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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Gallery Are my Tikis the real thing?
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Are my Tikis the real thing?
Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2011-08-05 7:38 pm   Permalink

I have a couple of designs that I would really appreciate some opinions on. I have a Cafepress shop I have run for several years now. A while back I added a Tiki section to my shop, and I have been trying to develop Tiki oriented graphics for that shop with varying degrees of success. (well maybe yes, maybe no.. you be the judge) I have been studying everything I could find on the web and in magazines for quite some time. I only discovered this site recently and have studied the examples and opinions of all you all. I had hoped some of you would let me know if I am heading the right direction on these designs. Thanks in advance ...




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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2011-08-05 7:41 pm   Permalink

I create these designs in an unusual way. I sculpt them digitally. (I showed an example of this method elsewhere in the digital discussion in the craft thread) It is the same as working with clay and the second step is adding color and texture. I see the process to be pretty much the same as ceramic sculpture and mug making. I know many of you object to color added to carved wood, but try to think of this as ceramics which I take a picture of the final image and put it on t-shirts and other stuff. So, I ended up with this green guy.





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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2011-08-05 7:45 pm   Permalink

I really like the humor of many of the artist I find on this site. My images are very simple on purpose because of how they are used, and that makes it hard to tell a real story with an image, so I go for goofiness. I realize my graphics are somewhat stylized and I let my own imagination guide me in some of the elements of my Tikis, and I hope that does not make me too much of a bad guy in the eyes of you Tiki lovers out there. But whatever your opinions may be, I would love to hear them. Thanks again .. Gene






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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-08-05 8:36 pm   Permalink

Well, first of all, I find it very commendable that you are concerned about your Tikis being the real thing. That is the exception nowadays, where folks go only internet page 3 or 4 deep, and then think they know enough to design their first Tikis.

In brief, from what I see, your facial features are definitely recognizable as Tiki, and that is a plus compared to other "monster" or "wood spirit"-looking attempts out there. So you are on the right track. But what gives you away as not having gone as far as studying authentic Polynesian art is the frills on top and on the bottom of the faces. Those patterns are all made up and have no roots in Oceanic art like Tapa, petroglyphs, or PNG paintings and shields. I am not saying you have to copy any such sources, but just know them and let them flow into what you are doing, then the mask will come across as believable.


 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 5046
Posted: 2011-08-06 08:35 am   Permalink

Hi Gene, welcome to the tiki art world. There is so much joy creating tiki. Just in case you don't know bigbrotiki is Sven the author of The Book Of Tiki and Tiki Modern. He and Otto of Tiki News really started the craze that is tiki today. To have him post on your thread is an honor. He answered your question spot on but now remember that tiki artists in general bend all the rules to create tikis. There are tiki designs from other planets to robots and monsters. You just get to decide what you enjoy doing and what it looks like.

My husband is a major collector and he doesn't collect every thing. He collects what he enjoys looking at over and over again. So if looking at your art gives you joy you are on the right track.

You should join the digital thread on the Creating Tikis "other crafts" forum. There is a wonderful discussion of digital art versus traditional art and you should be a part of that. I WAS JUST TOLD YOU HAVE BEEN CONTRIBUTING TO THIS THREAD. TERRIFIC.

Enjoy being part of a super wonderful community. Cheers, Wendy - danlovestikis

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[ This Message was edited by: danlovestikis 2011-08-06 15:40 ]


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7417
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2011-08-06 09:22 am   Permalink

Gene, I like the fire-lit one (#1), very cool!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-08-06 10:40 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-08-06 08:35, danlovestikis wrote:
....to have him post on your thread is an honor. He answered your question spot on but now remember that tiki artists in general bend all the rules to create tikis. There are tiki designs from other planets to robots and monsters. You just get to decide what you enjoy doing and what it looks like.



Well thank you Wendy, I wouldn't go that far as to call it an honor, I am merely trying to keep things on track and connected to what people liked about Tiki initially. In doing that, I cannot cover all the posts and questions out there, so it's a bit of a lucky number game.

The mentioning of robots and monsters brings up a good point. The Tiki Revival of the late 90s and 2000s has become its own genre (as compared to the key period of American Tiki style of the 50s and 60s). Today's artist have expanded the borders of Tiki art in many creative ways. There are some of us though that feel that in recent times it has gotten too far away from its origins (Original Polynesian, and mid-century modern and cartoon art) and "Tiki art" has become a free-for-all grab bag of every pop culture cliche out there being thrown together with Tiki.

While this is "fun" and entertaining, it can lead away too far from the subject to the degree that it becomes generic and redundant. It seems that, as the Tiki Revival has gone on for over ten year now, the need for new ideas lets artists reach farther and farther to find something "fresh". There is however such a horn-of-plenty of untapped design concepts and ideas in the vast genre of original Oceanic art that it's really not necessary to bastardize the original subject at hand to the degree of loosing its original context.

This attitude of mine gets regularly interpreted as being "purist" and "traditionalist", and I repeat again, do not misconstrue it as a call to slavishly copy what has been there before. After all, what inspired me to write two books about American Tiki culture is its carefree handling and creative interpretation of an authentic art form. I am merely cautioning to study and know the parameters of that art form, and its interpretations.


 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2011-08-06 10:19 pm   Permalink

I must admit I'm a bit overwhelmed by the comments I have received so far. In spite of his humble remarks, I consider any comments by Sven to be like Bob Dylan commenting on my songwriting. (In case you, unlike me, are young folks, Dylan is an old guy who wrote a couple of good songs a long time ago) Sven, I am thankful for your honesty in your opinions of my work. I am a victim of my own imagination in my work and that is what I'm trying to improve on. But, I also want some originality in my work as well. I have collected primitive mask from many cultures since I was 13, and I'm sure some of those styles have crept into my work. I'll keep trying. Thanks so much for your input ....

Wendy thanks for your heads-up on Sven. I'm an old guy who has lots of computer experience, but lacks the online hipness of you younger folk. This screen name stuff throws me off a bit and if I was more with it I would have noticed it was Sven's posting. I also appreciate your comments on creativity in Tiki creation. I have been really torn on what direction to go with my work. And, what you said about pleasing myself first, I think is really good advice. I think I will be stuck in the middle of pleasing myself and trying to be authentic for a while, but I will have some fun trying.

Mr. Mad Dog, thanks much for your comment as well. I have noticed your many fine opinions as I have been scanning this site for quite awhile. A positive reply from you is nice boost for this would be artist ......
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2011-08-11 7:39 pm   Permalink

OK, I'm gonna try again. I have received some really good advice from some great folks out there and have been trying to figure this Tiki thing out. One problem I find is that there is just too much reference material out there, and I don't know for sure who is getting it right. I tried something different this time. Instead of starting my sculpture with a digital ball of clay, I built this image up from a flat plain. It is kinda like doing a relief tile. This limited my possibilities of getting too carried away with embellishments. Because I felt it was rather plain looking I gave it a rough wood like surface.






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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2011-08-11 7:44 pm   Permalink

My next couple of tries were starting with a digital log. I have been studying log sculptures here by some of the carvers on site. I especially like Lake Surfer's work. So I put the limitation on myself to only carve the surface instead of adding clay as has been my habit. So, I carved and sanded with the smooth tool keeping things simple. Again it seemed too simple to me and I went crazy with the surface treatment. I used to do real clay. (I have been following Wendy's Bob's Tiki adventure and really envy the fun she is having glazing and firing her project. I miss that most about not doing real clay anymore, the pleasure of seeing how your finished glaze looked fresh out of a still warm kiln) Many of my designs have the look of glazed ceramics because I can't stop experimenting with color and texture.





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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2011-08-11 7:48 pm   Permalink

This is of course the same sculpture as the last, but with a completely different surface treatment. I wanted it to look like an old stone relic just dug up on some exotic tropical island.





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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2011-08-11 7:51 pm   Permalink

I started with a larger log this time in order to create a more complete form. Again I kept it simple with carving only. (I do admit that digital carving allows some tweaking by actually moving stuff around a bit after the carving is done. I always end up doing some of that to get the shapes I'm aiming for) The surface is somewhat more complex than it looks. I had to layer in a number of different colors and wood like textures to get the finished look to the image.





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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 5046
Posted: 2011-08-11 9:12 pm   Permalink

I like these best of all, Wendy

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7417
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2011-08-11 9:47 pm   Permalink

I like them all! But them seem nekkid there by themselves. You need to paste them over a digital or photographed background scene, I think that will "sell" them as a finished art project.
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 5046
Posted: 2011-08-12 08:11 am   Permalink

That's a terrific idea MDM. I'd love to see that, Wendy

 
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