Can a professional here set me on the right track?
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  1. #1
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    Can a professional here set me on the right track?

    Hey guys, ok it would be really nice if someone here that is professional could help me out here....I want to know how to go pro, and get really good, i am willing to work hard to get there, and draw non stop. What i am looking for is really a guide. Every time i ask someone, where do i start, how do i get better etc. they just tell me to draw all the time...well this doesn't help me. Or they say study anatomy. But i mean, should i start from anatomy, study anatomy first from completely anything else. Or should i start from the complete basics. I am not a bad drawer or anything i have been drawing for like 3 years or more, but i am only slowly improving cause all i do is draw from refrences mostly. What i am really asking, is, can someone, preferably someone pro, that has gone through it all, Kind of tell me what i should do in a good order. Like maybe start with the basics, study it up like crazy, then move to anatomy, then perspective or them all at once etc... Or what? I really just confused, mixed up, and do not feel like im on the right track...

    Someone help. I hope you know what im trying to ask.

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    Sorry, I'm not a pro but here's my advice. Go to a good art school! This is good because it keeps you busy, motivated, structured, etc. If you can't afford that right now then keep copying works from your favorite artists, and, by copying I mean studying their works and keeping a collection of these for helpful reference in the future. This also increases your visual vocabulary. Just copy, copy, copy and work with whatever you have right now. Your sketchbook is your notebook, you don't have to remember everything at once, that's why you can always refer to your studies/sketches. Don't be in a hurry to make your own work, acquire the knowledge necessary to do so first. Take your time.

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    Hi,
    My personnal point of view is : you study better what interest you at the moment.
    I personnaly don't believe there is an "absolute method" to learn to draw : the subject is too wide for that.
    I would only say : try to focus on what you're currently working on, try to understand it in the deep way : When I make a drawing of the head and shoulders of a character, I will focus on the anatomy of what I will represent : I will study - thanks to life observation, and books - how shoulders are attached to the neck etc... and I 'll study only that for a moment.
    Time will passes, and you'll have the opportunity to draw the human body under every angles, drawing after drawing. It's like a puzzle : you don't know from which part you will start, but you'll finally make the pieces fit together.

    About shool, I spent 5 years in a good one, but what I got from there is no real method, however I met interesting artists and observed them : my personnal method (still evolving of course ! ) comes from that.
    A method (a skill ) is like a good whisky : you put 100 L in a barrel, and ten years later you only got one bottle of juice, but that's a good one !

    Hope it will help a bit.

    Good luck.

    ____________

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    hmm thanks guys....Not sure if thats exactly what im looking for.. but it does help a bit.

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    what exactly are u asking for here? do you want a professional to share this elusive "secret of how to become a professional artist" that we all know? are you looking for a specific schedule of things you need to draw in order to become pro? sorry but im unclear. but i cant help but get the feeling that you are missing the point of this whole art thing. there is no hardfast guide to what you need to draw to have a good enough portfolio to become "pro". the best artists are the ones who just want to make art,and not worry about the pot of gold at the end. and there is no real hardfast way to become an artist. you make the descision to become one, and you work real hard at it, and thats all there is to it. there are a million different ways to pull off fooling people into believeing you are a real artist. well thats my opinion anyway. just keep drawing..haha -c36

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    Hey Justin,

    Like el coro said, there's no one way to "go pro".

    I'd suggest taking a look at what people you consider "pro" produce, and comparing it with your own work. Is it on par? By that, I mean is your work as tight as theirs? You need to be honest with yourself about this.

    If you can slog it out with the "pro", and you feel confident that you win at least 25% of the time, then yeah, okay maybe.

    The best way to get a handle on this is start submitting your work to various companies that you want to work for. If you get bites, guess what? you pass first muster. But then you have to produce at a minimum the same quality that you submitted consistantly. If you can do this for a living, then you're "pro".

    Or something like that.

    Hope that helps.
    ~Shane

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    What is the right track?

    Art is not rocket science. There is no formula that, if you follow it close enough will make you a better artist. Learning basics might be one of a million steps into the right direction, but in the end it all comes down to how much you want to create things out of an inner urge.


    M

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    Hmm, ok guys, im not sure if i explained correctly, i wasn't trying to ask how to become pro sorry for that. What i am asking is, where did you all start? I mean, i draw all the time everyday, but mostly from refrences. And i do not feel as i am improving, so i was wondering if anyone can put me on a good track, to help me get better. Like, What sorta things did you guys do when you were starting out? I dont feel that just drawing anything is really helping to much. I want to learn. And what i am saying is did you guys start by drawing the basics, and then step up to anatomy, or did you just draw from ref all the time, or like just from the good ol imagination? "Where did you all start" And how did you start to improve.... I mean, because i draw refrences alot, it seems i am only learning how to draw better by copying, i want to draw straight from my mind for the majority of the time... Rather than copying crap. I do enjoy copying things but not as much as i do creating my own.

    I just feel like i am off track, and not learning properly. Like by just drawing from refrences....I donno, do you understand what i am saying now? Sorry..

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    Man...your questions are still flawed young Jedi,

    but if it helps you anything, here is a breakdown:
    I studied Burne Hogarths anatomy at the age of 12, for about a year, made drawings right out of it. After that, I started drawing just to please myself. I did illustrations and more illustrations and even more illustrations. I tried to finish every piece, and include all my knowledge in there. Anatomy, perspective, composition etc...
    When I did studies, I would challenge myself by not using an eraser. I would sit down and draw with inks, without a pencil drawing underneath. I learned how to make proper strokes without searching too much. I would create 200 faces in that method and then move on, and use the same technique to create 20 fully rendered illustrations, with background, interaction between characters etc...All without an eraser. That's why it is so easy to me to nail the human figure with a few strokes these days. I always worked from imagination, never from ref, but I tried to observe the world around me very seriously, keeping memories of how things look in real life and recalling them when I was drawing them.

    M

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    Marko, that is exactly the sorta answer i was looking for, thank you man! I just want to see how others did it, so i can figure out really if i am going down the right road... i donno.

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    My two cents-

    My suggestion is to determine exactly what it is you want to do for a living with your art. Saying you want to be a professional artist is very much like saying you want to be a professional athlete. You just need to know exactly which discipline you wish to excel at.

    Once you have that commitment in place you can then begin to tailor your skills towards that end. While along the way trying to develop relationships with AD's in companies that you would like to work for. And most importantly, putting together the very bet portfolio you can that targets those markets you've chosen. Another thing to do is to try and talk to artists already in those fields that you would like to work in and get as much info as they are prepared to offer.

    Next, don't be afraid to submit your portfolio once you get one together that you feel confident with. Just make sure you are prepared for rejection because you wil get it. That's just a part of the business. And really , it's something that you can use to your advantage if you choose to see that, by overcoming any shortcomings in your portfolio that an AD has singled out. In fact, that's one of the single most beneficial and powerful tools that you can get. Pointed and relevant feedback on your ability by the very industry professionals you are trying to attract your way. It's not always certain that you will get feedback and if you do value every word of it highly.

    And finally, never stop practising those things that you think are your weak spots. And really, just never stop practising all aspects of art. That's what makes you get better than you are, because no matter what point you find yourself in your career you can always improve. To that end, always be your own most critical and vocal critic. Probably one of the best things I can recommend is to act like a professional even before you get any paying job. Just projecting an air of professionlism can not only look favourable from an AD's viewpoint it also helps to build your self esteem. Which I think is very important for longevity in this business.

    And if it's no longer fun, try something else

    But as I say, that's just the way I look at it.

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    cool thanks man

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    i have a suggestion. i think you're asking how to improve your drawing skills? for one, don't work from reference anymore. i know that may sound scary as the results produced from reference will look better than what you may do from imagination. but i wouldn't worry about quality.

    get a few books. two i recommend above all is "the natural way to draw" by nicolaides and "drawing on the right side of your brain" by betty edwards.

    both books are concerned with the act of seeing, because learning to draw is really learning to see with keen observation and memorizing all the shapes and forms of nature.

    don't worry about detail. for example, look at wesley burt's stuff. he throws on incredible detail and rendering and it looks great. but if you catch some of his less finished sketches you'll see that everything he does starts with a gesture drawing or a loose outline of the figure. he establishes the form of what he's drawing first and then goes in and renders.

    [out of space. see next post]

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    i think too many young artists are interested in rendering and detail when really they ought to be students of form. create strong structures to all your drawings. utilize line and nothing else at first to create shapes. can people tell what you're drawing with just line alone?

    sketch people at the mall. don't be tight and draw with the wrist. loosen up and use your whole arm, move with your shoulders. sketch people walking by in the mall. observe how their body weight shifts when the stand in line at chik-fil-a. watch a kid's muscles churn as he runs towards the merrygoround.

    but above all sketch constantly. and do draw from life a lot. this helps you learn to take a three dimensional world and translate it to 2-d forms. that is the key skill of all artists.

    and above all have fun and be patient. it won't come right away but with enough effort you will achieve the level you desire. good luck!

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    My background has been more design than "drawing," but I think many of the same guides help...

    --Think first, then do.

    If you don't have any idea why you're doing something, you're wasting your time. I WILL accept the reason "I just wanted to see what happens when you spill paint on your lap like that." It's stupid, but at least you had a plan of sorts in mind...

    --Think big. Screw the details.

    Someone else has already mentioned this. The "primal gesture," the emotional center of the image is more important than any details you include to impress yourself or your peers. The pattern on your shirt, the style of your shoes or the color of your dog doesn't determine whether you're pissed, happy or stoned. The total position of your body, its context in space, its demeanor, the "three curves that determine where your spine/head, arms and legs are all do. Get this wrong and no amount of screwing around later will make it right.

    --Less is more. Not to be taken as literally as most morons think...

    A man about to kill me has only one detail that I worry about...his eyes. They tell me when, how and where he will strike, and whether he has the balls to do it in the first place. Draw this man, and his eyes are what converts an imaginary concept into a piece of truth on paper. The rest is important only as reinforcement...what weapon, what era, where are we, maybe why (if you're good)...? This applies in some way to everything you will create in the future.

    --Know where you're going, but don't stick to one road.

    Many decisions are possible at many times, and may or may not be appropriate at all times. School, practice, temp work, specific field selection for a craeer... They float in space in no particular order in front of you. There is no such thing as a straight line with directions posted when you view them. Keep loose. Flexible. Allow things to happen, and see where it leads you for a short time...and know when to jump to the next train...

    ...which you already know is coming because you allowed for it at some point when you were establishing your goals.

    --Be prepared to fail.

    It will happen. Again and again. Fuck it. It won't kill you. It didn't kill me, and I'm probably dumber than you'll ever be. Just learn what you can from each failure and move on as fast as you can...after thinking about it first. Otherwise, your life becomes one big reaction to what's happening to you and you lose control.

    --Be ready for change.

    Your brain is faster than any technological advances that may come along. Don't feel overwhelmed when you're feeling a little down. You can stop the fuckin' world for a time to catch your breath and get a better view of the next wall you wanna bang your head into. That's what makes this all fun...

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    Wow, thanks so much guys, thats alot of what im looking to hear. Really inspiring. Thanks.

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    This is some great advice beeing thrown around here.

    One small thing to add about being your own worst critic that works for me.

    Literally think "what will they(other harsh critics) bother me about?" then fix it. Don't go like "oh I'll uhh cover it up with a shadow", no, fix it. Be honest with yourself here, if you don't find your piece to be on a "professional level" then ask yourself why it's not, then fix it. When you ask other people for critics, they should surprise you, if they come up with stuff you knew was there and have some lame excuse for then you weren't hard on yourself enough. Beat the critics to it!

    I see it all the time on the forums, people receive crits and they go like "yea that was bothering me too and blah blah", then you should've fixed it before posting! That is, unless you were having a real hard time coming up with something better, but then post that with the original piece and don't wait for people to point out the obvious.

    One more thing (I'm getting longwinded here). Consciously choose who you take crits from. An extreme example is the difference between deviantart and CA.org. This applies everywhere else as well. When you receive a message, always consider the source, not just the message.

    /fd
    "It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?"
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    "One more thing (I'm getting longwinded here). Consciously choose who you take crits from. An extreme example
    is the difference between deviantart and CA.org. This applies everywhere else as well. When you receive a
    message, always consider the source, not just the message."

    Well put. A couple of weeks ago I came across a crit where a kid crawled all over somebody for their use of color and how bad his shadows were. His next post was "Hi! I just bought PS 8.0! Can somebody give me some quick tips on how to draw so I can use it?"

    The posts weren't here...thank gawd...

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    Floris Didden: Thanks man!

    Ilaekae: Lol, i hate shit like that, but on top of it, it is quite funny!

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