16 February 2012

Chapter 3 Blood in the gutter

In Chapter 3, McCloud talks about how he sees the world as a child. As children we are incapable of closure and if we as adults are incapable of closure we wouldn’t be able to do anything. Readers can use the moment to moment, action to action, scene to scene, the comic may be easier to follow. Following the different sequences can explain more about the comic, than just reading on and on, with nothing really to follow. I like the pictures McCloud shows us on pages 84 and 85 and agree when he states, "we assume as readers that we will know what order to read panels in."  Whenever I have looked at comics I have had to reread it to make sure I am looking at it correctly or going in the right direction or sometimes have even just not even bothered with looking or trying to read comics.
As I read on, I find it amusing that the points McCloud is using for "Understanding Comics," are somewhat the same points we use in everyday life to interpret everyday situations, for example a picture of a bed might let us know that there is a hotel, but not that the picture is a bed.

Ch:2 The vocabulary of Comics

In Chapter 2, When McCloud states that "the sorts of images we usually call symbols are one category of icon”, I agree. Every time we see an icon or symbol, as in comics, we can see and know what is being said. As McCloud explains, seeing a picture of a man does not mean it is a man, or if we see a picture of a car, that doesn't mean it is a car.
McCloud asks the question, "why are we so involved," in cartoon figures more than realistic images? When looking at comics, it seems as though it is just nature to see a cartoon drawing than it is to think of a comic as a realistic image. It is much easier to use our imagination when looking at cartoons, than it is when looking at real images but when looking at a cartoon image, our mind can kind of wonder what is going to happen, or what just happened or what may happen. The expression on a cartoon drawing is more imaginative than that of a real picture of a person, especially if there is much detail to the picture.

15 February 2012

Art discovery within myself

In chapter Seven of Scott McCloud’s book Understanding Comics The Invisible Art, goes straight into taking a look at art and how it relates to comics and also how it relates to everyday life as we know it.

Starting off the chapter McCloud asked, “Can comics be art?” Answering his own question with the reply of yes is what gets the chapter started. Reproduction and survival is what McCloud claims to be the human races two basic instincts. Anything that does not relate to these two instincts can be considered art according to McCloud. In doing this, he opens up a whole new world and broadens the meaning of art. Anything can be art! From playing checkers, to riding a bike, even to walking down the street singing a song you like. For example, I am an athlete and play basketball here at New Mexico Highlands. My craft and the way I play is completely different from any other basketball player in the world. It’s my own way of playing so in that case I am an artist. A little further in the chapter after McCloud’s own examples he begins to explain how we put our own element of art in everything we do, but if we do it with the purpose of surviving its not art. For example, a painter may be so passionate about what he’s doing and just wants to express himself through the painting but after he is done with it, someone may want to buy it. Considering the fact that the painter was painting for fun and not for survival (money) this is still considered art. Next, McCloud continues to explain how an artist doesn’t truly make art for the dame and fortune, but their happiness. He then purposes a six step guideline in which he believes we as people follow to create art consciously or unconsciously. Step one includes the “idea/purpose.” Step two includes “form,” step three includes “idiom,” step four is “structure,” step five is “craft,” and last but not least is “surface.” Considering I have agreed with most of McCloud’s ideas, this was not any different.

McCloud’s whole theory that we are all artists in our own unique way and we all have different ways of expressing it is an amazing way to look at art. I could not agree more with him. I truly believe that we all incorporate our own art within everything we do. For example, the way I am writing this blog, my surroundings, the music I am listening to while typing is all art, a different way of doing work. He has definitely opened up another world for me. Everything I do, I will now consider it art and pay attention more to my style of doing things.

14 February 2012

So Says McCLoud!

Montel Morris
English 112
Summary 7
13, February 2012

So Says McCloud!

Chapter seven of Understanding Comics the Invisible Art McCloud introduces his idea of what self-expression is, with a reference to the question of comics as an art. With these two concepts building upon one another the blueprint of what McCloud calls the path is laid out. The path which is then expressed in six steps which could arguably be applied to just about every aspect of the creative expression. The six steps are described initially with step one the idea or purpose for the commencing. Followed by step two, the form which can be seen as the tool. Step three the idiom or the category of the technique being demonstrated, also noted by McCloud maybe none existing. As with everything existing, there must be a structure, and in this case it serves as step four in his model.
The final stages which consist of step five, knowledge and innovation in concluding with structure the finished product, in often the visual aspect of what an individual actually perceives. Although McCloud paints a clear well rounded mastery of these methods one could say that this philosophy is very anecdotal as does the remainder of chapter which tries to further explain these concepts using hypothetical scenarios. McCloud sort of loosely dances around different variations of the order of the six steps, giving contrastive results depending on how they are compiled. The fact that McCloud isn’t very strict on these theories leads one to believe that he is intentionally leaving room for an individual to argue against his ideas in the foreseeable future.    

Chapter 7: The Six Steps

    In chapter 7 of Understanding Comics Scott McCloud explains how comics are considered art, especially whith such broad deffinition. He also explains how everyday things we do can be considered art as long as they do not relate to the humans two basic instincs, survival and reproduction. McCloud analyses how a group of bored cavemen are actually making art. One man is beating a simple rhythm, another one is kicking dirt and a little girl sings. these are considered art since art is any way of self expression so we can say the first man is making music, the guy kicking dirt is dancing away frustration and the girl is singing. In this chapter McCloud states that any form of art has six steps it must follow. the six steps consists of 1.) idea/purpose 2.) form 3.) idiom 4.) stucture 5.) craft and 6.) surface. He also explains how artists can eather say something through their art or say something about art itself. If the artists concentrates on form then he sets himself to be an explorer, he is focused on discovering what art is capable of. If the artist's main goal is the idea or purpose then he uses his art as a tool, and becomes a storyteller.

     Chapter 7 was interesting because i would of never thought that bored cavemen can be considered art. I agree with McCloud because art can be any way of self expression meaning that pretty much everything we do is a form of art. This chapter was interesting since i never knew art had steps one must follow.
Kayla Safarik
February 13, 2012
The Art of Life
Throughout chapter seven of Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud he explains how art is a part of our everyday life, and has been even back when caveman roamed. He notes that art can simply be taking a stick and waving it around in the dirt to make a design, it is a way that we can express our emotions. Everyday art is mostly created unconsciously, and is something that everyone does, McCloud also details how each panel of a comic is constructed from six steps: Idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface, using these six important steps is the key to a good comic is the message that McCloud is portraying. In the chapter there are several examples of young artists that believe that they have what it takes to be the main artists for a comic, but they get a reality check when they show their work to a skilled scripter. This shows that, the art of comics is complex, and requires a lot of experience and studying.
This chapter was short but it clearly explained everything that a reader would need to learn about the art of comics. The point that McCloud brought up about how we make art everyday sometimes without knowing it was eye opening, because I never considered it art before. I also realize now how talented and hard you have to work to become the main artist of a comic, because it is a competitive market, and many artists are trying to do the same thing as you. I have a wider respect for comics now.

The seventh element

" The seventh element" . In chapter seven Scott Mc Cloud is bringing meaning to feelings to expression of a humans view point or conception of innovative thinking. Reading this chapter Mc Clouds shows numerous of examples of how humans expressed themselves since the ancient times. The art form of comics are where we are today finding the value and invative creativity the empires of comics began. The comparison of a old lady drawing in the dirt with her stick and a gay dancing after previously being beat up, or maybe even a man resting after a long day making rhythm beats by tapping a rock all while letting out expressional feelings some consciously some unconsciously. Still to this day people are always making up an way to express themselves some though body modifications or changing the way they have sex. As Scott Mc Clouds states his art is worthless but it is important because it's his expressional view point. Mc Cloud then introduces the path six steps. Idea/purpose,form,idiom,structure, craft, surface all together you will be able to present the best comic ever. Chapter seven was a very fun chapter to read it out look on how people view point of art varies through put each individual, but how it also had meaning and value because of the expression it gave off from the artist that created it. Mc Cloud dug deep into his phsyciatric tool box to pull something this smart out and be able to relate it to the art form he shows he loves in comics. I think this chapter is my favorite chapter like MR.Ben.

The Staircase of Art: the Six Steps

The Staircase of Art: the Six Steps 
            In chapter 7, “The Six Steps”, of Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art by Scott McCloud, he defines art as a very broad term. He describes art as any human activity that is not derived from the two basic instincts of survival and reproduction. As an example he illustrates a caveman in pursuit of a female with only fornication on his mind. In another picture the male is chased by a vicious, carnivorous animal and once again with only one thing on his mind: survival. According to McCloud this is not art; not until the caveman escapes his near death experience and sticks his tongue out at the animal does he consider it art. Art, as he explains is created using six fundamental steps.
            The six steps of any artistic piece are step 1: idea/purpose, step 2: form, step 3: idiom, step 4: structure, step 5: craft, and step 6: surface. The most important steps are the first and second. Without these steps, even with a great surface, the art would be hollow. McCloud uses a shiny red apple with a hollow center as an example. The apple may look delectable based on its appearance, but its center is just a space of emptiness.
            McCloud really opens my eyes to some oblivious information. I would have never realized that a group of cave-dwellers would be depicted as an art. The way they spend their time taping rocks to make music, carving lines in the ground, and singing songs are all types of art. Apparently, the way I write my signature is also considered a form of art. In all art, even if the steps are not fully developed, the six steps are always part of the creation process. 

Food for Thought

Chapter Seven of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics-The Invisible Art takes a closer look at art in general and discusses its almost ever-present role in the human being’s life.

McCloud claims that the human race has two basic instincts: reproduction and survival. He classifies anything that does not directly relate to these two instincts as art, making the definition of art a very broad one. Art is a means of self-expression, created by humans to overcome boredom. Comics, of course, fall into this classification. Although art is not a basic instinct, it still holds important evolutionary purposes. Art exercises the mind and body. It offers a healthy means to channel emotions, and sometimes it can even lead to useful discoveries.  Art exists in almost everything we do -- even in something as simple as signing your name, as each person has his or her own unique way of doing this. Art and survival oftentimes go hand-in-hand when art is used as a means to make one’s living.

One element comics share with other art forms is the necessity for a purpose in the art. In fact, this is likely the most important thing artists have to keep in mind while creating their artwork. Artists need to decide whether they want to use their art to say something about life or if they want to say something about art. All art forms also have six steps in common throughout the creation process: idea, form, idiom, structure, craft and surface. There is no exact order for these steps; they will always naturally work themselves out. McCloud proposes that much of the popular new art focuses mostly on surface and not enough on the content, creating “hollow” art. This type of art often appeals more to people, but lacks the substance necessary for more complete art. McCloud uses an analogy of a dull apple as the “old master” and a shiny apple as the “new kid” to explain this concept. Of course, most people would be drawn to the shinier apple; however this apple is hollow inside. It’s important for artists to employ fresh techniques and apply their own style so that art can continue evolving.

McCloud’s claim that “art is the way we assert our identities as individuals and break out of the narrow roles nature has cast us in” is a great way to look at art. Art is our way of showing off our uniqueness and standing out from the crowd, sometimes without even realizing it. I believe that we constantly incorporate art into our everyday lives, for instance, when we sing at work or doodle in class. Art is our main source of self-expression! I thought McCloud’s apple analogy was really helpful in explaining the six steps and surface appeal. He has helped me understand the importance of each of the six steps through this analogy. The fact that all art forms have something in common is really interesting. I never thought that mediums that are so completely different from each other could possibly share the same creative path.

The six steps that lead to something big

Art can be found in almost anything do and see. But what is art? Almost everyone has a different view on art, some being very narrow, excluding a lot of small and basic pieces of work, and some being very broad, considering almost everything that they see as art. Scott McCloud’s definition of art is “any human activity that does not grow out of our basic instincts: survival and reproduction.” The example that McCloud gives to support his definition are panels that show bored cavemen doing regular activities such as tapping a rock against another, drawing on the dirt with a stick and kicking around pebbles on the floor out of anger. All of the actions that the cavemen are doing are in fact some form of art.
            Later in the 7th chapter of Scott McCloud’s book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, he states that the creation of any kind of work will always follow a path of six steps. The first step is the idea or purpose of the work followed by the form, meaning what the piece of work may be such as a painting, drawing, comic, song and so on. The third step is the idiom or the genre. The structure of the work is the forth step and craft is the fifth. The last step of the “path” is the finished product, the surface. Each step plays an important role in any kind of art, however everyone is most interested in the surface or end product and do not pay much attention to the first few steps. McCloud explains that every artist uses these six steps sometimes without realizing it and that each follows their own order of the path (usually starting from end to the beginning) but in the end the order of the steps are “innate” and when brought together will fall into their place.
            In McCloud’s 7th chapter, I thought he did a good job at explaining the six steps that every artwork follows. He made them very easy to understand and his point of everyone usually just focusing on the surface made me realize that it is true. You never really hear people discussing about the process of how the artwork came to be. I also liked his examples that showed how simple activities could be art. I feel that people should not be as close-minded when it comes to art.

"Who knew how epic comics and art could be"

In chapter 7 of Scott McClouds book Understanding Comics The Invisible Art, Scott McCloud discusses how art in comics is a form of self expression and communication. That due to the times that we are living in art is being downgraded and ridiculed. Over time art has changed from a form of self expression to more to the way of survival with making a living. Scott McCloud argues how if the artist is pure that they wouldn't alter their work for money or fame they do it just for the sole sake of art. art has a purpose it has a certain important value it has what is called a path.

This path contains six steps that are used not only in art but used in comics, theater and any other form of art. The first step or idea/purpose is basically the ideas or emotions of the work. The second or the form is the overall structure of any work. The third or the idiom of the work would be the subject matter or what the art or work really means or shows you and the genre or the type of category the work belongs to. The fourth or the structure putting it all together this step shows us how the artist composes and combines these other steps to create the work they develop. The fifth step or the craft is the way the artist constructs their knowledge of the work they are creating. The sixth and final step used in the path is the surface what most people who are judging a piece of art look at just the picture not the actual detail of the lines or the subject matter or form of the work.

Discussing on subject matter the picture above is a perfect example of Idiom this picture is what a pipe but what it says is "This is not a pipe" the subject matter of this image is not a pipe but a picture of a pipe.

I agree with the way that Scott McCloud is explaining to his readers that their is more to the art of comics than just the surface of the actual picture or panel that their is a hidden art under the painting or drawing. That the overall structure of the artists work depicts what the subject matter and the content all have hidden behind the overall surface of any work. Also do not take a work of art and assume it is terrible due to the surface look at the actual content of the work.

Stick Figures Are Art!

In chapter seven of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics he enforces his opinion that comics are art. McCloud’s definition of art is extremely general. He basically says that if what you are doing anything other than pursuing survival or reproduction, you are making art. His first example is based on the activities of prehistoric humans. In his example a prehistoric cave-man is running away from a tiger, who is trying to catch and eat him. After a long chase the cave-man finally avoids the tiger and secures his safety. During the chase, everything that the cave-man did was in pursuit of his eventual survival, no art was made. But after the chase, the cave-man celebrated his safety, which was neither a pursuit of art or reproduction. The cave-man’s celebration was art!  McCloud goes on to point out the fact that we put an element of art into almost everything that we do. He enforces that by explaining that even in the pursuit of survival in the workplace we tend to add art, such as dancing on the assembly line, or even by making art as our means of survival (like a potter). Even when we are not occupied with problems or responsibilities, we can create art. He also notes that art is not an either/or proposition. He says this because it is rare that a person express nothing in their pursuit of survival, and it is also rare that an artist not care for survival through their art. McCloud continues to state that a true artist does not make art for its perks such as fame, fortune, and sex. Scott McCloud finally proposes a six step path in which humans following creating art. Step one being “idea/purpose,” step two being “form,” step three being “idiom,” step four being “structure,” step five being “craft,” and step six being “surface.”

I agree with every major idea that McCloud proposes in this chapter. At first I didn’t agree with the idea that EVERY artist follows a distinct path in creating their art, but after reanalyzing the idea I now see that McCloud is right. I didn’t initially agree with the six step path idea because I thought that there had to be an artist in the world that is innovative and unusual enough to step away from these steps, but after reanalyzing the idea I now see that these steps aren’t optional, they are a human thought process and therefore cannot be denied. After reading this chapter I was extremely happy to find that, even though I’m a terrible artist and my stick figures are disproportional, I am still an artist.
McCloud begins chapter seven by explaining his definition of Art. He says that art is anything that humans do excluding the two main human instincts, survival and reproduction. He gives a few examples of art as drawing a picture in the sand, or tapping with a rock to make a beat. According to McCloud these are both examples of art because they are entertaining to the person performing the act of drawing or tapping, and they do not have anything to do with survival and reproduction. McCloud then goes on to talk about the different elements of art. He explains that most artist use there work as a survival method to make a living, but there are very few who do art just because they love art. These people are called Pure Artists they do not do art for money or fame they do it simply because they love to do art. McCloud says Pure Artist's work may have no practical value but it is important work because it leads back to the artist's purpose. McCloud goes on to explain that all art follows a path consisting of 1. idea/purpose, 2. form, 3. idiom, 4. structure, 5. craft, and 6. surface. He uses an example of an apple to explain this path and Finnish with a metaphor saying that comics could be the seed of the apple and could be planted all around to restart the cycle of ideas.

McCloud used a lot of examples in this chapter to explain his point. My favorite example was the apple because it really helped me see that most art that is newer and better looking gets more attention than those that do not look to great. The ones that do not look to good are usually the ones that helped for the really nice looking ones. I agree with McCloud when he says that comics could be the seeds to help plant ideas back into art and that they could be spread far and wide.

13 February 2012

Cautions! Lookout for Comic Book Zombies..



            Chapter 7 in Scott McCloud book “Understanding Comics” the invisible art is probably the most important chapter in the book for the understanding the Art story prospective of comics. In reading this chapter, I found out by looking at it as an outsider to better understand comics book its make a lot of sense in the retrospectives of grasping the thoughts of an idiom of craft that modern comics are mostly composed of today. In the beginning of the chapter seven, Scott McCloud explanation of an analogy of the story of prehistoric man and two basic instincts of his daily ritual. The main part of explanation is to describe the simple yet complex art of explanation and story telling. He quotes this very precedence of idiom of a hero the chapter.
“The most important .art as self expression, the artist as hero for many its highest purpose”
(Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, The Invisible Art, 1993, pg. 166-167)
In closing this chapter the chapter has major points that resonates messages throughout the whole chapter seven and the thought is ART. Scott McCloud mentions that the importance of SIX STEPS to understand art and more important relations between them. I think the author has valid points in this chapter more so than the last one because he mentions the importance of art and core for forms within story told. He mentions the importance of how this process works to the artist forms. I agree with the author in this passage in the chapter that he wants to promote in this chapter seven because with concept of “Art” and relation of merging the two to make story is most important ideas to tell a story.
“Still, the learning process for most artists is a slow and steady journey from END to BEGINNING.”
(Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, The Invisible Art, 1993, pg. 182-183)

Chapter 7 Art and Comics

In chapter seven, we learn that comics can indeed be art. McCloud gives us an example in the beginning of the chapter dealing with cavemen and how they represent art. The example was on page 166 with the woman making lines in the dirt with her stick. She is making art because "art is the way we assert our identities as individuals and break out of the narrow roles nature casts us in." Later on in the chapter, the six steps are revealed. The steps include 1. idea/purpose 2. form 3. idiom 4. structure 5. craft 6. surface. All of these steps are important when associating art with comics. When explaining the six steps, McCloud gave examples of aspiring comic writers who would create comics, yet professional critics would not like their drawings or stories because they did not have enough perspective or vanishing points. But at the end of the examples, it is explained that you don't always have to be perfect and that art is art and as long as your goal is achieved it will be OK. The end of the chapter concludes with realizing that as long as you have the six steps, it can be put in any order because they will always fall into place.

This chapter was short and too the point. I disagreed with McCloud in the beginning of the chapter only because different people view art differently. I don't agree that cavemen are art. Sure they can carve things that may become art, but humans are not art in itself. The six steps was broken down easily so that it was understandable. The most important of the six steps to me was structure because it's so close to the core, which means it has to be perfect so that the core doesn't get messed up.

Chapter 7-Six Steps to Understanding Art

Art can be viewed in many different ways. Many people believe art is something that should only be done in leisure time and as a hobby. If you haven't studied art or are an artist than understanding the emotion and hard work that is put into a piece can be a difficult thing to do. Scott McCloud writes of how not only is art important and time consuming, but how comics should also be considered works of art. By people belittling the importance of art puts comics right under the barrel. How then can comics be respected if other works of art are being put down? The six steps are simple. One you must have an idea and/or a purpose for your work, without a purpose no one will take interest. Second is the form the art is in, such as sculpture or canvas. Third comes the idiom, which is the distinct style the art has. Fourth is the structure of the art and how it was assembled and put together. Fifth must be craft how the work is constructed. Last is the surface, what is perceived by the audience of the art on first glance.

Taking these six steps brings an enormous amount of clarity into the unknown for people who care to learn, or in some cases do not care to learn but still must against their own free will, somewhat of the hard work dedicated to art. Many artists put so much sweat and tears into what they may hope to be master pieces some day that I think they deserve respect that they have earned.  I myself was a disbeliever in art being a higher practice until reading some of Scott McCloud writings. The view on art should not be summed up in a nutshell but rather admired and arouse the curiosity of everyone it comes in contact with and appreciated for what it is worth.

Instincts are key!

            In Chapter 7 of Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud gives us examples of understanding the 6 developmental steps of comics. He tells us the story of the caveman who has only two things in mind; survival and reproduction. As humans these are two instincts that we can’t help but process over the course of some time. In other words, it is a part of our human nature. He also shows us how simple our lives could be but in every aspect, we may not notice it, but we are committing some sort of art form. The littlest things still count for something. Whether it is dragging your fingers through the carpet making those little bored designs, doodling, or even drawing on a foggy window you are still creating some kind of art. This is an example of where the obvious question of, “Are comics considered art,” comes to its answer, which is yes. There are all sorts of art forms, and comic’s happens to be one of them. This is where we compare the six steps: idea and/or purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface, and also where we can determine how art finds its definition. All these play a part, describing how art is formed and where the meaning is found, within the art.
            In this chapter I learned that art can be anything, accidental or purposely made. Art dates back to prehistoric times, and the same art that was done then is still done now. I like how Scott McCloud gives us examples we can use to compare how we don’t notice our own art we have made over the years. The six steps are realistic instincts.

What are your thoughts?

          Art deals with our two natural instincts. Survival, and reproduction. Art is found everywhere and in everything that we do. For example, in the book Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud gives an example of art by explaining that there is an old woman that is sitting down and making lines in the dirt. Today, she had a stomachache and in her lines, you could see that they were tight and angular. But yesterday, she didn't have a stomachache, and her lines were much more open and curved. As you can see, art is found everywhere.
          There are three evolutionary standpoints. The first is where they provides exercise for minds and bodies that are not receiving outside stimulus. The second is where they provide an outlet for emotional imbalances that help the mental survival. Lastly, the third is where activities lead to useful discoveries. If you look at it, art is a discovery, and tells nothing but the truth. No matter whether a person says that something is art or not, it is, in one way or another.
          Along with explaining about art, McCloud presents a path of six steps that readers begin to follow when they discover comics. The first step is known as the idea/purpose. This is the idea of the and purpose of the work. The second step is the form. This is to decide what form the work is going to be in (such as a song, a book, a comic book, etc.) The third step is the idiom, and this is where the genre of the work belongs to. The fourth step is the structure. This is how the arrangement of the work is composed. The fifth step is craft. This is where fixing all the work comes into place. Lastly, the sixth step is known as surface. This is where the aspects are most apparent in the work. Every person that follows these steps may discover them in any order but no matter what, when they are brought together, everything will always fall into place.
          Chapter seven is a very informative chapter. It gives the many examples of understanding comics in the many different ways. Personally, I think that McCloud does a great job in explaining everything in this chapter, but I wish he could have explained a little more into depth when talking about the evolutionary standpoints. I can understand most of the information that is given, but part of it confuses me.

The Six Steps to Understanding Art

Art has many different forms it comes in, some of these forms we might not even recognize as art. For example, taking a stick and drawing simple lines can be considered art. Or even taking two stones and making a certain rhythm with them, or a little girl singing a song. All these are different types of art forms but at the same time there similar.
Previously in Understanding Comics the Invisible Art, by Scott McCloud, he explains the ways in which comics are different from other forms of communication. In Chapter 7, however, Scott explains that all art has certain characteristics in common. Many critics ask, “Can comics be art?” Scott believes it can, partly due to his use of a very broad definition for the word “art”. Scott defines art as “any human activity which doesn’t grow out of either of our species’ two basic instincts: survival and reproduction!” Using a series of panels Scott explains how the pursuit of art serves three evolutionary purposes. The fist purpose is that,” They provide exercise for minds and bodies not receiving outside stimulus.” Kind of like how sports or games do in present days. They also “Provide an outlet for emotional imbalances, aiding in the race’s mental survival” such as self expression. “And perhaps most importantly to our survival as a race, such random activities often lead to useful discoveries!”
In this chapter Scott also presents the six steps that good art should go by. First, is idea/purpose, this is the purpose of the work, what the work puts out such as ideas, emotions, and philosophies. Then comes form, the form is how the artist decides to put it as. Maybe a book, or a chart, things like that. Third is idiom, “the genre that the work belongs to….” The fourth step is the structure, how to put it together. Fifth, is craft how you will construct the work. Last but not least is the surface, the “production, and values…the aspect most apparent on first superficial exposure to the work.”
My thought on chapter 7 was that it was very informative and Scott did a well job on explaining all these different steps. He made it easy to understand everything he meant, and this also helps on understanding comics themselves. For some people art is nothing, it’s just something they come across on a daily bases but never really stop to look at. But for some, art means their life. Some make a living off of art; they make these beautiful art pieces that most people might not understand. Sure art is created with a purpose but it’s up to the viewers to decide what they make of it.

Bored of Surviving and Reproducing!

       What a great discovery made from the boredom of humankind...ART! Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, illustrates in Chapter 7 how art is a form of self-expression and is definitely demonstrated in comics. From the beginning of humankind, surviving and reproducing could not possibly be the only things to do. Art was created due to the need of a sense of identity and individuality. Interestingly enough, art is good for you according to McCloud. Providing exercise for the mind, an outlet for emotional imbalance and sometimes leading to interesting discoveries, art has evolved during the years (167.) McCloud describes that art has six basic steps which are followed by all artist in creating their pieces. The order does not matter but in all art forms the concepts are: Idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure,craft and surface. Re-creating comics is fundamental to their development, it depends on each artist to give to each comic the special touch that will change it up and make it unique. The cycle of comics changes and it is up to each individual artist’s innovation and creativity to build on the previous set of rules. 
It is natural for humankind to get bored after surviving and reproducing, and that is when the beauty of art kicks in. Being a unique individual, having an exclusive personality and a particular identity is fundamental to humankind. We take pride in having a distinction from everybody else and having personal talents. Art has evolved and what people appreciate as art has become adaptable to more individuals allowing them to express themselves in that way. Looking back at McClouds previous chapters that involve the methods and content of comics, this chapter ties in to show the struggle comics have been through in order to even be considered a piece of art. McCloud not only breaks down what goes on in a comic, but also what it takes for an author to even come up with the story of a comic. The six basic steps he describes are applicable to all forms of art and it is interesting because they are sometimes unconscious for an artist. Panels, word bubbles and icons take time to be put together in a way that they contain all six steps and create one comic book. A piece of work with that much thought and effort in it should most definitely be considered art and Scott McCloud gives enough evidence to make us appreciate this work. Times change and so should art, it takes innovative artist to continue a cycle without letting it fall into monotony. 

Six Steps to Success

What is art? Does art include comics?  This is a question that is being asked by professionals around the world. Some answer yes and some answer no, but what makes comics art? As we all know art has been around for a very long time, and most artists, actually every artist does this to express themselves, and to connect their thoughts to the modern world. Scott McCloud has a very broad definition of comics and art, and in his eyes comics are part of the art industry. He also believes that everything we do in every single day of our lives is a form of art in one way and another. Which is true, we may not be able to draw, or create masterpieces, but we all have our own ways of expressing our thoughts and feelings towards any type of subject.  McCloud see’s art as any type of human activity that has no intention of growing out of our natural state, which includes two basic instincts; survival and reproduction. Even though those are the basic instincts that we live by, there are also times when we don’t have anything to do. Once this happens, we can create many forms of art, some people write, sing, draw, or make music. These are all forms of art, so it’s up to us to create our own way of self-expression. The six steps that McCloud incorporates into his book are; idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface.  These are the very essentials for creating an amazing comic. The first step is putting all your ideas or any kind of purpose onto paper, this can be a starting point, or it can be the ending point of any writer.  The form step, decides which medium will the idea take, this includes books, a chalk drawing, a chair, a song, or a comic book. Idiom is the step that involves the writer in making the decision on what kind of genre he/she is taking on. The structure is the point where you gather all your information, ideas, and genres, to put together the storyline. Having different crafts while construction a comic book is essential to the quality of the comic being constructed. Most people only see the last step of the path, and this step is the surface.  The surface is the finished production of the work; it has superficial exposure to the outside world.

While I was reading this chapter, I kept nodding my head to several of McCloud’s key points.  I loved how he believes that art should be expanded to include ways of expressing thoughts.  Many classical artists didn’t have an instant reaction to their art pieces; some never got recognition till their death. This chapter was an eye opening one; McCloud shows that its takes more than just having a good story line, you must incorporate the six steps in order to have a great piece of any type of art form. Not only does this make me think more about comics, but it also gives me a new outlook on different art forms. So its simple, follow the six steps, and you should be set.

Sean Sanchez

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.



The six steps

In, Understanding Comics the Invisible Art, Scott McCloud talks about art. He starts off discussing how the cave people used art to mental survive because you can’t always be eating or reproducing. Even though at the time the cave people didn’t think it was art it would now be considered art. Then he talks about the six steps to confirm his belief that cave people were making art. The six steps are idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface. The idea is the inspiration the spark. The form is how the artist is going to make the art, are they going to use pencils or paint. Idiom is kind of like the genre. Structure is putting it what to put in and what to take out. Craft is the skill level. Structure is the value of the art. After McCloud explains about the six steps he then talks about how these six steps are used in comics making them art. He goes through different scenarios. Each time the comic book artist gets a little bit further then the last. He explains all the obstacles the artist might go through and how easy it would be to just stop and be okay with how far they have gotten, but some aren’t happy about it at all and that drive is the inspiration. It is what keeps them going discovering new ideas or even new forms to get the same ideas across to readers.

This chapter was mind blowing. I would have never considered a comic an art form. Once you take his idea of the six steps to creating art it makes you think about all the possibilities of art. I think McCloud was really on to something when talking about the six steps. If you consider the process any artist goes through it starts with an idea then they chose the form they want to use to show the world then deciding what the artist wants the world to see and the value how much the artist believes its worth was it just the fact that they want to tell you something or do they want to be rich and famous or maybe they didn’t care but the idea was so mind blowing the artist becomes famous anyways.

The Ideas and Guide Lines of Art: Chapter 7

In the book Understanding comics by Scoot McCloud, he explains into depth the six steps in which an art can be developed in order to become a well versed and well structured type of art. Mr. McCloud shows us that art is not only in paintings, comic books, or films. He clearly explains that art can be anything as along as it has meaning behind it or tells a story. Art is not only in paintings as our mind is made to understand it. We don't see a pot or the simple taps on a rock as art because our society or genres we are in affects our understanding of art. Mr. McClould makes comparisons and points out some good points one of which is that art has and will be the same in decades to come. The basics of art do not change instead they become more and more complex instead; Throughout the years, as new and old artists come and go art evolves into a picture that best fits our society. He compares survival and reproduction with art stating that when the age of art begun it was only very straight forward and expands into saying ,with only the use on the drawn picture on page 167, that art is the same ,but it has however become much more complex such as reproducing where in the past there were no conversations nor dates.  Reproduction and survival throughout time makes one adapt to the society and creates a huge difference between  per historic time art to current time art in all aspects some in which involve art. Mr. McCloud also comes up with the theory that we did not invent art ,but instead that per historic men and women did. He explains why and how it was possible to occur. He does this by telling us that although survival and reproduction are the main concerns that there comes a time when we don't have anything to do ,and in those cases we find ways to entertain ourselves and one of those moments begun the creation or art. He also explains that any type of art whether paintings, writings, films, sculpture, or any other forms of art all follow the same foundation in structure and development. This foundation and development follow these six steps and always fall into order. The development of any type of art follow the following criteria (1.) Idea/purpose, (2.) Form, (3.) Idiom, (4.) Structure, (5.) Craft ,and (6.) Surface.

    This chapter explains how and why art was created. Choosing this chapter to blog on was mainly due to the idea and concepts that it consist on why art came about and how it can teach us and even relive guilt. This chapter set a different view on what I had to say about artists such as Shakespeare. Knowing that all art is based on  six simple guide lines makes it very possible to understand complex plays or stories such as past artists. Art does not only come in one kind of form. It comes in a variety of ways and that's the beauty of it art. All this is possible even when following these six steps.      

Chapter 7, An Ongoing Cycle of Creativity

In this chapter Scott McCloud makes the long awaited rebuttal to the argument that comic books are in fact art, only if your definition of art is as broad as his. McCloud's first powerful example is of the basic pursuit of humanity: Survival and Procreation. McCloud says that What we choose to do as humans in predicaments such as survival at the workplace or in the vast lands of Pangaea express our individualism, therefore obliviously creating living art. Even when we are not occupied with problems or responsibilities, we can create art. The example McCloud uses to show how a primitive being conjures such entertainment was a scene he set up where “...a man beats as simple rhythm with a pair of stones. He doesn't know why, but the sound pleases him” This action may have no monetary benefit, but it pleases the soul and sometimes that's all that matters.
Scott goes on to say that the true artist does not pursue art for its luxuries like fame, fortune, and fornication but solely for the Art. Scott McCloud simplifies this ongoing phenomenon by making the simplified statement "My art has no practical value whatsoever! But it's important!" For a lot of artists this remark is true, because they are pursuing an art form but have no concern for the financial support of major label offers. Scott McCloud eventually summons the idea of a six step process in which we as humans create art, more importantly ideas.

I have no dispute with the way Scott organizes the thought process in which art is created and believed that his Apple analogy is very applicable, but his implication on how new art is a cycle of old art struck me as a little forward. There are some artists out now who are innovators in genres unexplored but I do understand that most artists share common ideas and goals for success. importantly ideas.
There are some artists out now who are innovators in genres unexplored but I do understand that most artists share common ideas and goals for success. Here is a good example of an artist pursuing a relatively new idiom of electronic music, but is not in the pursuit of quick fame and abundance.
He may be building on the ideas of Electronic Dance Music and Hip Hop rotted tunes, but he is creating a genre of music all his own.
(sorry for the link, it was not uploading the video)

Scott McCloud makes the very true observation about how art is unavoidable and an outlet for expression by proclaiming the fact that "Because of its independence from our evolution bread instincts art is the way we assert our identities as individuals and break out in their own roles nature cast is in."
This statement is very true, everyone has something to express in my own personal opinion. Scott McCloud also has a very optimistic and eclectic view on comic books saying “but to proclaim, as so many so often do, that that's not art presumes that art is an either/or proposition. I do not think this." I share the same optimism with McCloud, believing that almost anything can be art. I know this idea focuses more on the main idea of Chapter six, but I wanted to shine some light on the subject. People do critique art based on qualities pertaining mostly to early exposure of art, but to call some items and pieces "not art" is a little harsh. A good example is the album work from beat producer Flying Lotus. All of his album covers have been labeled abstract and have been off-putting to some, though I do not see why.
The real interesting part of this chapter is when McCloud introduces the six steps that a human experiences before creating new art. The six steps include ideas, purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface. I have no dispute with the way Scott organizes the thought process in which art is created and believed that his Apple analogy is very applicable, but his implication on how new art is a cycle of old art struck me as a little forward.
Another idea Scott McCloud asserts is the psychological process of the development of ideas, form, idiom, and structure before pen touches paper. Scott McCloud goes on to give us an in-depth view of the level of success artists can obtain and the fluctuation of self-worth that applies to each artist individually. In other words some artists are content with progressively successful lives, but some have a hunger for identity that can only be satiated with new innovation, such as a new idiom for comment books. Scott McCloud suggests that we choose art based on its surface like an apple and then slowly bite away to its true form core or idea. This is also true, and it helps continue the everlasting cycle of idea creation that we all go through on a daily basis. Continue the cycle today and create something new, or at least find a common subject matter and present it in a new form