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Artist Info: Attitude is Everything

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 23, 2014, 5:09 PM

This is going to have two general parts: Inward attitude (the way you perceive yourself) and Outward Attitude (how you express yourself to others)

Inward Attitude

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 piece they just posted - they could have scrapped 3 other versions of it. Perhaps the only reason that they have that amazing piece is because they scrapped 3 other versions, and most importantly because they didn't stop there and decide they couldn't do it. 

"You can do it"

As shown in the video, a lot of people tend to have the response to someone complimenting their work with "no, it's not really that good" or "well it's not my best" or "no I hate it, it's awful". By saying these things out loud, it will start to come true. It will be on a loop in the back of your mind, and eventually nothing you do will ever be good enough, and your confidence and art drive will spiral into the dirt. But, it doesn't have to.

The main point in the video is, don't compare yourself to other artists. By doing this you are leading your confidence down a dark and dangerous path. It prompts the questions of 'why'. You see the work they do and the things they're accomplishing and you start asking "why not me, why can't I, etc.". 

Basically, persistence is key. Many successes can be linked to persistence. Just like the artist from earlier who scrapped 3 versions of their artwork and then created the 4th, amazing piece. They only succeeded because they didn't give up. 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' was rejected by publishers 12 times, but yet look at how successful it was, because Rowling didn't give up.

You only fail once you quit trying.

Sometimes it's hard to know where to start. If there is something making you nervous or upset, identify it. What is upsetting you? Then, ask yourself how you can change it. Then determine what you're going to do. Lastly, decide when to start. By separating out all the parts and breaking it down into something easier to manage, you can pull yourself out of that 'dark' place. Sometimes it's just a matter of clearing the fog and finding a path.

Keep in mind that every artist is on a different path, and someone you admire has taken a different path than you will. As long as you have your goal in mind, it doesn't matter where someone else is on their journey. Learn as much as you can from other artists, but remember to just do what you love. 

"Don't be competitive, be creative" - Wallace Wattles

Outward Attitude

This is what determines what people see when they look at you. This is what determines how many artistic connections you make, your friends, your jobs, your success. You can either attract people or repel, just with attitude.

Outwardly expressing how bad of an artist you are can do far more damage than it may seem. For comparison, if you wanted to hire a contractor to fix your roof and they told you "I'm not really that good so...ya know, whatever" - would you seriously hire them? No.

When an artist complains about how horrible their work is,  it's also awkward. It's awkward for those who read it online, and especially if it's in person. Strangers aren't there for moral support, and they won't feel obligated to make a pessimistic artist feel better. Someone who does this is not only convincing themselves that they're not good, but they're openly admitting it to the world, and convincing them too. 

You might notice this around DA with some journals. What's the difference between reading a journal that's optimistic or upbeat as apposed to one complaining about their skills, or luck, or lack of success, etc? You might notice fewer comments on one than the other.

It's not just this kind of attitude that will do harm though - another big issue is rudeness. No matter how good of an artist someone is, if they are rude, most people will want nothing to do with them. Something else that fits into this type of attitude is arrogance. it's important to be confident - but remember that no one is perfect. Dial back the ego. Someone who stomps around in a pompous 'better than thou' manner will surely repel those around them. This is one of those instances where word will get around. People are more likely to talk about an artist who is rude and full of themselves than one who is not confident. And not in a good way. In this case, don't shoot yourself in the foot, so to speak.

A good attitude will go a long way

Even if someone is not an incredibly skilled artist, having a good attitude will help them advance in their craft. They're more likely to make connections and, in the end, more likely to get hired or attract more followers. If there is a skilled artist with a poor attitude and outlook  vs. a slightly less skilled artist who is upbeat and easy to work with, who will have more connections? 

It's no surprise that people will avoid someone with a poor attitude and be attracted to someone who is easy to be around, and has a positive outlook. It helps to surround yourself with positive people as well.

Positivity breeds positivity, and negativity breeds negativity.

So in conclusion, try your best to be positive. Break down your problems and goals so that they are manageable. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone for help, and advice. If they give you advice and they are successful then consider it seriously. Only you can be responsible for your success, and having a great attitude will help you achieve your goals!

Skin by SimplySilent
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saina-chan Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I got here by some strange paths.
Read it, and listened to the video and I cried.
It took me a few minutes before I started typing this comment.

It was like first time in forever someone maybe understood me. Just a tiny bit.
I might have a question for you- do you have any idea how to change "negative" into "positive"? As the only tip I heard was "repeat yourself "you're great" every morning when looking in the mirror" doesn't working for me, as I can't lie to myself (not to mention the level of awkwardness it had).

As it's hard for me- I can't look at any of my drawing without "how disguising it is, and you're awful too, you should had never tried drawing for greater good". Situation when I think I did something better I'm dragged down to earth and hear that I'm wrong/ stupid/ childlike idiot, doesn't really help.
When I'm trying my best to be perfect.
Kamakru Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2015
I think one thing to keep in mind is that no one is perfect, and no drawing is ever perfect either. Even those who you look up to look at their work and can find things they want to change in it.

Part of changing negative to positive is reprogramming what you tell yourself. It's easy to go straight to negative, but you need to identify the moment you start thinking those things, stop and instead tell yourself something positive.
Yesterday at the airport I drew a picture in my sketchbook, but when I was done with it I realized that I accidentally inked a line I shouldn't have, and that one of the girls arms was too big, and that she was off-balance. Instead of thinking to myself "ugh, this really sucks" I think to myself "yeah I can see all my mistakes. I'll need to start doing some life drawings and practice on fixing those things". 

I've done pieces that I've spent 10...15 hours on, just to realize that it wasn't looking very good. When those things happen I tell myself "It's all practice". No drawing is ever wasted because they all help lead me to the next good piece. So try thinking that the next time you feel a drawing didn't turn out the way you wanted it to. "It's all practice. I've learned from this".

Another saying that rings true is "The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried". It means that those people who do amazing work that seems perfect to us, have so many more failed drawings than someone who is just starting has ever drawn in their life. If someone in your life is not supporting you and your work, it's ok to distance your art from them. If it means not showing them new art just remember that you have this whole online community that *does* want to see it. Deviantart is not very good for getting comments, but I promise that people do look, and they do enjoy seeing it. 

So again, no one is perfect. I'm not, you're not, and the pros aren't either, and that is OK. We all have something that can be improved upon. Don't set your goal to be perfect, just set your goal to be better. =]
psychosquatch Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014
Good advice. Somehow I feel a bit more motivated now. I should go customize another model car. Thanks for writing this.
Kamakru Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
Glad you found it motivating - keep on creating! =]
psychosquatch Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
Will do. I started a model of a 1970 era dodge/Chevy mix after reading it, so again thanks for the motivation. :)
Skyder117 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Difference between a professional artist and an amateur: the professional has failed more times than the amateur has tried. Comes down to dedication in the end, always does. :)
Kamakru Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014
Perhaps not professional vs. amateur but maybe like successful vs. non-successful? Only because there are varying degrees of pros as well. But all in all, yep - dedication and positivity! =]
DARGON1 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very well put! I have found good advise in these words and am glad that others see things Very much the same as I.
However, you can not leave out the artist's who are.....shall we say....Overly confadent? You know, the ones who truly believe every line they draw is "Golden" and there ego is so big that it bearly fit's in the same room with them? That addatude is just as detramental if not worse than the person with no confadence in there skills.
Yes it is good to be confadent and have confadence in your work and skills......just don't Over do it.
Kamakru Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
Oh, great point! I can't believe I forgot to include that. I'll make some edits to add it in, thanks for pointing it out! =]
DARGON1 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you. No problem....I have a sister-in-law who is a prime example of this. Though she means well......still I find it Very difficult to associate with her as a result of her Overly inflated Ego.:(
Kamakru Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014
I knew some people in college that were like that and I felt the same. They weren't very fun to hang with
DARGON1 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yea,it's hard to have a good time with those sort of people.
My sister-in-law also holds the college thing over everyone too.
She claims she is a genious and because she whent to college,she is somehow better than everyone else. Granted she does have a Masters in Art,still that is no reason to act that way or talk/treat other people like they are less than dirt.:(
Kamakru Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
Having a masters doesn't mean you're a master. It just means you went to school for longer :/ I mean, I have a Bachelors degree and there are some people only in high school who could kick my but in art lol. School can give you understanding and knowledge, but it can't give you skill.
When it comes to art though - granted there is so much you can learn from going to college - but it's not a requirement anymore, and in many ways doesn't even give you a better shot at landing an art gig. So, as much as she likes to believe she is mightier, just remember that many, many successful artists don't have a masters. At the end of the day it's just a piece of paper ;)
DARGON1 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Indeed, I fully agree with you on this! 
And because of not only her attitude but others like her I have met with this very same out look,I tend to shy from the more "educated" artists.
For this very reason I choose not to receive a formal education in art for fear that I may be turned into a person of that liking. And I certainly DO NOT want for that! Also I have met/seen some of the Most incredible artists who have No formal art education or training what so ever.:)
And they...just as you my friend...are very wise and un-inherent of such ego troubles. People like that in my opinion,put a bad face on art as a whole. They make people think that ALL artists are stuck up and Overly arrogant. Or just so hung up on themselves that they are some how above society. It has taken me some time to find that Most artists are not that way. And your self are much more than simply what you draw.:hug:
Kamakru Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
I don't think it's the school that would change you if you went though, as long as you are aware of your outlook and mindset. I think it would be great to go back to school honestly. Not for a degree necessarily, but one of those courses that some artists offer that's just about art and only art. If that makes sense x]

Aw well thank you, that really means a lot! ^_^  
(1 Reply)
Eraili Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
Thank you for this journal, it just a made my day happier :D
I wish I could work on my skills right now but I have to leave for an examen, haha, but after that then <3
I love all you journals with those advises in them, they are really helpful and just make me want to get better, seriously, thank you!
Kamakru Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014
I'm SO happy to hear that you find these journals helpful! =D
Sometimes I'm not quite sure how many people really go through and read them, but I like to put them out there just in case. Just knowing they are helping you means that writing them has been successful! Thank you for taking the time to comment, it really helps me know that they were worth taking the time to write out ^_^
Eraili Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014
You're really welcome <3
I just had to tell you this at least once ^^
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Submitted on
June 23, 2014


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