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November 26th, 2012 #1Registered User
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Unerringly detailed dreams of paintings - not an artist, unsure what to do
So I've had this dream which as of posting this is now recurring. As vivid as real life and of the many interesting details were the paintings. I saw them and remember them even weeks later in better detail than paintings I've seen visiting an art museum in real life. They don't exist, but are heavily inspired by some of my favorite surreal Beksinski oil paintings. They don't contain any of his trademark recurring features, and are definitely by some other equally talented painter with a greater focus on mood through lighting and color than banal symbolism.
It's driving me nuts that a couple of these paintings don't exist. However I can't do anything about that. I'm not an artist. My mother was one of those people practically "born" as an artist and can still at any time with any tool and a gimped wrist produce exceptional stuff even 20 years without practice. Her entire side of the family consisted of relatively gifted artists. Certainly I grew up in an environment where I could have been well supported becoming an artist. However, I'm getting a degree in engineering like my father because money. The dream consisted of other things that interest me, which probably explains why the paintings were there.
I took one art intro class in highschool. I ditched pen and pencil for a cheap wacom tablet after highschool for the occasional therapeutic drawing session. I discovered that I'm a terrible artist. I don't have the patience or focus. I'd rather never try anything new and fish for compliments in some hole like deviantart than actually improve anything. Realizing this I forced myself to do nothing but studies, exercises, and self improvement. I did not enjoy it nor did I accomplish much. In college I took an art appreciation class that I nearly failed because I only really cared about composition and the mechanics of an image rather than the symbolism and meaning. Later in college there was no time for art and I realized I should abandon the endeavor. Through college, I'd rather spend my limited free time gaming with friends than drawing alone. What's weird is while I don't have the patience for art I can do rather complex math problems for hours on end, lose track of time, and feel like I've accomplished something upon solving it. Hence I don't really regret my educational focus.
I'm kind of tempted to cut back on gaming to dedicate time to practicing art so I could make a decent attempt at these paintings. However, I'm absolutely certain nothing will come of it other than frustration and misery. How do I consistently make time in my life to make time for a hobby I won't enjoy and will take half my lifetime before I can do things I'm satisfied with? I feel this subconscious regret will bother me all the way to the grave. Anyone here that's done that? Sunk a lot of time and effort into art and not enjoy it? I have this stereotype imprinted in my mind that anyone who becomes a "real" artist takes pleasure in every action to improve themselves.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberNovember 27th, 2012 #2
Also, if you don't like doing art. Don't do art. Enjoy the dream and that's it.
November 27th, 2012 #3
The way you describe math is the way I imagine most feel about creating art. Sure it's frustrating, and sometimes it leads to crippling depressions (read some of the recent threads, like 1 out of every ten seems to be asking how others deal with artist block / feeling like they suck) but the pay off is worth it.
I am kind of the opposite of you. I'm good at math, no prodigy, but I've always passed my classes without really studying, because it simply makes sense. Math is just a puzzle and as long as you put the pieces in the right place, you will get the right answer. It's beautiful and mystifying in the ways that through numbers everything can be described. When I was younger because of my test scores and natural aptitude my family wanted me to go into engineering, or at least become a math teacher. There are jobs there they'd tell me. But personally I hate doing math. It's boring and I wish it would end before I even begin a math problem. all of the rules, and the formulas, and repetitive symbols and all of the rest, make me want to run my head into a wall rather than do math.
I can do it. I just really don't want to.
Art on the other hand- well I've never been the "best" at it. In every class (except very recently in community college) there has been at least one student much better than me in some aspect of it. Art has never come easy. It's always been problem solving and a struggle to the top; but that's because there's a drive to be better. I can spend hours doing art, and if my body didn't get tired, I could spend hours more doing it. I can read book after book on art, and there is still so much more I hunger to know. I feel like I'm married to art, and trust me sometimes the relationship gets rocky, but it's worth it. I even got a symbolic tattoo representing this idea on my arm (I need to add to the image "et tu Bute' "). Even when I create a piece and hate it, I loved making it. The feeling of making marks on a piece of paper is almost, to put it blunt, orgasmic. The feeling of looking at a finished product, and even if it isn't what you initially planned, having a feeling of "I did that? that was me?" is completely unexplainable. For me art is a drug, and I imagine that for just about everyone else on here it is too. I feel like I'm chasing my next high, and I love it- minus the addiction piece (kinda).
What I would say is if you have none of the feeling towards art that i do, and instead feel of it like I do math, why waste your time?
I'm not becoming a mathematician, and I'd advise you not to become an artist. Art is hard. If you don't like doing it, why do it?
If you need to get your images out, commission it to be done. First get your mother who you said can whip out just about anything, and beg her to help you out. Even if it's just a sketch of the idea, so you can get to sleep.
then later when you have the funds, use that draft, and what you will remember by that point, and get the work commissioned by a professional artist.
Art is not always enjoyable, but you should have some feeling of "love" towards it. That's the best way I know how to put it.
Fudge this AWESOME place!!!
My SKETCHBOOK: please critique! i can take it!
To limit one's maximum knowledge is to maximize one's limits.
Sanity is wasted on the boring.
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November 27th, 2012 #4
You DO realize that any professional field that you go into, there's a lot of studying outside of the normal workday? For me, as a software developer, I wrote a LOT of programs and read a LOT of books just to keep up with the new technologies, etc (not sure which engineering you are referring to, but it's the same situation). If you are doing engineering for money, you won't be interested in the studying after work. If you don't do that, you don't move very far. Just saying.
It really sounds to me like you want the finished product to show your vision rather than the process of creating the piece. If that's so, then why? As you say... so people can tell you how great you are? If you really want to do art, you have to really like it for the process of creating... not just the end product.
I work a full-time job (as a software developer, which I love) and, yes, I still study at night (not as much as I used to). However, with the wife, dogs (they do agility trials, so we travel a lot for it), I have to schedule my time during the week for shows, studies, marketing, and finished products. Personally, I'm able to carve out time every night from 7 - 10:30). That's my time to create. My wife knows this. Unless there is something important, she leaves me alone to do my work. Most nights, that's when I do my work. The key is that I'm working on any of my painting aspect every night... not sometimes, not once in a while, or once a month. Almost every night. Even then, I don't spend enough time to be able to go professional. But, that's my decision... I've got more of a long-term goal.
If you don't like doing it, then there's no reason to do it. It really seems that you want every moment of this or any other venture to be absolutely efficient and perfect towards a goal... so, as to not "wasting" any time.
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November 27th, 2012 #5
First, sketch out, to the best of your ability, the images from your dreams. Every time you have the dream, do it again. Then, later when you have your well-paying engineering job, take your sketches to an artist that you respect and pay to have paintings made from them.
Having dreams with spectacular imagery is common. I don't know if everyone has them, but I'm pretty sure most artists do. All I have to do is close my eyes and let my mind wander and I can see things that I could never hope to capture as art.
You have three choices. One is to force yourself to develop skill in something that you don't like. The second, which is to just realize that no matter how hard you tried you'll probably never capture the dream imagery exactly as you saw it, so you might as well try to forget about it. The third is to try to get someone else that already has the skills to help you, but even that is iffy... and if they ended up creating a masterpiece, they'd get all of the glory.
November 27th, 2012 #6
If you have no drive for art, I wouldn't recommend it. It's painful. I go through it, like most others, every night after work (I'm also an engineer) I draw/paint when I return home every night. I feel what I'm doing is ok and when I put down the stylus or pencil, i'm disappointed. I get frustrated that it didn't work out as I wished it had done. I feel like giving up, I go to bed, repeat the next day at work and can't wait to come home and try again. This happens 9 times out of 10.
However, if you're doing engineering in any manner that will support you financially stable for the future. It's a good area in any kind of engineering and good money. It is freaking tiring. It exhausts me towards the end of a working week. I would in no doubt drop that to be able to pay bills and put food on the table through art. That's why I do it. It's a dream I have to shoot for, even if I die trying. I still tried.
If you have no drive for it all to do it, you wont do it. Simple as that. You will just continue to use it for winding down and relaxing as you mentioned. And that's great. If you prefer to spend time with friends gaming, fine. Are you having fun? Course you are...that's why you do it. So there's nothing wrong in this.
As for the paintings in your dreams...use them in your winding down time, relaxing time. Sketch them out, even if it doesn't turn out the way you wish. I think it would be good to at least get them out of your system.
I've had dreams in where I saw paintings, good ones. I sketched them out to get the idea, they are still laying in a book or on a scrap piece of paper. It was nice to get them out. They are something I wish to work up in the future, maybe in about 30 years when I get "good enough". ha.
Sorry for rambling...but all in all...just try it man, can't hurt can it? You might surprise yourself...you never know.
Edit: I believe, if an opportunity arises, you should seize it and experience it. As long as no one is to be harmed or hurt (physically or emotionally). Even if it is a negative experience, it all counts towards your life experience.
Last edited by Damien Levs; November 27th, 2012 at 01:18 PM.
November 27th, 2012 #7
I have said this a couple of times in other threads and it gets cliche after a while, but here is one in which I replied to a person in college asking for advice similar advice:
"You can get a degree in something else and still have time to make art. Stop playing video games or watching kittens and puppies on Youtube. You can go get a degree in art, but that doesn't guarantee you anything if you slack off.
At most, getting a degree other than in art forces you to do more things. After having spent hours doing school work, you will start to get a sense of how valuable time is, and you will want to start drawing already. I know I have. I want to draw every time after knowing that part of my days are devoted purely to doing non-art homework, daily. This method only works if you get a degree in something other than art, but at the same time is a subject you are passionate about.
Most of the time people slack off because they are given too much time. I have slacked off a lot of times in summer when there was no school. It is until school began, then I realized how little time I have, so I worked harder.
Once you begin to slack off for one day, you will begin to feel your laziness. After several days, you can't help but procrastinate all of the time; you get spoiled from previous procrastinations. Procrastination is the rewarding of yourself for doing things that tend to reward instantaneously, such as watching T.V. or playing video games; the brain releases dopamine anytime you reward yourself. Your brain grows tolerant to new levels of dopamine, and so the next day, you might have a tendency to procrastinate even more to get the same "high"; thus it's a downward slope for procrastination. So limit yourself to one video of puppies per day.
One of the most important life lessons for me is coming to understand how important time is. Close to death encounter helps. If you have ever been hospitalized for anything, you might have laid there thinking about the time wasted on the hospital bed and how it could have been better used. When you're young, you feel like you can live forever, but that will change; time stops for no one.
Another important thing to keep in mind, everyday, is a goal. You tend to work harder if you have a goal because you will know the general direction you want to head, so it is easier to get started in general. By a goal, I mean a dream, or something you want to make out of your one life; don't procrastinate it away, life is rare in the universe."
Here are some newly additions:
Long story short, if you take heroine, you're going to get tired of sex; however, if you have the determination, discipline, willpower, passion, and etc, you can rise above the state of your heightened, potential worthlessness and still become a sex maniac. Replace heroine with video games, and sex with painting and drawing, which are activities at a lesser degree but of which nonetheless have the same analogy. Playing video games rewards your brain with dopamine more than making crappy drawings, so your brain involuntarily conditioned you to like playing video games, but with will power, discipline, and etc you can break out of this conditioning.
Another advice I want to give you is to make good friends. Friends who are preferably disciplined, determined, and have will power; strong minded fellows. Good friends may often inspire you to achieve more, rather than bad friends who will provide the wrong influences, such as play video games with you all day, or even worst, force you to drink alcohol and smoke pot.
Drawing is difficult because we have not been evolutionarily predisposed with genes to draw, but thanks to the plasticity of your brain, you can nurture yourself to draw. Furthermore, you will hardly be satisfied with your nubile works, and you may not be satisfied even after your very last painting because you know you can always improve, because you have an ideal you want to achieve. Every time you make a crappy drawing, just remember that talent is not born, but nurtured through determination, willpower, discipline, and etc. The key thing is to be optimistic, and keep in mind your goal, your vision. From time to time, you might experience your brain craving for more video games or watch TV. I get those everyday I come home from school, "It's time to relax" my brains says. If your vision of your goal is keen, everything such as video games become more irrelevant with the passing days of you ignoring your brain's temptation to persuade you to procrastinate, and you have become a person with more disciplined; when you can't push yourself any more, you just need to push yourself a bit more to become more disciplined.
Lastly, speaking of ideals, most often people are not satisfied with their works are due to their failed pursuit of a particular style. This style is a vision they have for themselves, a goal, so to speak. This relates to "model learning", a method to make yourself to work harder. What this involves is to establish an ideal style, specifically by an artist you really like; an artist with a style you want to achieve in some way(of course, you can still add your own pizazz to the style). Learn how hard the artist works, and even what supplies he uses, as long as it gets you to start drawing, then its working. Quite frankly, the only way you will ever surpass your idealized artists, is if you work as hard as they do or even harder.
Twinkle, twinkle little star
I don't wonder what you are
For by spectroscopic ken
I know that you are hydrogen - Ian D.
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November 27th, 2012 #8Registered User
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I don't know if I really enjoy the process of making art as much as some of you do.
But I do get images in my mind that I really want to share, and I want those final images. That is why I put in the hours.
It isn't that I hate the process, but it is very discouraging at this point since improvement seems slow.
EDIT: If I was much better, I think I would do it more often. It is the pain of seeing a bad drawing. Of course to get past that point, I must do it more often.... which I would, if I was at the point...
November 27th, 2012 #9thanoss Guest
Mate you like looking at nice pictures and nothing more. If you were really interested you would practice. Its like all those people that keep looking at Feng zhu's images and keep saying they wished they drew like him. Newsflash HE PROBABLY Practiced hours a day for years. Stop looking and pretending you want to do art and DO IT. Dont come here whining.
November 27th, 2012 #10
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November 27th, 2012 #11
I guess we all have them.
As I said in my earlier post, everyone has their ups and downs with art; periods they like it and periods they don't. The fact that you can see your issues doesn't mean that you are bad, but more that you can right now see art better than you can create art.
I remember when I was young, thinking "If only I could draw like that I would..."
well, now I can draw "like that" and I still don't do what I thought I would. Now I just feel "If only I could draw like that I would...."
You need to enjoy the ups, and appreciate your images for what they are.
The images in your mind... I can't speak for everyone, but I know I'll never get there. Once I can get to where I dream of now, I know I will only have bigger dreams.
But if you love doing it, never give up the chase. The journey is really all the fun!
Fudge this AWESOME place!!!
My SKETCHBOOK: please critique! i can take it!
To limit one's maximum knowledge is to maximize one's limits.
Sanity is wasted on the boring.
November 27th, 2012 #12
making pictures aint for everyone. you either do it or you dont. not like it would really matter in the great scheme of things. just because i do it myself and spent a lot time on here, doenst mean i think that everyone not trying, is a loss. its not the easiest profession out there.