Chapter 7 summary
In chapter 7 of Understanding Comics the author Scott McCloud explains what art is and if comics are art. He argues that the question itself is stupid and we don’t have a broad view on how we define art. He claims that art is anything that we do that doesn't involve our basic instincts of survival or reproduction.
With this definition McCloud uses the example that anything from taping a rock to signing our name on our receipt is an art form or an element of art. He explains that some art though has more activities than others. He calls this “pure art” and that it has some kind of purpose behind it and to reach this purpose it follow a procedure of 6 steps.
The steps are idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface. He compares theses ideas to an apple. Most people can only appreciate the surface of the apple but when you bite into the apple it is hollow. This is an analogy where he is comparing the apple to new artists who don’t understand the other 5 concepts of art so they comics are hallow.
McCloud then uses the example of artist who tries to make comics. Each lacks a few steps with the processes and when they try to show their work to professional they realize they don’t have what it takes to make comics. One artist finally understands that all the steps revolve around a purpose of what the artist is trying to say to the world.
McCloud explains that the purpose can be changed quickly if an artist chooses by the form of the comic. McCloud argues that an artist will always use these 6 steps and they can be used in any order. McCloud is trying to say that in order to be artist you have to understand what art is and how you define it. Also you must be able to understand the entire steps behind art and not just the surface because there is much more to learn about art and comics.
I agree with McCloud that art needs to be defined broader. Almost everything I do can be considered art form. Art is not limited to drawing and painting. I also see that must famous art follows the six steps process. Most art and comics that is limited to just the surface don’t ever make it because most people always ask the question what is the purpose behind the art or comic.