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  1. #1
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    Time devoted to art

    Just throwing out an idea to discuss. There was an article (more like a blog post) a while ago that said that

    "If you do not like art enough to do it every day whether you have a class or not, you need to find a new career"

    Something my intermediate drawing professor reiterated on an almost daily basis.

    If you feel that you cannot devote any time to drawing on a given day, because you dont feel like it (as opposed to simply not having time, which is another matter altogether) then you are looking into the wrong career, and you should probably acknowledge this sooner rather than later.

    Art is an act of passion. If you cannot bring passion and dedication to your creation, you are not suited for it. No matter how wonderful your technical skills are, your artwork will lack the living quality of a less skilled but more dedicated individual.

    I am not saying that if you are not dedicated to art, you arent allowed to draw anymore. Far from it. I am saying you should rethink being an artist as a career, and investigate another line of employment.
    While they do have a point, I still find it hard to believe that it's a set condition that unless you draw every day, you don't show the passion for art to pursue it at a professional level. As professionals (as a good number of you are), how true is this statement?

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    I actually had a similar question and I went to my art professor, for my drawing one class, she had a successful career through her art doing misc freelance work and numerous contracted deals and she said she didnt draw everyday, she said she actually only drew about 4 days a week and cranked out about 9 or 10 finished illustrations a month (traditional artist - so 18x24 paper or larger) and a few smaller scale illustrations.


    [note - this maybe an art teacher trying to impress her students though so I dont know how true this is..]

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    There's a saying among musicians:

    "If you miss a day of practice, you will be able to tell.

    If you miss two days of practice, your fellow musicians will be able to tell.

    If you miss three days of practice, perfect strangers will be able to tell."



    Having said that, no, it's not a set condition that you have to draw daily. Everyone is different and progresses at their own pace.

    But if you're actively looking for reasons to draw less, well, let's just say that the 100 aspiring artists in line beside you are glad that you're their competition.

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  5. #4
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    You can work part time as a professional artist. I know plenty of people who don't make their living as an artist and their work is professional by any measure of quality. But to live as an artist and derive your sole income from your art without a trust fund or spousal support takes the kind of dedication you've mentioned IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Lambrakis View Post
    There's a saying among musicians:

    "If you miss a day of practice, you will be able to tell.

    If you miss two days of practice, your fellow musicians will be able to tell.

    If you miss three days of practice, perfect strangers will be able to tell."
    That is awesome Greg.

    I work on some aspect of my art every day, a little more than full time probably. It isn't always drawing of course...it is often other aspects of the "art life" that are required. I don't "draw" for a living...I'm an artist and a whole lot of other stuff has to be happening to be a professional and productive.

    That said, there are times when you might be modeling or animating, or painting, or drawing for 12-18 hours straight. 70+ hour weeks in a production environment are not rare but rather quite common.

    So yeah, art's a bitch...you better be in love with her.

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    I firmly believe that true passion is developed over time. It doesn't just fall on you.

    When I was in school there is no way I drew every day unless I had to. Once I graduated there is no way I drew every day, but I drew more. As time went on and I got better success fueled my desire and passion grew.

    Now I draw every day, unless I'm on a fishing trip, and my favorite place on earth is my studio. Weird? Maybe, but now I know what passion is.

    So to answer your question a lot of people who think they have a passion don't really know what passion is, and there is no rule that says that those who truly have a passion exhibit it by drawing every day. Everyone is different and that is good. But real passion is pretty consuming and not every pro is passionate, like Armand says.

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    nice posts.
    i think if you can hook being addicted to something, together with a fun task you can also do for money, like drawing or music or whatever, so hitch those two together, you might never get rich and own several antique cannons, but i think you feel at least a little in control of your life, and enjoy large long chunks of each day. in peace. maybe having a light rum and coke. with no fucker to bother you.
    plus cos youre addicted, so youd do it anyway,and its a lot easier a way of earning than dealing drugs or loading plastic beads into a injection moulding machine for 14 hours a day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    I firmly believe that true passion is developed over time. It doesn't just fall on you.

    When I was in school there is no way I drew every day unless I had to. Once I graduated there is no way I drew every day, but I drew more. As time went on and I got better success fueled my desire and passion grew.

    Now I draw every day, unless I'm on a fishing trip, and my favorite place on earth is my studio. Weird? Maybe, but now I know what passion is.

    So to answer your question a lot of people who think they have a passion don't really know what passion is, and there is no rule that says that those who truly have a passion exhibit it by drawing every day. Everyone is different and that is good. But real passion is pretty consuming and not every pro is passionate, like Armand says.
    I like that!

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    Thanks for the responses. I don't exactly skimp on not drawing. For me, I draw every day anyways because it's a part of my life and if I don't, I don't really feel well when I go to bed. But I'm not sure if that defines "passion", like bcarman said. Also, everyone has an art block every once in a while, especially artists who still have a long way to go. I suppose in that sense not drawing could be a reluctance to work on the technical aspect of art, which is understandable, though probably not helpful to that artist.

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    Just wrote a blog post earlier today on the importance of loving the process. Fairly applicable.

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    I'm not a pro and spend my day's maintaining the IT Infrastructure of a Law Firm. So I guess this shouldn't bother me but I do love art, I can only budget the time to do it 3 days a week. Wish I had gotten more passionate about art when I was younger. Much harder to have quiet art time after you have kids.

    Oh and Noah, Thanks for the great article. You were insightful as usual.

    Last edited by shiroboi; May 15th, 2012 at 11:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Lambrakis View Post
    There's a saying among musicians:

    "If you miss a day of practice, you will be able to tell.

    If you miss two days of practice, your fellow musicians will be able to tell.

    If you miss three days of practice, perfect strangers will be able to tell."

    this is true.

    I spend some hours every day. It's not a problem if you miss a day but it shouldn't happen often.You must draw and paint if you want to succeed..also you should look at other artworks(at galleries or from photos, books , internet) and trying to understand what you are looking at. In my opinion you should constantly be near art by all means

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    I would not give what you feel any authority. If you want to draw but don't feel like it, it's because you don't enjoy learning. Work on enjoying learning, it's important whatever field you pursue.

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    ...Funny that nobody takes the business-related stuff into the discussion when talking "career"...

    Personally, I see the marketing part and self-confidence to be the reasons why I'll never make it professionally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixtar View Post
    ...Funny that nobody takes the business-related stuff into the discussion when talking "career"...

    Personally, I see the marketing part and self-confidence to be the reasons why I'll never make it professionally.
    That stuff can be learned and practiced like anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Bradley View Post
    That stuff can be learned and practiced like anything else.
    You are very right about that
    To me it just seems so much more overwhelming to get out of that part of the comfort zone. I know, I need to grow some "balls"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixtar View Post
    ...Funny that nobody takes the business-related stuff into the discussion when talking "career"...
    That's what I was talking about here?:
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    It isn't always drawing of course...it is often other aspects of the "art life" that are required. I don't "draw" for a living...I'm an artist and a whole lot of other stuff has to be happening to be a professional and productive.


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    Quote Originally Posted by shiroboi View Post
    I'm not a pro and spend my day's maintaining the IT Infrastructure of a Law Firm. So I guess this shouldn't bother me but I do love art, I can only budget the time to do it 3 days a week. Wish I had gotten more passionate about art when I was younger. Much harder to have quiet art time after you have kids.
    Surely you could do some sketches during your lunch break, or something of the like? I think practicing every day, even if it's just ten-fifteen minutes some days, will cause you to grow a lot faster than if you do your art in larger, non-daily chunks.

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    Sorry Jeff, I missed that part

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    Ehh, I've gone for days without drawing something because usually when I DO draw something, I spend about 4 hours drawing/sketching and eventually I just feel burned out.

    I think once I went the entire summer without drawing. For me though it's like riding a bike, or driving a stick shift - you may get a little rusty, but with a few minutes, you're back where you should be. Or at least that's my opinion..

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    It just seems like a bad idea to try and establish a career doing something you only like doing occasionally, in a field that's known for its competitiveness and overpopulation.

    If you're going to hate your job, at least choose to be miserable and well off.

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    Also on the same vein, professionals often get commissioned work that they aren't the most enthusiastic to do. I admit when was manning a table at a con recently there were some things that I wouldn't draw personally but I did anyways, however I felt less incentive to finish them. I'm sure people favor some subjects over others, so do things change when art becomes a job and not purely for personal gain? And how does this affect ones passion for art?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toriknew View Post
    Also on the same vein, professionals often get commissioned work that they aren't the most enthusiastic to do. I admit when was manning a table at a con recently there were some things that I wouldn't draw personally but I did anyways, however I felt less incentive to finish them. I'm sure people favor some subjects over others, so do things change when art becomes a job and not purely for personal gain? And how does this affect ones passion for art?
    Different people work differently. Some people don't like solving problems under pressure, others can't work unless there's pressure. Some people find that getting paid takes away their sense of achievement, other people find it validates them. It all depends on what kind of job you get, how it meshes with your working process, and how adaptable you are.

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    This seems more like a question of will... one may not have time for devoted artistry... one may not have the inspiration to actually make something, artist's block is a horror for us all...

    but the will to actually make art is another matter. it's that desire to put something on paper that wasn't there before (this can be extended to any medium) is something which seems slightly rare. I personally perfectly understand and am passionate to follow the devotion to my own art... even if that meant a scribbled doodle on a pizza box or an assignment brief, so long as i made something that didn't exist the day before I'm content that I'm still passionate about my chosen life


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