Sunday, April 29, 2012

the raw beginnings of my artistic journey...

NOTE TO READER: This is a ridiculously long blog post.

DISCLAIMER: Your eyes may fall out after reading this entry due to the excessive outpouring of words, sudden barrage of stylistically-inconsistent images, and possible monotony from an overload of my personal ramblings. However, if you do have the extraordinary patience to attempt conquering this entire entry, I hope you will be able to identify with a part of my artistic journey or find some sort of inspiration from what I've written below. But if you finish reading the whole thing and it's not your cup of tea, then you can scroll back up here and remember that you can't blame me, because...YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


Lately I've been wanting to blog a lot, and my mind has been absolutely INUNDATED with craft ideas but half of them require sewing... so I'm patiently waiting til July when I shall be reunited with my sewing machine (and I guess my family and fiance as well, but that's secondary). HAHAHA just kidding. (or am I...)... ANYWAY, since I ran out of image space on this account, I've been scouring my archives for images that I've uploaded online already but never posted on this blog. I found some pretty random stuff so I thought I'd share. Besides, this blog has turned out to be super random and inconsistent with its content anyway, so there are no rules anymore as to what I post. bahahaha. I do want to keep posting NEW content though, so I think after this I will get some kind of photo-uploading account and figure out how to bypass those blogger monthly payments in order to keep blogging... (sorry Google, I need to save up for a wedding hahaha)...

If you have been my friend for many a decade, or used to follow my ancient kwok's kreations blog, then you'll probably recognize some (or most) of these images (and will probably complain about me re-hashing old material, but deal with it!) hahah... But part of the reason I'm posting them again is because I don't really know where all the original files are anymore, since they're from so long ago and they're scattered all over the place. So at least if I post them here I'll know where to find a copy of these images.

Also, I've included some descriptions (aka. mini-essays) for some of these images because even though they are not my best works, they are very dear to me since they represent a time in University (around 2 years ago) when I actually started drawing again. Many of these images were inspired by hilarious memories back in my University days, which seem SO LONG AGO (even though it's been exactly 1 year since I finished classes last April)... so here's to the wistful yearning caused by the drug called Nostalgia and to all the great company, nonsensical doodling, and memorable moments in the past few years.

So without further ado, I bring you a brief history of my random artistic endeavours during my University years:

I suppose I started rediscovering my passion for drawing when Randy bought me a drawing tablet one Christmas. I do have to thank him for encouraging me to start up my art again. This little duckie was one of my first digital freestyle drawing experiments, and although he was conceived in a moment of spontaneity and was birthed in less than 5 minutes, he remains one of my cutest creations and because of him, the world is blessed with a little more colour. 

When I started drawing again in University, I was very impatient with my artwork (and well actually, I think I still am). I usually cannot work on something for more than a day so all the art that I do ends up having a very "rough-draft" kind of feel, probably because it really is just a rough-draft. With my art, I have a bad habit of wanting quick results and instant gratification. This is one example of those "fast doodles" that took less than 10 minutes and really had no meaning to it other than the fact that I love pigs, wanted to make some sort of lame superhero, and was playing around with gradient effects. But I suppose this is truly the most gratifying type of art - when it has no rhyme or reason, is not intended to please anyone else, but ultimately satisfies my spontaneous need to create... something. anything. 

I remember shortly after getting my tablet and installing Photoshop, I was playing with the default effects that come with the program... like "Bubble Wrap" which creates that puffy 3D texture... so that's why I decided to draw "Petey the Pufferfish" - also because I've always found puffer-fishes to be obesely adorable.

...I really do sympathize with the pufferfish's plight. It must be annoying to automatically bloat every time something unexpectedly frightening happens.

As I started drawing more and more, I also realized that one of my favourite subjects to draw was FOOD. Specifically CARTOON FOOD that came alive... complete with eyes, facial expressions, and in the case below, DIAPERS.

Around this time, I also started to self-identify myself with BURGERS... and consequently, began drawing burgers almost every day in the margins of my lecture notes...

...I think the Happy Hamburger is one of my all-time favourite drawings...

...(this was the banner from my old blog)... which features, not surprisingly, a burger drawing.

Then there were those drawings that were created from interesting conversations with my University classmates. We would be talking about something and then I'd often go home and draw something that was related to our conversations. I don't remember what this one was about but we were probably discussing something Star Wars related or marveling at how wise (or cute!) Yoda is. That, or we were complaining about how young'uns these days have no idea what CASSETTE TAPES are. Growing old, we are. 

I clearly remember drawing this mock advertisement in class one day when I was randomly thinking of Star Wars and Princess Leia, and how I always thought her hair looked like a pair of hairy brown earmuffs, and how Princess Leia Earmuffs was actually a potentially marketable idea...

...only to find that they already existed (and can be purchased here on Etsy). haha!

Looking back, I wonder what I did with all that time I had after attending classes?! I would always get my assignments done on time but I would also procrastinate a lot. Prime procrastination example #1:  I should have been studying but instead I was wandering around my kitchen looking for something to eat, and noticed this strange piece of GINGER on the counter... and for the first time in my life, realized how odd ginger actually looked in its natural state... and started dreaming of all the weird contorted doodles that could result from this deformed food-type. This suddenly became my immediate priority and all thoughts of cracking open my textbooks were instantly banished from my mind.

 Thus, I made those weird contorted food doodles a reality.
 Can you guess what this ginger cluster really is?

One of my daily drugs during University was Tim Hortons Coffee, only because it was the closest and most convenient food place on campus. Their French Vanillas kept me warm (and awake) in class all winter. I kid you not, my parents actually thanked Tim Hortons in helping me graduate because going there for donuts would always motivate me to study more. I was such a loyal customer. Yet every year when "Roll-Up-The-Rim" season came along, I would never win anything. Other people would be hoping for the big screen TV or the car, but I would be ecstatic if I just won that darn donut. It never happened. Hence the birth of this woeful drawing.

I would whip out my tablet from time to time when I was inspired to draw something that was out of my comfort zone, or at least not my usual "cartoonish style" of art. I remember the first time I watched Ironman in theatres, I didn't really like the movie that much but I was inspired to sketch him afterwards since I have to admit he looked pretty cool. 

But I have to say that my hero is the REAL IRONMAN below. The one that keeps my clothes all crisp and classy.

There was also a time during my University years when I wanted to design T-shirts. So I bought some fabric paint and painstakingly painted them by hand. I did a few custom jobs but soon quit because I was pretty clumsy hand-painting on cotton. In the few weeks where I actually kept this mini-project going, I learned that it's okay to take a risk and try something new, then fail at it and realize that it's not really what I want to do in the end. I'm not even really a T-shirt person to begin with. But it was fun while it lasted, and I suppose there are a few rare people in the world who are floating around with one of my custom t-shirts.

Then there were those random times in class where I would dream up in the clouds (Ha! blog name reference! ...just like those cringe-worthy lines in movies where the main character is forced to awkwardly incorporate the movie title in their dialogue). Anyways... during these times of tuning out the professor (unintentionally of course), I would think of little vignettes between cartoon animals with subtle puns (which I thought were hilarious but only induced condescending head-shaking from my classmates).

I realize that none of my art really links together and I still haven't fully developed any kind of "style" that I stick to. One day, I'll feel like I want to start painting flowers on canvases, and the next day I'll feel like I want to draw cartoon food characters. I really admire those artists who have a certain look to their art and when you see one of their paintings or drawings, you immediately know it's thires. Well I suppose I do have a style - it's called RANDOM. haha. But here's something I realized awhile ago: at the end of the day, I draw whatever I want to and I draw to make people happy. My favourite artworks are the ones that I draw for friends & loved ones, and those are the ones I really put extra heart and effort into. 

Drawing for people is what fuels me to attempt crazy personal projects like drawing an entire FOOD ALPHABET (well, that and my love for food!!! haha).

So there you go - a quick look into the beginnings of my art... I hope you enjoyed that semi-chronological summary of my drawings & doodlings over the past few years. This unusually lengthy blog post was therapeutic to write, actually. I mean, sometimes I regret not taking art in high school - not even drawing that much in high school - and not realizing I even had a passion for art until "later in life" (I'm making myself sound like an old fogey...)... but looking back on these old drawings I realize that it's never too late to start.   I've still had some dry spells where I'll go on for a month or so without drawing anything, but eventually I revisit my neglected unfinished sketchbooks, leave behind all my worldly worries, and just doodle until my eyes start twitching and I start to get hand spasms. For me, it's a constant cycle where I'm either in a state of surging creativity or stressed-out captivity (the latter being in the mistaken mindset that I don't have time or energy for art).

If you're one of those people who has that same spark for comfort drawing as I do but often feel like you don't have time for it, I hope reading this blog post has encouraged you to dust off your art supplies and create a piece of art that you're truly proud of. 

I do believe the world needs to be coloured with more art - at least in my life, art is what colours my world. 

hey, that could be a good quote of the day!
poor man's copyright (c) Laura Kwok 2012 ... hahaha.

I'll leave you all with one more doodle:

If you've read this far, you are absolutely awesome (and are probably crazy, a borderline-stalker, and have too much time on your hands). But you're AMAZING in my books!


1 comment:

  1. can i please use your picture with the pufferfishe saying not again? please contact me at icansinglotsofsongs@gmail


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