I think you're being a bit too hard on yourself. A lot of artists fall into this trap, so you're in good company. First things first - generally, art school does not help as much as people think, and sometimes it even hurts you by giving you a sense of false security while dragging you into mountains of debt. You might have dodged a bullet.
Second, there's a HUGE range of concept art out there in a bunch of different styles for different purposes, and even though you might not be able to fit in with the hyper-realistic AAA blockbuster crowd (yet?), some animation and game studios like that kind of cute edgy style you are working in. It's good to know where you need to work, but you should be able to recognize your strengths as well!
One thing you can do, though, is work on expanding your range and do other things in addition to characters - environments is a pretty big one. Animals, monsters, etc. is another good thing to try.
For classes, do a search for Chris Oatley and Noah Bradley. Those are the big kids in online art education right now. Also Chris is just a super helpful guy in general.
Yes I've been listening to Chris Oatley's podcosts for the past few days. The Magic Box looks great. I'm on the fence on which would be better for me. Level Up, Art Camp or The Magic Box? They all look good and informative. Is one more specialized towards something else than the other?
Last edited by tetoki; May 25th, 2014 at 02:28 PM.
Thank you very much, listening to lesson 1 now! If possible though do you have any input on Level Up vs Magic Box vs Art Camp? They're all classes that are apparently pretty good and highly suggested. Does it matter which one I end up taking in the long run?
I don't think you're as bad as you believe you are. You have good pencil/pen control and line skills, and your characters are cute and believable, from what I saw in your gallery.
What I think you need to focus on now is improvement and widening your horizons because there's not much there other than cartoons and a line drawing. If thats what you want to do, cool, but it's always a good idea to have solid fundamental skills. So, drawing things traditionally, things from life, photos, still lives etc, will all give a good foundation to build on. Also, if you plan on doing lots of character/figure work, get to life drawing classes if you can or, failing that, start doing studies of figures from photos and building knowledge of anatomy. Good books for figure work are; Michael Hampton, Joseph Sheppard, George Bridgman, and the Quickposes site.
Dont be afraid to fail or have your work stink, but try not to push yourself so hard you give up because you're trying to do things outside your skill level. I've been studying on my own for about three or four years now (after many years of faffing about not knowing what I wanted to do) and I'm still a long way off where I want to be. It'll take time to get good so start small. Draw simple things around you like your phone or chair or a tree etc. You can move on to more complicated stuff as you improve.
And don't be afraid to do this thing on your own. Going to art school isn't all it cracks up to be , as a lot of them are more focussed on self expression and abstraction than observational or representational art. Of course, it depends on the school and I can only talk about where I come from so maybe things are different elsewhere. I do know that when I left school, I wasnt good enough to get into Glasgow School of Art so I mucked about for the next decade or so doing non art stuff. When I got serious about it again, I realised going to GSA probably wouldnt have helped anyway because I wanted to paint cool stuff like monsters and castles that looked realistic. The couple of times I did go to college, I got sneered at by the teachers and told I was a bit of a romantic, lol. So I've just been going my own way and so can you. You're still young so stop worrying so much, you'll be fine.
Just know that having woken up and realised what you want to do and how much you want it, you've taken a huge step forward. Good luck!
And don't forget to start a sketchbook here and post everything, from the shittiest doodle to your finest masterpieces. It's a good record of your progress and you can revisit it when you need to see how far you've come or areas you still need to work on.
Okay, I'll stop prattling now. Hope some of it made sense and is of use to you.
P.S. I cant really help with which online courses you should go for, but what I will say is, if there's something you can study/follow for free, go for that first. A lot of people charge insane prices for online art tuition that often isnt all that useful. Always think carefully before shelling out money on this tuturial or that dvd.