First, if you don't know what Temple of Art is then go here and check out the trailer. It has some adult language, so if you are delicate you may want to pass on watching it. Now if your still not sure what it is I will try to explain. Temple of Art is a passion project created by Allan Amato that within a documentary film looks to find out from artists one not so simple question, "Why do you make art?"
I was first introduced to Temple of Art when it launched its Kickstarter just prior to SDCC 2014. Amato directs the film and brought with him a crew of heavy hitters to get it made, with Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, and Jon Schnepp serving as Executive Producers. As part of the Kickstarter to raise money for the film, a book was produced that included photographs of the various artists by Amato, a renowed photographer, and the artists would then apply their own artistic interpretations to the photos. Among those included in the book are David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Kent Williams, Jim Mahfood, Dave McKean, Jason Shawn Alexander, and many more. The Kickstarter campaign set a goal of $65,000 and exceeded that number with a total pledged of just over $85,000, with myself included among the supporters.
Since the ending of the campaign and the panel at SDCC '15 there have been other events related to Temple of Art. Living in the Los Angeles area I was lucky enough to be able to attend the March signing of the book at the La Luz De Jesus Gallery which was attended by many of the artists featured in the book and film. Being able to attend allowed me to watch these amazing artists signing who knows how many books, in a room that was too small for that many people working in close proximity. If you happen to get a book from that signing there is a good chance you have DNA from one of the artists as a lot of them were dripping with sweat. Here is a few pictures from the event.
This leads up to the panel at SDCC '15. The panel was introduced by Schnepp, who along with the introduction also promoted his own documentary The Death of "Superman Lives"; What Happened?, which I purchased from his booth and can't wait to watch. The panel was as follows:
Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra, New Mutants),
Barron Storey (Sandman: Endless Nights, classic covers to such books as Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit , a professor who has taught Dave McKean, Scott McCloud, Dan Clowes , and more. Go wiki him, he's amazing),
After introducing the panel Amato showed the trailer. If you haven't looked at it, you should, it is very impressive. It featured the panel members, along with Grant Morrison, Kevin Smith, Amanda Palmer, and many more.
Amato's first question to the panel played off some of the action in the trailer and he asked about the importance of play in creating. Mack addressed it by saying there are two parts of the brain – editing and creating. He said while creating you shouldn't think critically as it stops the flow. Phoenix said that art is so hard and solitary that you have to find the playful edge in order to get out of your own way. Storey talked about his subconscious mind being hipper than his conscious mind.
Amato asked the panel to talk about both loving and hating making art. Storey said that whenever he thinks he knows what he's doing the work kicks his ass. Phoenix said that making art is the hardest thing she has ever done and also the most satisfying.
Amato then showed a few more clips and they heavily featured a very funny and passionate Kevin Smith discussing art. You can see these clips here and check out more about the film and book as well and also place an order for both if you like. The film is expected to be released sometime in 2016, with no exact date set yet, but I know I can't wait to watch the whole thing.