A Limit to the Growth of Ability?

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    A Limit to the Growth of Ability?

    Do you think some people have the potential to only go so far in the skill level of their art? Like they just hit a wall, and even through continuous studies, their ability just falls idle and cannot progress further.

    This is my worst fear. That or the possibility that, yeah, I may get good - but I'll never produce anything other than generic, uninteresting static.

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    as a veteran around here id like to chime in, i think theres a limit to ones growth.. im never gonna be as good as jason chan or some of the other ppl i look up to..

    i think its like with everything... someones always gonna be better then u, all u can do is dream

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    Or work your ass off and make yourself like Jason Chan, etc. but with your own brand. Self-defeat right at the get-go is poisonous. Someone's always going to be better than you but you're going to be better than someone else. As long as you don't let fear paralyze you, you always have a chance.

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    I don't care about someone being better than me, that's just fine. However I have a notion that I might hit a limit with how far I can take my art, and that I wouldn't be able to reach a level to make a living off art. I'm not worried, I never worry - It's just a rarley occurring thought, none obstructive to my motivation. (I'm not whining)

    But the original question was "Do you think people can have a limit on their ability to progress artistically?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by riceface View Post
    as a veteran around here id like to chime in
    when does 10 months equal veteran,
    and when does how long you've been a member of a forum equal how much you know (or don't as the case may be)

    I say there probably are limits to growth, but you'll never know where they are until you hit them. And they might be temporary so even then you are doing yourself a disservice by paying them any attention.

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    We all have limits and most of us aren't going to be the next Sargent or anything, but unless you develop some kind of memento disease you aren't going to lose the ability to learn. In psychology class I was told that long term memory has infinite storage. The hard part is transferring things from your short term to your long term memory.

    Everyone I can think of who stopped growing is someone who gave up. One of the nice thing about art is that artists typically get better as they age, not worse, even at very old ages.

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    No one knows what they're capable of and some people give up too easily or soon. If you're not progressing with one method of study, try another. Keep pushing and you might amaze yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riceface View Post
    im never gonna be as good as jason chan or some of the other ppl i look up to..
    Really? That sucks for you huh...

    I'm gonna be every bit as good as chan, and whit and jaime jones and james paick and james jean and pretty much everyone else I look up to.

    Man, I love opening these threads up where effectively every thread starter is so content with pigeonholing themselves into mediocrity and finding complacency in that mediocrity. And there's just so many of them lately it's so reassuring to me that with this many people willing to strive for less and look for their limits and be bound to them that people like me who will be better will have no issues in finding a job in the future. Honestly, it helps cheer me up every time... :|

    I've seen what determination can do. Hell, I've lived it. Coming from an impoverished part of mexico where my family, my cousins family and my grandparents were all living in what was essentially a wooden box sharing a kitchen and a bathroom with our neighbors. Where I had never even heard the word draw and the closest thing I had come to art was the caricature on the chocolate milk bottles that I would beg my parents to buy but they never would. And having my parents work their asses off, come to america, my mother getting two full time jobs and my father getting 2 and a part time at any given time, start their own business and being able to afford to own a home and being able to buy my grandparents a better home down in mexico. And lastly giving me the freedom that they never had, the freedom to be able to do whatever the hell I want to do with my life and my future. So am I gonna let something weak like a supposed limit stop me? LOL.

    Anyways, to address the question, do I think people can have a limit on their abilitys growth? Who knows. But I'll tell you one thing, I won't waste time looking for them. I'll keep drawing and trekking along and if one decides to rear it's head I'll address and surpass it then.

    A great guitarist friend of mine (good guitarist, jake willson, was at berklee school of music then with a half ride, is currently working on a side project with the drummer of dragonforce and teaching at dover UK.) once told me, 'if you shoot for the moon you'll land on a mountain' and even though it was said in passing it still stuck with me.

    Another inspring one for you, said by the late, great, ralph to his wife alice, "One of these days alice, and then Bang, zoom, straight to the moon!"

    And if any of this sounded like an attack on you, or anyone with similar thoughts or intentions of starting like minded threads... then it was. It's an attack, a slant at your character, an insult. It's everything that will hopefully make these words stick with you, that will burn them into your heart, mind or soul and make them boil over till one day you've had enough and you say to yourself, till you say to me 'You know what, fuck you franciscoshreds. Mediocrity? Complacency? I'll show your ass, I'm gonna be better, I'll be right there at every job battling you for the same or a better position!'

    And if that day comes, hopefully some time soon, where you say those words and they're more than just words... Well then, sir, I'll see you on the mountain top.

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    Art is subjective there is no better or worse, it's all in the opinion of the viewer. That doesn't mean you should spend time pouting about useless thoughts like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FranciscoShreds View Post
    Everything

    Franc~
    I was gonna respond to rice, but you've put it quite nicely.

    Gnarl, don't worry about it. Just draw .

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    Franciscoshreds:
    "Man, I love opening these threads up where effectively every thread starter is so content with pigeonholing themselves into mediocrity and finding complacency in that mediocrity."
    --
    My previous post clearly states the notion I have does not effect my motivation or attitude towards drawing. And a "personal attack"? Naaahh, I enjoyed your enthusiasm lol. I'll see yah on that moon mountain sir! Except I'll probably be just floating by because I wont be able to stop my momentum. (double meaning? i think so)

    Eugie:
    "That doesn't mean you should spend time pouting about useless thoughts like this."
    --
    Pouting? Maybe I shouldn't have said the "my worst fear ect.." part. Didn't think others would interpret that as pouting, over the interweb. Like saying, "my worst fear are spiders" isn't really a pouty statement, imo. Maybe it was the "".

    Sidharth Chaturvedi:
    "Gnarl, don't worry about it. Just draw"
    --
    I'm not worried.

    I just had a curious question, NOT pertaining particularly to me, that I wanted to hear other peoples thoughts on.

    Sometimes people seem very pretentious on these forums, have to watch how yah type I guess. Sorry if my post just seemed like another "I can't do it/Need Motication/Why is it so hard?!" thread. And sorry if this read as deffensive. But I gots a web-ego to protects. lol

    Last edited by gnarl; June 30th, 2009 at 05:08 AM.
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    As a veteran with rounded parts I've been at it for 25 years plus, and it's a rollercoaster ride, but on a slight incline - up, I hope.

    It's like the saying about the boxer - it doesn't matter how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you get back up that counts. Get up one more time than you're knocked down and you're still in the fight.

    Because it's a constant fight to overcome/go round/work though your own limitations, whatever they may be. Everybody is better at some things than others. Even the Chans and Whits of this world.

    A huge part is about keeping yourself inspired enough to keep battling, by feeding on the glorious imagery that others have put out there. Use it to spur you on. If they can do it (and they are human with their own limitations), you should be able to do it or something similar too - but your route to get will most likely take a different path, because you are a different person. Look for that path. Find the way. It's there somewhere.

    I still find that the journey of discovery about what I can and can't do (at the stage I am in my own journey) throws up little surprises, lessons and rewards all the time. It's a never ending learning process. A journey, not a destination - and we all have a different ticket. And there are dead end diversions from time to time, that you back-track from and set off again at a differnt angle.

    That doesn't mean you should'nt use the jet airline of proven drawing and painting methodolgy available in vast abundance to give you a flying start - and go back to it whenever you need it. Unless you want to reinvent the wheel and impede your progress.

    The only real limitation on how much you can improve (although the timeframe for each will vary also) is your will to keep trying - but it is about finding out who you are as an artist, not about becoming the same as someone else already out there. They are filling that spot for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugie View Post
    Art is subjective there is no better or worse, it's all in the opinion of the viewer. That doesn't mean you should spend time pouting about useless thoughts like this.
    If there is no better or worse, what is the point in improving? How could you even see improvement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugie View Post
    Art is subjective there is no better or worse, it's all in the opinion of the viewer.
    I agree, you are right: the problem, indeed, is there are viewers better or worse than others...

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    Well, what about technical ability? Wouldn't call that subjective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerektheUsurper View Post
    If there is no better or worse, what is the point in improving? How could you even see improvement?
    There is no point, see? So you don't even HAVE to work hard!

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    Even when I see artists that are doing work faaaaaaaaaaaaar beyond what I'm currently doing, I never really think "I'll never be as good as them," or feel like I'll reach some limit on my ability before I get to that level. Mostly it just inspires me to push a little harder, to move past my current comfort zones and try something more challenging. If you manage to keep pushing a little further you'll never reach any brick wall of ability. Even if you never reach the level of the guys you admire most, you can keep pushing closer, and maybe end up just as good in different ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riceface View Post
    as a veteran around here id like to chime in, i think theres a limit to ones growth.. im never gonna be as good as jason chan or some of the other ppl i look up to..
    You enjoy your low self-esteem, huh?

    I won't limit my growth, I'll always try new techniques, new studies, whatever I can do to grow a little more. As long as I work hard, I'll get better. And unless I'm dead, I don't plan on limiting myself.

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    "Pouting? Maybe I shouldn't have said the "my worst fear ect.." part. Didn't think others would interpret that as pouting, over the interweb. Like saying, "my worst fear are spiders" isn't really a pouty statement, imo. Maybe it was the "".

    - Yes, very used to seeing a lot of those threads you mentioned which is probably why I jumped the gun, I apologize for the assumption.

    "There is no point, see? So you don't even HAVE to work hard!" and "If there is no better or worse, what is the point in improving? How could you even see improvement?"

    - My statement had nothing to do with how much effort you should be putting in, that all depends on you. But you can't tell me that his/her art is better than another person's art, and then state it as a fact. That is why it is called critique, that meaning to judge.

    Last edited by Eugie; June 30th, 2009 at 12:47 PM.
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fucking respect fransisco!! i love you buddy

and gargh riceface.. why the f*** are you still here ? I don't get it.. you have never helped or participated in this community ever. All you do is go against everything of what could have possibly be helpful or establish and roll with it till someone lock the thread....

i'd really like to see you banned, at least from the general forums.

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    What limits? I BELIEVE that I'm already better than Marko, Chan and Elwell...and Picasso, Cezanne, Rubens, and everybody else, too. I just haven't proven it yet. Laugh all you fuckin' want, but this fantasy belief in my own abilities is what keeps me going.

    And as for limits, there's just one, and the good thing is I won't know when I hit it because I just died. You invent or imagine, or even worry about any other supposed restrictions on your growth as an artist and your wasting your time.

    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugie View Post
    "Pouting? Maybe I shouldn't have said the "my worst fear ect.." part. Didn't think others would interpret that as pouting, over the interweb. Like saying, "my worst fear are spiders" isn't really a pouty statement, imo. Maybe it was the "".

    - Yes, very used to seeing a lot of those threads you mentioned which is probably why I jumped the gun, I apologize for the assumption.

    "There is no point, see? So you don't even HAVE to work hard!" and "If there is no better or worse, what is the point in improving? How could you even see improvement?"

    - My statement had nothing to do with how much effort you should be putting in, that all depends on you. But you can't tell me that his/her art is better than another person's art, and then state it as a fact. That is why it is called critique, that meaning to judge.
    What you said has everything to do with personal effort and improvement.

    You said that there is no better or worse art. Why would I put forth any effort if I will never produce artwork that is better than what I am producing now?

    I can objectively see and state as fact that my artwork has improved since I was a child. You are asserting that my art has always been, and always will be the same. I disagree because I can objectively judge my own artwork and improvement based on objective criteria such as perspective, anatomy, lighting, etc.

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  • #23
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    Fuckin' rights Dile. I'm with you on this one.

    Fransisco, that was amazing

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    Wow.

    So. I'm going to humour this question and just say: If you were an athlete then there may be a limit to your abilities because your body at some point would not allow you to do certain things. (there are exceptions but let's just set a standard)

    But I think as visual artist you need: ability to hold pen/pencil/brush/stick and your vision. Ummmmm... oh and a brain.. As far as I know (not considering any diseases or illnesses) the mind doesn't really change as you get older (as long as you exercise it). And eyesight could get worse but meh, you can get glasses. I don't think you need to worry about hand movement or anything like that - you could draw with your feet if you had to.

    Sooooo I have no idea why there would be a limit. I guess you'll reach your limit when you die. But even then... maybe you'll be way more appreciated after you're dead. Well anyways, I guess it depends on what your goal is.

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    Since making art is a pretty wide-open endeavor, I always figured that when you run into a roadblock you can ALWAYS choose another direction. To me this question is a bit like standing in the middle of a desert and saying 'dang, I can't go north any more because there's a big rock in my way'.

    "Change is a virtue my friend... if you want to escape, all you have to do is make up your mind."
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    derek - you are totally missing the point of my statement towards him/her. The main reason I told him this is because there is no point in trying to become someone else or putting down your work. He quotes, "That or the possibility that, yeah, I may get good - but I'll never produce anything other than generic, uninteresting static." Correct me if I am wrong but there are many artists in this world whose skills are on a godly level but do not get recognized, then there are those that leave you dumbfounded as to why their art is popular. I heard this from Bobby Chiu's podcast, a lot of art is based on luck, but that does not mean you can not do something about it. His advice was to expose yourself as much as possible, it's like buying lottery tickets; the more you buy the higher the chance you have of winning.

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    re-His advice was to expose yourself as much as possible.

    Hey, you get arrested for that in the UK

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    that goes for the US too I guess the naked cowboy is an exception.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugie View Post
    derek - you are totally missing the point of my statement towards him/her. The main reason I told him this is because there is no point in trying to become someone else or putting down your work. He quotes, "That or the possibility that, yeah, I may get good - but I'll never produce anything other than generic, uninteresting static." Correct me if I am wrong but there are many artists in this world whose skills are on a godly level but do not get recognized, then there are those that leave you dumbfounded as to why their art is popular. I heard this from Bobby Chiu's podcast, a lot of art is based on luck, but that does not mean you can not do something about it. His advice was to expose yourself as much as possible, it's like buying lottery tickets; the more you buy the higher the chance you have of winning.
    I just disliked your statement. It reeked of post-modern BS that perpetuates people not trying hard and being rewarded for it.

    Perhaps that is reality, but I don't have to like it or accept it. I try hard to be better than I am, and as good or better than those whose art I respect. Despite that I may not become popular, I don't think this is a foolish endeavor for anyone.

    Popularity is not the goal of self improvement.

    Last edited by Derek the Usurper; June 30th, 2009 at 02:49 PM.
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    derek - yeap, no one does but that is just how life works in general, I hate to accept it also but luck is just a factor. The genius that lives secluded from the world and has no clue on escaping will never be recognized unless by chance someone stumbles upon him and reveals him to the world. Artists are artists because they love what they do and that will never stop, well at least most artists anyways. Oh, and I always believe hard work will always pay off in millions of ways.

    Last edited by Eugie; June 30th, 2009 at 02:59 PM.
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