So many child prodigies, do I even have a chance?

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  1. #1
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    Unhappy So many child prodigies, do I even have a chance?

    Hello CA,

    have to make up a thread of worries and fears again. xD

    When browsing DeviantART and CA, i almost feel like the majority of the full developed, professionals are underaged. Many of them are even Pro at the age of 16, if not they are when they're 18 at least. And the "slowest" are like 19 or 20.
    I have started to work hard on my skills when being at the end of 19, almost 20. I know I could shoot myself for that since I've drawn cince I'm 12, but NOT SERIOUSLY enough.
    However, since all of those "child prodigies" it feels like i never can establish as an illustrator. i lack the money to get myself an education as an illustrator so I have to teach myself all the time.
    I am currently 21 years and 4 months old, my drawings are still like noob garbage and I feel like I'm going to be forced living as a burger-flipping someone.
    Currently i live on some small work so I have enough time for practicing drawing and I'm lucky enough my parents also help me out. But not until forever...
    Still, these underaged pro's seem to make a living on their stuff. (they live my dream- that's a ton of motivation to me but also a ton of hopelessness).

    That said, I want to know if any of you might be familiar with that and if there's even a chance for such old people like me who are still not pro at all...

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  4. #2
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    lol Deviantart...

    Anyway, stop comparing yourself to others. Skilled children have been around
    in every creative industry since such industries came about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lux_Aeterna View Post
    That said, I want to know if any of you might be familiar with that and if there's even a chance for such old people like me who are still not pro at all...
    21 years old? You are still a kid.

    Focus on your studies, push yourself hard, submit your work for crits. You've been on CA long enough to know the methodology for improvement
    and believe me it works.

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    Have fun drawing! But really, do you want to be a pro because you want to be great at drawing, or do you want to be great at drawing so you can afford something to eat and shelter? If it's the latter, there are much better options than art, and if it's the former then you'll be able to improve a ton anyways. You don't have to draw for a living to improve, nobody was born a professional.

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    In your case I don't think you should judge the person on their age. See everyone as an "artist" regardless.

    I believe that if you work really hard then you'll surely achieve what others achieve. Just never give up on art if you are sure that it's what you really like. I have seen many great artists who never had a degree or education in art before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lux_Aeterna View Post
    the majority of the full developed, professionals are underaged
    Yeah because underaged kids usually get lots of jobs in the industry. I don't know, maybe I just don't browse around DA as much as I used to, but I don't really recall little kids who actually did art for living outside some DA commissions or con stuff.

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    I'm 21 myself, about to turn 22 and I know very well why you're feeling like this, but now let's look a bit back into the past and look at a certain artist, for example a very good one in my opinion is: Syd Mead. The old fellow is 78 by now, assuming Wikipedia is right, he first started working in the professional industry at age 26, now don't get all messed up in your mind thinking that your goal is to be a pro within 5 years from now, like some stated above me, enjoy drawing.

    Sure, I want to be in the games industry myself amongst the big names making concept drawings on a daily basis, sure there are kids who are better in drawing and are 5 years younger, sure there's probably a kid right now who's 16 y/o and works for some major company, so what? If you don't want to be a burgerflipper, then stop complaining on this forum and instead spend your time drawing, you want to see improvements? Then work for it, it's what I'm doing right now (besides this forum post, haha.)

    Find professionals who can criticize your art, draw everyday, I don't care if you draw penises all day, just DRAW, and if you don't have any inspiration, then let that be for now and draw from life, you'll improve your own technique and you can find inspiration later on. What's the use on having inspiration if you can't draw in the first place? That's what I have learned these past days. Draw when you're traveling, draw when you're waiting, draw when you're taking a dump, draw if you can't fall asleep, even if it's just 5 mere minutes, DRAW. You want to be pro? Then you better start working on becoming one.

    Oh and a few good hints that I've told myself, which I would love to share with you:
    - Screw DeviantArt, you're only wasting time on it browsing images that teach you nothing.
    - Want inspiration? Go outside, you life in Germany and you guys have more nature in your country then I have in The Netherlands, I wish I could swap.
    - Read tutorials related to your interests.
    - When you see somebody better than you, go and have a chat with them and ask about how they produce their work, most artists are willing to help each other out even if it's just a little bit, you might learn something from them.
    - I don't care how full your bag will be with whatever junk you bring along, ALWAYS and I repeat ALWAYS bring your sketchbook along!
    - and last but not least, don't fear your future, work in the present, because that's what makes tomorrow.

    I'm out, time to draw some damn cubes! Oh and if anybody doesn't agree on whatever I've posted, suit yourself. Currently, this is what works for me.

    -Redystra out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lux_Aeterna View Post
    When browsing DeviantART and CA, i almost feel like the majority of the full developed, professionals are underaged. Many of them are even Pro at the age of 16, if not they are when they're 18 at least. And the "slowest" are like 19 or 20.
    Uhmmm...






    No.



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    Yeah, I don't think I've ever seen anyone a pro at that age...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sonea View Post
    Yeah, I don't think I've ever seen anyone a pro at that age...
    I think this is just a point of view (not in general, but how the threadstarter meant it)
    I was just looking at this one yesterday: http://sakimichan.deviantart.com/
    20 years old, pictures date back to when she was 16. This is "pro" to me, while she is not a professional.

    And what is this obsession with MindCandyMans sketchbook all the time? ALL THE TIME!
    Yes, when I see page 1 and then his latest pieces, it is stunning indeed- I don't want to downplay his commitment and achievements at all. It definitely shows it is not impossible to develop from not being able to draw a straight line to this.
    But I can't find any motivation from the fact that he apparently had the time to study up to 10hrs a day(see his posts pages 20-24). That is not a choice but a luxury in my view. Plus that he is actually part of a studio, has a teacher, ... Can people please offer additional information for thick people like me, where exactly his Sketchbook is motivating?

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    With good time management, it is possible to study 10 hours a day.

    Last edited by Flashback; April 18th, 2012 at 11:25 AM.
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    There are a lot of teenage artists making money online from commissions, which I am sure is what the OP means. That's certainly not the same thing as making a living from art and probably not what anyone here means when they talk about being "pro", but nevertheless being paid for art means you are a professional artist.

    Now, OP, I have been in exactly your position and I can assure you that it is nothing new, because when I was 21 and having exactly this issue it was ten years ago. Though I do think this phenomenon of great young talent has always existed in every creative industry, I also think the internet has accelerated this trend because it makes such amazing learning materials available to everyone that anyone with determination and drive can become a good artist without having to go to an expensive school to do it. I have to tell you that, as an older artist, I feel that it is precisely your generation which benefits from this and that you are very lucky to have access to such things at such a young age! I understand that 21 might feel like a pivotal age because it is considered the age of graduation and legal maturity, but what that actually means is that you are at the beginning. You are lucky to know where you want to go professionally at 21. I didn't have the courage or confidence in my art even to go to art college until I was 25, and I graduated from my art-related degree at 28. My work was good and I felt confident when I graduated - until I discovered that art skills were only half of the skillset a professional artist needs. I spent the last three years working in sales while I worked on my art part time. As it happens, I handed in my notice two weeks ago because I finally reached the point where I feel I can make a living with my art. I'm 31.

    Horrifying as this might sound to the idealistic young person dreaming of doing what they love for a living from the get-go, this path is not in the least unusual. I suggest you go and read biographies of some of the great artists working in the game and film industries today (or whatever industry fits you). You will find that few to none of them jumped out of college and landed anywhere remotely near where they currently are. Most of them worked "flipping burgers" or in other industries while they built their craft to the kind of level which got them to where they are. There are certainly a few "godlike talent" exceptions and there always will be, but they are exceptions and not the rule. I would even go so far as to say that if you are going to work in an industry like this you need some life experience first or you are just going to fail at it. Unless you have the kind of personality which makes you a natural salesperson/businessperson, when you come out of college you aren't going to have the professional skills you need to succeed yet. I know I didn't, though the job I have had for the last three years taught them to me. Being an artist is tough because it takes years to learn great skill, and life doesn't wait for you while you learn it. If you waver when life prevents obstacles to you (such as the need to earn a living when your art isn't good enough for people to pay you for it yet) it will just weed you out as one of those who didn't have what it took to make it. Many of those young artists you think are so talented are going to be weeded out by the same process. In the world of school and college it might seem like skill and talent are the only measuring factors for success, but believe me, that is far from true.

    If you are bothered by this issue, you're not operating in the right mindset to be successful as an artist. So put your focus somewhere it's going to benefit you - that is, on your own progress. Comparing yourself to others is useless because there is no such thing as a fair comparison - you don't know what has brought them to where they are nor what life will throw at them in the future. You don't know what life will bring to you either.

    Chill out, keep drawing, and stop putting a time limit on success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birkeley View Post
    but nevertheless being paid for art means you are a professional artist.
    I don't think so. While some people may say that their profession is art, unless they are actually employed full time
    or have been employed as an artist by a company, you cannot actually call yourself a professional. That's the way I see it.
    I don't know if that's necessarily right though. If that is actually what you meant, then I agree with you.

    I'm an amateur freelancer. I've worked for several South African publishing houses, but I would never describe myself as a professional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLouis View Post
    I think this is just a point of view (not in general, but how the threadstarter meant it)
    I was just looking at this one yesterday: http://sakimichan.deviantart.com/
    20 years old, pictures date back to when she was 16. This is "pro" to me, while she is not a professional.

    And what is this obsession with MindCandyMans sketchbook all the time? ALL THE TIME!
    Yes, when I see page 1 and then his latest pieces, it is stunning indeed- I don't want to downplay his commitment and achievements at all. It definitely shows it is not impossible to develop from not being able to draw a straight line to this.
    But I can't find any motivation from the fact that he apparently had the time to study up to 10hrs a day(see his posts pages 20-24). That is not a choice but a luxury in my view. Plus that he is actually part of a studio, has a teacher, ... Can people please offer additional information for thick people like me, where exactly his Sketchbook is motivating?
    He started when he was 23 years old and I don't see how drawing 10 hours a day makes it LESS motivating. Take away the time most people spend watching television, playing video games, hanging out with friends and all the other excuses and I bet you very few won't have PLENTY of time to draw. It is a choice when you give up other things for it, everyone has 24 hours in a day, but most of us don't spend them as wisely as we could.

    The majority of people waste a lot of time working more than they really have to (I don't know where you got the impression that he was in some kind of luxurious position to work more than the average person without sacrificing something else?) and on other hobbies, or just waste time. If you're not motivated by someone who went from never having drawn to a pro level without being a one-in-a-million talent simply because he went to an atelier and actually dedicated a lot of time to it every day (over a period of many years), then I'd love to hear what kind of people do motivate you.

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    I don't think comparing yourself to others on a personal level is a good thing. I still do it now and then, and nothing good ever comes from it. It makes me miserable and depressed. I've come to the conclusion that you should compare the work, not the person. Compare your work to see why their pictures succeed where yours fail, but don't start comparing their age, or their accomplishments, their education or how prestigious they are, because it will only leave you feeling inferior. Just try and work as hard as you can. Even if you don't 'make it', at least you won't spend the rest of your life wondering in regret what might have happened if only you had dared to try.

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    If you think there are fifteen year old art prodigies on DA you are doomed to mediocrity anyway, so yeah, its too late for you.

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    You're 21 this is just the beginning. You have just stopped being a child and now you are an adult. Most professional artists are older. Most of them spend years trying to get a foothold in the industry. It is easy to look at the successes and ignore the trials. Also an example: A 15yr old getting five bucks to draw a pretty picture for a 13yr old, does NOT equate professional.

    You can only get as good as you are willing to work for it. Some people work harder than others and they get better. Don't feel bad about it -- in fact it should make you happy. They show you that it Can be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLouis View Post
    I think this is just a point of view (not in general, but how the threadstarter meant it)
    I was just looking at this one yesterday: http://sakimichan.deviantart.com/
    20 years old, pictures date back to when she was 16. This is "pro" to me, while she is not a professional.
    I don't want to be overly cruel about that artist, and I know considering my own artwork that I really don't have a leg to stand on, but her gallery really doesn't look pro at all. Have you noticed how about 70% of her gallery is just headshots and picture of very stylised characters with minimal background? It seems like that's all she's capable of. Lots of them also seem to share very similar facial characteristics. I don't think that gallery is a very good example, and I wouldn't hire her for work if I wanted an illustrator for my product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd332 View Post
    its too late for you.
    Did you just made an account to say that?

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    Minor point, but always take the ages on DeviantArt with a grain of salt...

    First, the ages apparently don't increment automatically, so they're often stuck on whatever age the person entered when they first joined... So if it lists "14" as their age, but they've been on DA for 6 years, they might actually be 20. (I've run across cases like this...)

    Second, not everyone gives their true age anyway...

    Third, a lot of the kids people consider "pro" on DA are, uh, not even close to pro in the real world. (And doing ten-dollar commissions on DA is not "pro"...)

    Not that it matters anyway, obsessing over other artists' ages isn't going to help you...

    Quote Originally Posted by Star Eater View Post
    I don't think so. While some people may say that their profession is art, unless they are actually employed full time
    or have been employed as an artist by a company, you cannot actually call yourself a professional. That's the way I see it.
    I don't know if that's necessarily right though. If that is actually what you meant, then I agree with you.

    I'm an amateur freelancer. I've worked for several South African publishing houses, but I would never describe myself as a professional.
    Wait, run that by me again? Does that mean most freelancers aren't professional? I don't see that, sorry... Most illustrators are freelancers doing jobs for various types of publishers, including a lot of the most successful illustrators. And fine artists who make a living solely from their art are self-employed and don't work for companies either. I wouldn't call these artists amateurs just because they don't work for a company. If someone is making a living primarily with their art, I'd call them professionals.

    For tax purposes, you're a professional artist if you make a significant portion of your income from art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flashback View Post
    Did you just made an account to say that?
    I think that's a spambot of sorts. It just copied part of Dpaint's comment.

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    I'm sorry people, but seriously? I personally don't really get why people are complaining about time, let me break it down to you and tell you my average day.

    I'm on a Game Artist course at this moment where things like Concept Art comes 0% into play, currently I'm at my internship where I model 3D objects all the time, instead of drawing which I love the most, how do I spend my time when it comes to drawing?

    Wake up 7:00 AM
    Arrive 9:00 AM @ Internship
    Stay @ Internship till 5:00 PM
    Back home @ 6:15 PM
    In just these hours I have probably drawn for around 2-3 hours already, by simply working my ass of at my internship, completing the assignments that I get ASAP and then spend time on drawing, and I spent time during breaks and traveling on drawing.

    When I get home, I eat my dinner, by then it's 7:00-7:30PM and the rest of the day I spent drawing or painting and following tutorials to learn new things, probably browsing CA (like now) from time to time, I go to bed at 23:00. In total I reckon to have drawn around 6 hours atleast. Sure it's not 10 hours a day, but don't put up any stupid excuses towards yourself that you can't find the time. MAKE TIME.

    Now that I think about it, I even forgot to update my damn Sketchbook with recent drawings that weren't related to my horrible anatomy studies.

    Stop looking at other kids, sure you can waste time on them, but that's another hour lost towards becoming what you want to be. They sure are hell don't spend time on you.

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    Unfortunately, the game industries are only hiring artists who are 20 years old and 6 months or younger. If you aren't 20 1/2 or younger, you should look into either garbage disposal or being a mortician (or some combination of the two.)

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Redystra View Post
    I'm sorry people, but seriously? I personally don't really get why people are complaining about time, let me break it down to you and tell you my average day.

    I'm on a Game Artist course at this moment where things like Concept Art comes 0% into play, currently I'm at my internship where I model 3D objects all the time, instead of drawing which I love the most, how do I spend my time when it comes to drawing?

    Wake up 7:00 AM
    Arrive 9:00 AM @ Internship
    Stay @ Internship till 5:00 PM
    Back home @ 6:15 PM
    In just these hours I have probably drawn for around 2-3 hours already, by simply working my ass of at my internship, completing the assignments that I get ASAP and then spend time on drawing, and I spent time during breaks and traveling on drawing.

    When I get home, I eat my dinner, by then it's 7:00-7:30PM and the rest of the day I spent drawing or painting and following tutorials to learn new things, probably browsing CA (like now) from time to time, I go to bed at 23:00. In total I reckon to have drawn around 6 hours atleast. Sure it's not 10 hours a day, but don't put up any stupid excuses towards yourself that you can't find the time. MAKE TIME.

    Now that I think about it, I even forgot to update my damn Sketchbook with recent drawings that weren't related to my horrible anatomy studies.

    Stop looking at other kids, sure you can waste time on them, but that's another hour lost towards becoming what you want to be. They sure are hell don't spend time on you.
    To be fair, it's easy to make judgements about other people's time and their use of it when you're a student. "Hey, boss, I need to do some sketching for a few minutes," isn't going to cut it when there are thousands of other people waiting in line for the opportunity to get your job because the economy has tanked.

    Some people, given their circumstances, will have more time than others. The trick is to make efficient use of the time that you do have and to cut out the activities which are useless in the grand scheme of things. Little blocks of time might seem inconsequential, but once you start stacking them up over a period of time, they start to mean something. And sure, people with more time will get there faster than you, but you have to keep on going.

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  41. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Unfortunately, the game industries are only hiring artists who are 20 years old and 6 months or younger. If you aren't 20 1/2 or younger, you should look into either garbage disposal or being a mortician (or some combination of the two.)
    It's like being a Playbunny. They throw you out the minute you lose that Fresh Young Bunny Image.

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  42. #25
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    Honestly, I'm in the same boat as you. I started drawing seriously about 4-5 years ago.. when I made my CA sketchbook. I'm not employed yet, and I'll admit it worries me, but the improvement is definitely there. A good work ethic is key. Sticking to your dreams also helps ;3

    Warning! Drinking lots of beer can impair your senses. Please do so before you view my sketchbook!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...17#post1821417
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  43. #26
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    Professional by what standards? Are these kids working for companies or are they consistently getting paid $10 to draw someone else's character? From my observation, it's mostly the latter.

    You sound like deviantART is full of artistic virtuosos.

    Your life doesn't end when you are 20 something. You have a foundation, you have some materials to work with, and I assume you have time; all you need to do is stop worrying about things that couldn't be any less important.

    Last edited by JJacks; April 18th, 2012 at 12:33 PM.
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  45. #27
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    Yeah, I get what you are saying Gwen. Rather I meant
    that just because someone buys your sketch or you even
    do a couple of commissions, that does not make you a
    professional artist.

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    I think that's a spambot of sorts. It just copied part of Dpaint's comment.
    Yeah, it was a spambot, made me laugh actually.
    Very opinionated.

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  46. #28
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    Well, I'm 40 and started to draw a couple of month ago, what should I say ? ^^ Am I stupid ? I don't think so (or maybe yes, but not for this subject ). The problem is the goal. My goal is not to be a professional artist (I used to be as a musician in the past), it's to draw, better and better each day. And if one day I can earn money from my paintings, why not ? If I can earn enough, I can even stop my actual job. But well, I don't really care for the moment, the problem here and now is to learn how to draw.

    As soon as you mastered the fondamentals (ok, it's already a difficiult goal), you can't compare yourself with other in the artistic world, it's just impossible. Is this guy better than you ? No, he's just different, you have your own sensibility, your own way of expression, your own way to see things and translate them in your art, and nobody can do what you do, and you will never be able to do what other artists do, because everyone is unique. Be confident. If a professional likes your art, he won't try to find someone else with quite similar art (which is impossible) but younger for obscure raison... Who care if you're 20 or 60 ?

    Time is easy to find for everyone. I have a full time job, but I have no TV, I don't play anymore games, I try to not spend too much time on internet for nothing. And so, I have really a lot of time (ok, I'm single, and don't have childs, so it's easier for me, but I'm sure people with family can also find a lot of more time thant they said they have). Spend as much as time you can find to draw.

    So, do you want to make money or do you want to be a good artist ? If you want to make money, then just do something else, if you want to be a good artist, then draw, think to draw, take time to draw and that's all, eventually you'll make money with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lux_Aeterna View Post
    Hello CA,

    have to make up a thread of worries and fears again. xD

    That said, I want to know if any of you might be familiar with that and if there's even a chance for such old people like me who are still not pro at all...
    Oh noes, you are 20 and your life is over. There is no possible way you can out-think or out-market some dumbass 16-year-olds. They are just too smart.

    You should go outside, lie down on the grass and be depressed rather than, say, do something useful like figure out where your artistic strengths lie and find markets where you can compete more effectively.

    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

    "There are two kinds of students: the self-taught and the hopeless."
    - Dr. Piotr Rudnicki
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  49. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lux_Aeterna View Post
    I am currently 21 years and 4 months old, my drawings are still like noob garbage
    Well, I have been at it for longer than you have been alive, and I have yet to reach even a fraction of the skill I see in your sketchbook. Perhaps I should just give up. I mean, what's the point of practicing the one thing I really enjoy if I'm never going to be rich and famous, especially with young prodigies like you running the show?

    ... and I feel like I'm going to be forced living as a burger-flipping someone.
    Assume that you are going to flip burgers for the rest of your life. What are you going to be doing with your free time? I know what I would be doing. Especially if I had your talent.

    ____________________________________________
    My sketchbook thread:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...ight=blogmatix
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