Musings on my most popular piece - Ice Giant

    In the fickle world of the creative arts you, or at least I, just never know what's going to be popular. Predictions elude me. Which creation will catch the collective imagination and with it that illusive tide of ubiquitous approval? Who knows? Well nobody. Nobody except perhaps the likes of social media analysts and their cunning algorithms. I don't know about you, but I rarely have one to hand, and am in fact (though I ask you to keep this to yourself) somewhat suspicious of them, as I think the blame for a general dumbing-down and narrowing of creative endeavour, at least in the main-stream, lies partially at their feet.
    Setting aside these techno-astrologers for the moment let's consider the movie industry. No one expected 'Dead Pool' to be a breakout hit, or that the 1975 movie 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' would trigger a whole subculture that continues even to this day with the release of a new mobile video game based on the film, which my company Leading Light happened to play a hand in creating.
   Moving to literature, who would have bet in 1937 just after the passing of  H. P. Lovecraft, who died in near obscurity from a cancer linked to malnutrition, that years later his writings would inspire generations of creative people, not only new writers, but film makers, artists and even metal bands.
    In art, if you could somehow travel back to late 19th century France and tell the raving and destitute Vincent Van Gogh that in the years after his death his paintings would win critical acclaim and become in time among the most valuable works in history, I doubt he would have believed you, and nor would any of his contemporaries.
    This rather unnecessarily long-winded intro leads me to my point. The image posted below was executed in a bar in Honduras while I was taking a much needed sabbatical from both my company and from real-life. In the months leading up to the trip I'd lost both my parents, my grandmother, separated from my wife, and split with my subsequent rebound girlfriend. I needed to get away, but I couldn't go without a way to make art, so I bought an MacBook, grabbed an old Wacom and set off.
    I made quiet a few pieces sat at that bar, drinking beers with the travellers and the locals. Most of them are sub-parr and will remain in the  'almost but not quite' folder.
    This particular one was made in answer to the Spitpaint thread that was popular with concept artists and students on Facebook for a while. I forget the details of the brief, it was something along the lines of 'create and image of a giant something.....' and the rule was you were only allowed to spend 30 minutes on the work. So I made this piece, used all the tricks I could to get something done in the time allowed and posted it.
    For some unknown reason this piece took off, I dont know why. To me its not at all my best piece of work. I made it from scratch in 30 minutes. It's rough, not to say crude in both style and execution. And I spend less than a minute coming up with the idea and scribbling in the loose composition. Yet there it is, by far my most liked and shared piece on social media. Often it pops up online in unexpected places, far more frequently than any of my many other works. It's been on T-shirts and wallpapers, and even been used as an album cover for a metal band.
    I can't explain it, so I'll just except it, wonder at it a bit and keep drawing.
    And hopefully one day I'll make something that beats it!   :)

Thanks for reading



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