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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    San Diego
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    Default Artistic License vs. Technical Ability

    One thing I've noticed as of late...and maybe some of you have noticed it too, is that there seems to be an uptick of 'technical instruction' over artistic instruction.

    What I mean by this is...and this stems from a question I maybe misinterpreted elsewhere from the forums because my 'oh no!' radar is just constantly alerting me to such things to the point where I'm getting false positives...there's this misunderstanding that 'having a tool' is the same as understanding what it's used for and how to use it. I make jokes about this now and then with regards to someone, say, paying for the Adobe Suite and then thinking that's reason enough for them to be a graphic designer/video editor/web designer, etc.

    Some of the jokes I make about this phenomena are:

    "I bought a plane ticket, so that makes me an airplane pilot!"

    "I drove down the street, that makes me car mechanic!"

    "I own a television, that makes me a director!"

    You get the drift. Places like, 'skill share' and other 'technical instruction' seem to misinterpret what makes a craft a craft. It's not only understanding the tool, it's understanding why you would use that tool to begin with. This isn't a case of having a hammer and thinking everything's a nail, it's a case of owning an entire toolbox and then making a house that has no structural integrity. Surely I can't be the only person who sees this trend. I feel it's overselling technology to make up for shortcomings of skill and craftsmanship, but then it's pushed even harder by people becoming 'teachers' who learned the wrong way themselves. And yes, there are wrong ways to do art.

    My wife and I are both competent in this department (she's way better and much more educated on this subject than me) but she and I agree that there's a lot of 'technical instruction enforcing only one way to do things' when in actuality, the process is the part the artist does, understanding the fundamentals of the problem to be solved is the place where right/wrong occur. Maybe this next example illustrates what I mean:

    Far too often I see people wanting to learn how to 'draw anime'. And then I see 'teachers' (unqualified internet personalities) then give terrible instruction that completely ignores what 'drawing anime' involves:
    Knowing anatomy
    Knowing 3 dimensional drawing and perspective
    Knowing lighting and shading
    Knowing color

    Those things are used...the 'anime' question is one of style, not substance, but people seem to be inclined to give bad advice about style. To put it another way, it's like learning a multiplication table, but never understanding what multiplication actually IS.

    Sure, you've never been asked for any product of numbers above 12x12, but as soon as someone asks you for 13x12...can you work it out? It's not on the multiplication chart...did you ever learn what multiplication is?

    And so I hope I'm not the only one that sees this. I know it's mostly a product of the times, and being from the US, our school system is test based rather than concept based...but at the same time, I feel technology companies sell solutions they don't actually have and people run with it to make their own dollar doling out terrible information. A lot of it is technically sound from a tool standpoint, but as I've always noticed having jobs in the tech field...most things you learn that are specific to the job, you can grasp in a week or so. However, if you don't have the fundamentals that underline the entire point, you're just going to repeat things in places where it's absolutely inappropriate.

    Please, someone tell me I am not crazy!

    Peace!

    EDIT: Oh and the one place I see the most of this 'tool over use' aspect...kearning fonts. EVERYWHERE...good kearning isn't automatic, it's understood what the purpose is and you have to have an eye and patience to do it by hand...I've seen movie posters from big studios give away the fact their hired help doesn't know what they're doing...and it makes me sad.
    lots of my xara-made stuff ends up on my tumblr. NOT ALWAYS SAFE FOR WORK BUT MOSTLY IS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    17,016

    Default Re: Artistic License vs. Technical Ability

    but as soon as someone asks you for 13x12...can you work it out?
    (12x12)+12 is the way to go ...

    the modern world is full of advice, some of it dodgy and I am guilty of it myself occasionally - but it's partly the result of the now relatively unrestricted means we all have, of expressing our sometimes ill-considered view, on anything we like; and the speed and emphemeral nature of much of the web does not help

    in my field, ideas are king - you can teach skills all you like, but coming up with good ideas is a black art

    the first rule of DIY has always been 'know when to ask someone else who knows more than you do' - but somewhere along the line this is getting lost, although it may simply be that it is now more obvious how often it is ignored...
    -------------------------------
    carpe diem
    carpo vitae

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    10,465

    Default Re: Artistic License vs. Technical Ability

    Quote Originally Posted by handrawn View Post
    (12x12)+12 is the way to go ...
    Only if you understand the Commutative, Associative and Distributive Laws and your 12-times tables.

    13 x 12 = 12 x 13, hence:

    What you don't "know": (12 x 13) + (12 x 0)

    What you do "know", using the Laws:
    (12 x 12) + (12 x 1)
    (12 x 11) + (12 x 2)
    (12 x 10) + (12 x 3)
    (12 x 9) + (12 x 4)
    (12 x 8) + (12 x 5)
    (12 x 7) + (12 x 6)
    (12 x 6) + (12 x 7)
    (12 x 5) + (12 x 8)
    (12 x 4) + (12 x 9)
    (12 x 3) + (12 x 10)
    (12 x 2) + (12 x 11)
    (12 x 1) + (12 x 12)

    The original trick is to spot the pattern to the answers in the what you know part and extend into the don't know area.
    The bold ones are the "easier" to calculate and sum.

    Mathematics and Art both require deep understanding.
    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: XDPX (current, v15, v12 & 11 (64-bit)), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7; lots of licences back through time (to CC's Artworks). If your Post identifies a Xara software fault, please raise it directly with Magix --> support2.magix.com.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    17,016

    Default Re: Artistic License vs. Technical Ability

    I sorta took the 'spot the pattern' bit as read

    it's all about patterns: maths, art, music, games, life itself..

    biology is really chemistry
    chemistry is really physics
    physics is really maths
    maths is pattern recognition...

    maybe aristotle wasn't so misguided after all...
    Last edited by handrawn; 09 December 2019 at 10:01 AM. Reason: I on the other hand remain dyspeptic
    -------------------------------
    carpe diem
    carpo vitae

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,180

    Default Re: Artistic License vs. Technical Ability

    It's just as well that we don't have to be artists or web designers to produce artwork and websites that make people happy.

    Having tools doesn't make us professional or skilled, but they do enable people to accomplish things they might otherwise have felt was not possible.

    In that sense, Xara and other software and tools do their job as enablers.

    If art had to be perfect to be enjoyable there would be a lot more miserable people in the world. Art is not about technical skill or understanding, but about how it makes people feel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    17,016

    Default Re: Artistic License vs. Technical Ability

    besides art is full of variables just like life itself, and so perfect does not exist as a definition in any absolute sense... unlike skill when you can at least benchmark
    -------------------------------
    carpe diem
    carpo vitae

 

 

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