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  1. #1
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    Advice Needed Now Please!

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Sean and i am 28 years old and i am looking for some advice on how to develop strong artist skills in my spare time.

    I dropped out of a portfolio class when i was 18 for various reasons. The short of it was that i wasn't ready, committed or confident with my potential or person. Since then i have mostly worked in retail, obtained a degree in Philosophy and currently employed as a gardener. I also attend college part time completing my horticulture qualifications. The latter is an interest i have and for this reason i have been pursing it as a career.
    I have long yearned for a return to art and i have always had a strong desire to produce creative work although i've never seemed to have the time to develop and produce anything. Recently i was inspired by an exhibition to act on this long held notion. I've only drawn sporadically over the years and never developed any painting skills. Recently, however, i've been a programme to teach myself the rudimentaries of fine art and hopefully i can build on this. I'm drawing 4 plus hours in the evenings and hoping to committ 10 plus at weekends.
    I need advice on how best to develop strong skills independently. What should i focus on and how? There are no evening classes running in my area right now but i'm keeping my eye open. Also, is 28 too old to begin this and progress well enough to produce quality work? Any other advice would be appreciated too.

    Sean

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  3. #2
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    it's never too late!

    i would say... don't over do it, 10 hours at once sounds like a lot, the brain is a muscle, and as with any muscle, you can over-work it. 4 hours is plenty, you don't want to burn out that newly re-kindled flame straight away.
    Don't RUSH into it, some times you can make more observations in 10 minutes than in an hour. It all depends upon the intensity; can you stand the heat?
    Let it build up, instead of getting burned out.

    just keep chugging away at it and enjoy every moment, find the love for your craft and then you will be able to answer your own questions.

    you say you weren't committed to it and not confident with your potential or person, I assume this has changed?

    Quite honestly I believe true confidence does not type the way you do (right now), just keep going within and yielding to the love you have, do not cover it up, the kind of passion and desire you need to make a difference make you VULNERABLE, curiosity keeps you going, that is the price of greatness; Respecting and honoring your emotions enough to genuinely care about everything that happens. To feel the sting, the fear, the tension, do not to try to be invulnerable (trust me i tried that shit, doesn't work), it (yielding to your own love) is the source of your strength, but also of your pain.

    Good luck on your journey! I'm sure you can do more than you can imagine right now, as long as you allow your creativity to show you -different- ways.

    ...
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    Hi samthemule,

    Thanks for your reply and your comments.
    My mindset has completely changed over the years and i am very committed to my ambitions. I believe i can make this work.
    Do you have any recommendations for books etc which might be of assistance to help with anatomy and/or perspective?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GardenerMan View Post
    Hi samthemule,

    Thanks for your reply and your comments.
    My mindset has completely changed over the years and i am very committed to my ambitions. I believe i can make this work.
    Do you have any recommendations for books etc which might be of assistance to help with anatomy and/or perspective?
    Hi gardenerman!!

    you can find lots of those books linked here in the forums, but a short list from the top of my head: andrew loomis, fun with a pencil & a bunch of other classics, free pdfs which you can get printed at a copy shop or read on your kindle/ ebook. burne hogarth, anything really. bridgeman, vanderpoel, there are really a lot of good books, too many. you have to make a choice if that's how you want to learn, best to be an intuitive one and strike while the iron is hot, meaning, if you see something which you learn from whilst browsing through them, just stick with that one, and don't try and learn too much at once, from too many different sources.

    as for perspective, i watched this and it made me feel gooder about perspective


    you can find the full version on gnomon workshop, under scott robertson,
    called "basic perspective form drawing"

    myself, i have the bargue drawing class book, which i bought for a bout 50 to 100 pounds on amazon (can't remember, it was worth it though) and then had shipped to me from my aunt, that book will Really sharpen your eye up for shapes and -just getting things right-, if you can sit through it and allow the changes to take place in how you see and draw. I think it's best to study with other people, or at least post your results from it in a thread, so that others can tell you what you missed, even when you think you got it perfect.

    There was a book linked in another thread by long-time forum members, to someone asking how to not get overwhelmed called "art and fear", could be good, haven't read it.

    the book i really CAN recommend, for getting you motivated and out of old habits is "the artist's way" by julia cameron.

    However good the book is/ books are though, doesn't matter, if you don't apply it and stick with them.
    Try new things in all walks of life; dance, surprise yourself, try rapping, eat an avocado, inform yourself about Nepalese traditions, learn to fish, go meditate in a pitch black cave with no light coming through for a whole day, smile at a baby/ stranger, wake up at 8 but stay in bed for another hour sorting your life out in your head.
    If you can't make your breakthrough one way, then don't give up, try another, and apply that feeling/knowledge to the area where you feel stuck.

    and remember "the best result reading a book can have is to motivate you, the reader, to self action" some random famous book guy.

    Good luck! Hope that answered your question.

    Last edited by samthemule; March 16th, 2013 at 08:25 AM. Reason: forgot to say hi & added video
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    Hi samthemule,

    That's exactly the kind of advice i was looking for. I picked up a few books today from a library and have convinnced a friend to pose as a life model for me. I will be looking into the books and links you recommended too. Also, i'll see if i can get a scanner and start an online sketchbook. Thanks for this, really does help.

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  7. #6
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    Is the Artist's Way that book that the author recommends to write pure thought flow every morning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GardenerMan View Post
    Hi samthemule,

    That's exactly the kind of advice i was looking for. I picked up a few books today from a library and have convinnced a friend to pose as a life model for me. I will be looking into the books and links you recommended too. Also, i'll see if i can get a scanner and start an online sketchbook. Thanks for this, really does help.
    Cool beans man! (:

    Also, if you have a good camera you can upload art that way, not quite as good as a scanner, but easier and faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonor View Post
    Is the Artist's Way that book that the author recommends to write pure thought flow every morning?
    it has "the morning pages" in which you do things like that, but not just that, yes.
    the other things is the "artist's date", on which you set yourself a date, a challenge, a new venture, kind of like environment of the week and stuff like that, but not just limited to visual art.

    here's some photos of the chapters:

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  9. #8
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    I actually think for being a good artist you must have good focus on your work, creativity, accountability and have some patients in you is food signs of an amazing artist. I advise you that you seems like a beginner so you must try to draw natural things or steel live things with pencil. So, this things might be help you to improve your art skills.

    wall scrolls posters
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  10. #9
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    You know what, screw this high octane "passion", "drive" and "commitment" mindset. And screw Julia Cameron grade feelgood babble. And screw ambitious and rigid schedules. All this crap tends to backfire.

    My suggestion is to invite your practice into your life in an unpretentious and modest way, but let it feel welcome enough to stay with you for a long time. Ideally for life. Practice is precious and fragile at the beginning. You don't want to scare it away with schedules and talk about commitment or grandeur.

    Start with making the practice small but ineluctable part of your life. Something like brushing your teeth. You do it every day, not for too long, you don't question why, don't obsess over results, don't have a "passion" for it. You just persist in doing it every day in an adequate way. That's the treatment practice might appreciate a lot. It will organically want to grow bigger from there.

    Four hours a day is insanely lot. You'll tend to fiddle-away most of that time anyway. One half hour session a day of deliberate and focused practice is well enough for start. Just don't ever skip days.

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  12. #10
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    I recomend you to get a mentor or a teacher. I have an amazing mentor right now and I am learning a lot!

    Quote Originally Posted by GardenerMan View Post
    Hello everyone,

    My name is Sean and i am 28 years old and i am looking for some advice on how to develop strong artist skills in my spare time.

    I dropped out of a portfolio class when i was 18 for various reasons. The short of it was that i wasn't ready, committed or confident with my potential or person. Since then i have mostly worked in retail, obtained a degree in Philosophy and currently employed as a gardener. I also attend college part time completing my horticulture qualifications. The latter is an interest i have and for this reason i have been pursing it as a career.
    I have long yearned for a return to art and i have always had a strong desire to produce creative work although i've never seemed to have the time to develop and produce anything. Recently i was inspired by an exhibition to act on this long held notion. I've only drawn sporadically over the years and never developed any painting skills. Recently, however, i've been a programme to teach myself the rudimentaries of fine art and hopefully i can build on this. I'm drawing 4 plus hours in the evenings and hoping to committ 10 plus at weekends.
    I need advice on how best to develop strong skills independently. What should i focus on and how? There are no evening classes running in my area right now but i'm keeping my eye open. Also, is 28 too old to begin this and progress well enough to produce quality work? Any other advice would be appreciated too.

    Sean


    Check out my NEW NEW NEW SKETCH BOOK and my Constantly updated deviant art too! (Don't forget to critique both! I am very eager to learn)

    "There is a right way and an easy way". I am here to do things the right way .

    Philippians 4:13
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
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  13. #11
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    Hi Sean

    This you write, I can relate to me. I am 29år and also when I was young I drawn a lot. but stop draw, and instead used a lot of years to work and earn money and partying. but the crisis start and things start to go not quite as well! I decided to start drawing again. and I must say that I was somewhat surprised at how bad I was after so many years without drawing.

    Must also say that I have stressed of how much time I spend on drawing every day. and after some months I found out spend 10 hours a week and ended up only drawing. can only end up I eventually burn out and lose my joy and desire to draw.

    I can obviously not come up with something professional advice because I myself am newbie. but use 2 hours every day to draw and really study and understand what it is you are drawing and why you draw it.

    If you can more than 2 hours, just do it. but remember that it's not about only drawing but also to understand the madness behind it all

    You are more than welcome to add me as a contact / friend.
    If you want a newbie to compare with or asks something

    That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stranger
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