Stop Whining, Start Working
I wrote this for my blog, but I thought this was worth cross posting:
I hear it all the time:
Am I talented enough? How much should I draw? Am I studying right? Whatís the best way to use XYZ book? Art school or no art school? Do I need a degree? How will I know when Iím professional? What should I draw? Should I do more studies or finished work? What are the best materials? What kind of paint should I use? What pencil should I use? Are pencils or pens better to draw with? Should I draw big or small? Is it bad to draw from photos? Should I paint digitally or traditionally? Am I too old to start learning? Is Photoshop or Painter better? Whatís the best way to hold a pencil? Where should I find inspiration? What do I do if Iím not inspired? How do I get through ďartistís blockĒ? How long will it take to be a professional? Why does it feel like Iím not improving? Should I get a Moleskine? Is art dead? What is art? How do I do backgrounds? What are the best tutorials? What resolution should I work at? How do I come up with good ideas? What do I do if I stop enjoying art?
Well, I have the answer to all of your questions: it doesnít matter. Really. It doesnít. These questions are excuses, plain and simple. They are used by people who arenít drawing or painting that want to get wrapped up in petty minutiae at the expense of their own work.
The fact is that if you want to make art, then you need to make art. I could answer every single question on this list and it wouldnít make you the slightest bit better at drawing.
Now, I should qualify these statements before people start chucking rocks: these are mostly valid questions, with equally valid answers. Theyíre worth discussing at times, and are things that youíll eventually figure out. But by and large, youíll figure them all out for yourself by working. Notice a pattern here? Donít be afraid to ask questions and research things, but be sure youíre not doing it at the expense of actually learning things.
So shut up, stop whining, and get to work.
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The Following 193 Users Say Thank You to Noah Bradley For This Useful Post:
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Mind Of Madness,
N D Hill,
All I have to say is brilliant my good man.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Zephyrion For This Useful Post:
Go Noah! All growed up and bad ass... well said. I dunno can CA stand another artist who thinks you get somehwere by actually working at it?
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to dpaint For This Useful Post:
Things like this should be stickied!
The Following User Says Thank You to ArcZephyer For This Useful Post:
As Picasso said, inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
Originally Posted by Noah Bradley
And as someone else suggested, your post should be turned into a sticky, where I can see it every day. Or perhaps I should print it out and stick it to my forehead. I'm a notorious procrastinator and whiner.
But I am now learning from personal experience that indeed, none of those questions matter.
Here's a rhetorical question: how did those Renaissance artists get so good? After all, they had no web, no tablets, no access to huge amounts of other artists' work, no big choice of drawing materials, no huge library of possible anatomy or perspective books. They drew with bits of silver wire on small scraps of paper. Or with homemade charcoal or chalk, and using pieces of old bread as erasers. But they could draw circles around most of us.
Michelangelo gave the answer in a note he wrote to a student: "Draw Antonio, draw, and don't waste time." ;-)
I'm having too much fun enthusing about your post... ;-)
So shut up, stop whining, and get to work.
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to blogmatix For This Useful Post:
Haha all in good fun, good post Noah
Originally Posted by Noah Bradley
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to AndrewGaia For This Useful Post:
I have made your post into my starting page.
Also, "Why does it feel like I’m not improving?" - I feel guilty lol.
The Following User Says Thank You to LORD M For This Useful Post:
If someone types any of these questions, and hits "post", there could be a filter that redirects them to a list of threads with the same key words in the title of their post. Voiding their post.
Originally Posted by Noah Bradley
Kind of like the "Similar Threads" box at the bottom, except make it pop up before they post the thread.
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Ryan K For This Useful Post:
Ryan K - you know, that's actually sounds doable. Maybe Jason Manley should read this
I was pondering over "questions", and you've given such an excellent answer, Noah. I just notice that more people ask these questions but are afraid to look for an answer too--by putting their pencil down and trying, or by learning from others' examples and working with what they find out.
It can be unnerving to try out your curiosity as you ask things, but it beats not doing it for X number of years and feeling bad later.
The Following User Says Thank You to Jazz For This Useful Post:
Oh man, can we sticky this?? Soooo many recent posts make me want to scream "JUST DRAW ALREADY!!" (Is it a summer thing? Or what?)
The Following User Says Thank You to QueenGwenevere For This Useful Post:
You are upset that people ask questions like these: "Should I do more studies or finished work? What are the best materials? What kind of paint should I use? What pencil should I use? Are pencils or pens better to draw with? Should I draw big or small? Is it bad to draw from photos? Should I paint digitally or traditionally? Am I too old to start learning? "
Really?REALLY? You honestly can't understand why a new artist would want these questions answered? If you want to get mad at them for not using the search function, thats fine. But don't be mad at them for asking questions.
I mean...holy shit, do you not expect someone to ask questions knowing that professionals might answer those questions? I don't give a damn if it upsets you that so many people ask those questions. That's no excuse to be rude in how you address those questions. I just don't understand wtf is up with all the anger and pent up emotions here?
If you don't want to answer the questions, then don't. Stop bitching about people whining and go DRAW(works both ways). This thread could have easily been 100% professional by answering those questions with the response OP provided. But instead, the artists who might have those questions probably feels stupid now for asking excuses(didn't know that was possible) and should promptly shut up and draw.
Ya, sticky this, I'm sure it will make newcomers feel very welcome.
I can understand anger towards the lack of effort to use the search function. But to think people aren't/shouldn't/wouldn't ask these questions is silly. There's kids here from all age groups. And a lot of them don't know anything about drawing.
As OP pointed out, a lot of those questions are fairly valid. So I don't know why they are even included. If this thread is stickied, it will definitely send the wrong message.
/end rock chucking
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Stuart DeViva For This Useful Post:
You really missed the point of this thread if you feel this way. I suggest you reread the first post and especially look at this
Originally Posted by UmpaArt
"Now, I should qualify these statements before people start chucking rocks: these are mostly valid questions, with equally valid answers. They’re worth discussing at times, and are things that you’ll eventually figure out. But by and large, you’ll figure them all out for yourself by working. Notice a pattern here? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and research things, but be sure you’re not doing it at the expense of actually learning things." -Noah Bradley
Stop chucking those rocks.
Last edited by ArcZephyer; June 23rd, 2011 at 07:53 PM.
Could just remove all the other replies, lock the post and leave Noah's as the only post just to quit the bickering and snide remarks.
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Arshes Nei For This Useful Post:
I often wonder if I would ever had started drawing in the first place had I known how hard it would be to get even average.
I always remind myself of the pre-raphealite chick who was adviced not to take up anatomy study because she was too old(I think about 20 or so..) Result was she made her artworks in a sort of medieval primitive way.
Nothing wrong with that if that is what one wants. Also Van Gogh had his troubles - his dream was to become a classical trained painter, an academician just like Bougereau, but considering his old age(I think around 30) and empty pockets all he managed to study was a bit of the Bargue drawing course and pick up a few things here and there.
So if the aim is the skills of the renaissance or later ages then a lot of understanding of how much it requires is definitely needed.
One more thing that should be said about the past - Even though they didn't have internet back then, they did have a lot of very skilled assistants. We can't really be sure how much work the masterpainter did himself. Sometimes all he did was the composition, maybe a few faces, and then giving the final approval with his signature in the end.
I'm not sure how true this was for the 19th century, but in earlier ages it definitely was the norm for many masters.
Anyways, if we are talking classical drawing/painting/sculpting then the actual study is extremely important, and questions are too.
Renaissance artists builded their understanding from copying master drawings from an early age(8-12), then old greek sculptures, from paintings etc. Some of them did dissections of dead bodies, everything they could to improve their understanding of anatomy, not just human anatomy, animal anatomy too. Even painters studied clay sculpting in the old workshops - also the french painters of the 19th century usually took sculpting classes at the academy to improve their understanding of human form.
Also perspective was studied much much more than we could imagine. Leonardo da Vinci writes in his notes that it is the single most important thing in visual art, that the painter should master every single aspect of it. Following that advice requires a good dose of mathematics.
Personally I find that if we do not structure our study in some way then we might end up going in circles. This could in turn lead to terrible frustration such as "why aint I getting good?"
I think a sort of balance is needed.
Whenever I get too tired to concentrate on something I just start doing something I know I can do without much concentration, such as copying something. That really works well for me and I can work for much longer, and it improves my mood, as well as enable me to listen to music.
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