Looking to change careers: where to start?
 
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  1. #1
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    Looking to change careers: where to start?

    Hi folks,

    I'm a 29 year old computer programmer, and modesty aside I think I have a moderate amount of talent for art, I just lack a lot of skill.

    Lately I've been pretty disenchanted with my chosen field of work, and am thinking about changing careers to something that makes me feel more fulfilled/rewarded. Of my other 2 interests (music and art), I think art is probably the more likely venture for me.

    I have no college experience worth speaking of.

    I currently work full time, and have enough bills that continuing to work full time is a must (at least for the next year until my car/bills are paid off).

    Sooo, given all that, and given that I realize that this will be a long term goal (ie, probably taking at least 2-4 years of time before I might even think about trying to get some freelancing work), where might one start? Given my limited amount of time (probably night classes at the local Community College along with working on my own), does anyone have any advice on how I should best approach ramping up my skills to the level needed to produce professional art?

    I took a drawing class at my local CC once that helped me out tremendously, but then I spent a long time not drawing and am only recently back on the art kick. It's also really hard to get life drawing classes at night (I've never taken one before).

    You can see some of my old sketches (from early to mid 90's mostly) here.

    Some of my latest experiments/drawings can be found at DeviantArt here.

    If you have any advice on other places I could ask this question, advice on how I should go about attempting this change, or any other advice, I'd really appreciate it.

    Thanks for your time.

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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  3. #2
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    DRAW EVERYDAY. This is the most difficult thing for most people.
    "I can't draw A STICK FIGURE!" ~heard that before....Its not that these people can't draw, its the fact they don't draw.

    From what I have seen of your work, you can reach your goal. here are some tips.

    -week warmup~Get a schetch book. Carry it with you where ever you go from now on. Everyone wants their new schetch book to be badass, (especially the first page) FORGET ALL THAT! Getting started again is always discouraging. Honestly a creative drought is nothing to be ashamed of. Unless your looking at this guys stuff....... . .

    http://www.christianlorenzscheurer.com/

    At any rate, draw everyday for a week and refresh yourself on what you already know. Remind yourself of a high school medium, personal rendering techniques, and just plain the weight of the pencil in your hand. Love to draw, not what you are drawing at first.

    -Eliminate the white~Fill each page front to back, before continuing to the next page. Attempt to make all of your doodles and scribbles a nice composition. Markers are good for a bit of quick color and can pull the pieces together. No matter how much you hate the page you started, finish it as much as you can stand to finish it. I personally draw in my schetch book with ball point, and Tria Markers, no pencil, documenting every mistake. If mistakes are made to the point I can't stand it... . .. . .. .white guache that section and re-draw what you were trying create over it. Guache eraser.Remember that this book is for your ideas, and not your finalized pieces. Get messy! Spill coffee on a page and create something out of it, do a page with your opposite hand, scribble some stuff; flip it upsidedown and finish what you see .. . . .anything but FILLTHEPAGE.!!!!!!!

    -a little help from your friends~Sit with a writer friend and attempt to create their vision on paper. You will need an eraser! This is a lot easier if you enjoy the content of their writing. Let them express their vision, and do all in your power to please. You will find that throught this process, you will realize that you are able to create someones vison as well as make your own personal and beneficial adjustments to the intial concept, ("the reward" when something is actually created in the industry). If you have friends that draw with you, do a collective piece with a 5 minute time limit each turn. This will not only keep you drawing but let you escape your style for a bit.

    -inspiration to finalize~ Well you came to the right place for inspiration, most of the artist on this forum are badasses, underapreciated but badasses to say the least. this place is jammed packed with tutorials and opinions, (just look at this one). THUNDERDOME!!!!! A concept is given, and follows a deadline. You submit, you learn. (mostly how much better Manley is at COLOR VS. TEMPETURE).

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/for...php?forumid=25

    Overall finalizing a piece is a compelation, of a well thoughtout concept, Thumbnails, your eraser touching the page as much as the pencil (at first), and giving yourself a deadline and sticking to it. (whatever you time frame you feel you can complete the render in, double it).

    www.artbyfeng.com THis guys got it down!!!!!!!!! CHECK OUT "how I work"

    best of luck. . .. . .. .... sorry I ramble.
    tim

    Love the process over the product. Every piece will make you better, Draw FOREVER, watch out for comfort zones, Create and IMitate the Creator.

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  4. #3
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    Yeah, I have that problem with drawing every day. *kicks self*

    That's some good advice on developing a work ethic and also on ways to keep liking your job after it becomes a job. Thanks!

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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  5. #4
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    HI there,

    I'm in the same situation as you. I'm 29 and also formerly of the hi tech industry but decided to change careers. The first thing I did was enroll at Watts Atelier to get the necessary skills. I don't know where you are in So Cal, but I'd recommend them if you are in the San Diego area. There are some good options up in LA as well. If you're in between LA and SD you can decide where you want to go or stop by and visit some of the schools. Unfortunately, my CC experience has been less than inspiring. None of my CC teachers could draw realistically and the students were not as driven as me.

    Many of the good schools have evening classes taught by working professionals in the industry. I'm going full time and have had to make some sacrifices in terms of money and socializing with my friends on weekends, but I stay focused by being inspired by my teachers and fellow classmates. You need to get into a good environment with other artists that are just as driven as you.

    Good luck and let me know if you need any more advice.

    Dzu

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  6. #5
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    I've heard a lot about this Watts Atelier place. I'm assuming it's a trade school/art school. How much does a place like this run? I'm going to be taking some life drawing classes this coming semester at a local CC. As I mentioned, I definately can't afford to go full time right now, as I still have plenty of bills to pay off. Perhaps in the future I can, but I'm loathe to do anything that would require me to take loans and whatnot. Not a big fan of debt.

    However, I do agree with you 100% that the right atmosphere and being surrounded by other artists is a major motivator/inspirer. And you're right, I probably won't get that at a local CC. *sigh* And that's something that kind of bugs me...I find it hard to get motivated on my own (yeah yeah, maybe I should be trying to change careers then, eh?), but if I have other artists just in the same room, if we're all drawing/whatever, that helps immensely. I recently grabbed opencanvas and have been trying to find time to doodle with my friend who lives in Mass. Blarg.

    But perhaps I'll meet some people in the life drawing class. Begin networking or something. Hopefully.

    Anyways, I got a lot of great advice from over at Sijun too, and I'm definately going for it. Just have to keep my goals in site.

    BTW, I'm in Irvine (south orange county)...not terribly far from SD, but a bit far from me for now.

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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  7. #6
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    Oh yeah, thanks for taking the time to respond.

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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  8. #7
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    The school website is at www.wattsatelier.com

    It's relatively small school with a wide variety of courses. All the instructors are qorking professionals and are quite knowledgeable and friendly. Cost is $325 per class for a 10 week semester but it's definitely worth it. The school is not accredited so you cannot get financial aid for it, but that also means tuition is relatively low compared to a state school. Their classes are taught both day and night, 7 days a week so it's perfect for people that need to work during the day. I commute from Murrieta, which is about the same distance as Irvine and I'm taking a full load this semester. The semester starts next week so I suggest taking the time to drive down one evening and just check out a class so you can compare it with your CC class. Evening classes start at 730pm, so I recommend getting there around 8 pm so that you can witness the demonstrations.

    Dzu

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