Saturday, 27 October 2007

Old School V’s New School

In digital sculpting at the moment there are two main schools of style. The old school and the new school. Old school style is typically signified by the wrinkly old men, orc’s and various types of semi naked females. While the new school style has gone past the pursuit of ‘detail’ in favour of realism, or an understated realism. So which school is ‘right’?

Well to be honest both are fine, as this is art after all and it is down to the particular artist which he likes doing more. I personally am always a sucker for the old school style. ‘Clichés’ are clichés for a reason, it’s because they are popular and work well, although the fact that they are seen so often is reason enough for some to hate it. Plus more times than enough they are much more fun to do. While the new understated realism is really a pursuit not of style, but of an acceptance of the mainstream art world. A lot of 3d guys think that because they can stick a naked female or male in a attractive pose that this makes them ‘better’ that Leonardo da Vinci etc… It is worth remembering that while we have the benefit of modern understanding of anatomy etc. The old sculptors and painters didn’t.

They had to work it all out for themselves, without the help of textbooks, forums, DVD’s or online help. It dismays me when I see artists with an attitude that they are ‘better’ because of the style within they choose to work. No art is truly ‘better’ … only different. The painting of a 3 year old is no ‘better’ than a Da Vinci. As both are ‘art’ and both are from the heart and soul of the artist and hence equal as ‘art’.

No artist ever stops learning, and the day we think we know everything is the day we should give it all up and wash toilets for living, as it means we are then beyond hope. I like old school stuff. It’s technically no easier or harder than new school to be frank. I’ve done both and to me there is no difference in skill levels needed. We make the sculpts that we do either because a client demands it, or simply because we like them. In the same way that the songs and albums I recorded were recorded so I had something to listen to that I myself wanted to hear, my personal art are things I want to look at.

I imagine many artists feel the same about their personal work. So while others want to create one type of art that is currently in vogue, I create what I like for all its positive and negative points. I refuse to follow a fashion of any type, let alone a 3d industry one. The reason for this is because the moment you start to ‘chase’ something is the moment it starts to slip through your fingers.

Sometimes it is worth baring in mind that there are in fact two reasons to do any digital sculpt. As a piece of ‘art’, or as a technical piece. Neither has any more merit than the other really, although purely technical sculpts are getting a bit of a bad rep of late. Does this mean we need not study technique? I’d like to think that this wouldn’t be the case as then the standard of artists themselves would drop. If digital art is to ever be truly accepted, then we must learn to love all of the facets of it, both the cliche’s and technical pieces as well as the more ‘arty’ things. To deny one or the other denies the world of 3D the breadth it needs for the future.

Thus end’s the sermon for today.