Art talent limited to certain areas?

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  1. #1
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    Art talent limited to certain areas?

    First let me say, it's good to be back. I don't think I've posted here in over a year.

    I'm at GMU studying digital art. Most of my classes are enjoyable, but a good few of them are graphic design based. Now... I like to think of myself as a well-rounded, multitalented artist. However when it comes to certain fields within art, I draw a blank. I can do something straight from my imagination, bursting with creativity... but for instance, in AVT180 and 280, which are courses both heavily based on graphic design... I draw a complete blank and come up with C-average work. When it comes to things like logo design and other things in that area, it's like my mind shuts down. I also have a problem completing assignments with too detailed of a prompt.

    I've been told this is a "blessing", and that I'm just destined to be more creative, but not being able to work within the guidelines of a theme or an assignment just spells bad news for me. What if my final is to design a logo? What if on the job, I receive an assignment that's more design-based than... I don't know, "creativity based"? I guess my question is, how can I train myself to think outside the box while "inside the box"?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by punctur3s View Post
    I guess my question is, how can I train myself to think outside the box while "inside the box"?
    Well, if you wanna use that metaphor then you can think of graphic design as another box that is quite different than the one you are used to (though there are similarities). If you want to do graphic design sort of work, you need to learn how to climb inside of that box and become comfortable there for when you need to be.

    In short, you aren't 'destined' for any particular path you're just inexperienced in other paths. Spend enough time practicing with the areas that give you trouble and you'll eventually get proficient in them.

    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.
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  4. #3
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    Let's swap a word or two out
    ..
    When it comes to things like speaking French and other things in that area, it's like my mind shuts down.
    When it comes to things like cooking chilli and other things in that area, it's like my mind shuts down.
    When it comes to things like assembling flatpack furniture and other things in that area, it's like my mind shuts down.
    When it comes to things like doing Kung Fu and other things in that area, it's like my mind shuts down.
    How would you go about fixing any of those things?

    If it were me and I'd judged any any of those things as important I'd practice them until I sucked less, but that's just me.

    Seriously though, everyone leans towards certain things more than others , wouldn't worry about that, I don't recall seeing a spectacular Waterhouse landscape, a fine Boldini seascape or an awesome Turner portrait..

    I also have a problem completing assignments with too detailed of a prompt.
    Now, that I might worry about..Bit of flexibility is good..

    Last edited by Flake; September 22nd, 2009 at 10:24 PM.
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  6. #4
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    You wanna be a skilled designer? Well, are you reading books on design? Do you subscribe to any design magazines or blogs? Do you study successful design to determine what makes it so? When you have an assignment, do you spend a lot of time on it? Throughout the process do you seek advice and critique from others who know better?

    In other words, anybody who is a good designer is a student of design. Forget about inborn "talent" -- what makes a designer good is the drive to learn and the fortitude to actively apply that knowledge to his craft. A little bravery doesn't hurt in experimenting beyond your comfort zone. A wise man once said, "don't be afraid to draw bad." Well, don't be afraid to design bad either -- just make sure that once you know it's bad, you go out of your way to find out why, and how it can be improved the next time.

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  8. #5
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    For the most part, there's no good reason to worry about keeping your skills up in such different areas. If for example, you go into illustration, you will not generally be asked to design logos. They will find someone who specializes in logos. Find what you are good at, what you enjoy, and develope that. After you graduate from school you, if someone asks you to design a logo you can simply tell them you don't do logos (just like if someone asked you to do their plumbing, you can tell them you aren't a plumber). While these may seem like related fields since they both involve creativity, as you've discovered, they are totally different skill sets, and you are under no obligation to be a jack of all trades.

    Now if a detailed art brief causes you problems, then that IS something to work on (unless you'd prefer to just try working on gallery work). A successful illustrator needs to be able to comprehend and translate into art all sorts of briefs. Some will be very open, but others will be very specific.

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  9. #6
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    Yeah, I'm not going into graphic design but I'm still required to take a class or two in it for my major. I mean, not a huge deal, 2 classes, but I don't want to suck at it just because it's "not my area." I can do the technical part as far as design, I'm well-versed in the programs we use and commands and stuff - it's just coming up with the idea.

    I've tried researching and practicing, but it's strange to "practice" creativity in certain areas, for me it's usually hit or miss. I don't know if it's like that for other people, and if it's not then I'd like to see a change in myself.

    Ahh, I don't know, I just got back in school after being out for a year and I've had a big reminder of all the OTHER stuff I have to do before I get to the point. =P

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    What is the box and how did you get stuck inside it?

    Seriously, though. I never went to school for graphics design, art, or anything else - I'm a techie by trade and nature. Art is about creating, it's also about life. Concepts and creativity do not come from nowhere, they are intuitive, and they rest on the foundation of applied knowledge. You learn about something, then you "unlearn" it for the intuitive process to take hold - you cannot force art to be born. This does not mean you cannot create artwork on a deadline, or within a certain criteria of which you are restrained. This does mean that you need to start learning to think about things differently if you're to learn how to work with your intuition in abstract areas.

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  11. #8
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    It might be difficult for you, and you might never be a master at it, but it's definitely worth it to put in the effort in other creative pursuits. Getting a knack for graphic design will help you with your illustration work. Same goes for sculpture. Or photography.

    Though you might never make money in these other areas, it doesn't hurt to experiment with them. Have fun with it.

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