickly become obvious with even a cursory glance through his gallery, the name of the piece implies a series for the same style of speed paint he was experimenting with. However, despite there being so many in the series, this one in particular stuck out to me. I do not know what exactly it is. Is it that nature was more prominently included? Was it the greater feeling of calmness inspired by that prominence of nature?
Or was it that the two scenes on the bottom made me think of space and spaceships, the centered scene right above those two reminded me of war, and the one on the top-right looked similar, but also brought to mind the story from 40k of a powerful warrior and leader who rose above the battlefield and shown like an angel against his equally powerful, demi-god like foe during the invasion of earth from an enemy that came from space?
I’m thinking it’s all these things and more combined with the collage-like style that makes me think of the idea of so many seemingly unconnected events in so many places actually related.
All this said, something else besides my insanity should be apparent: that something can be interpreted in endless, and weird, ways.
Two more nature scenes stuck out to me, probably because they’re like private coves. The former scene is Skyrion’s “Evening.” The latter scene, Peterconcept’s “Fantasy Island,” something more: a private cove that speaks of greater meaning in the ruined architecture.
I also like “Foreign Dreams,” a drawing for the scene of an upcoming movie I don’t remember the name of. What I do remember is that I found out about it at a forum about steam punk, and that it reminded me of Blade Runner.
Lastly, I remember seeing fan art of Yuna from Final Fantasy X on someone’s signature a long time ago. I kept that signature because I liked the image, and hoped to use the signature to find the original image. Thankfully, I recently found someone else using that image in her signature. When I asked her about it, she found me this image:
I decided to add a few more art pieces, these ones from my wallpaper folder. Several scenes from the PC puzzle series Myst:
Another one of those collage speed paints by `Spyroteknik:
From Outlaw Star:
My response and last post in the thread.
Yes. She is the same woman I had as my avatar. I just found the image that I could not find before.
This is the image that inspirted the avatar. I just doctored it up a little in Neopaint. Aside from being the cover to his Reflections issue 10, it was first seen as the first page to a two part piece in volume 6 Metamorphosis. Can’t seem to be a ble to find the second page on the web right now, but this part of it was a collab with Alex Ross.
Your mention of archiving works reminds me that I used to do the same thing as well. Deviant Art was one of my favorite more recent spots to get inspiration from.
I remember that I used to follow several artists. One who drew in a style similar to Yoshitoshi Abe’s and several others who drew quite well in pencil. Watched a few others who did digital and other media, but those were rare for me. The digital style has far too many generic works coming out of it.
If I remember the names of the artists, I will post them for you. Since you seem to enjoy this style of art, I will post about Hiroaki Samura. He’s someone who blends somewhat more traditional art-styles with the traditional Japanese comic style. I would like to note that I was only familiar with him from his Blade of the Immortal series.
Unlike most Japanese artists, who use screen-toning for shades to some degree, he does not use them at all. Not even in his black and white comic strips.
Glad you enjoyed my long post, Hyperion.