The first drawing is a self-portrait. I wanted to see if I could draw myself in the style of Yasuhisa Hara’s manga “Kingdom.” Pleased with my results, I then went on to ask my friends for their “unattractive, weird, or bizarre” selfies. The definition of these terms was up to them.
What I’m going for with these drawings (more to come) is to exaggerate certain facial features to make a person look silly yet larger-than-life. Perhaps slightly intimidating with all their grittiness and intensity. I think it’s important to sometimes step back and appreciate a more grimy style of art, especially when so much of it is sanitized nowadays.
A good example of this is the original “Lord of the Rings” movies vs the more recent “Hobbit” movies. People prefer the original trilogy’s practical effects, realistic people, and gritty aesthetic as opposed to the CGI-fest that is the “Hobbit” trilogy, with its smooth surfaces and clean characters, as if someone put a snapchat filter over the films. This cheapens the impact of the story, and disconnects us, the viewers, from what is happening on-screen.
In a similar way, sanitized accounts of Biblical stories and Saint hagiographies disconnect us from the reality of the situation. Sometimes reality is intense, uncomfortable, and sometimes downright gross. But it is our reality and we should embrace it.