Hi! I'm currently attending the American Academy of Art in Chicago. It's right down the block from the Art Institute.
The school is a really, really nice place. I've only met one student who I did not get along with at all, and the teachers all have something amazing about them that you can learn from. I go to school four days a week from 9 am to 4 pm as a first year student. I would definitely recommend it for younger people looking into art schools... I don't know of any students there that are over 25. Not that you can't apply and get in, of course. It just might be awkward.
Anyways, I primarily made this post because I'm very lost in life right now. I love my school and the friends I've made, but I just don't know if art is my thing. Like, I love art and I love sitting down and hushing my mind to draw as I please, but I just can't draw for the life of me. Everything I make turns into a flop and I have a hard time finishing my pieces. Now I AM a perfectionist. It's been pointed out to me by two of my teachers and I've learned to accept that as a fact... but I do know for a fact that I really can't draw.
So what do I do? I want to draw, but is it the right thing for me? I can't figure it out. Life drawing pieces that I make during school turn out relatively nice, but any work I make in my fundamentals class and at home just... I can't learn to love it. It doesn't feel like I'm improving.
Could someone maybe give me some advice? I'm literally good at nothing. Except writing, but I don't think that's what I want at all.
People are best at what they love to do. A lot of people (like real people working in art) would say that there is way for everyone (say abstract if you are not to good with forms) but personally I think that anyone with a burning passion in their heart can turn that spark into flames. However, it takes a lot of hard work and passion. The greatest artist are not the most talented ones, more like the ones who have devoted the most time out of their lifes (can't stress out how important it is to draw everyday at least 12,13 hours if you want this to be your job). If you can't find it inside you, you can turn into a hobby, which is not a bad thing, but don't continue going your whole life unsure because you will regret it. As a final suggestion I would recommend you ask yourself what do you want to do with art (become a concept artist, illustrator, freelance, etc.), then write your answer on a paper. If it's a positive one (like something specific, let's say a concept artist) write the reasons why you would complain when you don't want to draw. After that promise yourself that you won't put that you will hold that pencil for dear life.
Listen bro; passion or motivation is never going to magically come to you. You need to MAKE it happen. Motivation and passion is practically something you have to choose! Read the freaking interview, and look at #6. "1 - Listen kid. It’s going to take you five solid years to learn to draw. No way around it. Sorry. That’s a fact. The sooner you start the better." Copying the model from life doesn't mean you can do it from imagination, and it doesn't mean you have a strong grasp of the fundamentals. I looked at your sketchbook and you're approaching drawing how I used to. You're drawing stuff from imagination you don't know shit about. That's why it comes out like crap. You absolutely can NOT expect yourself to shit this stuff out unless you spend a shit ton of time studying it, becoming familiar with the subject, and building a system for drawing from imagination that works for YOU. This comes easy for nobody, and when I say nobody, I really mean nobody.
If you say you can't draw, you won't ever learn to draw. Believe in yourself goddamit! Talent only gives people an edge...and you will never really know if you had any in the first place. The only thing you can do is work hard and keep trying to get better. Keep trying to find better ways to do things. Keep trying to find how others do things and how you can implement them into your own process. NEVER BE SATISFIED.
Let me tell you one last thing. I once felt like you did, that I wasn't good at anything. I worked my ass off and I've learned that I can become as good as I want at whatever I want. Focus and work always trumps lazy talent, and there's a shit ton of lazy talent out there nowadays.
Last edited by Ryan Provenzano; February 20th, 2013 at 11:11 AM.