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  1. #1
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    Question for the "pros"

    Didn't really know how else to word the subject.
    As a bad artist, I am never really happy with anything I draw/paint. I'm sure a lot of the other bad artists on ca.org feel the same way I do. Everything I create never turns out the way I want it to, no matter how many hours and how much tweaking I put in.
    I am not lamenting this, I believe it just comes with the territory of being a bad artist and that the more I draw and paint the better I will get.
    But is it ever really possible to ever like what you create, or do you always just see the flaws? I feel like if I could draw like Marko or Wes for exampe, then I would be euphoric and love everything I make, but then I have to ask myself maybe they feel the same way I do and are also just trying to get better and correct mistakes.
    I hope I've gotten my point across. I guess my basic question is if you are an extremely above-average artists like Dan Dos, Marko, etc, do you ever view your work as awesome (which it is) or do you look beyond that and just see the mistakes and room for improvement like I do with my mediocre art?


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  3. #2
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    I'm not a pro but maybe this post could give you answer. It's taken out of context but you can click on a link in the top right corner to see the whole thread.
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...5&postcount=90

  4. #3
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    I'm obviously not one of the people you are asking the question to, but I want to reply nonetheless.

    I am frequently happy with certain pieces I make. Not to the point of delusion (IE: This is so great, can I get paid now) but I notice the improvement I make and am happy that it is there. When I see that, I'm motivated to do it again, and make more improvements.

    If you notice the bad things about your art, shouldn't you be gaining a new perspective on what you should try to achieve next time? I do.

    "The composition is bad, next time I'm working on composition."
    "The pose is off, next time I'm going to get a better ref or otherwise really think about the poses."

    I think if you try to make these connections, the pogress you make in overcoming previous 'failures' will make you more encouraged in the long run.

    I say never judge yourself piece-to-piece, judge yourself on what progress you have made overall.

  5. #4
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    I'm no Dos Santos, but I do make a living off of my artwork. Does that counht too?

    I find that feeling satisfied with the work I create, for clients or personally, varies not so much because of the quality of the actual work, but because of my emotional state. I can hate a piece I have created one day, then realize it ain't half bad the next. That's how I function though.

    While you should always try to be on top of your game with your clients, accepting that you will always find some flaws, may not have the amount of time you want to work, or will not always be satisfied with the outcome is equally important.

    There is a difference between accepting this fact and settling for less, of course.
    Last edited by Steph Laberis; September 9th, 2006 at 08:30 PM.

  6. #5
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    you will never think, your work was perfect! if you think this, you not increasing your skills anymore. trust me, there will always be things in your pictures that you think you could have done better.

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  7. #6
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    Personally I think the experienced and the inexperience can say that its all in the progress of the artist. I know countless times... I can just finish something and think to myself...Jeeze I rock and then 3 days later want to puke on it. If you see flaws its just because your getting better. Its the people that are oblivious to the flaws that need help. If you can see your mistakes that means your growing and can weed out those mistakes in the next project. Its good to be critical.... But its not good to be so critical that you become discouraged. If you can see your flaws that just means you can see your potential....because you realize that you can do better then that .... and that's called progressing as an artist. Cause not even the pros are perfect.

    All we can do is look forward


    and thats my bullshittery for the day...
    good luck with your endevors

    Rorke

  8. #7
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    well put Rorke, seeing flaws in your work is a sign that you are improving.

  9. #8
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    thanks a lot for the answers guys. any more insight in this would be great.

    I'm still not sure though if there will ever be a point where I'm happy with my work.

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    Ever heard of the saying that an artist is their worst critic? Its true - well, at least those who are serious about their art and progression of their skills.

    You will get to the point where more goes right than wrong, but you will always see the flaws, the thing is there is a balance point - any art piece can be worked on for all eternity and refined to a rediculous point, but the most important thing in commercial illustration is to get it to the stage where you are happy to let it go artistically and the commissioner/art director is happy to accept it.

    There are many artists out there who push past this point however, and these are generally the artists who sacrifice their own time to push their skill past the norm and attain a type of greatness and command in skill that the regular illustrator will never accomplish.

    Much like anything else in life, you get out how much you put in.

  11. #10
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    thanks MM.
    and 2b BOY I'm sorry man I think you misunderstood my writing. I'm not discouraged about my work at all, I was just wondering if there is ever a time when one is genuinely pleased with their art.

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    Well lohan, I kind of use the "night brewing" method for myself, before I decide something is "finished" I leave it overnight to "brew" and then next morning/day correct anything that disturbs me in it. For me it ends up less "sucky" in the end, plus I get a chance to brush up on my own skills this way.

    Ok aside from that side topic, from all the artist interviews I've read pretty much everyone is not happy about one thing or another of their art. So I guess you never get fully content with your stuff.

    If you ever did get content, then life would get boring. For me anyway, because I'm really loving the journey to becoming better.

  13. #12
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    Actually I think that's the "Fermenting" part of brewing the whole pic

    kiddin'.

    Well, I am frustrated not so much when I think something is bad- but when I can't get it right- and even worse, when I DON'T KNOW HOW to get it right, and I can't find any reference to help me get it right, like a specific pose that you can't look into a mirror for, and it happens to be at night time when there is noone around. =\

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    misread it. sorry lohan. *deleted the original post*
    Last edited by 2b BOY; September 10th, 2006 at 12:13 AM.

  15. #14
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    Personally, I'd say I'm more often happy with a painting than not (and I try to never let a piece get out there that I'm unhappy with) but that doesn't mean that I feel every piece is awesome-nitro TNT squared. Generally, I finish a painting, spend a half hour looking at the things I am particularly happy about, then quietly brood over the stuff I feel I forgot to give the proper attention to and try to keep those in the front of my mind when I start the next one. One thing I've been learning lately is that the better prepared you are going in (solid concept, solid comp, solid drawing), the more likely you'll be happy at the end.

    I have certainly had periods where I felt like everything was looking horrible and any attempts to correct this was futile. This has most often happened when I made significant changes midway through a painting because I failed to plan some important aspect early on. Things tend to go downhill from there.
    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

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  16. #15
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    I have a very hard time playing, or rather, I have a hard time enjoying the playing of the games that I have contributed to. My mistakes and failings are just too visible to me. But I still take great satisfaction from the work that I have done, particularly when it comes to other people enjoying my work.

    The ability to see the flaws in your own work, and the feeling of discontent with those flaws - that combination can drive you to achieve great things.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  17. #16
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    The most important thing is not to compare yourself to other artists. The only person you can accurately compare yourself to is YOU.

    If you do something long enough, you'll get better (atleast I hope I will) Pro or not, if youre serious about becoming a better artist, just keep at it.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mecha Hate Chimp
    The most important thing is not to compare yourself to other artists. The only person you can accurately compare yourself to is YOU.
    Actually, I kinda disagree with this, I think in the field of commercial illustration, if you approach it from the right mindset, comparing yourself against the best from an object stand point can be very constructive indeed, comparing yourself against frazetta, bisley, brom, even the great masters, you should be able to tell how far you need to go to reach such a level.

    The big problem and lure is that you copy someone else's style, but if you mindfully compare your work with the best, then you have no other choice but to continuously improve otherwise, others will, they will get the contracts and you will starve. Simple.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Man
    Actually, I kinda disagree with this, I think in the field of commercial illustration, if you approach it from the right mindset, comparing yourself against the best from an object stand point can be very constructive indeed, comparing yourself against frazetta, bisley, brom, even the great masters, you should be able to tell how far you need to go to reach such a level.

    The big problem and lure is that you copy someone else's style, but if you mindfully compare your work with the best, then you have no other choice but to continuously improve otherwise, others will, they will get the contracts and you will starve. Simple.
    Quoted for agreement, though I am having trouble with the "objective" part =\

  20. #19
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    great, thanks a lot guys, esp. dave. very insightful.

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    Counting everything that could be classified as "art" that I've done since I started...

    Of over 160,000+ pieces, the vast majority sucked as i look back on them. It's part of the process, and nothing to be ashamed of. In that mess--maybe 500 pieces that I would still stand on the roof naked and scream about...and of that 500 group, maybe 50 that still make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

    What i force myself to realize is that the 50 wouldn't exist without the huge mountain of dreck that came with it. To the good side, my junk/"masterpiece" ratio has improved tremendously with the passing of time. Either that, or my eyes are failing faster than I thought...
    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

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    "Only the mediocre are always at their best."
    Jean Giraudoux

    I like this quote because I think that its good that you are never satisified it means that you will work harder and always be better for it. When you start to be satisified is when you will become mediocre
    ---------------------------------

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    I only have a few words on this, and it goes for many arts, from martial arts to gardening or interior design.

    Expect plateaus. Some are longer than others, but generally, the longer the plateau the bigger the jump. You just keep practicing, never give up. You don't get better everyday, you just have to be prepared for it when it happens.

    When I feel stagnant, I go visit one of my favorite old masters. When that doesn't work, I go find a new old master. There are so many, you can really never run out. I pick out a painting I love. I take one of my sketches and I color it how the master colored theirs. It stimulates my subconscious and helps me to assimilate new ways of portraying things. Try painting a portrait in Rembrandt's lighting and color scheme. Have the painting sitting in Photoshop alongside your drawing. guesstimate the fall of light and eyedrop the colors off the painting, so you can analyze the chroma and values he is using. Rembrandt's not my favorite to look at, but his style is amazing.

    Maybe it's not the hours you're putting in, but the way you're spending those hours. Try a different approach. Look for some different 'teachers' (posts on CA or something)
    ---- -
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