What
#1
Not sure why I'm starting a new sb thread here tbh, but I imagine my allergies to the desperate and toxic nature of social media platforms while still sharing some art somewhere is as good a reason as any. Was active here from about 2012 or so onwards. My old sb here was called Monkeybread's Dribblings. That's where all the digi work and studies I used to do can be viewed if desired. 

I've since become and also quit being a freelancer doing various illustration and concept design work. I have been learning traditional over the last couple of years, mostly charcoal and oils, bit of gouache. No specific goals in mind, just enjoying art and learning for itself but also finally realising how much more I enjoy the visercal feedback and unforgiving difficulty of trad over digi. The first couple of posts here are likely to be recaps of this time spent, posted chronologically. A lot of studies, some finished work. This post is a sampling of about a year's worth of work done over 2019




























 








































 









Reply
#2
Hey, really nice to see you back! Hopefully by toxic social media you're referring to instagram and twitter and not this forum? ha, as far as things go this place is pretty innocuous. It's really cool to see more traditional art. Can I ask why you decided to quit freelancing?

Reply
#3
Welcome back! I remember following your art years and years ago! It's great to see that you have decided to come back and share your artworks! I think this is one of the best places on the internet to discuss and improve our art!

Your art is looking great so far! Great job learning the traditional workflow!

It would be cool to know a bit more about why you decided to quit freelance. Did you find another viable career in art to replace it, or did you just decide to move more towards a hobbyist career where you just do art for fun?

Reply
#4
Very good stuff here ! your drawing and paintings skills are very good but i feel like your drawing skills don't transfer totally when you're painting ( some tiny misplacements here and there that i don't see in your drawing ) ! Keep improving and want to see how far you'll take this thing !

Reply
#5
Joseph: Thanks man. Yeah the "clout farming" platforms are what I meant, not this forum. See my essay below re freelance.

Zorrentos: Thanks dude, much appreciated! See essay below 

wld.89:  Thank you, Yeah definitely agreed. Drawing is easier than painting by about a billion percent. The images in this post are from the last year or so, so hopefully I've reduced that gap a bit. You can be the judge! I should probably mention, most of the painted portraits are single session "alla prima", max 3 hours, while the more finished charcoal portraits often are done at my leisure. The looser drawings tend to be anywhere from 3 to 20 mins at life drawing.

--------------------
There were a bunch of reasons I quit commercial work. I became a full time live-in carer for my Dad for a few years, who had developed advanced dementia and needed round the clock care before he passed in 2019, a month after my brother also passed. It had already become too stressful to maintain any art deadlines that year anyway.

But honestly, I never really made decent consistent money doing freelance overall (though I got very good rates at times, esp towards the end), I also had far too high expenses at the time. I had a growing feeling that the quality of the commercial work I produced was poorer than almost any personal work I did, of which I ended up doing less and less of. Attaching commercial income incentive to drive the creative process itself was not a very positive thing for me personally as it was to easy to let it became about juggling hours spent vs income vs quality delivered and always having to be hustling non stop for the next gig. 
There was always pressure to take and do any old crap just for the money. Hemorrhaged savings during the entire period, almost lost my house due to that. 

I never really consistently broke into any major publishing houses or AAA games etc, though I did get a few great one off gigs from a few. The few likely "game changing" opportunities that did come my way, always fell through at last minute. 

Freelancing for commercial clients probably works out fine for a certain combination of personality/situation really, especially if one already has developed in the industry through a regular job or managed to put together a very solid body of work and having an online "following" helps. I did best in that regard on YT but didn't capitalise on it when it was pumping.  I don't want to make it sound too awful, as there were some benefits as well, and fulfillment, probably more in the first year or so when the feeling of freedom from my cubicle job was most fresh, but ultimately it became clear that it was not the path for me. Was a hard thing to admit, as that had been my goal when I got serious about art.

wrt to work. I haven't had a regular job since. I  had some investments and savings which I piled into bitcoin a while ago and made over ten times what I made in 3 years of freelance anyway in literally a fraction of the time, and have reduced my living expenses to as little as possible, so I can probably maintain myself for a few years anyway. The problem being everything is now entirely self directed on my part and discipline was never my strongest point. I also have a bad habit of using studies as a means of procrastinating from doing more finished personal work. This was probably valid for the first year and a half to overemphasise studies, as I was pretty much a total noob at trad, but yeah, I know it's probably the greatest issue I have to deal with. The technical stuff isn't as much a focus for me now as I am getting more and more comfy with the mediums, so it should be more about my own expression.

The place you end up is never what you imagine it will be.

These are all from the next year of work into late 2020























































Reply
#6
Welcome back!!! :))

Thanks for the insights to your experience with freelancing, it was a super interesting read. The constant hustle for frequent gigs gets draining quick, and how fickle freelancing can be with those jobs that always fall through is disappointing at best. Anyway, you seem to be in a good place with your art now and enjoying it? You've really been killing it. I always enjoy seeing your work when it pops up on my insta feed :) Especially love the portraits

Also, sorry to hear about your dad and brother. Hope you're doing okay

Sketchbook // Insta

And though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea
Reply
#7
Maaaan I can look at some of those images for hours ! I always forget to check Instagram , so its great you are posting here hah. Also where the fak is the smiley painting dude ? I dont want to see you here , ever again .. whiteout the smiley painting .. go get it !

Reply
#8
Thank you for the well-written essay! It was an extremely interesting read. I'm sorry to hear about your father and brother passing! I pray that you will be alright.

Your text about the reality of freelance provides some really interesting insight into what it means to actually make a living from that. I had a friend once who I remember saying something like

"Even if you only want to eat macaronis and ketchup three times a day, you still need to earn more than 5000 USD every month, because you need to cover ALL of your own expenses".

This really put it all into perspective for me. And then add things like a house, a family, a car, etc into all that, and the amount you ACTUALLY need to earn every month becomes insane.

It's good as well that you can be honest to yourself and admit that it was not right for you. I hope that you will find a better path for you, and in the meantime, I am really happy to see you back on these forums! I feel like we are at the beginning of a resurgence for this forum, and it's great to see a few old faces finding their way back here!

Reply
#9
Dude!!!!!

It's really good to see you back man - I'm loving your trad work!

Also, I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your father and brother - I pray that you are doing OK. I can relate in part as I lost my mother in 2019 - puts things into perspective a bit.

Hope you keep posting and enjoying your art :).

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



Reply
#10
there's definitely some improvment in the drawing part of your painting ! and true that if you work alla prima, it's a bit more difficult to nail them right quickly ! Anyway keep posting as much as you can, it's really an inspiration to see this amount of work !

Reply
#11
Mariyan: Thaaanks. happy guy incoming  Thumbs_up

Chubbycat: Thanks I appreciate the thoughts! I'm doing OK, but definitely still recovering from the intensity of last few years and trying to find my way through to a new direction/balance.

Zorrentos: Thank you. I'm glad it was interesting. I'm sure other people have had an easier time than I did and some much worse. Never assume it will be easy. There's much more involved than just drawing stuff and getting paid. It requires a huge amount of discipline too. I feel like many people believe or are lead to believe once they have developed good art skills,that that's all that matters (seen that attitude adopted and promoted way too much) . It's not. It's just the beginning. That's the easy bit imo.

Artloader: Thank you man, and I'm sorry to hear about your Mum too. I'm trying to find a way to keep doing art by posting elsewhere. Posting on social media to get attention is just demoralising for the most part, and I'm not really in the mode of shilling my work anymore so it's a difficult balance to find for me atm. 

Wld : glad to hear that. Thanks! 

This should bring me up to date





























I also started doing a bunch of glitch art as soon as the first lockdowns started happening. Here are a couple of examples. Thinking of NFTing them and selling















Reply
#12
your portrait paintings are very good, I hope you keep posting your work
Reply
#13
Hello there aspiring artist! Nice body of work! I would recommend you do some reading on Andrew Loomis! Your environment paintings have great potential!

If you are reading this, I most likely just gave you a crappy crit! What I'm basically trying to say is, don't give up!  
----
IG: @thatpuddinhead
Reply
#14
Thanks Vitor, I shall.

Ah Puddin one day I hope to be a concept artist like Maig Cullins and Samey Shmones and work on commercial IPs like Disneys Tangled in Tattoine epic. That would be so great

More heads from life and a random oil sketch






Reply
#15
Great job on those head studies! I love the sense of volume!

Keep working hard, and one day, you will be the one who's painting the spiky mountains, wasteland survivor with dog, or bikini girls with swords by the waterfall in the next Disney Oligarch IP!  Party

Reply
#16
Ohhhh traditional art fan here.

I don’t have much to say besides I find the absence of safety nets and tools quite a challenge in traditional art. Hats off to you sir!

If you ever have paintings to give away... I’d pay for shipping!
(Wishful thinking but worth a try!)
Reply
#17
Zorrentos : Thanks!  One can only dream of such lofty ideals

Zizka: Thank you. Ah I think the real safety net in traditional is having a process that works and knowing what you're aiming for with every mark made as much as possible. There's no shortcutting the skill needed because you'll find out immediately if it ain't there haha Tongue I kinda like that though. Always more hills to climb. I'll keep that offer in mind re the paintings haha. You never know! 

Today was a day of drawing






Reply
#18
some of your still life work is pretty impressive! I like that still life of a skull and a metal vessel from post 5. Did you draw from life much before when you were doing more digital stuff? Has it been a hard transition to this kind of drawing, or not really?

Reply
#19
(03-05-2021, 09:09 AM)JosephCow Wrote: some of your still life work is pretty impressive! I like that still life of a skull and a metal vessel from post 5. Did you draw from life much before when you were doing more digital stuff? Has it been a hard transition to this kind of drawing, or not really?

Thanks Joseph!  I actually still need to finish that still life, instead it sits against my "old warrior" wall where all unfinished paintings are left to be penitent in the hopes that fate wills I pull my finger out and complete them.  Rolling eyes, funny thought

I did do observational studies with digi before but definitely nowhere as much as now and without any specific process. It wasn't "hard" to focus more on this per se as I always enjoyed observational study, but for me it was more having to learn new mediums and work processes in trad came with the bigger technical learning curve.

There has been a little bit of annoyance when I realise how much I actually got by for so long, with using the digi tools to get a much better result but with less actual drawing skill.  Some may view that as a positive, but it does annoy me a bit. Wish I had followed my intuition and focused on trad much much sooner, but better late than never. 

The thing I have been finding out that I didn't expect is how much more satisfying and challenging personally, painting or drawing from life is for me, whatever the medium. Especially figures and portraits. There's just something special about observing a live thing reacting to its environment than copying and trying to give life to a static arrangement of ink or pixels in reference. It is a hard thing to explain, but I'm sure you get it. 

That still life is one of the few multi day paintings I've started which is probably why the quality is much higher even unfinished. Unfortunately most of the Ateliers here tend to run single day poses or setups so paintings are restricted to 6 hours max usually. I can definitely set up something myself, just haven't done it yet, and I really should.  Need to push some finished work to the highest quality that I can manage!

Reply
#20
(03-06-2021, 06:16 AM)Who Wrote:
(03-05-2021, 09:09 AM)JosephCow Wrote: some of your still life work is pretty impressive! I like that still life of a skull and a metal vessel from post 5. Did you draw from life much before when you were doing more digital stuff? Has it been a hard transition to this kind of drawing, or not really?


The thing I have been finding out that I didn't expect is how much more satisfying and challenging personally, painting or drawing from life is for me, whatever the medium. Especially figures and portraits. There's just something special about observing a live thing reacting to its environment than copying and trying to give life to a static arrangement of ink or pixels in reference. It is a hard thing to explain, but I'm sure you get it. 

That still life is one of the few multi day paintings I've started which is probably why the quality is much higher even unfinished. Unfortunately most of the Ateliers here tend to run single day poses or setups so paintings are restricted to 6 hours max usually. I can definitely set up something myself, just haven't done it yet, and I really should.  Need to push some finished work to the highest quality that I can manage!

Thanks for the reply! Yeah I totally agree. I feel like actually looking at a 3D object standing on something, it gives you such a different impression than working digital with mostly photos. A lot of tutorials, lessons etc. show you how to break down stuff into boxes or show the structure of things, but it's all just pixels, there's no real form there to consider, so it never really connected for me. Being able to actually see around the object you're drawing, or even touch it made a big difference to me. And it's also like, if you are there with the thing you're drawing, it really changes how you view it. Even if none of it actually appears in the picture, you are at least aware of what the space is like, what light sources are hitting it, how big it is etc. And I feel like that does make some kind of difference.

On the flip side, I found it hard to look at real life and even really see the shapes at first. Seeing a real form, and trying to imagine what that would look like as flat shapes, and how to translate that onto a paper is quite difficult. especially if it moves.

I do think 6 hours is too little. I mean you can make awesome stuff in even less than that, but I feel like there's a difference between drawing to make something as a product to look alright, and drawing to seriously get better. I don't believe you will improve more than a little bit if there's no struggle to correct your work, which can take quite a long time.

Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 21 Guest(s)