I am new here. I hope this is the right section for such a question. If not, I apologize.
I want to be able to express myself through visual mediums. Illusation and painting, I want to do this as a career. Right now I'm going through Dodsons Keys To Drawing. Though progress is slow. I look at the art of professionals and I feel like I could never amount to such greatness, especially considering the chicken scratch I am producing. Visual Art (oil painting, drawing, animation) like math is one of those subjects that overwhelms me when I see how good others are at it. I am easily discouraged. Is this normal? Am I just being silly?
Though progress is slow. I look at the art of professionals and I feel like I could never amount to such greatness, especially considering the chicken scratch I am producing.
They've been doing it for 10+ years. It's a profession, same as any other. You wouldn't expect to start working through an engineering book and start building a bridge next week. You wouldn't expect to read a dentistry book and start pulling teeth. So why expect your pictures to look like those of someone who has been doing it for a couple of decades?
Originally Posted by Meridius
Visual Art (oil painting, drawing, animation) like math is one of those subjects that overwhelms me when I see how good others are at it. I am easily discouraged. Is this normal? Am I just being silly?
Yes it's normal and yes, you're being silly. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
For now, get out of that competitive mindset because you're just setting yourself up to fail. The existence of other artists does not affect your art. If they all died tomorrow, your art would still be exactly the same. People might pat you on the back more if you were the only artist but your work would be no better. Therefore just because the pros are around, your work isn't actually any worse. It just is. Work on it and stop worrying about everybody else.
I mean, I've never sat down to a math puzzle, thought "a math genius could solve this faster" and gave up. The point of doing the puzzle is to spend time doing something you like. You CAN compete at it if that floats your boat but if it doesn't then you don't have to. The puzzle is fun anyway.
Thanks all. I appreciate every message. This is the kind of stuff I needed to hear. Thanks for the bits of perspective and advice. I need to work on disciplining myself and actually doing the work and get out of this competitive mind-set, which tends to quickly drag me down. I will also check out the Sketch book feature. Thank you.
its totally normal to be a bit discouraged by seeing people who are so talented, but you need to get in the mindset that someday you be just as great as the masters.
Also, for me, it really helps to remember that I draw for my own enjoyment and satisfaction. When I'm feeling like i'm a complete crap artist because someone 6 years younger than me is 'better', i just have to take a step back and focus on my own work and what I can do to improve and get to their level.
keep practicing different things and trying out techniques - take some classes on the basics so you can develop a solid ground work, and then you can start on the fancier aspects of things like painting - you need to know how to draw and use value before you can paint.
take small steps and never stop trying new things. with practice, there is no such thing as a short cut or a waste of time.
Also, you might want to check out this newbie thread. We're a bunch of rank amateurs working through tutorials and assignments so we can improve our art. Or "art", as the case may be. I'm one of them. Join us if you like.
I've found that it's encouraging to keep a log of how much I've been drawing. I have a giant spreadsheet with descriptions of all of my drawings (even the rubbish ones) itemized by time taken, date, media and sketchbook. This way I can compare one drawing with another of a similar subject that I've done with n hours more of experience. Looking at drawings from the same month might not be that impressive (unless you're an extremely focused art machine), but after a while, you can see that you really are improving. Also, you can compare how much time you've spent drawing to that magical 10,000 hours after which one is supposedly a master. Although it will really depend on how far you stretch yourself with each piece, until you've started to approach 10,000 hours, you can always tell yourself that as long as you stick to the right path, you'll eventually be able to create art like you want/at the quality of your idols.
Best advice i can give is to just buckle down and start figuring out what kind of stuff really inspires you and draw the shit out of that stuff.
Read books on art, peek around here at what some of the pros are doing in terms of quality, content, etc. But really just find someone or some people who really inspire you and just make that your longterm goal. Longterm goals can take you far, and really if you have a concrete goal in terms of your art, your mind will fill in all the blanks of what you need to get there.
The real key is that there isn't some secret or trick to make a person a better artist. There's a bunch of little tricks but the real key, in my experiences, is inspiration (goals) driving learning, and the filler is just putting in the hours. Stay inspired, let the inspiration drive what you learn, and work hard. It doesn't matter where you are now, do that, and you'll surprise the shit out of yourself.
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
--- Frank Herbert, Dune - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
Check out my Sketchbook! Critique and Criticism welcomed.