(From the desk of kawaiidaigakusei)
Here is a little treat to celebrate the first week of Autumn. I wrote this version of “The Webcomic Artist Manifesto” in the Fall quarter for an art history class on Dada. A Manifesto is a public declaration used to incite or inspire a group. My personal manifesto was written during a time that I wanted to rebel against social norms and firmly believed that cyberpunk was the coolest thing ever. The interesting thing about finding old written works such as this one give me a sense of the type of papers I was able to churn out at 4 o'clock in the morning while being sleep deprived and running on iced green tea matcha blended drinks late into the night. I felt like sharing this little piece if writing with the rest f the community. Enjoy~
Stream of Conscience of a Webcomic Artist
October 19, 2007
Here I sit at four o'clock in the morning. Strung on caffeine and sipping my third can of warm soda as I work on my update in a dark room listening to electronic loudly from my headphones.
Damn slacker. Get a life.
Have you ever thought to look inside the mind of that kid, the one who everyone knows behind their glaring computer monitor? The kid no one has ever seen in person? What is his source of inspiration? What causes him to make his art?
Isolation was the main driving force for this obsession. I was living a monotonous life doing one million different things for ten different people never asking what I was doing for myself. It was like trying to draw with a really dull pencil when I just needed a really fine pen.
I needed a way to escape from the boredom.
I found my escape with a four-dollar pad of Bristol paper and a forty-cent pen from the student store. I drafted a new world setting where I was the maker. If I encountered a problem, I was the one to blame. Not because someone was reprimanding me…
Or thought I was a control freak…
Or made me feel uptight…
Or was telling me what to do with my life…
For years the creation of art has been limited to an artist studio. The artist, the blank canvas - the two alone, together. The artist studio is such a sacred place the work done by the artist is to never be seen by an unsolicited third viewer.
This is my final haven.
Then one day the interweb opened up. A new medium of the digital art world. Information could be transferred through the lifeblood of telephone wires and cable cords. Strangers who had never met face to face became close associates. We understood each other's strange hobbies as we opened up secrets of our personal lives. That is where I met you. We are as close as two strangers in an airport terminal passing each other without knowing we are close friends online.
The advent of online communities.
In just one night, the mindless scribbles I sketched in class become a finished product. My works are seen by people from Tokyo to Holland, Lisbon to Indianapolis, New York to Los Angeles every night at ten o'clock. This is how the general public receives the ideas I aim to communicate to the world.
You are just a nerd with a scanner.
We come from different socio-economic backgrounds. We have multiple nationalities. But in this community we are all equal.
I am not a self-proclaimed artist. I am a creator. I make and create art when I am alone in my studio. But I will never be called an artist. Why? Who are the decision makers of what can be considered art in today's world? Who are the leaders of the Institution who generate the bias against digital art? For years webcomic art has been dismissed as a hobby by museums – an art that does not belong next to The Last Supper or Las Meninas.
But this is a silent revolution that is taking place in the underground art world. Our art exhibitions are hung on the strings of the World Wide Web. We are our own curators.
We live our lives through black and white. A two-dimensional classic story with a film noir touch. We paint our worlds in panels with little text bubbles. I live vicariously through the creations that I created. My characters are my residual self-image.
This is a faceless society. We do not care for the materialistic objects that have been made necessities by Hollywood's glitterati. We judge each other on our writing style, intellect, and our own individualized art styles.
We don't use real names. We don't show our whole face. We are underground collectives. We are webcomic artists.
Yes, I am a revolutionary. My revolution is that of creativity. I am Tzara's “infinitely original author of charming sensibility even though under appreciated by the vulgar herd.”
I am a webcomic artist, and this is my manifesto. My scanner might break, my computer might crash… but I will continue to draw my comics until my pens run out of ink.
Do you have any original art to contribute to our stock image database, announcements, community projects, ideas, news, or milestones to report? Please leave general comments below or send a PQ to kawaiidaigakusei. Email me at kawaiidaigakusei(at)gmail(dot)com.
kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Sept. 26, 2016
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