So I can finally really speak on this one. I did a couple of art pieces for this Chrono Trigger Jazz album earlier this year, announced today.
The two pieces I did were for 1999 A.D. and for The End of Time.
Here's the thing. Most of the time, I think people think that when I say that I'm depressed over my art, it's because I think it's not good enough or that I hate my ineptitude at art or something. And to be fair, I did use to feel that way. But to be frank, while there's definitely a TON of room to improve and I won't stop trying to do so, I don't think my art is bad. I don't cry because my art "sucks" or whatever; for the most part I like a lot of my new art even if I can see some of the problems in certain parts. No, the sadness and depression I feel comes from the moment after I post it. After spending hours upon hours carefully drawing/painting/erasing/redrawing/repainting a piece forever and ever, I'll post it online everywhere, from DeviantArt to pixiv, from Twitter to Facebook and just... nothing. Well, more accurately the result is barely anything. It's so anti-climatic.
And this is not because my artwork is "bad" or "awful" or whatever else. It's that my artwork doesn't resonate with other people. It's not that my work is bad or amateur-ish, but it's just not interesting to people at large. It's not so much ignored as glanced over. Art is communication, it's about an artist expressing themselves in some way. Whether it's expressing a love of something with fanart, story-telling with comics, or just the love of the world with landscapes or a more intimate still-life piece. And many artists like myself paint because we want to convey a part of ourselves to other people. And to bring this back to my feelings, I paint a lot of fan art to express my love of my favorite stories/games etc. but it appears that my work is one or a combination of a few things.
1) My art is of subject matter many do not love like I do
2) My art doesn't depict those subjects in a way others find interesting, even fans.
3) My art isn't straight up amazing (it's good, but let's be real guys)
I've looked at a lot of popular artists with a range of styles/artistic quality and the one common theme I found between them is somehow in some way their art connects with people in ways that mine simply doesn't. That's what sad and depressing about the whole thing. I don't want/need to be explosively popular. Hell that might stress me the hell out more (which I'll get to in a bit), but I'd just like to find some way to paint stuff, post it, and at least get some feedback that's more than a split second blip followed by an endless abyss of disinterest. I wish it didn't hurt, but it does sadly. :/
Now, another problem that is also entirely of my own creation. I'm well aware that a good way to build an audience is to do requests/commissions. The thing is, if I offer free work some will come knocking on my door with... let's just say requests I have no intention of indulging. And then their's the idea of paid commissions, which stress me out because I'm being offered money for my work and I need this to be perfect and OH GOD WHY IS THIS SUCKING AAAAAAAHRHRHRHGGG?!! Money kind of adds a layer of pressure that I currently have a difficult time dealing with. It's why, for example, I wouldn't seek a job that would involve speaking Japanese. Because I'm not fluent I would just get so insanely stressed out about whether I'm doing a good enough job that I'd crack under the pressure.
So I'm stuck between a Stress Rock and Hard Neglect. Either I'm stressing out trying to appeal to just one more person with a commission, or feeling my heart sink as I wait for notifications/likes/comments that aren't coming. It's just... fuck. It hurts. But I can't stop painting as it's one of the few things in this world I still love. And so I paint. I draw. I anticipate. And then sadness.
Sorry for the rant, was just tried of keeping this one to myself. Thanks for reading.
- I have to post these rules.
- Each person has to share 13 things about them.
- Answer the 13 questions asked to you and invent 13 questions the people you tag will have to answer.
- Choose 13 people. I chose 10, so I broke the rule anyway.
- You have to legitimately tag 13 people. Except I already broke this rule so I faaaaaaaail. XD
You can't say you don't do tags.Do what you want. These things shouldn't feign enforcement - it makes them sound like a silly chain letter threat. ; p
- Tag-backs are ALLOWED.
- YOU MUST MAKE A JOURNAL ENTRY.
NO COMMENTS. Unless you're commenting about the actual entry.Actually just kidding you don't have to in my opinion.
13 THINGS ABOUT ME
- I love cute things. Especially chibis. Especially chibi Miku. Hnnnnnnnnnnng.
- I'm told by people around me that I'm a talented artist. A better word to describe me is I am a tenacious artist.
- I love the anime aesthetic, even if I don't watch many shows these days. It's what continues to inspire me to create.
- I'm a videogame enthusist and have been all my life. However, I'm also pretty darned lousy at games, especially games that involve shooting.
- My favorite genre of music is... videogame soundtracks. Ys has amazing music and I will fight anyone who says otherwise!
- I drink coffee black and eat salad with no dressing. Adding stuff to either tastes disgusting in my opinion.
- I'm a very liberal person, but also not as liberal as a lot of people think. I hope that isn't too confusing. orz
- I have spent more on videogames and videogame hardware than I care to admit.
- Artists who've had tremendous influence on my work in approximate order of introduction: Toshiyuki Kubooka (LUNAR), Tetsuya Nomura (Final Fantasy), Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion), Kosuke Fujishima (Ah! My Goddess), Yoshifumi Kondo (Ghibli) (RIP), Yusuke Nakano (Nintendo), Takehito Harada (Disgaea), and Mel Kishida (Atelier Rorona, Totori, and Meruru).
- I stopped writing stories (for now) because I came to the realization that there was no actual creativity behind them; I was just being influenced by whatever I happened to be watching/playing at the time with no real central theme to explore. I'm not done creating; I'm just looking for a theme that I can put a unique spin on.
- I am the ultra king of "boring-to-everyone-else". Everything I find exciting and fun, most others are bored out of their minds. Sadly this often is true in reverse as well.
- I don't watch TV anymore. Like, at all. I primarily watch YouTube or Twitch.
- I'm an introvert, but that doesn't mean I don't want to be social. It just means I can't be 100% social. I need downtime to unwind.
1. What is your heritage? (As in, country/ies your family originates from)
I am a mut. Part Irish, part French, part Italian.
2. What is your favorite video game character?
Classic Sonic the Hedgehog.
3. What is your favorite Hayao Miyazaki film? (If you have one.)
Castle in the Sky
4. What is your favorite place you have traveled?
Japaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. XD Actually, to be more specific, Wakayama has a lot of beautiful areas around it, like Kimi-dera
5. What is your favorite scent?
6. If you could have any mythical animal companion, what would it be?
A Bahamut-esque Dragon
7. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
8. What is your favorite food that comes from your answer to #1?
Pizza. See question 5.
9. What color/s of clothing do you prefer to wear the most?
I like wearing blue, violet and black colors. I was told I look better in cool colors rather than warm colors. :3
10. Do you prefer freshwater or saltwater environments? Why?
Saltwater has a great scent, but freshwater is easier to swim in so freshwater.
11. What is your favorite dessert?
Ice cream, preferably vanilla
12. What is your favorite time of day or night?
Funnily it used to be night. Lately it's day because I'm in my 30s now and I can't get by on 3 hours of sleep. orz
13. What question would you ask yourself if you were to make up a final question for this, and what would the answer to that question be? ; )
My question to yourself: Why are you a totally straight dude who loves things that are 100% completely adorable and act in a manner that has been often confused with female behavior online?
Answer to myself: Give me cute or give me death. I don't care if people think I'm a girl or a gay dude of which I am neither (but am not offended by them either), I need my cute! I NEEDS IT!! *chibi Miku dance*
My Questions for the 10 Tagged People Below (Again, only if you'd like to. : ) )
1. How has your day been?
2. Who are your favorite artists?
3. Who is your favorite character in either comic books/cartoons/games/anime/manga/roleplaying/etc. etc.?
4. Introvert or Extrovert?
5. Favorite musician?
6. Favorite color?
7. Do you like social media? Tolerate it? Avoid it like the plague?
8. If you won the lottery, what one thing would you absolutely have to do?
9. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
10. Did you have a hero as a child? If so, who?
11. If you could have a super power, what would you want?
12. Cats or Dogs?
13. If you could be taken via a time machine on a tour to visit a past era of humanity, where you would not be able to interact with any of the people there and they could neither see nor feel your presence in anyway whatsoever, what era would you travel to?
(And I hope none of you absolutely hate these tagging things..but I'm curious about your answers! : ) )
1. MandarinSwift (Yes, it's a Tag Back! XD )
Well, I asked for a critique of the Metroid piece I did a while back because somewhere deep inside, I needed to hear the truth I couldn't put into words, and I got it. Still hurts to hear it, but it's the honest truth about what my work is lacking; and why I'll probably never be a popular artist.
Originally the question was framed as a way to improve lighting, and what I got was much more to the root of the matter.
"Lighting is the least of your problems here. You have problems with composition & with form/structure,the most basic elements of any picture. You need to thoroughly plan a complicated composition like this. Back to the drafting stage and do lots of thumbnails, making sure that they read and communicate what we're looking at."
This reinforces something I've sadly known for a while; I'm terrible at drawing anything from my head. If I'm not working from a photo it's always terrible. Back to the original Metroid image, everything except for the back wall was from my head, and that's why it's pretty bad upon reexamination. Which leads to how most of my work is made; I draw a character and then try to draw a background around them. It's pretty terrible 99% of the time, but I still do it in the hopes that this time it'll come out right.
I just need to face the music; I can't draw anything well from my head. That, and I need to plan my pieces more. >>;
I'm thinking it's maybe because I'm a boring person in real life and my artwork reflects that uber well.
*sigh* I know, I'm letting my emo show. Sorries. orz
No matter how hard I try to deny it, my artwork is terrible when I lack photo reference. I have to pose (or ask someone else to pose) in similar clothing to the character I'm drawing/painting in order for it to work. Same for backgrounds. No reference, and it sucks.
I just can't imagine proper perspective in my head, and whenever I try to calculate it it comes out terrible. Mgrgrgrgrgr!
Arg! Arg! Rant! Rant! Anger! Anger!
It's what makes me proud of me. It's something I devote a good amount of my time, effort, and thought to. It's something very important to me. I used to draw because I thought I wanted to be a professional. I wouldn't mind being one obviously (though I have a ways to go before I reach that level), but now I draw for myself. I draw not to go pro, but to better myself as a person. I draw what I love to express what I love; the stories and characters that bring a smile to my face, the designs that make me smile at their detail/cuteness/insert thing I like here.
I'm 32 now, and I may die before I ever achieve the level of art I would love to craft. But I'd rather die trying to achieve the best art I can than give up and move on. Giving up on art would be giving up on myself. It's too important to me; it has been ever since I started drawing pictures of Snoopy as a 4 year old. I remember the scolding I got from my middle school teachers when my homework was filled with drawings of dragons filling the negative spaces of the paper, or Sonic the Hedgehog running through a level crafted of my words. I'll never forget the artistry of the Lunar games on the Sega CD, the games that inspired me to try and take my artwork further. I remember being told in my first year of art school that I should probably quit then while I could. The teacher was just being honest; he didn't want me to waste a ton of money when I was nowhere near the level I would need to be to go pro. There were times when I cried myself to sleep, as my work was usually considered near the bottom tier of class critiques.
And yet here I am, over 10 years after graduating art school. I'm not a pro, and likely never will be, but I continue to improve. I look at my work from graduation and wonder how I ever did so. I never gave up the pursuit, even if I run at a slower pace in the race to the top. I no longer want to cry about how bad I am; I want to enjoy the journey and appreciate every step I take along the way.
I learned this lesson about myself because I DID quit for a couple of years. It did not make me a better person or make me feel better. When I picked up the pencil and drew, that's when I felt the proudest. Even if what I drew was not objectively good, I felt more content than I did with empty hands. I will never stop drawing and painting. I would like to be popular, but I will draw regardless. I would like to be great, but I will paint regardless.