Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I like books that feature photographs of artist's studios. So I was really excited to order Studio Space published by Image, this past August. It's subtitle reads, "the world's greatest comic illustrators at work," and sold me with the one line. I was a little disappointed. The artist interviews read like an email survey, but there are some interesting answers here and there, and it's not a bad read, just not great.
But the real disappointment is in the artist portraits.
Each section starts out with a blank white empty full page on the left hand side, and the right hand page starts out with a small portrait. ONE SMALL PORTRAIT EACH! Some of the artist portraits include some of the artist's studio, some are tighter close ups, barely showing any workspace at all. But each only has the one photo.
For a book whose title is "studio space" and whose cover shows two great color studio photos, I was a little disappointed to find there was one black and white photo per artist and very few photos ACTUALLY showing a decent look at the studio. I would have liked to at the very least, seen one shot of each artists work space. Maybe that blank white page to the left could have been a full shot of the work space in addition to the portrait on the right hand page?
If you are looking for books that show a little more photos of artists studio spaces try, an older book, Dream Makers by Chris Evans, which features decent interviews along with one or more nice color shots of six artists, not all from comics some are illustrators and fantasy artists, (Artists included; Michael Kaluta, Berni Wrightson, Charles Vess, Melvyn Grant, Julek Heller & Chris Moore). Or for a book which features a more serious focus on photographs of artists studios, there is a newer book, The Artist Within by Greg Preston which features hundreds of artists, and lots of great photos shot exclusively for the book, but unfortunately much less text, and is not as satisfying to read, but it is so full of rich photography, if you are fascinated by artist's workspaces as I am you'll find this book a much more rich and satisfying book than Studio Space. (The Artist Within, includes artists like Frank Miller, Al Hirschfeld, Joe Barbera, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Moebius, Walter and Louise Simonson and lots more).
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