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And so, we are now here. I am so very, very sorry if this left you feeling like you had to have all your holiday shopping wrapped up before Santa. Just because you had to work on that cool new present for the artisanal kelpie you love and that precious jar of hidden spice for that gourmet syrupy vanilla outreached aunt. You were busy with your petit bouche in kitchen and you might have had other commitments, but at least you can get to it later. You didn’t have time to pack a holiday ham or the jimmies to baste a beautiful liver broiled to perfection. You could have, and some of you did, because luckily we live in a digital age. You could have read Hand Drawn Book of Art (and draws ) , a free online interactive book of art and advice on how to draw a creature, representing the world of the almost unknown creatures and works of artists like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Balthus, Picasso, and van Gogh. It was recorded live in 2016 by artist, Mike Digiovanni.
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Published on Debut in 2014, the book has been published around the world, and garnered on average 100,000 monthly visitors. The site has been upgraded this year with the introductions of a new encyclopedia, and larger displays of images of illustrators and the art of many comics. Readers can access Hand Drawn Book of Art and all its related resources at HandDrawnArt.com.
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The books are for the casual artist, the aspiring artist, the student in art class, the person who knew art like the back of their hand but never knew the proper technique. Will anyone go through this book and dream of being Giorgio de Chirico, on their own? Not a chance, or at least not any of us at this moment in time. What does it mean, and what are the current reasons for this active interest? According to Digiovanni, the initiative was born of his own frustration of not being able to draw . Writing a book on the subject made that dream a possibility:
“By publishing the book, I made it possible for every new artist to connect with artists of the past, something that I think is important for all artists. It is important to introduce people to the magic of art, what the painters and cartoonists of past times wrote and drew about in books, comic strips, pastimes, technologies, colors, current events, theories and more. This book can contribute to present artists to that world.”
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What really appeals to him, though, is the opportunity to share and encourage the next generation to embrace the tradition and the beauty of drawing.
“When you are inspired by a style, a style of drawing, when you see all those styles of drawing, all that painters, comic artists did. You see that painters have so many influences, some of which you could not imagine! You feel, you know that you have found a kindred spirit when you see the evolution of drawing. It opens the door to discover your own drawing style. That is one of the greatest things about this book, because it helps you understand and discover your own style, without the pressure of looking at other people’s drawings or drawings from your younger years. This book teaches artists how to draw!”
This author never planned to have a successful book. In fact, he wrote it about his frustrations; the disillusionment of being a failure artist-wise and doing other media than illustration and comics. But what he noticed, he said, is that the majority of people who are not visual artists like to draw. They enjoy it because it allows them to engage themselves with different artistic forms. His idea was to become that avenue for aspiring artists to take part in the discussion. He knew the right connection was needed for this very reason, and he proceeded with this journey with confidence, faith, and love.