As often happens, I've not been keeping up with personal work recently. Over the last month or so I've been working on a few freelance projects that have led to a slowdown in studies It is great to be working on new things, but it is also about time I get back into the routine of painting and sculpting. So, to kick things off, here is a recent set of studies created to test out Wacom settings.
My next big goal is to develop style. I've spent a lot of time practicing technical execution (perspective, colour theory etc) but the biggest issue I currently face is simply genericism. Most of my paintings have been incredibly lacking in art direction or depth, so it's about time I tackle that problem head on. In the quest to improve technically, I've largely forgotten about the actual content of my work. It can be disheartening, knowing that a lot of my work is kind of crappy. I look back embarrassed, whether animation or painting, a lot is just boring and ill conceived. But this is to be expected when you are learning new skills.
I think these feelings are natural. There is a common misconception that artists are gifted with some marvellous talent, blessed by the gods. A romantic notion that they are special from birth, The reality however, is that it just takes a lot of fucking work. You will be disappointed and worn down by it, but eventually, you'll start moving forward. So when students ask "How do I improve?" there is a really simply answer..."start making stuff." You won't wake up and be a master immediately, no one has ever done that. It takes years of work and it will be a struggle, but the rewards are tremendous. The only way to get to that goal, is simply by making as much work as possible. The Ira Glass quote concerning this process has always been a guide...
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I've ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You've just gotta fight your way through.” - Ira Glass
This has led me to rethink what I want to show on my website. A few months ago, I redesigned the site in an attempt to freshen it up and rethink what I'm actually trying to do here. I came to the conclusions that I'm really just trying to show my development and talk more about the things I like. So, now that I know I've been a generic, boring husk for the last year, I can start attempting to try new things. This has led to a series of blog articles under the above headings. Each will tackle, discuss and display ideas and work surrounding a particular topic. For example, The Lightbox will be my exploration into 2d animation in Photoshop. I'll be showing examples and tutorials to not only improve but hopefully help others. Let's Paint will be a series about me painting, both traditional and digital. Whilst Talking Game will be a little more editorial. Simply more discussion about video games whilst also documenting my progress with game development. With any luck, this will give some structure to my often random blog, so keep tuned for a fresh approach to this blogging lark.