Being introverted
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    Being introverted

    Is being introverted a bad thing or a good thing when you want to be an artist?
    I hear that the introverted type; the quiet reserve type that prefers being alone are usually very imaginative and creative, but to make a living as an artist you need clients, which means you need to network. Wouldn't that be a problem if you are introverted?

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    I think you're looking too deeply into it, almost finding excuses if it's not too harsh to say. Being introverted doesn't matter. Sure, clients might get along better with outwardly focussed people, but clients pay you for good artwork. As long as you supply that then that's what matters.

    Saying that, it doesn't hurt to ask them how their day is going and make small-talk every now and then. But don't worry yourself over chit-chat and focus on the work itself.

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    You need to learn to get over it. If you sit quietly in the back room and just do your work without talking to people and making connections... you will be ignored and never get very far.

    This applies to every job and aspect of life.

    Being alone and being able to just focus on work and enjoy it is not a bad thing (even a good thing if you freelance and tend to be alone alot!). But you also need to be able to get out of the house, shake hands, speak to people and get things moving.

    Unless you are happy just sitting in the back room at the same place for 30 years making the same amount as the day you started ... some people do that... and they enjoy their quiet lives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlightedArt View Post
    I think you're looking too deeply into it, almost finding excuses if it's not too harsh to say. Being introverted doesn't matter. Sure, clients might get along better with outwardly focussed people, but clients pay you for good artwork. As long as you supply that then that's what matters.

    Saying that, it doesn't hurt to ask them how their day is going and make small-talk every now and then. But don't worry yourself over chit-chat and focus on the work itself.
    Thanks for the advice. Well yeah I have anxiety problems when trying to socialize with people sometimes so I let these things get into my head.

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    There are definitely people who succeed by means of being extroverted and rubbing elbows and what not, but I don't think social skills are a MUST for success. I think Perseverance is a more important quality.

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    @Ivory Oasis whoa, what do those people do for a living?

    @Glislebertus I hope so

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gislebertus View Post
    but I don't think social skills are a MUST for success.
    You couldn't be more incorrect. Having good social skills doesn't mean being a back slapping party animal, it means being able to carry on a comfortable, productive conversation, be it text, voice, or face to face. Not being able to do that is a serious impediment not only in almost any career, but in life in general.


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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteJ View Post
    @Ivory Oasis whoa, what do those people do for a living?
    Quiet librarian or teacher in a small town where no one really cares as long as they are a warm body to fill the spot ? Or a factory worker... where no one cares again, as long as they just put the cog in the machine X times a day.

    But concept artist / illustrator / production job is much different. These jobs people are hiring the PERSON and not just their ability to monkey out a product. People are hired to work in often small studios, where interpersonal skills are VERY important (do you really want to hire someone that brings the atmosphere down of the studio?? Or do you want to hire someone that is excited and inspires everyone with an infectious energy?)

    Things like knowing peoples names, being able to talk about your project, show that you WANT to be there... a strong careers takes more than just showing up. o.O

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    You definitely have to have certain social skills to be able to deal with clients and such, and you should try to create as many artist friends as possible for networking purposes. I don't think it really hurts to be introverted (I'm pretty introverted) but you have to be at least confident enough to put yourself out there.

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    being introverted is boring, too.

    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *


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    The answer to your question is - neither.

    Being introverted doesn't mean you don't or can't have good social skills. It just means that you are comfortable and perhaps prefer spending long periods of time alone. Introverts are more than capable of conducting meaningful and productive social interactions, althought they may tend to gravitate to one-on-one or small group contacts.

    Don't worry about it. Just make an effort to periodically seek out the company of others.

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    Also... Introversion is not the same thing as social anxiety. The latter is a problem you should deal with.

    I'm pretty bad at socializing/networking myself. But I figure I've just gotta stick to it and maybe I'll get around it...

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    It really depends on what kind of work you plan to do, if you want to work on a studio you need to get along with the rest of your colleagues, you need to be able to explain your ideas as well as understand theirs, it's a team effort.

    If you're freelancing on your own, who cares? As long as you put your work out there and if it's good it will get attention eventually, you could also get an agent to do the networking for you, problem solved.

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    I'm an introvert myself and was (and still am to an extent) painfully shy and quiet as a kid, unfortunately what people have said is true in the case of furthering your career, contacts are a big part of it and you wont get far by keeping to yourself all the time, i found it very hard and extremely embarrassing at first in ways only a introvert would understand but i got into the groove of things eventually. Posting on these forums over the years helped build a little confidence i have to say.

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    Being introverted doesn't mean you don't or can't have good social skills. It just means that you are comfortable and perhaps prefer spending long periods of time alone. Introverts are more than capable of conducting meaningful and productive social interactions, althought they may tend to gravitate to one-on-one or small group contacts.
    This.

    I am introvert and I used to be extremely shy as a kid. These two things are correlated but they are not the same thing. I see that with time my social skills get better but it's very slow progress beacause talking with people happens not very frequently.

    Also you couldn't be more wrong Interceptor. From introverts point of view it's not boring beacause he finds what's happening in his head as interesting as what's happening around. As for contacting with someone introverted. I got old friend who is also introvert and I love having conversations with him beacause he's got much wider and deeper observations about the world.

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    Isn't networking easy on the internet even for the reserved types? Create a blog, a homepage, fill the important online galleries with your best work, send your portfolio to companies and art directors with email. Post on forums, comment other people's work. There is no face to face interaction here, so it should be all good. Eventually your online presence is notified and people will become interested in you and your work. There will be a point where you are required to start doing some real time conversations. Even if it is only on the phone. That is the worst way though, there is no mercy at all. You can't be silent for ten seconds, everything has to be served with the utmost clarity of thought and speech.

    You might consider a career in fine art. Beksinski didn't even attend the openings of his exhibitions. His vision was very unique though, there was no need of convincing people to buy his paintings, they sold themselves.

    I'm not an outgoing person either and I often think if I can make it in the art world, but no harm trying.

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    You can be introverted and still have wonderful social skills. I fail to see the issue.

    If you want to live a quiet, introverted life studying and improving on your own, that's fine, go ahead. It's not going to harm anything. Just make sure when a potential client hits you up in an email you don't ignore every single one, and you don't respond with the various woes of your vampiric lifestyle because that's annoying as hell.

    Really I'd think being introverted could help you out quite a bit. People like not being bothered by other people. If you're not out there bothering the shit out of people that could be a good thing.

    Just make sure you handle people appropriately when you do encounter them, and there's nothing wrong with minding your own business.

    Also, to the OP: I notice you spend a great deal of time almost every day creating a thread with a question on your mind that's really being blown out of proportion. Please rest your head and start drawing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    You couldn't be more incorrect. Having good social skills doesn't mean being a back slapping party animal, it means being able to carry on a comfortable, productive conversation, be it text, voice, or face to face. Not being able to do that is a serious impediment not only in almost any career, but in life in general.
    This.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Listen View Post
    You can be introverted and still have wonderful social skills. I fail to see the issue.
    In post #6 the op made it clear that he does have problems with his social skills. It's an issue for him.

    Last edited by Taneli; September 5th, 2010 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Edit: Sorry, meant post #4
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    There's a reason people with Autism don't have jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taneli View Post
    In post #6 the op made it clear that he does have problems with his social skills. It's an issue for him.
    Yes. So he can't use being an introvert as a justification/excuse for not dealing with that. Social anxiety can lead to introversion, but they're not synonymous.


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    Introversion does NOT equal autism

    Because we live in an extroverted world, and the majority of the population is extroverted, folks who are introverted sometimes left feeling there is something wrong with them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Introversion is simply a preferred way of dealing with the world. It is not a pathology. Introversion has nothing to do with an absence of social skills. In fact, extroverts lack social skills in the same degree as introverts (or perhaps the lack of social skills is more obvious in extroverts )

    For every introvert who needs to come out of his/her shell there are two extroverts who need to STFU!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooly ESS View Post
    Introversion does NOT equal autism

    Because we live in an extroverted world, and the majority of the population is extroverted, folks who are introverted sometimes left feeling there is something wrong with them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Introversion is simply a preferred way of dealing with the world. It is not a pathology. Introversion has nothing to do with an absence of social skills. In fact, extroverts lack social skills in the same degree as introverts (or perhaps the lack of social skills is more obvious in extroverts )

    For every introvert who needs to come out of his/her shell there are two extroverts who need to STFU!
    Seconded, especially the last part.

    I wasn't very shy as a kid, but I'm much more reserved now as an adult and often require solitude. I have loved in a place where the second I conversed with someone, their eyes glazed over or they became somehow threatened by my intelligence. Not surprisingly, these people were extroverts who often talked too much about things they didn't know enough about. Strange how being smart and reserved is considered a bad condition. I was seen as no fun because I didn't drink much, didn't like country music, and seen as a weirdo for liking things from foreign places.
    For this reason alone, I will never again live in a small redneck town.

    I am reserved, yes, but I do enjoy chatting with people whether it be small talk or something more in depth. I used to be a little less at ease, but in the last few years I have gained more confidence. Freelancing has been tough because it isn't steady, but I've not had too difficult a time with clients.I've dealt with many through email, and I sure that would ease things for you. Or even work on cell phone communication if possible, if the client lives out of state. I have also worked with people in person, but most of the work I've done has been through online contacts, so you can do this even if you are shy. As long as you can write and send decent emails, you should be okay.

    Advertise though, with homemade stuff you can print. At Staples they have business cards you can buy to print out your own designs at home. You can also create flyers on regular print paper to advertise what you do.

    Good luck. ~Angela

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    Quote Originally Posted by zx52hg View Post
    There's a reason people with Autism don't have jobs.
    Tell that to anyone who works in IT.


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    Introversion has nothing to do with autism.

    (Personal aside - if I have to meet one more self centered whiny little shit self diagnosing themselves with Asperger's as an excuse to behave like a toddler and treat other people poorly, I'm going to feed them their own head.)


    Autism has shit to do with merely being odd - I'm a weirdo, and tend to prefer my alone time. That said, I deal professionally with my clients on a regular basis, have to actively and off the cuff problem solve every day at work.

    There's a far cry from being quiet, to being that dork who never bothers learning to deal with other humans, to being a person with a debilitating condition that short circuits the brain and can leave them in a catatonic state for hours at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Listen View Post
    Also, to the OP: I notice you spend a great deal of time almost every day creating a thread with a question on your mind that's really being blown out of proportion. Please rest your head and start drawing.
    lol

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    I can a lot of people are both introverted/extroverted depending on the situation. I'm mostly introverted but if I am with people I'm really comfortable being around with, i'm usually social.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    being introverted is boring, too.
    HEY!

    Unless you have very exciting internal life.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Wish I knew how to be more introverted. Need to get things done, but as soon as I hear my phone beep, I'm off to go waste time with people wasting time...

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    First of all, "introvert" and "shy/social anxiety" are not the same thing. Introverts are people that can stand to be away from people and entertain ourselves (or something like that). That alone is fine. Being able to get along without a crowd when the situation calls for and being observant are good qualities. People with social anxiety can't hold a conversation. It isn't cute or funny. It's a character defect that can be overcome with practice in talking to people. As an introvert and formally shy person, it is possible to be an introvert and be able to function around people.

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