15 February 2011

All Hail the Six Steps!

Chapter seven of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics clarifies that comics are an art. But comics must undergo a path that consists of six steps, which are idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface. The first step involves the emotions, purposes, and content. The second step is basically what type of form the material will be. The third step involves vocabulary, styles, and genre. The fourth step basically is deciding what to include or leave out and how to arrange the material. Step five is basically finishing the work and applying such skills as problem solving or practical knowledge. Finally, step six involves the production and exposure. These six steps are used in any medium, for any work, and by any artists.

The almighty six steps can be found in the rhetorical analysis for Mr. Ben’s class. The first step would be the purpose of the essay, which is to prove whether McCloud proves the values of comics. The second step is the fact that the analysis is written in an essay structure, with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The third step is the vocabulary we decide to use and explaining the genres of McCloud’s book. The fourth step would be the rough draft of the essay, which is where we decide what is good enough to make the final draft. The fifth step is finalizing the final draft and making sure is almost perfect. Of course, the sixth step of the rhetorical analysis is turning the final draft into Mr. Ben.

In my opinion chapter seven is beneficially. When it comes to writing, we are all the students and should be open to learn more because there is so much more to learn. The six steps helped me understand how I can improve my rhetorical analysis a little more. I also found how McCloud portrayed pre-historic humans to be extremely humorous. Again, chapter seven was enjoyable.

Step To It!

Chapter seven of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is about McCloud's definition of art and his six steps in creating art. McCloud describes art as any human activity besides sex and the will to survive. This is a very broad definition, but McCloud seems to give well thought out evidence in supporting this claim. Under this claim, dancing, singing, drawing, and many other hobbies fall under. We also learn later in this chapter that there are also factors that affect art. One factor is money. Some art can be influenced by greed. This is why McCloud places six steps on art to avoid making art just for money.

Instead of making art for money, McCloud explains how people use art to represent their individual identity. McCloud writes of three ways art is used to help people express themselves. The first is through exercise. Many play sports or games to relieve stress. Art also helps people with emotions. Art is good if someone has emotional imbalance. The last example of how art effects humanity is through invention. Art inspires creativity and new discoveries.

After explaining these three ways art helps humans express themselves, McCloud reveals his six steps to making art. Here is a bullet of the six steps to make it as clear as possible:
  1. Idea/Purpose-before you can start your work, you need to reflect on why you are doing what your doing. The purpose of your work.
  2. Form-This is where you decide what genre your art will take. Example include a book, chalk drawing, sculpture, or comic book.
  3. Idiom-Idiom can be described as your vocabulary and subject matter. Style of the genre is included.
  4. Structure-This is where you decided how to arrange your project. Composing your work.
  5. Craft-I could describe this as constructing your work and applying your art skills on you project.
  6. Surface-This is how your work looks when finished. Representation of the work.

It is very hard for everyone to walk step to step with these six rules. Many viewers of art do not see all six steps when looking at art. Many just see the finishing product or surface. Idea, form, idiom, structure, and craft are sometimes not fully recognized.

Sex or Food?: The Debate Continues

Chapter seven in Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art Scott McCloud tells us, “Art, as I see it, is any human activity which doesn’t grow out of either of our species’ two basic instincts: survival and reproduction.” He then gives us a short tale about a prehistoric male, and how it applies. He talks about how everything in our lives as humans that we do, is due to the instincts of survival and reproduction, whether it’s with a job/career or the “dating game”.
Then he introduces to us, a path consisting of six steps. The six steps being: idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface. Without all of these six steps, the comic doesn’t really live up to its full potential. If it looks nice and appealing to the eye, it may catch the reader’s attention, but they will surely lose it if the comic is lacking in any other aspect, such as the storyline. There may be many people out there that think they have what it takes to create the next big comic, but in reality only few truly do.
In chapter seven in Understanding Comics, McCloud goes deeper into what a comic truly is. This time he explains the structure part of it more. He uses six steps: idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface; all to combine in what we know as a legendary comic such as Spider-man. Although, if one of these key steps is missing from the staircase we call a comic, it will fall and you’ll be stuck in the basement with just doodles.

Comics are Art!? Come Step Through the Six Layers of Any Art!

Are comics really art? Well of course comics are art. They may not be the most common type of art, but they are art. In Chapter Seven of Understanding Comics Scott McCloud explains how comics are art, and the six steps that all artists use when creating art. Art is a broad subject, as are comics. McCloud describes how mother nature has a role in the creation of art. McCloud uses the example of cave people and how they would create art without really know it. Art is the discovery of important things and it shows truth, while being explored. Art is the foundation of many things such as language, science, and philosophy. Artists do what they do because they love art. To decide what you might want out of aren't you first must discover the purpose. There must always be a path when creating any kind of art. The six steps that many artists follow are; idea/purpose-this just shows the purpose of the work or the content that is going into the art, form- basically how it is going to be created, it can be a book, painting, dance, or sculpture, idiom- this is the genre that the art form belongs to, structure- what composes the art and brings it all together as one, craft-skills that help to make the art, and last is surface- this is the final product, the surface of the work that is exposed. All of these six steps go into creating any art form. What people see and understand the most is the surface... it is easier for a person to see the surface and understand that then it is for them to see what really goes into making that surface possible. All the steps that come before the surface are what make up art. McCloud describes how it takes much practice to become good at creating comics, and how you may think you have mastered it all. But you can leave out some important part. You may get the drawing part right but you might not have any story line. The six steps are followed by all artists, whether they know it or not. There is an idea or purpose behind everything, there has to be some kind of form and structure to help get the point or purpose across, the craft is something that differs from artist to artist, and the surface is what everyone gets to enjoy!
Chapter Seven really showed me what all it takes to make some good art. McCloud makes comics that much more understandable in this chapter by describing what it really takes to create a comic. Every comic has a purpose, a structure/ form, a certain genre and a surface. The artist making the art might have a different craft. He or She may do things different than other artists. The craft is what makes every art form so much different.
The six steps are applied when doing any paper. But in regard to the rhetorical analysis they are used because the purpose is to decide what definition about comics is the best, when looking at the genre and discourse community. The form of the paper is in MLA and the structure would be an essay. The idiom of the rhetorical analysis essay would be anyone looking to gain a better understanding of the definition of comics. The craft of every paper is different, depending on the writer. The structure is everything that makes up the essay, the other steps along with grammar and sentence structure. This is all stuff that will catch the readers eye, and either attract them and make them want more, or push them away.

14 February 2011

Awesome Comic about the Gutter!

Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

Don't Judge By the Cover Alone

In chapter 7 McCloud decides to throw some more information at his reader. McCloud explains that the creation of any work in art will always follow a certain path. This path that he talks about consists of six different steps. These six steps include Idea/Purpose, Form, Idiom, Structure, Craft, and Surface. The first step, Idea, is really just the purpose of everything that you're creating. The second, Form, is the literally the form of art that you choose to go into. This can include anything from comics to sculpting. The third step is Idiom. Idiom is actually like the genre that you'll use in the art that you choose to pursue. Structure is the forth step. The structure step is how you decide to put everything all together so that each piece or picture agree with one another. The fifth and sixth steps are Craft and Surface. Craft is the understanding and invention that you put into your art while Surface is the exposure to your work. McCloud says that any form of art will always come go through these six stages. Each one is needed for any form of art that you create. So, if you look deep enough into any form of art, you'll find these six steps at the very core.

At the end of this chapter McCloud talks about what happens after our art has undergone all six of the stages. He focuses on several different artists but finally narrows it down to the last. McCloud says that this artist has a difficult decision to make about his art: "Does this artist want to say something about life through his art or does he want to say something about art itself?" For this decision, the artist must go back and choose between the first or the second step. If he chooses Form, it could lead him to become a revolutionist. However, if he chooses Idea/Purpose, he can speak to the world through his work. And then, eventually the world comes back around and starts back at square one.

In all honesty I wasn't looking forward to reading this chapter at all. The first few pages didn't spark an interest. I did become interested once it started getting to where McCloud started describing each artist and the steps that he/she went through. Then I started thinking about all the work that I had been doing for each of my classes along with previous classes. Even when writing our rhetorical analysis paper do we use these steps. Idea and purpose were used for the content of our papers. Our form was the paper itself. Idiom is our vocabulary and subject matter along with structure being MLA format. Craft is used for our papers just by our will to "get the job done." Now surface in our paper is harder to put my thumb on. I don't really see how surface comes into a rhetorical analysis paper but I'm thinking that maybe it has to do with the way that the essay itself is presented. But, this chapter actually contains some valuable points in the pursuit of the understanding of comic value.

Six steps are NEEDED

In chpt 7, Scott McCloud talks about the six steps that are used in art today. He argues whether comics can be considered art, and yes they are forms of art. By his defention, art "is any human activity which doesnt grow out of either of our species' two basic instincts: survival and reproduction!"to me comics fit that defenition very well. He tells the importance of these six steps (Idea/Purpose, Form, Idiom, Structure, Craft, and Surface) and why every comic artist or any artist depends on these steps. McClouds says that an artist needs all six steps to create a great piece of art and gives examples of 5 different comic book artists and the outcome each experienced while using each of the six steps. The fifth artist used all the steps and was the most succesful artist. All 6 steps are needed!

If artists didnt use these six steps, alot of art wouldnt have meaning that it does. If they only use Surface the piece of art would only be appealing to the eye. It wouldnt have "The impulses, the ideas, the emotions, the philosophies, the purposes of the work... the works content" no one would ever know the artists feelings or why they did this piece of art. When you draw a picture you might use these steps, maybe some or even all of them.

Scott McCloud's book, Understanding Comics The Invisible Art, is a comic book written on understanding comics an to show their deeper meaning. McCloud uses all six steps in creating this comic book. Number One, Idea/Purpose: His purpose is to shed a different light on comic books, a posistive one. Number Two, Form: it takes the form of a book. Number Three, Idiom: this book is a comic that talks about comics. Number Four, Structure: He talks about important things about comics which helps the reader understand his goal. Number Five, Craft: He made this whole book himself, wrote it and drew it. Number Six, This book is great!

Is it art? YES!

In chapter seven of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, Scott McCloud asks the question "is it art?". The answer to that question is yes, comics are art! Scott McCloud explains that art can provide three simple things for us. The first thing that art can provide is "exercise for minds and bodies not receiving outside stimulus". An example of this would be sports because in sports we use our mind and body as the art. The second thing art provides is "an outlet for emotional imbalances, aiding in the race's metal survival". An example of this rule would be using art as a self expression. The last thing art provides us with is that there is a potential for useful discoveries and exploration through art. McCloud also states that art is everywhere, from assembly lines, to signing checks and even the way a person rides a bike is considered art.

Creating art requires six steps which are the idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft and the surface. The first step, idea/purpose is the content of the art. The second step, form is the type of art it will be. The third step is idiom which is the genre the art will be. The fourth step is structure, in this step you will be composing the work. The fifth step is craft, which means constructing the work. The final step is the surface which means to finish and prefect the work. Scott McCloud explains that every step are important because "whats a good surface without a great core". Each step should help the final project be great from the core to the surface.

I used all of the these steps for writing our rhetorical analysis essay without even realizing it. I used "idea/purpose" for the content of my paper. I used the step "form" when I wrote the essay in MLA format. I used "idiom" when I did the genre of the work. I used the step of "structure" when I put my paper together. An example of this would be that I had to rearrange my paper multiple times to get my point across correctly. I also used "craft" while writing my paper. I had to apply all of my writing skills such as sentence structure, vocabulary and organization in order to complete the essay. I also used the sixth step which is "surface" to finish my work. To do this I went back to my paper and made sure everything was appealing the eye. I edited the paper again and made sure my paper was in MLA format.