This will be my last post for the Old Bag. Going forward, I will write Creative Juices. I know I could try to dig up work I did for Chuck Gillies, Ken Graning, and Layron DeJarnette. I am not going to. In their classes I was looking for a process to make my images. I learned and grew a lot as an artist, but my work suffered from my experimentations. Some of the techniques that I developed in those experiments carry over to the work I do today. Some of the experiments gave me better understanding of composition and color. Some of them are best left on the road side in the history of my mind. With Layron, I feel like I owe him an apology for only giving him about 80% of my effort in the second half of the class. It wasn’t anything he did; I just got bored with drawing the same two or three models. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t imagine Harry as Captain America or Wolverine. And, with Harry, getting 80% out of me might have been an accomplishment because as a model I think he only put in a 60% effort, if that. As figure drawing goes, I was spoiled coming from the Academy of Art. They had access to the San Francisco Models’ Guild.
So as I close the Old Bag, I want to talk about one Matt Faulkner, and what he taught us. First off, Matt is a children’s book writer and illustrator. He has created a lot of his own property and was savvy about licensing it. When he came to CCS, he had recently published a Holiday book titled, The Giving Season. One of the local high-end malls licensed the book and story as a visual guide for their holiday decoration and then later expanded to include a puppet play of the story. So that was the idea that Matt brought to our class-the self initiated project that doesn’t end when you finish drawing or painting your image. In his class, we brought to life Animal Farm and Epicac. We paced out Epicac with Story Boards and then went into character and set designs-Epicac himself being both set and character. Animal Farm was a bit different in that we developed the characters without doing the boards and then used sculpy to create rough silhouettes of them. With Mikos and Blanchard I remember quotes. With Matt, I don’t. I remember his disposition to illustration being one of great energy and excitement. Where Mikos and Blanchard had left illustration behind, Matt was still early in his career. At the time I would have said well established, but he has done so much more since then and hopefully will do so much more for years to come.
For me, Matt’s class was my first real encounter with concept art as a product outside of illustration. As an illustrator, I designed characters for the sake of illustration, but not for the sake of the character design. As an illustrator, my character design would eventually change based on my model and props. Matt changed all that for me. His approach was to develop the character and then let the world bring the “right” model to you. I do remember that for the narrator of Epicac I used my cousin Joe as my model. And, that I tried to draw his features into my character design. Matt had to stop me and have me draw my design into Joe. With that I will leave you with some of the work I dug up from the Fall of 1999: