|A classic photo-based work of mines, some six hours...||A drawing "from scratch": four hours.|
Nowadays my works are based, mostly, around a photo.
However,the truth is... I am a bit faster drawing on my own. Not much, but a bit. It takes me a quarter of an hour to whip up a sketch with four characters, it takes me some twenty minutes to find a photo I want to "mod". With one character. If I have to use two or three characters... the photos really becomes just a limit, as I have to redraw the characters anyway, in order to get them to interact believably.
So, to spare time is not really the reason why I use so much photos. I have a couple of other reasons.
The first is that, if I go on for a while without "checking in" with reality, I tend to use a style that is not very realistic but, rather, quite cartoonish.
It doesn't come as a surprise - cartoons were my first love, and I still love them dearly.
There is nothing wrong with it, really... just, realism goes out of the window, which places those works well inside the realm of fantasy.
Now, most often than not, it is not really my purpose to draw out my fantasies as such - as fantasies, that is.
Often, when I draw, what I want do is to illustrate, as credibly as I can, a possible alternate reality.
This because it is evident - to me, of course; may not be the same to you - that most of what we call reality, most of what we accept for granted is just, really, a collection of social constructs.
Other societies, in the past, created different values than the ones that we currently believe in.
Even our society has changed its values notably, in just the span of our lives - which doesn't really make it that much more enjoyable for the likes of me, of course.
So, when I draw, I often like to hint at some other ways things could go - not really any better than what we know, just... different.
Maybe, a little more "honest" world... plenty of our rules and laws are just the by-product of the current balance of forces, in our society, and have not much to do with any "objective" justice.
And not so rarely, the values are also pretty arbitrary, if observed with even a modicum of "scientific spirit"... what is the difference between liver-destructing alcohol and Marijuana, for example? Why one is still a mainstay of our culture, the second a proscribed product with an almost illegal market?
Not that something like any "objective" moral value actually exists, or have ever existed in any society...
In this, I am rather with Ken McLeod.Right or wrong... it is all just balance of social forces struggling against each other and economic necessities, where "economy" must be taken in a broader sense.
A different world, one even almost unrecognizable from the one we live in, is always possible. And such worlds are what I, really, like to draw.
Worlds were I, hopefully, could feel less hopelessly oppressed than in the one we live in.
- I do not care that this is the better of the worlds we have seen so far, that every other society our species has generated was almost inevitably harsher, more classist and unjust, less forgiving... fucking worse. I still feel oppressed by the shitload of crap that it does charge on almost everybody that lives. Better than anything till now, doesn't mean that it is not, still, a gigantic bag of crap. It could be worse, and it seems all intent growing into something that will be much worse, a much needed (if you believe the assholes that writes on Forbes) return to the moral values of middle XIX century cut-throat capitalism... shittier than shit -
I am not so interested in providing more sexually tinted fucking escapism, so that some more dumb fucks like me can lower their head, eat their daily dish of merde and keep soldiering on, till they are finally allowed to die.
I prefer to hint that thing could be different... nothing less than this cuts it, for me.
To do so, the more realism, the better... for which, photo-based works are better.
Even when, to render justice to the original material, it takes me a lot more time in the "inking" phase than what would be needed for simply wrapping up a sketch and go with the flow.