Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Komori Style

Growing up in Japan, I grew up reading comic books. They were far more entertaining than novels and were a quick read. As I read more and more comic books, I eventually began to aspire to be a comic book artist. However, in Japan, the stereotypes those comic book artists are attributed to are that they are extremely poor, never sleeps, and never steps out into the sunlight. In such society, naturally my parents were opposed to my idea of becoming one of these hermits. Like any other parents, they wanted to me to pursue a lucrative job and financial security. I, too, wanted to be successful in the monetary sense, but to this day, if someone asks me what I want to do if I didn’t have to worry about financial concerns, I tell them that I want to be a Japanese comic book artist. I like that these artists have complete control over what they want to draw and what they want to convey through these drawings. Success solely depends on whether or not readers like their story or not. With my over active imagination, I feel that I would be well suited to such a life. However, the reality is that only one in thousands are able to make a decent living just with their comics. Therefore, I will most likely pursue this dream as a hobby.

I like drawing when I am inspired. But I am easily frustrated when I can’t perfectly draw out what I had envisioned in my mind. Usually my room is littered with paper scraps with unfinished line drawings because I give up trying to copy down exactly what I see in my mind. Even when my line drawing is satisfactory, coloring is a process that requires a lot of courage. I feel the need to trace out the line drawing at least once, so that if I ruin one of them while coloring, I still have another copy. I am a very cautious drawer. Meaning I take far too long to draw anything and am too much of a perfectionist to call a drawing finished. During this semester of Drawing 100, however, I was forced to work at a much faster pace than usual in order to meet deadlines. More often than not, I was still unable to complete the assignments by the deadline. Usually my values are far too light. I usually like to layer on graphite gradually. I begin light and work towards darkening certain areas. I feel like it is easier to darken areas rather than lightening it, which required even erasing. Nevertheless, clearly I still need to work on the time management aspect. Therefore, I enjoy drawing the most when I can take however long I want to finish it.

Graphite pencil is usually the medium of my choice, but when color is involved I like to work with watercolor and colored pencils – mediums which allow for corrections. Basically I am a coward when it comes to drawing, which is good for technical drawings, but not suitable at all for abstract art. I can count with one hand how many times I’ve done abstract drawings. I will always prefer realistic drawings. As an artist, although I feel that I should take risks, my preference has always been the same.

Marie Komori

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