Even though the featured image for this personal blog entry has YUKI in it, this post is NOT about YUKI. For this entry, I’m going to talk about my personal thoughts and views regarding art in general. I felt prompted to write about this because recently, thanks to MADKID’s new photo shots that they’re currently using on their social media accounts, my very dormant digital art mojo suddenly woke up. For a while now, I started creating digital art based on those photos and all their other photos currently existing all around the cloud.
Since Crunchyroll Expo, MADKID kind of went on the down-low. Usually around this time, the last few months of the year, this always happens. After all, in the entertainment world, we all deserve a long hiatus break, especially if you’re (almost) a self-produced artist like MADKID. But, “hiatus” doesn’t usually always mean “long vacation” from their field. It can also mean they’re out there doing side projects 1 while also working for new material to be (possibly) released next year. Let’s also keep in mind that they have their one-man live coming up soon in February 2020, so that’s definitely something to look forward to.
At the same time, MADKID also gave us Axcels a break from getting so hyped with them and buying all the merch as we can 2 and also spreading news and updates about MADKID in different languages. They also gave us an opportunity to spend more time in our real-life days 3 and also try something new. I’m currently doing both of them, but I made sure I have my Twitter notifications on so that I don’t miss any tweets that the MADKID official twitter and even tweets from all the members.
My Personal Art History
As for trying something new while MADKID is on the down-low, I did try something new: creating fan art. I have a confession to make regarding art – I’m not like most fan artists where they can do character illustrations by hand or even by digital art using computer graphics software like Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Procreate, Affinity Designer, Clip Studio Paint, etc. I want to get used to using a drawing tablet, but I need something more high end like WACOM Cintiq so it’s much easier to use a drawing tablet as if I’m actually drawing using a traditional pen and paper.
I think my traditional art forte is lettering. I can create eye-catching artwork with words and letters alone. In some way, it’s kind of like creating a painting art or pencil art, but I play with decorative letters, not character creation or portraits of people. There is a formal term for this particular of art. It’s called Lettering. And as a lettering artist, one of my goals is to create my own set of fonts that people could use for their digital designs. The thing is, I’m not very good at using the right tools and software. I have to figure out how to use them for projects like these. But, as everyday life goes, I don’t have any time to spend just to self-teach myself how to use these tools. 4
Along with Lettering, I also do a form of art therapy: zentangles, mandalas, zendalas, and adult coloring books. These are some of the methods of relaxation and destressing or times when I just wanted to not be in front of the computer and simply relax. But lately, my baby nephew has been visiting our house more frequently, so I spend more time with the baby than working on some traditional art. One of my goals is to get an adult coloring book published with some of my zentangle, mandala, and zendala designs in them so that others can do their coloring magic on them, just like how I was with other adult coloring books that I could find.
The most precious necessary element that every living human being must have is time. Because of the nature of my work and the things going on with my life outside the internet, I don’t have time to sit down and take the time to practice or learn how to do character/portrait art, let alone learning how to paint or even do simple shading with the pencil, charcoal, pastel, etc. And the sad part too is that I have plenty of traditional art tools that I can use for all of these: pencils, colored pencils, highlighters, metallic pens, gel pens, markers of almost every kind, etc. 5
Lastly, I do simple digital art. It’s mostly photo manipulation, and that’s what exactly is. However, you can also use original photos as templates for you to trace over to create shapes and then use your coloring magic with these shapes. It sounds easy, but if you’re not familiar with using the digital software that you have, you’ll even have a hard time accomplishing this first step. At first, I thought that people would look at me as a “wanna-be” if all of my best artwork turns out to be digital fan art. That was some years ago when digital art is still in its early stages. Today, even the greatest of all the artists around the world are strictly digital artists. It’s not because they “cheat” by using something that’s automated, but because they have good eye, good imagination, and good perspective on the scene or subject that they want to create art on, but also because they know how to use their graphics software properly, just like how an artist would be skillful in using their tools, like your easel, paint, and paintbrush.
The pros and cons of traditional art vs. digital art
TRADITIONAL ART PROS:
- Handmade – only your imagination and your hands can create something fresh, natural, and original.
- So many tools and instruments to choose from, which not only includes your pens, markers, or brushes, but also includes the type of paper you’re using or other surfaces like plastic, wood, etc.
- You have the freedom to do a lot of customizations with your art, where you can add your magical signature into it, which is something no other can copy or replicate. This even includes framing or packaging your art if you were to give (or sell) to someone else.
- You can sell your art at a hefty price due to its originality and rarity. If you create your artwork by hand, no one else can replicate it because you add your own personal magic to it. With that personal magic, your artwork becomes one of a kind.
TRADITIONAL ART CONS:
- Traditional artwork takes a very long time to create. Not all of us have all the time in the world to create art.
- High chances of making mistakes – if you use an eraser to erase your pencil marks, the paper may get damaged. Or worse, you would have to tear down the paper you used and then start fresh with another one.
- Art tools and instruments are expensive. The higher your quality, the more expensive of the tools and instruments you would need to spend. Sometimes, certain types of high quality tools and instruments are not found in your local stores and would have to search online all over and order them online.
- There are learning curves on taking care of your new tools and instruments, especially if you’ve never used them before. You would have to take the time to practice and get used to them.
- Not everyone can gain or improve their artistic skills regardless of how much time they spend practicing. Some individuals may not have the artistic flair hidden in them, no matter how much they practice. 6
DIGITAL ART PROS:
- Save time – using a computer graphics software can automate everything that you would need to do by hand. You can even edit the finished result if you want to add your flair at a faster time.
- Different types of graphics software that you can choose. Sometimes, all you need is just one particular software to do all of your artwork.
- Save space in your room and on your desk. You won’t have to deal with the clutter or organization of traditional art tools and instruments.
- You have the option of purchasing extra hardware, such as a drawing tablet peripheral or even a tablet device like an iPad or Kindle Fire, to have a much more natural control of your digital art.
- If you are a traditional artist and would love your artwork to be digital, you can also combine both. For example, you draw your art in pencil, scan it using a scanner/printer, import it in your graphics software, and trace/color over your scan.
DIGITAL ART CONS:
- Even though it’s mentioned that you can save time in making the same art style using a graphics software compared to the artwork you’d normally use your hands on, creating an art using a graphics software still takes a lot of time, just like how you create your art by hand.
- The costs and expenses are also high, however, you can save money in comparison to purchasing traditional arts and tools. You’ve got an all-in-one graphics software that you can use tools like pencil, pen, marker, watercolor, paint, etc.
- There are learning curves on how to use your chosen graphics software. In fact, not all graphics software are the same. For example, Adobe Photoshop primarily focuses on photo edits and manipulation, as well as creating rasterized graphics 7 for presentations, flyers, etc. Adobe Illustrator is an all-out illustration program, where you can create all your graphics using vector from scratch. So, for example, if you want to create your custom anime character on the computer, you can use Adobe Illustrator for that. Mentioning this, for those who aren’t tech-savvy, even learning how to use the program properly would take you a long time before you can even begin creating your digital art.
So, in short from those lists, both traditional art and digital art are pretty much the same. They’re both art, no matter how much you look at it. Because of this, I’m no longer worried about being called a “wanna-be artist” and gained my confidence in making my own fan art style using original photos as references and still be considered a fan artist. 😅
I will continue writing more about digital art and traditional art on my art and stories blog, Adri Mars INK, sometime, if you are interested in getting to know more.
I have three locations where I post some of my art. I may start posting some of my MADKID fan art in one of these accounts. You can check them out yourself if you like:
- Behance (dormant)
- DeviantArt (very dormant)
- Pixiv (never used cuz I don’t really do character art… eep!)
- Adri Mars INK (personal art and stories blog)
MADKID and Fan Art
YOU-TA once said on Twitter and even on their official LINE Blog regarding fan dedication to MADKID. He said that you don’t need to do the most extreme to show everyone how much of a fan that you are. There are different ways for you to show your love for MADKID: attend all of their concerts and lives, go to fan meets, talk about them on SNS channels like Twitter and Instagram, talk to the members directly on SNS channels just to say hi, 8 write letters and send gifts to them, and create fan art and crafts of MADKID and/or your favorite member. You can even do the rarest method of showing love for MADKID by building a fansite and blog dedicated to MADKID and/or your favorite member like AXCEL STYLE or go all out with your artistic flair by creating fan art of the group and/or your favorite member. The methods of showing your love for MADKID are simply endless!
And also, who says you can only do one when you can do many of them from time to time? So far, here’s what I’ve done for MADKID since I became an Axcel back in April 2018:
- Follow them on Twitter and Instagram: RT, tweet the members, etc.
- Go to their personal livestreams and chill and talk with them.
- Wake up at 3-4 am PST just to watch MAD MUSIC on LINE LIVE and whatever livestream that they have as a group (SWISH, etc.)
- Write short fanfic of SHIN at J-Pop Amino as part of their weekly challenges
- Build a blog that ended up expanding into a full-blown fansite (AXCEL STYLE)
- Create a separate Twitter and Instagram account to translate some of the news and updates relevant to international Axcels
- Buy their CDs, singles, and albums
- Join the MADKID FC
- Attend a MADKID live through Crunchyroll Expo
Now, during the down-low period of MADKID, I add these to my personal list:
- Create digital fan art of MADKID
- Create original graphics of MADKID as freebie downloads for use on SNS channels like profile pics
- Participate in NaNoWriMo to write a longer MADKID fanfic 9
I was super happy when I received some positive feedback from fellow Axcels who normally make fanart for the guys, even if I used Photoshop and Illustrator to create them. Not only that, even general digital artists also praised some of my basic artwork too. Once I started experimenting with a group image using some basic watercolor effect, I couldn’t stop working on them. Because of that, I decided to open a separate Instagram account that would house all of my MADKID fan art and graphics. I’ll eventually embed my IG gallery somewhere here on AXCEL STYLE, but you can always check out the IG itself and follow me.
If you enjoyed the YUKI mixed media digital fanart that I made, I’m very happy. I promise to make more of a similar feel for the rest of the members too. Best of all, the model himself RT’d this sweet art. 🥰
I could go on and on with my digital art methods, but then this is a MADKID fansite/blog and it wouldn’t be about MADKID anymore, so I’ll just write about that on my Adri Mars INK blog instead.
Lastly, thank you for all your love and support for MADKID. I mean, thank you also for giving me some support of any kind for letting me continue on with this site and being able to share all the news and updates about MADKID and our boys. But remember, MADKID is the priority in this case. When you want to share some news and info about them, be sure you refer to them by linking, tagging, or RTing the original source.
That’s all for today. I’m out to make more fan art!
- SHIN currently performing in a stage musical, CinderEile, as of this writing. You can read more about CinderEile here.
- In the case of those who are in Japan, going to every single release event and live events stacking one after another.
- In my case, focusing more on my work, code studies, and taking care of my baby nephew
- Not to mention spending money on some of them too…
- I have a huge set of water-based markers (Tombow) and alcohol-based (Copic) markers. Some I purchased myself, some were gifts. The Copic Markers are the most expensive art tools I’ve ever owned.
- I’m an example of this. I’ve taken some character drawing courses but I’m not very satisfied with my results. However, I’m doing well with geometric shapes, art therapy, and lettering art.
- examples of rasterized graphics are photographs
- don’t expect them to reply you back…
- Really failing on this one though… maybe I’ll just quit this challenge and write the fanfic at a later time.