So my blog post Anime will stunt your growth… as an artist has caused a bit of a stir- a debate, that has both fascinated and frustrated me. But the frustration is all on me, really, because what this small controversy has taught me is I suck at expressing my point of view. Not the best virtue in an artist. Will definitely have to work on that one. But a lot of the points brought up are quite valid, so let me put those forth here.
My original point was that growing up drawing just anime can really limit you and can even skew your ability to draw realistic proportions. Although I still think this is true, a few additions to this point are in order. Mainly, it’s not just anime that can do this. Copying any style instead of drawing from life can steer you into a limited way of drawing. I simply pointed out anime because it’s so popular for young artists to start with. I myself started drawing because of my love of anime , but again, copying a style really limited me and slowed my progress.
Another point brought up is the anime artist’s stubbornness to change. That drawing anime can lead to more professional work, and that it’s lack of objectiveness and a stubborn attitude that keeps people from progressing. I must agree with this as well. Being young doesn’t automatically equal that your self-centered blind jackass… but I certainly was. Your art is yours and yours alone, and putting it out for everyone to see can be hard; not everyone is kind. But I think if you want to improve, you need critiques, you need the objective eyes of others. I usually hate to say things like, “get over it” but… yeah, you kind of have to get over it.
A few other minor things were brought up, like my use of Looney Toons as something everyone watched. Well, of my friends and colleagues that grew up in America, everyone I knew watched Looney Toons. And really it was only supposed to be an example of the conventional American TV for kids. My point was not that they were better or worse, only that anime was so dramatically different. It was new an interesting and that’s why so many kids liked them despite most of the Cartoon Network shows being a bit… not.. good [or in some cases censored and edited down to the point of mediocrity].
Oh dear, this was all supposed to be a cautionary tale, and delivered like a hot coffee on the pants. Maybe it’s my somewhat thin filter on what I say, or maybe how little I went into the different facets of anime. Maybe it’s because I said Elmer Fudd was mentally retarded. I don’t know. I hope this fills in the gaps of my previous post. I’m going to cry and read Stephen King’s On Writing.