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Without the wonderful phenomenon of perception, we human beings would be highly confused creatures, unable to understand the world around us. On a more abstract and less biological level, perception plays a large role in how we form opinions. A lot of the world around us is based in absolutes, for example: apples are, and will forever will be, either red or green however, there are less rigid "rules" so to speak for other categories of "things", art being one of them. Art is a forever evolving animal, changing, growing, warping, and expanding. It crosses over boundaries and breaks through barricades, it whispers and shouts at the same time. Art is very powerful, infectious and potent. All of these things explain why we feel almost violated when we see art we do not like (which is a discussion for a later blog ;)) What we will be discussing here today are our perceptions of art. One of the many wonderful things about the arts (all of them, not only the visual arts) are the styles and variations that are in them. Variety adds flavor and interest, but it also opens up doors to other participants and admirers. Unfortunately, negative connotations can be associated with these categories and a person may think that one style of art has to be one thing and one thing only. Below, we'll discuss some of the misguided perceptions that reign among us visual artists. 

Digital & Traditional
One perception about digitally created artwork is that the finished product is sleek and clean as opposed to the gritty and tactile nature of finished traditionally created artwork. Without clicking on (or hovering over) these images, can you tell which are digital and which are traditional? 
K3 by caldwellartNicholas by patbremerChina Tower by torvenius
Castle by Netdog
A Link to Deconstruction by KiwiChameleonInfinity Brook by jbcasacop:we caught on fire: by gabbyd70
The Girl in the Red Jacket by waynecampbell-artOkami by yuumeino man's land by RubyWolfeKoi Mermaid by JillJohansenTransfiguration by guillembeBrainsgiving Dinner by hardnox757
Portrait of a Girl by PauloDuqueFrade

Boat in a storm by MartaNaelYellow by hyper-tomFigure Painting 1-23-13 by AndantoniusNursery by Tolkyes
Investigate each of these fabulous works yourself. From these examples, you can see that traditional art does not always mean "grit and brushstrokes" and digital art does not always mean "clean and sleek." The finished product's overall impact is completely up to the artist creating the work, not the style itself. This will hopefully also do away with the idea that traditionally created artwork requires more effort or time than digitally created artwork. 

Abstract & Nonrepresentational
Possibly two of the most overused and confused terms in art are abstract and nonrepresentational. Let me clarify them for you: abstract artwork is derivative of a natural or figurative base, nonrepresentational artwork has absolutely no signifier, there is no reference to the natural world or to the figure. Most "abstract" contemporary work you'll see will more accurately fit into nonrepresentational artwork. Abstraction exists in representational artwork too, because it is drawing from a resource (for example, green slashes painted for leaves instead of each leaf painted individually and realistically). One of the harshest perceptions of abstract and nonrepresentational artwork is that it has no meaning. While this could be true for some pieces, all artwork has meaning, regardless of what it is depicting. Another criticism is that it is too easy to create and requires less skill than representational work. While some methods of making art are less time consuming, a statement like that assumes that the artist is nieve or what he or she is silly. Wassily Kandinsky created some of the greatest examples of nonrepresentational drawings you'll find in art history.Here are some great examples of both abstract and nonrepresentational art right here on dA. 
Yesterday by Image-heart
Nightmares ahead. by QueenSuLet it Happen by San-T
Rain on my Window by Arinda-Foxglove

... by protaqonistNexus by offermoordPlexus by offermoordA Hint Of A Child's Insanity by visualizemynameOut of Country_5 by CO99A5Fragments of Peace by AutumnPhyrewINTERNESS 3 by BenoitPaille. falling . by Nahamut

Okami by yuumei
So you can see here from the visual examples that abstract and nonrepresentational art is not only one thing but many differing and colorful streams of consciousness

Manga & Anime
Manga and Anime often get a bad rap mainly simply of their popularity here stateside. Manga is comics, which has subcategories of shonen (boys' comics) and shoujo (girls' comics), and Anime are cartoons. Aside from the popularity being a factor, others shy away from Manga and Anime because of the stylization of the characters. However, there are many "styles" if you will inside of the Russian doll that is Japanese comics and cartoons. The characters depicted in Manga and Anime are based on a canon of proportions modeled from the human body. The unit of measurement is the head, and a character is typically 7 to 9 heads tall. Limbs are lengthened or shortened to add emphasis to the exaggeration. The eyes which can be large and expressive were first used by Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka and inspired by characters such as Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse. Each artist has an individual spin on the canon of proportions and eye shapes, thus adding more diversity to the category. Here are some of the categories of "styles" which exist in Manga and Anime with some names for examples: Shonen & Shoujo (features teenage characters, bright colors, fantastical adventures, Pokemon, Card Captor Sakura), Mecha (features, robots, sci-fi, and sharp angles, Gundam, Escaflowne), Chibi (short, childlike characters, not typically  used as a consistent style due to superdeformity), Gegkika (stories of more dark and dramatic nature, usually violent and intense, Inuyasha, Naruto), Bishounen (features lean, handsome men, romantic stories, Code Geass, Paradise Kiss), Anthropomorphic (animals with human characteristics: Wolf's Rain, Fruits Basket), and lastly Hentai (basically any kind of erotic or pornographic Manga and Anime will fall into this category, there is no specific style marker). Here are some examples of really great Manga and Anime artwork around dA. 

Love Letter by b-snippet::.. Metamorphosis ..:: by TitPrince
The forgotten by Bloodshedera
comm ShinningCookie: Iksir and Alyndra by la-sera: Naruto - Open Your Eyes : by orin... by shilinThe Black Bunny by ChikukkoHussar by ROSEL-DMirai no Uta Guest Art Preview by minevi



Renji by AldariiaFairy by PearlgraygalleryTenzo by Aldariia
Works-Man 03 by azpt
Conclusion
Now that we've looked at a broad range of styles and images, what can we conclude? Well, for starters, we can say that styles are not black and white. There are distinctive features of a style, but there are no binding rules to keep them confined uncomfortably. I hope with this gathering of images to help everyone see the wonderful diversified artwork within each style and technique that was mentioned here today. I also hope that seeing these works will also inspire you to look further into styles and methods of art making you previously thought were undesirable. Don't let perceptions of artistic styles and techniques keep you from branching out creatively or broadening your knowledge. Be brave and dive in! You're bound to find something amazing!

Add a Comment:
 
:iconlightsyde:
Lightsyde Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Loving this. You rule for making it.
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:hug: Glad you like!
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:iconadyday:
AdyDay Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this!

It is just beautiful!
I wish you made a sequel on other styles,too! :heart:

And,by the way,could I print out this article and put it on my Eng.Lang, classroom cork board?
Thank in advance...

:hug:
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:meow: aw you're welcome! and yes, you're more than welcome to share this blog :)
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:iconadyday:
AdyDay Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013   General Artist
Wonderful and insightful article!
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks dear! it's been one i've been wanting to do for some time now :D
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:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013   General Artist
:heart:
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:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013
:happycry:
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:highfive:
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:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013
It was lovely! :')
:highfive:
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you!:heart:
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:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
:ahoy:
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:iconaellostriker2:
Aellostriker2 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Don't let perceptions of artistic styles and techniques keep you from branching out creatively or broadening your knowledge. Be brave and dive in! You're bound to find something amazing!"

---I like that!:thumbsup:
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:la: thanks! it's what i was taught about learning in general and i thought it was good to pass along for artists as well!
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:iconmasterokiakai:
MasterOkiAkai Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'd think the bottom line of this is to say that there is room enough in this big crazy world of art and creation for anything and everything. And while creators are forced into adhering to rules in some cases, in the grounds of style is not one of those times.
And while there are only so many elements that can be combined into different styles in existence, there is still enough room for a near infinite level of combinations.
The perceptions of others that this style or that style is illegitimate or inferior is in itself illegitimate and comes from an inferior mind. Sure there's always going to be somebody who doesn't like what you do but there's always going to be somebody who does like what you do. Neither position needs to come from intelligence, experience, education or rationale. So for those people who are getting slowed down by "perceptions" pay attention to whose comments and 'critiques' you are listening to and where they are coming from. And realise that the end of the day what matters is whether or not you like what you do and whether you have the fortitude to keep doing it. The next trick is instead of dipping your pole in the general sea of blasť ignorance that is the internet proper, find your demographic and work from there.
And a further note about "style". In my opinion, it is a dangerous and confusing word for amateurs and students and leads them into more imagined traps and made up blockages. The all to often excuse of "i'm not going to do that, i'm just going to focus on developing my style" is counterintuitive and just does not work. An artist's style grows itself as they practice their skills, as they pick from the buffet of inspiration what they like and leave the rest then season to taste. It is not some mathematical calculation you do before you proceed with anything else, it evolves over time unconsciously as much as consciously.
Get to work, practice and develop your skills, and you'll eventually figure out whose perceptions matter and when.
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks for your insightful comments! yes often times negative perceptions come from a lack of understanding, rather than an actual dislike. having a good helping of artist self esteem will help out those who get the brunt of the complainers :) i think if you know what you're doing, and you're working hard, the haters will only make you famous XD. i agree that a lot of people get too hung up on developing a style when they really should be developing skills. one thing i've noticed come up a lot around dA is that people don't realize that certain "styles" (anime, disney, western comics, ect) were not pulled from a hat, and in order to execute them, proper understanding of the figure, and design are important. i'm thinking of doing some blogs on the basic art elements to help out those who otherwise wouldn't have even heard of them :)
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:iconmasterokiakai:
MasterOkiAkai Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Negative perceptions from lack of understanding is a universal concern, nothing particular to art so it should be familiar to everyone, and realize that it USUALLY comes from an awkward first experience with a thing. Doesn't have to be a legitimate problem on any level.
Good self esteem helps with everyone and everything. As for people who draw the most fire, there's usually other things involved, but the question in this context is how to handle it. And as a teacher I prefer to teach people to have tougher hides than to have sharper tongues.
As for haters making you famous, the problem with that statement is that haters will hate to other haters and it will not draw the attention that furthers the artists goals. That's fame you don't want. Getting the fame you want requires the artist to acknowledge that they only appeal to some people, then focus on that demographic.
Right, an artist does not just randomly choose their style, it's something that is as much a part of themselves and a reflection of themselves and their lives. Part of the problem is the labeling process itself, calling it an 'anime' or 'disney' style infers connotations and rules on it that do not actually exist and so it colors expectations both for the artist and more so for the viewer. Though the viewer does need to be experienced enough to be aware of the difference.
Understanding of figure, design, aesthetics, composition is integral to all artists in developing to a professional level. They are the rules of reality that an experienced artist then bends or breaks to suit their tastes. It's not a mathematical formulae, it's an intuitive evolution.
The fundamentals are critical to an artists' foundation, so they have been written and rewritten for centuries, I would recommend finding a set that's already in print that you like or has a voice you think suits you, rather than reinventing the wheel, as it where. Because these are deep ideas that are easy to ignore and discount and summarizing them to make them more digestible takes too much of the real meat and meaning away for them to carry the weight.
However I WOULD say that the best way to get those things across is to demonstrate how they can be used. And that has always been integral in the teaching diagrams and instructions (buildings for perspective, balls for lighting). But I would say, make/use something different, something newer, contemporary or more specific to yourself or the people you're trying to reach.
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:iconchurien:
churien Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Student General Artist
a cookie for you for the good words :la::cookie:
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:icon0annette0:
0annette0 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great article!
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you!
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:iconcalliope5:
Calliope5 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
...some apples are yellow... :p
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, I realized what I'd done after I hit the submit button :XD: They can be pink, red and green at the same time...heck I've seen orangey apples before lol.
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:iconthehappyspaceman01:
TheHappySpaceman01 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
In the words of Internet blog Jappleack: [link]
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:lol:
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:iconbrainfruit:
Brainfruit Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thought provoking. Thanks for writing it.
There are no absolutes, though, even where apples are concerned.
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks for reading! i'm glad you enjoyed it :D
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:iconsteamland:
Steamland Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Student General Artist
anime and manga aren't bad for there popualrity, I liek anime and manga mainly for the expressive level it has and you cna get away with abstract proportions then with cartoons. of course mdoern anime and cartoons can be trace back to Ub Iwreks and Walt Disney. wonderul article my dear. ^^
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