|We only have to wash & wax our missile on the first Sunday of every month|
(from Tales From Outer Suburbia) (via Shauntan.net)
|Illustration by James Edwards (via UMassd.edu)|
But what I admire about Shaun Tan are his sensibilities - all while pursuing a lifestyle incorporating the same craft as me, but pursuing it from a commercial angle. As Carlo Rotella in the article notes, painting is a private endeavor for Tan, more of "pure science, more about the act of painting" and Illustration pays the bills.
And making art in any form has still brought Tan to the same place as I am as a painter - that is, simply aware and hungry for things:
You discover how confounding the world is when you try to draw it. You look at a car and you try to see it's car-ness, and you're like an immigrant to your own world. You don't have to travel to encounter weirdness. You wake up to it.As the article notes, Shaun Tan has recently won an Oscar for co-directing an animated short based on his own children's book, The Lost Thing, and he has one problem I do not yet relate to: offers to make films and propel his career elsewhere:
I'm not dying to make a feature film which people around here can be surprised to hear. It's about money and therefore audience, and that's somewhat counterproductive for me. I kind of like not having to feel that the work's going to be successful. Money does buy you time, it's true, but I have time now.It's his implied pace of working which I truly relate to. Simply using time to develop. I remember one teacher of mine, James Edwards, taking on a daunting serial textbook Illustration job. Something about the way he described it seemed nostalgic for freedom to make independently. But he was still painting and it still made him into a great artist - that is, he had learned how to look.
I'm not sure if I would ever had been successful with Illustration, but I see with or without it I still made it to the same point.