And, how old are you?
And, how old are you?
Let's just say I better start learning Maya fast lol
I have a reason for asking your age. My response to you is predicated on you answering the questions I ask.
If you don't want any good advice, then don't tell me what your age is. It's a hobby for you? Fine. Then you shouldn't be posting in a forum, soliciting for critiques when this is just a hobby. It's a waste of time.
One last time... how old are you? Teens? Late 20's? 30's? I have a reason for asking. Least you can do is give an answer.
Very sorry about that magnut, ... over 40! Any hope? If not, I'll still keep drawing until my hands fall off. I'm addicted to drawing!
Someone reply, I'm over 40, don't have much time left
There's always hope! But it sure is a lot more difficult at the level you're working at, and certainly being over 40.
This is NOT a discouragement! If you wish to do any kind of design on a professional level, you're simply going to have to understand from where you are now (at your current skill level), to where you need to be (on a professional level), is going to take you a number of years of dedicated, very hard work.
First you need to understand what is considered as 'professional'. The best ability you can have is to understand what is the professional standard, and what you're not currently doing to achieve that level. The more you're able to do this, the more you're able to identify what you're not doing correctly, which will lead you to being able to improve the things you are doing!
As to wishing to be a toy designer, let's get specific as to what you need to do in order to present yourself in a professional manner. I'm going to go through a list of stuff that will probably overwhelm you. If so, ask me about anything specific, and I'll address it.
Turnarounds - You need to know how to properly do orthographic turnarounds. Front, back, side, side, sometimes above & below. Also 3/4 front & back view, all from your brain, through your pencil. No jumping to doing 3D modeling. You must show clients how you understand size & proportion from every angle, with great precision. Your designs (not you) will travel across the world from you to the 3D modeler or sculptor. Your work must be good enough to 'speak for itself', as it were.
Design & Manufacturing - You need to know specifically how toys are made and designed. You must learn how to show your work to be clean precise. You have to learn how to do all sorts of different styles, in addition to all sorts of different kinds of things, such as organic, mechanical, sexy, brutal, etc.
Toy turnarounds are animation turnarounds! There is tremendous crossover work that you can do. With the right skills, you can go in many various directions in a creative industry.
Here are but a few examples of professional-level turnaround designs:
These above examples should show you how the stuff you currently do isn't as sleek, as precise, as detailed as professional designs must be.
How does your work compare to what I posted above? Can you be as flexible with your style? Can you be as clear and precise? If not, then it's up to you to discover and identify why not. That's your job.
Being over 40 is a bitch, if you're just getting started in earnest to become a professional. At the level you're at (even with the really good skills you have), it could take as much as 5 years or so for you to get to a level where people would want to hire you, all the while holding down your full-time job, and spending time with your family. You would need to totally reorganize the way you work, to get yourself up to professional-level snuff in order to make clients want to hire you.
This would require you to totally dedicate your life to learning all about how toys & animation is made, how they relate to each other. All the while, you're going to have to keep your regular job that pays your bills. You're going to have to also draw draw DRAW constantly! Not just robots, but people. Buildings. Perspective. Vehicles of all kinds. Trees & other organic things. Animals.
You never know what your next assignment is going to be, so you never know what you'll be required to design.
So here's the very important question: are you up for this kind of commitment this time in your life? Are you able to take that leap of faith that allows you to spend the next 3-8 years (or more?) getting your work up to professional quality, and even then with no guarantee that you'll even get work, just like any other freelancer?
Now, if all this is too overwhelming, too much for you to commit to... then I need you to understand this very important thing: NO HARM, NO FOUL! It's okay NOT to be a professional. It's OKAY to have this incredibly fun hobby, which it's clear that you love doing! IT'S OKAY.
Lot to think about. I hope whichever direction you decide to go, that it's what will make you happy.
WOW Thank you again magnut, another great post, also great advice for many artists ... I better get to work!
Just had to do one more sketchy robot using the scribble/refine method ... I tried one with tons of weapons and armor (sold separately) I also tried a turnaround of the final step (next post) Hope I'm on the right track...could a talented sculptor work with these?
Turnaround for the above robot:
I like how you're understanding the importance of the turnarounds. As you're doing what you're doing, you might want to throw in some designs that go way beyond your 'blocky' style. Something with a little pizzazz? Some great smooth symmetry? Robotic figures and machinery that looks more organic, more feminine, more sleek, more... human? This is why I suggested you draw way more organic things, so you can apply them to subjects like your robots.
You need to have a good understanding of how a body bends, and its symmetry. I have a drawing exercise that I believe will both torture your very soul, drive you completely and terribly insane, all the while making your drawing skills A LOT BETTER.
I would want you take a sketchbook with you wherever you go, and sketch everything you can. I want you to sketch people, animals, locations, cars, trees, parks, restaurants, bathrooms, buildings, cities, streets, EVERYTHING YOU CAN.
I want you to do ALL of your sketches ONLY IN INK. NO PENCILS.
Why do I want you to do this? Because by drawing in INK ONLY, it will force you to get things right the first time! It will show you all of your glorious mistakes, which you need to learn from.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ABILITY YOU HAVE is for you to be able to IDENTIFY WHAT YOU ARE DOING WRONG. The more you are able to figure out THAT what you're doing is wrong, and then WHY what you are doing is wrong (as compared to a working, professional standard), then you will have the ability to also FIGURE OUT HOW TO CORRECT YOUR PROBLEMS.
Doing this will be more difficult than you think. I want you to be very detailed with your drawings, meaning I wish for you to be ACCURATE in the details you are drawing. This will force you to pay attention to what you are doing. It will force you to be DELIBERATE with each line you choose, instead of always being hesitant with how you apply your linework. Right now, each pencil line you do is very unsure, showing that you do not know what you are actually drawing. You must be deliberate in the way you draw your lines, as each line is supposed to represent something specific.
After a number of months doing this - 3 months? 6 months? more? - you will see a marked improvement in your work. You will also be able to apply these new organic disciplines to your robotics. Looking at shows and toys like Transformers and Transformers Prime should show you just HOW IMPORTANT all this truly is!
IN ADDITION to the ink sketching, start practicing drawing more and more PERSPECTIVE!
I am attaching a QUICKIE PERSPECTIVE TUTORIAL to help guide you. I hope it helps:
ONE - Sketch what you see in your mind's eye, keeping in mind where the vanishing points are in your head, and not so much on the paper. This is where my suggestion of sketching in ink works for you, as it gives you more confidence to be able to do 'eyeball' things on the spot. This is a good way to show your unique point of view.
TWO - Once you've done this, then take the two most extreme perspective angles (on each side of the drawing), and THEN find the vanishing points, and draw them out. When you do this, you'll find that you've done an almost 'organic' interpretation of a room (or city, or whatever), that when you now apply the perspective lines from the vanishing points, you'll only be tightening up your initial (and much more interesting looking) composition. If your initial sketch composition was mostly accurate, then this will correct the small percentage that's not.
THREE - Then hit it with a kneaded eraser, knocking down the lines you initially placed, which will THEN allow you to go to finish. THEN you end up with a very interesting drawing, which actually will look like something you came up with, instead of just a technically correct interpretation.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO BE MESSY WITH YOUR INITIAL COMPOSITIONS AND DRAWINGS! This is where you work out the kinks and bad ideas. This is also a great place to experiment with pushing your perspective lens to its limits! In other words, this is where you can really open up with your work, be it organic or technical!
Here are 2 examples of what I did to demonstrate what I'm talking about:
The second is something I did as a preliminary to a piece I'm working up. It's totally done freehand, where I'm 'eyeballing' everything in the way I suggested above, including tightening up the perspective after my initial compositional pass. I already see lots of things that don't work in the drawing, and some other things I'm going to change. That's okay, because it's like I'm 'building an onion'. This is just one of the many layers I'm applying, until I get to the final look.
I hope this helps. I look forward to seeing more of your work.
Thanks again Magnut, for another very useful post!