“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud

Monday, September 10, 2012

THE SEEKER_kickstarter

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]

I don't t know when or why it became acceptable to draw the same features, shapes and sizes on ALL women when it comes to comics and its illustrations.

I'm fully aware that I am guilty of doing that horrible bullshittery myself -  three hundred times over; and I think it's the only way I can embarrassingly form this valid opinion: I was indirectly trained to be a lazy artist.

In the past I was told - in so many words, and shown in actual practice - that doing the same cookie cutter sort of features is the short-hand way of drawing the personification of what passes as 'beauty' in comics; women had/have been standardized and sexualized to look a specific way. Honestly, I didn't care. I wanted to draw comic books for a living and if drawing top heavy girls lacking any emotional depth on their faces was the way to get a job, then I'd do that. Or, put more simply, "Big breasts, pouty, unemotional eyes and X-shaped faces are easier to draw over and over again. Now, modify that slightly with different colored haircuts, varying costume details and... VIOLA! And since that practice is what everyone is used to, and our fan base has been weened on this stuff since forever, why bother trying anything else? Great. Let's go sell some comics."

But now looking back, I believe that's just really just my poor excuse for not wanting to explore the many versions of what passes for an attractive female. 

Consider that train of thought for a minute and let's assume that comics - due to it's historically male-centric fan base - will only celebrate and tolerate statuesque proportions on their heroines. That's asinine, I know. But let's just check out of reality for a minute and say that the ONLY thing that will pass for a female super hero is 36-24-36.

If we can stipulate that the standards of beauty in the women of comics should ONLY look like... let's say... SUPERMODELS, can we come to terms that we should, at the very least, endeavor to give them different faces? Can we all agree that even supermodels' faces look different from one another? And if we can agree to that, then it perplexes me as to why the same face is being drawn over and over and over again. What I'm proposing is this: If you're going to have a bunch of superhuman amazons, you can at least draw different features on their faces so that they're individually identifiable beyond their hair color and/or their costumes. I would argue that, if your an artist worth your salt, an excercise like that shouldn't be all that difficult.

But like I said, I'm guilty of doing just that in the past. Hell, I'm still guilty of doing that now when I set my brain to 'automatic'. Old habits are really difficult to break, I must admit. So before I go and point my hypocritical finger at someone else, I'd better start worrying about what I can do from my end.

I say (to myself, mostly...), stop being lazy. I believe that it's worth the time and effort to not just do everything in short hand, and that to keep drawing women whose race is only identifiable by their skin color is not just insulting, it also lacks imagination.

Thin, thick. Tall, petite. Muscular, round. Oval, triangle, diamond faces. White, Black, Asian, Spanish features. Etcetera.

Let's try drawing all of those.


mordicai said...


Arianne Criseyde Pascual said...

It's great that you acknowledge that flaw. There's certainly more to gain from drawing diverse women :)

Arianne Criseyde Pascual said...

I admire you even more for acknowledging that flaw. There's certainly more to gain from drawing diverse women :)

Arianne Criseyde Pascual said...

I admire you even more for acknowledging that flaw. There's certainly more to gain from drawing diverse women :)