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  1. #1
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    Transitioning from hobby to career?

    Hey guys I'm Kora ( finally decided to post again).

    I love art and like the never lacking majority of 16 year olds I want to be a concept artist.( however I'm most likely going to try the commercial art direction first because it seems like a more stabile direction,to kinda map out the art field and help me decide what to do .) but anyway onto my question:

    How did you guys go through the bump of "I like to draw, to I draw for a living"?

    I draw often, not nearly often enough as I should but once my school year ends( 2 weeks) I hope to radically change that start a sketch book here and get serious with my art. I know I love drawing but forcing myself to draw is something different, so how can I over come this?

    I don't want to start hating art because I know I have a deadline and have to meet it. ( I remember reading a similar post but I couldn't find it) From experience I know that things get less fun when you are required to do them, at the same time I don't want to push put crappy looking designs because I just wanted to finish them and my heart wasn't in it. Can you force creativity, and convert spontanious Ideas into Ideas you pull from at will?

    Personal experience? How did some of you go from "I draw sometimes for fun" to I draw everyday and need to produce X amounts of designs each week?

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    I think if you're interested in how professional artists started taking art seriously you'd probably enjoy watching the schoolism interviews where artists go into detail about how they got into art, and wanting to start studying art seriously and become professionals. There are many other interesting insights in those interviews too

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  5. #3
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    I'll tell you right now I didn't worry abouyt it at 16. It comes with time...if you were into music and wanted to be a professional musician would you have to force yourself to practice? Would you worry about hating it because you had to play a gig?

    Do it if you like it...but don't fret about it.

    Edit: No, you don't know that things get less fun when you are required to do them...they're no different at all and honestly, some people find assignment work much more enjoyable than having to work on their own things.

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    I don't think I've ever really made the distinction. Even when I was younger and had no idea of making art for a living I always took it seriously because I liked doing it, and then when it came time to decide to do it for a career it was simply 'the next step'.

    I don't feel a difference in fun when doing something for a deadline versus doing something for myself. In fact sometimes deadlines are great ways to push creativity and new techniques (in order to get it done on time). I can probably say that I've been happier treating art as something to be done for a living than if I were simply a hobbyist -- it pushes one to discover new things all the time. The need to progress is as much fun as the progress itself, if that makes any sense.

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    Granted, I'm nowhere near the professional level (yet), but I'm also transitioning from hobbyist to career, so here are a few things I've learned so far:

    1. Anticipation is (almost) always the hardest thing. Just sit down in and draw something and it you may find it easier than you expected. Also, try to work in areas that don't have many distracts (oh internet, how I love and yet hate you so).

    2. Being frustrated with your art is not the same as hating it. Everyone gets frustrated and everyone makes mistakes. If you get frustrated, walk away from it until you cool off (I wouldn't recommend another drawing; you'd just get frustrated with that to). Once you've calmed down, try again or approach your original piece differently.

    3. Try to do a few studies everyday before you work on your hobby art (you'll have to do them sometime). Doing studies non-stop kind of killed my creativity for a while and made me even more frustrated, so make sure you have room for your personal stuff. Even take a day off from studies and just draw whatever you want once in a while.

    4. Be patient. Realize that you aren't going to get things in one try, and if you do think you have something down in one try, you probably don't (that might change as you get better). You have to practice the same things over and over again in order for it to actually stick.

    5. Study the basics. Look around here and you'll find out what they are.

    Probably not what you where asking about, but it's better to take one step at a time and worry about actually getting good at art rather than worrying about the art business. Find out if you like doing art non-stop (and I mean every single day for at least an hour or two) before you decide to make a career out of it. Sixteen is a very young age, and although you think you have a passion for art, your interests just might lay elsewhere. Explore a bit and see what your other interests are in the process.

    Good luck.

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lapprenti View Post
    I think if you're interested in how professional artists started taking art seriously you'd probably enjoy watching the schoolism interviews
    Thanks! It really was help full There's al ot of them there though so It's gonna take some time looking through them, It really kinda of inspires to look at all of them, givers you some hope in making it in the field because you see some seriously amazing successful people having accomplished it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    I'll tell you right now I didn't worry about it at 16. It comes with time...
    Edit: No, you don't know that things get less fun when you are required to do them...they're no different at all and honestly, some people find assignment work much more enjoyable than having to work on their own things.
    I hear this approach all the time for a lot of things, but the problem I have with it is that If I sit around and don't worry about it nothing will happen and eventually I'll be re-asking the question in a couple years, so from what I know about myself I need to start right now or I'll never get around to worrying and eventually it'll be to late.( I know you didn't mean "don't do anything" but simply to stop worrying I just had a bit of a personal rant on the subject ^^

    Well what I meant was how making something when ever you feel like it, is different then making it when you know it has to be done, school being a great example, I love to learn, going to school for 11 years kind of turned it into a tedious chore I have to do everyday. I just really don't want it to happen with art and I'm asking how to never get to the point of losing my reason for drawing. From what I've heard being a concept artist or working in the gaming/entertainment industry isn't always drawing what you want to. so how do you shift gears and say to yourself I may hate drawing _____ but I'm going to do it ,it's going to look great, and I'll have fun doing it.

    but more so where I was meaning to go was I was coloring a traditional piece I really love recently, and to test If I could finish the said piece if it had a deadline for the day after, I sat down and and tried to force myself to try and work on it even though I didn't want to. Point being Whereas usually my colors would be blended really well, everything would be relatively proportional,now it was rough,rushed, and half assed. So back to my original question; how does one force creativity, finish that piece you really need to get done without making you hate it, and having it turn out terrible?

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    I didn't start with "I draw sometimes for fun". I started with "I draw all the time for fun". Because I didn't want to have to stop drawing, the natural next step from drawing all the time for fun was to apply to an art school. And the natural next step after that was to try to get work that involved drawing. Because otherwise I'd have to spend a lot of time not drawing, and that's no fun at all...

    Is drawing for jobs less fun than drawing for myself? Sometimes. Depends on the job. Sometimes it's even more fun than drawing for myself... Especially if I have a job that's extra-cool or extra-challenging, and if the other people involved are enthusiastic about it. Knowing that I'll be paid is pretty motivating, too. And seeing how thrilled a client is when I deliver something above and beyond what they expected...? That's a wonderful thing.

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  14. #9
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    The best advice anyone can really give haha and it's what I'm trying to get at, hunker down and start doing,but I'm not really asking How to get better, though that's something I'm going to be striving twords regardless. I'm asking more how can you sit down and force yourself to draw a certain thing, or finish a certain project out of the blue when you aren't necessarily feeling up to it, and make it a glittering spectacle and not a rushed wadded up piece of paper. Because regardless that piece needs to get done and you wouldn't give a wadded up sketch to a boss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerisaxia View Post
    The best advice anyone can really give haha and it's what I'm trying to get at, hunker down and start doing,but I'm not really asking How to get better, though that's something I'm going to be striving twords regardless. I'm asking more how can you sit down and force yourself to draw a certain thing, or finish a certain project out of the blue when you aren't necessarily feeling up to it, and make it a glittering spectacle and not a rushed wadded up piece of paper. Because regardless that piece needs to get done and you wouldn't give a wadded up sketch to a boss.
    Its called discipline.If you don't feel like doing it or feel like you have to force yourself then you aren't really a professional artist. Either you can produce professional quality work on demand or you can't, if you can't you will stay an amateur. Only amateurs worry about having a muse or their feelings or losing their precious identity or selling out or all the other crap they come up with as an excuse to stay amateur. Professionals just work day in and day out cause they love what they do. You don't want to do a job, don't take it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerisaxia View Post
    Thanks! It really was help full There's al ot of them there though so It's gonna take some time looking through them, It really kinda of inspires to look at all of them, givers you some hope in making it in the field because you see some seriously amazing successful people having accomplished it.



    I hear this approach all the time for a lot of things, but the problem I have with it is that If I sit around and don't worry about it nothing will happen and eventually I'll be re-asking the question in a couple years, so from what I know about myself I need to start right now or I'll never get around to worrying and eventually it'll be to late.( I know you didn't mean "don't do anything" but simply to stop worrying I just had a bit of a personal rant on the subject ^^

    Well what I meant was how making something when ever you feel like it, is different then making it when you know it has to be done, school being a great example, I love to learn, going to school for 11 years kind of turned it into a tedious chore I have to do everyday. I just really don't want it to happen with art and I'm asking how to never get to the point of losing my reason for drawing. From what I've heard being a concept artist or working in the gaming/entertainment industry isn't always drawing what you want to. so how do you shift gears and say to yourself I may hate drawing _____ but I'm going to do it ,it's going to look great, and I'll have fun doing it.

    but more so where I was meaning to go was I was coloring a traditional piece I really love recently, and to test If I could finish the said piece if it had a deadline for the day after, I sat down and and tried to force myself to try and work on it even though I didn't want to. Point being Whereas usually my colors would be blended really well, everything would be relatively proportional,now it was rough,rushed, and half assed. So back to my original question; how does one force creativity, finish that piece you really need to get done without making you hate it, and having it turn out terrible?
    I get where you're coming from...since I've been there...most of us have. But in a way, just reflecting on Queenie's comment and dpaint's...part of me is starting to think people are professional artists or not, long before they become professionals...like when they're kids. Is it hard? Yeah. Is it what I wanted to do? Yeah. So I made it happen. Is it easy? Nope. Is it worth it? Yeah.

    You're too young to be worried about these issues, though I understand you have the questions. The way you get through a piece you don't want to do is you do it anyway. You might even hate it. Get used to that. 90% of what we create as artists we're not happy with...often 95%. As you grow as an artist you start to gain insight through experience and you start to put things in context a little more.

    So now, I never "hate drawing ____"...not sure I ever hated drawing anything to be honest. A big part of my personal motivation was always to put my own twist on whatever...stupid college color assignment? Here's my take on it. Lame X assignment?...here you go...that's how you kick ass.

    So basically I like the process and the challenge, not the individual piece. I never have to "shift gears" from "I hate this" to "I love this"...if I hate it I don't do it. I just did literally 30+ sketches and designs of a character made out of Lego who is a wall. Sure at first I was like, "WTF?" But then it turned out to be really fun and I took him wayover the top.

    Something really valuable I learned in my graphic design study...limitations in format, assignment, subject, etc. are actually what drive creativity...because creativity is nothing but problem solving in fun interesting ways. So when we had to do say 24 thumbnails of logos combining an exact-o knife and an apple...you get creative...especially when it is supposed to be a square like for an album cover.

    Anyway, just rambling now but trying to share a little insight...don't worry about things too much...enjoy it and do what you want to do. That doesn't mean don't work at it...it means work at what you want. BTW...being an artist is yeah, hard, hard work...that wall character? I spent 14 hours straight on it doing the model and 3 final color versions...after 5 days of hashing it out with my AD.

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    Bobby Chiu has a nice little podcast about self motivation here



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    Here's another view. I'm quoting bcarman from this site, hope he dousn't mind.

    "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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  23. #14
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    This may sound hypocritical...but I definitely agree with that as well. I thought it was an excellent insight by Bill. BUT, to me the things are not mutually exclusive, knowing you want to be an artist from an early age...AND becoming more passionate as you develop. In fact I think what happens is your interest in the goal helps keep you on track and work through all the crap that gets in your way...the more of it you work through the easier it is to find your passion.

    But really, I would love to hear other pros thoughts on "hating an assignment" or "hating to draw X". I mean I groan all the time under art direction...but then I just get to it and find as much fun as I can. Do some of you guys really actually hate some assignments?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shybird View Post
    Bobby Chiu has a nice little podcast about self motivation here

    Wow......That was amazing thanks, It was really kind of spot on at least for me. I really can't say much else other then it was really helpful he's an amazing speaker...just thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post

    You're too young to be worried about these issues, though I understand you have the questions. The way you get through a piece you don't want to do is you do it anyway. You might even hate it. Get used to that. 90% of what we create as artists we're not happy with...often 95%. As you grow as an artist you start to gain insight through experience and you start to put things in context a little more.
    I guess then right now I'm just kind of scared, I know personally that I'm a flake, I take things personally too much, shy and kind of scared of people, and am easily discouraged, the person that promises great things but never ends up doing them, and I've been trying to work on it like crazy because I know that, that way I won't get anywhere.I'm scared because come next year I'm going off the rails, I'm out of school and need to start building my life the way I want it. I know I want to go to colledge, and the only thing I really enjoy is art so I can't really haven't thought of anything else nothing seems to fit because ever since I remember I've wanted to be a concept artist, or just doing drawing for people. I'm scared because I need to find the money for colledge, scared of being a fresh graduate and going " now what?", spending thousands of dollars and crushing my own dreams. I'm just tired of failing myself. And I'm trying to prove to myself that this jump will be different, and finding ways to make sure of that.


    You're all replying too fast for me to reply back
    x) but that's always better then the opposite

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerisaxia View Post
    I guess then right now I'm just kind of scared, I know personally that I'm a flake, I take things personally too much, shy and kind of scared of people, and am easily discouraged, the person that promises great things but never ends up doing them, and I've been trying to work on it like crazy because I know that, that way I won't get anywhere.I'm scared because come next year I'm going off the rails, I'm out of school and need to start building my life the way I want it. I know I want to go to colledge, and the only thing I really enjoy is art so I can't really haven't thought of anything else nothing seems to fit because ever since I remember I've wanted to be a concept artist, or just doing drawing for people. I'm scared because I need to find the money for colledge, scared of being a fresh graduate and going " now what?", spending thousands of dollars and crushing my own dreams. I'm just tired of failing myself. And I'm trying to prove to myself that this jump will be different, and finding ways to make sure of that.
    There are no guarantees. Life is scary, but it's going to happen to you whether you like it or not. And when you're an adult you just pull your pants up and do things because they have to be done and no one else will do them for you. You will get a job -- whatever job -- because you must eat. You will do your job because you don't want to be fired. If you don't like your job you might look for a different job. And life will just keep going.

    It's all going to be different than you think. EVERYTHING. You will discover that you like things you are afraid of now, and hate things you thought you'd love, and that you can make mistakes and still be happy anyway.

    I just ran into a guy the other day who was fired from his dream concept art job. Now he has his own company. He obviously screwed up somehow but life didn't end because he did so. He didn't fall into a depression and lie around because he failed himself, he found something else to do and he seems happy enough doing it. People are adaptable.

    Quote Originally Posted by aerisaxia
    I guess then right now I'm just kind of scared, I know personally that I'm a flake, I take things personally too much, shy and kind of scared of people, and am easily discouraged
    But are you REALLY these things or are these just actions that you take because it's easier and you have been able to get away with the easy path so far? Do you know that people can have different personality traits under different social circumstances? Who you are with your friends is not exactly the same as who you are with your parents and who you are with your teachers. This is why you get children who are rude and destructive at home but polite and pleasant to strangers. So if the child is capable of being both rude and polite, can they really be said to be one or the other?

    So who knows what kind of person you can train yourself to be once you are in a different social situation? Teenagers really like to stick labels to themselves and live up to those labels as if they are absolute, but the truth is a lot more complicated than that.

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