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Being an artist with no audience is arduous.

Journal Entry: Sun Nov 2, 2014, 11:58 PM
I find I'm alternating between either manic optimism when working onj my own stuff and soul-crushing pessimism when comparing myself to other artists I'm in contact or want to emulate. 

I've been told my biggest problem is nself discouragement, but without an audience to even create an echo chamber all I have is my own voice telling me I'm the best writer ever one minute and that I'll never ever get where I'm going the next. 

Where does this ride end? I want to get off. 

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120percentcool Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014
You just gotta make art because it makes you feel good to make something. You'll get there faster if you spend more time in 'hands-on' mode. I've spent so much time in theory and analytical mode that I don't even like putting stuff online anymore: I recognize a lot of imperfections without having the practice to quickly fix them. Just keep making *something* and try not to get caught up on the details; it's much better practice to have a good work flow and get creative ideas down without finishing them than it is to spend 2x as long to get one finished product. Your art does show improvement and that's all you need to look for.
SorcerusHorserus Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
My advice is when you are comparing art try to pin-point exactly what you like about a picture. Ask yourself how you can incorporate that into your work. Basically, "What are these artists doing differently than me?" In your post you mentioned liking AssassinMonkey's work.
I looked them up and found this helpful WIP they made: Lunar Emissaries [WIP] by AssasinMonkey
Here is my 2 cents about it:
They have a painterly style so light and colors are very important. In the first few frames they are establishing light and dark values as well as the overall direction of the light.
Think of the final rendering in geometric terms. Ex: Their legs are painted like cylinders. So brush up on your form rendering. You are thinking of the shapes on the page as 3D. Light reacts with their legs like it would with a cylinder.

I hope that is of some help! I'm always interested in the educational side of art and how art skills are attained. Let me know how you're doing.

Rainb0wDashie Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Professional Writer
omigosh it's sorc <3

but seriously, thanks for the response. I've never noticed that cylinder thing until now. My friend I mentioned is teaching me that same painterly style, but I want him to start by teaching me anatomy because that's what I've never learned because I've never found any good guides. 

Most of the guides I've looked at are good, but they've really told why the stuff is important. Example, I realize that drawing the crosshairs in the head help position the mouth, eyes, and ears; but none of the guides I've seen ever said that. 

But yeah, thanks for the guide, and the reply as well. It means a lot. :3
SorcerusHorserus Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Sounds good! You're right to start with your anatomy first. I used to think painting and drawing were separate things but I've found that drawing is absolutely needed for painting (well, unless you are going abstract). Keep going back to the idea of making a 3D space on the page. Some perspective skills help (even with characters).

FloobyNooby has some good resources:…

I suggest checking out the 'Fundamentals Course Gallery' for the FZD School of Design:
It has excellent examples of drawing with perspective and shapes in mind.
Rainb0wDashie Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Professional Writer
Damn, that pdf is like a hundred pages long! Should be helpful though. That story boarding one is going to help a lot too since one of my next classes in my graphic design program is cartooning. 

I also managed to stumble upon this guide which should really help me with painting ponies:

Digital Painting: with Photoshop and Ponies by Cenit-v

I'm going to use it while attempting to finish my current picture 

[WIP] We're eight miles high about to fall by Rainb0wDashie

After that I'm going to red through those guides you linked and see if I can gain anything from them. Thanks again for showing up in my blog and dropping all these links. I didn't expect you to do all that and I really appreciate it. :D
Chrispy248 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014
I think the problem is that you are expecting too much of yourself too quickly, by comparing yourself to other artists who have been drawing for an age you are forgetting that they hhavehad years to develop their art where as you have had a fraction of that time to develop your own.

The secret to looking at other artists work without becoming demoralized is to see what you can take away from it, look to learn, not compare. 

May seem rather silly at first but I believe it is crucial to developing yourself as an artist.

Feedback can only provide so much for your creative sense, good feedback can hurt just as much as none, it's all about how you perceive it, if the feedback doesn't come to you, you go search for it!

Check out the mlpds on reddit, also have a visit onto their chat room which can be found in their sub reddits side bar, as they will always give you feedback and credit when due!
Rainb0wDashie Featured By Owner Edited Nov 3, 2014  Professional Writer
It's funny you mention MLPDS because I absolutely despise that place. 

They're good for individual critique like the line-work of a picture or the coloring, but three separate times I went there asking on how to specifically get better in general, how to work towards drawing how I want to draw, and they couldn't answer me. 

I wanted to know how to draw like Assasinmonkey, which I now know is called digital painting, but at the time I got this bullshit response how I "need to do a gauntlet" and the guy said her was going to put together a series of art challenges for me, but he couldn't tell me what techniques I needed to practice or what art programs I needed or anything,. 

Another guy said "all you need to do is draw a scene from different angels and you'll be fine. 

It's like that episode from South Park where the family moves to LA and everyone is sniffing their own farts. MLPDS is so high on their own fumes that all they can do is spout the same bullshit rhetoric, but when it comes to having a plan or long term goals their criticisms fall apart. 

Sorry for the rant, I just really hate that sub. 
Chrispy248 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014
I actually found that they can be very helpful, like any community there will be people who are high off their heads thinking they are the best, but its up to you to prevail until you find the people that are willing to actually spend time helping you. Actually communicating with the active members on the webchat is a great way to receive more and better critiques, just posting to the sub wont do much as you often dont get an immediate response which is not overly helpful.

I still actively encourage you to go back, ignoring the actual reddit sub, but skipping straight to the irc, if you sit in there, you can share a link and if theres someone you know of/like as an artist you can ask them how they would improve it. Which then allows you to take into consideration where you want to go with your image.

With regards to improvement, that is a very very personal trip, there is no set techniques for achieving anything, its all about finding out what works for you and what you enjoy, if you are looking for ways to improve the anatomy, you can study the show or you can look through the extensive guides the guys on the sub made for beginning artists. The are *really* helpful, I know this because I spent a good chunk of time studying them.

Please dont let the few spoil the experience, I actually found you on that sub but I hadnt seen you post in a while so I thought I'd remind you of its existence.

Just to recap, come chat to the members in real time, that way you catch them in real time and you dont get lost in the inbox on reddit. It also means that if they dont understand your question or need additional information you dont have to wait the best part of 12 hours for a reply

I spend vast amounts of time with the members of that sub and I honestly couldnt ask for a more supportive and helpful community.
If you want a really good response you could always just ask Bobdude0 or even Viwrasptur, they are rather large names in the community and have helped me greatly. I dont want to name drop people to encourage you to join, if you do, great, if you dont, fair enough.
Rainb0wDashie Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Professional Writer
I might come back to the sub, but I've got a guy who's also aspiring to draw like assasinmonkey willing to give me a few tips. I want to practice what he has to offer and maybe come back to the sub once I progress a little more.

But more to the point of this blog, like you said I am extremely frustrated that I'm not advancing as quickly as I want. It's not to say that I want immense praise on every single piece I put out, I'm just tired of performing in front of crickets, so to speak. I made a video about this like a month ago.

Basically, I'm tired of putting out content and getting nothing back. No faves, no subs, and no dialogue. The first two are circumstantial, but the last is crucial. Since it's just me and my own head, my default is to just give up and not even try. So when I see no feedback coming my way after spending hours on piece, it really pisses me off. All I want is an audience, somepony to talk to and discuss what I'm doing and what I can do in the future. 

Kinda like what we're doing now, but the only difference is I can only seem to get iot when I start screaming about not having it.

It's complicated. It's annoying. I don't like it. 
Chrispy248 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014
Well I have to say the crucial part of obtaining feedback is building relationships so to speak with other deviants. Sadly we all need to be social in order to encourage others to feel comfortable to comment on our work. I know this from my personal experience, as only people who I talk to on Da comment on my work.

The only real advice I can offer is get yourself out there and show your face more often across the community. If you do this already I am surprised that you dont have a massive following. People sadly must like you as a person before they will look at your art in a positive light sadly, of course, there is always the *Blow their socks off" route, but that requires dedicating your life to art/your chosen medium and becoming a hermit, which still takes years xD

With regards to the screaming, I only check Da maybe once or twice a week if I'm not expecting replies or something like a response. So thats why I rarely comment xD But yes people do like drama, so that would by nature attract more attention than just quietly commenting, Which is why you see all these "IM LEAVING BYE" Kinda journals then the following day you see "Thanks guys!" as they get their attention fix.

In summary people are complicated, people are annoying, art is fun when you allow it to be.

Protip: When looking for critique on methods, attempt to recreate an image and find out exactly what you dont know how to do, makes giving advice much easier than asking how to replicate an entire style, break it down into elements
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Submitted on
November 2, 2014