I don't think there any denying that drawing and/or painting faces is a hot trend right now. That's good because it means lots of people are pushing outside their artistic comfort zone. There are more than a few artists making their bread & butter off of art that features female faces paired with a pithy or poignant phrase. But there are trends within this trend that are driving me absolutely bonkers and that's the subject of my next two posts.
Many (dare I say the majority) of the "art faces" I see have a noncommittal stare. I think this generic face is supposed to stand in for contentment, commitment, or (stretching the logic a bit farther), blissfulness.
I've been teaching traditional cartooning (not anime) for over six years now and in cartooning, the face and its myraid of possible expressions is the ultimate key to telling a story in a short amount of time. I am constantly pushing my students to move beyond the still face and to get it in motion! It takes practice, no doubt about that, but the results set your illustrations apart from others and uniqueness is a good thing! The sameness of all those faces out there makes me gloss over them as a whole; there's nothing different and quirky to grab my attention, to tell me a story, or to spark an emotion.
In Part Two of this mini soapbox, I'll address another trend within the face trend: Why does everyone have to be female, young, white, pretty, forward-facing, and tilty-headed?