By Mrfuzzynutz 11 Comments
Hello Gang! Welcome back to the party that is Getting The Point. For those who who may not know I am your witty and brilliant host Mrfuzzynutz! Each week I try to bring you new ways to not only improve your art, but to look at things in different ways. But the one thing I hope to bring to the table each week is encouragement and provide a voice that says "Yes, You can do this".
So this lesson will be filled with then and now images of past work, and stories of my wasted youth. I display this for you, not to toot my horn, or show off, but to better illustrate the pitfalls of allowing your voices of doubt get the best of you.
As an artist, we are without a doubt are harshest and most brutal critics. We always look for the final detail that just doesn't sit right with us, ears a line over and over until we have a hole in the paper. Each and every piece we do sucks and it could have been better, yet we have fans and friends saying how amazing what we drew actually is.
We often fall into the trap of comparing our work next to "other" professionals, and get extremely disappointed when the final product does not match up to our liking. The online artist has the market corned on self loathing and second guessing their abilities like no other hobby/profession I have witnessed before.
Myself included, I used to hide my artwork for years. I would draw for hours and read just as many comics as I made drawing of my favorite heroes since my days of tracing and coloring from the pages of the UNOFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. I would enter contests, drew my own comics, even was able to get accepted into PRATT INSTITUTE once upon a time. The passion was there, the love was clear to see. I just didn't let anyone see it.
Allow me to get a bit personal here, as I can honestly say, it was my self doubt and second guessing myself that led to me flunking out of art school the first year and packing my bags to go home and sent me into a 15 year tailspin of giving up and never trying to better then I was. The specter of "Oh I'm not that good" hung over my head for years. I was like Hal Jordan when he was infected with Paralax, the fear was just eating away at me, preventing me from being the best I could be.
As the years progressed, I would still draw in my spare time, but as always got cold feet when someone actually seen my work, and that is if I showed them at all. "Why don't you get a job at this" "Man, Your good, you should make your own comic" I would hear many times, but I would let fear guide me and chicken out and never follow though.
I once designed cd covers for a upcoming hip hop company with big dreams,ALL DAY INC. I designed logos for entertainment companies BUBBLES, a softball team called the SUPERCATS, and did stuff for family members from designing t-shirts for family reunions, logos for WIDOWS MITE ministry, and a horse farm EVERY EQUINE.
Had offers to draw comics as well, was asked to draw comics for adult bbw model ARIESBBW, and was creating a comic with a fellow coworker, even had financial backing to draw adult themed comics.
I tell you this not to brag, but to describe how deep my fear trully was, with all these squandered opportunities I have in my background, all the chances I could have taken a different path to "do something" with my talents.
But let me tell you my friends, that changed 2 years ago.
I attended my first comicbook convention, HERO-CON in Charlotte,NC. And I was just floored to see all the different level of artist there and displaying their work, and talking with their fans and trying to make new ones.
A dude who made buttons, with a sharpie and a machine was rubbing elbows with George Perez, and MarK Bagley. I seen guys hustling to make a few bucks doing sketches and original art, and I would look at it and say.."I could do better then that"
But what sealed the deal for me was when I seen artist that I knew from DEVIANTART.com. In essence these where artist no different then myself, not published, not making a living from a comic company, but scrapped enough money to get a table and sell prints of their work.
And then my wife said something that changed the way I seen myself as a artist" The only difference between them and you, they are there, you are here. You want to get a table, you got 1 year to make it happen."
Fear turned into determination and self loathing turned into self critiquing. I knew my level of skill was weak as I learned bad habits, and frankly never tried to learn correctly. So I set out to become a better artist. I drew, I drew I drew and drew some more. I sucked and I knew it, but that was ok, I was seeking to improve.
Each submission to deviant was meant to get feedback to help create my next image. I owned my suckiness and was on a path to improve and no longer let fear guide me.
I tried new sites to post my work, now wanting to show it off to anyone who would look, COMICSPACE.com, WWEOC.COM, HENTAIFOUNDRY.com among others. It was Hentaifoundry's submission process that really jumpstarted my desire for improvement as they have a rejection process you must pass before they submit your art.
10 rejections in a row before I was able to get my first image approved! and till this day I may go through multiple rejections before a successful submissions. But in the past I would give up trying and accept that I was not good enough and move on. But now I know I need to do things differently and accurately each and every time and there are no shortcuts in creating good work.
I was improving, having some success however the fear in me said...I'm just not ready yet..Not quite there yet. I missed this years Hero-con as a result.
But then a few months back I seen a youtube video by zefrank1 , ( video is at the end of the lesson) and in the video he laid out some very profound words that hit me in my soul and mind, BUT one line just hit me like a bolt of lightning...
"THERE IS NO NEED TO SHARPEN MY PENCILS ANYMORE, EVEN MY DULL ONES WILL LEAVE A MARK"
So this brings us to today lessons everyone. YOU DO SUCK, YOUR ART DOES NEED TO IMPROVE. and yes Your stuff does NOT look like Ivan Reis or Stuart Immonen. But that's ok!
You will get there. you just need to practice and practice and get out there and take advantage of your opportunities when you have them.
What is Intelligence? What is Talent? To me, their just fancy words for experience and repetition.
Let me ask you this, do you think you are good at walking? Are you good at tying your shoes? taking a shower?
Sounds silly doesn't it, but in essence you learned these things, and no they are so ingrained in you, you hardly think of it as anything more then common daily routine.
And this is what the essence of learning how to draw. It's no magic formula, there isn't a special pencil that does it. "Talent" is just the by product of practice, skill is just the off spring of dedication and effort. no more and no less.
Just like building muscle, you need to left weights, so do you need to draw to improve your artwork.
So if I can give you any tips to help you improve, it would be this:
I CAN, I WILL, I AM!
I CAN draw! That is what you should tell yourself. I can write my own comic one day, or draw my own books or strips. With a medium that is simple as a pencil and a paper to create with the only thing holding you back...is YOU!
I WILL draw 50 hands today, I will take a online course in drawing, I will learn anatomy, I will draw in my sketchbook. not once a month, or once a week....EVERYDAY...EVERY SINGLE CHANCE YOU GET. I will improve
I AM capable of doing this. I am going to accomplish this. I am an...ARTIST!
I hope each and everyone who views this, takes something away from this. Maybe I will be the spark to light that fire of passion? But know this...before viewing zefrank1's video, I would never have had the nerve to start accepting commissions and trying to make the turn to freelance artist, or more importantly, feel I had anything worthy to offer in the way of actually 'teaching" anyone anything.
And thus, Getting The Point would never have been born.
I hope to see some new faces in the Artist Showdown's as these are perfect chances for you to sharpen your pencils and skills and just get out there and make something happen. I would love to see what you guys that are hidding out there can do.
If you like, drop me a IM and I can look over your stuff and give you some pointers 1 on 1 if you like :)
Until Next Week ARTISTS
I am Mrfuzzynutz, and no this is not a mask, I really am this handsome