View Full Version : It is crunch time but... I cannot bring myself to crunch
April 1st, 2007, 08:01 PM
I need help, so let me explain my situation.
I am working to go to art school on a full or substantial scholarship. The ones I intend on applying to are Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, Joe Cubert's School for Sequential Art in Dover, New Jersey, and Max the Mutt Animation school in Toronto, Canada. i plan on majoring in Sequenital Art and minoring in Illustration. I need to improve alot and need to start drawing at least 2-8 hours a day. I really want to dig in and do the work the ounly problems are that I get distracted easily, I spend too much time on art sites on the internet (dial-up doesn't help) and I tend to become unmotivated due to my lack of artiistic talent. WHAT DO I DO!?
I have a little less than a year to get my skill to scholarship level, do you have any suggestions on how to keep me drawing and not doing other things? PLEASE SHARE THEM, PLEASE!
My sketchbook thread (in serious need of update) can be found here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=87320
Thank you for all of your help and assitance!
April 1st, 2007, 08:32 PM
you are only one in charge of keeping yourself drawing, there is no magic remedy.
this has been discussed many a time....no such thing as natural talent, no one was born being able to draw and paint well out of the womb....
Your own goal for improvement should be motivation enough...don't feel like you need to catch up...
you want something...go after it...
all it is is sacrifice and the self-discipline, or as south park would say "the dissaprin"
so shut off the comp, and draw...
don't be afraid....
April 1st, 2007, 10:36 PM
^ yeah, what Act.Appalled said. ^
Also... if your academics are pretty nice, you can get some serious moolah from SCAD.
April 1st, 2007, 10:56 PM
1. turn off the computer.
2. get your sketchbook and drawing gear and go somewhere to draw, other than your room
3. go to a book store, read/buy some art and drawing books and study that way.
4. draw 2 - 8 hrs. a day
seriously, you're wasting yuor time screwing around on the internet. turn it off and go somewhere else. no excuses.. no you dont need it for inspiration, no you dont have to check your email, no you dont need to talk to other artists during draw time. NO NO NO NO NO. you dont need it, no excuses. just go draw.
AFTER you draw.. get online and show what you've done, then ask questions etc.. AFTER you draw.
"but i dont know what to draw!" well, typically the 4 main items to illustrate are characters, creatures, environments, and equipment/machines. pick one and get started.research, study, draw, repeat.
the more you draw, the more you learn, the less you suck.. get started. good luck.. - JAG
April 1st, 2007, 11:28 PM
Ha! Your sketches remind me so much of me way back when.
Let me put it this way.
8 hours a day won't be enough without some serious life drawing and master studies. Do 2 things; Life drawing sessions (not even a class, just go draw naked people from life) and a Museum. Bring a folding chair, some chalk pastels or oil paint, you know, the works.
Draw, paint, sketch, look, go.
Do not underestimate the power of sitting down. Taking a deep breath, and looking at everything. Not just looking- understanding it. Realize why colors work how they do, what lights affect them- look at values and temperature, look at architecture, machinery, especially cars. In the past 5 years, cars have gained a whole new aesthetic, even average ones. Realize what makes them appealing over cars from the 80's/90's. Design a practical car of your own using reference from planes, boats, anime, movies, different wing designs, birds, rockets- anything that has to be aerodynamic, or that displays exceptional design. I spend so much less time drawing now than I did a year ago but I am learning twice as fast. Just seek to realize all of your surroundings, about form and the way light interacts with it- the saturation differences of reflected light, or light as it passes through an object.
But again, to reiterate-
(And imagination as well.)
Drawing from imagination will help you to see what you need to work on, but first you have to see what is wrong with your work. The way to do that is to draw from life.. get a feel for proportions, check out Bridgeman, Loomis, Peck, etc., we have thousands of book threads here... start looking and start buying!
Also remember to keep an open mind. I really wise jerk once told me -never ever ever ever create rules about art.-
Never find 1 constant consistent method to your drawing (unless it's for a client), always try something experimental and new when you think of it, you might learn something.
A good excersize is to look in national geographic or something. Find a picture where you say "This is a boring ass picture. I would never want to draw this." Draw it. Draw it. Draw it. Making boring subjects interesting to your mind and your eyes is really important, if you never get bored and you are never picky, you can learn more from everything.
(And imagination as well.)
Once you finish reading this thread, unplug your internet, give the cables to your dog, smash your WoW Disk, delete steam, destroy your Command and Conquer game, and get a dial-up connection (to prevent you from doing anything besides checking your Email).
Well, actually, go to dickblick.com and order stuff. Canvas panels for practice (really economical), oil paints, solvent (Go for Gamsol!), and I have been highly recommended to try "Walnut Alkyd" for faster drying. You just add a VERY SMALL Amount to the Solvent (Gamsol.)
There are billions of different things to know about oil paints.
The basic stuff;
Pallete Knife (oil paint can get stiff depending on the brand)
Solvent (This will help you clean your brush, and to "Thin out" the paint to make light washes.)
Make sure you paint with an open window.
Put your paint in the freezer and it won't dry out as fast.
The paint is wet for QUITE a while. Be careful with the painting.
It doesn't make much of a mess really, and it's really fun.
Okay, now continue.
April 1st, 2007, 11:49 PM
WOW! Thank you everyone for your replies and advice! I'll tackle them one by one...
Act: Yes... I am working my way towards that point as we speak.
Mega: My academics aren't stellar, not bad, but not stellar.
Jag: Thank you, that is exactly what I need. I don't check my email much BUT here and other places I do use to learn.
Justin: 0.0 uhh... *speechless* I do need to start doing reference drawings. I don't do much of any painting, its mostly the old pencil and paper for me BUT once I improve I will definately work on some paints. I WILL start drawing from life and reference. Quick question does drawing my own poses of, say, comic characters using heavy reference count? I also plan to start taking part in the DSG on days I have no school.
FYI: I currently have Dial-up but will be getting DSL soon. I only plan on using it to get through my current things faster and will not let it get the best of me.
April 2nd, 2007, 04:18 AM
Get a friend to punch and kick you in the crotch if you don't give him 50 sketches a day.
Talk about godlike motivation after that.
April 2nd, 2007, 04:29 AM
Get a friend to punch and kick you in the crotch if you don't give him 50 sketches a day.
Talk about godlike motivation after that.
haha although funny to an outsider....
then he would just be doing it out of fear of that kick
you have to love what you're doing, if not then...why do it all??
April 2nd, 2007, 05:06 AM
Justin Oaksfords suggestions are good. You could definitely use some life drawing. Apart from that, reading the thread title alone i thought something that reading your post confirmed. You are creating an artificial pressure on yourself. What would happen if you did not get that substantial scholarship? Also, are you working on improving because you want to improve and draw, or because you want the scholarship? Are there other schools you could go to, that it would be easier for you to get into in case you don't get it?
It sounds to me like you set your mind on achieving a certain level of skill. Artistic skill can't be measured in numbers. The question is, do you have to go into crunch mode, or do you want to work? Because you have one year to do what you love, and you can put in time on your own schedule? Set yourself reasonable goals, and then get to work on them. A mindset that only allows winning or failing does not allow you to do your best.
April 2nd, 2007, 07:35 AM
Justin has the right idea, though I think isolating yourself isn't solving anything. All it takes is a little self control, and you cannot learn any self control when the temptation isn't there. So I say keep your PC on, internet active and games there, and learn some self control in the process. If all else fails, then I'd go with Justin's way of doing things :).
April 2nd, 2007, 07:42 AM
Put yourself on a schedule. My schedule is this: wake up at 7, start painting ar 8, clean up at 9, go to work. That way I go through the rest of the day knowing that I accomplished my painting goals for the day.
Also, check out the "concept art 101" link in my sig for assignment suggestions.
April 2nd, 2007, 08:43 AM
I agree with Seedling, I always used to hate schedules but I've been starting to set up a schedule for myself, and it's just what I needed. I planned in the hours per subject (ie. study anatomy, life drawing, etc) and try to stick with 'em. It can be hard to study on your own but this way makes it a little easier.
April 2nd, 2007, 10:25 AM
i saw your post and had to read it since i saw you mentioned kendall, since i went there.
first off, if you really wanna go into comics, DON'T go to kendall.
i saw who your mentors are and i know them, not personally, but i know who they are from when i went there.
i know they went there, so that's one on your list, but honestly, kendall doesn't have much to offer you when it comes to training for comics.
it'd be a better fit if you wanted to go into illustration or fine art, but not comics.
they kind of frown upon it there as sort of an inferior art form.
maybe things have changed, but that's how it was when i went there.
i'm not a comic artist, but a good friend of mine that went there too is, and they don't really teach you anything you'd need to know about the comics biz.
ask your mentors, they can probably vouch for that.
they most likely learned what they needed to about comics from outside study, not from what they got there.
i don't mean to frustrate you at all, it's just that if you are dead set on comics, go somewhere where they concentrate on it.
btw, i looked at your sketchbook and it looks good, especially for your age.
keep it up and draw as much as you can, whenever you have time and you'll get better.
you're mentors have talent so they will be a great resource for you.
if you have any questions about kendall feel free to pm me.
April 2nd, 2007, 11:59 AM
Melancholy: Ouch, I may pass on that one!
John: A substantial scholarship is the only way I will be able to get into college. I don't have the money other wise and I refuseto/can't go any place but an art school.
Brendan; Ah, self control, that is what I do need to learn.
Seedling/Coen: A schedule... since I have school at 7:40 each day until 3:05 drawing in the morning is difficult. If I got out of bed at 6 I could get maybe 30 mins of drawing done... workdays I have even less time...
MW: REALLY!? Yeah I realise that Kendall isn't the ideal place to go for comics, Comf and Adam have told me their experiences there, but it is more affordable than others and I would get an in-state college discount. I am willing to learn the comics side of things on my own with help from others too.
Are you still in the GR area?
April 2nd, 2007, 12:39 PM
You know, what I did not long after joining this site is I'd find something that I felt really uncomfortable doing, and do it fifty times. My propotions sucked hard, so I did fifty loomis skeletons, and aferwards it was a lot easier eyeballing proportions, and I didn't sweat bullets every time I had to lay down proportions. I sucked HARD at hands, so I drew 50 unique poses. I'm still not that good with hands, but I'm much better than I was. I couldn't do eyes, so I drew a ton of them, anatomy? sucked, did tons of studies, now I can see my progress. It's really just a matter of finding something you can't do, and becoming a masochist about it, meaning bruising your ego by pumping out tons of crappy sketches of the things you aren't good at. It's the only way to improve in those weak areas. Everyone here has given you great advice, and this is just my two cents. I have an idea. I challange you to find one thing that you're terrible at, and then draw it 50 times, then post them up in your sketchbook for critique.
Good luck! Don't peter out on me! ;)
April 2nd, 2007, 03:30 PM
The first step, as others have mentioned is to ignore all distractions. If you can't do that, just leave the distractions. Draw where people are and observe. Coffee shops are really good for that.
Aim for a certain number of hour/s per day. This doesn't work for all, but it's definitely helped me. You draw for an hour a day for a week, then advance to an hour and a half. And then two, then 3, 4... and soon enough it'll be a regular habit.
If you really want to improve you'll sacrifice the small things first; less myspace, less facebook, chatting, WoW, e-mail, whatever it is. And then there'll be moments where you get into the groove and draw for hours and forget about the time.
Improvement is dedication and hardwork all the way, no way around it. Some improve faster than others, most times because they're putting in more man hours than others. Also, do not get TOO discouraged. Artist blocks happen to everyone, shaking it off and getting back on track is what counts.
Draw whenever you can, wherever you can. Bring a small sketchbook with you wherever you go. It will get to the point where you won't go anywhere without it. As Justin and others have said, observe, observe all the way. Good references only help, not hurt.
Hope this helps and wasn't too long winded.
April 2nd, 2007, 05:23 PM
A lot of people are in your same situation. It's good that you realize that your procrastination is detrimental to your goals.
I wouldn't suggest turning off your computer, selling your TV and games, etc... There's no need to do that. You are just stressing yourself out, and besides, the internet is a valuable resource for reference and inspiration.
What I *would* do in your situation is get out of the house more often. You've noticed the consistent piece of advice is: less screwin' around on the computer and more drawin'. There is truth to that!
Start things lightly.
You don't need to learn how to oil paint right now. Forget it.
You don't have to give up your hobbies and join an art monastery and be celibant either.
Today, give yourself a challenge. A simple one.
Go to your nearest Barnes & Noble (or Borders) and browse the books on life drawing (especially the one's by Giovanni Civardi). Books on Sargent's art work (or whatever it is your most interested in). Get some glamour magazines with lots of good models and try to draw those. Michaelangelo's artwork always has great hand poses and twisted, awkard bodies with defined anatomy that's perfect for those just starting out to get a feel of anatomy. You dont' have to be hardcore about studying anatomy at this moment... just DRAW it at first. Don't overwhelm yourself with too much stuff in the beginning.
Do 2 pages worth (NO MORE than 30 minutes worth on each page).
Take it light.
Tommorow, if you have time, go back there again. Read those life drawing books, flip through them, try to copy them. Draw out of magazines. This time, do 3 pages worth.
The next day do 4 pages.
You get the idea.
Don't RUSH into life drawing or take anything too seriously because it'll cause you to face a lot of dissapointment right in the beginning. You don't want to start off that way. Believe me, just taking it easy but disciplined. After you are done drawing, check CA, get inspired, play some games and have fun.
A few months from now, after you're up drawing 20 pages a day and have done hundreds of life studies... attempt to find some real life drawing sessions at your local YMCA... if you can't, draw people sitting around. Eventually, you'll be drawing faster and faster.
IT IS A GRADUAL PROCESS.
Remember: You will face self-doubt and dissapointment everysingle day. Envision Self-Doubt and Dissapointment as 2 year-old children throwing a tempter tantrum. Will you let them control your life?
Drawing people from life is tremendosly harder than starting from pictures on the net and magazines, which is why I would highly recommend it for beginners because it's not as daunting. I wouldn't even worry about photoshop or using color for the next year, 6 months at least if you are impatient.
I'm sure there are lots of people here who would disagree with me. But the point I'm trying to get across is: Don't stress yourself out, but also remain focused.
April 2nd, 2007, 09:30 PM
Sepulverture: I will start isolating those things (Everything) right away... hands are definately a must...
Zord: I shall definately start drawing more during my day. Even before school, any break I will draw now.
Insano: I will try and do that. Is it okay if I lay out my own figures and use pictures to fix my drawings anatomy wise?
April 2nd, 2007, 09:56 PM
Do you mean using magazine photos as a rereence for porportion/pose but giving it your own characterization? Then you're doing something that is very common! There is nothing wrong with using reference provided that you don't trace it, or copy it as-is and claim it your own.
If you mean just creating your own figure drawings from your head and "studying" an anatomy book, I wouldn't recommend that for someone who is just starting out. It's important to learn the proper proportions first before you begin your own figures, and then refining it so you can do it fluently in your mind.
Drawing directly from magazines/photos, etc... gives you immediate feedback of what you're doing correctly or incorrectly because you have something to compare it to.
I'm not advocating that you don't draw your own characters as how you invision them. Not at all. Copying photos is not very fun and I'm not trying to get you bored by the practice.
But I would highly recommend it for those who wish to improve the quality of their figures accuracy and life-likeness, or for beginners who feel that their drawings suffer from stiff or awkard poses and want to improve their core ability to draw the figure. There's nothing wrong with drawing what you want to draw, that's what makes it fun. But also keep in mind that being good enough to draw in the industry requires suffecient skill to draw the figure effeciently (even cartoony stuff), and that ability is only begotten through lots practice that allows you to have something to compare it with.
April 2nd, 2007, 10:41 PM
The trick is to take it easy,
I have my first year ArtHistory final exam in about twelve hours, one that I'm totally unprepared for, and I'm just casually browsing CA.org.
April 2nd, 2007, 10:52 PM
Insano: Yes that is EXACTLY what I was talking about! I do have the layout for my figures pretty well figured out but sometimes I make mistakes on how they are supposed to really look. I think I am to the point where that would be advantageous to my learning.
2100: No offense but that is EXACTLY what I am trying to avoid.
Off to draw and update my sketchbook.
April 2nd, 2007, 10:55 PM
Let me point out that at your level it will be close to i-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e to get a "full or substantial scholarship." That's dreaming. The people I've met with those kinds of scholarships are much older, usually with many years experience as a working artist, and a degree or two already under their belt. This is not to say you can't get a GOOD scholarship, but that you must be prepared to have additional funds by way of family, loans and/or outside scholarships.
For the drawing distraction...Dude. Before I went to school I ate, breathed and slept art. If you gave me a choice between TV, video games and art I would go to my drawing desk everytime. At the end of my schooling, and now that I'm out, I'm so burnt. It's NOW that I have a problem with distraction. So, the short of it is that if you aren't SUPER HAPPY EXCITED to draw NOW, then it's only going to get harder. Get your enthusiasm going while it's easy and art for YOU, before it's art for your profs, art for your clients, art for your company.
I just gradumutated from SCAD's Sequential Art program,and LOVED IT, so if you have any questions about that mosey on over to the Education sub-forum or PM me.
April 2nd, 2007, 11:15 PM
if you reply one more time to this thread with out updating your sketch book you don't have discipline it takes to be an artist.
Mirana, i find it easier to do work for my classes then my personal work. i guess because of my slight ADD i can never buckle down and do more complete drawings.
April 3rd, 2007, 12:10 AM
seriously do seedlings tutorial at least 3 times then post again
April 3rd, 2007, 01:28 AM
i have problems with getting distracted.
i noticed that 9 times out of 10 it was because i head something, for example, co-workers laughing in the other room, a co-worker farting, a co-worker accidentally starting his music with his headphones not plugged in, a co-worker opening a package of candy or chips, a car driving by outside, the dumptruck dumping the dumpster, the fed ex delivery, someone being paged over the intercom, etc.
it goes on all day long like that.
sooooooooo, i got some of those nifty head phones that block outside sounds. (they go down inside the ear canal)
they dont block ALL outside noise, more like 60%, but its good enough, especially when i have music going.
now get this, after using the headphones to focus and get shit done for awhile, i got to a point where there was no need for music, i just put on the headphones and i'd be focused.
its just a psychological mind fuck, the simple act of putting them on now puts me in the zone.
oh, and about the music you might listen to:
when you have a bunch of shit to do and just need to lock in and get it done, i would suggest music you know, songs where you know all the lyrics, every guitar solo, etc.
when you're trying to come up with something unique, trying to be creative, etc, i'd suggest some music you've never heard. something new.
anyway, thats my 2cents
April 3rd, 2007, 07:33 AM
yeah if i dont have complete silence while drawing i get distracted easily. like if i hear people down stairs talking im compelled to go down there. i hear music without lyrics is better for getting you into a right brain style of thinking, but i heard this from a crazy woman.
April 3rd, 2007, 08:10 AM
Hmm, if it's music I know by heart, then I tend to zone it out when working and only notice it when I take those teeny breaks to sit back and consider the work. I think that listening to music you do not know (including those without lyrics) can take your focus away. Some would argue that ANY music takes away focus. Personally, I get antsy without something to listen to. Everyone is different I guess.
April 4th, 2007, 04:05 AM
"Shut up and draw"