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Thread: Late Bloomers?

  1. #1
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    Late Bloomers?

    I am. I am a late bloomer.

    I am 33 and I am graduating college this summer. It could have happened 8 years ago, but things didn't work out well. A massive emotional trauma took away my motivation in 2005 and I struggled to get through college.

    My digital painting skill could have increased several folds for last four years. But as you guys see in the critique forum, my skill level is a novice level. And I can't imagine myself drawing environments. (I barely passed Garry Meyer's perspective class 10 years ago and as soon as I finished the class, everything I learned simply vaporized.)

    For last couple of years, I struggled to regain my motivation. The only way I could brush up my drawing skill was to drag myself to figure drawing workshops in LA area. I drive 30~40 miles to get there. (I live far east of So Cal.) So my quick sketch skill has improved significantly. Not so much in other field. I hated painting because I've been lack of confidence (although I was better than most of the students in CSU system...) and I hated cadmium and lead. Although I found Korean gouache to be a good material for practice, lack of discipline got me hard.

    Some of you guys will disagree, but I believe that formal education is important to many artists. There are people who need to be guided every single step of art training, like me. Ron Lemen told me that I am a fast learner. But the problem is that I can't guide myself to go further.

    So I am graduating with a portfolio with no particular career direction. My graduation date is in July so I have some time to work on new materials. But out of 5 artworks, less than one is portfolio-worthy. It's kinda frustrating.

    I dunno...I am just rambling and stuff.


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  3. #2
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    the good thing is that the average life expectancy has grown so a human average life span is 75-80, so you got at least another thirty years! I think if you stay active in this online community and if you are able to attend at least one workshop, you will get that self-discipline. From my experience, this site has helped me tenfold since I joined. This kind of work will take a lot of self-discipline, but it can be learned.



    The important thing is to stay focused!

    good luck with your endeavors!
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    I'm sorry but if you can't guide yourself and take initiative in learning, I'm not sure how possible it is for you to become an artist. I believe that people can train you only so much and most of what you learn comes from your own observations and interpretations.

    I graduated this past winter and I didn't like any of the portfolio work I did. You're not going to make a masterpiece or something amazing every time you try. However if you just try harder each time and work on completing things, you will have a larger pool of work to choose your best from.

    If you know you have weaknesses, you can't be afraid of them. You have to tackle them. You're going to make a lot of ugly things that you don't want to look at until you start making decent things. You know you can't draw environments well so start doing some. Start small like drawing a couple of trees or a house or something.

    In the end no one is going to hold your hand and teach you everything you need to know. I don't mean to sound discouraging.

    EDIT - Re-reading this, I sound like I was telling you to quit. Don't stop, just keep pushing yourself. You can do it.
    Last edited by JJacks; May 16th, 2009 at 02:50 PM.

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    i hey matey, i think alot of your stress is coming from frustration, and the frustration is being caused by your lack of understanding for the root causes of your learning problems (that and your massive emotional trauma probably hasnt helped you)


    this is my opinion anyway, theres alot of people who will say otherwise and maybe there right, but i was the same, i used to think i could never learn somthing unless i had a great teacher and a amazing enviroment, but now im confident im going to have some conversational grasp of german by the time the workshop comes around (and i cant speak any word other than nine now )

    the thing for me that changed everything though is knowledge of how my mind works, what causes it to learn somthings incredibly quickly even though they seem mindless (like lyrics) and why somthings however important wont stick. it's a massive topic, and right now your fighting the current, theres a massive amount of material out there, but to start off i'd try and get hold of 'brian tracys accelerated learning techniques"

    its a little old, but the foundations are solid, or if that seems a little fruity for you try this to get you inspired

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/t..._anything.html

    http://www.play.com/Books/Books/4-/5...k/Product.html


    damn, what a rant haha, anyway man just chill and enjoy the ride. you are, after all, gonna be dead one day
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    I'm about your age and only recently started working again on my drawing skills.
    Lack of confidence? I have that in many things, but not in my drawings. I know they are not that great. So what? I can improve, it just takes time.

    Sure it's no fun to be 33 and graduate at that age. Many do that when they are younger. But you have one advantage. You've experienced stuff others haven't. That's also experience, life experience. I'd say that's more valuable than drawing experience.

    So, what would you like to do after you graduate? Any ideas on that?

    My advice: start a sketchbook in the appropiate subforum and ask for cits in the crit center which you already found. People are willing to help you and you will improve.
    And you are afraid of paint? There are so many other things to experiment with.
    I've got my pastels completed today, so I'll be working with those from time to time to work on my feeling for color.

    But whatever you do, it won't be easy. You already know that. Just accept you have to work and struggle. And you will fail. Sometimes a little, sometimes huge. Don't judge yourself too hard on that. It's part of the process of learning. But it does suck when it happens....

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    Late bloomers can be the coolest people. My friend, who is 34, has just graduated and we are looking to work together on projects. Unless you are 90 and in a wheelchair looking for work then you are still good to go! Look at MindCandyMan's sketchbook for inspiration on motivation.

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    If you buy a camera or cell phone and don’t phone your children to show you how to use it while you have the manual. YOUR'E STILL OK!!

    Depending on what you are trying to do, good training material can save you time and cut years of struggle.

    I'm a cheapo so I struggle.. But I found that some material could have saved me lots of time.

    I think Vilppu are a good example. Some of his works where on Disney’s top list for animators for quite a while. Some materials sport great artists but Vippu double’s up as someone who is a good teacher. I mean what do you have if you have a studio full of artists and you simply have to make them draw the right way? You send them to a teacher that succeeds, and fast.
    Vilppu are sensitive over the way his students see and think while he's teaching, he makes a study of identifying what the typical questions and misconceptions are etc.. I dunno if it's accidental but I think he might have had some NLP training.

    It's not as much the skill or knowledge you have but the ability to transfer your ideas and get working.

    A lot of artists use the accidental to a good degree but they never feel that they succeed in putting down exactly what they had in mind. That is what his strategy allowes me to do now, even though my experience is not up there and my knowledge is lacking I can get the foundation right and work on the other stuff as I need to.

    I’d like to know what materials had that effect for others here. Most probably well kept secrets. Hehehe!!

    I also think the live tutoring idea that will be implemented here will have the same effect.
    It’s hard for training materials to target your struggle points directly.
    Last edited by George Abraham; May 16th, 2009 at 11:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogidolim View Post
    Some of you guys will disagree, but I believe that formal education is important to many artists. There are people who need to be guided every single step of art training, like me.
    I think most people would say that good formal education is very useful, but you'd still be expected to motivate yourself and practice in your own time. A lack of confidence in your abilities can hold you back, I know that from continuing first-hand experience, but if you spend less time analysing it and more time, well, drawing, then that certainly helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by gogidolim View Post
    But out of 5 artworks, less than one is portfolio-worthy.
    Less than one? Like, none? But seriously, why only 5 artworks? Just get in there and practice

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    Hey. Make this the very last time you worry about your age and all that stuff. The industry is not going to ask you for your birth cert. They care about whether you can show up, do the work, work over time when they need you, and be fun to play with (good team player). If you want some local-er help, come on out Tues or Thurs 6 - 10. I have a four hour figure drawing meetup. You can write to me and I'll give you more info.

    I was older when I got my first job. I'm only going to say this once (stole that from Clint Eastwood in Bridges), the art industry is one of the most FAIR employers around. You may disagree, but I'm here to tell you. It happened to me. That's right. So, women, any diverse background you can lay on the table (ethnic), age, ability, disability, one thing is important: do you have the chops. If you're worried about age and such, you should relax. Worries about your age is symptomatic of a person who will be blaming it on age.

    So, be of good cheer, you're still a kid. Here's some good news: looking back on your work do you see progress? Ok, that means you can make progress. Are you going to be a superstar? Probably not. There aren't very many openings. But, if you are willing to be patient, stop kvetching about your late start, and get busy, page by page, making better and better work, you'll get there. THERE IS NO SHORT CUT. If there is, it involves setting aside several hours a day to just work. Marathon runners have to do the miles, so do we.

    You have to keep going. Be glad school is ending in a few months. You'll have THAT time to do your own work. Like I said on another thread to you, the portfolio you're making now, will most likely not be the one that gets you a job. But, you're going to have to stop worrying about age and start drawing like you want a job. That means, draw wherever you go. Manage your time at home so you can work on a series of works, and
    get to a regular figure drawing group - every week. Write, I can give you some times and places.
    Last edited by Raceme; May 17th, 2009 at 12:35 AM.
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    The notion of being a late bloomer at 33 makes me chuckle. I started making art at 45. Mind you, I had another career going at the same time. Sure, I wish I had started earlier, but I didn't, so I have to make the best of the time left to me.

    You can't do anything about the past. You can only do something about the future. And, if you don't do anything about the future, then nothing will happen.
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    but first it's gonna piss you off!

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    Thanks for all the input.

    Come to think of it, my worst problem is to worry too much. The best advice I got from this website is not to worry about making bad art and just draw and paint no matter what. And I am struggling to put that in practice.

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    Henri Rousseau from Wikipedia:

    He was born in Laval in the Loire Valley into the family of a plumber. He attended Laval High School as a day student and then as a boarder, after his father became a debtor and his parents had to leave the town upon the seizure of their house. He was mediocre in some subjects at the high school but won prizes for drawing and music. He worked for a lawyer and studied law, but "attempted a small perjury and sought refuge in the army," serving for four years, starting in 1863. With his father's death, Rousseau moved to Paris in 1868 to support his widowed mother as a government employee. In 1871, he was promoted to the toll collector's office in Paris as a tax collector. He started painting seriously in his early forties, and by age 49 he retired from his job to work on his art. His wife died in 1888 and he later remarried.

    Rousseau claimed he had "no teacher other than nature", although he admitted he had received "some advice" from two established Academic painters, Félix Auguste-Clément and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Essentially he was self-taught and is considered to be a naive or primitive painter.

    When Pablo Picasso happened upon a painting by Rousseau being sold on the street as a canvas to be painted over, the younger artist instantly recognised Rousseau's genius and went to meet him. In 1908 Picasso held a half serious, half burlesque banquet in his studio in Le Bateau-Lavoir in Rousseau's honour.
    Last edited by Bill; May 16th, 2009 at 10:56 PM.

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    So just let the struggle go and have some fun. I may be wrong but it sounds like you may be a wee bit impatient for the results to come. But some of the peeps that are 18, 19, 20 already may have ten years of heavy lifting while their friends were doing something else. A lot of them spent a lot of hours in their room just drawing. That's why artists and musicians can be a tad strange at times. Dancers are working with other people. A lot of the practice artists and musicians do is sort of isolating. But, just kick back and enjoy.

    Find some good drawing buddies and keep in a social loop. Another reason drawing groups are good.
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    I'm a different kind of late bloomer. It's not so much about the age but about how long it takes me to grasp some concept or fundamentals that some people can understand instantly or sooner. I can slave years over trying to understand something but like late-blooming in puberty, once it hits you, it hits you. For me, once I get it, I get it and it never slips my grasp from then on.

    Then again, at 28, I'm still young and I've yet to hit my first peak as an artist, so I can see late blooming being a progression of sorts in my life. Formal education, I found, is handy but what it's even better for is that now that I'm out of school, I know enough so that I can study by myself. I know what I need to study, how to study, how to apply what I've learned in school to what I'm doing now, and the self-discipline from being in college is easy enough to drag out if I'm willing to haul ass for my goals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gogidolim View Post
    Thanks for all the input.

    Come to think of it, my worst problem is to worry too much. The best advice I got from this website is not to worry about making bad art and just draw and paint no matter what. And I am struggling to put that in practice.
    gogidolim,

    That's not so hard. You pick up a pencil or brush (with paint on it), bring it close enough to the paper so that the point touches it and move your arm. No need to worry about that, you move your arms a lot during the day so this should not be a problem

    Oh, you are more worried about the result.
    When I went to the gym for the first time I noticed all those huge guys. And when I started lifting weights I noticed that there were some rather small women lifting more than the weight I was lifting. Ouch. But in time I started to lift slightly more weight once in a while. Sometimes a lot more, sometimes only a little more. And after a year I was lifting weights that didn't make me ashamed. Still not the huge weights that others were lifting, but for me it was enough.

    And when I was there I learned to go to others and just ask for help. Hey, I'm new here and you look experienced. Could you tell me how I should lift this weight? And even though those guys were enormous they helped me. Some were even watching me and giving advise when I was doing things wrong or when they thought I should try a little more weight.

    Apply this to drawing.
    You can be ashamed of your current drawing and painting results. But when you don't start working on them you will always be ashamed of them.
    Because you won't improve without practice. If you can't lift 10kg today you won't be able to do that in a year without training that muscle someway.

    And don't be afraid to ask for help. Just say: "Hey, I'm new and have problems with xxxxx, who wants to teach me how to do that right?" Or just say: "Hey, I'm looking for someone to team up with so we can draw and paint together". Learning things together is always easier than doing things alone. And you can motivate each other when you struggle.

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