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G'day everyone, I just purchased the Puddnhead Training Dvd's and I lent them to my friend who has been going to art school for a year. After he watched them a few times he said he learnt more from them then he had from an entire $10,000 year.
Another friend of mine who draws vehicles and other heavy perspective objects obtained the Scott Robinson dvd's and immediately this solved problems that he had been having for a long time. (Not to advertise for gnomon because i'm sure the new Massive black training will be just as if not better )
I'll be going to University soon to study Industrial design and illustration. I had a thought that it might be just as beneficial to get the knowledge and advice from DVD's, books and workshops and just use my University time to put that knowledge into practice. I'm not saying that I wouldn't learn it from school and practice but knowing what is used in the industry and what you need to develop and practice is a lot more beneficial to you, as I've heard from so many professionals starting out in the concept industry.
Feng Zhu for example talks about his time learning design and about how he used the competitiveness to push his skills to grow faster.
And Jason talks about a workshop creating more art then his whole expensive time at art school. Marko didn't even go to art school. So is skills development more about personal drive or technical knowledge?
And for the people who cant afford art school fees but who can afford training dvd's and books, workshops etc, would this be a better option to be able to develop skills and a portfolio?
I'm really judging this from a self taught piont of view.
In the end it all boils down to your will to break into the industry. No teacher can give you what you need the most, which is practice and a strong persona. I firmly believe that everything in life is possible, as long as you believe in it and put all your efforts into achieving the goal you set for yourself. No school can give you any idea of what it takes to make it. A school can give you advice in certain areas, it can point out your flaws and make you understand your mistakes better, but at the same time, you can do that for yourself by simply second guessing your work and putting it into relation with other artists. Ask yourself the simple question "How far is my art level away from this guys work?" and it will help you figure out how much work you'll have to invest to get to the level you want to achieve. Take small steps, so you have more success and the path is easier to walk alone. At least that's what I did.
I hope this helps. If you have more specific questions, just ask them in here.
Marko Djurdjevic .. here - here - here I couldn't of said it better myself.
Truer words were never spoken.
Its all about devotion to the objective, your love of the work, and how badly you want it.
If you love doing what it is that you want to do as a career, and you're willing to sacrifice time doing other things so you can commit yourself to being the best you can be, then the only thing standing in your way is exposure to employers and the ammounts of vacancies their are available at any one time.
Heck in this industry you can go it alone without an employer in a myriad of different ways, publishing your own book of works, making your own short films/big films etc
Schools, colleges and Universities are great, and some people can and do learn allot from them, others next to nothing; when it comes to education and learning something, you have to want to learn, and you have to be able to understand what you're being taught aqs well as given/have enough motivation to sit and learn that "something".
Sometiems somepeople just do better learning on their own in many different ways, from exposing their work to their peers and giving it up for critique, to reading books and watching training DVD's and teaching themselves to being taught by a member of their family or a friend.
The world is FULL of people, even in our chosen industry, who are nothing but self taught & with a love for art that have succeded in their chosen genre/field.
Last edited by Hyperion; April 25th, 2006 at 11:48 PM.
Thanks for the reply Marko.
To be more specific, not generalise but most of the work and pics on CA and most of the tutorials, advice etc is based more on the illustration and organic side of concept design, deveoping characters, moods etc.
I don't want my portfolio to just have a purley eye candy look to it but have more of a production and technical aspect to it such as ortho's, robotic explanation and vehicles. Since you can observe most things to do with illustration and character concept design from life such as you have, how would you go about achieving those same level of intuativeness with artificial designs an aspects. Like you don't see as much effort put into car drawing or house drawing as you do life drawing and anatomy. Do those things come more swiftly to you as you progress with drawing from life and pure practice? Or should special effort be taken into studying those subjects seperatley such as my point before using books and educational DVDs.
There is a simple answer to this question:
YOU CAN'T TEACH TASTE
See, here's the deal, learning the technical aspects of drawing and painting doesn't make your subjects any fresher. If you lack taste, your work will be just that - tasteless. I see a lot of people here on the boards who excell in rendering and technique, but their taste is what throws me off. They stay in the same boundries, in the same topics and approaches to their given subjects all the time.
To learn taste though, to be be able to come up with fresh ideas and new approaches, one has to expand their very own horizons.
I will try and give you an example. There is this dude, let's call him X, and he want's to be a fantasy writer so bad! His main inspiration is Lord of the Rings, because he loved it as a child. He read it like a dozen times, studied it, tried understanding it's flow and rhythm, the grammar, the idea development, etc.
X, our writer, sits down now and writes his own book. What will happen? Everything he writes down will be a simple copy of what he loves, he'll abbreviate here, he'll make changes there, maybe his Orks will be redskinned, who knows? But what matters is, he will stay in the same parameters that Lord of the Rings has layed out for him, he wont be venturing out of the obvious and thus create the same derivative bullshit that floods the market these days.
So, how can you avoid this? The answer again is very simple:
SEARCH YOUR INSPIRATION ELSEWHERE
What I do to get inspired has never anything to do with the actual subject I'm working on. If you come to my apartment, you wont find any traces of art to be inspired by. My inspirations are books, that have nothing to do with my concepts, Music, that has nothing to do with my jobs, a lifestyle that has nothing to do with my working environment etc. etc etc.
Even my favorite artists are graphic designers and typographs, or abstract painters cause I think there is more to learn from their simplicity then from any overrendered illustration depicting Barbarian #157, Warrior-Princess #72 and Uberdragon #10.345.
That's how I keep my mind fresh and keen, and that's why it comes easy to me to pump out 15 characters a day and don't get caught up in repetition or redundancy.
And, what's even more important, by searching my inspiration outside of the box, I can incorporate new things into my art as I progress. When I'm here at work, and I have to do a job I've never done before, I already know, that I wont be getting caught up in my idea development too much, so I can focus on what I have to accomplish far easier, then if I was sitting here fishing for ideas.
Any more questions?
Post them here...
Last edited by Marko Djurdjevic; April 26th, 2006 at 12:28 AM.
great thread already.
what marko has said is quite true.
ultimately, you teach yourself.
and conversely, its YOU who prevents yourself from learning.
though, in regards to your initial question:
Training Dvd's VS Artschool...
why not "&"?
so one may be better than the other (for a particular person),
but its certainly not better than BOTH.
if you have the time and money for school, do it!
if you dont have the time and money, make it!
if you cant make it, than you dont really have an option, do you?
i have a LOT of student loans, and i dont regret it for a second.
- Dan Dos Santos
So what your saying is that if we see a design or a image from a book or music or whatever that if you let it over impact on your work and bring it too much into your design or idea that you start to become unorginal and uninteresting.
Puddnhead was talking about the same thing where people would ask him if he drew his inspiration from comic books, the punk rock genre etc, but he says that all his inspiration comes from old master paintings. Your inspiration comes from purely from life, books and your experiences.
But when your pumping out 15 vehicles or space ships or props for a particular project. Can the same way you develop different characters be used for developing different vehicles?
I'm working on a school project im developing concepts for an alien Aztek inspired culture. So because I have not observed subtle details about Aztek culture, traditions, clothes, patterns, architecture I have to look up references. Even you must of had a concept given to you where you do not know exactly what your going to draw. Anatomy knowledge and technique isn't going to help you draw stylised clothing or subtle details on trinkets. So you do find a reference for something or you observe a documentry or book or something that initially gets the Aztek culture into your mind.
When you refer back to that in your mind to draw from is that the same as Mr X's inpiration from his favourite book? Or do you just mean that when you create a design if you use too much of another design or too much of a reference your making it too similar and bland.
I guess I can give a different perspective. I'm just about done with my first year at a liberal arts university, and only recently (my second semester) decided to pursue art professionally. With higher expectations, I was quite disappointed with the art department, but I took the matter into my own hands, started taking Bargue drawing with a teacher off-campus, checked out tons of art books from the school's library, and basically kept the momentum going even though there's no one on campus that has similar artistic goals. Along with this site and plenty of others, I honestly can't say I would learn any more from a full-time art university. If I felt the way I do now and was at a full-time art university, I'd be in a MUCH worse situation. I have a lot to learn, and it is not all art-related. An atelier, yes I could improve my technical skills exponentially faster, but having thought about my situation, I feel I am much better off taking a broad range of liberal arts classes because I was pretty clueless about the world when I arrived here I can attend an atelier down the road if I really want to, but without going to college, I definitely would not be as good of a person.
I think it depends on the person and the school. You can teach yourself anything if you really want to, even surgery, but I wouldn't advise trying to practice it without a license. And going to a school doesn't change the fact that you need to be dedicated to your goal in order to achieve it. If you go to a school, you will work just as hard, or at least you should. It's possible I suppose to get through school without working as hard, but your skills will suffer for it.
I totally believe that you don't need school to learn anything, just like Marko, but I also think that a good university can provide some things for you that might be harder to come by on your own.
1. Feedback and motivation -- Not just from your teachers but from fellow students. And you're not just getting feedback about the end results. You get to share thoughts on techniques and ideas in the early development stages in many classes. You get feedback on the process as much as the final result and the process is just as important to the professional designer as the finished product is. Good teachers also push you harder than you would push yourself. Scott Robertson is renowned for pushing his students to the brink of exhaustion in his drawing classes at ACCD. My drawing teacher basically demanded huge volumes of work to succeed in his class, and constant improvement had to be demonstrated every week. I must've spent twnety hours a week just on that one class. I'm pretty self-motivated. I've taught myself over a dozen programming languages, business management, Japanese, philosophy, theology and god knows what else. But even I wouldn't have pushed myself to draw that much in that time period were it not for my teacher's cruel demands.
Maybe you're one of the self-motivated learners who doesn't need a cattle prod to stay focused on work. Some people do need a prod once in a while though. Be honest with yourself which kind of person you are if you really want success. Don't try to do it on your own if you don't have the temperment and discipline to pull it off. Be honest with yourself if you're serious.
2. Competition -- It's easier to motivate yourself to do your best when you're surrounded by other students who are doing the same. This, of course, implies that your fellow students are strongly motivated, which depends on a lot of factors, but at a good school, it's usually the case.
3. Resources -- You're thinking about industrial design and not just concept design so pay attention to this one. What does a university have that the average design student doesn't? Machine shops equipped with mills, lathes, rapid prototyping machines and maybe even plasma cutters (*lust*) among other things. When studying ID, you need to learn about materials, and the best way to learn is to build something once in a while. If you have your own shop (like I did because my dad is a machinist), then you don't need a school for this stuff. Otherwise, consider it. Also, think about the computer labs filled with high-end graphics workstations loaded up with the latest 3D software. It's nice not to have to pay for this stuff when you're still just learning. Of course, the quality and availability of these resources again depends on the quality of the school you go to.
4. Faculty -- Classes are one thing, but it's also nice to have a professor in the metal shop who can give you instant feedback on one of your designs. You can ask them questions like, "How would I go about building this?" or "Can I build this?" Most ID schools give their students pretty good access to their shop facilities for school and personal projects. Having those shops staffed with people who are experienced and knowledgable in their use only adds more value to them.
5. Networking -- It's been said before, but getting a good job in the design industry is about who you know as much as it is about how good you are. One good way to meet people is in school. And not just students. Professors have ties to the industry usually and can help you out if you distinguish yourself in their classes. Schools attract guest speakers and lecturers, most of whom are very approachable and can be downright friendly when offered a free beer. Student chapters of IDSA are incredibly valuable because they offer all of the benefits of a professional chapter at a fraction of the membership cost.
6. Your portfolio is your resume. A good portfolio can get you in most doors. But product design is about more than good pictures, there is a function implied in every designed product. And they have to be manufactured. Industrial design is more than just drawing basically. A good ID program includes drawing/art, practical knowledge like materials courses, some science and engineering (though most go pretty light on this stuff, two or three classes tops), some psychology (human factors mostly) and maybe even some marketing. Good industrial designers have a lot of varied skills and employers want designers with as many skillsets as possible these days. The rennaissance man is back in fashion in industrial design. Your portfolio can tell an employer how well you draw or what software you know how to use for 3D renderings, but without that four-year degree under your belt they have no way of knowing what you know about manufacturing processes, materials, human factors or product marketability.
Again, this all depends on the school. Go to a good one (if you go to one). Find an accredited one if you can (ID is one of the few academic areas where accreditation actually means something). They don't have to be expensive. (ever thought about Metro State in Denver? It's a great program at a low price)
So yes, you can learn everything you need without ever setting foot in a classroom. And yes, you can also learn everything you need by going to a good school. Neither approach is necessarily better than the other, but one might be better for you. In my experience, most people benefit from school, but I've met self-taught professionals who didn't need school at all -- they really are the exception more than the rule though.
Personally, I'm glad I chose school. I think it accelerated my learning process, but I put a lot of effort into making it worthwhile. I also have a stack of training DVDs and books. They're all good resources, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of every resource you have access to. Use them all. Take advantage of every opportunity. Take any step you can.
The most common person goes to school, doesn't dedicate themselves to their studies and ends up dropping out or just sucking at their chosen profession. No one should think school is a shortcut to avoid hard work and dedication, but far too many people seem to think so anyway. But don't let that be an indictment of school in general. It can be very valuable for the people are willing to put their all into it.
In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"
MEP - that was seriously one of the most helpful and inspiring posts I have read on the forums.
Reference is part of the deal. You have to use references. Everything that is designed refers back to something or several somethings. Originality doesn't mean starting from scratch all the time. Develop some skills when it comes to finding references. Learn to love the library and the internet. Use both liberally. If you want to do ID and product design, pick up some design books. Study product design, the history as well as the practice. It will help you. This is another reason why school can be helpful, ID history classes are a great introduction to this stuff.Originally Posted by Evil_Sloth
The trick is establishing your own style and not just copying your reference material without adding anything to it.
Maybe you already know this, but the way you generate ideas is to draw them. Draw, draw and draw. Don't just noodle the idea in your head and then draw it AFTER you think you've gotten it fleshed out. Draw messy, ugly, sloppy thumbnails and put your thoughts on paper. Your finished ideas will be better for it.But when your pumping out 15 vehicles or space ships or props for a particular project. Can the same way you develop different characters be used for developing different vehicles?
If 15 vehicles is your target for a finished product, then there should be veritable reams of ideation sketches laying around somewhere comprising possibly hundreds of ideas that didn't make the cut. If you're trying to make one finished vehicle design, then 15 thumbnails is probably a good place to start (though sometimes, rarely, you nail it in the first couple of thumbs).
It's the same with characters and other more complex designs, but often times the thumbnails are just portions of the overall design rather than the whole thing every time (like a lot of face/head sketches and only a few full body shots, or a lot of up close studies of specific parts of the character's wardrobe that you're trying to flesh out).
In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"
Originally Posted by Evil_Sloth
You can use the same advice above on anything you have to design. Inspiration is just what you make out of it. If I was assigned to do 15 vehicles or spaceships, I wouldn't go online searching for how "insert famous spaceship designer here" does it, but I would think of how to blend things into my design, that nobody else is thinking of at that moment. I would maybe look up arabic writing, to come up with a nice texture for the wings, I might look at stone-age cave drawings and see how I can incorporate the roughness into my design, I might even go so far and think about knives I used in the past, bottles I opened, lighters I lit, just to come up with shapes that are already making sense in my mind. Yesterday for example, Coro showed me a new high heel shoe model for girls. I kinda liked the design, but now as I'm writing this reply, the shoe's silouhette makes the perfect design for a spaceship in the back of my head. I'd definatly use it as an inspiration now, if I was getting the assignment.
And NO, taking inspiration from outside sources that have nothing to do with the work you're doing is never wrong or bland. It is the Spice that makes art fresh.
Let's see, another example here:
I get an assignment to draw some Vampires, so the first thing that rings in my head is to go and read Dracula. I kick the idea immediatly, because I know, everybody who gets the same assignment will pick up the same book as inspiration. Instead, I take the latest issue of VICE magazine, go take a shit, and read the newest DO's and DONT's. That will give me enough inspiration to come up with something that nobody else is expecting.
It's that easy. Counter the obvious inspiration with the most unexpected idea and you will always succeed in your idea development.
Last edited by Marko Djurdjevic; April 26th, 2006 at 03:14 AM.
What Marko said... I meant to get that across in my post about references, but failed miserably. Inspiration is about taking good ideas from unexpected places and using it to improve your designs. Pick up Tom Kelley's The Ten Faces of Innovation at a library and read the chapter on Cross-Polinators for loads of great examples of this at work. The chapter on Anthropologists is good too for understanding the role that reference plays in design.
In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"
I stumbled across this thread and I'd like to add my 2 cents. First of all, I live close to Marko... he gives me art lessons, we drink together, I've watched him draw for hours.
He's taught me in two different ways. The first is through his lessons. The thing is, he doesn't teach "how" to draw. He teaches by showing ways of looking at things, ways of thinking about things. Everyone gets stuck on technique. For a moment, just imagine that technique is easy. Imagine that if you're not awesome yet, it's a sure thing that you'll get there soon enough. So, THEN WHAT?? That is where most teachers stop, and this is where Marko begins. And truthfully, you don't need anyone to teach you this (although it can help), you just have to stop fixating on technique, and start looking for something a bit deeper. Marko once compared drawing to plumbing... it's just a skill. Now being an artist, that's something different. Don't neglect your skills, but remember, they're not the goal. Also, it's a long process, but don't make it a frustrating process. JUST ACCEPT WHERE YOU ARE. Accept where you are, always, because as DSIllustration said, it is YOU who prevents yourself from learning (because of worry, because of not accepting where you are). The sooner you learn to enjoy drawing the sooner you'll get better... (I think... I'll let you know for sure when I'm good
The second way is through his example. I'm a pretty laid back guy, but when I get draw, I get frustrated and angry, judgemental and depressed. Marko, on the other hand, is somewhat the opposite. He's not laid back, but when he draws, then there's someone else there. He's calm... he's focused. His art is consistently a high-quality because he is a consistent worker. He doesn't throw down lines in a fit of passion... he doesn't erase in anger. He just moves slowly, calmly, deliberately. His breathing becomes slow and even (I've observed this). It's his attitude... I can only guess what goes through his head. I have all these thoughts of making a great drawing, and I think this limits me, gives me ideas of what things should be like, which prevents me from seeing what things actually ARE like. Marko once commented that his loose lines in the beginning often give him ideas later in the drawing. This can only happen if you're open to what your drawing is telling you, rather than trying to dictate to your drawing what it should be. Marko flows when he draws... do you flow? Marko also once commented that drawing is easy... and I thought, "well, it's easy for you, maybe." On further reflection, I realized easy isn't about the results, which is what I'm focused on. Easy is about the process and your attitude toward that process.
Hope it helps... I don't know if Marko would agree with everything I wrote. My words are just my reflections after our drawing lessons.
Marko, much love. I hope your DVD comes out soon
I suppose that when your learning a language you have to learn the words and phrases and how to string them together in a way that makes sense to someone else.
So with art you have to learn how to say something visually with technique and practice but its what you say that counts.
Awesome advice guys, Thank you very much.
The most inspirational thing I have heard in a while.Originally Posted by Marko Djurdjevic
Marko, Hyperion, DS, MEP, and Bonedog - Thanks for the inspiring philosophy on learning and development.
Evil Sloth - Thanks for starting this thread
I completely agree with you.Originally Posted by Marko
Only recently I've discovered, with the help of a highly creative friend, that ANYTHING can be a source of inspiration, like the high heel. Mailboxes, ceiling fans, chairs, apples, etc... it's all in how you look at them and utilize them in your designs. I now constantly look around when walking, looking for the next spaceship, creature, or fortress. This thought process has been a big help recently, and has lifted some of the frustration when I sketch.
Good thread, and I agree with what has already been said.
I'll through in my two cents because I came from both sides of the coin. First, I was self taught, and then I went into formal training, and then I re-discoverd what was so exciting about learning on your own.
I'ts awesome to have new and inovative designs up your sleeve, but if you lack the technical proficiency to communicate them, they are dead in the water.
On the opposite side of that, like Marko said, polishing a shitty design will land you straight into a big pile of boring.
So put emphesis on both.
I also think that it's OK to be inspired by genre pushers like Frazzeta and Jim Lee or whoever to learn from their designs and techniques as a steping stone to create something more spicy.
Do not get trapped in immitation. Sit there for a little while if you have to, but if you're in there too long, you will drown.
Here is another way to grow.
Be bored with what you designed last year.
If you have been drawing that same wheel/buckle/face over and over again, there's something wrong, and you should figure out a way to not only improve upon the designs of those that have come before you, but to one up yourself and become more creative in the process.
This way, growth is inevitable.
MAN i love this place.
i feel like i have fresh eyes my friends... in discovering new things i often forget the most simple and integral parts of art, and a few posts in here have reminded me why i love art so much.
Goddamn I love conceptart.
* Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *
Funny thing is as im reading this... im considering sitting down and watching my Scott Robertson Gnomon DVD... (unique enviros)
But know all the thoughts that run through my head are do i want.. im just mimicking someones work.. is that right?
The one way i can look at this is to say that itll help me think of new ways and painting and drawing (ie. from abstract shapes). if i try to stay away from the dvds ideas, but keeping them inmind.
Awesome posts though, im re-evaluating my art approach already.
Could this be copied into the Community Activities forum and made sticky? Or better yet the DSG!
The posts by Marko describe everything I always do wrong - and why my sketch book doesn't have anything in it.
Thanks for this, I'm going to print this out and use it for my sketchbookmark.
[Always remember that if a topic seems uninteresting, then it's just because you are picturing a solution that lacks vigor.] - William b. Hand
The Vice advice is just too good... thanks a lot
now I know what to do with my 3 feet high pile of Vice magazines
Now that s the kind of things you'll never learn in school
I also found this http://www.core77.com/resources/cards.asp as a good way to think differently
About ID, if you just want to design objects as a concept artist, I would suggest not to go spend tousand of dollars for a degree cause what I basically learned is what is possible to produce in the real world and what s not. I was never judged ONCE about the shape of my ideas, only on techincal aspects that you wont need just to draw unbelievable spaceships or vehicules.
Go see your career conseiller, he will tell you exacly what ID is all about
Originally Posted by PHATandy
don't let fear keep you from learning everything you can, i'd say.
You can just be a better you. You can't be Marko, you can try, but you will only be seen as someone who is trying to imitate someone else. People will respect you if you are being true to who you are and you are doing your own thing, not copying others. Just use your life experiences, but if you don't have any, go out and get some.
I don't have anything new to add really, I need to experience life more.
Question to Marko: Do you think you can succeed reaching a goal, even if it's not specific? I'm asking this because a lot of people today seem just to be wandering around saying "I want to be a doctor", "I want to be an artist" but instead they're just sitting in front of the TV, being nothing. I guess that's my biggest fear, that I won't have any goal later on in life.
Last edited by Profil; April 26th, 2006 at 04:46 PM.
great thread, thanks alot folks
I'm not Marko, but yes, you can reach a slightly unspecific goal. Notice I use the qualifier "slightly". If you're wandering around saying "I want to be an artist", but all you really do is sit in front of the TV, than you're lying to yourself. You don't want to be an artist.Originally Posted by Profil
People are very simple and easy to understand creatures sometimes. When they want something, they do what it takes to get it. But everything we want comes at a cost. Sometimes we want our free time, our money and entertainment. Most goals require giving up some or all of those things at least a little bit. People who don't give those things up to achieve a goal are lying to themselves about how much they really want to achieve that goal. It's not worth giving up some free time, money or chuckles in front of the idiot box for them. They don't really want it as badly as they thought they did.
Their mistake is either not being realistic about what they have to do to succeed or they chose the wrong goal. They should've found something they wanted more and pursued it instead.
But that doesn't answer the question really. It's okay if your goals start out as kind of vague. "I want to be an artist" is okay ("I want to be a designer" is better ). When you're just starting out on a new path, you really don't know all of the different places it can lead to. You may say right now, "I want to do concept design for videogames." Then you enroll in an ID program somewhere and learn in the first couple of years that you really enjoy designing products, or furniture. You may take a graphic design course as an elective and discover that you love typography, and set out to become a world class type, logo and graphic designer.
Or you may find that you want to try a lot of different things over the course of your career.
You can start with a vague goal, but just make sure you don't leave it vague forever. At some point along the way you will narrow it down to a few possibilities rather than hundreds. You probably won't narrow it down beyond that (I hope not at least). You'll always be interested in other forms of design (or whatever). You'll always try your hand at other things once in a while, just to keep your mind fresh if nothing else. Your career may settle on one thing, but hopefully your side projects will always be diverse.
Last edited by MEP; April 27th, 2006 at 12:42 AM.
In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"