“When it comes to art, and especially a style of art, you can’t be wrong. If you like it, it is good. Really. That’s why there isn’t much point in seeking out validation from an ‘expert’ taste-maker. Hang on, what about technique? Surely, they can pass judgement on an artist’s technique, right? Yes, it might be possible to discern someone’s relative proficiency with a brush, but technique alone is not art. I’ll talk more about that later. So does all this mean that we shouldn’t look at the art we like critically? Of course not, and I’ll talk about that later, too.”
– Joshua Middleton, firing back at critics who argue that one style of art is objectively better than another.
To be clear, Middleton doesn’t believe that all criticism is worthless, and he explains as much in his post. He just thinks that criticism serves a specific purpose, but that critics sometimes allow their opinions to creep outside of the areas where they’re genuinely useful: like discussing proficiency with a particular technique or the artist’s ability to accomplish her goals.
It’s a thought-provoking, heartfelt read and the first in hopefully a series of articles Middleton plans to write on the subject.
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While comics fans may miss seeing new work from Joshua Middleton on comics shelves (the covers to Sword & Sorcery and Before Watchmen were nice!), there’s some consolation in knowing that although the artist isn’t actively illustrating comics he is keeping within the superhero landscape. Middleton recently posted some landscape designs he created for Warner Bros. Animation’s Green Lantern: The Animated Series, which he worked on for some time. What he’s revealed so far is his renditions of Oa, interplanetary headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps. In his brief post, Middleton explains some of the obstacles from an art direction standpoint to the Green Lantern concept and how he overcame them for his work on the series.
“One major problem from an art direction perspective, with Green Lantern: The Animated Series and anything Green Lantern in general, is the overabundance of green,” Middleton writes. “It can be difficult to come up with nice color palettes when everybody and everything in the scene is glowing green. Matters were not made better with the introduction of Red Lanterns, as we now had the world’s weirdest Christmas to deal with.”
Following a stint last year as an art director for Warner Bros. Animation’s upcoming Green Lantern: The Animated Series, artist Joshua Middleton announced this week that he’s joined the staff of Nickelodeon’s The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra. And he does so in fine fashion, with the beautiful illustration he created for the limited-edition poster that debuted at Comic-Con International.
The eagerly awaited sequel to the hit Avatar: The Last Airbender, Legend of Korra picks up 70 years after the original series, following the current incarnation of the Avatar, a hotheaded teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe. The 26-episode series is set to debut in mid-2012. Check out Middleton’s full poster after the break.
Artist Joshua Middleton, who most recently provided covers for DC’s Supergirl, has announced he’s finished with mainstream comics work, at least “for the foreseeable future.”
“I have plenty of other stuff to keep me busy, and I want to dedicate every minute of my free time to personal work only,” Middleton writes on his bog, “so the comic book covers had to go, bringing to an end, with a whimper, ten years of mainstream comic book work-for-hire.”
The news leaves open the possibility that Middleton could return to Sky Between Branches, his creator-owned “illustrated fairy tale” that saw just one issue from Com.x in 2002.
Middleton, who’s known in recent years primarily for his cover illustrations, began his comics career in 2000 on CrossGen’s Meridian. At Marvel, he drew the first four issues of NYX, as well as covers for New Mutants, before signing with DC Comics in 2004. There, he provided covers for American Virgin, Vixen: Return of the Lion and Supergirl, and drew the 2005-2006 miniseries Superman/Shazam: First Thunder and the 2007 one-shot Outsiders: Five of a Kind #4.