27.7.09

Ignatius!

This is the first artwork I've done in six months that didn't make me sick when I looked at it. I did it last night when I couldn't sleep. It's 100% Adobe Illustrator and I modeled St. Ignatius from a fellow Jesuit named Joe Laramie SJ. I was going for a contemplative and meditative expression, but I didn't want to close his eyes (I think I remember Chesterton explaining why Catholic saints are always depicted with opened eyes - anyone know where?). Hopefully the swirley doo-dads and stars/moon help get the mystical feel across without looking too fruity.
Hope y'all like it!
Jesuit John (Brown, S.J.)



PS, Any techniques for getting over artists block?
PPS, whosoeverdesires.wordpress.com is an interesting new blog by young-ish Jesuits y'all may want to check out.

11 comments:

Herreid said...

The colors really are great on this!

What is your process with these sorts of illustrations? Do you draw it on paper, then complete it in Illustrator?

(Also--can you tag this with "July Art Jam"?)

So far as creative block--my only remedy is to force myself to create something. Grab a pencil, do some cover mockups, etc. It slowly gets the process working again, though it's kind of painful mentally.

theodore said...

this is great. Looks like you got over your creative block just fine!

theodore said...

... looking at it again, I would think it would be good to have St. Ignatius holding the cross.

Jesuit John said...

Herreid,
Tagged as you wish. Thanks for the compliment!
For this style of artwork: I usually get an inspiration for what I'd like to do, then get some of the elements together in illustrator for a general composition. Sometimes I'll take a photo of one thing or another as a reference (Joe Laramie SJ here) or I'll work with some reference I find online. I usually look at my artwork for a day or two (maybe making it my computer's desktop background), changing one tiny thing or another over the course of several days.


Theodore,
Glad you like the image. I thought about Saint Ignatius holding the cross, but it kept looking a little too much like he was a bishop. I could have cut the cross' staff/bottom off, but then it started looking too much like a traditional Saint Francis Xavier pose. I don't know. Maybe I should think about it more.

PaperSmyth said...

That is amazing! I love it. Not too old-fashion, not too "modern."

Thom said...

I think Chesterton was contrasting Christian saints with Eastern gods and goddesses. The latter look inward to their deity within, and the former look outward to God. I don't remember where he wrote it, and my memory is very fuzzy, so this may be way off.

Nice work. I agree with Ted -- that having him hold something, even if not the cross, would improve the composition. There's a lot of vertical lines that could use some breaking up if nothing else.

Tommy said...

I find what you call creative block a dark place. I think there's nothing you can do about it. I think you shouldn't try. It's a gift.
On the other hand, you can always just force a technical, commercial product.

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Wonderful job! I like the deep red hues and the contrasting blue tones.

Dr. Thursday said...

Sorry I missed the request for the GKC quote until just now. Here you go:

No two ideals could be more opposite than a Christian saint in a Gothic cathedral and a Buddhist saint in a Chinese temple. The opposition exists at every point; but perhaps the shortest statement of it is that the Buddhist saint always has his eyes shut, while the Christian saint always has them very wide open.
[GKC Orthodoxy CW1:336]

Or see my commentary on that text.... I think that might make an interesting starting point for several studies, and even perhaps a kind of diptych with GKC puzzling over the two variants... who knows.

(Remember you can use "Quotemeister" on http://www.chesterton.org or send me e-mail if you are desperate for such things.)

PS: my suggestion for "blockage" is prayer - and He who gives all gifts will give you what you need, when it is the right time. It can be very difficult to wait, but keep knocking. Famous GKC image on this is in his Poet and the Lunatics:

"He was restless just then and drafted about into the commonest crowds. He did no work lately; sometimes sat and stared at a blank sheet of paper as if he had no ideas."

"Or as if he had too many," said Gabriel Gale.

[GKC "The Purple Jewel" in P&L]

Jesuit John said...

Thanks! Sometimes I can get very excited about a project and stay up all night working on it until I feel like it is exactly what I want. Other times, no matter how bad I want to, I can't like anything I come up with.

Thank God I have a vocation to be a Jesuit priest where I can never depend on (or even ask for) pay for my sporatic fits of creativity.

jason k. dy, sj said...

great! may we use your image in our st. ignatius feastday?