Thursday, 23 February 2012

No more Punky?

Above is an image from a children's reading book I just finished called Hard Times. While I'm pretty please with this image (for the time being) I wonder if I've now ventured too far from my original goals / style in illustration. I started out working like this image below...

I wonder lately if I've lost too much of my edge. If my work isn't as fun any more. If it's lost it's original childish, fresh, punky, irreverent vibe.

It's something I'm going to have to think about for a little while. But I do wonder if I should bring back the old style in tandem with the new.

What do you think?


  1. Personally I think the image is question is still very much in your 'style' and easily recognizable as a Carl Pierce piece. Granted the colours and composition are more subtle, but those particular aspects are also subject to seasonal change and of course the artists own personal artistic preferences at any given time. The quality of the line and colouring are still top-notch. I think it shows thematic and compositional range rather than an artist unsure about the direction of his style.

    1. SHIT!

      You three scared me. Sneaking up on a guy like that...

      Cheers, Morgan. I wasn't so much doubting if it looked like me or not. It's more the intent. As in; I'm not enjoying the work myself. I dread it some times. Do you ever get that? You're a guy who changes his work up a fair bit. What do you think about the whole thing from your own work's point of view?

  2. Whereas I agree that it's different - a lot more subtle colourwise per'aps - and you're amazing use of extreme perspective isn't really in play it's still definitely you!

    1. Do I use extreme perspective? I hadn't noticed that before. It's not a conscious thing. I always do a picture as if I were a movie director. I think "If this was a film, how would I frame it? How would I show this image but convey the shit that need conveyage in one picture instead of seconds of footage?

      I'm in the wrong job aren't I?

      How do you feel about your own work? From a guy who I still consider to be 'punky'? I really envy you, and Liam and Ale because you've still got that couldn't-give-two-shits, uninhibited imagination. It's raw and full of interest and ideas. Is that how you see your work too? Because you don't do it for a day job you don't hate it at times, right?

  3. Both stunning and distinctively you're signature style; I'd go with Morgan above about range etc...your style seems so wonderfully adaptable and flexible. Having just turned in a job for the same publisher and series I can only gape in awe at what you're able to turn in over the same deadlines and the sheer beauty of it. Makes me realise how much I can be upping my game all the time.... always inspiring mate!

    1. Cheers, Trystan. I think I find it easier to adapt these days because;

      1/ I'm not scared of it anymore. I don't have a comfort zone, really.

      2/ I've been living with this job for 8 years this summer and I'm more than used to having to draw shit that I have no interest in, but strive to make myself interested to stay fresh and not go mad. If only I could've done that with maths in school...

      But 3/ I'm getting more and more jaded as it goes on. Or am I? I don't even know. Everyone wants me to draw colourful urban / urbane kids because they read The Silence Seeker. Fuck. I want to be drawing dinosaurs and aliens and monsters and crazy looking people.

      How do you feel, as a fellow put upon advocater? Do you feel like you'd rather nod-off half the time? Do you ever dread the deadlines because you know full well that you cannot give a shit today because there is no imagination to be used here? Do you often find yourself doodling crazy shit just to escape?

      One thing that I've found over the past few years is my reliance on reference has increased instead of the opposite. The more I strive for stylised realism the more I have to take in and use. I miss the days where I could just scribble without a book or file of photos. Do you use a lot? It started small with me (Draw a mastadon being hunted, a deep sea giant squid, Santa Monica pier at noon, a labeled dolphin skeleton, a Vietnamese lotus blossom, a boy climbing up his own face, a red faced Macaques Monkey, but make him look happy...) and it escalated from there.

      And don't always aspire to "up your game". You're getting jobs for a reason. You don't always need the madness.

      One more thing. I'm always late with deadlines. People give me deadlines. I protest that they are too short (specially with advocate for some reason) and are surprised when I tell them every day until two days past deadline that I can't meet it. I'm meticulous and I have a social life. Some times.

      Sorry. I'll shut up now.