Brace yourselves, guys, here comes a little bit of reading ! After 2 years of adventures in your company, I assumed it was time to think a little bit more about the very concept of Geek-Art… Your comments in English/French are more than welcome, here, on Facebook, tumblr, or twitter
(Please excuse by advance my French inspired English)
It’s been now 2 years that I created Geek-Art.net. 2 years of an almost everyday blogging, with more and more visitors (thank you ladies and gentlemen), 2 years of building an ever-growing community on Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter. 2 years and 2 artshows in Paris (Blockbusterz and 8 Bits Champions), and now an online store. And I really hope it’s only the beginning! So first of all, guys, thank you. If you visit, if you share, if you comment, if you « like », thanks a lot. But, also, thanks to the artists, the real stars of this blog.
The name « Geek-Art », when I created this blog, came by itself, like something obvious. Simple, understandable whatever the language was, relevant. AND unknown on Google (except for 2-3 articles maybe), which was quite cool. Nowadays, you can find some Geek-Art (or geek art) everywhere on the web, in more and more sites and articles. It simply and naturally became a new culture. How ? Why ? And more important, what exactly is the Geek Art ?
Let’s go straight to the point : I was a huge geek. And proud of it. And still proud of it. I came through every geek level I can think of : video games, comics, collectible card games, roleplaying games, wargames, table games, movies, tv shows, anime, cartoons, toys, litterature… What an awesome childhood and teenagehood I had, even if my successes were more about experience points than ladies. When I grew up, I changed, like lots of people of course. Some geeks stay hardcore addicted to those universes. Others, like me, change, because of studies, jobs, life, anything. But I realized one thing : once a geek, always a geek.
I will always be a Mario Kart fan. Or a Skyrim, Fallout, or related RPG fan, even if I play less than before. I will always be a fan of comics, from Batman to Hellboy, from Blacksad to Tintin. I will always be a fan of Star Wars (despise the fact that the Lucasfilm Empire often does its very best to making me hating it) and Steven Spielberg. I will always listen to Conan or Tron original soundtracks. I will always enjoy reading heroic fantasy or Sci-Fi. I will always shed a tear when Gandalf sacrifices himself to fight the Balrog… All those universes are part of me, definitly. Whatever our age, our social situation, loving Mario or the Goonies is a lifetime relationship.
All those random universes that I like to call the Geekdom in my posts are part of the general and collective imagination, and the overwhelming success of movies with a super hero in it is a proof of this fact. We can even now give the Geekdom the C name : it’s a real Culture. Some can call it Pop Culture, but I believe pop culture is a different thing. The Geek culture may be a modern pop culture, the 21st century pop culture. Don’t we forget Pop Art and the references to icons of the time such as Marilyn Monroe or Bowie (for Warhol), or to comic books (for Roy Lichtenstein). The Geek culture does exists, it is here whether you like it or not (and I would prefer you to like it).
This culture came to give inspiration to artists. And that is where our story becomes more interesting. Young artists today, whether they are graphic designers or illustrators (an ever-growing form of art, thanks to the whole entertainment industry) are still fascinated by those universes mainly coming from their childhood. And believe me, those universes are a neverending source of inspiration : manga, comics, video games, books, novels, movies… Whether you are a geek or not, it is very hard, to an artist, to resist the sweet temptation to draw a Vader, or if you’re a graphic designer to remake the poster of your favorite monster movie… And I realized, little by little, that hundreds, thousands of artists work every day to pay tribute to their favorite character.
And why not ? After all, since the dawn of times, artists from every society got inspired by different cultures : the greek or roman culture, the Christian culture, Arabic culture, Scandinavian tales… Whatever ! Culture has always been inspired by culture, and as the Geekdom has become a real culture, it now inspires artists. And here comes the Geek Art. True story.
Geek Art has its own codes, themes or trends, such as minimalism, poster remakes, mash-ups… The important thing is to understand that all of this is a tribute to those universes. The Geek Art is the way artists and designers say thank you to those awesomely creative kingdoms. Vador, as Zeus before him, is worshipped all around the globe, through generations and continents. Everyone knows Mario and his codes, form Japan to USA, from France to Turkey… Geek Art does not know any frontiers, or countries or boundaries. Thank you Internet !
Geek Art is modern and technological by essence. Thanks to Internet and the new ways of drawing/working : mouse, keyboard, Photoshop, Illustrator, stylus… And it succeeded where other cultures failed : go through time and space to be appreciated by the whole world !
In the end, I hope that my humble blog contributed to put a name to a cultural phenomenon that existed before. I hope I succeeded in building the first walls of an evergrowing community of fans and artists. One thing is for sure though: the Geek-Art is here to stay. First of all because it is transgenerational, but mainly because… It’s fun. It’s cool. It’s awesome. We will always enjoy watching a redesign of Mario or the Terminator. It is, to me, the golden rule of the Geek-Art, and I hope no one will ever forget this. I, on a personal point of view, will never, ever forget this.
Thomas OLIVRI, Master & Commander of Geek-Art.net
(to be continued…)