Somewhat regularly, we hear from featured draftsmen that their love of drawing originated with or was initially nurtured by comic books more than more classical work like figure drawing. The superheroes in their pages may have had exaggerated muscles, but their proportions were otherwise reasonably close to reality, their gestures were dynamic and convincing, and the frames within which they played out their exploits were often carefully composed.
|From top to bottom: a Superman comic book cover; a manga drawing book cover; an Audubon painting.|
Other artists talk about parents taking them to museums from an early age to see art. Others simply can’t remember when they didn’t have a drawing instrument in their hands.
Each succeeding generation finds inspiration from new sources. From pre-World War II Superman to 1999 shōjo manga aimed directly at Japanese girls, the appeal is the same: An accomplished artist has translated the three-dimensional problem of the human body into a two-dimensional depiction. An artist has blazed the trail for the beginner, has provided a key to get into the room. No matter which direction you come from, getting an idea of how to translate something into a flat rendering is the first step in drawing.
So, what first inspired you to pick up a crayon, pencil, or pen and draw? Akira? Audubon? Aquaman? Alfred E. Neuman? Spill it!