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Scott Bakal
July 2010
On A Dim Star
posted:
The City and its Impenetrable Force | 12"x12" | Acrylic and Ink
One of the things that keeps me continuously entertained as an artist is doing personal work.  In contrast, I've recently been told when asked to go to a park and draw that a particular artist friend won't draw for fun...only pay.  Maybe it makes sense because he's a storyboard artist but how does one work as a creative and lose their own vision like that...or bring it down to just drawing for money?  I don't know and to each his or her own, right?
The Fire (The Last Gasp of Oxygen) | 12"x12" | Acrylic and Ink
Speaking of which, I've been lucky enough to be pretty busy lately sending off jobs this morning and starting work on others after I am done typing this up.  Being just as grateful for commercial work, which I know won't last forever as I am very aware and experienced  the ebbs and flows of our industry, I am grateful for the in-between times where I can play around the studio and make messes or work out ideas and story lines with my own personal projects and ideas.  Money is good...great even...but pleasure in creation...that's the ticket to ride.  I've recently bought gold leaf kits and have some mono-print ideas I'd like to experiment with.  Who knows where it will go?  I've never used gold leaf.  Can I use it to give myself a 'pimp-tooth'?
The Rainbow Juice | 12"x12" | Acrylic and Ink
Over the last few years, I usually pulled ideas, color palettes and visual elements out of my sketchbook and put them in my work.  Lately, I've been finding myself more and more taking entire concepts and thoughts in my personal projects out of the sketchbook completely and doing 'finished' work.  I've done dozens of these sorts of pieces in the last six months mainly for exhibition in galleries.

The pieces here were actually for a gallery show that never happened which was fine with me because of the amount of other projects going on.  Still, it was great to get some of these ideas out of my head and onto some boards and using these as an 'inspiration springboard' for the project I want to create out of this character and environments.  Doing these pieces has finally gotten me to a place with the story, concepts and environments that I feel comfortable starting to build now.  After 2+ years of this stuff rolling around my head, its about time....but through it, I've had a blast developing it.
The Purveyor of Ideas (Thinking) | 12"x12" | Acrylic and Ink
One of the things I thought about throughout typing this post up is how often I hear folks, mostly the younger generation focus their work so specifically toward a market because 'it'll make them money' that they end up losing their own innate creative abilities, dreams and visions.  I mean, most folks went to art school because they like drawing pictures and creating images that maybe came from their imagination.  Where did that go?  Did art school screw them up that badly and make people fearful to express their own ideas, concepts, visions and maybe focus a little too much on making money?

I am not trying to be idealistic here either.  I had many-a-sleepless night very focused on when or if the next check will come in over the years.  I did discover after all this time that there will be the ebbs and flows of income and in the very end, all that matters is whether you are doing and creating exactly what you want to do.  When the times are tough and there's no money, all you'll have is your happiness in your art and yourself.

Or not...I don't know...and maybe I am getting too philosophical here....and to each their own.

This storyboard guy that won't even draw for his own pleasure, only for money, it seems ridiculous to even bother being an artist.  It's something I don't understand.  I try not to be critical of it but to me, it doesn't sound like much fun.

The point is, creating for your enjoyment and amusement is often a secret that illustration departments don't always tell students about or maybe some people forget about.  The market will show itself to you with your work that you do and that will lead to making your money.

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This series focuses on the world our intergalactic friends live on and the change that needs to happen in order to save the planet.
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Bakal is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!