Friday, September 07, 2012

To Kim Jung-Gi Wannabe's

Hi there. A lot of you may already know who Kim Jung Gi is if you've actually searched
his name and happened to stumble into this page by chance.

If you don't, well... I guess the video itself is self explanatory.

The topic about this guy has been ongoing within my Illustration Major peers
who's been creating a heated debate regarding whether his works are worth
studying or not, and also about the argument that sketches are made for studies, 

not for retailing purposes.

Well, this argument basically goes on because there are students who are die-hard

fans of his work, love applying Kim Jung Gi's idea of selling sketchbooks with lotsa
beautiful sketches in it, while neglecting a big part of what makes a sketchbook a
sketchbook, studies. So you can pretty much figure out how the students are with 
their work when it lacks anatomical skills and brimming with overconfidence.

And no, that doesn't really connect well with the majority of the lecturers, since

their job is to create quality students, and they can't when students aren't really
doing things they should be.

Of course, there are those that grasp it properly and is at the level where they can

understand and exude Kim Jung Gi's skills. From what I hear though, the numbers
of people who can do that is pretty much down to like catching Mewtwo with a basic
normal Pokeball and the people who're just blindly emulating him are akin to the number
of rice grains in a rice bag.

So.. don't worry. I'm not about to convert you from doing what you're doing now. Just 

sharing my thoughts about this.

After watching the video, I'm led to believe that he isn't an artist to be emulated yet 
by intermediate artists like us. Actually, even if you're pretty advanced (lets just say
you draw Pokemon for a living), doing what he does is still pretty damned hard. 

So...Tough luck with that.

But in my honest opinion, this is what I think; Mr.Kim basically does everything from
pure liquid imagination, and as you can see, he's one of those people with active 

photographic imagination, meaning to say that he can draw with his hand, literally 
as he sees fit. He can process and manifest visuals from his brain right to every
last intricate detail with his nimble fingers.

How does he do it? I have no idea. I have yet to get a hold of a recording of his life
memories, so if you happen to find one, upload on youtube and bravo, everyone's

gonna be rich artistically.

But jokes aside, I guess this is what I really wanna address.

In the video, have you noticed that his proportions are flawless in the same way 

as is his perspective? Not to mention that his figure gestures and expressions 
are spot on and his detailing is also accurate. His depth of field 
is undoubtedly there. 

And oh, did I mention that he did the whole drawing in fish-eye without 
any guideline? More like every figure he did was without guidelines. 

He can start with a head and draw a hand, then connect every piece of 
limb and part accurately without any mistake. This kinda judgment isn't 
easy to do without proper understanding and practice.

So... if you're aspiring to be like him someday, how do you expect yourself, to be like 

(emulate) him, and sell your sketchbook (if you could, cheers to you friend) when
1. You're not sure how the figure fully works yet.
2. You're not good with proportions yet.
3. Your depth of field and control with lines is not yet mastered.
4. You have not fully-grasped your gestures and expressions yet.
5. You're not sure how perspective works in different dimensions and angles.
6. You've not seen enough.

Basically speaking, if you can't conjure an image of a muscular man directly 

from your imagination in multiple angles and different perspectives without any
guidelines, chances are you're not ready to take on Kim Jung Gi's level of work yet.
So.. I can kinda understand what the lecturers in my college are going through, in a 

way that they want the students to tackle all these core issues one by one by going 
to the basic resources, and by basic, meaning probably the best resources on each topic.

Why approach an artist who does a portrayal of his understanding with art completely 

from raw imagination, when you can study masters who've already laid everything out 
for you to build up a good foundation in art with proper references you can effectively 
learn from, so that you can be the next Kim Jung Gi?

There's no harm in trying to be like Kim Jung Gi and trying to study his techniques, 

and by all means, please continue your efforts in doing so. But you also have to 
understand that there are many layers of complexities in what he does that you'd 
never understand until you fully grasp the foundations of art. 

You'll be a far better artist studying master works and aspiring to be like Kim Jung Gi 
in 2 years, than studying both his sketchbooks for 5 years.

But of course. If you're a genius. Well.. Congratulations!

It's important for students to not blindly idolize someone very awesomely wicked in art
(trust me, I was a student too and I've had my own share of... stuff) and prioritize a strong 

foundation in art. So if you've been doing his works for a while, and you don't feel like you're 
making any progress, just put down his works for a while and get a new fresh perspective 
in any other works.

Even better if you can do life studies and the like.

I mean, you can always get back to it anytime you want. Right?

So.. yes, work on your basics. After the foundation is solid enough, I'm sure one day, 

when you try harder and continue working hard towards your goal, you might surpass
Kim Jung Gi, or whoever else awesome art idols you have. Good luck.


Anonymous said...

i don't understand meaning of this article.Is it telling me don't idolize kim jung gi or be like him.If you written about how kim jung gi would have reached this level or something it would be good article.

Emmanuel Sackey said...

I honestly agree with most of what you said. It literally took him over a decade of hard work and practice for him to get where he is now. That kind of experience can only be acquired over a long period of time unless of course you are a genius. A word of wisdom to all you KJG wannabees out the "Get the basics", after this then you can create original artworks that will approach Gi's level. Without strong basics your art will most likely stay shitty. That's all I gotta say.PRACTICE, PRACTICE ,PRACTIC!!

felix Jr. Urot said...

I like this article. me personally just study his woks so that I could draw perspectives like that. What I could say is that, don't aspire to surpass him in the very same field because your failure probability is 99.99...% but if you aspire to at least learn his techniques and apply it to something different o in a different field (like comics or something that had never existed) you might succeed and be the best in that field. its difficult to be the best when somebody is already there being the best.

Bella said...

To anonymous,

What the author means, we can be like him if we really grasp and understand the fundamental of art like proportion, perspective, anatomy etc...If you want to dig out how kim jung gi done it, you can read his interview, but i bet it will be a lot of hell and hard work.

What Kim Jung Gi said in the interview is that he mostly memorized all the image all the time, so when it comes to drawing, he didn't need to refer back and forth. He also like to observed things around him. Remember, he also had strong foundation in Fine Art, so the fundamental of art already embedded in his mind. About no-outline things, he said that it is for educational purpose, saying outline is a waste of time when he teach his student in real-time demo drawing.

However in order to achieve this, strong knowledge and awareness of art sense must be earned in order to get this....I'm also actually envy and admire Kim Jung Gi's artwork, but I admit that even professional artist maybe could not stand a chance against him. (I'm only amateur btw...haha)

He said that he earn it through hard work, and the purpose for him to be what he is today just because to show other artist what he is capable of.

Enough said, if we take Kim Jung Gi as our idol, we have to work 100x more harder than him, because as we sit here, he maybe had done much more improvement than we ever imagine.

Anonymous said...

Pretty insane how he memorized all those tiny engineering details..
Perhaps he worked on a dictionary of objects to call back again?