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AUTHOR COMMENTS:

Reply mitchellbravo, October 15th, 2019, 7:40 pm

thank god whitney she'd be DEVASTATED if you missed the mini quiches


gonna give a 45 minute ted talk on Picture frames-

I've commented before that my aunt owned an antique store for like 30 years of her life (and yeah, that's likely where I started to find an interest in Old Stuff). My grandfather, who by many accounts was a jack of all trades, for some time operated a framing business out of the basement of the shop. Young me wondered how you could do business just selling picture frames to people. Old me appreciates that there's definitely more skill involved than just "insert," and sometimes I lament the lack of really beautiful picture frames available in regular stores- growing up, paintings and portraits in our home were framed with appropriate levels of embellishment. Some pieces stood on their own with a relatively simple beveled edge, others had really ornate frames that supported the beauty of the framed image itself.

When I was about 6, I used to go to an art class on Saturday mornings. I loathed getting up for it because between that, school, and mass, I never had a day to sleep in (in retrospect I was clearly chronically insomniac). One day we did a neat technique that involved laying down lines of glue on sandpaper and then pouring colored sand onto the glue. I made a striped lizard with like 8 different outlines around it. This piece must have made some sort of impact on my grandfather as it, of all the pieces I made and possibly treasured, was set in this insanely intricate frame and later hung in my bedroom beside a large piece of religious art.


This is all to say, design and embellishment does not come particularly easy to me and I tried really hard to give the picture frames in this scene at least a modicum of character, even if the impact isn't as much as I had wanted it to be. One thing you may notice about architecture and antiques from the post-Colonialist period onward that is lacking (in my opinion- I haven't talked with regular people about this) in today's structures and furniture is a fairly consistent level of high quality detail imparted by craftsmen to everyday objects in a sometimes functional, but often purely decorative manner. Nooks and crannies and added shapes create cohesive uniqueness in a piece. Earlier pieces and buildings tend to be built with functionality first and foremost- shapes that were easy to turn or cut and assemble, because you needed this house/table/bench ASAP and then had to get back to your farming, cooking, washing, sewing, smithing. The average family in the early years of the U.S. colonies built their own furniture rather than buying it from a skilled craftsman. As tools and machines began to make just plain surviving a little bit easier, you had the time to make things a little more beautiful, and why not take that opportunity? Furniture had to be built to last, and since you intended to keep it (hopefully through the end of your life, and then pass it on to your family), it made sense to impart quality and beauty up front- or, more likely seek a skilled carpenter to sell you or build you the piece you need. You might spend far more than we'd expect to spend today on, say, a dresser or end table, but you expected it to be a one-time purchase that could be repaired or tended to as needed, rather than fully replaced if something was broken or loose.



(I don't know a lot about antique furniture & architecture, but I know enough to talk way too long about it...)

I guess the point of this is I think about this shit every time I'm drawing a house or an object in this comic, and I've tried to build a larger repertoire of styles and stylistic flourishes to incorporate so that it doesn't seem like I'm drawing, say, the same windows every time (I'm drawing the same windows every time) but I still can't get it to come through naturally rather than a mid-thought or after-thought. I've always got a tab open or some printout of like "late 1800s service table" and even then it feels like I"m half-assing something. One thing I'm trying to get better at is representing some of the beauty of what things looked like in the period this comic takes place. I think I'm better at it than I was 10, 5 years ago, but I'm still not where I want to be. (And don't get me started on clothing...)

:|


READER'S DISCUSSION:

Reply Oly-RRR, November 5th, 2019, 4:14 am

I come back PUNCTUALLY (nnnot really) to catch up on the comic and get that cool post about Old Stuff as well! :D It's fascinating but also a little sad - I've been training myself to not feel bad for stuff all summer and I realise that we live in the world where most of us are put in a situation when replacing is easier/cheaper than restoring but it's still a little sad because that kind of devalues arts and crafts - and I'm a part of it!

I can relate to that frustration of wanting to get the feel of something across and feeling like there's not enough of it too. I think it's a part of the process and there's probably no way to avoid that feeling but it also means you care. :D

Ehehe I missed all this. <3

Reply mitchellbravo, November 5th, 2019, 7:17 pm

@Oly-RRR: :D :D :D :D

Every time I go back to my folks house, there's literally a bedroom (albeit a small one, but my sister lived in it for the ~22 years of her life before she moved out) that is about one fifth of its entire cubic space just filled with My Shit... paperwork, clothes, objects I don't have room for in my apartment... and every time I visit, I think, if I don't have those objects now, surely I can live without them and should just give my mom permission to get rid of them.... then I get there and feel too overwhelmed to do anything about it :/

I'm coming up against that feeling of "not expressing exactly what I want" a lot lately, which is frustrating. It feels like inking is taking out a lot of what i like about what I draw, but I can't identify what exactly is going wrong in order to be able to fix it? :/

I MISSED YOU I'm glad you came by to read and post :D :D

Reply Oly-RRR, November 6th, 2019, 3:59 am

@mitchellbravo: Yeaaah, when stuff starts stacking it's the hardest. I still have some shelves to sort but by now I usually wait till I get too frustrated with not having a convenient space for something important and then I get to cleaning and try not to overthink it. But when it's not not immediately near you8 it takes up more mental energy than physical so it's harder.

Sketches/inking are like that... Would be nice to figure it out (though in my case I wonder if I put too much effort into figuring out what to change about the process instead of just doing doing it).

And saaame!! :D I'll send photos of ALL THE ANIMALS soon!

Reply mitchellbravo, November 11th, 2019, 6:35 pm

@Oly-RRR: I'm devastated as this weekend we went out looking at houses and found one that I'm really in love with but it's also kind of a shambles and also expensive for being a shambles or even just for an ordinary home and I wish I had that space and I could just shove everything in there and start finding room for it BUT THAT'S NOT MY HOUSE IT'S UST IN MY IMAGINATION

Yeah it's like I can sketch and it's coming out reasonable (I even feel impressed sometimes?) but then it falls away the further along I get in the process :( :( I think it's all the years of just working in pencil and not inking/coloring everything, I wound up kind of lopsidedly developing one skill over others...

YES PETS IN PICS


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