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  1. #1
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    Pros, share your stories!

    So there's a lot of people around here who want to become professional artists and one thing you can't fail to learn around here (unless you're pathologically stupid/blind/unable to read) is that making art for a living is tough and keeps lots of hard times in store for you if you want to go that way.

    And all that's very very true, at least I wouldn't try to assume anything different, being the unknowing noob I am.

    But how about the pros in here share the stories of their favourite moments in their careers? When you actually got to work on a dream project or to collaborate with an artist you've been admiring for a long while or got your first really high-paying gig or thought for the first time "dang, I'm an artist!", stuff like that. Just something short and sweet to brighten up the weekend a bit?



    Check these out too:
    Rotor - GoGoJoJo

    "Limited drawing skills are OK if they are offset by a fearless commitment to putting images on paper."

    "I mean, What is a chair? It's an anti-gravity device." Glen Keane

    "The difficult part is continuously realizing when you've stopped enjoying the process, and re-aligning yourself. It's kind of like meditation/being an art ninja..." ceddo
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  2. #2
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    I am no pro, and just a kid starting out. But I use this opportunity for a little off topic talk to show something to those who need some motivation to not go out partying this weekend or wasting time in the internet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV63D...&feature=feedu

    Now go and create your own story. Then write it in here. =)

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  3. #3
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    Well, I always run from fame, because of something different drives me away from it.

    I was working in a small town as an artist. I would turn pictures into paintings, with a little extra feel from the painting.
    My first job was to paint a baby by itself without anyone holding it. I say it because boy or girl I could not tell. All I know is the picture is all they have left, because the baby was burned to death in a house fire.
    I spent 3 months painting the picture, and did all I could more than once. My father is an old art teacher that had very little to do with my skills. I never asked for his help. He looked at the picture and painting and to him it looked exactly the same. But to me something just wasn't there. I did feel the personality of the baby the way I did with the picture. I repainted it 3 times, and the last one was the closest. I sat looking at it for another week thinking of what could be wrong, and one day I noticed it needed just the smallest faint line, and after I just touched it with a brush the feeling of the babies personality came busting out. It turned a cold image into a warm feeling.
    The next day I gave the owners the old photo without any oil fingerprints or even a smudge on it. When they saw the painting their eye lit up, and so over whelmed they didn't think about paying me. Partly because they would pay me by carpeting my whole house.
    I left thinking I will go back tomorrow to pick out the carpet.
    The next day they were packed, and it seems like something was happening. I made it through the crowd and saw them in the back sitting down and talking to people passing by. From what I gather was something happened to them and it must have been something great.
    I asked them what was going on. They said , After I left them the painting their father came by and saw the painting. It was his photo I painted from and he missed seeing the baby for so long he wanted to take it home for one night. They let him, and they way they were telling the story was like and that's where it happened. I thought what happened, the painting is damaged? They said No. He put it on the dresser at the foot of his bed. That night he woke up with blue shimmering lights, so he looked to see what it was. When he looked at the foot of his bed he saw Jesus holding his arms out. The baby in the painting started to glow, and floated out of the painting into the arms of Jesus and the flew up.
    I started to worry because I wanted to get the babies spirit into the painting so you could feel that is the same one. I guess you can say I might have trapped the baby in the painting. I thought I was caught, and said maybe he made that story up. They said No, because until what ever he saw last night, he didn't believe in God, and today you can't tell him he don't exist.
    I knew I had to explain why I drawed the babies spirit in the painting so people can feel the babies spirit when they are close, and I was sorry.
    They told me it is a lot of God given skill that gave you that ability, and it is something great. It opened peoples eye around here and made people believe in God. Nothing bad can come from that.
    The stories were going around and I was getting more work, because everyone wanted a portrait from me. Most the people I painted were alive and their spirit was easy to get. But there was one that I wasn't sure would work out and I ran out of time working on it. It was my great Uncle and his wife wanted the painting and waited for 6 months for me to start because of the list I had before her. People said I should not charge relatives, and I said they need to pay me like anyone else. My aunt didn't mind at all, because it wasn't really the painting, but my abilities to bring her the spirit of her husband back to her. When he was alive he was the mayor, and was helping a car beside the road, and another drunk driver hit that car and force it into the guard rail, and pinched my uncle in the middle. That is how he died. I was very young and didn't go to funerals when it happened.
    So, I looked at the photo, and he was wearing a black and white pinstriped suit. The first thing I thought is that would be impossible to do. I decided to make it a dark blue suit. I did the whole painting and even if I could talk him into the painting I could feel him looking over my shoulder. When I was done the suit looked too plain so some how he made me think of a pin he would where, from a club he was in. I had some ideal what it looked like but not enough to make it clear, so I made it look blurry. I took the painting to her and she took it into her bedroom hugging it and I don't know if it was completely dry. I asked to get paid, and other women staying with her wrote a check and pushed me out the door.
    I had no idea if something could have been wrong with it, or if the replacement suit was at fault.
    Two days later they called me over for a meal, and after I was there they made a lot of noise so everyone knew I was there. The asked her to come and eat, and nothing happened, so they started without her. I asked was the painting okay, and was the suit fine? They said that was the problem, not because there was anything wrong with my artwork, it was the suit he was buried in, and even had the same pin on the lapel. It has been two days and she is still laying on the bed crying and never came out of there for anything. That was why they called me, because if she could hear my voice maybe she will come out and get something to eat. That was when she sat down to eat and I was pushed out the door again.
    I painted pictures for years, and I did upholstery for cars and boats on the side, and to take a break I would go play 8 ball on a pool table at a bar to relax. Always demanding I do my best to earn the money I made from oils built up a lot of pressure. Shooting pool was another challenge and I won a lot of game, some small bets, and soon there were people packing the bar to shoot pool. I didn't know it was because of me, until the owner told me I helped him buy more tables, so I can use a new table. One day they told me they had the money to pay for the state championship entry fee, and wanted me to play. I was stressed out with artwork and I could see this was just more stressful.
    They told me the guy that I keep playing drives 80 miles to play with me, because I am his only competition, and he is the state champ 7 years in a row. They saw I beat him most of the time and was sure I would win. I told them No and walked out. Part of the stresses from doing my best have made me stiff and up tight for years and I worked through it, but I was sure I would have snapped years ago. I needed a break, and I would pay anyone $700 to take my place for a day. That was how much I made so that was not a problem. It was 1986 and I have been doing this for three years, but felt like 7 years. I left town and 80 miles away I was a contractor in a big city. I used it to take a break from art for a while. The electricians guild and the masons wanted me to join their clubs, because I qualified as one of the best from work I did. So I fix up fifty houses on one deal and go back to artwork. A large fabric shop called Jo Anne Fabrics wanted to hire me to do some work. The state pool champ stopped visiting because I wasn't around. and my list of portraits grew so I raised the price to double, and nobody dropped of the list. I was paid half in advance and the last painting I was working on the guy kept showing up drunk wanting his paining. It was half finished and he would not let me finish so I gave it to him, and quit painting. There were people with painting practice art with a canvas full of different type eyes, and now they have it they will never sell it. Even Art galleries wanted to full their walls with my art from 80 miles away. I moved to another state to get away from all the people wanting my artwork.
    I because Building Maintenance at a truck stop for 9 years, and did everything from building additions to sewage treatment plant operator. They didn't pay much at all so I moved to another state and worked in a factory for a lot more money.
    While I was there I used my computer to draw, and started making skins for Real Jukebox when they only had 11 skins. One of my skins I called YinYang hit is big. It hit 300,000 in the first two days, and this was in 2000, so I didn't know who Jessica Simpson was. She was an unknown at the time and wanted to use my idea of opening the yinyang in her music video "Irresistible" I thought is was a Simpsons cartoon joke so I said okay. I saw the music video on AOL a week later and was sure I made a big mistake. TKD was making a CD Player and they needed skins for their burner program, made by Ahead, and the same programs used by iPower, CyberLink, and another one.
    I made stuff for them and helped others learn how to make the skins with my tutorial that I was paid to make. I did that for a while and work for a few other media companies under contract. The last one I worked for was Music Match, but the contract was a sham they tried to pay me $200 for 6 months of work, and all my artwork for the next ten years. I was mad, but played with them until they ran out of time on the contract, and they wanted to keep the contract by sending me a check by registered mail to make sure I got it. I refused the letter and told them to send it back.
    Then I sold my skins for music match to their customers for $5 a download. I made $800 in the first year and that was after it was split so the website could get half and paypal taking their share. People hated paying for skins, but what I had they say was worth it. The hate people had to pay the artist is what broke music match. They could not create what the customers wanted, and I did for money. Newer version came out to help and I made new skins for them that same day the new version was released. Some of my customers were the artist working in the skins department at music match, so they knew all of my tricks, but none of my ideas. When Music Match heard Yahoo wanted to buy them out they sold it quick while there was still something left, and thankful they didn't go down with the ship, but have some money at the end.

    I was marked as an artist that can break companies, and I should never get hold of their skin programs. They don't care that I can not only break companies, but I can make them as well if they work with me and not against me. Music Match was a victim of their own doing, and I wasn't just protecting me but any artist. We are not tools to use but people trying to make a living. They get way too much for free and they need to wake up, because the art that makes them popular without paying for it can be used to shut them down. There are a lot of artist at fault, but they don't know if they don't give their work away, the companies will pay them for it. I am one of the last ones that knows the whole program to skin Real One skins, the people that do it know started when Real was rejecting all skins but nine. I quit because they paid other artist to work for them an never offered anything to me. I did make a brief tutorial to teach everyone just starting, but I didn't teach them more than the basics.

    I was angry at a record company in England that told me my art is crap, but it was my programing skills they wanted, because I was the only one left. They did want what I made and that was the end of that. It was better artwork than what they wanted me to use.

    Now I make websites and php themes. I run my own website and run the themes I am building so people can see the progress if they want. That way they can tell me what they like to change, and be a part of the creation.

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  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AckermannPhilip View Post
    I am no pro, and just a kid starting out. But I use this opportunity for a little off topic talk to show something to those who need some motivation to not go out partying this weekend or wasting time in the internet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV63D...&feature=feedu

    Now go and create your own story. Then write it in here. =)
    Thats was damn good... its probably targeted to fitness, but it certainly applies to whatever you want to achieve.. thanks for that man.

    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

    -Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

    My SKETCHbook
    http://jeeso.deviantart.com/
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  6. #6
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    i dont have much time so i'll tell the fast version:
    my mother was a junkie and i grew up in a biker gang. from a very early age i was surrounded by violence, drugs, booze, etc.
    when i was 15 i was living with my grandmother(on my fathers side) while my mother was getting herself cleaned up. i ended up in juvenile hall for 6 counts of assault and possession of an illegal weapon in school.
    when i got out i went to live with my psychotic dogmatic fundamentalist christian grandparents on my mothers side.... with a 300lb good ol boy of an abusive grandfather. i was basically used as a slave on their farm and beaten on a regular basis. that fucker leveled a 357 magnum across the back of his truck into my face.
    i've been homeless, stabbed, shot, fought for money, sold drugs, sold guns...
    but i never quit chasing my dream.

    currently i'm living in LA.
    for over 10 years now i've been working in the industry doing design, animation, illustration, photography, etc. for the past 4 years i've been freelance with the potential of making about 150k a year but i choose to take a month or 2 off each year to draw, paint, travel, visit my girlfriends fam in NY (because my family is pretty much fucked in the head and not worth visiting)
    this is the happiest i've ever been in my entire life. but i MADE it happen, with lots of effort. i busted my ass to get to where i am today. when i was homeless, i had 2 jobs and was putting myself through school.
    if you believe the experts, i should have ended up a junkie. i should be in jail right now or dead.

    if you put your mind to it you really can do anything.
    life is about making yourself, not finding yourself. get out there and make shit happen.

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDirtSyndicate View Post
    i dont have much time so i'll tell the fast version:
    my mother was a junkie and i grew up in a biker gang. from a very early age i was surrounded by violence, drugs, booze, etc.
    when i was 15 i was living with my grandmother(on my fathers side) while my mother was getting herself cleaned up. i ended up in juvenile hall for 6 counts of assault and possession of an illegal weapon in school.
    when i got out i went to live with my psychotic dogmatic fundamentalist christian grandparents on my mothers side.... with a 300lb good ol boy of an abusive grandfather. i was basically used as a slave on their farm and beaten on a regular basis. that fucker leveled a 357 magnum across the back of his truck into my face.
    i've been homeless, stabbed, shot, fought for money, sold drugs, sold guns...
    but i never quit chasing my dream.

    currently i'm living in LA.
    for over 10 years now i've been working in the industry doing design, animation, illustration, photography, etc. for the past 4 years i've been freelance with the potential of making about 150k a year but i choose to take a month or 2 off each year to draw, paint, travel, visit my girlfriends fam in NY (because my family is pretty much fucked in the head and not worth visiting)
    this is the happiest i've ever been in my entire life. but i MADE it happen, with lots of effort. i busted my ass to get to where i am today. when i was homeless, i had 2 jobs and was putting myself through school.
    if you believe the experts, i should have ended up a junkie. i should be in jail right now or dead.

    if you put your mind to it you really can do anything.
    life is about making yourself, not finding yourself. get out there and make shit happen.
    What he said. Thanks that story makes me want to change my life around, and it makes me feel like I can start now.

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