Monday, April 26, 2010

In Japan, they use Top Pegs...

Anime or (アニメ) as they say in Japan, is a great way to get people interested in East Asian Studies - but as an art form, it is hard to be unique.  Go to right now and type in ANIME and scroll down.  Your screen will look different, but here's what I found...

 Here's a test, based on what I see, I'd say all of these are from artists with roughly the same amount of skills.  That being said, can you tell one artist from another?  What makes Top Right's picture better than Top Left ?  or Bottom Middle?  Nothing.  Because other than costume, you cannot bring a unique style to your art when drawing anime.  There are minor variations on the eyes, but other than that, it is all the same.  Formulaic, redundant, and nothing to make it yours.

Now, who drew THIS?  

You might not be able to name the specific artist (It was animation master Jim Smith, btw) but if you grew up in the mid-90s you can probably guess that it came from the Spumco Studio (Ren and Stimpy, Ripping Friends).  This is unique.

I say this, not as an outsider, however.  But as someone who has drawn in the anime style for years.  In fact from 2000-2007, that's pretty much all I drew.  There are a few reasons for this, but a BIG one is that anime is easy.  Follow the steps and you'll be drawing like a pro (anime-artist) in a few months of practice.  But all your stuff will look just like everyone elses.  Story is a big part of anything, but without unique visuals, it is enough to separate you from the pack?

 Look, I drew this in less than a minute.  But Keep scrolling on deviantArt, you'll find it's mostly on par.

That being said, because it's so easy if you can't draw anything at all...  why not start with anime?

Here's some old drawings...

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