Mercy and Truth

The Real and The Ideal: Opposing Forces or Best Buds?

Or, What Shaving My Beard Taught Me About Art

By now you might be wondering what this has to do with illustration. Can I tie this back to art? Naturally, I’ve been thinking about that. It’s really something to do with the relationship between The Real and the The Ideal.

Art is where we aim for a balance of the real and the ideal. We somehow must communicate through the familiar, through forms that reference the real, but add layers that make the experience of the real new, by idealizing, reshaping, stylizing, face-lifting, beard-growing.

Is there more virtue in drawing with pencil on paper than doodling in Procreate? Is a physical painting, with all its visible, non-undoable flaws more valuable than a painting perfectly composed in Photoshop?



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Tom Froese

Illustrator. Creatively Empowering Teacher/Speaker. Represented by Making Pictures/UK & Dot Array/USA. Top Teacher on @skillshare.