Drawing is FUN


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dear Readers,

Drawing is fun. People who hope to become professional illustrators study special techniques and in due course get better at drawing. However, often as they make progress with their technique they lose their spirits which is the most important thing in illustrating. This is no good. Drawing technically well alone means nothing. Unfortunately, spirits cannot be taught. That is the problem.

Obviously, professionals need to draw well or they’ll be laughingstocks. In that respect, amateurs can be more easygoing because they don’t need to concern themselves with technique. They can simply enjoy drawing for themselves what they see and feel without worrying about the opinion of others. For professionals this is not the case. They have to show off their skill to the world, which keeps them from seeming relaxed. In point of fact, an old man who hasn’t drawn since childhood may draw a primitive illustration that moves him deeply. Heta-uma (Bad-nice) illustrations fascinate me because of this kind of inversion of value.

You should believe that your talent as an unskillful illustrator is equal to another’s skillful talent. I hope this book will be a bible for such readers. Please enjoy this book as you draw with your family and friends.

love, peace, happiness,
Terry Johnson
from Terry’s big red book (what was the title Dan? Heta-uma Dictionary? I can’t make it out in Japanese) published by Blues Interactions, Inc


8 Responses to “Drawing is FUN”
  1. Anonymous says:

    heta-uma sounds great. johnson is an original too. spirit art. primitive and deeply moving. impetus. diy. punk rock.

    what happens when heta-uma/bad-nice becomes an easy way for people without spirit to fake skill by co0pting a seemingly easy to fake style?

  2. Anonymous says:

    beautiful images. i hate the comics attitude that the medium has to be a depressing one, where all you do is sigh as you slave away on drawings that “no one will appreciate.” this attitude seems somewhat entrenched in the the practitioners of the form.

    but god it can be depressing. although my entire life is comics i hardly “draw” anymore in the old sense of doodling around or whatever. and because i work only in sketchbooks, the only things left to draw on without fear of repercussion are scraps of paper.

    I was thinking how outsiders are often more observant and appreciative than the insiders. even lichtenstein, whom many of us dislike (including me), saw things in comics (physicality, mechanicical quirks, patina) that the people who actually slaved away day after day on these things did not. isn’t it a terrible thought, though, to think that you might be better at something if you tried less? hm…perhaps i’m like the anxious, needy guy who keeps calling this girl, who makes her his life, and then is confused why things aren’t working out.

    sorry for the rant!

  3. Frank Santoro says:

    “what happens when heta-uma/bad-nice becomes an easy way for people without spirit to fake skill by co0pting a seemingly easy to fake style?”

    The same thing when there is fake punk rock or fake anything, you have to take a look at it and wonder if it really MOVES you. If it doesn’t move you, then move on, big deal.

  4. knut says:

    I believe that the “doodle-plane” (if you forgive my terminology) exists at the threshold of imagination and fantasy itself. I believe this is the reason why we are seeing the current generation of avant-garde cartoonists transition so comfortably into genre material.

    Everyone out there who is doing comics this way keep it up! We need more comics like this so let’s not be so fast to dismiss new things as knock-offs.

  5. Anonymous says:

    are you guys gonna publish ebisu?

  6. ULAND says:

    “inversion of value”= Irony.
    I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but let’s be honest about it- It requires a healthy- sometimes overbearing, I think- sense of irony to get into this stuff in the first place. I get that it seems more “authentic”.It kind of represents to us something we wish we had more of, which is a kind of bravery to be very unselfconscious.But I think that can sometimes act as a sort of adolescent crutch.It’s drawing how we want to be, not how we are.The adult would move on to try to refine who and what they actually are. And that could be something really wild looking, I know. I think Panter does it. He took that initial freedom in unselfconciousness and refined it and expanded as he went. That’s why he’s great, it’s not cause he’s “childlike” or naive.
    I think that’s why King terry is no Gary Panter.
    Anyhow, I think even though I want to agree with the guy cause I like his drawing to a certain extent, I think the whole “bad-good” thing is pretty facile and its getting more so as more younger artists do this kind of thing.
    – Why does it all look so similar?
    You could almost predict the next stylistic quirks that are going to be on display at the next MOCCA.
    That’s not very punk rock, but they’re not any more fake punk than some of the people Picturebox publishes.They approach it in the same spirit and hit all their marks.
    Maybe punk rock is dead? Maybe that’s good.
    I think less Buzzcocks, more King Crimson.

  7. ULAND says:

    -Or maybe in the next ten years people will just get sick of looking at drawing/graphics so much.Maybe that’s good too.

  8. Frank Santoro says:

    I love King Crimson!

    Yah, I hear you. Terry’s pretty good tho’…

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