Cre­ative Space

How a tech­no­log­i­cal fail­ure at a con led to one of art’s most ex­cit­ing live events, which, says Marty Day, turns artists into rock stars

ImagineFX - - Contents -

Su­per Art Fight: Wash­ing­ton.

Fights are 25 min­utes in length. Par­tic­i­pants are given a topic at the be­gin­ning of each bout, new themes in­tro­duced at the five-, 10-, 15- and 20-minute marks, cho­sen us­ing the Wheel of Death.

Par­tic­i­pants are ac­tively en­cour­aged to “at­tack” their op­po­nent’s art, com­plet­ing un­fin­ished pieces or sub­vert­ing them with additional doo­dles: a bul­let hole here, blood there. This is Su­per Art Fight: where artists be­come rock stars.

“Yes,” Marty Day says, “artists be­come rock stars. Or at least over-the-top, prowrestling-style char­ac­ters. Draw­ing is much more en­joy­able with a crowd chant­ing and cheer­ing for you – as op­posed to fight­ing your own men­tal blocks and merely hop­ing some­one en­joys the end re­sult.”

Marty is or­gan­iser and co-host of the event that’s a di­rect de­scen­dent of the slightly more civilised Iron Artist com­pe­ti­tion. When video equip­ment failed at the 2008 anime con­ven­tion Kat­su­con, artists Jamie Noguchi and Nick DiFab­bio be­gan draw­ing on each other’s can­vas to en­ter­tain the crowd. Marty and Nick knew they were on to some­thing, and dis­cussed tak­ing the show out of a con­ven­tion set­ting and in front of a “live, rock club-style au­di­ence”. The au­di­ence, Marty says, is as im­por­tant as the artists.

“We present a show un­like any other. You’ll laugh, you’ll see amaz­ing art, you’ll see un­der­dogs rise to the oc­ca­sion. And since the au­di­ence picks the win­ners, bat­tle-of-the-bands style, your voice will be heard loud and clear.”

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