I’m carrying on in the motivational quote vein this week. This one is from Albert Einstein. Considering how much I loathed Physics at school, it’s amazing that his quotes keep recurring in my blogs. Then again who would have dreamt that my reawakened passion for drawing would lead me to subjects as diverse as Marvel comics and Sacred Geometry.
But then imagination demands that you open your mind and who knows what new vistas you might behold.
So this week I’m moved to discuss imagination and the lack of it. And first off, let me refute the view that imagination is the sole turf of the young. Case in point… I‘m listening to Capital Radio on the school run (my kids think Classic FM is for fogies… but I am prepared to stretch my mind to listen to contemporary fare… where is the equality here?) Lisa Snowdon is chatting to Will-I-Am on a transatlantic flight, asking him what he thinks of the Oscar winning films. The only one he has seen or likes is ‘TinTin in 3D’. Fair enough. She asks him if he might want to see ‘The Artist’ which won five awards. He says ‘I don’t wanna see no black and white movie with no dialogue. That’s just like looking at a load of photos. The old folks voted for that film, it reminds them of their childhood’.He’s passed judgment without even seeing the film. Trouble is he is Will-I-Am… he has the ear of the ‘today’ generation who will dismiss the film because he thinks it ‘ain’t cool’.
I mentioned last week that I was off to see Noir classic ‘Laura’ at the NFT. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was pleased to see the cinema packed, with some pretty young hip people as well as ‘old folks’. The story was corny and melodramatic by today’s standards but beautifully shot with art direction by top Hollywood art director Lyle Wheeler. Gene Tierney as Laura was the epitome of the perfect forties beauty with the most stunning costume changes, as she scales the society ladder with her Pygmalion style mentor played by Clifton Webb. Images are all important… the portrait of Laura, the priceless artefacts in Clifton Webb’s pretentious apartment juxtaposed with the dark world of Dana Andrews hardboiled detective who calls ladies ‘dames’.
My husband indulged me by buying a box set of Film Noir in the NFT bookshop, a veritable candy store for movie fans. This was all in the cause of research, of course, for my ‘Illustrating the Graphic Novel Course’ with Andy Fish. I can’ t believe it’s week five already. Last week we covered composition, finding the best dynamic poses and looking to silent movies for inspiration. So anyone thinking silent movies is dull old boring stuff can think again when they’re wondering where the cutting edge graphic novelists might be getting their inspiration. Tucked in my handbag this week is a copy of Marvel’s ‘Essential X Men‘ and I was particularly taken with the pencilling of Whilce Portacio. I looked up his blog and then found him referring to the work of James R Bingham, a forties artist whose work was very much in the style of all this film noir that I so love.
There you go… nothing new under the sun maybe but new ways to look at things and proof that the imagination is inexhaustible in its ways of invention.
Footnote… I’ve just received my Deleter ink through the post from a source called Dinkybox. This is a special Japanese ink that my teacher recommends and is apparently the one that DC comic artists use. The lady who runs the company says that they’re launching an art gallery for their customers to upload work to. That’s someone who clearly has imagination!