Artistic style is only a means to an end, and the more styles you have, the better. To get trapped in a style is to lose all flexibility. If you have only one style, then you’re going to do the same book over and over, which is pretty dull. Lots of styles permit you to walk in and out of books. So, develop a fine style, a fat style, and fairly slim style, and a really rough style.
As an aspiring artist, you should strive for originality of vision. Have something to say and a fresh way of saying it. No story is worth the writing, no picture worth the making, if it’s not the work of the imagination.
Photo from http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk
A Curios Hero: Stephen Wiltshire
Get ready to ooooh and ahhhhh. The autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire has a photographic memory and can sketch a panorama of entire city in detail from memory after just seeing it for a few minutes. Here’s his replication of Tokyo after observing the city for 30 minutes from a helicopter. Apparently the number of skyscrapers, the location of landmarks, the skyline, even the number of windows - it’s all spot-on. That just blows our mind.
Want to see Stephen in action? Check out this video here.
#Henry Patrick Raleigh
HENRY PATRICK RALEIGH (1880-1944)
The illustrator Henry Raleigh started and ended life in poverty and despair. But in between, he spent decades painting high society pictures and living the opulent life of one of the best paid illustrators in the country.
Born into a broken and destitute family, Raleigh began working at age 9 to support his mother and sisters. By the age of 12, he quit school altogether and found work on the docks of San Francisco, processing shipments of coffee beans from South America. Here, rough sailors and roustabouts filled his head with colorful and bawdy stories of life in far off places.
At his peak, Raleigh was able to make enough money from just three or four months of work to enable him to spend the balance of the year traveling abroad with family and friends.
But Raleigh also spent money freely. He gave away thousands of dollars to friends, traveled lavishly, maintained a yacht, owned a mansion and kept a large studio in downtown Manhattan.
Unfortunately, styles changed (along with social values and taste in art) and his work dried up. Raleigh could not adapt; bankrupt and bitter, he committed suicide in 1944 by jumping out of the window of a sleazy hotel in Times Square.
"Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it."