Concept art. Where do I begin?
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Thread: Concept art. Where do I begin?

  1. #1
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    Concept art. Where do I begin?

    Me: I'm 16 and up until now I haven't practiced drawing with any kind of structure, it's always been sort of impulsive and random (I'm bad at managing time anyway). I'm also a devoted musician and in the combination of music and paper I usually have the most fun creatively.

    Q's!

    -If you could go back in time to when you were 16, what advice would you give yourself about pursuing whatever art career you chose?

    -In music you learn tenfold with a teacher, do you think they're as important in the visual arts, or is it more important to observe and learn on your own?

    -Where do I find a teacher?

    -How do you stay motivated in your art? Often I make mistakes and choose to hop into another project; I've started more things than I've completed.

    -Can I balance music and a career in concept art? I don't like to think about having to choose between art and music.

    -How do you study someone's work, besides redrawing what do you do?

    -Finally, where do you start? I've seen lists of references on this forum but large lists are daunting. What kind of guide would you suggest starting with?

    There's a lot of questions there, but if you could only answere one I'd still be grateful!

    Thanks for your time

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard D View Post
    -If you could go back in time to when you were 16, what advice would you give yourself about pursuing whatever art career you chose?
    I would've hit the sketchbook up that much more. Like you I didn't have the discipline to do it back then, but now that I'm working in the biz, I see the importance of a sketchbook. It need not be a finished art book and shouldn't be treated as such. It should be a place to explore, push your bounds, and just to toss ideas down on paper. So on top of working on a sketchbook more, (I think like you've already realized this) I'd hone in on the time management and discipline.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard D View Post
    -In music you learn tenfold with a teacher, do you think they're as important in the visual arts, or is it more important to observe and learn on your own?
    It's always important to learn. HOW you learn is very personal. Some have to have their hands held, some can learn from observation, some people read, some do trial by error. Learning can and will never stop so just be open to different things. Soak it all in and don't be judgmental about it. What you learn could come back and help you years down the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard D View Post
    -Where do I find a teacher?
    Don't you have a high school art program? If not, check out the local art schools to see if they have a summer program for high school kids.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard D View Post
    -How do you stay motivated in your art? Often I make mistakes and choose to hop into another project; I've started more things than I've completed.
    As far as motivation goes I always ask my students "how badly do you want it?" Look at all of those amazing artists out there- do you want to be in their ranks or not? There's proven ways to becoming one of them but it takes hard work and effort. Any less and you might as well become a glorified hobbyist. Also realize making mistakes is a part of the process. You're still taking in a ton of information; everything from composition to figure issues to just playing with new mediums. Simply put- you are going to screw up royally on projects but learn from them. Find out what and where you screwed up. Improve upon that and it's perfectly fine to mess up at this stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard D View Post
    -Can I balance music and a career in concept art? I don't like to think about having to choose between art and music.
    Which one is going to be your career? Which one is going to be secondary. Choose one, do it phenomenally well first and then dabble in the other if you have the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard D View Post
    -How do you study someone's work, besides redrawing what do you do?
    Understand why you like their work. Just saying "it looks cool" doesn't cut it. Break it down as to why you like it. Is it the color, subject matter, the composition, the design work, the mood, etc..? And even with the art that's out there that you don't like- tell me why you don't like it. Apply those like and dislikes to what you do and make it yours then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard D View Post
    -Finally, where do you start? I've seen lists of references on this forum but large lists are daunting. What kind of guide would you suggest starting with?
    Start drawing what it is you like. Set out a career path. Find out what it is industry professional did to get to where they got to. See if you can apply some of those principals to what it is you want. Don't re-invent the wheel; learn from the people that have gone before you. And probably most importantly... go at it with some sense of passion. The majority of us out here who do it for a living (and do pretty good at it) are driven, passionate and really enjoy what we do for a living. In so many ways, we should be proof that it can be done. By example we should be somewhat inspirational and realistically we're also your future competition too.

    So get to it. Draw with some sense of passion. Make glorious pictures and be prepared to talk about them intelligently. And since you're also going into an applied field- understand the business end of things too.

    Good luck.

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