Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Shichigoro, Demizu and Tanaka

Before I get started on my review of three PIE International art books, let me expound on a few things.
In past reviews I’ve often mentioned that for over 25 years I worked in the commercial art field as a graphic designer and illustrator, eventually working my up to a Vice President of Marketing.

After retiring from that particular field I moved on and taught computer art, graphic design, drawing and commercial art at a local high school for 11 years.

I am very familiar with the different types of illustrations, techniques, papers, drawing instruments, computer coloring and design genres and the like.

Art in general is a much unappreciated talent.  While fellow artists appreciate the tremendous amount of research, time and blood, sweat and tears behind each piece of art the general public does not.

The man on the street generally looks at a piece of art at a glance deciding if they like or dislike it.  Very seldom do non-artists take the time to really examine a piece of art or appreciate the effort it takes to create it.

I’m saying this because I want you (the reader) to take the time to focus, concentrate and appreciate the effort it took each of the three artist’s work to create their art.

Look at the lines, feel the shadows and textures, let your eyes play over the subtle use of color and the interplay of light and shadow to create balance, focal points and impact.

Think about the subject matter, count up the hours it took to conceptualize, design and complete each piece.  

Most of all, grasp the incredible details, impressive imagination and orchestrating of each beautiful piece of art.
The Art Of Shichigoro reminds me a great deal of the artist H.R. Giger's work: the creative genius behind the Aliens franchise.  

Shichigoro’s artwork has that same heavy-handed, shadows and almost depressing bio-mechanical feel to it-but with a little light-hearted humor dropped in occasionally.

Some of the illustrations are unsettling and sense-shocking but all are exquisitely done.  The attention to detail, masterful use of shadow and texture of the biological and technological subject matter is brilliant.  

Although dark, somewhat oppressive and depressing the art nonetheless draws you in with its fascinating subject matter.

For a lighter but no less brilliant tone The Art Of Posuka Demizu captivates the reader by its complexity.  I know details and layouts when it comes to illustration and rarely have I seen such an incredible use of both.

Readers can stare for hours at each piece picking out hidden details, amazing locales, characters and the brilliant use of color and texture.

Both illustrated and draw by traditional means and on computer each piece is a testament to Demizu’s genius use of design, imagination and expertise at computer coloring.

I am at awe at the technical acuity used. I stand amazed and humbled.

Flip through each page and indulge your senses and imagination as angels, demons, creatures, aliens, cities, landscapes, exotic technology, architecture and transportation sweep you away with their complexity and  rendering.

Even still-life studies, food renderings and calm landscape illustrations almost pop off the page with their rich colors and exuberance.

Cannabis Works 2 Tatsuyuki Tanaka is a collage of character design, story layouts, technology designs, weapon renderings and much more.  

Illustrated in pen and ink, pencils and hand and computer coloring the art work shows a master storyteller at work.

For any aspiring cartoonist or animator I recommend purchasing this book.  It is an excellent example on how to do things right.  

Anatomy, architecture, mechanical contrivance renderings, clothing, shadow and light, color application, layout, and balance and the use of all the elements and principles of design can be learned by studying Tanaka’s work.  

I wish I had a fraction of Tanaka’s talent.  Such imagination, fervor and dedication!  Artists both domestic and abroad need to study and apply what can be learned from each piece of art.

Like with most Americans I unwittingly isolated myself from appreciating the artwork from other countries-in this case Japan.  After looking over these three books I can’t help but feel humbled by the talent, dedication and vision of each artist.

A valuable lesson can be learned by opening one’s eyes and mind to what other artists around the world have to offer.

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