For years now I've possessed the ability to study, interpret, and understand works of art without issue. I first became aware of it through various high school art classes. This is not an exceptional ability, nor is it something by which I define myself. I just find that I am able to look at a piece of visual art and expeditiously develop an understanding of it. This ability seemed to be at its most effective when I first beheld a piece of illustration created by the great Jean "Moebius" Giraud. My understanding of and feelings towards his work along with the years since I first glimpsed any of his illustrations have made me a disciple of the man and an avid fanatic for his work.
Since his passing in October of 2012 I've been desperately trying to seek out and acquire pieces of his graphic storytelling from the many years of his wonderful creative life. I feel that I owe it to myself and that it would best honor the great artist if I directed my drives towards the in-depth study of his complete works, if and when I find them all. As of this day I only own a tiny fraction of his art, but as time goes on I find more and more and make every effort I can to acquire what I find.
The first Moebius piece I viewed was in a pin-up collection for Mike Allred's Madman. The simple look of Moebius' version of Allred's character along with the curiosity his moniker inspired drove me to research. I discovered and pored over various illustrations from his career. I watched all the videos and documentaries I could find of the man as he worked and as he explained his work. Ever since I started down this path my mind has in some way maintained some sort of connection to the powerfully inspiring art and style of Giraud.
I've been attempting to draw or at least cartoon for most of my life (feel free to browse some of my attempts at Jonathan Sample Comics). From early on I would fill notebooks and sketchpads with my scribbles and expressions. As I would review my own work, with no small tinge of revulsion, I would then flee to my inspirations, artists whose work drove me to better my own. When I discovered Moebius I felt something fall into place and I went forth a better artist, if I can dare refer to myself as such. Jean Giraud saved me from a great depression in which my hope for improving my art languished. I feel more confident about my attempts now, and I feel as if, in some little way, I understand the creation of art and the treasure of personal style better now than I ever had before.
So, I'll continue to hunt down inspirational pieces from the oeuvre of Jean Giraud, and I'll keep making attempts to become a better illustrator. Maybe some day I'll have the opportunity to make my work widely available and inspire some future artists. I can only hope.
My greatest, deepest thanks go to Jean "Moebius" Giraud. The world was made tremendously better because of his existence. I hope that his afterlife is exactly as he would have it. Maybe he's inspiring other beings of other planes in other ways even at this very moment. Reposer en paix, Gir.
*For more information on Moebius check out these links:
Site Officiel de Jean Giraud Moebius
Wikipedia - Jean Giraud