Community » Forums » Politics & Current Affairs » I'm making Miis! Am I also making art?

Popular Friendly So Much To Say Something To Say
of 14 badges
(19 Votes, 4 Average)
Moderator
I'm making Miis! Am I also making art? (5 Votes)
  • Yes, Miis can be art. (5 Votes, 100%)
  • No, Miis cannot be art. (0 Votes, 0%)
  • I don't know. I just use them for Wii Sports. (0 Votes, 0%)


The words art and artist are freely thrown about when referring to mii-making. But have we ever stopped and thought about the meaning of these words and how they relate to characters created in a video game? More to the point, have we stopped to consider if Miis are art? Maybe the question we should be asking ourselves really is: What is art? If that is the case, rest assured, you are not the first to form this interrogative.

In its most mundane definition, art may be simply defined as the process of arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses. But, when talking about art what most people refer to is FINE ART.

Creative art or fine art is often defined as a skill that express the artist's creativity to engage the audience's aesthetic sensibilities and draw them to consider the finer things. Some say art (or fine art) should bring feeling. Looking at Edvard Munch's The Scream should make you experience anguish and pain. Listening to Mozart's Lacrimosa should bring you to tears. At its worst, art should make you think and reflect. At its simplest, it should evoke admiration. Art is without a doubt a form of expression.

However, many things that people refer to as "art" is not really "fine art". What would you say about a hand-crafted beautifully painted electric guitar? Maybe Eric Clapton's Fool guitar. It looks "artistic", right? This would be called APPLIED ART. Whilst fine art's sole purpose usually is to convey or communicate something. Applied art (or design) is art applied to a function. Usually what applied art implies is the application of design and aesthetics to objects of function. Applied arts may include fashion design, graphic design or industrial design.

It is also important to note, that art usually requires a certain developed skill. And when this skill is applied purely to function then the result is usually considered a CRAFT. For example, Michelangelo may sculpt the statue of David and this may be called art. Whilst he could also sculpt a teacup for use when he is thirsty and this can be called a craft.

It is a complex and extensive subject. If you take the time to read about it you might conclude that there is no conclusion. There really isn't a simple universal answer to what is art. But there are many areas of agreement amongst the educated on the matter. When talking about art we think about Shakespearian poetry, Van Gogh's Impressionism or Mozarts symphonies. And for a reason. These finely crafted objects of expressions convey what SHOULD be art. Some think its pretentious, others think its awe-inspiring. In the end, art is the voice of society. It condemns injustices, it demands righteousness, it declares what is beautiful and it shows we are human.

So... What does this have to do with Miis?!

As a community many admire what has been posted throughout the last 4 years. Some go as far as to declare that the Miis posted are works of art. Or at least it is implied. Let's stop for a moment and discuss if these statements are true.

Taking into account what has been said about fine art, applied art and craft...

Are Miis art? What do you think?
Popular Friendly So Much To Say Something To Say
of 16 badges
(35 Votes, 4 Average)
Member
if you think about it, nintendo has provided people with the tools to create what they see fit within the confines of the mii program.
using the individual parts to make mii`s look like somebody or something requires you to sit down and create something from scratch, which is something all artists (what ever the medium) are required to do if the want to acheive the goal they`ve set for themselves.
much like movie posters, record covers, or a tv advert. mii`s are a quick, easy peice work that are either easily forgotten about, or can be iconic and attach themselves to the public conscience.
some people have a better eye for creating mii`s that look like the celebrities that they are supposed to be reperesenting, others use their imagination to think outside the box, and create one off pieces that look like objects or animals.
some people have progressed and gotten better at making mii`s over time, others seem to have an instant talent. what ever way you look at it, those who have spent a lot of time creating mii`s will have a certain style of there own, instantly recognisable to those who have veiwed the mii`s posted up here over a long period of time.
Popular Friendly So Much To Say Something To Say
of 15 badges
(30 Votes, 4 Average)
Member
I would suppose miis would be applied art, then. Tho honestly when I make them I'm not thinking of them as functional. Being cyber-based it's hard to think of them along the lines of a guitar... that being both functional and touchable. If people had left miis to being basic silly faces, similar to their own, to play games with, then I wouldn't consider it art. But as Dizzy pointed out, the basic face pieces have been re-thought by some people to the point that their designs can recognized by particular style. Once something reaches that point, even if it's a limited program (unlike painting) it becomes fine art. Tho I hesitate to include the word 'fine' when it comes to miis... given your definitions, I would have to include it. As suggested, it's all the eye of the beholder.
Friendly Something To Say
of 11 badges
(9 Votes, 4 Average)
Member
Although I would hesitate to call mii's fine art,they are indeed an art form. I would say that mii's fall into the simplest form of expression and admiration that you state so well. I truly admire those who can take a limited pallete of tools and create some really amazing art, or characterizations,, or what have you. Lord knows we won't end injustice or speak to the social turmoil of our times by making mii's, but for me, they are a fun way to relax.
Friendly Center of Attention So Much To Say Something To Say
of 14 badges
(21 Votes, 4 Average)
Member
I also think miis can definitely be seen as art. It is true that Nintendo provides the bricks we use, and that we're facing more limitations than working with colors or sculptures, but even there are limitations (just not as much).
"some people have progressed and gotten better at making mii`s over time, others seem to have an instant talent."
I think everybody has progressed and gotten better at making miis over time. Nobody sat down, started the mii-channel for the first time and began to make brilliant miis right from the start. Just like a Neanderthal did not sit down and suddenly painted a perfect, harmonious painting. It really is a progress, we've learned a lot by seeing miis (or paintings) made by other people and we absorbed and we bequeathed ideas and techniques which we now try to use originally to form and establish our own style. But nevertheless, it is true that some people are better at making miis than other people, I suppose. Talent is always important.
"mii`s are a quick, easy peice work" and "the simplest form of expression"
I think miis are anything but easy. The limitations make it difficult and sometimes a true challenge. Also, I think miis can offer more to the viewer than some minimalist paintings, for example.
"those who have spent a lot of time creating mii`s will have a certain style of there own"
That's right.
Popular Friendly So Much To Say Something To Say
of 16 badges
(35 Votes, 4 Average)
Member
some other reasons why i say mii`s are quick and easy peices of work, is because you don`t need to spend huge amounts of time to make them. nor do you need to be a trained, professional artist to be able to create something that many people will appreciate, and in the case of the CMO, where many people can and do copy them.
and if you make a mistake, or get stuck on how to do something, you`re not forced to covering anything up, you can quit and start again.
mii`s are something that anybody of any age can make them, regardless of limitations.
it`s only been down to sites like this, and the CMO to a lesser extent, that mii making has progressed past what the people at nintendo had intended.
basicly, mii`s are like play doh. things can be made and displayed, or you can go back to the beginning and start again. no fuss, no mess. and anybody can do it.
Popular Friendly Center of Attention So Much To Say Something To Say Spammer
of 18 badges
(41 Votes, 4 Average)
Moderator

The more you grasp for a definition the more slippery the subject becomes.

I can't pin down anything definite for you - but I can illustrate a little something from my perspective.

I never really thought about the miis I made being 'art', they were just comic caricatures or basic portraiture... so, a while back, I had the idea that I might try and turn a few into art. An afternoon's work in PhotoShop later and half a dozen miis had been transformed. These can be seen in my images section under the heading mii art.

I wasn't really that happy with how they turned out so I never repeated the experiment. I've posted one below - the original mii and also the 'shopped creation.

Friendly Center of Attention So Much To Say Something To Say Spammer
of 15 badges
(23 Votes, 4 Average)
Moderator
I always think of Miis as an artsy result of the world's most re-playable puzzle game, with the Mii Channel being that game. ;)
The goal is to make an accurate caricature (or what have you) with limited parts. ;)
Friendly Something To Say
of 9 badges
(3 Votes, 4 Average)
Member
Yes! The integrity of a Mii artisan can make a character either good, or great! Now the 3DS has more potential w/ the new face parts. I can't wait to see if Wii U will still be incorporating the Mii Channel(...and with MORE parts!).
Also, canvas creations can be an art form all its own. I still can't enough of my Space Needle Mii
Add CommentAdd Comment

You must be logged in to comment.