Sorry for the long read… And I beg you a pardon for my English.

The writing below started as a personal note of advice, but for whatever reason it came bigger… This is my personal opinion and experience, and I’d love to share my thoughts and hopefully hear yours.

We are getting so much energy listening to podcasts, interviews and talks. We get inspired and pumped when professional artists give us warning signs and useful advices. We nod our heads as we relate to the talks about struggle, each one of us trying to overcome, we make notes as we see the warning signs they are giving us, but do we really getting the message? Two years ago I heard one of the conversations that influenced me the most, as an artistic individual. Sadly I wasn’t ready for this… I hope I’m starting to realize it now.

I want to bring a quote, from the talk I mentioned above, by Dan Warren.

You don’t want to get into a scenario where it’s a ticking clock. The longer you wait to start doing this kind of stuff, the worse it’s going to be… It’s going to get you the same amount of time, to get where you’re going, no matter when you’ll start, so don’t start late…It’s not healthy to think about the clock ticking, but it is!

And right now, after all this warning signs, written red by the people who wanted to ease my way so much… I’m in the middle of a situation, when clock on my desk is hammering me, right in the balls, with each passing second. Why?

I don’t want to turn this into a monologue, and talk too much about my journey, as the purpose of this read is to start a conversation.

When you hear a story of a struggle, with warning signs and advices from the person whose opinion is significant for you, you getting pumped and inspired. And you get a STUDY ATTACK. And I’m sure most of you can relate to that. I call this “ATTACK” because it has temporary behavior. Time will pass, flames will fade, and you’ll go back to DOTA, smoking a pipe with your friends or any other kind of procrastination. Your sketchbook is abandoned for months, catching dust… You have to wait for another ATTACK. Maybe two months, half of the year or two years, who knows? And while procrastination goes on, you still want it bad, but you drained out. But that clock is ticking. They say you’ll need 10000 hours to get good at what we are doing, and you can make this amount of hours in 3 years or 8 it’s up to you. How bad you want it?

God Bless if that’s never happened to you, and you can’t relate to what I’m saying, ‘cause if so, you probably already made it.

Why flames has to fade? Because we are doing it wrong… We don’t balance work correctly. STUDY ATTACK ends as we exhaust ourselves with a copying of landscapes, faces and tits! We do study for the sake of a study. We forget that study has to serve a purpose… We do it because we need to put that shit on our sketchbooks! If I’ll update daily I’ll get better. We are torturing ourselves with the most boring pieces of shit, chasing the next skill level, to the point where we can’t even remember why we started to draw… STUDY ATTACK ends suddenly, when you’re trying a new game, going out with friends or picking any other activity, and you shouldn’t blame yourself because it’s more fun! But clock is ticking…

Do yourself a favor, have fun… Do a job you always dreamed about. If you doing a freelance job you hate - finish it, and do the stuff you love. You don’t have to be contacted by Wizards or Applibot to draw the Trading Cards, do your own. Call it Magic of the Cryptids and get lost in these worlds of yours. Nobody gives a shit if your cards worse that the ones Min Yum did. The only person you should compare yourself to, it is you, and that’s all. There’s always be someone better, face it. Your personal growth matters most.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t do studies, but balance it. And do it purposeful. We need to put many hours of hard work for sure. A friend in the hangouts told me You’ve got only so much time before you die, so you should draw. How bad you want it? Sell Your Play Station or give it to your Friend. I shipped mine to my parents. From now on you got new exciting RPG to play and gain experience.

And if you’re in a situation where you don’t need to worry about getting a paycheck to pay your bills – take full advantage of it. But don’t let this make you feel safe, I did, and I know you got only few years before that clock will start ticking. I’ve got exposed to Concept Art and got my first tablet in 2005. Since then 10 years have passed and with a few last years, that ticking thing started to sound like a thunder.

Getting to know and becoming a friend with a people who shares your passion – breaking point. I took hid in a cave, where I was facing an infrequent STDUY ATTACKS from time to time for almost 10 years. And now I hated myself for doing so for such a long time. But it doesn’t matter as I’m unable to change the past, the present is most important. And I feel most passionate and focused on my journey than ever before. Human intercourse keeps this easily fading flame roaring. For the past month I learned more than for the last year.

Seek support and surround yourself with passionate people who are driven by the same desire as you do. I can’t express how easier it is, when you got an opportunity to talk to someone who shares your thoughts. Who can relate.

Have fun, make friends. Turn this sudden STUDY ATTACK to a lifelong incurable artistic disease. Don’t wait for the ticking clock to force you.

I hope that’s makes sense. And I’m sorry for wasting your time if it’s doesn’t. Impatiently awaiting for your thoughts and opinions
Thank you for sharing man...

(11-05-2014, 08:36 PM)Caisne Wrote: TICKING CLOCK

Thanks for sharing, I agree. Mindless study attacks are horrible for they drain whatever energy you have. I'm pretty disappointed these days with how slow I paint, but realising this has made me more aware that I have a short time for all those paintings I'm planning to make, and now I waste less time with stuff that won't teach me anything, and I look for alternative ways to work faster and better.

Definitely check what you want to do with your life once in a while, be as specific as you can. It's terrible to drift around without a clear direction only to row back to that fork and set off again, we can only do so much in a day. The more you actually try to make stuff you realise your weaknesses and in your head everything can be sorted out really easily while in reality you make a bazillion mistakes, and get distracted, and even without mistakes, things just take a long time to create. Anyway, I'm in the exact position and just started this account so that I can come here and agree with you. Haha. Having friends that are driven and hardworking is incredibly motivating, especially if they're in the same industry. I've always been surrounded with lazy friends who have no goals in life, or the energy to reach the goals they want to accomplish. I'd be more than happy to keep in touch with you, friendly competition, simple conversation or venting about concept art would be awesome.

This is an amazing article about procrastination that I share with everyone, it clears a lot of things in your head because the writer labels the actions a procrastinator does, so after reading this you will become aware when you're murdering time, and hopefully you'll go back to work. Here it is: http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procra...inate.html
Motivational advice is a bit like pornography.

Reading it (or listening to it) and imagining yourself to implement it triggers the same pleasure response that actually doing it would trigger, without you actually having to implement any of it.

It doesn’t feel as good as the real thing (especially if you add the feeling of guilt that kicks in later), but it is close enough. And it is much easier to do. So unfortunately our short sighted animal brain prefers the lowest hanging fruit.

In my personal theory, you need to be really fed up by the shallow instant gratification that all motivational advice can provide, before you are "ready for the advice" (to use your words, Caisne).
Guys, thank you for the kind feedback.

@nightvale Thanks for the article. Ill definitely give it a shot. And yes I agree, checking what you want to dowith your life is healthy. But looking back me, and I guess many others, were constantly checking, but postponing stuff... Because its always harder to start than continue doing.

@Chris P I never thought about that in this key... Glad you mention it. And now I understand what was happening, when after watching another interview or awesome video, I was already pleased and happy with the work I haven't done yet. I was so glad, and I was like "Dude, you gonna be just as cool as this guys, you'll put the hardest work as you been advised to, and you'll be super pro. Decision made. Hard work starts at Monday. Yeah Monday is a best day to start a hard work. Now lent go back to Battlefield "
Great read Caisne, you nailed when you mentioned the key word: fun.
My backstory is pretty similar as yours, I have been trying to make out as an artist for about 10 years, but in those earlier years I found myself in a loop where I would try to draw what I liked but it never came out good and I'd give up and start playing something. It came and went, I started working and I had settled for good, never really pushing myself to study and frustrating myself all the time.

The ticking clock started to grow on me even as I played games I started to think that I should be studying, but once something flashy appeared on the screen I forgot that. I tried to create a sketchbook over at CA too, but with a job, university (I dropped out later on), and being lazy, I only updated it once every full moon with like one drawing (I even have a drawing on my DA that took me like 10 months to finish, not because it took long hours, but I would paint it like 30 minutes every 15 days). After some time I was reeaaally frustated with myself for the same reasons you mentioned, I was bad, I had wasted so many hours not focusing on getting better and I was working on something I hated.

What could I do to change that, I buckled up and made my mind, with games I was at a point where I wasn't even enjoying playing anymore and seeing all these great games and realizing I would never be a part of them if I kept up like that, so I quit university and started to get EVERY gig outside work that I could, I knew that I had to get out of that job because it drained me and I didn't draw that much while on it and I just couldn't leave because I have to pay my bills. So the constant 3 hour sleep nighters happened a lot and by a lot I mean some weeks I'd go 5 days straight sleeping 3~4 hours every night, that went on for like a year and a half.

At a point I was comfortable enough with my freelancing stuff I managed to quit my job and start to getting myself some study, now this is where you'd think the story would pick up and I'd become a great artist and running on a sunny day, nah, I dropped facefirst realizing I knew shit, there are so many things I didn't know and I thought I did, so many subjects to study and there would be so maaany good artists with these great, rocking styles, I didn't know where I'd go, my style was changing as often as I found a new artist with a totally different style, and that was bad, I was looking at the wrong way.

I started spiraling again with having a lot of freelancing work and not knowing where to go with my style, frustrating myself all the time because I just couldn't find a style that I could move towards. And then it hit me, I was just so focused on trying to be like these artists and their styles and I forgot how to have fun with my art. I realized there would be a huge difference between artists that you are amazed by their art and the ones that inspire you. I always loved the funny and cartoony style of blizzard since I started playing games, like warcraft 2 or lost vikings but when I started to draw I just folded under the constant barrage of realistic styles and criticism like "you should draw like it's a real photo", that last one stuck with me for years and it's still somewhere in me and I have to keep reminding myself to have fun, don't just copy.

Art talks and podcasts are always fun but you gotta remind yourself that they're the artists opinions, they are not the truth set in stone. You could study for hours to an end because artist X said to study this many hours so that's why I do it, nah, you should do it because you want to have more fun with your art by improving yourself with those studying hours, by polishing what you're not comfortable with and of course having that amazing moment when you break through something you had issues with. Keep that in mind and the study attacks get easier and easier.
My latest study attack has lasted since June but this time this one will stay for good, I know where I want to go, the fog has lifted and I can see where I want to go, now all I gotta do is work hard for it. The ticking clock is still in my mind but there is nothing I can do about it, I cannot change the past, all I can do is bust out and keep pushing no matter what.

What a ramble, never typed this much and I don't even know if it makes sense, not gonna double check it either hahaha, so to sum it up:
[Image: just-do-it-hed-2013.jpg]

Thanks for sharing your walls of text Rafa and Caisne.

Imma ramble a bit now, sometimes just writing stuff out can clear your mind.

I too have gone through phases of motivation and also phases of dryness(time creeps by slowly, you are not enjoying yourself, you check on the internet every 5 min).
Only a couple of months back I started focusing on finding the "fun" part in art, after listening to Sycras podcast. Its been going great so far, Im not getting frustrated by failures as much as before and Im not constrained by specifics.

I think what some artists get into is this comfort feeling with where they´re at. Ive been getting that a couple of times now, even though Im not that good. I think its partly because of the fact that I know I have 3-4 years of study time ahead of me+ I go to art school, but the school I go to isnt specialized in Illustration, Its not enough on itself, I gotta do plenty of work myself If I want to git gud.

I keep trying to deconstruct the learning process with logic, trying to find shortcuts.( It isnt a bad thing and you can certainly learn a lot from analysing stuff.) Ive learned that theres a mileage factor involved,that cant be figured out on the spot. I could spend 15 hours on a painting, but It would still look worse than a 2 hour sketch a professional has done.

Ive not been doing as much as I could do Ideally (because my mind justifies it with "youre going to art school already, you dont need to push yourself that hard"), but thats the wrong attitude.
I gotta start setting goals and pushing myself harder like in the start, that was more efficent.

Gotta make a schedule. I think so far Ive not done it because I find it uncomfortable and Ive been doing around 1-3 hours of art daily. Once again, thats the wrong attitude, I have to change it. I did try setting some half assed goals on paper, but never really came through with them, I think posting your progress online for others to see is integral part and can motivate you not to fail a lot more.

I think Ill start doing a weekly goal of 21 hours. Last time I put my goals at a monthly length, which might be too long(If you fall behind too much your unlikely to do anything for the rest of the month.) I think setting specific goals and schedules and posting your stuff has been pretty effective in the past, but what deterred me at times was my wrist(Had pretty bad ergonomics at the time). I was put off for atleast a month and that really threw me off. When I got back into it in this summer, I had lost a lot of my discipline. Thats whats missing right now, discipline, up to this point Ive not been pushing myself, but Ive learned to enjoy the process of doing art more and more. Now I got to back it up with a good work ethic.

I dont think anyone will read through that shitty ramble, so heres the useful part: Make a specific goal and post your progress online. Make a schedule for every day. Dont get frustrated by failures and learn to have fun.

This a great thread, thanks guys.

I'm not sure what is going on with myself really at this moment. Maybe it's the dreadful burnout; Maybe it's just lack of motivation. I have been working and teaching, and that takes a lot of time.

When I finally sit with the few hours I have to myself, I don't feel like doing over complicated studies or even starting a long piece. I just do a sketch and call it done. I have been trying my best to test one stuff of the other, but right now I don't exactly what my problem is, so I just feel lost and drop it altogether.

I mean, the problem is everywhere, from anatomy to perspective to composition, but... improving isn't as easy as it once was. Which is funny because I didn't think it was easy back then... So I felt like I was slowly giving up. Which is a shame because I already invested so much time in making this work, how come I'd give it up now?

A professor of mine once told me the path from 9 to 10 is twice as long as the path from 1 to 9 (referring to grades). I hope this is the case; If I can make it to that 8, I'd have something to look out for hehe

So yeah, the "have fun" message come in with perfect timing. I will just finish just this one more page and get to have some fun with pencils. Let's see how this goes :)

I need to get the ball rolling again if I want to get somewhere.

I thought I would share a little something I've been going through recently as well as my brief story:

- Was a 3D animator (lighting and texture TD) for 1.5 years circa 1999.
- Had to leave the country I was in unexpectedly due to a visa [email protected] up which led to another degree on another continent.
- Did nothing art related of any note for 10 years.
- Bought my first wacom in 2008 and did two paintings that year.
- Basically did jack all till about April 2009 when I turned 32, when I started doing speed paintings almost every day. Painted random finished pieces. Random. No study at all. Weeks between any painting sometimes
- September 2011 I went to a concept design workshop and loved it! I decided to pull the finger out and get serious.
- Began the cycle of painting every day after work. 3-4 hours. 8-12 on weekend days. Some study, but mostly just painting painting painting for a year and a bit straight. 5-6 hours sleep a night on average.
- Dec 2012, took 3 months off work to work on folio building, produce a short comic and study. Ended up in hospital from a random infection 3 weeks in and couldn't paint for 5 weeks. Did too much study to "catch up" (the clock was ticking here) and ditched my own project. it was awful. Failed.
- Painted more for fun from then on did more workshops and networking.
- Oct 2013 ( 2 year anniversary of starting to be serious) Got invited to submit folio to Weta after a review, with tips on what to show them for Feb 2014. Freaked out with stress, painted all day, produced almost nothing, became completely paralysed by the end. I had a few pieces that might have made the grade. My laptop and all my work gets stolen literally 3 days away from my deadline.
- Decided to take a good long break and reevaluate why I melted down. Decided the stress of 'making it' was what totally f#cked me up. I wanted it so bad I choked. So I took 7 months to get rid of my desire to make it and get over my burnout.
- November 2014, back into the fray, albeit very slowly, and with a different focus altogether, based on being true to my own self, having fun, not taking all this too seriously, and hopefully help others to NOT do what I did :)

I don't know if this is the right thing for this thread, but hopefully it is an interesting synopsis of one journey anyway. The main thread throughout my beginning stages which was (despite the lack of sleep and long hours) pretty natural and easy, was that I was having fun. With everything. I loved studies, I loved painting from imagination, I just loved the whole thing. Then once I got a bit better and started seeing great improvement (almost daily in some cases) it got even better. The grind started happening after my 3 month attempt at folio building full time. It was a disaster. Granted I got sick which wasted over a third of the time but I found that this loss of "time" made me so stressed coming back that I was never back to my momentum at the beginning. It made me make a huge mistake.

I truly believe that we all have to excise the idea of time being a factor in our minds, or that we need to give it such close attention in our artistic development.
At first I used to count hours to hit 10,000. At 3,000 I gave up on that notion. I mean really who gives a shit how many hours you've done? No one will ask you. The only person that can even guess at that is you. If you spend 10,000,000 hours and you're still shit, well then what?

No. Just. No.

Repeat after me: "I have all the time in the world". Now say it to yourself every day, and every time you feel that stupid time pressure. If you don't have time....well then make some time. We are all way less efficient that we can be, so don't be lazy get efficient. If your mum is close at hand, ask her how she managed raising kids. Believe me she learned to be more efficient raising your ass than you will ever become doing art.

The only thing that matters is that you must enjoy what you are doing, study or freelance, studio job or personal project. It must all be done in enjoyment to get the real benefit of being a creator.
Everything else, all the desire, the dream of 'making it' the ridiculous pressure we put ourselves under.
This. must. die.
We must kill it.
Banish it.
Because once we do, we will be free to be the artist we are right NOW.

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Guys, thank you all for putting the time on and sharing your experience. I know it takes some to do this wall of letters. I didn't expect this thread to became that big... And all your stories, that's healthy to realize that there's a dark side to it. And what is more important is to know that there are people who share the same struggle, and you're not alone.
Thanks for sharing everyone. Amit, what you say about that "making it" and the time pressure ring true to me.
That clock is ticking WAY too loud for me sometimes/lately, not just the "art clock" but also the "don't fail at life as a whole" clock. And while I tend to embrace it for that extra bit of motivation it provides, it's playing with fire - forget to guard your thoughts and staying positive for a second, and it kicks you right into the dark realms of despair, frustration, self doubt and eventually paralysis.

Thanks everyone for being so open.

SketchbookDeviantartArtblog | Portfolio
Every feedback is appreciated!
I've been too afraid to reply and reveal more about how useless all my life has been, because of how weak-minded I am. But I really am very grateful of this thread and the stories shared, and the most important message - enjoy the art you're doing.

The only thing my experience is good for is perhaps like a corpse on the ground that warns "This direction is unhealthy" for anyone... :

For nearly 10 years I tried to do what I think and what I've heard I should be doing to make it as an artist, and all the while building it all on top of a bog field of deep doubts. I held no jobs longer than 2 years since graduating college, none of which art-related. I had became too weak-minded to others' opinion of what kind of job and career I should do, and too weak-willed to believe in hard work anymore after a string of disappointments. Since college, I did art sporadically with many fake goals I thought I "should" pursuit to prove to and pacify other people that art is a legitimate thing to do with one's life. Doubt snuffed all those efforts out as if I was just pretending and playing house at a career and life the whole time. The more and louder the Ticking Clock sounded, the worse I felt, and the deeper I shove my head into the sand. Later I started to plan for stopping the Clock for good, and just check out, because I couldn't take it anymore. Now, Ticking Clock is still ticking. Life is still the same old career-less, friend-less, and-some-other-stuff-less life. Nothing's changed nearly 10 years after college. Except I might've gotten a bit more numb-ear and numb-heart about it all, and have started to do more random, traditional art. But there's a small difference now - I kind of enjoy doing them. They may very well be nothing more than pointless, comfort-zone, masturbatory paintings of one who's living up the stereotype of life-fail that lives in Mom's basement at 30 with no real job to pay rent. But the small packets of positive feelings and confidence these random art gave enough energy for me to start making different plans about where to go with art. So far they're words on paper, and as good as all the previous failed attempts. So you can say all this talk is just stupid talk of a loser who hasn't walked anywhere, and you'll be right, for a while.

All this blabber, I just want to give the lesson I learned as thanks for other daggers putting it out there, especially Caisine who started this. Lesson = Yes one needs to get along with people, and yes, one needs to be open to other people's feed back and point of view. But those are the cole slaw and fries on your plate, not the burger. The burger is you. You gotta be the one who has thought this through and decide whether or not to do it for your own reasons. You gotta like your burger, and not get a bloody rare beef burger when deep down what you really enjoy is a fish burger because someone else told you that's what you should be eating to be [xyz].

@Lyraina, thanks so much, and I believe it is a universal truth about our condition that we don't acknowledge enough. What you say is true, it is how we react to this feeling that matters. You can use it positively as motivation for sure (I did for at least 2 of my 3 years) but underneath all that, there is still this intense drive to "not fail" and "make it" which is also part of the problem. Yes we sometimes need a kick to do the work, but then again, if we loved what we were doing purely for it's own sake, then we wouldn't need this kick.

@Meat dude....thanks for sharing. It's amazing how tough a ride we are on, and more how tough we make it for ourselves. Can I just say: Your trad work is awesome. Seriously. I saw those blue (goat, ram?) painting on dA and thought "Wow those are really cool" Didn't realise it was your account till a bit later.

This message is for you (but also for EVERYONE reading this)

BACK YOURSELF! You have what it takes, you've stuck it out this long, you just need to take positive actions to get you moving the right way. I can't stress enough how having a positive attitude affects every single aspect of your life. People become drawn to you, things start to become easier, opportunities open up. It is hard to do it when you feel you are stuck in a rut ( I was stuck in a rut for 3 years, even though it seemed like I was making progress) but making the slightest change and gathering that positive momentum , and not allowing it to break is the key. Start your own projects rather than wait for the perfect "opportunity" to come.

Oh and fuck the sense of not being worthy because you "don't have a career or job or haven't made it" These are all negative societal constructs built out of pure and utter bullshit. Your own worth is in your consciousness, your unique vision, your contribution to all humanity. You DO have something to say, because you are here to say it.

An awesome quote from Alan Watts states "You are the Universe looking at itself". It blows my mind all the time when I spend a few minutes to think about it. You are part of this universe, not separate from it in any way, like we all are led to believe. It makes intrinsic sense if you mull it over. The big bang theory states that all matter and energy in the universe was condesed down to a singular point at some time 14 billion years ago. All that matter and energy eventually has led to you. You aren't just something that exists in it randomly popping out from nowhere, the energy that makes you up, came from the big bang, only it has emerged as a "you", an evolved consciousness within it now, and you will return to it in a different form, never having been apart from it at any point. If this is the case, then [email protected] , you ARE the universe, and through your observation and being, you can make your own statement about the Universe, and about yourself because they are one and the same.

All you have to do is work out what, and how. And it is not a Eureka moment either, it is one that comes out of saying and doing everything along the way that you do each moment in time; whether it be living in your Mom's basement at 50 jobless, or creating an artistic masterpiece at 21. It is all an expression of the Universe observing and reacting to itself through you.

You are the Universe, You are the MEAT burger. :)

(ok so I went way too Zen there, but there is so much positivity in my viewpoint nowadays , I don't know how to contain it haha)

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It's important to practice and do some art for fun, do other things but also I'd like to point out though that every stage in artistic development is different. Even just every different season during the year affects how you perform. I constantly see that even if I develop a perfect schedule for myself, after while it stops working and I have to change some things and gain new momentum from scratch.

I started taking art seriously maybe about ten years ago when CA.org was beginning to get popular. At this time I developed the most intense learning habit where I never really missed a day sketching. Even if it was a doodle a day it was still enough. My endurance and skill got better and by the time I was finished architecture faculty, I could paint decent images and do it all day.

Luckily few weeks after graduation I got a job at 2d artist in small game company. I didn't experience ticking clock that much to be honest. The other problem came out though which was burnout and slight health problems. The job gave stability but from the beginning I knew it won't be as exciting as I dreamed when I started drawing. I lost all the momentum and every attempt at doing studies felt like torture to me at this point. Not only that but several times at the first year of the job I felt like quitting in order to search for something better. It's my fourth year at the job and I think I adapted enough to switch gears when I get back home and do studies again. What I also realised is one of the driving force for me when it comes to drawing when I started out was playing games. Unfortunately I haven't played games for years.
All the advice about throwing away tv, console, uninstalling games and so on are right but you can't be on the study rush forever. Eventually you have to expose yourself to culture again. Watch, read, discover, play. It has to be part of the cycle. I guess the key is to choose wisely what to consume. For example some games require months of gameplay, others you can finish in one weekend but you can get something valuable or inspiring out of them. Some games you don't have to play to the very end to get the idea.

Right now I'm at the point where I'm trying to get past the mid point and even though it's not freelance, there are still very similar problems to those mentioned in that Dan Warren's talk linked in the first post. It feels like I'm in the middle of the ocean and not seeing land for the long time. My approach to this is to be consistent with the studies but do those as little as possible and focus more on trying out things. You won't really develop personal voice if you don't let it speak for a while. It might stutter at the beginning but hopefully I will break through that ugly duckling stage.

In the end my advice would be to expect that "making it" will happen somewhere far in the future and for now just focus on taking slow but steady journey. Doing anything is already enough. As for study attack. Having one is fine once in a while but creativity attack is even better :).

Finally I found the magical thread that contains treasure. So many great stories in here we can all relate to. I just wanted to say that Amit's zen post made me think about something I read once.

I started my art journey two years ago, in 2012. I studied graphic design & art and design for 6 years - graduated, in the hope that any school would accept me as an illustrator. NOT. I never learned shit at that school. In those 6 years I had one 2h anatomy lesson. I wasted ALL my teenage years and adolescent years there drawing logo's and random company bullsheet until I was 21. School just told me I was ''below average with drawing and I should give up on drawing ''

Give up on the dream i wanted to reach that blossomed when i was 13 until now- and do something else felt impossible. After school I asked my parents if I could get 3 months off to work on art because I couldn't let go, but my parents never supported me with becoming a concept artist/ illustrator, because its not a job where you use your hands and legs to do something '' productive '' so they were pushing me to get real jobs and this and that. I tried to ignore it all for as long as I could but there was so much pressure from everywhere around me. I felt the clock bashing against my head, literally K.O'ing me every second. My art was improving, but I was failing at the same time. I never reached my 1 year goal either, which was at that time getting 1 commission.

People around me thought I was lazy that I didn't want a real life non art related job, that I was comfy behind the computer wasting away time - which is true for a lot of us in a sense :P- But the fact is... I wanted to stay positive, to own all those people, to show that I can do it on my own, to live the dream, to make it come true. To visualise it - smell it - feel it. I never wanted to be put in a negative spiral of a 9-5 job. I wanted to live my life the way I wanted it, and not what other people wanted me to be. That was hard though.

I never gave up, and never will. This is as much a part of me as it is of you!! It's something we are striving for, maybe even more so than other people. We work on it every day, sometimes succeeding and other times failing.

I read a book a couple of months ago stating that if you think about what you want most and visualise you working on it, succeeding in it, you will send out positive vibes and you will get what you want eventually. It might sound a bit silly, but it's a thing that sorta keeps me going, you know? I don't care so much anymore what other people say. I just turn off the switch and think about that sentence.

Think positive. Think about how much you love drawing, how much creativity you feel rushing through you, how free you feel when you pick up the pencil and opening the sketchbook.
You can do it! WE can do it :) All takes time, but never let anything or anyone stop you from doing what you love most.
Yup Farvus, you nailed it when you said about studies to be consistent but do as little as you need, and then experiment and explore. As little (may be a lot if just starting) as you need. think about that people. This is a nugget of gold that is framed in the right way to help us not grind at study as if it was some mountain to climb. :)

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.

It helps us remember a particular job isn't necessarily going to somehow fulfill us or save us, or give us contentment. The real contentment should ideally be in every brushstroke and being grateful for this gift and drive for creativity (it is beaten out of many people during our schooling I believe) and the opportunity to connect with others through it.

Totally agree with angelique about the positivity. It can't be forced, it has to come from within. If you don't have this then it can be kick started by being aware of and having a sense of gratitude for what you do have rather than what you don't. It builds up momentum slowly, it is not easy, and it has taken me a year to build up and get myself out of this huge depressive rut, but once you are rolling, man the power of its attraction is something else, almost like a superpower XD.
I just got my first really decent paid freelance gig, from being open and friendly when someone randomly commented on my doodling on the train the other day. He turned out to be a game designer. A year ago I would have been either asleep with headphones on because of only getting 3 hours the night before due to the sound of ticking , or being all grumpy and moody from my a day at work. Haha

I love reading and all the sharing of experiences. Keep it up!! :)

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(11-09-2014, 09:50 AM)crackedskull Wrote: Only a couple of months back I started focusing on finding the "fun" part in art, after listening to Sycras podcast. Its been going great so far, Im not getting frustrated by failures as much as before and Im not constrained by specifics.

Hiya Skull, do you remember which podcast that was by any chance? I'd love to hear it.

I haven't caught up with all the comments yet, but I totally agree with "fun". We force ourselves to match with someone else for no reason, and I suppose that shows in our work too. I have the same faulty thinking in all areas in my life, I set goals according to what I think I'm expected to do instead of being a normal freespirited artist who just does what she wants.
I used to think art is supposed to be fun and it's my fault that I'm not having fun because of these mistakes I do, I now think this is the same with every job. It's our responsibility to change what we don't enjoy in our lives. Even the most fun job can turn into a tedious chore if we don't know how to steer and control and mold things into what we would like them to be.

You shall be stalked.
Sorry, dont remember. I think it was in one of his supastreams, or sudden streams. He also gives useful info in his speedsketch videos.
Also for anyone in the thread, if you havent checked out Will Terells people sketching series(where he givs tons of good advice) heres the link https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...h4DROjgBQQ

Guys, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you, for sharing your experiences and life stories. I was hesitating for a few days to put the original post on Forums, 'cause I thought that people would make fun of it, as it doesn't make any sense and comes weird. But now, seeing how big it grew, man I'm just shocked... Thank you guys!

Job wise...For the last 5 years I do art related stuff for Social Media browser games. And to be honest - I'm not happy at where I'm at. It pays totally enough, more then I need, so I even tend to protract deadlines in order to work less hours, but it’s not me… I can’t wait, drawing cucumbers, chicken eggs and funky elephants for Happy Farm 3 hours a day, and when I’m finally finished, I feel like I’m accelerating from the high hill and jumping from the pier into an abysm lake, full of my own worlds and dreams. I grab a pen and start doing my shit… Now I recall why I love this so much… I’m not mad at my clients, I can’t be. ‘Cause you can’t be man at people for just not sharing your vision. They are kind enough to let me and many other artists to work on their worlds and get paid for that, put food on a tables. There are millions of people who enjoy the worlds they create. Just not me…
The Fear.
I want to try a new kind of jobs, I want to do art for Indie Games, Table Top RPG’s, Card Board Games etc. And I’m frightened… I know I quote Dan Warren too much, but I remember he’s saying “The Job I always dreamed about - Doesn’t Exist”. I’m not sure, I can’t be sure, but I’m afraid – it’s true. ‘Cause think of this, if you approached by “X” publisher and you’re asked to do an art for their Story Telling RPG, and you getting paid for that… Who’s Lake with all this dreams and worlds you wandering into? Is it yours? No, you not the one behind the steering wheel wheel. And what is more frightening – what if there s too many cooks in the kitchen? This story is not yours, therefore you just a tool, which used to paint their visions… This is not fun. I know that sound really pessimistic but I try not to build too many hopes for myself, just not to be disappointed.
I hope I’m wrong
Sorry for the book.

Thanks for conquering your fear and posting Caisne. Well done ^^. Look at the flood of sharing of experience it prompted. This is exactly why we should spend some time working on our own visions rather than others' or being swayed by what "the world" is doing as well. When you have something authentic to say, others relate, and it ends up being a joint experience not an isolated one.

Having said that, we also tend to think that our external situation is the one thing that always needs to change or be controlled to find happiness, but actually more often it is an inner shift in perspective that makes what was once horrible, bearabl and even enjoyable. I have done this myself. It's quite an eye opener.

Then again sometimes you just need to get the fuck out of where you are for real haha. The trick is deciphering what is right for you.
After chatting in the livestream, I really think you need to work on your own project man. Find something you love, and explore it. It will take a life of its own if you find the right thing and as you said, it is so much more fulfilling than working for somebod else. Always trust your gut.

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