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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-02-2017, 09:42 AM
JaPizzy JaPizzy is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Well, I maintain that it's not dead or dying, but it is evolving. I see just as much talk online now as when the forums were still going strong but it's now all in facebook groups. I'm not sure if you've ever explored that area much Ken.

Yes blogs have been dying, but that also isn't just an airbrushing thing. I think they are a dwindling entity in a lot of social areas, but I may be wrong there, it's just what I've observed. They are a medium that is very hard to market in the social media world.

Hell they're still innovating new paint technology and airbrushing equipment all of the time, and I don't think they would be doing that as much if there wasn't the money to be made doing it.

These are just my 2 cents.

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Old 02-07-2017, 03:37 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

I did look at facebook groups. I found most were company based linking systems... a lot of "can you dig my work?" I have to admit I didn't see it as an improvement over the older blogs and seemed more gear to "I Phones".
Since servicing airbrush for so many damn years, I haven't seen any evolution of airbrushes. They have been making changes in metals and washers, simple things. Azteck airbrush (Testers I think) A plastic with internal metal parts. About 25 years ago I sat down with Australia's main importer and the USA distributor. The engineer told me that the brush cost about $6 to make back then... hence the lifetime guarantee. The rest of the airbrush improvements were simple gimmicks to sell their brands... all of the manufacturers do it. I won't detail it here (as there are dozens of sample I could show you). Things like the handle cut outs, which is an old custom painters trick for Paasche VLs... we did that so we could pull the trigger back further than the stock "Trigger Assembly" would allow. By grinding the plastic handle we could still protect the needle if we dropped it. I did that in 1973.... a buddy of mine showed me how he did his VLs.

There is NO NEW paint technology. There have been changes in offering new binders (waterborne), but the pigment technology is still the same. There are some good posting on Wet Canvas about pigments if you search them out. 30 years ago there were two companies in the world I know of making Artist quality pigment based airbrush paints... That's why I went that direction here on the other side of the world. I just finished a market search for another company trying to find all the actual pigmented base colours. 23 years after I brought mine on the market... 4... yup that's it. All the others are dye based... I know because I wrote to everyone I could find, like "Createx" they don't offer a pre-mixed pigment based paint.. but they will sell you the pigment.. like "Golden Colors" has for decades.

I was on the phone with Badger and Paasche ... personally I was told the market is tight... (boy did they bitch about Iwata) undercutting their own distributors prices to keep more of their market share. I don't know how long any business can keep airbrushes on the shelf with a 10-15% profit margin.
Thanks for your response Mate..
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:59 AM
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Gaka Gaka is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Hi Ken

I agree with you that WC Airbrush forum is dead, I found the bigger WC got the more it declined. I joined when there were 13,000 members and we were Family. Now you have selfish people who ask for advice and then they do not bother to respond or thank those who have replied, then there are those who post looking for the Ooooh and Arhhhh responses, but when you give a genuine critique you are berated for doing so. Too many selfish, self centred people and fragile ego's for me. I find that it's not just the Airbrush forum but the others as well.

Re: Airbrushing in general, I find it difficult to make a living here in Oz because no one wants to pay for quality...they would rather pseudo airbrushed vinyl wraps. It is still big in Japan and I know many airbrush people there. I still do some airbrushing, but like you I also paint art, do signs and the occasional custom graphics on cars etc. Being 70 and a similar age to you I like to do creative things that I enjoy. If you are ever coming through Warren NSW look up Oziair BL on facebook and let me know and we can catch up.

As Olympos post says....I now run the English page for Olympos Airbrushes Japan.

Regards....Bruce Lynch
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:53 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Hey Bruce,
Thanks for taking the time to respond.. I used to own Olympos Airbrushes for years. Sold my last one to an old student of mine who pestered me to sell it....lol.. The only excellent quality brush from Japan... (don't tell "Comac" I said that!) Over the years I have settled on three brands. The most expensive line are the E.F.B.E.'s Made in Germany (0.15mm my favorite), Paasche (VL's, & Millenniums , always reliable, and Sparmax SP35.. great airbrush for the price.. (I keep four of these at my drafting board).
I just finished a truly "airbrushed" sign for an airbrush import company this week (love job). I did some years ago a couple of workshops for TAFE sign writers showing how to airbrush colours onto Vinyl. I developed a waterborne urethane that works well over Vinyl, thus allowing the student to produce some excellent vinyl signage at home and take to the site for installation. The main idea was by buying three primary colours, plus black and white, you could make anything you saw in Photoshop by hand. Many shops bulk at the idea of producing such work for just one sign. A chance to fill that niche in the market for a beginner in the trade. Sadly most have to work at some large business environment only concentrating on production, where close enough is good enough.
So much will be lost.. when people such as yourself disappear, so will those skills.
Ken
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:31 AM
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Alerio Alerio is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Oh.. I'm new to wet canvas and have been looking at the different boards when I found this. I do remember when everyone wanted to paint with airbrush, and that seems to have died down.
But I think the comparison would be to wood block printing. In ancient times woodcutting was used for making beautiful artwork. In the middle ages woodblock printing was the high-tech for commercial art and printing. Then it was superseded by metal type and etchings and presses, which in turn fell to the computer age. The point being, people still make woodblock prints. Having lost its commercial use, it is back to being used to make beautiful artwork.
I think artists use the tools that appeal to them, and that is where airbrush is going. Iím glad you lived in an era where it was possible to make a good living and do art at the same time. Thatís pretty rare no matter what media you choose.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:34 AM
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Andrea008 Andrea008 is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Hey Ken,

Do you think you'd like to write a proper article on the topic?

Maybe include pictures from your career?

I could be wrong but the cosmetic industry is nowadays a bit more heavier into airbrushes than other subfields of airbrushing.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:27 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Thanks for asking... I have been asked many times to write and again this past year, I was approached by a NSW Government School (TAFE College) to make some training videos.
I've decided to just spend my time painting..

You are right about the increase with the beauty industry. Fox studios had me set up some airbrush systems almost 8-10 years ago just for make-up and I've set up a few portable 12 volt compressor systems in the past couple years, for the make-up artists, as they need to touch up between shoots..
It was explained to me that the quality of the images produced by this new generation camera and software, shows every flaw in the human skin, thus the need to fix it before the shot.
The most popular airbrushes used by special effects were and pretty much still is; Paasche "H" and "VL". for make up it's all over the place. Sparmax compressors are the biggest sellers here (Iwata just re-badges the Sparmax compressors) .. for the actual make-up everyone I know uses 0.3-0.35mm gravity feeds, and everyone figures the brand brush they use is the best...lol...
Take care and read your PM
Ken
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:50 PM
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

I hope airbrush is not dead! I don't use it but my husband did.....Well maybe it is on a downhill slide.
Everything old is new again, look at the vinyl record resurgence. I remember the fantastic airbush art of the 70's and 80's the nostalgia will be there, maybe a come back will happen.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:53 PM
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fedetony fedetony is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

To me is alive :9... I use it every time I can
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:30 PM
tiago.dagostini tiago.dagostini is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

depends a lot on the definition of dead. If not being mainstream is dead.. then everything bar digital painting is dead nowadays. All classical art materials will remain as niche and someday for human behavionral issues they might arise again. Exaclty as what happened with fountain pens that for some weird reason now are in every pocket of businnessman that care to have style.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:13 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

For professional artist who make our living from our work, it's my main tool among many others. I studied to be an art teacher, "Art Education". My interest in the airbrush dated some 5-6 years earlier as a "Bump and Paint" man, where as training to spray paint, I saw a "Binks Wren" single action, airbrush being used to touch up a paint job.
After Vietnam (101st Airborne) I worked as a B&P man and attended college at night, it was there I met a couple of teachers who knew some things about using one with their artwork. My first approach to using it with my art projects was as a glazing tool applying watercolors over my brush painted landscapes. The sky effects were awesome. At that same time I was big into riding motorcycles, and tried my hand at simple cartoon illustrations on my bike and friends bikes in the early 1970's, then I did some landscape murals on some Vans... Throughout those years I made a ton of money doing what was then new and as the industry grew in demand and quality, I also grew. I was very lucky to have been able to jump on board a trend that not only support my family, but allowed me to expand my artistic skills.
I really don't see another world like that happening for young artist these days. In my studio right now is a beer fridge door waiting for a BEAR Head illustration, plus some gold leaf lettering, things I have learned over 45 years of experience.
Maybe I will post some images and a few of the processes I use these days,

In my life the airbrush isn't dead, but the world of money and making a living with such art equipment, is drifting away...
The Yank is still on R&R..
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:13 AM
tiago.dagostini tiago.dagostini is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by airbrush_ken
For professional artist who make our living from our work, it's my main tool among many others. I studied to be an art teacher, "Art Education". My interest in the airbrush dated some 5-6 years earlier as a "Bump and Paint" man, where as training to spray paint, I saw a "Binks Wren" single action, airbrush being used to touch up a paint job.
After Vietnam (101st Airborne) I worked as a B&P man and attended college at night, it was there I met a couple of teachers who knew some things about using one with their artwork. My first approach to using it with my art projects was as a glazing tool applying watercolors over my brush painted landscapes. The sky effects were awesome. At that same time I was big into riding motorcycles, and tried my hand at simple cartoon illustrations on my bike and friends bikes in the early 1970's, then I did some landscape murals on some Vans... Throughout those years I made a ton of money doing what was then new and as the industry grew in demand and quality, I also grew. I was very lucky to have been able to jump on board a trend that not only support my family, but allowed me to expand my artistic skills.
I really don't see another world like that happening for young artist these days. In my studio right now is a beer fridge door waiting for a BEAR Head illustration, plus some gold leaf lettering, things I have learned over 45 years of experience.
Maybe I will post some images and a few of the processes I use these days,

In my life the airbrush isn't dead, but the world of money and making a living with such art equipment, is drifting away...
The Yank is still on R&R..

as I said.. that is reality for almost all media except digital. The productivity of digital media pushes other forms outside commercial competitiveness with very few exceptions. Airbrush is not there alone in the dark
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:49 PM
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiago.dagostini
as I said.. that is reality for almost all media except digital. The productivity of digital media pushes other forms outside commercial competitiveness with very few exceptions. Airbrush is not there alone in the dark

Yes this seems to be the case at this time.
However the market will always have a place for the more "old fashioned" mediums. Not the block bluster approach but instead the long tail, there are niche markets out there for everything and time will add new things and some things will fade away or nearly so.
Do what you love to do.
Do what you have to do.
Learn to compromise and have a little of both.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:18 PM
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Rage of Reason Rage of Reason is offline
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Re: Airbrush is DEAD

Hi Ken, good to see you're still posting on WC after a very long time. Always appreciated your straight forward and helpful contributions. I agree that the art is dead for commercial use. I switched to digital art creation, which took some adjusting mainly in the tooling. I find it equally satisfying, though still not giving in to the crappy coomercial styles. Hope you're doing well my friend!

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