Oct 17, 2006

Top Ten Favorite Themes!

Fire Squad
A friend of mine asked me to create a logo for his sons engineering team that builds robots so they could get some t-shirts printed. Like most artists I jumped at the excuse to create some new robot art. This made me think about popular themes that artist enjoy creating around.

Creative Observation
I've mentioned it in passing in previous posts but have never really dedicated a specific post on the topic and that is 'The Top Ten Favorite Themes' of artists. It's not so much something I set out to discover but rather something I have observed over the past decade or so. Artist are most certainly a unique group of creative minded folk and I've noticed a handful of themes that tend to be common favorites they choose to do design and or illustration work on. Mind you this is by no means an iron clad list but just the most obvious ones I've noticed and have participated in creating myself through my own art. The latest offering above is no exception and motivated me to post this thread.

Top Ten Themes
The following are what I consider to be the top ten favorite themes of artists when creating their art. The order in which I have listed them is not according to popularity but rather just what came to mind when I posted this. I am sure I'll miss a few obvious ones but that is where you come in. Feel free to post others I may have missed or ones you think should be replace with another and I'll re-tool this list over time.

1. Robots: Evil, Benevolent or Humanoid it's all fun.
2. Monkeys: Ape, Chimp, Gorilla or go ape and do a 'Robot Monkey'.
3. Naked Women: No explanation needed.
4. Skulls: Or skeletons for that matter. It's all Bona-fide fun.
5. Monsters/Mutants: Home grown or universal the scarier the better.
6. Paranormal: Aliens, Angels, Demons, Ethereal forms etc.
7. Surrealism: Popularized by Dali, captured by most artists in doodles.
8. Dogs: Flea bitten art inspired by mans best friend.
9. Human Head: All matter of zany things have popped out of heads.
10: Machines: All kinds of mechanic contraptions and devices.

If an artist can combine several of the above into one composition then it's a dream project.

A couple other common elements used by artists are 'Flames' and 'Wings', but they tend to be integrated into the work of a given theme more then a theme in and of themselves. Someone had mentioned 'Pirates' which I agree is a most enjoyable theme to work with. But I think it' recent craze is due to the recent Disney movies. Of course every child at one time or another drew 'Dinosaurs' and all though another fun theme to work with it's not as popular as the ones in the list.

As you can see most of what drives us creatives tend to be very character driven.

I've had many artists email me on this list and I've adapted some content from their input. If you have suggestions let me know.


Julian Kussman said...

I found your blog off the How forums. (I'm hobbbz on there). I really enjoy your posts and this one got me and my studio-mate talking. He decided that these weren't necessarily things designers love, but easily recognizable themes that can be done a million different ways and your audience will still get it. Which, of course I said, should make them something designers love! Anyway, hope to see more posts soon.

RobSchwager said...

Pirates!!! Yarrgghhh!!!!

Jeope said...

I'm a bird nerd myself, but I find that even the bird-hatingest designer can't help but at least consider them, especially in logo concepts - they just represent so many things. And face it, they do have an interesting and wonderfully aesthetic shape.

Vonster said...

Yeah your right I should include something 'Bird' oriented in the list. I do love using 'Wings' in my art at times and that is directly related. I'll adjust the list.