Sorry to be emo, but I can't find the cables to my scanner so I can post my sketches and properly introduce myself. So I'm dwelling in misery and wondering if I'm flogging a dead horse. (That will make those cables appear!)
I always find the answers to this question unsatisfatory. I want to be fully persuaded either way and at total at peace with this.
I often feel that people are pressed to be kind, and say it's never too late the same they would say to a soldier who is obviously dying "You're gonna make it!"
I can see how art is not like sports or modelling, since it's a mental process.
But doesn't the mind age too? Won't the artist be entrenched by his early influences and be less able to keep up to date with the world, like young people do so easily?
Please reply honestly. Thank you.
no it is never too late, just do it.
and yes the mind changes, in a good way. In a very, very good way.
What do you mean in a good way?
Sorry to insist, I know this is annoying.
Before I answer that question directly you must go through a process of self assessment to determine for yourself what art means to you within the context of what you hope to achieve with it. All potential anxiety will stem from not being realistic about your goals within the reality of your situation and how it can conflict with your ambitions for yourself. If you draw once every 2 weeks, it is completely unrealistic to see much, if any, progress over time. If you work a stressful, full time job, have a family, then expect yourself to find the quality blocks of time to do art, you might be unrealistic.
So then - what do you want for your art, and what can you live with?
For many, making time once a week for a drawing class, and enjoying the process of creating art is enough. Others, like myself when I am busy and can only do the one drawing session a week, enjoy the process - but there is that element of frustration that stems from wanting to progress faster, but are limited by the amount of practice. I have learned to live with that. It doens't make it any easier when you have high expectations for yourself - but that is the way to make peace with yourself. You cannot hope to keep up to the skill set of a professional artist that does art full time when you can only do it 3 hours a week.
Having said all that I am a firm believer that it is never too late to start art, or progress with your art. Art is a reflection of who you are and the quality of your thoughts. If you live life fully and reflect deeply on those experiences than it will reveal itself in your art. The initial awkwardness of techique surprisingly is not as big an issue as you might expect. The person with crude technique and something important to say will produce stronger and compelling art than an artist with great techique and nothing to say -their art is derived and imatative.
In time your technique will catch up to your thoughts - that I am convinced - and only if you can put the time into it. If not, accept what you can get done and enjoy the process. Art - for the moments that your are creating it - is its own reward. We put too much pressure on ourselves to have results - often it is society's expectations and not our own that creates this anxiety within ourselves.
This may sound harsh, but yeah, sounds like it's too late for you.
There are two types of people:
A) Those who spend their time worrying about obstacles and making excuses for their lack of progress, and generally decrying their bad luck.
B) And those who make up their mind to do something and just do it without a second thought.
I think people rarely account for how possible it is to bend reality to your own expectations. Those who expect to fail, or that things might be "too late" will be right a good deal of the time. Those who expect to win, and don't dwell on obstacles will find they make great progress and eventually win more than they lose. In the case of the wounded soldier in your analogy, perhaps the person trying to save him realizes that by battling his expectation to die, the soldier will find the strength to fight and survive.
I'm not going to try to fully persuade you. It can't be done, which is why you always feel the answers don't satisfy you. You have to earn that realization for yourself and make it true. YOU have to put in the work to answer this question.
For some people, no there is NEVER a too late. It never enters the mind, and so it never enters reality. For others, they begin to already fear it's too late at the tender age of 20 (yes, we've had people actually make threads about feeling like it was too late when they were barely out of their teens).
I can't wait for Ilaekae to come in here, hopefully he will. He's 60 something.
Depending on how you approach it, art can open your eyes up to see beauty more clearly, and enjoy simple, small things in life. You may find your own vision of beauty through art (as opposed to a default one). For example: today, I was walking home from school, and the sun shone down on the sidewalk, through the trees. It lit up the leaves and the tiles reflected light to create intense brightness. I love this sort of stuff! When I draw from life (I like drawing girls ), I don't look at them for attractiveness or whatever, but just because of interesting facial features and elegant shapes. I also see these shapes and rhythmic lines in other people, some old people, architecture, a small dry plant, some random scene that somehow composes itself into something interesting, etc. Anything. It's subjective; I might not see elegance in what another artist might.
My peers, on the other hand, see art as this huge staircase they need to climb up, with little or no scenery along the way. They don't seem to observe things like this; observation seems to exist only to bring them closer to being professional or something. It's hard, you have to work hard, you have to push yourself. Which is true to an extent, but why make it such grey drugery? Why beat yourself up over your drawings? You didn't do that as a kid, did you? Have fun!
What I meant by one's mind improving is that a mind changes in time, provided it has new experiences. Being an artist requires that you experience new things; do things other than art, go to musical concerts, travel, attend workshops, make friends, enjoy smoothies/coffee/wine/anything you enjoy. Love life, love yourself. Keep an open mind and say yes to every opportunity that presents itself. This is what builds creativity and inspires. For me, it's not so much about becoming good at art, as it is that, well, it makes life even more lovely.
Well said Max.
Art is a reflection of life - creating art is a process to be enjoyed.
When is too late? When you drop dead.
What Mike said. I’m 48 and it was only a couple of years ago that my art ambitions reawakened. Full time job, family, mortgage etc means I can only work occasionally at my art, but I’m having so much fun relearning and pushing myself. I can still dream.
In a way I'm glad I didn't start painting until my mid-30s. I doubt I was mature enough to produce good concepts in my 20s, let alone my teens.
There are no rules in these matters, despite what some people may think. People have started painting in their 80s and have become highly skilled and successful. Others have painted all their lives and are still shit. It's all down to you and how you tackle it. Hopefully that doesn't sound pompous, because I don't always practice what I preach, but I think if you have the right outlook you'll go far.
Paying attention to what you are doing, what is happening on the canvas in front of you, what you would like to see happen, and constantly thinking of how to achieve that - will speed up your developement. This is why some older people show remarkable progress. They bring a lifetime of learning and experience to creating art. They constantly ask questions on how to improve at any stage they are at. If you already know how to learn, then learning art is just another another task you will undertake with the tools in your life you already possess.
Baron Impossible, I was browsing your gallery and your art is mindblowing. Did you really go from knowing nothing (or next to nothing) in your mid thirties to that quality in five years?!
I guess I stand corrected.
Thank you so much, everyone. I think if I can't find my cables I'm going out and buy new ones and start to post.
I really feared it was too late for me (I'm graduating in a few weeks in Business/Economics and I'm 22 y.o.) and I had to do some research, ask people here, and reflect a bit before making my choice.
I'm living in one of the poorest zones in Europe and I wasn't really familiar with the mechanisms of the entertainment and visual industries.
I decided this can be a viable way of living, but it took me some time.
"He started painting seriously in his early forties, and by age 49 he retired from his job to work on his art."
Although he didn't exactly enjoy immediate success: "Ridiculed during his life, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality."
This was an article a friend passed along to me. It's basically saying, too often people associate precociousness with young age, while there have been many masters (especially of art) who only started blossoming at an older age.
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
If you think its too late, then you'll never go out of your way to make it a reality. Stay positive. Being able to draw is not something that only certain people are capable of, you just have to work at it. And if you're planning to get amazingly famous in your lifetime as a artist, throw those notions out of the window. Many artists don't get that famous until long after they've died. Anywho it shouldn't be about getting famous. If you really want to draw, you'll go out of your way to do it.
"less able to keep up to date with the world, like young people do so easily?"
Huh? Haven't you seen those embarrasing news stories about all the young people who can't even show you where the capitol of the United States is on a world map?
I'm starting to think we need to get rid of that old guy, Ben Bernanke, and put Miley Cyrus in charge of the Fed. Her brain still probably works OK.
"Is it ever too late?"
No amount of hand holding or encouragement can decide for you. It is really up to you.
So what if there are younger folk who are quick at mind or seemly more talented? If a person has two hands, eyes, and an able mind...who's stopping them from producing art? It's a personal journey and you get to decide when to come and go. If you have high ambitions, that just means you have to put in that much more hours a day to make that goal happen.
Last edited by Pigeonkill; March 20th, 2009 at 12:22 PM.
Make a sketchbook happy, feed it a tip to improve!
Id go as far as to say one appendage that can hold a pencil / pen / brush and an able mind is all you need. Yep, no eyes. Ask this guy:
Its all in the will of the artist.
I'd say stop worrying and make up your mind.
That's not easy, not making the choice feels easier. But it's not, it drains energy because of the doubt. I've made this mistake a couple of times and will probably do it again in the future. And when making choices I've picked the wrong ones a lot. You need to fall before you can learn how to stand up and avoid falling again.
It's called experience, something young artists don't have that much since they had less time to fall
You ain't a dying soldier, you are just wondering about your future.
Even if you wonder about it for years, the future will still be the future. Uncertain. And when you look back, you can see that you've gained a lot of what's called the past. Something you can never regain, only look at and feel happy or sorry about.
Now make a choice and stick to it. Stop wondering and start creating a new future. Still uncertain but at least in a direction you choose.
Colonel Sanders, the Founder of KFC was 65 or something when he opened his first own restaurant. He thought "when I open now I'll be 70 when I start to really make money in five years...". But then he said "in five years i'll get 70 anyway, if i open a restaurant or not."
I think Mindcandyman was 30 or so when he started his journey back in 2003, now he's a pro painter.
Make a sketchbook happy, feed it a tip to improve!
Shiro Kotobuki (Japanese), lead character designer for Konami's Rumble Roses, paints with a Wacom pen tied to a stick in his mouth as he's a quadriplegic.
There were videos of him working on YouTube a couple of years ago, but Fuji TV claimed copyright violations and took them down. They were inspiring to say the least - I mean, this guy lost the use of 90% of his body, and he still manages to make art. What possible excuse could I come up with to not work harder?