Throughout this book, I have frequently and necessarily used the word, “technique”. Technique is a mechanical operation applied as a process to produce a predictable result. At first, this seems in opposition to the embodiment of what is art because art is all about creativity which is supposed to be free and novel without a care for such things as procedure and rules. If that were true, then you would not need technique in the same way that an archtitect would not need his load-tables, or a hairdresser would not need to know how to layer hair, and a potter would not need to make a round pot. Technique is the foundation of art, and creativity is, in my opinion an illusion cast over technique to push it into apparent insignificance. Without technique, you cannot create. Unfortunately, you can develop technique and never be creative. These so called rules and procedures are therefore constantly under question. Feel free to break those rules, bend those rule, and modify those rules; but do so in the full knowledge of what you challenge.
1.2.6 Visual cliche
A cliche is normally associated with a verbal statement which has been over-used, like:
• Not my cup of tea.
• Everything happens for a reason.
• No love lost.
• You can't have your cake and eat it too.
• Simple as pie.
Cliches are usually to be avoided. (It's tempting to say “like the plague” but that's been done before [time and time again].)
In visual arts, we also have cliches. Some examples are:
• An advert for a product features a very good looking customer.
• Widely-used standard clip-art in presentations.
• An ostrich with its head in the ground.
• Frying an egg on the pavement/car/bald-head etc.
• A cartoon character whose legs look like a spinning windmill.
• A financial-chart with an upward or downward pointing arrow.
You will find many visual cliches in the art and advertising world. They are boring and unimaginative. Your challenge as a developing artist is to describe and deliver your message with impact and do so in new and exciting ways. This usually means avoiding the visual cliche. It's hard.
(C) Jeremy Lee 2010, all rights reserved.
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spOOk's art is owned by Jeremy. He has practiced drawing and painting for about 40 years, and might get good at it one day. spOOk's art is focused on graphite portraits.