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 Post subject: Bad Art
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:08 pm 
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Am I the only one getting tired of 2-hr photoshop speed paintings that are subsequently shrunk to card size being lauded as if they were cutting-edge demonstrations of skill?

I don't disregard the obvious eye for composition, color, and figure required, but I can't find the same depths of appreciation within myself as I have found for artists that additionally display brush control, texture control, the timing required to deal with unstable media, the skills to either avoid mistakes or gracefully deal with the ones they do make, and the venturousness to create works that are engaging at a size of, lets say, 1 ft square.


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 Post subject: Re: Bad Art
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Let's not overly state the issue.
It's a totally different medium, but it doesn't mean it's an inherently inferior medium.
Let's not put the art of past ages on a pedestal.

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 Post subject: Re: Bad Art
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:02 pm 
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I don't feel that all modern art or all digital art is bad. Angelic Destiny and Spectra Ward are very obviously digital but they're also some of my favorites from more recent (Magic 20XX and later) sets. Sure, my all-time favorite M:tG artists are more Terese Nielsen, DiTerlizzi, Rebecca Guay, Mark Tendon, Anson Maddocks, Richard Kane Ferguson, Matthew Wilson, Susan Van Camp -- that sort of set -- but the currently favored style doesn't fail to please. Heck, I think I got less pleasure out of 7e/Onslaught/Mirrodin art (The Fascist Art Director Era), which had a good deal more "traditional" pieces, but driven to directions that I didn't care for.

That said, I do think more recent offerings have been missing something. When I think about old M:tG art like Curse Artifact, Mana Matrix, a ton of stuff from Fallen Empires like Ebon Praetor... Stuff from the era before style guides, there's a weird inventiveness that's been missing. And I understand that was part of an exchange. As of Mirage, creative started making sure there was a real theme and direction for sets. We lost some of the bizarrely creative designs that felt weird and magical in their own right, but we gained a constructed universe into which it felt like the cards actually felt, grounding them in the lore. I absolutely love the art from the Rath Cycle and Urza's Block and the style guides developed for them are no doubt part of it. But you know... every once in a while, I want to see something that actually gives me pause. That makes me stop, look at it, and imagine what sort of bizarre and mystical realm I've planeswalked into to witness the vista before me. I think the last time we really got something like that was Future Sight, in particular in the Futureshifted subset. Magic 20XX wasn't totally bereft of this, I mean I can't place the plane of either of the two pieces I led with, but overall it didn't really use the opportunity as much as I'd have liked. Ditto some of the weirdness from Commander (whatever).

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 Post subject: Re: Bad Art
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:19 pm 
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When I think about old M:tG art like Curse Artifact, Mana Matrix, a ton of stuff from Fallen Empires like Ebon Praetor... Stuff from the era before style guides, there's a weird inventiveness that's been missing.

Now THAT I can definitely agree with.

Quote:
As of Mirage, creative started making sure there was a real theme and direction for sets. We lost some of the bizarrely creative designs that felt weird and magical in their own right, but we gained a constructed universe into which it felt like the cards actually felt, grounding them in the lore. I absolutely love the art from the Rath Cycle and Urza's Block and the style guides developed for them are no doubt part of it.

I'll argue this point though.
Nothing, I feel, is a better example of details being so micro managed than the differences in the Ravnica blocks.
The newer stuff is a lot more visually consistent, but it also homogenizes the entire world. There's no oddities that stick up like the original had, and honestly, the stuff that was weird is what added character. Now Ravnica as a whole is... kinda bland.

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 Post subject: Re: Bad Art
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:45 pm 
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I actually like a lot of the newer art. I like the style and detail. While I agree that it can make the world seem a little too homogenous, I prefer the cohesion of it over what feels like a bunch of artists being given different assignments and no one really talking to each other. It's also a matter of personal taste, but I also feel like I know what I'm looking at instead of this feeling of "ok, what is that?" When I first look at the Ebon Praetor card that was linked, I see a green devil and a giant rabbit holding a blue woman before a pallid guy (skeleton?) in black and red robes. I don't feel it communicates "evil avatar" so much as "devilish judge" (they're underground and it's fiery). I think that the new art does a better job of showing the card. This guy is looks thinner than the rabbit. Nothing in it seems to indicate that it's a highly aggressive murdering machine. It feels so bureaucratic when I look at it. Admittedly, there may be story elements this is trying to portray that are beyond me.

There's actually a lot of card art that I see and think "Heck, if that was a poster or a print I'd buy it and put it up on my wall." I don't have that reaction so often with older cards.

Edit: corrected a slightly profane word. Sorry!


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 Post subject: Re: Bad Art
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:15 am 
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Art is subjective

/thread

But really.

I like some of the new stuff, I dislike some of the new stuff. Same for old stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Bad Art
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:57 am 
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I think most new art is better than most old art insofar as most of it actually looks like what it's probably supposed to, but I sympathize with a desire for a greater variety of styles. Also Unflinching Courage is the worst recent art I can think of. It's both terrible and makes no sense.

These have been my incredibly pertinent contributions to this thread.


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