I'm ready to invest in myself (plea for guidance)

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  1. #1
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    I'm ready to invest in myself (plea for guidance)

    hey, i know this is not the place for introductions but i think it will help set the stage for what i want to ask of you guys, and if i make some grammar mistakes please forgive me, English is not my first language.

    So my name is Alexandre, you can call me Alex or Sweatie or any variation of my nickname i don't mind.

    Up until today I've been procrastinating more then i should i'm afraid, i'm 22 years old soon to turn 23 (January) and I've been studying cinema
    and all i ever wanted was to draw, when i was little a friend of my dads was an amazing artist, and watching him draw was one of the most amazing things i saw when i was a child (keep in mind that i was a kid maybe he didn't even draw that well ) you might say that if i really loved it i would have been drawing since long ago and not just now looking into seriously improving, and i tried i studied arts in high school but my art teacher was so amazing that she herself could not draw a hand .-turkey, so i learned 0 and got really demotivated,then i didn't have high enough marks for art school (one that actually teaches you stuff and critiques your stuff with accuracy) so i got into Cinema.

    So a couple of months ago i had a real talk with my dad and asked him what he thought of me quitting cinema and just sit at home trying to improve my drawing skills and do my very best to be able to create worlds and characters i so much want to be able to give life to,
    tbh i was expecting him to say no or at least not support me on this, but he actually was pretty supportive saying that he know's what it's like to give up your dream jobs and since he back then he couldn't pursue what he wanted he want to make sure i can, if it's really what i'm sure i want.

    So i realized it's going to be a lot of hard works not exactly drawing what i want o improve my skill, and I've been lurking around here for a long time and i see some people that ask for critique's and then don't do anything about it, i think that's the ultimate disrespect, so i wanted to make sure that when i posted here for help and guidance i was 100% ready so i wouldn't waste anyone's time and prove to be deserving of your advice and help.

    So here i am taking the first step unto the biggest journey i'll ever undertake and i hope you guys can point a way for me to start being active here and be the best artist that i can be.

    what should be my first step? can you guys give me some homework or something like that?

    where should i post and what?

    Thank you so much for your time and thank you for reading all this!

    Last edited by SweatiestDegree; November 27th, 2012 at 08:13 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Sounds like we're in a similar position (I'm also 22)its great that your father supports your endeavor. One of the first things you can do is try ti get the basics down form, shapes etc and go from there. One site that has been a big help to me is Ctrlpaint.com and go from there and of course make a sketchbook on this site there is a lot of information on here and since were in the same boat maybe we can help each other out,and grow as artists its, always easier to when there is a support group (if your interested maybe we can work together you can pm me if that's OK) and we can point each other in the right direction.

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  5. #3
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    Tbh i don't feel like i can't point anyone in the right direction while looking for it myself.

    and to all of those that think i should just draw and stop whining, you have a solid point, but my question is draw what?

    I've wasted enough time by not drawing everyday, i don't wan't to waste anymore time drawing and studying stuff that won't help me improve, and while it is true that practice is what matters and no matter what i draw improvement will come, i just want to know not the quick path, not the easy way, and not the right way but a way...

    and that's why i'm here looking at all you experienced artists

    it's important to me that you guys understand i'm not looking for a magical way out, super pencil or High tech Tablet that will somehow make me jump leaps in skill

    i'm asking what i should work hard on

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  6. #4
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    Draw what you are interested in. Start right away and find your limitations, then ask how to broaden your abilities. Make decisions about what you like and where you want to go with your art. Set a goal and start moving towards it.

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  8. #5
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    I'm in a similar but different boat. Been Drawing forever, but at 21, only started taking it seriously in the passed year or two. I never really learned how to push myself, and not being a pro (yet) all I can do is offer my opinion.

    I'd say your first assignment should be to figure out what your goal is with art.

    It sounds like you know what you need to do already. You need to draw. You need to study. You need to follow your dreams as far as they go, and then go further.

    What should you draw? I guess that depends on you. What do you want to draw? What do you hope will come of art? what do you like looking at? why?

    Of course to learn look at the world around you, and draw it. You may find you are better at some things than others, but draw everything. If you see a rock, draw it. If you see a face, draw it. Draw everything. Use as many medium (pencils, paints, chalk, digital, etc) as you can.
    You are right now, from the sounds of it, a blank slate. You need to know what you love about art, and figure out where you want to take art.

    What is driving you? why do you love art enough to spend the time necessary on it to get better?

    In between studying, you need to express yourself. that is the beauty of art. MAke pieces that simply make you happy. pieces that you want to make. Something you will look forward to doing when you come home from a hard day of studying. When I was young It was comics. I drew comics everywhere, and my school notebooks were filled with those characters. When I finished my homework, I was eager to draw these characters, losing myself for hours in their world.
    What would make you happy to create after studying?

    You should take time out, and on a sheet of paper write out everything that you want to come from art. Realize why it is you dream of making art, and think of the life you want though art.
    then organize these thoughts, and then write out how you will get there.
    write out what you will need to study.
    do you need to go to college? what do you need to study?


    For example, lets say you find you wanted to become an environmental artist in games. You would now know that you really want to focus on drawing environments. You would know that you would eventually like to learn to work in 3-d, and you would know that you personally enjoy creating environments. You could then have a goal to pursue.

    that I think should be your first assignment. Figure out why, and then you should be able to find many things worth drawing.

    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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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Draw what you are interested in. Start right away and find your limitations, then ask how to broaden your abilities. Make decisions about what you like and where you want to go with your art. Set a goal and start moving towards it.
    It really is that simple. At this point, you don't know anything, so doing anything is going to teach you something.

    Quote Originally Posted by SweatiestDegree View Post
    and to all of those that think i should just draw and stop whining, you have a solid point, but my question is draw what?

    I've wasted enough time by not drawing everyday, i don't wan't to waste anymore time drawing and studying stuff that won't help me improve, and while it is true that practice is what matters and no matter what i draw improvement will come, i just want to know not the quick path, not the easy way, and not the right way but a way...
    You're not going to break yourself. The only wrong thing you can do is nothing.

    Last edited by Elwell; November 27th, 2012 at 07:12 PM.

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  12. #7
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    First of all ty for all the helpful comments

    i don't think i'm so much a blank Canvas, i think atm i'm a really muddy undefined one

    it's not like i haven't drawn before, let me post some stuff here

    for example this study from a while back
    Name:  13.07.12#1.jpg
Views: 294
Size:  305.2 KB

    that's where i'm at +/-

    problem is i almost never fully commit to it after seeing results like those i'm showing you guys...

    what i hope to achieve and this might change as i become better and experiment with other stuff, but my goal is illustration and concept art.
    but really don't want to limit myself in terms of what learn, i would love to have some awesome pencil lines like some of you do, and that painterly style of digital painting, and if i am to be 100% honest with you guys i don't mind experimenting with all sorts of traditional media but digital would be the main thing, but that doesn't really matter as far as practice and understanding goes... all i need is a pencil and print paper right?

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  13. #8
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    Here's a quick tutorial I found the other day done by a former Warner Brothers cartoonist. Its full of a lot of useful tips for all levels of artists. http://www.karmatoons.com/drawing/drawing.htm

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  15. #9
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    Those drawings aren't very good.
    But that's OK.
    The first thing you need to do is get over your fear of making crappy drawings, because that's all you're going to be doing for a long time. So, give yourself permission to suck. Learning to draw is about drawing, not drawings. Think about the verb, not the noun.


    Tristan Elwell
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  17. #10
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    it's the long time part that scares me

    let me edit so it makes more sense, when i start drawing i can completely lose track of time, and enjoy myself like a boss, but then i take a step back, look at it and i feel discouraged specially after spending a couple of hours looking at what you guys can do

    Last edited by SweatiestDegree; November 27th, 2012 at 08:24 PM.
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    Learning to draw is about drawing, not drawings. Think about the verb, not the noun

    Could not agree more. Took me a while to believe it but its so very true. Each drawing is not so much about the single drawing as a stand alone object or pretty picture, but a learning experience to teach you about both your strengths and weaknesses and move you forward to the next stage. The more you engage with this side of the drawing process the more progress you will make, as your fear of drawing badly wont hold you back so much..although I wonder if it will ever truly leave.

    "Art and fear" is a great book. It has been recommended on here so many times and quite rightly so. Not saying it's the answer to all the problems or anxieties as only you can control that. But it touches on a lot of the fears that all of us have or may yet encounter.

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  20. #12
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    hmn maybe i'm quite dense, but i don't think it's fear, it's just, how do i explain it in a way that doesn't make me look like a lazy asshole.

    i guess my ideas for what i want to draw are greater then my skill to execute them.

    and that's why it took so long to join you guys here, i don't feel like i have anything decent enough to even receive a critique
    and by posting something i know is bad i'm wasting everyone's time including mine

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  21. #13
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    Felt the same here but everyone starts somewhere and you wouldn't be wasting anyone's time its better than the alternative and not posting and getting that much needed feedback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SweatiestDegree View Post
    hmn maybe i'm quite dense, but i don't think it's fear, it's just, how do i explain it in a way that doesn't make me look like a lazy asshole.

    i don't feel like i have anything decent enough to even receive a critique
    and by posting something i know is bad i'm wasting everyone's time including mine
    so long as you show your progress and show you are trying; ask questions and try to grow, I don't think anyone can call you lazy nor an asshole.
    Everyone has to start somewhere, and I think everyone here loves art enough to want to see people grow and expand art forward.

    After you showed your work on here, I don't see how you can think it is too bad to "even receive a critique". I've seen many people with much worse work, and I've seen many people be proud of said work.
    By posting work you are not claiming to be the best, and you are not looking for pats on the back. Sure you may get some, and they might feel good, but you should be looking forward to people "ripping you a new one". I say this because they will tell you your biggest problem areas. they will tell you where to work next.

    I've been posting this video everywhere because it really helped me and others, and you might find it helpful too.
    It explains why many artists may look at their work one day and love it, and the next think that they are wasting their time with art.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb0g_gWrNf8

    Critique:
    It would be nice to know how long you spent on this. for a quick drawing it isn't bad. It shows the form appropriately, and except for the tilt of the face, everything seems to be "in place". I can't tell if this is a small or a large piece, but it would seem to be rather small. The drawing could use more tone, but for a first step of blocking it in, it looks good.
    watch the neck as it should be a bit darker, and also the left side of her, should have more mid tones on it. you seem to have her bathed in light on that side, yet if you look at the photo reference, you can see, that the main highlight is along her breast on that side.

    All work can be critiqued.

    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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  24. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by themegagod View Post
    so long as you show your progress and show you are trying; ask questions and try to grow, I don't think anyone can call you lazy nor an asshole.
    Everyone has to start somewhere, and I think everyone here loves art enough to want to see people grow and expand art forward.

    After you showed your work on here, I don't see how you can think it is too bad to "even receive a critique". I've seen many people with much worse work, and I've seen many people be proud of said work.
    By posting work you are not claiming to be the best, and you are not looking for pats on the back. Sure you may get some, and they might feel good, but you should be looking forward to people "ripping you a new one". I say this because they will tell you your biggest problem areas. they will tell you where to work next.

    I've been posting this video everywhere because it really helped me and others, and you might find it helpful too.
    It explains why many artists may look at their work one day and love it, and the next think that they are wasting their time with art.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb0g_gWrNf8

    Critique:
    It would be nice to know how long you spent on this. for a quick drawing it isn't bad. It shows the form appropriately, and except for the tilt of the face, everything seems to be "in place". I can't tell if this is a small or a large piece, but it would seem to be rather small. The drawing could use more tone, but for a first step of blocking it in, it looks good.
    watch the neck as it should be a bit darker, and also the left side of her, should have more mid tones on it. you seem to have her bathed in light on that side, yet if you look at the photo reference, you can see, that the main highlight is along her breast on that side.

    All work can be critiqued.
    i'm actually subbed to sycra

    thanks for the critique, tbh i can't remember how long it was since it was a while ago, but i'll be doing a lot more,i will be sure to take note of the times, and i do, hope for people to rip me apart i mean.

    Now it's time to get to work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SweatiestDegree View Post
    i guess my ideas for what i want to draw are greater then my skill to execute them.
    Um, hello, join the club, that's pretty much everybody?

    I doubt anybody's work is as good as their ideals about what their work should look like... That's why we all keep working on it. Of course it's worse at the beginning when you're struggling to make your work look like anything at all, but as your skills grow, so does your taste, so your skills are always a little behind your taste... That's just something you gotta learn to live with. Use it as a source of motivation rather than discouragement.

    You have basically two choices here:

    1. Throw yourself into this thing and start drawing everything and anything, keep on making thousands of drawings no matter how crappy they are, eventually get better through practice and experience.

    2. Don't draw anything and wait for skills to magically appear.

    If you want to learn to draw, there are no good excuses for not drawing. If you want feedback, there are no good excuses for not posting. So stop making excuses, start drawing.

    EDIT: By the way, if you want some handy foundational exercises, check out the Spartan Boot Camp threads in the Community Activities section... You could use the assignments in those as "homework" to get started, if you like. The other community activities are fun exercises, too.

    Last edited by QueenGwenevere; November 27th, 2012 at 09:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Um, hello, join the club, that's pretty much everybody?

    I doubt anybody's work is as good as their ideals about what their work should look like... That's why we all keep working on it. Of course it's worse at the beginning when you're struggling to make your work look like anything at all, but as your skills grow, so does your taste, so your skills are always a little behind your taste... That's just something you gotta learn to live with. Use it as a source of motivation rather than discouragement.

    You have basically two choices here:

    1. Throw yourself into this thing and start drawing everything and anything, keep on making thousands of drawings no matter how crappy they are, eventually get better through practice and experience.

    2. Don't draw anything and wait for skills to magically appear.

    If you want to learn to draw, there are no good excuses for not drawing. If you want feedback, there are no good excuses for not posting. So stop making excuses, start drawing.

    EDIT: By the way, if you want some handy foundational exercises, check out the Spartan Boot Camp threads in the Community Activities section... You could use the assignments in those as "homework" to get started, if you like. The other community activities are fun exercises, too.
    I choose door number 1!

    and 50 gestures got it!

    i'll be sure to make a sketchbook to upload all my stuff on here from now on!

    Thanks for the warm welcome

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    Quote Originally Posted by SweatiestDegree View Post
    i guess my ideas for what i want to draw are greater then my skill to execute them.
    This will pretty much always be the case, regardless of how good you get.

    As you improve you start to notice the flaws in your own work more easily. You get better, then the bar automatically goes higher, the goalposts move.

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    The biggest thing I'm reading into your situation is "just sit at home trying to improve my drawing skills". You have an awesome situation and it's great that you have family willing to support you in this. But you really need to find a way to hold yourself accountable for this. You don't half ass an opportunity like that. It's extremely difficult to hold onto consistency in something you don't have to do, especially when you're on a free ride. If that is the case and you wont be working at all. (Not sure that it is?)

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    well, yeah i guess it's a free ride, and you're 100% right

    and it's a little frightening when you say it that way

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    You need to focus on what you ENJOY. Actually, the fact that you might not be enjoying yourself shows that you're being very critical about things and are seeing the flaws in your work, but you need to be in that state of mind where something excites you so much that you CAN'T put it down, you can't go to sleep, you sometimes don't even think about eating and you jump out of bed at night to put down an idea or try something. Especially being in a self-motivated situation, you need that excitement and enjoyment. If you're enjoying things, you'll learn what you like and don't like, what looks good (to you) and what doesn't. Slowly your understanding will grow. But if you don't put fuel into your tank (enjoyment and drive) especially to begin with, how can you expect to get far? GET CURIOUS. Get excited. Get your hands dirty trying things out. The technical stuff is JUST technical stuff, in the end. I have gone through just about every stage from worrying about whether I'm copying Loomis heads correctly to being so afraid I didn't draw for months to 'fuck it, I'll just do whatever' and I believe I can safely say that your curiosity will always be yours and anyone's biggest asset.

    Here's a tip. Don't call your drawings drawings, call them experiments.

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    I'll take a slightly different direction, since dpaint (and others) pretty much nailed the practical side right away. I would just like to add that it is also important to be aware of the direction you want to go in...what type of "visual artist" do you want to be? Painter? Industrial Designer? Animator? Architect? Illustrator?...There are a great many careers which are at their core about visual art, design and communication. Really do some research and try to figure out where your greatest potential lies within this broad spectrum - what do you have a knack for? THAT will tell you what to focus on. Your Dad would be a great partner in that part of the process.

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    isn't it a good thing that i'm critical of my own work and can see that it isn't good?

    but you're right, i used to feel that, i guess by ignoring it for so long, but not having stopped the idea flow made what i can do light years from what i want to put down, and you guys are right art is ever growing and i imagine as you learn you get better and better at creating it in your mind and always stay a little behind on what you're able to put on paper.

    and i gave serious thought to everything you guys said, and what i came to realize is I've disappointing people before, and specially my dad is always supportive of what i want to do, always tells me i can do anything i want if i just apply myself to the max.

    Now i'm 22 and here's this chance to do something I've dreamed about since i was a kid, but what if i can't do it? after so much time wasted before can i really just focus on what i want to draw and not on pure technique and learning?

    i sound like a whinny little kid i realize that, i should just enjoy, say screw it and give it my all.

    just scared that's not enough

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    I'll take a slightly different direction, since dpaint (and others) pretty much nailed the practical side right away. I would just like to add that it is also important to be aware of the direction you want to go in...what type of "visual artist" do you want to be? Painter? Industrial Designer? Animator? Architect? Illustrator?...There are a great many careers which are at their core about visual art, design and communication. Really do some research and try to figure out where your greatest potential lies within this broad spectrum - what do you have a knack for? THAT will tell you what to focus on. Your Dad would be a great partner in that part of the process.
    True, and I've given it some thought. i as of right now my Goal is Illustration , Concept art and as much as i love animation from studying it a little in cinema i don't really wan't to draw 100 pictures that move, i wan't to draw/paint 1 picture that moves whoever see's it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SweatiestDegree View Post
    isn't it a good thing that i'm critical of my own work and can see that it isn't good?
    Its good that you are critical but being too critical can be crippling

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