Do you pros actually ever feel you've done great work?
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Thread: Do you pros actually ever feel you've done great work?

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    Do you pros actually ever feel you've done great work?

    I'm just very interested to see, if you ever actually feel as if you've done great work when you have... I can get complimented but I know it's not amazing or all that good. Will I ever get to a stage when someone says it's good and agree... Or are we artists always destined to a fate of always striving for absolute perfection? (not in any way saying I'm anywhere near perfect)

    Does this make sense? I mean I do my best work, and I don't think it's very good -As I know my next will be better and this will happen forever. (THIS ISN'T A THREAD FOR MOTIVATION OR ANYTHING, I'M NOT COMPLAINING THAT I THINK I'M BAD)

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    Sure they do, however it takes a lifetime to master art so there will always be room for improvement no matter how good you are.

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    I think there's a difference between self-loathing, being humble, and being pretentious...

    Various artists have the various traits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Kobrin View Post
    I think there's a difference between self-loathing, being humble, and being pretentious...

    Various artists have the various traits.
    QFT...

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    IMHO the concept of perfection is impossible in any literal sense of the word; rather perfection is a moving target that cannot actually be attained (nor would this be desirable), only struggled for.

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    Personally it lasts for a couple of hours, maybe a day or two at best. Then i see the flaws and try again.

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    I read time ago, in a very old illustration book that, if you ask a illustrator about his current job, he will say "my next job will be the greatest, but this... no".

    And the situation always repeats.

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    I never.. ever.... ever feel like I did great work.
    I feel like I am doing great work sometimes. That keeps me going, the feeling of the moment and the hoping for perfection.
    As a old colleague of mine once put it: 'its never as good as you hope or as bad as you fear'.

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    well I know it's like sacrilege to say around here, but yes. I do anyhow, and I know many others who I'm sure do too.

    You can enjoy something you've done and still want to do better, and you can still admire other work, but yes.

    And I try not to ever hand off a job that I'm not at least satisfied with.

    The self-hating artist thing really needs to be reigned in, it's almost as irritating as the arrogant narcissistic artist. Jake put it well. Find some balance.

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    For me, I feel about 10% of my finished work is a bit of a dog. Not horrible of course, or I would never submit it to a client, but there's enough things bothering me that there's no way I'll be holding that piece up as a good example of what I do.

    On the other end of the scale, maybe 10% of the time I'm lucky enough to do a piece that I'm really proud of, that I feel portrays sort of the pinnacle of my current abilities. Even these don't represent the kind of work I want to be doing in a few years, but they represent a big step in that direction for me.

    The other 80% is the work I do most often. Solid decent work that I'm happy to show, but I know it's work that I'll be surpassing in the coming months and years.

    Strangely though, there are always people who see things differently. There are people who really like pieces I consider a dog, and people who aren't that impressed with pieces I really like.

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    Strangely though, there are always people who see things differently. There are people who really like pieces I consider a dog, and people who aren't that impressed with pieces I really like.
    that's absolutely true. I just sold a painting fairly recently that I thought was, well, pretty dull at best, but that's the one the guy was into. And plenty of times I'll be really proud of something and it's met with a pretty cool reception.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo View Post
    that's absolutely true. I just sold a painting fairly recently that I thought was, well, pretty dull at best, but that's the one the guy was into. And plenty of times I'll be really proud of something and it's met with a pretty cool reception.
    Hehe, luckily it's those reactions to the "dogs" that have kept me from obsessing too much over them. They may not be my favorites because I know better what I had in mind for the piece, and where I think it doesn't live up, but someone else will see it for what it actually is and may still enjoy it.

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    I'm not a professional but my two cents:

    I chose to pursue art because I felt it was something that didn't have a ceiling as far as learning went. So I am always pushing myself to learn more and do better. That doesn't mean I think my art is crap, but I see it's flaws and I constantly try to improve upon them. On the flip side, I try to see the things I've done well in every piece and give myself a little pat on the back. I think that's something that a lot of learning artists omit and they start to feel like their art is crap.

    So in short, it's a balance of attitudes like what was said before.

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    Instead of striving for perfection, which is humanly impossible and will drive you mad, aim for excellence which allows room for human error.

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    My process goes through five predictable stages. Exactly the same every time. However, knowing this doesn't help. It's still impossible for me to believe I'm not making an accurate assessment of my art at the time, so I've just learned to get on and ignore these silly thoughts.

    Preliminary sketch: Something has happened to my brain. I've forgotten how to draw
    Final sketch: This is going to be damn good
    Colouring: You fucking woeful artist wannabe fraud
    Start of detailing: Damn, this is seriously good. People will talk about this for months
    Sig: It's OK. I'm fairly happy with it. The next one, on the other hand, will be incredible

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    Sure, I do.
    I'm not running around going "OMG GUYZ, MY ART IS SO AWESOME!!! I AM A MASTER!", but when I finish something I am often happy with what I have done. Generally, despite acknowledging faults and areas that can be improved upon...I'm always proud of what I produce.

    I think if you are a true self-loather you are looking at it all wrong. Art is supposed to make you feel happy and excited. If everything you produce is shit in your eyes, how can you really achieve that?

    I think it's important for every artist to be humble about their art, but I think it's equally important to love yourself and your art.

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    My sentiments kind of echo Dustys; i dont believe in constantly hating my work but instead being aware of my successes as a means of growing as an artist. Most of the time, i feel like i'm hitting 6 and 7s on a scale of 1-10 of what i'm capable of. Every now and then i'll feel like i hit a 10 in terms of my ability, in a painting, and will stop and appreciate a job well done, and try and learn from my success.

    Usually when i do that, i'll stare at the drawing for a really long time and try and figure out what all i did right. Then i'll try and backtrack my steps and see if i did anything different than i usually do, then take that same approach to my next painting. I.E: starting with a loose pencil sketch or starting with a detailed marker sketch, then painting into that, or the other way around, drawing a quick sketch in photoshop, printing it out, then penciling over a faded out version, then scanning it back into photoshop and adding color.

    If it works again, i must be doing something right and thus will make damn sure to incorporate whatever new step i discovered into my normal workflow. I assume a lot of people probably also do it pretty much the same, but really what im getting at is that i think knowing when you've made a good piece of art is important for self growth. It's good to stop and smell the roses every now and then because drawing IS supposed to be fun, and one should definitely savor a job well done. Then pick the pencil or paintbrush back up and try and do something even better.

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    Doing something perfect would mean the journey is over - where's the fun in that?

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    I always feel like I've improved while doing my next greatest piece, thus the one I'm working on becomes obsolete... Haha if only there was a peak...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Vatsel View Post
    Doing something perfect would mean the journey is over - where's the fun in that?
    Lots of money.

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    Doing something perfect would mean the journey is over - where's the fun in that?
    I think (hope) we all know that the idea of "doing something perfect" in art is looking for the impossible. The best that anyone can hope for is to do something really really really well that satisfies the intent of the creator and reaches others in a meaningful way. And then to keep doing that as much as possible, except better next time.

    And it's perfectly ok to recognized where you are succeeding and not just dwell on where you are coming up short. That, to me, is the real question being asked here.

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    baron impossible - thanks a ton. that really made me laugh and reminiscense.

    i sometimes actually have to remind myself that it isn't the end of the world when i produce a piece of shit instead of the next mona lisa. just say to myself "next one'll be better,and if not,the one after that". oddly enough i put most doubts or loathing away when i produce a piece entirely for my own amusement (or porn), cause then i wanna get it just right,and it works out.

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    Baron Impossible pretty much summed up my feelings on this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo View Post
    I think (hope) we all know that the idea of "doing something perfect" in art is looking for the impossible. The best that anyone can hope for is to do something really really really well that satisfies the intent of the creator and reaches others in a meaningful way. And then to keep doing that as much as possible, except better next time.
    Agreed,
    what I'm thinking is that, me, I wouldn't want to even do a "perfect" drawing or a "perfect" painting if possible.
    I enjoy the journey of improving myself, and just knowing that there is no ceiling - that keeps me going.

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    Every now and then I've felt like I've done something great. However, every time it was because it was great for the stage that I was at right then in my life.

    Recently, more and more, I've started something out thinking "Ooooh, this is gonna be good!" and in the end feel like it didn't live up to the potential I saw at the beginning. I realize that trying to fix it only makes it worse, and in the end push it away in disgust. (This is referring to personal projects, of course. I can't exactly walk away from what I'm doing for work)

    I think though that this is positive, as it is usually a result of trying to achieve something I've never tried to do in my work before, and its better to try something new and fail then it is to constantly use the same worn out familiar techniques over and over again like some sort of robot.

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    im not a pro, but to me it depends on the work, some works I am still proud of for accomplishing even after years since; I either wouldn't change a thing or if I look at them today, I don't know if I can even do the same thing anymore.

    some I was very proud of at the time I made it, but now I can see some noob mistakes

    and others I never really liked working on, but tried to finish them anyways, and of course the end result to me is the biggest pile of crap.

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    I'm just a fan, but when I see some of the work around here I can't help but think, yeah that's perfect. It's not just really good, that really is an embodiment of perfection. I guess my eye's still untrained. Oh yeah, my work on the otherhand is just student stuff.

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    when I see some of the work around here I can't help but think, yeah that's perfect. It's not just really good, that really is an embodiment of perfection
    my problem with thinking of art as perfect is that it's an absolute term, where as art is a very subjective thing that appeals to people in such different ways. One person finds perfection where the next finds tedium or confusion. It's not like grading diamonds for flaws, there is no actual measure which can be universally accepted.

    You can't please everyone, no matter how well you please some, so you may as well just please yourself and hope for the best.

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    Raw materials are perfect - everything after that is destruction.

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