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Hi! In your journey through art, did you notice any myths?
-"drawing is hard", no drawing is easy, just make a mark on the paper. Sometimes people give up before even pickin up the pencil.
-"there's nothing to draw" open your eyes, there's a lot of interesting stuff to draw. and after a few tries you start to notice a lot more stuff to draw.
-"i need years to get good" you can learn something new in just one day, like drawing mandalas or drawing a cat.
The job of an artist is to show the beauty that others do not see: agreed.-"there's nothing to draw" open your eyes, there's a lot of interesting stuff to draw. and after a few tries you start to notice a lot more stuff to draw.
You can learn new things, but it takes years to become good.-"i need years to get good" you can learn something new in just one day, like drawing mandalas or drawing a cat.
Let me add some myths:
- In a world of tablets, there is no need for drawing: look around you, draftsmen will soon be extinct
- Drawing is easier than painting
- Real artists paint, sculpt, animate, whatever: drawing is just a preliminary step
Grinnikend door het leven...
Some of the most annoying myths:
"You either have talent or you don't. If you have talent then drawing is easy and if you don't then you can never learn how to do it."
"Artists just close their eyes and imagine something and then copy what they see in their head."
"You can't use reference or look at anyone else's art, because if it doesn't come from inside you and nowhere else then it's CHEATING."
I always thought the "using reference is cheating" thing was a little odd.
Look at Dürer's Rhinoceros woodcut: he was a great artist, but having nothing to go on but written notes and descriptions it turned out looking sort-of like a rhino. "Sort-of" is still far off from a realistic depiction though (which would have been the aim of the piece I guess).
"So convincing was Dürer's fanciful creation that for the next 300 years European illustrators borrowed from his woodcut, even after they had seen living rhinoceroses without plates and scales." - https://www.britishmuseum.org/explor...hinoceros.aspx
Well, I'd say it really depends on the type of drawing. I wouldn't agree that its entirely a myth but yes, some people don't even try and therefore have no right in saying that.-"drawing is hard", no drawing is easy, just make a mark on the paper. Sometimes people give up before even pickin up the pencil.
Snort. Ikr.-"there's nothing to draw" open your eyes, there's a lot of interesting stuff to draw. and after a few tries you start to notice a lot more stuff to draw.
To learn something is one thing, to get good is another, or a.k.a. Diligence.-"i need years to get good" you can learn something new in just one day, like drawing mandalas or drawing a cat.
I'd also add another one, that I've heard way too many times:
"I can't draw".
There's no such thing as 'I can't draw'.
Its like saying 'I can't cook' or 'I can't ride a bike'.
Or 'I can't write'.
You just haven't been sincere enough.
Some people do have 'talent', in a sense - they pick things up faster, see connections quicker and hence can implement them in art before others. But that likely applies to them in other things as well, not strictly for art, so you can't say its unfair or it doesn't exist in that way. Just like how people excel at math or languages, or how some people have a better memory.
That's certainly not to say that those without talent cannot art. -use of word yes hahaha-
Art is expression, inspiration and technique learnt from experience, not simply a subject breached to achieve excellence. There's no clear-cut method to excel, so in a sense,everyone starts from ground one.
Therefore, no matter how 'talented' you are, everyone has to practice before they can achieve a standard in art. It's obvious when someone screws a technique due to lack of practice.
Another one that I've realised time again to be bloody annoying is when someone makes up excuses for errors in their piece. Such as:
"My [insert tool] isn't as good as ____." or "My [tool] is hard to draw with."
Yeah. It's always the fault of the pen's thickness, or the room lighting that your piece came out bad. If anything is wrong, its your lack of willpower to achieve the standard you desire. There's nothing wrong with your tool - you're just not used to it.
Whether you use a soft 2H pencil, or a dark 4B, an old paintbrush with splayed bristles or fancy nylon ones, digital medium or traditional, quality or average paper, Bamboo Fun or Cintiq 13HD, even a mouse or a charcoal stick – it doesn't bloody matter.
"The Tools make the Artist" — no. It is the Artist that molds the potential out of his/her tools.
Nobody should make excuses because they think their tools are inadequate. You could be using an LCD professional tablet yet someone else with a mouse and scanner can rival your work because you make excuses and don't push yourself.
The first rule of art should always be to rely on yourself and never blame your tools. If there's something wrong with your piece, its your skills that are lacking. Unless, of course, you have other reasonable factors in your life.
So instead of saying "My [tool] is hard to draw with", say "I'm not used to my [tool]". And then it would be perfectly fine to say "I'm good at this" instead of "My tools make me good at this". Makes sense, yes?
My whole point though, is that if you're any good, you can make anything work.
And of course, to be good you'll have to practice. :3
Last edited by Auxuris; May 9th, 2014 at 01:55 PM.
That's a huge chunk of text if i ever saw one! But i agree on the most parts.
I agree with you especially on the whole 'talent' business.
It backfired for me in a very interesting way. When i was younger i used to doodle and copy stuff a lot and was always being told "hurr durr you so talented!" by everyone around me, so i naturally started to believe it. But when i wanted to draw stuff from my imagination that looked great in my mind it turned out to be the worst thing since Hitler. After this i wanted to punch everyone in the face who told me i was 'talented'.
Looking back I wish someone had told me that my art looked like shit because i wasn't practicing and had no understanding of what i was doing.
Also the "My/his/her art is not bad, it's just my/his/her style!" seems to have become a drawing myth that is quite popular among teeangers these days.
A myth I really hate - you're an artist, right, so you can draw AAAAANYTHIIIING! In absolutely any style, with no reference needed - right?
I used to do airbrush t shirts, and this is what people seemed to think. They also thought I could somehow read their minds and figure out precisely what they wanted even though they were utterly unable to express it clearly or show me anything similar. -- "No - not like that… more, well, you know - different!" and then comes the part where they get mad at me because of their inability to explain what they want. Pfft!!
"Draw what you see, not what you think."
This one drives me crazy. My eyes trick me all the time. I see something and draw it only to realize that since I didn't understand what I was seeing, I drew it badly and that if I had put some more thought into it, it might have turned out better. Of course, I suppose that means I just need to get better at looking at what I'm actually looking at while I'm drawing.
My Sketch Book
i think everyone can do it, as soon as they start being less ignorant, like some of the people in this thread are being.
Regarding the talent myth, it's true that lack of talent doesn't mean you're unable to be good at the particular thing you lack talent at; it just means you have to work a lot harder (and perhaps longer) than a talented person to achieve the same level of proficiency.
I once met a very talented artist who hardly put any study in, so I guess that talent also affects one's practice-to-study ratio that determines what efforts are needed to become proficient.
Oh, and I remembered another myth I found, which I find all over the internet.
Person 1: What can I do to become good at drawing? :insertdetailshere:
Person 2: Just practice! Really, that's just it!
If mere practice alone was enough to make one proficient, people wouldn't need books like Loomis', or even art schools, for that matter.
one mans myth is another mans genius.
Talent?, what the hell does it really mean?, does it mean your gifted or does it mean the same thing?, does it mean you don't have to work as hard as the next bloke, or is it just hard work gaining enough skills for people to call you talented?, and if "you" think someone is talented, is he talented to me?, people do throw that word around way to easily.Regarding the talent myth, it's true that lack of talent doesn't mean you're unable to be good at the particular thing you lack talent at; it just means you have to work a lot harder (and perhaps longer) than a talented person to achieve the same level of proficience.
there were a couple of talented artist at school when I was a teenager, but when I look back at it now they weren't that talented in fact they sucked, but everyone else sucked more, so were they talented or were they just better then everyone else?.
so when you say "lack of talent", or talented person, I think your more saying they lack skill, or skilled person, when your been drawing for a few years its less about talent and more about hard work... anyway may the talented rule the world...
If those characteristics are unlearnable, how did the "talented" artists attain them? Surely you're not claiming that they were born with those unlearnable abilities, I have never seen a toddler that could paint, draw or play an instrument.
Sure, if you reduce talent to "highly motivated" and throw "above average intelligence" into the mix you've really got something going for that person. Both of these factors arent't necessarily "learnable" either (motivation might be though). But that's not what people usually mean when they use the word talent.
Of course, you've also got the occasional wunderkind who has their brain wired differently and has a photographic memory or comparable assets that are unattainable for a "normal" brain. One might call that "talent". We mustn't forget that those people also often have great difficulties with other aspect of life though- and I find it improbable that all the great painters like Sargent, Zorn, Bouguereau, Mucha etc. all had this or similar conditions.
It's not that I can conclusively prove it, but I think for the avergae human being without any specific brain "abnormalities", the main factors in this equation are motivation and above average intelligence. The first enables you to put in the hours needed, the second facilitates learning of every kind and enables one to spend the right amount of time on the right things. In extreme cases one might do with just one of them, with intelligence being the less important factor. But it certainly is a catalyst.
I don't buy into the talent thing at all, look at schools like Watts Atelier. They consistently turn out competent artists. Same with the Chinese system. Most of the time they do it in 5 years. Critical thinking is important and the ability to avoid Dunning Kruger effects which seems rampant in America because of all the disabling ideas about teaching here.
I buy into the talent thing.
I think that talent is essentially an artist's ability to fall into a state of belief about the work he is making, while also making it. Which is another way of saying that a strong artist's imagination can vivify complexes of symbols into characters that behave as if real. Most artists cannot penetrate beyond the surface of their pictures. All great artists can... their art is something they see through, as if it were a mere veil over the actual "reality" they are seeing. The process of mark-making is more like auto-writing or transcribing to them than some technical procedure.
Talent, however, is freed by good information and encouragement, and fed by experience in life and by experience of great art. So it is often hard to tell just what anybody's artistic talent is, the extent of it, unless it is given every chance to blossom.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
"The study was inspired by the case of McArthur Wheeler, a man who robbed two banks after covering his face with lemon juice in the mistaken belief that it would prevent his face from being recorded on surveillance cameras."
What a great way to start a study on ignorance and ineptitude.
Grinnikend door het leven...
We simply differ greatly in what we mean by talent. What mainly has been talked about in this thread is what laymen mean by talent- an "unlearnable", naturally given technical skill. I really do believe that this is a myth.
What you're refering to, I think, is a skill or ability that is much more complex & much harder to grasp or even verbalize. It is a notion that largely escapes the layman.
The greater ‘myth’ concerning talent is the one which claims that it does not exist.
Basically, talent IS aptitude. Talent typically is expressed as a capacitive predisposition to initially perform a novel task above average. The ‘head start’ plateaus quickly at which point the same level of hard work and perseverance is required to achieve mastery at something as it does for the untalented. It has nothing to do with learned experience. You can’t confuse achieved skill with talent. No one is born with the specific ability to draw exceptionally well. Some people do have a constellation of capacities that, when working in concert, happen to manifest in a higher than average ability to perform well at a specific novel task, which is usually unpredictable prior to expression.
…in my opinion
On the other hand there is sensitivity that enables greater awareness of the subtle, people differ considerably in how much their nervous system is aroused in the same situation, under the same stimulation (E. Aron wrote about HSPs (highly sensitive people that represent 15-20% of the population), J.Kagan tested babies who later showed this trait and they had cooler foreheads on the right side which indicated greater activity of that side of the brain (less linear, more creative in a synthesizing way), studies of identical twins proved genetic predisposition, etc.). People who are more sensitive are prone to see more details and implications, they are better at spotting errors and avoiding making errors, there are very conscientious and tend to think a lot about their own thinking, they are able to concentrate deeply, process material more subtly (semantic memory), they have better intuition and are able to learn without being aware of it, they are more deeply affected by other people moods and emotions, they are aware and conscious of little things like other people looking at them and silently judging them, they never have enough education/experiences, and so on.
(there is a price to pay for all that tho, since they pick up on the subtleties that others don't notice, they naturally arrive to overarousal (and discomfort, irritation) much faster (Kagan noticed that body fluids of sensitive kids show indications of high levels of norepinephrine (brain version of adrenaline) present in their brains after stimulation) and some tend to have various problems because of that)
More sensitive people have a built in tendency to gather more (subtle) data because they have hightened awareness of everything that tends to escape others, they react more strongly to external stimuli and consequently gives them a good predisposition for appreciation of the subtlest beauties of life. Aron also said that they tend to have more vivid, alarming, "archetypal" dreams and with coming of darkness, subtle sounds and shapes begin to rule the imagination of sensitive kids because they sense them more. Sensitive people are according to her also strongly affected by music and have statistically high interest in arts and spirituality.
There is a topic here where people explain which artists they admire now that they get art. That "get" is where I think the valuable things are (you don't "get" the technical ability in the same sense), but it doesn't happen only once. The "get"'s come with discovering new layers, you don't just get Rembrandt, you get him many times. Delacroix said that the older he becomes, better Rembrandt gets. Van Gogh later agreed with that. I think It's up to ones sensitivity (and knowledge, life experiences, etc.) to penetrate through all these layers and to become susceptible for the full strength of the artistic communication. Sometimes I discover a certain layer only after I acquire a sensitive awareness for something in real life, so I think many people who get Rembrandt now will appreciate him even more once/if they (including me) become sensitively aware of the truth of how it is to be an old, confident, proud, etc. man from his selfportraits.
So that's where I'm coming from, if the ability to gather subtle sensuous informations in a complex real life and the ability to manifest it visually through artistic medium (as Kev said) is linked to ones (apparently predetermined) sensitivity (and/or maybe something else), I guess shows, that not everyone of us has a chance to create works like those of Rembrandt, Turner, Sargeant, Everett, Wyeth,...
Last edited by Ales S.; June 19th, 2014 at 11:19 PM.