How to get better

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Post by Nick » Mon May 28, 2007 12:17 pm

Some fabulous advice in this thread. Artists are usually their own worst enemies and it's always reassuring to know that we're not alone in these struggles. I know I have a long way to go, but as i've improved i've found the expectation placed upon me to continually deliver the goods to be somewhat stifling. Almost to the point where i've been afraid to make a mistake. I came to realise this was unacceptable bullshit and it was my own expectations holding me back. If i'm honest, to a degree they still do, but i haven't finished fighting yet. I'll DEFINITELY be starting the 'Ugly sketchbook',that'll get the ol hairs on the back of the neck standing on end :P

Fantastic link Greatnation, absolutely stunning. He's really set the pace! Think i'll have to sign up to his newsletter

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Catherine Harrell
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Post by Catherine Harrell » Tue May 29, 2007 7:00 pm

Artists are usually their own worst enemies and it's always reassuring to know that we're not alone in these struggles.'s so easy to look at someone else's amazing work and think, "Man I wish I could draw like that. My own stuff really isn't up to par. I've really got to start practicing more." But on the other hand, focusing too much on the technical side can get you bogged down. Personally, I'm most comfortable when I work in the direction of getting my point across with a style. If my lack of technical skill prevents me from getting my point across, or somehow keeps me from expressing myself, well, then I know how to tailor my practice time. Otherwise it's just too overwhelming, because there's always going to be room for improvement somewhere...the art training is never finished!

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Joe Shig
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Post by Joe Shig » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:57 am

What a brilliant thread. I love it.

Kudos, Frank. I'd post some comments, but I'd just be reiterating what everyone else has already said.

William Ward
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Post by William Ward » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:48 pm

Though I do not draw, I think this crosses over to just about any artistic endeavor (I write, I take photos ect. ect.) so I thought I would throw a couple thoughts in.

I have a question that I think is relevant: Is it possible to just not be good enough? Or can hard work carry you through no matter what?
I always found that a good question to try and ask (and it is a hard question) is what am I good enough for?

I know a lot of artists (writers, illustrators, ect.) who submit work to places and get turned down--(DC and Marvel for a comic book example)--who would likely be seeing print quite often if they would consider submitting somewhere else. You still want to set goals of course, but if you can by yourself (or with help from someone you trust), find goals that you believe are possible to achieve if you do your best work. Rejection and critiques from them can be good, but it is nice to succeed sometimes as well.

Hmmmm... other thoughts.

Only one other thought really. If you can find someone who is tough but helpful with crits, try and not loose contact with them.

A couple years ago I had my feelings hurt slightly in a critique (which was not to common for me, usually I can take it) on something that I really thought was great. A year later or so I started to see more and more the truthfullness of those critiques. That person is now the one I turn to when I want a honest and accurate look at something I have created.


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Post by megrar » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:40 am

i wish i could have read something like that when i was younger.

my mother told me my cartooning was crap, my father told me comics are crap, and my "friends" (who, i suppose would qualify as the "peers" mentioned in frank's first post) in college became irate if i didn't follow their advise to perfection, and would say nothing of my work outside of finding flaws. if you are naive in the way other people are (and i was), then all of those things would be incredibly discouraging. if it wasn't for the internet, i honestly wouldn't show my work to anyone.

frank's words may seem like common sense, but they really aren't. i'm going to mark those down as wisdom. none of my teachers ever said anything like that, and they were in the habit of spelling out the obvious.

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Post by campy22 » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:30 pm

Good job Frank

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