Archive for June 7, 2008

Give the Illustrator Some

Posted in Art, etsy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2008 by darcyarts

 To our left is the amazing Chick Webb.

In music you hear the phrase “Give the drummer some.” This was, in jazz, the star player’s attempt to share the wealth. He was pointing something out to the audience, making them aware of an element that they had taken for granted. “It’s the drummer that’s holds it all together,” they were saying. 

With rock, say in the 60s, it became less necessary. Though the lead guitar player garnered lots of attention – Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix – it was more difficult to over look the work of John Bonham, Keith Moon or Mitch Mitchell. Then Lil Tommy Lee came along with his swirling, spinning, expando elevator drum kit and well, ain’t it great the technology that money can buy?  

There are always exceptions. Few overlooked Gene Krupa or the mighty, mighty Buddy Rich. Sure, he was an asshole but you would be too if you had his chops.

I once caught three sets of Buddy Rich at Disneyland and could NOT leave my seat. All the fantastic wonders of Disneyland paled in comparison to what he could do with a pair of drum sticks in his hands.

Back to the world of Art.

Illustrators have in some quarters been considered “less than” an artist who’s work finds it’s way into the rarified temples of FIne Art. But with artist like N.C. Wyeth, Alphonse Mucha, Maxfield Parrish, Aubrey Beardsley, Jessie King and Jessie Smith, to name just a few, I don’t know how it’s possible.

As Andy knew (see my last post) it’s all a mind game. Sure, skill sometimes plays a part, but I’m convinced it’s a construct like any other psych game.

As Americans we live and breathe the illustrator’s art. Advertising is the life’s blood of capitalism. It’s everywhere around us.  

Aside Warning!!! > I think I should write a little book filled with my theories about Andy Warhol’s genius. He knew that as Americans, from birth we are swaddled in advertising copy.  So in addition to my giant list of great things I think Andy pre-saged, I dub him an early environmentalist. He saw that we are up to our necks in images and as a radical artist, he could just co-opt and recontextualize, repurpose, reuse and recirculate what was already out there. My heart goes badub badub badub.

Here are a few really cool illustrators who have found a way to do their work outside of the corporate setting. How long Etsy will be corporate is another question for another day. Lord let the creators of Etsy keep a pure heart and a strong clear vision, amen.

John W. Golden

Golden has a lot of really attractive images. They are sweet and funky and retro and unique. He makes cool pop art rings too.

Here are others Etsian illustrators to check out:

elloh from Philadelphia.

apak, a duo from the creative stronghold of Portland, Oregon.

berkeley illustrations another duo from Portland.

matte art cool stuff.

The great thing about the democratization of art, writing, music, etc., in the age of the internet is that we can really muffle categorization. We can hyper-apply new and more abstract labels if we want to, but eventually the diverse nature of the myriad creations will mock all categories. Mountains of art will shine bright and wiggle free.

Low Brow  is a neon sign on the road to the democratization of Art. Will it become so legit that it will be invited into the palace of Fine Art? Will the life blood then be sucked out?


Check out what i just bought on etsy from another fabulous Tampa artist, Irma Diaz at souroctopus .

There will always be rebels capable of keeping things interesting and intentionally walking the line.