Sunday, June 9, 2019

Hayate Reflections: My Thoughts On Art

Sharp contrasts of bright green and dark shadows lend an alluring and almost otherworldly ambiance to this lush green forest. The seemingly random placement of the trees belie the artist’s subtle intent—which is to draw the viewer’s attention into the blank space at the upper left portion of the painting wherein the paper’s natural whites were purposely left intact in order to create the illusion of shards of light – sharp as daggers piercing into the thick veil of foliage below... is the kind of insincere, artsy, pseudo literary description that relies on empty prose and complex-sounding words to make something out to be more than it actually is. It’s also not the kind of description I’d ever want to give any of my paintings.
You know how long it took me to think up that description? All of 3 minutes at the very moment that I decided to start writing this essay. In fact, I could make up artsy sounding, insincere descriptions like that all day long – but I don’t, because I don’t like them.

Now let me tell you the real story behind this painting. This was a background done in around 10-15 minutes for an upcoming video game for desktop and mobiles called Miseria – which I did all the background art for. What I was really thinking as I was painting this piece was something more like “Ok, let me splish splash a few trees here and there, oh and we need some leaves there.  You know what? Let’s leave that area blank so that it looks like the light is filtering in through the leaves – oh yeah, that looks perfect! You’re such a genius, me.”  And you know what? I’m pretty sure that to some extent, all visual artists have the same kind of mindset as I do when they’re painting. I mean, forgive me if you’re actually thinking up all that empty pseudo-literary prose as you paint – and I guess you’d be the exception, but let’s get real, people. Let’s not put up any more barriers than there already are to art.
Anyway, I am lordcloudx, and today, I’m here to tell you about my art and the reason why I paint/draw the things that I do as well as a few of my pet peeves with how art is often perceived by other people. If you’ve seen my “Philosophy of Art” video before, you can think of this as an update, or a reaffirmation of sorts of the stuff I’ve said before.
I Am A Beauty Seeker
I have always been attracted to beauty – specifically, feminine beauty. As such, you might say that I have very heterosexual tastes. Certainly, I don’t consider myself to a part of the LGBTQ+ BBQ WTF LOL community, but I have a general disdain of communities in general anyway.

To get back on track, I have always been attracted to pretty pictures – specifically of the anime persuasion. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I limit myself to only manga/anime art. I can definitely appreciate the natural beauty of a colourful piece of scenery, or the complexity of an architectural drawing from an isometric, 3-dimensional perspective.

And for me, beauty in my personal art is rather simple to obtain – just add Nagi. It’s that simple. Whenever I draw/paint something for myself, I just think of how I can draw Nagi and make her look beautiful in my eyes – and in the eyes of other onlookers, and that is basically the entire philosophy behind my art. There’s no complex backstory, nor any attempt to shape society, nor some deep-seated psychological quandary behind what I do. I just like drawing Nagi because I love the character for who she is. Also, if you really take a good look at Nagi, she is actually far from perfect, even in appearance. Obviously, she’s short and flat-chested, and as far as her face goes, she’s definitely cute, but there are definitely many different anime characters who can be considered cuter and far more beautiful than her, but of course, Nagi will always be perfect in all her tiny imperfections for me – and that is all that really matters.
So to sum things up so far: I like drawing pretty pictures – and those pretty pictures usual end up being Nagi. No complications whatsoever here.

The Things I Dislike In Art

While art always has that element of individual preference to it, there are some things in the art community at large in my area that really set off all the wrong triggers in me. So let me talk about them for a little bit.

1.       The Wannabe Picasso Bandwagon

Yes, of course, I do understand the impact (not exactly the appeal) that the abstract expressionist, impressionist and pop art movements had in art history, but let’s face it, those days are long-gone and nowadays, it’s basically a free-for-all, for all kinds of art. With that said, what really ticks me off the wrong way is when I see exhibits on display with the kind of ambiguous, pseudo-literary narrative that I made as an example at the start of this video and paintings on display featuring women with wonky anatomy, asymmetrical features and nonsensical elements like the sun melting into a woman’s skirt and becoming a part of the pizza pie embryo of life or something similar – well, you probably know what I mean.
Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that these kinds of art that rely on the “viewer’s imagination” to fill in the blanks or makes use of pseudo-literary descriptions to make a trashy piece look like “high art” is just extremely pretentious and cringe-worthy. The worst part is when you see several pieces by the same artists and some are clearly lacking in the basics of good anatomy, color theory, perspective and lighting and other skills that a “professional artist” should possess some degree of competence in.

Certainly, it’s none of my business, but when you see people being drawn in and influenced by pseudo literary narratives into assuming that “this is high art” all the time, it kind of is – especially when people dismiss your own art all the time as “oh, it’s just anime.”

2.        The Talkers And Accessorizers

Of course, while abstact, expressionist art – especially from those lacking in basic drawing skills tend to tick me off, those people are still much better than the talkers and accessorizers. Have you ever come across a know-it-all who offers their brilliant “critique” and has this insatiable urge to redline and correct every piece of art they come across online? Chances are that these are also the same kind of people who will tell you to buy the most expensive pieces of art equipment that you can so that you can “level up your game” and even urge you to start creating your own paints out of gum arabic and your choice of pigment because that’s how a “real pro” does it.

Well, while there’s always the wild exception who can actually walk the talk, if you ever come across this kind of individual, it’s probably best to ask that person for some actual examples of their art. Chances are that you’ll discover something quite amusing. I’ll leave it at that.

3.       Communities

I did say that I hate communities, didn’t I? Anyway, the unfortunate reality is that if you desire any kind of recognition for your art, it’s really not about what you know, but about who you know. As a recent example, I hardly get more than 10 likes for any new artworks I upload publicly to my twitter, FB, and pixiv account. I’m not really one to self-market much and my favorite subject is from an anime/manga from another decade, basically.

So one day, I saw mikumiku_ebooks make an amusing post on twitter, so I decided to draw a piece of fanart dedicated to this tweet about Miku winning the Iron Throne in the Game of Thrones TV series – and suddenly, from out of nowhere, I got 1.8k likes and over 500 retweets in a single day. To be honest, this is more attention than anything I’ve ever produced in my 20+ years as a writer/artist/creator has ever received before.

To get back on track, art communities – especially if they are isolated to a particular locale like in my area, often tend to fall into a group mentality and will only recognize and promote fellow artists that join their community in the first place.

I can of course understand this kind of mentality for the purpose of self-gain, but when the same art community often says things like: “art is open to all” and how “art is a great equalizer for everyone,” I hope you’ll pardon me for thinking that these art communities are being hypocritical.
Is it an ode to Animal Farm perhaps? Art is a great equalizer, but artists in our community are a little bit more equal than others? I suppose that’s the only way for the contradiction to make sense.

Stop Being Pretentious

In conclusion, if you consider yourself an artist or at least a connoisseur of art, I implore you to stop being pretentious. If you want to paint/draw something, then do it, but don’t try to delude others into thinking that you were doing it for some higher purpose that transcends human existence while hiding behind a thin veil of eloquence. At the end of the day, all we visual artists really want to do is to draw pretty pictures and nothing more – and there should be no shame at all in admitting this.

I am lordcloudx and I like to draw pretty pictures – that is all.


  1. I really like your art, but can i give a criticism? If that's okay

    1. No. Sorry, I don't accept criticism from random people online. I know where to take my art and I'm well aware of the areas I need to improve -- or at least the area where people think I need to improve, which is actually just me being lazy most of the time.

      Short answer is no.


lordcloudx loves discussions, so comment away. No direct or indirect personal attacks, please.

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