Noah's Art Camp and Scott Robertson Books
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Published: November 8, 2015

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Hi guys,

I'm very active on deviantart yet again, uploading nearly daily all my imaginative work and studies I'm doing to improve.
I finally have found a work schedule for myself that seems to work very well and I can now use the weekends to study full time. As a freelancer
it's always really hard to balance work, my own art, studies and free time, because there is no one there to check on you :D

Point is I finally manage to get all my work done every day until 4pm in the latest, so that afterwards I have time for personal project as
well as meeting with friends. Due to working from home I really need to get out in the evening because otherwise I never see anyone other then
my boyfriend. And believe me you go crazy after two weeks time.

That said the weekends are free for studies, which is amazeballs. Because I don't feel bad anymore because work is stacking up or I still need to
do this or that. For now I'm concentrating on the following two to study.

Saturdays are reserved for Scott Robertson's 'How to Draw' and 'How to Render' books. If you want to get into concept art and can afford them,
go get them! If not I would recommend checking out his youtube channel. He is already sharing a lot of his knowledge there for free, so it's a great
way to start. For those of you scared of perspective, which are a lot of artists, just try it out. If you get the basics down they will help you with
everything you draw or paint. Even the human figure will highly improve through the knowledge. Don't think perspective is just there for the ones
drawing vehicles and environments all the time. Besides as soon as you have fully understood the basic principles you can quite well fake perspective
and don't need to go in the nitty gritty every time you do a piece of artwork.

For now I concentrate on 'How to Draw' only, because what use are great rendering skills if the underlying drawings sucks :D

I use my new A4 Leuchtturm1917 sketchbook (it has amazing paper by the way) exclusively for that, so I hope in the end I can show you a whole book full of crazy line drawings!

On Sundays, because luckily the weekend has two days to spare, I concentrate on Noah's Art Camp yet again. I was one of those joining right away
when he created it back in 2013 and I enjoyed it immensely. Only problem was, back then I was just starting to build up my freelance business and
therefor spend a lot of time and care to get my work just right, to make my first clients happy and also get great portfolio pieces out of the work
I did for them. Doing Art Camp next to it was insane from the start, but Noah thought back then that f.e. for week 01 doing
  • 50 compositional value studies of master paintings
  • 50 color studies of master paintings
  • and 3 full rendered studies of master paintings
is manageable. I think for the ones having holidays/being unemployed/already advanced it was possible but the rest of use just died. 

I did the 50 value studies, 18 of the color studies and 1 of the full studies and afterwards I had carpal tunnel syndrome. I did a bit of week 2 and 3 still but then I had to stop. Also I only could draw for around 2h/day for the next year and a half. So it really was and sometimes still is a big problem for me!

It's not Noahs fault of course, I should have realised that the pain was to much and wouldn't go simply away especially if I kept drawing. But I wanted to manage the amount of homework so much and yeah... stupid me, but I learned my lesson.

Noah seems to have learned it too, because now there are 3 different versions of the assignment, the normal, hard and insane assignment. The one we did
back then was the insane one, who would have thought xD

Having sad all that, I will go with the normal version this time. I still have problems with my wrist and I don't want to make it worse again now that I finally can work 4h+/day again. For all you artists out there with big dreams, please take care of yourself and your body. Take enough breaks in between work and make sure you stop drawing if it starts hurting. That's something you will carry with you for the rest of your life if you are not careful and there are way worse cases then mine out there. And I couldn't do my job right for two years already!

Best thing I can recommend is building up your strength. Try to get your muscles strong, especially back, shoulders & arms! Because those nerves go all the way to your back, it's not your wrist only you might screw up if you are not careful!

But back to more positive things :) I will now study every weekend and can't wait to see the improvements it will bring!

I will keep you up to date and if you have any questions regarding work-life balance or dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome please let me know, I think I can share a few things in that regard!

I hope you are having a great Sunday, I'm back off to study some more!

All the best,
Sandra

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Comments (5)
superjay15's avatar
superjay15|Professional Digital Artist
And yet here I've been trying to strengthen my lower body for other reasons. But I can see how strengthening the upper body is very important for artists like us. I'm always cracking my right wrist when I draw because it gets cramped after a while of drawing. I have to remind myself to take a break and do something else. But sometimes it's hard when I'm really into a drawing and I don't want to stop until I finish. lol
Reply  ·  
Wundertastisch's avatar
Wundertastisch|Professional General Artist
Haha, yeah but every start is a start. So now it should be easier for you to build up upper body strength as well! :)
I find it so incredible how many artists suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome but it's not really a topic. Which is so sad, because if people would talk about it early on it could be prevented in future generations of artists or at least taken care off before it get's really bad :/

I know what you mean about not wanting to leave the flow. But in the end, the break will have more then the one advantage for you. Because after going away from the screen/paper for a while, you finally see the whole picture in a new light. You spot mistakes more easily and maybe got a few good ideas while being away enjoying a cookie ;) 

If you get to absorbed maybe you could use a timer in the beginning? Which rings when it's time for a break? Because it's really important that you take good care of your body, you only have the one!
Reply  ·  
LadyRaki's avatar
LadyRaki|Hobbyist General Artist
I have trouble finding time for me, but I'm pretty much 'working' 24/7. I've decided to get 2 hours of art time during the day and then whatever I can muster after I've done everything at night.

i also has issues with carpal tunnel but it hasn't really effected my work yet so I have been lucky. Sometimes I just have days or hours where it kills and I can't do much with it, I have had it for about 2.5years due to hormones do it hasn't gone away :(

good of luck with your improvement! I hope it goes really well for you.
Reply  ·  
Wundertastisch's avatar
Wundertastisch|Professional General Artist
Yeah it's to tough! May I ask what you are working? I'm always so interested in what other artists are doing :D
Two hours per day is a lot in a busy schedule, you have my full respect for that! That's amazeballs!

Carpal tunnel sucks, and somehow nobody knows about it until it hits them. There should be more awareness about it before you fall into the trap of overdoing it and then dealing with it forever. :/

I only can recommend doing a sport that builds up your upper body strength, it really helps! You just have to take is very slow in the beginning to not create more damage to it. As soon as the muscles come it gets better. Because there is less strain on your tendons, the muscles take care of most of the work then, which is great! I still have a long way to go though, one day per week isn't enough sport.

I will try my very best, thank you very much! I think as long as we encourage each other and share our resource we can reach all our goals. Together it's always easier and way more fun :D :hug:
Reply  ·  
LadyRaki's avatar
LadyRaki|Hobbyist General Artist
Well, my life has been a big messy complicated ball of chaos so I have been through a lot. All the things I wanted to do Life took away form me. My original plan was to go to Japan and teach, but things didn't go that way. I did end up meeting an incredible man, fell in love, got married and I have two beautiful kids. So I'm a Stay-at-home mum right now, but I have dreams of improving my art and taking a course, hopefully being able to use it as a career. 

Yes, I didn't know about it until I got it.

I was into fitness, building up my strength but I damaged my knee and now need an MRI and its just been pretty depressing so I haven't done much. Maybe when I sort my knee out and I can do what I like again I will build up my strength.

I have been doing the Loomis book you linked me, I know why i didn't do it last time I had it haha. It hurts my brain a bit, it's like having to reprogram it all over again but I'm slowly getting through it I think. It has helped, a little though because I've just started.
Reply  ·  
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