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  1. #1
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    How much time? - Just wondering

    I was just wondering, for those of you that might be in a boat like mine...

    How much time do you get to practice each day/week/etc to draw/paint/sketch/create? I have a full time job that is not art related. I am married with a wife and a house. I go to school (which involves drawing. etc). But it just seems like I can't get enough time.

    Anyone care to chime in?
    Whatever you do, don't look at my Sketchbook and Painting Thread!


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  3. #2
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    I work full time, in a job that requires long and often very unsocialable hours, but I don't have any kids of my own. I do live with my younger brother though whos quite a handful and makes a lot of noise until about 9pm making it hard to concentrate on anything properly until after then!

    Basically I squeeze in whatever time I can where ever possible. I carry my sketchbook with me always in my bag, I have to travel over four hours a day to and from work each day so I tend to use it to sketch on the train...even though I keep getting jogged by the motion of train! Lol.

    Then when I get home and relax for an hour or so, I wait until my little bro has gone to bed and work for around three-four hours before going to bed on my art. Sometimes though I'm feeling so tired that I just cant muster up any energy to do much, so I try and get some done at the weekends if I'm not working that is.

    It must be hard when you have a family though, depends on how old ya kids are I guess? If they go to bed at a certain time at night or whatever?

    I think most artists that are not lucky enough to have art-related jobs and work elsewhere full-time do find it extremely difficult from time to time to get anything decent done.

    I wish I could find a job where I could do less travelling within the same industry so I could get some more hours in!!!

    Cx

  4. #3
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    Jason had a very inspirational reply post somewhere on the forum. It was going along the lines as : draw every free minute you have in your day. Waiting for your sweetie to get ready? draw. Waiting for the bus? DRAW. Basically squeezing every single moment of idleness and see it as an opportunity to practice.

  5. #4
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jason said something about 27-48 hours a week to compete with the pros, but yeah, thats if you want to become pro.. but if its your hobby only, just do it when you got time :/ 2 hours is like... minimum, the ultimate minimum to improve depending how you spend your time under those 2 hours :/

  • #5
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    I work full time too and find it frustrating when I don't have a lot of time to draw. However I basically found carrying my sketchbook with me everywhere I can maximize that time doing some quick studies or drawings. I even take it with me to work so at lunch I have an hour to draw some objects or work on an idea that hit me earlier or something.

    One of the more frustrating things though is when I want to work on a final project. Because my evenings are so short, I often lose track of time and stay up really late, then wake up the next morning for work and am a grouch.

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dile_ View Post
    2 hours is like... minimum, the ultimate minimum
    By that logic I shouldn’t have improved at all in the past year.

    I have a job that is related to art, but which isn’t currently helping me to reach my long-term goals as an artist. So I paint about 6 days out of 7, for between an hour and an hour and a half. I am also married, with house. But I don’t currently have anything like school or kids eating up my free time. Progress is slow but steady.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  • #7
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    My job involves strictly technical drawings, so I am drawing 8 hours a day. However, during breaks, at lunch, and whenever I have spare time, it's time to draw my own art. I even find myself making drawing movements when I'm waiting at a restaurant and I don't bring a sketchpad.

    Basically, draw as much as you can, whenever you can.

  • #8
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    my normal week day goes something like this:
    7:15 - 9:00 : public transit to my internship, mostly loose faces and gestures. Just warming up
    9:00 - 17:00 : Making pixel art, trying to learn as much about colors as possible
    17:00 - 18:45 : transit again, more faces and gestures.
    18:45 - 20:00 dinner and checking ca a bit
    20:00 - 24:00 studies and a daily 40 gestures (only started this, this week. I used to bum out but figured I might as well draw and study).

    I have been doing this schedule for a month now I think, since I got my internship. Its hard, but the progress is nice and really worth it in the long run I think
    "Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing-- they dramatize"

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  • #9
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    now that I quit my job (to have more time to draw) on average I get 7-9 hours a day. That means anything from drawing, painting, or reading. Somedays 9+ or somedays 3-5. I always take my sb with me everywhere. I draw at red lights sometimes. no joke.

  • #10
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    I work full time but that's it, not other responsibilities. I don't draw/paint nearly as much as I could or should because I'm just damn lazy and have little patience with myself. Maybe an hour a day.

  • #11
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  • #12
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    same boat man.. i have a job that owns me. work 60hr weeks, and even weekends sometimes so i draw during mu lunch hour or at home before bed. sometimes i sacrifice sleep just to get some sketching done. i have a bunch of other crap to do as well, chores, shopping, girlfriend time, traveling..

    i just sketch any free second i do have. in the last month i moved to a new place and was without a car for a while.. stuff kinda gets in the way and ive really had no free time. i hate that ive lost all of that and havent been drawing as much. i think in the last week ive sketche maybe 2 pages and it was all crap.

    just do it when you can.. life has to go on. - JAG
    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..

  • #13
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  • Quote Originally Posted by Seedling View Post
    By that logic I shouldn’t have improved at all in the past year.
    Well yeah, its all up to you, how well you use the time, and as I might be a slow learner then, maybe 2 hours is a minimum for me

  • #14
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    I'm trying to pick it up a little, varies for me between none at all, and 6 hours a day.

    However I am currently attempting to get a "Teacher's Assistant" job with my old art teacher so I can draw more often as well as teach people about drawing, and learn myself! I have to pay for car, insurance, gas, and my lunch. But once I turn 18 I'll probably be heading out to either Austin, Seattle or Baltimore.

    now how did I get on to that? @_@

  • #15
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    When I was working in a completely non-related field, I'd spend every waking hour I could dedicate, so apart from gym, work, eating, sleeping, I'd spend the rest of it up to about 3am in the morning working on art.

    When I got a job in the industry, I was spending around 80+ hours a week on art.

    When I became art director, a lot less time.

    When I quit to get back to concept art, I was spending around 60-80 hours again, on commissions and personal projects.

    I scored a new concept art gig, so I'll probably be spending 40+ hours a week, so I'll at least be able to reclaim some of my weekend.

    I've found that as I've become better, my art time doesn't really diminish all that much, just that a larger percentage shifts to creating my own projects rather than studying it, I truly do love doing my artwork and so I often do it for fun as much as beefing up my portfolio.

    That being said, I also now have a girlfriend who I try to spend a lot of time with, I still go to the gym pretty regularly, and I still eat meals hehe.

    I guess the simple answer to how much time you SHOULD spend on your art work depends on what you're aiming to do with it.

    If you want to be a pro, you gotta understand that this is one of the most intensely competitive fields out there, think about it, most large development firms have a comparatively small number of concept artists compared to other artists, animators, etc.

    Thats simply the nature of concept work, it exists intensely for a small portion of the beginning of the game/film, and then the work load reduces immensely for the rest of the project. So having only 1-2 concept artists on medium sized teams compared sometimes to have tens of other types of production artists is very normal.

    There are also other factors which make it extremely competitive, its a cool field, so lots people want to do cool stuff for a living, there is the art skill of developing nations which has been very high and whom charge significantly less, then there is the relatively high barrier to entry, whereby the skill level required has been exponentially increasing since the field of concept artwork has come about - art directors know what good artists are capable of doing...they want the best, and if your stuff doesn't come within striking distance of the best stuff out there, you'll have a tough time with it.

    These and other reason will require total dedication for those who really want to be in the field. Its not something you work on and then stay good forever, you have to really love it to constantly improve, and to stay on top, art skill is a perishable skill, leave it stagnant too long and it fades, so it requires constant practice to stay on top, and that means outside hours practice - this is a big factor is you're actually determined to be one of the best, rather than just "someone in the field".

    So keep this in mind, even if your bust your ass now and get a job doing this kinda work...are you aware of the fact that that is only the start of it? That there will be plenty more busty of said ass to keep yourself in the field?

    So that being said, if you still want to do this for a living, then spending as much time outside of all commitments will definitely go a long way in helping you get to where you wanna go. Spending anything outside of that, say cutting into time with the wife and kids, or eating time, is kinda irrisponsible imo.

    On the other hand, if you only want to do it for a hobby, you could easily dedicate less than a few hours a week and easily see progression, when I didn't know about concept art, I'd draw an average of 4 times a year and would always improve.

    But really, mileage and absorbing rate of important lessons are the most important things for vast improvement over short time span, ie. the more you draw and observe, the more you improve =)

    Hope this helps,

    m

  • #16
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    Actually, Magic Man, that is one damn good post.
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  • #17
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    I've done about 10 drawings in the last 8 months, but I have gotten better.

    That's not bragging, because there was little other direction to go but up.

    But while pencil has hit paper very seldom, I am actively observing as if I were drawing stuff. I measure angles, proportions, and depth, note motion, weight, and lighting. In other words, I observe.

    Life has taken a lot of art-time out of my hands (though I'm close to grasping it more fully now), but that doesn't mean I have to submit to the rank and file. Even when you're not artsing, act like you are.

    (Yes, "artsing" is a new word)

  • #18
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    I have school which is 7:30-4:30 including bus times,
    On a good week I can get 30 hours of drawing done which is around 5 hours a day, avarage week it can be 24-30 hours depending on any life commitments.
    Wish I could spend more time, but gotta get High school out of the way

  • #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Chimp View Post
    Actually, Magic Man, that is one damn good post.
    Innit? Fine post indeed.

  • #20
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    It's not like training to be an olympic gymnast, making art is something you can do your whole life. If you're not in a rush to go pro next year, why worry about how much time you spend every day training? Do exacly as much as you want to.

    If you do want to go pro, then it starts at eight ours a day. Pros do art all day every day. To catch up, you've got to do more, or better.

    Something to think about - a number of studies have shown that imagining doing something is actually good practice at doing it. I remember a piece they did on the Discovery Channel that compared two groups of people learning golf. One group spent a certain amount of time imagining practicing each day, and another group did the same amount of actual practice each day. Both groups improved at the same rate. And that's golf - an outdoor sport! Art making is largely mental; the difference between making bad art and good art is mostly in the artist's mind. Anyone who can handwrite already has the physical dexterity required.

    My point is: don't discount the value of thinking and imagining. In my opinion it's more valuable than aimless sketching. It is good practice and it's something you can be doing all the time, even when you're supposedly doing other things. If you look at the world with an artistic eye, and if you daydream about the next painting you're going to make and visualize it in your mind, you are getting practice.

  • #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by YVerloc View Post
    It's not like training to be an olympic gymnast, making art is something you can do your whole life. If you're not in a rush to go pro next year, why worry about how much time you spend every day training? Do exacly as much as you want to.

    If you do want to go pro, then it starts at eight ours a day. Pros do art all day every day. To catch up, you've got to do more, or better.
    I'm planning to go pro next year
    what YVerloc said is absolutely true, the only way to go pro is to do harder and better, or at least try as hard as you can
    And lounging in CA doesn't count as training.

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