Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Technique Schmecknique

[Originally published in Skim Lizard 4, Nov. 1993]

Dialectics ... it's a word. When I began drawing, oh so long ago, I had some idea what it meant. I've kind of always trusted that the specifics of my style would come out in their own sweet time.

Some years later I realized that not everyone else was taking my approach. People lose sleep at night worrying about the way they draw ... I mean the "style" they draw in. I mean, it makes some sense, art often tends to look like this big sea of techniques and such .... from all I can tell that's what they teach you in art school and not how to go to sleep at night, which is left up to the student.

I draw the way I draw ... I've always drawn that way ... I always will. It seems like people have avoided this simple truth since the dawn of art ....

Does this make sense?

What I mean is that each person has their own dialect. They may be speaking the Barron Storey language but it's the Dave McKean, or Bill Sienkiewicz, or k capelli dialect. Strong personal voices is what does it . It doesn't mean shit if you draw like Storey and your voice is non existent. After all, Storey is getting his inspiration from someplace too, it's just that he has such a developed voice. Art is a communication like language, music and other forms of expression. It's all that simple.

What's my point?

I guess the reason I'm saying this is I'm so upset with people confusing the message with the messenger. What art comes down to, for me, is Fucking FEELINGS .. It's not about how much black you use, where you put those lines, or how appropriate your anatomy is.. that shit is all in the domain of CRAFT. And in my opinion it should be treated as such. Any fuck hed can learn how to spell but it takes an amazing writer to make you not give a fuk about spelling.

It's all something I wish I knew 4 years ago (but I never went to art school). Rather than try to just draw, I was busy trying to cop the licks of all these other people. I think it might have something to do with all the changes art has undergone in the past 100 years and that style and personal voice are, after all, kind of closely linked. I'm not sure there is any way to change it but it seem kind of fucked that people spend 4+ years going to art school to have to spend 2+ afterwords before they've realized the value all that shit can be ... when you can go to sleep at night.

This is all so obvious.

I guess.

- Just a note that I owe the women who work at the Comic Relief store an apology for that fucked up comment in the second SL. All I meant is that you have to be crazy (no matter what sex you are) to work in a comic store.


  1. For me, it has been really interesting to re-read these youthful, argumentative, rant-like essays Dylan wrote (tossed off?) for Skim Lizard (I have a couple more to post soon). First, because honestly, I didn’t even remember they existed until Gabby posted one earlier on this site (see Jan 24). Second, because Dylan’s voice in these pieces seems so different from the more thought out way I tended to think of him writing about comics, but also surprisingly maybe not so different from later mini-wave making pieces published on the web, like his thoughts on conventions from April of last year

  2. In those days one had to use "angry voice" to show the seriousness of the sentiment. Otherwise, the default voice was "oozing irony." Nuance had no place in Factsheet Five!