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    Leslie Barany. Advices to Aspiring Artist.

    Leslie Barany, the agent of H.R. Giger
    baranyartists.com

    Leslie Barany. Advices to Aspiring Artist.

    If your letter catches Les’ interest, you may hear from him, eventually, sometimes many months later. Be prepared, it may not be the answer you expected.

    Here is an example, for the enlightenment of everyone:

    I'm an aspiring artist and a big fan of Mr. Giger's work, and was wondering if you could possibly give me some advice? Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated, particularly if you could guide me as to what courses you feel would be of most benefit to me.


    Dear Aspiring Artist:

    Here is my advice. Think of it as a five-year plan:

    Take whatever courses you find the most interesting.

    Study closely the work of the Old Masters.

    Stop making art that originates only from your own imagination.

    Stay with one technique until you perfect it.

    On any given day, always be in the middle of reading a book. When you finish one, start the next. Fiction, nonfiction, biographies, autobiographies, history, science, psychology, or how to build a kite. Anything but go easy on the comic books.

    Buy and read the first 6 pages of newspaper every day and also the editorial commentaries. Skip the entertainment section. Su Doku is fine. Do the crossword puzzle.

    Fill up a sketchbook every month with pen or pencil drawings of the world around you, not from your imagination.

    Buy a book on figure drawing. It's the only art book you will ever need.

    Until you can draw an accurate portrait of someone, you don’t know how to draw.

    Stay away from the airbrush. You'll never master it, hardly anyone ever has.

    Visit every museum in your city. Often, until you have seen everything in it. Every kind of museum. Not only the art museums but, of course, those as well.

    Forget about contemporary art by living artists, at least for the next few years.

    Stay away from most art galleries. Go to art auctions. That's where the real action is.

    Learn to play chess.

    Take a business course.

    Talk to you mother or father at least once a week.

    Stop going to the movies until you have rented and seen every film on this list. http://www.time.com/time/2005/100mov...lete_list.html

    Do not watch television unless it’s the news or documentaries.

    Do not use an Ipod.

    No video games, either.

    Learn a foreign language.

    Learn to cook.

    Spend 8 hours in a hospital emergency room.

    Save up money so you can travel to a foreign country within the next five years.

    Do not litter.

    Avoid politically correct people.

    Vote in every election or never dare to utter a political opinion. You are not entitled to one.

    Buy a digital camera and take photos every day.
    If you see nothing interesting to photograph, you will never be a good artist. Keep only one photo of every ten you take. Delete the rest. It will force you to learn how to edit the garbage from your life, to make choices, to recognize what has real value and what is superficial.

    Visit an old age home.

    Listen to classical music and jazz. If you are unable to appreciate it at least as much as contemporary music, you lack the sensitivity to develop into an artist of any real depth.

    Go to the ballet. Classical or Modern, it doesn't matter. It will teach you to appreciate physical grace and the relationship between sound and movement.

    Wake up every morning no later than 8 AM, regardless of what time you went to sleep.

    Learn to play a musical instrument.

    Learn to swim.

    Keep your word.

    Never explain your art. People who ask you to do so are idiots.

    Never explain yourself. Better yet, never do anything that will, later, require you to explain yourself or to say you're sorry.

    Always use spell check.

    Stop aspiring and start doing.

    This will keep you very busy but it can't be helped.
    In my opinion, this is how you might, possibly, have a shot at becoming a good artist.

    Hope this helps,

    Les Barany




    .

    my conceptart sketchbook
    and some other pictures in "finally finished"
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  4. #2
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    No video games?... feel free to kiss my butt, buddy

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    Good advice.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vari View Post
    No video games?... feel free to kiss my butt, buddy
    Stopping with video games or anything addicting really does help a lot - and save you money. If I hadn't stopped I know I would have been way further back in my progress. And for me drawing is now way more fun then videogames, I tend to get bored of videogames after some time.

    "I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw Beksinski
    My Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!

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    'Stop making art that originates only from your own imagination'

    Huh?

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    Ultimatum: I think he means that even imaginative works need some reference or information from things that you've actually seen. Use the knowledge you have and fresh observations to fill in the gaps that an image from your mind will have, and it'll help make the piece more solid.

    "It's all about the triumph of intellect and romance, over brute force and cynicism." Craig Ferguson on Dr. Who
    sketchbook :: my dA gallery :: my art blog :: old sketchbook

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatum View Post
    'Stop making art that originates only from your own imagination'

    Huh?
    Stop making art that originates only from your own imagination.
    "To draw from" has two meanings. In addition to the sense it's usually used here, it also means to take or withdraw (draw from a well, for example).
    So, in order to draw from your head or draw from your imagination, first, you have to put a whole lot of stuff in there.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

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  14. #8
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    There is also this one:
    "Forget about contemporary art by living artists, at least for the next few years"

    Why?

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    This is a great recipe. Everyone will add or subtract their own spices but if you are not willing to give up some time succubi, it will take you that much longer to get to where you want to be. What Elwell says is so true about filling your head. Too often I hear the same artists names quoted here as influences. What happens is that if there works are the only ones looked at then imitation in some combination is the only possibility. The larger a vocabulary the more possibilities of unique stories and beautiful language. This goes along with every other thread I've read where people complain about teachers not letting them draw space marines, elves, or busty barbarian women. Try something new even if it's uncomfortable. Pushing past comfort zones can really encourage growth.

    Bill'sStudio

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    What I don't get is this one: "Do not use an Ipod."

    Uh...... what? Why the hell NOT? What's the difference between listening to music with an iPod or any other device? I mean, whatever I'm listening to, I'm using headphones hooked up to some device, don't see how one device is worse than another...

    Some of this is good advice, but some just makes me think "okay, time to put grandpa to bed!"

    And... I mean... "Spend 8 hours in a hospital emergency room." ...huh? All I ever got out of that was the knowledge that hospitals are disorganized and incompetent and that if you don't have a friend to come rescue you they might shove you into a corner and forget about you until you die (which actually did happen to someone last time I was in that damn hospital.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LORD M View Post
    Stopping with video games or anything addicting really does help a lot - and save you money. If I hadn't stopped I know I would have been way further back in my progress. And for me drawing is now way more fun then videogames, I tend to get bored of videogames after some time.
    I agree, if you play a lot you won't have time to draw. But, there's always "but" A lot of people here want to get exactly into the game industry, concept art, level design, character modeling and so on. Without playing games they just won't know what they are supposed to do. There's a reason why most game artists are geeks who spend their free time playing. You can't make good real time strategy game if you haven't played the best in the genre. The same way you can't write a book if the only book you've ever read was Twilight.

    So yeah, if you want to paint naked chicks in drapery, don't play, but if you want to be concept artist or any sort of game artist you must definitely play games.

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  21. #12
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    I really believe that this list is meant as a guideline. It was also given to someone, I believe, the author thought was young and starting out on life and art. Like I said above every list will have its little differences. But experience things outside your comfort zone is the main message. Of course playing video games is helpful for those going into the business. But when it becomes an excuse to play more and more then it is counterproductive. Maybe that's what the list is saying. I will of course continue buying books about art outside of just figure drawing. The great thing about this list is that it encompasses so many things outside of "art" which art can be so important to making art and being an artist. I will give this list to my students if only to make them think.

    Bill'sStudio

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    In short - You need to be educated, well-mannered, civilized, interested in high culture, respectable and hard working.

    Last edited by Farvus; May 12th, 2010 at 01:02 AM.
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    This man does not know how to give advice.

    There is a unifying point to everything he said (or some big idea) around which he could have structured everything.

    This all seems pointless and he comes off as a douchebag.

    Maybe he's a good artist though.

    P.S. : Read the newspaper (including the editorial section!!) Ha!

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    This man does not know how to give advice.
    Maybe this is the reason that a lot of artists who are successful are hesitant to take the time to give advice. No one is forcing you to follow his list but he took the time to help someone relying on his extensive background and knowledge. Making an unqualified statement like, "This man does not know how to give advice" is uncalled for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    What I don't get is this one: "Do not use an Ipod."

    Uh...... what? Why the hell NOT? What's the difference between listening to music with an iPod or any other device? I mean, whatever I'm listening to, I'm using headphones hooked up to some device, don't see how one device is worse than another...

    Some of this is good advice, but some just makes me think "okay, time to put grandpa to bed!"

    And... I mean... "Spend 8 hours in a hospital emergency room." ...huh? All I ever got out of that was the knowledge that hospitals are disorganized and incompetent and that if you don't have a friend to come rescue you they might shove you into a corner and forget about you until you die (which actually did happen to someone last time I was in that damn hospital.)
    Headphones cut you off from the outside world, which most young artists could stand to be more engaged with.
    Spending time in an emergency room forces you to confront your own mortality and fragility.
    I don't necessarily agree with those, or with everything else on the list, but I think I understand the reasoning behind them.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Seems like pretty solid advice all round.

    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    What I don't get is this one: "Do not use an Ipod."

    Uh...... what? Why the hell NOT? What's the difference between listening to music with an iPod or any other device? I mean, whatever I'm listening to, I'm using headphones hooked up to some device, don't see how one device is worse than another...

    Some of this is good advice, but some just makes me think "okay, time to put grandpa to bed!"

    And... I mean... "Spend 8 hours in a hospital emergency room." ...huh? All I ever got out of that was the knowledge that hospitals are disorganized and incompetent and that if you don't have a friend to come rescue you they might shove you into a corner and forget about you until you die (which actually did happen to someone last time I was in that damn hospital.)
    I don't think the idea is that iPods themselves are bad and that you can't use them. That point resonates with me because I used to be stuck to my iPod all the time in my first year of college. Once I stopped using it, I felt like I was paying attention to the world for the first time. At least for me, it was a lot harder to experience even simple things like a walk when I had someone screaming in my ear. His saying 'don't use an ipod' reads to me as 'don't ignore everything around you.'

    The hospital comment kind of ties into that. Sitting in an ER for 8 or 9 hours is a tiring, irritating and not at all fun experience, but it's an experience. Believe me, you'll never forget it .

    Edit: Elwell beat me

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  33. #18
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    I don't think the idea is that iPods themselves are bad and that you can't use them. That point resonates with me because I used to be stuck to my iPod all the time in my first year of college. Once I stopped using it, I felt like I was paying attention to the world for the first time. At least for me, it was a lot harder to experience even simple things like a walk when I had someone screaming in my ear. His saying 'don't use an ipod' reads to me as 'don't ignore everything around you.'
    Ah. Okay, yeah, I suppose it makes sense if he's talking about walking around with headphones on... I didn't think of that. I don't usually listen to music outside, but I use my iPod to listen to music in my apartment all the time. Gotta have music to work, man.

    (And you NEED headphones to listen to music in an apartment. Not using them would be horribly inconsiderate to roomies and neighbors.)

    The hospital comment kind of ties into that. Sitting in an ER for 8 or 9 hours is a tiring, irritating and not at all fun experience, but it's an experience. Believe me, you'll never forget it .
    Frankly, I'd love to forget it. Lying helpless on a gurney in some godforsaken alcove while being completely ignored for over 48 hours with no water or bedpan or painkillers or anything is not an experience I recommend.

    And if I'd been the patient they forgot about and killed by neglect, that would have been the end of my career right there. So I say thanks but no thanks. (And I suspect if my friend hadn't eventually hunted me down and harassed the staff, that could very well have been me.)

    Sorry to rant, I just hate that hospital. I think I mistrust all hospitals now. I say stay the hell out of them unless you've absolutely got no choice.

    Last edited by QueenGwenevere; May 11th, 2010 at 04:43 PM.
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  34. #19
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    I can agree with most of that.

    Stop aspiring and start doing.
    Best bit.

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    Thank you for posting this list, it really made me think. I might not do everything on it, but I am certainly pondering what he laid out. Very very, interesting. Really, thank you.

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    This is a good list. If something sounds off, all you gotta do is think about it.

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    AWESOME ADVICE!! thank you 5-14-1 for sharing this, pure gold.

    The Light and Dark Arts of Cristian Saksida
    Portfolio:http://www.chrissaksida.com
    Blog:http://cristiansaksidaarts.blogspot.com
    Twitter:http://twitter.com/crissaksida
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    Love all of it.

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    Weird how some one so close to Giger makes a list about being down to-earth but what the hay. Still a nice list.

    -Demo-
    -Sketch Book Updated Sporadically-
    My Blog
    Tumbler & Wookmark (finished pieces and Cool stuff I find)
    -Facebook(always on but never post)-

    If you see me on FB, or CA Talk to me, never to busy to talk and love to hear from you, chat me up about anything (Music, Games, art, ect)
    If anyone is interested in streams or hangouts let me know!
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    What I don't get is this one: "Do not use an Ipod."

    Uh...... what? Why the hell NOT? What's the difference between listening to music with an iPod or any other device? I mean, whatever I'm listening to, I'm using headphones hooked up to some device, don't see how one device is worse than another...

    Some of this is good advice, but some just makes me think "okay, time to put grandpa to bed!"

    And... I mean... "Spend 8 hours in a hospital emergency room." ...huh? All I ever got out of that was the knowledge that hospitals are disorganized and incompetent and that if you don't have a friend to come rescue you they might shove you into a corner and forget about you until you die (which actually did happen to someone last time I was in that damn hospital.)

    I think he actually means the same thing as Milt Kahl does here, from the Animators Survival Kit.


    Leslie Barany. Advices to Aspiring Artist.
    Leslie Barany. Advices to Aspiring Artist.
    Leslie Barany. Advices to Aspiring Artist.

    "I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw Beksinski
    My Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!

    My TUMBLR!
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    Some really cool advice, thanks alot for posting! Some of then are a bit funny though, but i can kind of see the point.

    I think it's better to listen to music than to listen to everything else that's going on around the house. I love to work in solitude but there is no such thing around here,

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    I think he actually means the same thing as Milt Kahl does here, from the Animators Survival Kit.
    Well then, pardon me while I respectfully disagree. I actually had one teacher who also insisted that listening to music while working was a bad thing, but I disagreed with most of what she said anyway (so did a lot of the other teachers, at that.)

    I think the effect of listening to music is an individual thing, really. Some people concentrate better with music, but some people get distracted. People who get distracted give the advice "don't listen to music", people who use music to help them concentrate say "what the hell are you talking about?" It's a little like arguing over whether to turn the air conditioner up or down in a room full of people with different body types.

    I think it depends on your environment, too. Here in the city, I need music to block out the faulty plumbing, the neighbor's video game, the radiators, the screaming brat across the hall, etc., or I'll go batshit crazy. But growing up in the woods, I could draw in total silence in the middle of the night, and that was quite nice. Also if you're working in a space where you're surrounded by people, sometimes you need to block them out to get anything done (when I had roommates, headphones were a godsend.)

    Headphones are a way of having a room of your own when you can't get one (come to think of it Virginia Woolfe had some good points about working environment and how it affects your work.) Note that after saying "unplug!" etc the cartoon says "Close the door"... sometimes you ain't got no door to close. Headphones are the door.

    Sorry, I really should stop quibbling over points in this list. I actually agree with most of them (heck, I've done most of them at one time or another, like it or not.) There's just something about the peremptory parental tone of the thing that makes me want to rebel against everything he says. If someone said this stuff to me as a teenager, I'd run out and deliberately do the exact opposite of everything on the list.

    Just don't get me started on the "classical music is good for you, like broccoli" rant...

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  46. #28
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    Stay away from the airbrush. You'll never master it, hardly anyone ever has.
    Being a representative of Giger's, He could definitely say that.
    Good airbrushing is hard.

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    Maybe this will finally end the nit-picking of the list thing. He didn't post this list here. he didn't mail it to everyone and say this is now the law. Someone asked and he kindly offered his opinion. No one in the world will completely agree with this list because everyone has a different life and different experiences. He offered some hard core advice from his extensive experience to a young artist starting out. I know it's fun to opine, pick, and criticize but I truly believe he is saying that we need to be artists and not just do art. Art is not a career it is a lifestyle, it should become our make-up; who we are. He's just giving suggestions to a newbie.

    Bill'sStudio

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  49. #30
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    Well, I find it hilarious and true at the same time. A lot of stuff sounds very random, bt each advice is not a bad one, in a broad way. SURE, you can find exceptions, but it's good advice to give to someone you don't know.
    (Except for the book on figure drawing, I find it's possible to learn anatomy from observation, but perspective?)

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