Art: Re:Journey of An absolute Rookie: drawing on life's experiences
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  1. #1
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    Re:Journey of An absolute Rookie: drawing on life's experiences

    Hey Mind Candyman and others, warning: long winded post ahead

    I've read just about all your posts now but have been unable to see some of your earlier images.(no doubt u can only keep
    them your on the server for so long). It's Great to see someone relatively new to drawing and painting so well motivated..and making such progress! You've inspired me to finally make my first post. I have been drawing since an early
    age but did no start painting with a passion until after I left High School in 97.. since then I have partially completed and dropped out of various art colleges due to disillusionment with the feel of the institutions and had a solo exhibition in 2000.. but since then I started spreading myself too thinly over many things..(drumming for several bands, studying capoeira and also self-teaching 3d modelling animation. I was frustrated at not making too much progress in all of the above disciplines. I knew Conceptual design and animation were the two things I most loved, but I didnt have the heart to leave the group dynamic and kinship of a band who's members I had grown so much with over the years to pursue my personal creative impulses fully. Sometime after my first exhibition due to various factors inlcuding trying to make money, girlfriend wanting to buy a house, fitting into other peoples schedules, not enough space, not enough time, a jittery wacom, and fear of fitting/not fitting a market! I lost the impulse to paint. aaargh!!

    I tried many ways of attempting to balance the many things I wanted to achieve with my need to continue practising art, and for some time I acheived a modest degree of satisfaction with my various interests, but I could always hear a quiet voice telling me " you know what you really want to do " and when it came down to it.. what I needed was focus in my life and a
    letting go of some of the things I previously thought were important.. like asking myself questions such as "when will I get 'there'" and "will I make it?" "Should I use references?""Should I draw that?" "Will I finally be able to make a living doing this?" AARgh enough!! enough!!

    I have now left the band and am only playing in my leisure time, I have also separated from my Girlfriend of 7 years which has been a painful but great learning experience for us both. I am still practicing martial arts but on my own and in my own time. I have also moved quite far from where I used to live Kalamunda: the hills of perth Western Australia.. to
    Fremantle.. near the sea. It is here I have decided to live so I concentrate most of my free energy on developing my conceptual drawing, painting and modelling skills.. and just have fun doing it!

    It's been a couple of months now and I finally feel my childlike enthusiasm is coming back.. and I'm going back and
    addressing some aspects of my technique.. particularly anatomy and perspective.. without being overly worried about the outcome. I am also trying to let go of the preciousnessss (hehe) which seems to breed pretentious outcomes in my work not to mention a mediocre learning curve. Lately I've been trying more spontaneous speed painting/ drawing like your exercises.. so far it has been fun and I learn lot more from letting go than trying to perfect something I could have just started again, not to mention losing some of the original expression and motivation in the process.

    I have done quite a bit of sculpture (digital particularly) lately .. but I really wanna get into oil painting again. This forum has been a great place for me to re-charge creatively and get inspired. I feel I am now starting out again in many ways so that is why I posted this thread as a reply to your journey of an absolute rookie thread.

    Reading your posts in particular has made me realise how important places like this are for artists like us and I hope to
    eventually be able to inspire others on this journey into not only drawing painting and conceptual design but into our own
    self-discovery. As difficult and as frustrating as it can be at times.. it has been one of the most rewarding adventures in
    my lifetime. keep up the great work and thanks for the inspiration! I like the sketchbook pages in particular. and now I think I'll have to post some of my stuff up to balance out all the text. I promise I'll post some stuff soon as soon as I get
    the scanner working! can anyone recomend a good free server to post images on?


    Rohan Ford

    "Turn the Grid snap off!!"

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  2. #2
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    Thumbs up two thumbs up

    unbelievable

    truly inspiring
    you've done the right choice

    your thoughts kinda covers a lot of what myself and many others have gone through and I believe that this is the way to cure the itch
    i think its admiring that you managed to pull this up, you've got the hardest part covered, getting started and i hope to see lot more from you and wish you the best of luck Rohan

    stay talented

    / -

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    Rohan,
    Thanks for the reply. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I started that thread. I knew that I wouldn't be able to wow people with fantastic art. In fact it probably does the opposite most often heheh. But this is exactly what I wanted...to drag a bandwagon that everyone could jump on. My dad said something to me a long time ago that stuck with me...he said, "Jon...the plodders win...keep pushing in what you do...keep studying...keep learning. The ones who push hardest for the longest amount of time almost always win out in the end". That has stuck with me up to this point. Usually the road to doing anything is long long long and paved with potholes. That is what makes it fun though. Never tire of this process though...learn to love the frustration...learn to love everything. Artists have to give up their final product so the only thing we can really claim for own is the process. This is most true in the fine art world where people sell their originals. Learn to love hills and valleys. You have started which is hard...BUT I would suggest that continuing is even harder. Know what you are up against ahead of time. Ten thousands things will try to pull you away from what you are doing...DON'T LET THEM...unplug your tv...don't play video games all day (those are my big two time wasters hehe). Approach your goal with a tenacious will to win. You have to treat it like a war that you are fighting with yourself because it is. Beat your body into submission make it draw/paint like YOU want it to draw. It's so easy to just slump onto the couch instead of spending all your efforts on doing boring cast drawings. But these things have to be done.

    It's funny you mention being in a band...I was in a band for 7 years...played guitar all over philly and maryland. That was a great experience but like you said...I have moved on now and am pursuing art. Seems we are very similar...although I don't know martial arts yet heheh.

    I am glad that my humble little thread was able to help inspire you. But now it's up to YOU. You now need to take the baton and run with it. Be prepared for a marathon...know what you are facing...know that it will take you YEARS to get anywhere close to where you want to be...but have fun in the journey and in the process. Definitely post your stuff and crave criticism. Take every criticism you get in stride and try to apply it in your work. Some criticisms are good and some are not good. Especially consider the criticism of the professionals they have a wealth of knowledge to share. And above all things DON'T GIVE UP...I don't wanna log onto this site 6 months from now and see you not posting. Make a decision and stick with it.

    Make no mistake though...we will do it together.
    jon

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    Another side note that I would also encourage you to do is draw from life and specifically figure drawing. I can't post any of my life drawings cause they are all stored at class but I draw from the figure about 6-8 hours a week at least every week. I would say that this is VITAL to growing as an artist. Drawing from life and the figure is so crucial...make sure you get involved in that on a regular basis. I can't wait to see your drawings and paintings!

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    Sorry one more thing hehehe... I am in the process of uploading all those old files so I can update my thread again. Just wanted to let you know. In my thread I will post when the update occurs...I want to keep the whole thing intact and earlier on I had to use a temporary service to post my pics...so that's why they all won't work but I will update them soon.

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    And me!

    Those questions ("will I make it?...") also plague me. Most of the time I feel like I'll be on my death bed before I'm producing decent art!

    When I get home from work I feel so dull and uninspired to draw but I have to force myself to pull out my pencil and start drawing!
    It does feel like a war. :o

    The times when I'm most inspired to draw, it's inconvenient- mostly idly browsing the net at work (and reading something like this) or 01:00 or so in the morning when I know if I get started on a drawing spree, I won't sleep.
    I also suffered from the tendency to just flop on the sofa and play videogames.

    But where I live now there is no TV, no phone line, I'm cut off from the outside world... free from temptation!

    Hopefully I'll be taking evening life-drawing classes in a few months when I go back to uni... some of the summer courses I've seen have been really expensive.

    I should probably get back to work now! :boring:

    Last edited by Nacrisa; March 24th, 2003 at 12:15 PM.
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  7. #7
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    This is a very inspiring thread. Its nice to know how other artists feel. I too was inspired by MCM's thread. And so I created my own. I haven't updated it in a while, because I don't want to until I get really good results, with my stuff! So I'm just scattering my stuff about on these boards. :p

    But, I also wanted to second MCM's notion on figure drawing. It's what turned my life around. I would be lost with out it. I love looking at my first drawings and see how crappy I was, and too look at my stuff now, and see how much i have improved.

    One small thing I wanted to suggest is: Set goals! For example! grab a calendar, or a weekly planner, and write down all of the things that you must do in order to improve. This works really well with me, except my calendar is in my head! hmmm!*

    Like one of the things, that I know will happen, is that i must get to Art Center, it is my goal to get there. Therefore, I am drawing a lot, and trying to put my portfolio together. Once I begin going there, I will have achieved a huge goal, but now I will have to make even higher goals for my self.

    It's things like this, and of course all of the great art on here, that help me push myself to become a better artist.

    *jumps on MCM's bandwagon* :p

    -http://iwasink.com/-
    DS Illustration
    "Get reference.
    There is nothing wrong with using a photo to help you see things.
    No one complains about life drawing,
    so take a photo.
    its easy, and will improve your piece greatly."
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  8. #8
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    i feel compelled to reply to this thread....not sure why...i guess you all have put into words what many of us are feeling..this struggle to become a great artist....and how its a balancing act...sacrificing other things we are fond of relationships other interests..all because in the back of our minds underneath all of our consciousness there is a voice that is telling us what we really need to do...i must draw..even as i write this i must...cheers to all my fellow artists..

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    MCM and others- thanks alot your response was very encouraging and confirming for me. I've found the people on this forum to be generally much more open and down to earth which is great for starting life-related educational threads. Yes I totally agree on figure drawing.. I'd say it's the core for me to understanding many things in art.. not only does it force you to build a mental library of forms.. a visual vocabulary.. but it also teaches you about construction in perspective and makes you very critical about capturing the essence and character of forms before you get into detail, among many other things.

    I find now with observational drawing if the piece I'm working on "resonates" with what I call the 'signature' of the subject I am drawing/painting from, then the piece is a success. I doubt I would have developed this feel for things had I not sharpened my perception with figure drawing and study of anatomy. I still have a loong way to go though, especially with constructing my own figures.

    martial arts and other related spiritual disciplines have taught me a lot of respect for other people and things, and about finding my 'center' ( balance.. in body in mind and spirit)

    I'm lucky enough to live with other people who never watch Tv we only bring it out to watch movies. But there a certainly plenty of distractions around. We all have a pretty intense social life here.. but many of my friends now have obsessive interests.. so they understand when I want to stay up all night on the computer and model or draw.. I still get called a geek though

    I.was.ink- For a while getting to Art Center was one of my goals too.. as many artists I respect and admire have studied there. But I'm quite happy just working on my skills alone for now.. I think the only way I'll get there is with some arts grant, as I'm living well below the poverty line atm. Unless I start selling paintings and stuff again.

    I still have not a working scanner or digi cam.. so I'll post some old life studies to get the ball rolling.. I posted a couple on the self portrait thread for this month too.
    this is one of my friend rob.. done in about 1 and 1/2 hours late one morning in early 2000. I could've done better had he stayed still for more than 20 seconds at a time!

    This sketch done was done while holidaying in vancouver early 2001. cause you can't clearly see what it is I'll explain: this guy had a hollowed out drum from which he suspended the inside of a car wheel cap around the circumference of which the strings were suspended over the entire length of the instrument.. He was constantly tuning it with one hand moving these little nuts on the strings into a spiral around it.. while playing the strings with a violin bow. It sounded really cool.. he kept looking over towards me with a quizzical(?) look.. as I sat on a bench for about 20 mins frantically trying to sketch him without him noticing..

    this one was from a photo for the parents of shannon, the baby in the pic.. I've found drawing babys an incredible challenge, as their character is very hard to capture the essence of with such subtle features.

    comments/crits welcome on all of course.
    hope to post some more painting orientated stuff soon if I can.
    Rohan
    so much sacrifice.. but so much to gain!

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  10. #10
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    You have a really light touch...looks good...definitely post more!

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  11. #11
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    damn you must be lving in this forum MCM! I posted and three minutes later I get a response. cheers! yeah I gotta work on my tonal boldness and use grades other than 2h, b, and 2b's all the time in my pencil sketches.

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  12. #12
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    Three things that contribute to that hehe...email notices when someone replies, a T1 connection here at work, and a boring job that drives me to look at the forum a lot heheh. I get a little pop up message in msn messenger when I get an email. So as soon as you reply it sends me an email and I get a little message hehe. That's hilarious what you said heheheh. :chug:

    I meant that in a good way about the light touch but now that you say it you probably could get a bit darker...and maybe add some interesting shadows...etc...

    Last edited by MindCandyMan; March 25th, 2003 at 03:58 PM.
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