I think these short burst, study attack phases are a result of fear. Fear of failing and making a sub par painting. It's a comfort zone that can suck you dry and give little in return. We always want to make something pretty even if it means forsaking actual progress. Pictures and things that are already there laid out before us are easy to imitate and polish up nice and impressive for the online community's praise.

I think we have to stop and ask ourselves more often WHO we are doing a particular thing for, and many of us will find most of what we do is for everyone but ourselves. Imagine you were cast away on an island with no one to show your work to. Would you still be doing the same shit your doing now? I think not. I believe it is essential to explore what you do and don't want out of a thing.

Be true to yourself first and foremost. In studies and personal work. That's where you find a balance I think.

Thanks Caisne for starting this thread. A lot of good stuff in here.
(11-14-2014, 04:20 AM)Amit Dutta Wrote: Also Farvus, you and Sula, as working artists already, show us all the other side of the coin, the so called promised land many of us are still trying to achieve. And while I'm sure it is better than doing nothing creative all day, it goes to show that just because you are doing an art job, doesn't mean you are getting all you need out of it.

Well. During the first year at the job I was really conflicted if I should continue with this company or move on and look for something else. In case of that second option I would have to move out of my hometown as in my place there isn't much to choose from. Then it slowly came to me that it's actually attitude thing. I realised that it's very likely that after finding some more inspiring job I would still see things in negative light and that I probably have some idealised image of how good art career should look like. It's like in this saying "Grass is always greener on the other side".
Just to give you more detail I was preparing portfolio with concept art tripple-A games with realistic or gritty style but ended up doing mostly game assets for cartoony casual games or GUI design. On top of that some projects can be so small that there isn't much time to do something to be proud of.

Eventually though I tried to focus on good sides.

I think to some degree I can appreciate any style even if I don't make something satisfying out of it. Small casual games has this one cool thing that while for big studio job you can do small portion of concepts and don't really have any recognition beacause of that, for casual game you can shape the whole visual style of the game as a one person. Sometimes I was even given a free hand to come up with ideas on what will be in the game.

I learned to pick my battles. When something is destined to be crap then it's better move forward and save energy for something more ambitious. And contrary to what Dan Warren said which is "job that you dreamed about doesn't exist", I would say that it's not that it doesn't exist but even in the most amazing company you will have worse and better projects. There will never be the luxury of getting only the most fun creative stuff to do. Maybe that's only part of the studio job but I'm sure freelance can have that too.

When it comes to other good things. Design and composition are universal thing so just beacause you create menu bar for a game, doesn't mean that you're not improving. My design skills improved after all those years and I could transfer those to my personal work.

Also one minor thing I realised recently. I was listening to the "getting through the middle" talk and there was mention of having to do what is expected for so long time that everybody's portfolio in the industry has the same look. You see the art done for my job is so drastically different (beacause it's slighly different facet of the games industry) that my personal art is not endangered so much by that. I can sit and draw cute fish during the day and then come home and sketch some dark thriller scene. There is really no much overlapping. In that aspect I can treat it as advantage :).

And just to finish this. It's not like I gave up, completely abandoned the idea of going further in my art career and got used to sucky situation. I want to choose the right moment and feeling in my gut tells me that I should wait year or two. So far in my life everything kind of fell into place perfectly when I just waited a little longer and prepared as much as possible. For example as I work at the actual company I managed to gather enough money to buy a flat. In that transition time I can progress myself also in life and when I get enough confidence I can push the art side a little. I just have to remind myself to never stay complacent beacause it won't end well. That feeling of not making it never entirely goes away.

Thanks for the added insight Farvus. I think you have a good balanced head on your shoulders. You're right; nothing is ever black or white. This is the domain of the fundamentalist, and the sign of a non thinker.

Everything is change, so you must be willing to cultivate a positive attitude, move with, and always be open to change while keeping in mind your core beliefs and goals.

One thing I would say though as a message of warning is that you have to be really aware of yourself at all times, and watch out for self delusion (not saying you are doing this at all !) A rut is an easy thing to get into, and a really hard thing to break out of. Fear is the thing that keeps us from that scary change, even though it might be the best for us. Always go with your gut instinct unless it is birthed out of a fear rather than a sense of rightness.

I think what I am realising in my own journey is that nobody else can tell you what is right for you. I recently watched Interstellar. I was excited because I had seen posts from a lot of amazing concept artists, some of whom worked on similar movies for decades, rave about the movie. I thought it was pretty awful, more for the way it was made and the shitty acting and script than the core ideas or the science. It really made me realise that we tend to put people and what they do on pedestals. Actually, they can be just as dumb, uninformed, emotionally childish as the rest of us. It doesn't matter how good you are at what you do.

Yet we tend to find it harder to put ourselves on pedestals, and revere the potential of our own worth and our own ideas (not in an egotistical way) This is a mistake. I would love to see a world where all artists encourage themselves and others to realise their own potential even before it is manifested in actual worldly success, if ever! :)

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Oh, Amit, I just had this insight and came back to read you writing about it :)

I think I figured out what broke me this year:
I was really trying to fix that thing that made my art awkward. I knew the search was going to be deep and scary and I wouldn't going to be back unscarred, but hopefully I would back from this crazy search.

Since anyone couldn't point out to me what was off about my art, I started firing in all directions; I tried new media. I tried styles, I ventured into spaces I never really liked working on to see if the answer was there. I double and triple checked my workflow. I went into the abstract realms of art and personal meaning and you have-to-be-interesting-as-a-person-or-your-art-will-suck and felt bad because I'm not interesting. I read about art movements, political agendas, I looked into people looking to have their special signature and getting into galleries. I have started teaching, and I have tried to make it as inclusive as possible. I discovered I'm still bad; My art is still in it's early years, thanks for being a slacker and a self-taught clueless being.

So here is the thing:
I was open for answers and suggestions. And people who offered their time to try and help never really understood/shared my goals. They were simple: I still want to get into spectrum. I still want a magic card with my name. Working on a D&D product would be amazing.

But for this people who helped me, those were "cheesy nostalgia things from the 80's", "you need to move own and find your voice", "write your own comic book!" and ugh, I had no inclination of doing any of that. But I felt wrong for not trying; And since I know no other way of doing this, I started researching all that. I tried to be open to stuff I'd call bullshit before. I tried to make sense of it. I have now read 5 books about writing your own comic book, lol.

I don't like doing stuff half-assedly, so I was studying. It's the only way I know.
So I'd try it after a while.

But yeah, I have assembled that influence map a couple of days ago. How can I say I don't know what I like? The thing is surprisingly cohesive; I do have a set taste, and I used to have a crystal clear focus.

I wanted to get into Spectrum.
Have that pesky card with my name on it.
I need skill to do both. The skill people were telling I already have but that is NOT TRUE.

But in the quest of making up for everything giving me tips, life advice, I started trying to please all them so it would feel I didn't throw their advice away.

I lost track of my goal and went into this misty swamp having no idea where to go.
Trying to please people IS NOT A GOAL, guys.
I went into this artsy thing where self expression is king, but like I said, no, I'm a painter. I'm lost into textures and light and projected shadows. Efficient brushstrokes and neatly organized layers, hours of labor and music and my tablet.

So yeah, I may never have a brand.
I may never have my name up in shiny coats of varnish in the front of the book because I'm the author and that is ok; If I can make this, people will have my images in posters on their walls and wonder what magic world if that painted on it, never wondering who did it. And that is enough; I can stay behind the curtain. This is my magic trick, I don't need to show how it's done.

So yeah, there you go.
I can finally answer that pesky question of "what you like?".
I like painting, I like creating illusions. And I'm going to do exactly that.

Sula that is awesome. You have come full circle! :)

It's actually quite amusing (and you have to find it amusing or you might have to cry) that we can spend so much time searching for the answers out there, only to realise that the answers are almost always to be found within us. The only thing the journey is for is to help us realise that we have not been listening or trusting them, we hide them, change them into something else, confuse the meaning based on what others are doing or say we are supposed to be doing.

Self awareness is the one secret to being 'good at life' which doesn't mean being outwardly successful as many people seem to use it to mean, but being content and even happy with what you are and are doing, with no judgements.

In my 7 month break, there were points where I really thought that I would never come back to doing art. And it was so scary. But I asked myself truthfully why? I then realised I wasn't scared of losing art from my life, but scared of not achieving what I had set out to do...of giving up....of not being "successful".
It was Fear alone; To be scared so much of failure that it crippled my chance of success! This was insanity. So I gave up my crazy hope of 'making it' which had overshadowed all else. It wasn't exactly easy, and I'm not sure I have completely removed it really, but I believe the Buddhist teachings are right...desire really is the source of all our own suffering. I'm not sure if people misunderstand me when I say I gave up hope because typically we tend to view hope as a good thing to have. But actually hope is simply a coping mechanism for survival. I have not given up hope from a sense of futility, but more a gesture of acceptance.

I liken it to being a captive prisoner, waiting for your execution date. You know it is coming but you have this desperate hope of being freed in order to cope with your own fear of death. Sure maybe someone will free you miraculously, but you have only delayed the inevitable, you haven't escaped death nor achieved freedom. You know when you achieve true freedom? When you face your death with acceptance, and go calmly and with dignity.

There is nothing to survive. I don't need hope. I am still here and can still do art, I can work towards goals and with great purpose, but all without having this craziness inside me. We should all be living hopelessly!

I hope (lol) that people understand the difference, because I believe it is probably the most defining moment in my artistic development, it took me 3 years to find and it has NOTHING to do with skills or a style or any of that other stuff.

I'm a little tentative yet, and feeling my way back to painting, but the moment I just started allowing myself some room, and being a bit more open to the world, and not giving such a huge damn deal about Art with a capital A (serious business). I started getting opportunities come my way. I actually am just having fun and a great little side benefit that is happening, is that where in the past I was hugely critical of my own work, I am not so much any more, because f* it what the heck is the point? Yeah sure, there is lots that can be improved, but dammit, there is nothing wrong with that at all and there is no point bringing yourself down about it because it doesn't help. This is probably where all of us could do with a lot of soul searching and self development on.

Anyways I don't want to write another book. GO for it Sula. Listen to yourself, don't be critical of something silly like your "skills" and just open yourself up to the possibilities within you :)

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I can't believe how close all these stories hit to home. It's funny to think we are alone in experiencing our struggles of battling procrastination, game addiction, etc, when so many others are having the same struggle, and have even overcome it. I want to thank everyone who have shared their stories; this is the thread I'll be visiting again and again to remind me that this is something we all face and can overcome.

I'd like to point out how absolutely amazing this article is:
(11-06-2014, 02:12 AM)nightvale Wrote: http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procra...inate.html
(THANK YOU nightvale for sharing!!) It really breaks the procrastinator down to relatable and understandable pieces and has really helped me understand when I'm procrastinating and be able to avoid it by being productive instead.

This combined with a quote I came across about motivation;
[Image: sM00I9Q.png]
Is allowing me to stay level-minded and ultimately be so much more productive than ever before.

Hi! I joined Crimson Daggers today because I felt terrible today, after seven years of struggling with art, and I realized I couldn't do this by myself anymore. This thread makes my heart sing and I am relieved that I made a good decision in joining.

I have let fear rule pretty much every bit of my life. But the place where it is the worst is in my art- in this perfectionism that I have. I have some big personality faults that trip me up. I'm vain, but shy at the same time. My ego is so delicate and so immense at the same time and this is seriously causing problems for me.

When I went to college in 2006, I was too afraid to move away from my family and be on my own so I only applied to one school. Money was also a factor, but I chose the school I went to because I was too unsure of my own abilities to try anything on my own. The art program in that school was good for teaching art history and it was encouraging, but I was told that my technical skills were already above that which they could teach and it was true. My ego swelled. I was the big fish in the itty bitty tiny squishy pond. And then I graduated and I knew I was going into the big pond where I was the little fish and the fear crushed me.

I know I need to sketch daily, but I spent so much time looking at amazing artist work that I'm too afraid to pick up a pencil and sketch. I can't hold myself to it.

I'm worried that I am 26 and I haven't done anything with my life- I'm working part time as a janitor at a homeless facility and the hours when I am supposed to be doing my art I find myself doing things that are falsely productive- looking up "references" or "researching" when I would probably do myself a better service by putting out what I already know and then going back and trying to fix it.

And now I am trying to catch up where my skills are lacking. And I am seriously lacking. I've pretty much taught myself everything I know about art from books and observation, but I have to rely on reference. I cannot trust myself and I get so depressed when another day passes and like you all have said- the clock keeps ticking and I am in the same place.

I am trying to do better this year- my goal is to get a portfolio together for once and to try to create a routine that will foster discipline and productivity but so far I have not done as well as I would like and I beat the hell out of myself for it.

I try to keep reminders around for myself- "be patient, be present with what you are doing, no false productivity," etc, etc, but I am just not having much luck.

I know I won't give up- I've come this far, I might as well go all the way, but I just can't stand this cycle of good intentions and then my behaviour spoils it all.

I'm rambling, but what I really want to say is that along with other sources like james victore's burning questions and certain books like comfortable with uncertainy by Pema Chödrön, I can see that you all will be like a lifeline to me and I want to say thank you.

Day one and this place already rocks!
Really great thread.

I'm pretty new here, this is my first post aside from the intro post, but Amit suggested I check this post out, and I definitely relate to everyone's thoughts. It's surely a universal experience.

I've been thinking a lot about resistance and blocks recently. Mainly because I've been working on shifting some, and trying to understand what has kept me from doing what I know I should be.

My story is that, after being entirely convinced I'd be an artist all the way up to the age of 17, I ended up running from it, going in every direction but art. I did marketing, bits of graphic design, studied fashion design, bursts of fashion illustration, but would never let myself do 'pure' art.

The walls have started coming down recently, and have spurred me to learn and consciously shift other unconscious BS that might be holding me back.

An example of the random stuff that comes through - I have a risk of retinal detachment due to astigmatism, and I realised the other day that one of the reasons I have avoided art is that I feared that I might become so attached and fed by it, that if something were to happen with my eyes, and I were to go blind, I wouldn't be able to cope.

Once you start digging, it's amazing what you find.

Also, for anyone that hasn't read it, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield has many incredibly valuable insights about resistance. I highly highly recommend every single one of you read it. If I could I'd make it required reading for every human!

(11-19-2014, 04:20 AM)Amit Dutta Wrote: It's actually quite amusing (and you have to find it amusing or you might have to cry) that we can spend so much time searching for the answers out there, only to realise that the answers are almost always to be found within us.

This has been so ridiculously true for me recently.

The answers are all so damn obvious!
Thank you oh thank you to crimson daggers , to the people in it and the internet.
this thread is a godsend for me.

really some thought provoking stuff here.
ill try to share my story , and sorry for errors because english is my 2nd language and im currently shaking from my anxiety attacks, but here it goes:

i abruptly stopped going to college sometime in 2013 due to financial difficulties, it was only the 1st semester and i was taking a course that is Information technology, at that time i didnt know much about concept art , but thought of going through with that field would reap in good $$$ as IT is one of the highly paid jobs here in the Philippines.

Months has been spent being a "tambay" a filipino word of a lazy stay at home, unemployed guy who doesnt do anything in the world except sleep eat shower. but in my case i played video games. making this story short, i get to a point in my life where i experienced existential crisis, i am 19. i started to think deep about my future. and what i really wanted to do in life. then i found concept art.

i started taking this seriously at the beginning of 2014, though i think my knowledge about the industry is not that much since today, i was driven by motivation at that time to a point where i was drawing everyday. up until now 1 year later. i deprived myself of any human interaction since i stopped going to college. it has resulted into severe consequences, as i feel i have had gotten a social anxiety disorder. i have just been researching about this on jan 2015 , when im starting to realize that i have a hard time talking to people that i just get sweaty and stuff.

its because of the sheer desire of getting good fast , that i have given myself this lifestyle where i developed some kind of an illness is something to think about.

i know its a little bit unfair to be here and say im having a hard time , especially when you guys have much more of a grim situation starting out compared to mine.

but i just like to say that sadly , we all just have to go through that horrible phase in life and come out 200 times better.

i have watched a documentary called happy , and its all about the science of happiness. one thing that struck me the most is. there are 2 different kinds of goals ,extrinsic and intrinsic. extrinsic being , fame , money . personal image. intrinsic -establishing relationships , helping other people/contributing to society, and personal growth/being who you want to be.
to me intrinsic is the way to go.

so to sum this up , where not doing all of this just because of money or becoming famous. we do this because we LOVE doing it. its already a privilege drawing and get paid to do so. but when it gets to the point where you dont like the work aspect of it. dont fret, dont get bogged down. it just how the world works. and you just need to be strong and do it.

anyways sorry if all of this doesnt make sense but let me just thank all of you guys for inspiring me , and for sharing the bad experiences youve had on your journey so that it doesnt happen to us. i really appreciate that. you guys will be forever in my debt. because im never gonna realize all of this teachings if i had never been on this site, on this thread, with you guys. so thank you...

i apologize for being so cheesy and dramatic . just couldnt contain myself. i hope i can meet you guys in real life someday. yeah this is getting weird im gonna stop.

I totally agree with you Caisne. I used to wait for inspiration to hit because it seemed like that was the only time I enjoyed the outcome of my work. I finally just started to force myself to push through the 10000 hrs of practice and changed several things that held my creativity back. One way that helped me was to keep a journal on my phone and when something came to me I would just write it down and come back to it whenever I needed a little kick of inspiration. Another one that worked was making daily sketches. Sounds easy but when I'm in the middle of rendering an image I tend to just work on that and forget about all other areas I still need to work on. This gave me an outlet to mess around with different ideas while not harming my normal work flow.

Love when you said have fun the art. At times all I can see in my work are the areas that I need to improve especially when I compare it to everything else online. Like you said we are all our worst critics. But I also enjoyed when you mentioned make your own card game and compare it to only yourself.

Slowly I'm working on those areas but it just takes time. And each day I try and focus more on my art and remove as many distractions as possible. Thanks for the positives vibes ...

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