Mar 2, 2014

Wanna Write? Need Some Smashing Visuals to Get You Going? Here's an Art Flood for Ya

When it comes to art, I am a COMPLETE FANATIC. In the best possible way. I don't have a favorite period in art history; I see all of art as a continuum.

And the first books I owned -- I guess you and I have that in common -- were picture books. From dinosaurs to Hans Christian Andersen, by way of the gods and heroes of Egypt and Greece, I first fell in love with that mysterious silent friend, the book, through the magic lens of illustration.

Hercules fights the Hydra
Illustration by Giovanni Caselli for Gods, Men and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Michael Gibson

Art and books carried me to faraway lands and undiscovered planets. I could travel beyond the world of city blocks, cracked concrete, car horns and shop windows.

I read a lot of comic books as a child; couldn't get enough stories to sate my appetite. You'd often find me in the school library during recess when the other kids played games. No, I did not eschew playtime altogether, I just valued the infinite worlds of imagination a lot more. I wanted to pierce veils between my world and some latent dimension that I could not describe or fully understand.

Cover to graphic novel Welcome to Alflolol by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières
One of many adventures experienced by spatio-temporal agents Valerian and Laureline

An honest love of art cannot be contained. It overflows. It touches all the disciplines eventually, and you begin to see the traits that unite all art forms: movement, drama, conflict, suspense, tension and, above all, imagination.

The ability to make up stuff, from practical solutions nobody's ever heard of, to entire worlds filled with uncanny creatures and strange desires. The ability to criticize and subvert through storytelling. The ability to see possible futures. The ability to interpret and draw conclusions and open the mind's eye.

A panel from the sprawling saga of the Metabarons by Jodorowsky and Gimenez

Writers and visual artists need each other. Wait, allow me to revise that -- artists need each other. If you ask me, we exist in symbiosis. Nobody creates in a vacuum; we need a vibrant collective, a society of imagineers. Only a thriving artistic community can sustain your talent.

Now join me in this Sunday excursion to inner space -- are you ready for a journey of terror, magic and wonder?

Gil Bruvel

Christian Rex van Minnen

Dan Quintana

Marc Adamus

Jonathan Habens

Jonathan Habens

Jeff Simpson

Remedios Varo

Sascha Rinaldi

Robert Hardgrave
whom I interviewed right here

Santos Hu

Rafael Sarmento

Teresa Elliott

Eirin Wie Haveland

Edwin Howland Blashfield

Mojo Wang

When Guinea Pigs Fly

James Reads

Michael Garlington

Jonas Forderod

By the way, did you know that Society6 is running a promotion on prints, t-shirts, phone cases, laptop cases and more? Click here to get free shipping on my stuff. Here are some of my pieces -- do they tickle your fancy?

Portland: St. John's Bridge on a Warm October Evening
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Salute the Morning
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Cherub Under the Microscope, 5
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An Impression of Noble Woods at Sunset
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Diagonal Rainbow, 1
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Have an awesome Sunday.

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