Challenging Yourself to Become a Better ArtistLike others here, I get asked a lot of questions about my art, my process, techniques, and my inspiration. One of the questions I get asked that makes me both smile and laugh is, "How did you get so good?" Half the time it's a rhetorical question, and the other half is people genuinely wanting to know how to get better at art.
The answer is deceptively simple: I challenge myself and maintain a positive attitude.
RISE TO THE CHALLENGE
Now you might say, "Well, everything I do is a challenge, I'm not that good yet." But that's not what I mean. Of course getting better at art is challenging, and even when you're what others might consider a master, art never stops being a challenge.
But what I'm talking about is specifically setting goals for yourself and taking on projects that you KNOW are going to make you struggle. The projects that you KNOW are going to make you want to give up and do something else.
I find that a lot of people sort of stick to a specific niche and never reall
Pageviews and Popularity - The real deal.Be an artist, not a number.Pageviews and Popularity - The real deal.7 years ago in Art Features More Like This
Many members of the artistic community here on DeviantART were shocked by a recent popular news article about how to become popular. I won't link to it because that would be foolish - but the mentality behind it was pageview orientated and made a 'mockery of all that deviantART stands for'.
So - to spell it out for everyone on DeviantART whos ever wanted more pageviews, I went to my nearest and dearest ' popular' artists and asked them what they thought about popularity and statistics.
The answer? They don't give a damn...
Your page views won't help you progress as an artist, and that is what you should be on this art site for.. the art..
Page views can be a feel good thing - I won't deny that - but it does not reflect how much your actual art is viewed, how sucessful or popular your art itself is, or even how popular you are.
Using cheap tactics as described in the article it is easy to generate high numbers of page views even with an EMPTY gallery.
How to Become a Better Artist in 1 minuteAlright. I've wanted to do this for a while but never really had the balls. (huur. balls. XP just thought Id get it out before everybody else and their mother's uncle's monkey did).How to Become a Better Artist in 1 minute6 years ago in Art Features More Like This
Chances are you're here for one of a few reasons:
1) You were attracted by the title
2) You're here to prove me wrong
3) A combination of the above
4) You're an idiot
Well, in all honestly, I can assure you, you WILL be a better artist after you read this article.
Now, before I get started, I want to explain the purpose of this article. Its not a tutorial, its not me telling you what to do, its not 'OMG! I CAN HAZZZ FREE SKILLLZZZZZ?!?!?!!11one!!!' no no and NO! I suppose you could call it some suggestions. When ever I ask people 'how do you get so good?!' or 'do you have any tips??' All I ever really get is ' practice' ' practice' 'FFFFFFF PRACTICE NOOB!' But fact is, that isn't all there is to it. So what I'm hoping to do is go
Advice for Aspiring Artists Pt. 2Here's the continuation of yesterday's journal discussing the importance of hard work. If you missed it, click here!Advice for Aspiring Artists Pt. 22 years ago in Personal More Like This
In part two I'm gonna talk about one of the biggest roadblocks I hear from artists who are having difficulty getting in to good study habits, so without further ado...
WISDOM NUMBER TWO!! Don't wait for perfect weather and stop making excuses. So often I hear things like "I don't want to waste paper" or "I don't know what to draw" or "I haven't found a good tutorial" or "I don't want to study perspective" or any number of things along those lines. I'll be blunt and just put the answer out there now: get over it. If you want to be an artist, you have to do the work, end of story. And with all the time you've spent thinking, wondering, being uncertain, and searching for that magical art secret of power, you could have filled 10 pages in your sketchbook today and inc
Get Better At Drawing (Without Drawing Anything)Art is a process.Get Better At Drawing (Without Drawing Anything)4 years ago in Art Features More Like This
Like that of the scientific method and philosophical alchemy, art can be refined and improved through process. From observation, to experiment, to reflection and conclusion, art is improved by the steps we make towards change, not solidification and stagnation. Much of the advice out there for drawing is simply practice or avoid distractions. This advice is good, but there is more to creation than just throwing yourself mindlessly into a task and avoiding bad habits along the way. Good habits and knowledge will help to excel your learning process faster, and from that, improve faster and more effectively.
Look at it
As an artist, observation is key. The skill we develop is not just seeing, but interpreting what we see, remembering what we have seen and recording it in the form of visual art. This is a skill that, aside from blindness or vision degradation, you will be able to improve during your entire life. The way of seeing from an art
Exposure, Getting Better, & Having the ChopsEXPOSURE & GETTING BETTER AT WHAT YOU DOExposure, Getting Better, & Having the Chops3 years ago in Personal More Like This
I'm only going off of my own personal experiences talking about these few things. (And I'm not specifically talking about ONLY dA here.) So take it with as many grains of salt as you can.
I've recently been asked questions like "How do I get people to see my work?", "Why am I not receiving commission inquiries?", "Why isn't anyone following my work?", "What can I do to get better?". Often, and I answered it before, the answer is as simple as this:
Create, as in, DRAW. PAINT. RENDER. SCULPT. You have to do develop a tolerance (or the obvious definition: LOVE) for creating if you want exposure and to get better. You have to LOVE the drawing or illustration that you HATE how it came out in the end. You have to ask yourself after every piece, what could I have done to do that differently. And you have to do this frequently.
Some folks come on the scene, post once or twice a week, and expect an audience to flock yo
In Defense Of Making A Living Through ArtThere's a frustrating element I've noticed lately in regards to Art. "Art with a capital 'A'", as a friend of mine calls it. And I suppose this blog was triggered by the cancellation of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan game Fighting is Magic. The fandom lost its collective shit because Hasbro sent the developers a Cease and Desist letter. The entitlement was just amazing to watch, and even worse was the sheer ignorance. Some of it stupid, like "Technically, all fanworks are parodies, so it's not illegal!" and "Copyright laws are so stupid!" to cruel, like "They can just take their development overseas, then Hasbro can't stop them!"In Defense Of Making A Living Through Art2 years ago in Personal More Like This
I was baffled by this. Because Hasbro had the right to protect their intellectual property.
See, I've been a freelance artist for a while now. And it's hard. It is so freaking hard, and part of the reason it's hard is because the default attitude of most people you deal with is, "We're not, like, going to pay you a lot. Or give you i
7 important traits for any artistHere's a checklist of 7 important traits to becoming a successful artist. It's not the 'ultimate top 7' but these are the questions I thought of first. Either way they are extremely beneficial questions to ask yourself.7 important traits for any artist4 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
1 Do you draw even when you don't feel like it? It's an essential skill to being a successful artist.
2 Do you know what motivates you? The more you know about what makes you tick, the more productive you can become.
3 Do you constantly fight past your comfort zone? It's the best way to evolve quickly.
4 Do you set aside some time at least once a week to work on your own stuff? Keep those creative juices flowing!
5 Are you passionate about the work that you do? Keeping the passion burning will lead you to bigger and better jobs. Everyone wants to work with passionate people.
6 Are you prepared for the opportunities you're waiting for? Prepare for the opportunity now and they will come sooner than you think.
7 Are you nice to others? The most important ingredient to beco
A concise guide on how to get better at artSo youre a kid looking down at your anime or comic characters and wondering why after a few years of doodling things arent looking like how you imagine them in your head. Or maybe youre a college student whos wondering why the colours in your paintings arent coming out right. Maybe youre an older fellow or lady whos dabbling in art and youre having trouble with drawing hands. Whoever you are and whatever your problem, you all have something in common;A concise guide on how to get better at art6 years ago in Art Features More Like This
You want to get better at representational art.
Here on deviantart its often the case where a noobie will ask a question and another noobie will answer with the very uninspired answer of "practice practice practice." At its core this advice is sound, but the noobie-teacher has just regurgitated what he or she has heard a thousand times over from other would-be noobie-teachers and has not expressed much else. Diligence is the key, but without a direction or goal this diligence might be
PE :Artistic ExcusesYou know, everywhere in the world, inspiration strikes, new artists are born, and new styles are born. We all start as beginners and take our time...but then certain points...there are times when we feel a certain way about our art. Some people don't think that they cannot get better when you know you can. Some people feel they should quit....when you can keep going. Some people feel like you're nothing...when you are something...those things are called excuses...there is no excuse why you cannot accomplish your goals to become an artist. The quotes you see oftenPE :Artistic Excuses1 year ago in Personal More Like This
"OMG! Your art is so cute!"
"That is awesome!"
"I love your art"
"Your art is very cool and different."
That alone should motivate you to keep going. But if you still feel weary of your art and if you still feel like your art cannot get better even after comments that should motivate your to keep going, here's a guide to help you out and a guide of excuses that are often shown w
10 beneficial things artists should ask themselvesHere's 10 important questions to ask yourself. Read them constantly as a checklist to make sure your are heading in the right direction and using your artistic potential.10 beneficial things artists should ask themselves4 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
1. What motivates you to create art? Write down your answer and think about how you can use this very important information.
2. What kinds of information have you been putting on the internet? The internet is the new resume. If I can find dumb pics or comments from you then other people can too...
3. Does your art express something interesting? Great art means something to its viewers, not just its creator.
4. Does failure push you forward? How you deal with failure will determine how skillfull you will become.
5. Do you enjoy arguing or flaming people's work? If you are the type of person to hate on others, it will come back to you. Especially with the internet and all the social networking.
6. Do you try out new methods/materials/subjects that might be unconfortable at first? Success is inevitable if you always choo
PE: The importance of the learning processHello again my lovely readers!! I had some issues with my computer and my internet conection yesterday but I hope they are fixed already. If nothing goes wrong, we’re having another chat event today in around 5 hours from the posting of this journal (2PM PDT – Los Angeles) in :#communityrelations: chatroom! I’ll raffle another 300 among the participants and we’ll have a small critique event and trivia! Join us!PE: The importance of the learning process2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
The importance of the learning process
In the past days I’ve given you tips on how to draw, I’ve shared tutorials covering different topics and you’ve had the chance to meet professional artists who gave us valuable pieces of advice in their interviews. I want to dedicate this article to talk about the importance of the learning process and how to make the best out of every opportunity to extend your knowledge.
THE FIRST STEPS OF THE PATH
Most of us have found our favo
Advice for Aspiring Artists Pt. 1So this has been on my mind a bit lately and I was just struck with the sudden urge to write about it. It's a bit long so I've broken it in to three parts, but if you're a beginning artist I would recommend reading through it, it might just get you aimed in the right direction.Advice for Aspiring Artists Pt. 12 years ago in Personal More Like This
This started a couple days ago when I was trolling facebook and someone had posted some artwork, and one of the comments was something along the lines of "Nice! What tutorial did you use for this?" which prompted an immediate and violent facedesk on my part. I hear things like this all the time and would like to help dispel some myths about learning art; so after 9 years of drawing and 3 years of hardcore education and study, here's what I've learned about how to get better at art:
WISDOM NUMBER ONE! Getting better demands consistent, hard work. That's it. That's the magical secret that great artists never seem to get to in their tutorials; it's that one pivotal thing that makes the difference between
Activity vs. Community When combining millions of artists working with different media, style, experience level, etc. being here can become overwhelming and finding your "place" can seem almost impossible. Throughout the last few weeks I've noticed more and more people asking "how can I be more active?" and "how do I get involved in the community?"Activity vs. Community1 year ago in Personal More Like This
These are both the same question and completely different questions at the same time. Though the answers to both are quite similar if not the same the difference between activity and community is huge! We're going to cover the answers and difference to both of those in this article.
There are three basic ways to being active on dA and getting involved the community. Everything after this will actually lead right back to these three things.
Commenting: is the best and most effective way to particicpate in our community becaus
Artist Info: Attitude is EverythingThis is going to have two general parts: Inward attitude (the way you perceive yourself) and Outward Attitude (how you express yourself to others)Artist Info: Attitude is Everything11 months ago in Personal More Like This
Think about an artist you admire or a piece of artwork that you look at and can't help but just stare in aw. How do you see artists that you define as amazing? Are you intimidated by them? Do you ever think "I could never be that good". Or do you see them and their work as simply something to aspire to?
When we look at a piece of art that we truly admire, it can be easy to wonder if we could ever reach that level. But, there is an extremely important fact that many people tend to forget or not consider - artists you look up to have tons of horrible work. Online you may only see the polished, finished pieces and think that well, everything they do is amazing, but you don't know about all of their failed attempts. They have sketchbooks with horrible drawings in them. That incredibly amazing p
Why are we slower?About a month ago I finally got to meet an art hero of mine, Klaus Janson, a well known pro who's been in the industry for over 30 years. A mutual friend introduced us, and we hit it off right away. The group of us went through the Village hitting pub after pub, and soon I was drunk enough to ask Klaus something that had been bugging me.Why are we slower?3 years ago in Personal More Like This
I asked him if modern comic artists are, on average, slower than we used to be. He said yes, and I agreed.
From the Golden Age until the 80s, pencillers were generally expected to turn in at least two pages a day, while an inker was expected to turn in around 3-4. There were a handful of exceptions, I'm sure, but most of the artists could pump out pages like human printing presses. In the current comic industry, it's completely reversed: while a handful of artists can still hit this speed, the vast majority can't. Pencillers today struggle to produce a page-per-day, while inkers (those who still ink with ink) are hitting around 2.
So what happened? I'v
Why You Should Still Be Experimenting As we began our trek into the world of art most of us spent a decent amount of time experimenting to find our niche.Why You Should Still Be Experimenting10 months ago in Art Features More Like This
But for many artists, once they find their place and style they often stop listening for any other callings.
What Exactly do You Mean by "Experiment".
Trying new things - of course we should experiment and text our tools, that's one of the first steps to becoming an artist in learning what you're working with and how to use your resources and tools to produce the best outcome for your art. What this article is about however is going outside your style and technique.
Why Should You Experiment?
Experimenting is a crucial part of learning. It's also a giant piece of expanding, improving and adding to what you already have. Imagine if the first thing you created was all you ever did. I'd be taking photo after photo of the sunrise: two problems with that are I'm not a mining person
PROCRASTINATIONProcrastination... Being a sloth... it's a disease.PROCRASTINATION3 years ago in Personal More Like This
All of us struggle with it. On certain days you just don't feel like doing nothing at all. Other days you feel that you worked hard on something and that you're owed time-off for it. And there's that period where you KNOW you should've been working on something; after a lot of time have passed you eventually find yourself wondering WHY you even went along doing nothing for so long.
We're not perfect creatures, it HAPPENS.
But being a procrastinator compared to being a hard-worker is a measure of how serious you take yourself.
If you have a regular 9-5, come home whether it's a long commute or short one, and then taking care of family matters (wife, kids, or parents), it can be pretty hard to keep yourself focused. That's a valid reason for struggling trying to stay focused on a creative project. Life is hard in that aspect. You're definitely a hard-worker in that regard. If you do all that and then work your
How to Avoid dAramaBelieve it or not, I have no enemies on deviantART. None. I'm not saying everybody loves me, but I don't have any ongoing feuds, spammers, trolls, art thieves, or anything like that. I've been here for over four years, and these ten commandments are what keep me safely out of the flames.How to Avoid dArama7 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
I. If someone insults you, you don't have to retaliate.
So some anonymous bozo doesn't like you - so what? Learn to let it go. Hurling insults back only makes you look like a complete idiot.
Do you ever see this scenario? Troll insults Johnny, and Johnny argues with Troll, trying to prove Troll wrong and get him to apologize. Eventually they just end up flinging variations of "your mama" at each other.
It's fruitless, obviously, because trying to get a troll to be logical is like trying to empty a bucket with a soup strainer. So all that happens in the end is that the troll is still a troll, and you end up looking like just as big a jerk as he is.
Let insults slide off your back like wate
Timing fucking matters.Time does a lot of things, it makes you older, it gets you to places, it never stops going forward. However you control when and how you use it!Timing fucking matters.8 months ago in Personal More Like This
Everyone makes choices on a daily bases, most of them are actually done with your auto-pilot function out of habit.
Most people usually sit in the same spot on the couch, chooses what to wear based on previously made combinations and so on, unless they consciously become aware of their action and might decide it's time for a change. It can be a small thing that makes people aware of their options
You can count that pretty much every person out there works like this and YOU often depend on THEIR choices.
My point of this journal is saying: Use this in your advantage!
Time can be compared to a diet. Eating to much bad stuff will make you unhealthy and feel bad, while eating healthy things will keep you going and feel good. So time can either make you feel stuck in one place, maybe even going backwards (ageing already does that for you) or
Are you on the right track? + Fuck Talent!Am I on the right track?Are you on the right track? + Fuck Talent!1 year ago in Personal More Like This
This is a thing people often wonder and think it's a complicated to find out, but it is actually pretty simple. It's a different question you need to ask yourself based on different topics.
As for: Fuck talent! You'll find it if you scroll down
Topic 1: Am I on the right track to becoming a better artist?
Does your work from today, look closer to your initial goal than your work from last week? (this needs to be both in skill and idea.)
Good skills: Honing your technique, training you muscle memory, being more knowledgeable about your tools and art rules. With art rules I mean: Perspective, form, light, texture, composition.
Good ideas: Storytelling, characteristics, charm, emotion and design. Not just making things look polished but also convey something more, something that brings it to life and speaks to pe
Importance of slowing downHey guys,Importance of slowing down2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Looking over a lot of student work I'm starting to see a pattern. Consistent panicked drawings
with careless mistakes due to intimidation by the clock. Remember that more marks don't
equate to better drawings. I'm apprenticing with Kevin Chen and there's something he said
that I think I should share with you. " If in 5 min all you get is a head, shoulder and ribcage, that's fine.
I'd rather your marks be correct than have you rush and draw all the way down to the foot and have proportion, form
and shapes off."
I was fortunate enough to take a class with Mark Westermoe back when Associates was open. If you
watched him draw you would think he was the slowest artist ever. But he always got more "actual" drawings
done than any of us in the time allotted because all the marks he made meant more than any of ours. We
just had a lot of lines. His 5-10 min drawings were well.... pretty much finished.
So remember, take your time, have a c
Advice for Aspiring Artists Pt. 3And now for the dramatic conclusion to the epic trilogy. Heroes will rise, bad habits will fall, in this last chapter we'll discuss how to focus your efforts and learn the most and improve quickly with your studies. If you missed them, click these links for Part One and Part Two. And now for...Advice for Aspiring Artists Pt. 32 years ago in Personal More Like This
WISDOM NUMBER THREE!!! Work smart and leave your comfort zone. This part is my qualifier for art school, tutorials, and educational resources in general, because they can be good, but only if you make them good. Once you've gotten in to the habit of drawing consistently, it's important to start being mindful of what you're drawing, how you're drawing it, and why you're drawing it. A key ingredient of success is hard work, but if that work isn't purposeful it might not move you
Is Reference Bad?I feel like I've addressed this before at some point, in some other journal, but I find myself either discussing this with people a lot, or coming across people who on their work proudly claim to have "used no reference."Is Reference Bad?3 years ago in Personal More Like This
The biggest problem, and misconception, regarding references is that people feel like it's cheating or that it somehow cheapens their work. While I can understand the sense of accomplishment coming from using no reference to finish a painting or drawing, people who consistently do it are only hurting themselves in the long run. So in short, no, reference isn't bad.
Artists have been using reference since the days of the old masters. They would reference life, whether it be landscapes, objects on a table, or models standing in a studio. They would even reference their own sketches or other people's work in order create convincing paintings.
For some reason, a lot of people today seem to think that in order to be a good artist, they have to be able to do things without
Artistic resources!1. IntroductionArtistic resources!1 year ago in Personal More Like This
Here is hopefully a collection of resources that will help you and other like minded artists to improve, aspire and be the best we can be.
To never be stuck in a rut!
a. Collect images that you like, illustrations, paintings, photography
b. Materials - For your understanding of armor, fur, plastic. Give your pieces some umph.
http://ffffound.com/ - Full of images, refreshed daily. Full of everything and anything. Its a great resource if you just want to open your mind!
http://www.pinterest.com/azkur/armor/ - Full of all sorts of armor
http://notjustanarmor.tumblr.com/ - more armor references
http://www.cgtextures.com/ - Textures, do lots of studies! This will help you a great deal!
http://www.beforethey.com/ - Tribal photography, wonderful inspiration for the not-so-mundane
Now that you are successfully inspired, how do you progress?