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Warning: rant ahead. OK...here's the deal...art is not, I repeat, not rocket science. There are a lot of great books out there and the principles of representational picture making are well understood. Buy a few good books, take a class or two, work your ass off for a few years and you'll find most of the answers yourself.
The reason for the thread title is because everyone seems to think the internet is where all answers lie - "I'll just ask" or download or whatever...instead of investing their own money, time or effort in learning. Just amazes me the amount of naive, trivial questions flooding these forums, which is why I haven't been on here much lately. I understand not knowing and having questions...but, finding your own answers is far more valuable than having others tell you. If you're really stuck on something or searching for some particular resource that may be valid.
In the end the reason for the rant/frustration is all the trivial noise seriously degrades and diminishes the value of a site like CA. Anyway, no offense is meant to anyone, I would just like to see CA remain a valuable resource.
What questions should be asked?
There are always more beginners than the accomplished. Things that are difficult to understand to beginners often times seem painfully obvious to someone who has been through it already many times.
Still, you are right.
One can't help but think that it is those occasional bits of "exactly what you needed to hear" which are what make the rest seem so pointless and frustrating.
I hope you will help me figure out to paint hair well if you know how. There is a thread in the critiques section. Still working at it. Sometimes a well placed outside perspective can make a huge difference.
LOL Craig - I didn't realize CA was "seasonal"!
Yeah Robotus - I certainly don't mean questions shouldn't be asked - but as the level of noise (questions that really shouldn't be asked) rises, the valuable information, questions and resources are drowned out until the once beneficial resource becomes useless.
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
It is only through the tests of reality that we learn to respect our time, and sharpen our wills and discipline our minds. Only engineering in real life teaches us the difference between trivia and salience. It is already hard enough, being of the world, to figure out what is true, or relevant, through experience. A generation suckled on endless ungrounded stimulation, flat images of life, unwarranted praise, and relentless pandering, lives in a wilderness of mirrors by comparison. Don't expect much from kids raised as isotope arms.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
LOL Elwell...you're right, I should have known better!
Kev...that was deep, poetic and true. Just seems strange to me that there is so much "tell me what to do"..."tell me how to do it"..."tell me why to do it"...does not bode well for our future.
Or there's a lot of young people seeking community who don't live around a lot of other artists and aspiring artists, not living in relatively blessed places, like, oh, New York or California, and maybe we should remember even if we've heard one such person's trivial question a few thousand times before, probably this hypothetical person is asking it for the first time, be patient, and explain how the thinking which produced the question needs some examining.
Of course, no mercy for serial trivial question-askers!
"Three's so little room for error."--Elwell
Rocket Science? No, most people wouldn't compare it to that so much as magic. they think that skills in art are really the result of a quick trick, some unknown little part of Art that they've to discover, and are searching through the net for that answer.
But yes, Art is the result of cold, hard practice, and most of the time that is exactly what you say.
However, you can't really begrudge people their questions. They'll find it out in their own time, with enough tenacity.
I will say, though, that I wouldn't figure the internet to be seasonal. It's topped with naivety any time of the year.
It's just human nature to take the path of least resistance.
The interwebs makes this very easy to do re questions. The opposite side of the coin is that there are pages and pages of near useless, redundant watered down garbage on line.
Oh, but the serendipity!
Were it not for one of many Wikipedia detours, I would've never known that Hitler hated the art of the woman who was responsible for Hummel Figurines. . .
@Cory - I agree that associating with fellow artists is great and perhaps that is what people are looking for here. The problem is...(best illustrated by analogy perhaps)...it would be like someone jumping into the middle of a conversation on art/illustration/whatever and asking a ridiculously naive question...far better to maybe sit back and listen to teh conversation.
Also a good point about that being the individual's first time to ask that question or encounter that problem in their own art. But...that is why the FAQ was invented...most of those questions are answered if one cares to bother to look before asking. The questions that aren't already answered can likely only be discovered for one's self.
@Lintire - really good point about people thinking they just need to learn the right tricks - use the right pencil, etc. I've noticed that younger generations today seem to require teh exact fitting reference to what they have in mind, they seem to no longer be able to extrapolate or use something as actual "reference"...again, strange, strange world.
Thanks for your thoughts everyone! And I guess it is a little of my own naivete to not realize there is a pattern here!
No offense, but do I detect just a smidgeon of "Darn kids these days, they have it so easy, why, when I was a kid, we had it tough and it was good for us" around here...
Kids in every generation have always had their fair share of naivete, wanting a quick fix, thinking they know better, or acting just plain dumb. It goes with the territory, no matter what the current culture or technology is.
I hope no one is blaming the internet for the faults of the current generation, though. If you ask me, blaming everything on the internet is a bit facile... The internet's a tool, it can be used well or badly. On the one hand, I see it offering an overwhelming amount of easily accessed "information", much of which is rubbish, so it's easy to wander into misconceptions. On the other hand... well, it also offers a wealth of useful information which might not otherwise be available to people living in the middle of nowhere. (I'd have killed to have the internet when I was growing up.) And okay, we have a generation half-living in a virtual space, which may or may not be a good thing; but on the other hand we have a generation that's grown up communicating with other people of all backgrounds around the world - I'm banking on that as a good thing. And we have a generation that seems to take easily to entrepreneurship - I've seen kids launching their own products or businesses before they're even old enough to be legally employed. I'm hoping that's another good thing.
As with every generation, this one has its pros and cons... Give it thirty years or so and we'll see how it all pans out.
In the meantime, I usually try to remember what I was like as an impossible teenager when dealing with them. It helps.
Last edited by QueenGwenevere; December 21st, 2010 at 02:39 AM.
Of course, part of the problem around here is that we are on the web... so any genuinely lazy people surfing around looking for a one-stop-shop of Quick-n-Easy Magic Art Tricks will find us sooner or later and come around with stupid questions.
Can't really do much about that.
The truly lazy ones seem to give up sooner or later anyway. The merely naive ones sometimes stick around and eventually wise up.
I miss you, Jeff, and wonder occasionally why you seems to have been missing these few months. LOL
I fully agree with this! Sometimes, answers are already there and it just isn't efficient to re-invent the wheel. Getting answers from people who've been there and done that helps you learn a lot faster and save you from many pitfalls along the way.Or there's a lot of young people seeking community who don't live around a lot of other artists and aspiring artists, not living in relatively blessed places, like, oh, New York or California, and maybe we should remember even if we've heard one such person's trivial question a few thousand times before, probably this hypothetical person is asking it for the first time, be patient, and explain how the thinking which produced the question needs some examining.
This is especially true for people who're learning art alone and the feeling of being lost is overwhelming, and CA is like their only lifeline. Sometimes it takes 6 months to find the answer to a particular question / problem, whereas asking on CA can get you the answer within 2 days, and you can save the time and move on to learn new things.
No offense; I'm speaking from personal encounters. LOL
Last edited by Xeon_OND; December 21st, 2010 at 10:50 AM.
Somebody stop JeffX99 before he clicks on that "Sargent Master Studies References" link--
Don't want him to blow an artery out of his nose!
I think Jeff has a point. I mean, I've been thinking it myself recently. There used to be more "art discussion" going on in this art discussion forum, and now i'ts constantly things like "where do I start". I understand just how intimidating it is to realize you want to be an artist and stare at it and think holy crap where do I start. But no one is going to spoon feed every person who starts those threads.
First: Search the forums and see if there is already a thread about your topic and read it.
Second: Research outside of the site as well
Third: If it is still a question you need to ask and it has not already been covered, ask it. But don't jump immediately to asking a question because you can't be bothered looking it up yourself.
This is not to say everyone does it, but I've been noticing it a lot myself. Like I asked questions that were silly when I started and I was frustrated but I try my best to help by answering people now to sort of give back to the community. But I also get frustrated when I go in to an art discussion subforum and just see thread after thread of "tell me how to start", not in depth discussions about art, art history, materials and their merits, etc.
I realize I could start those threads myself but that's not my point! It's the other stuff.
just as an aside: I do love that CA.org fosters new artists, myself included and helps us all learn. I just don't like that a lot of people come and ask questions without trying to find their own answers.
So I guess I'm agreeing with Jeff.
Specific questions which benefit from other artists' experience and opinions often spawn a thread that can become a useful resource, even if the information appears elsewhere. A couple of people in this thread are always posting questions but they are usually well considered and in the end benefit more than just the poster. Which of course is a large part of what the site is all about.
On the flipside, I do get what Jeff is talking about. The internet gives lazy, stupid people a voice and for those of us who matured without it, that takes some getting used to.
I grew up with no artists around me, hell, people around me barely read a BOOK for Gods' sake no less did anything creative! but some of the questions asked around here are reeeeaaaallly annoying when the 'R' word never crosses their minds. RESEARCH!
And living in places like NY and LA don't mean a damn thing when you're 17 living in the damn sticks/hood. You want to learn so bad, you make due.
I never met any other art oriented people until I was in college. I was on my own in my art formative years, but I never asked some of the questions you see here.
I researched the answer, watched documentaries about illustrators, read books, but never did I come begging someone else for answers to some of the most seriously mundane & pedestrian questions.
My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"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."-John Huston, Director
Omen Spirits--Good Lord, what's got you so hot?
"I...I...I..." So absolutely no one helped you through your "art formative period" and you skated through without asking a single question someone somewhere might construe as naive? Or I should say clawed and fought your way through by your own boot-straps, because by God no one's going to accuse you of having had an easy time of carving your art career out of the wilderness of one of the world's great culture centers.
Elwell is quoted thusly:
Aware of how far you've come
Proud of where you are
Excited about where you're going"
I think you believe it, and so do I, for the most part. I would however ammend it thusly:
"Be GRATEFUL FOR where you are"
This feeling of gratitude keeps you in mind of what you owe to those who went before you, a debt payable by helping those who are coming after you, which includes tolerating the trivial, shallow question borne of inexperienced youth.
People who pose questions here ARE doing RESEARCH. That they may be doing it badly just shows they need the guidance of older, wiser heads like yours.
"Three's so little room for error."--Elwell
Anybody who has ever achieved something with their art has built it on the backs of the artists before them.
I like to think of it as job security for the rest of us.
But seriously... I like sharing what I've discovered with other people but sometimes you just get someone posting and you think to yourself "if you drew even half as much as you talked you'd be great at this by now."
I work in tech support and I've really developed a hate for repeat offenders.
I get where Jeff is coming from. Having people tell me all the time what to do does not help, I have to find out and work it out in my head by myself. Taking the easy answer doesn't help if there's no consideration as to how it works for you. Everyone learns differently and those who look for easy answers aren't going to get far if they don't put the graft in with thought.
^ Personally speaking I'm the same. To clarify my post above, the benefit I'm talking about isn't mine. To the best of my knowledge I've asked two art-related questions in my entire life, both to do with s/w, but saying that I wouldn't advise anyone else to go down that route because if they're not doing it that way already then it probably wouldn't work for them. I think threads even dealing with basic info can be of benefit to people who don't tend to learn by just throwing themselves in there and doing it, or doing more wide-ranging research. Even if they should.
"Three's so little room for error."--Elwell
You know, if a particular question is actually a blight on your existence, you can always just ignore it.
"Three's so little room for error."--Elwell