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Top 10 tips to become an Artist.


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#1 ponizher

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 05:00 PM

Thanks keiichi for your tips.point no. 8 - learn to take criticism, that's probably 1 of the hardest thing for me to learn because I tend to be very attached to my work. Any negative criticism tend to be like a spear through my heart. Thanks for your reminder and motivation, that criticisms are to help in my growth.any of you face the same problem as well?

#2 keiichi

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:43 PM

Hi everyone.These tips arent from me, its from Robert Chang or Lunatique in CGtalk.com. Copy pasta to save the hassle from you guys going there, and save the load times. Thanks Rob!1) Buckle down and really learn the foundations (composition, perspective, anatomy/figure, color theory, values/lighting...etc). You cannot really call yourself a competent artist until you have done so. Ideally you should not only learn them, but master them, and when you do, you're not merely competent, but confident and authoritative as well.2) Break out of tunnel vision. If you are obsessed with anime/manga, or superhero comics, or any kind of specific style and have not been exposed to or have explored fully other art movements, styles, cultures, and time periods, then you need to become more well-rounded. Tunnel-vision is creatively crippling and it breeds imitation and homogenized artists who can't think outside the established box. Cross pollinating and hybridizing various art styles and influences is the healthiest and most creatively interesting.3) Don't be a mindless artist. Think about why you are creating. Is your only interest to make "cool shit" and "hot babes"? Do you even have something to say as a human being living in a complex society? Is everything about your creative works completely disposable and meaningless? I'm not saying we have to be "deep" all the time, but if you are producing works that have absolutely no meaning even to yourself and only serving the basest level of gratification, never involving the higher motivations like intellect or emotions, then maybe it's time to dig a little deeper. You have a soul--use it.4) Don't slavishly copy reality--we invented the camera for that. Being an artist is about interpreting the world around us, expressing ideas and emotions, telling visual stories...etc. If your commercial job as an artist is to reproduce reality, then well, a job is a job. But if you have aspirations beyond a day job, then really think about how you want to approach your personal works. As artists we have the power to stylize, exaggerate, simplify, selectively detail, idealize, use abstract and surreal approaches--it would be a shame to not utilized those powers.5) Surface polish is the last on the list of things a growing artist should care about. How clean and tight your render the surface, how expressive and organic your brushwork is, whether to use clean lines or sketchy lines...etc--they are all simply options you can pick and choose as you wish, and often different subject matters will use different surface treatments. More than anything, it's the underlying structure and foundation knowledge that needs to be strong--the surface polish is really an ongoing experiment, and it's always changing and evolving. A good artist should be able to utilize all kinds of surface polish approaches effectively, not just locked into one and knowing nothing else. If your underlying foundation is strong, then almost any surface treatment will work with it, but if your underlying foundation is weak, no surface treatment will save it. You know the saying "You can't polish turd..."?6) Do not simply practice hard--you must also practice smart. Don't run around in circles thinking merely filling up sketchbooks aimlessly is all it takes. Plan your growth with milestones. Set clear goals. Be resourceful and know how and where to acquire knowledge. Target your weaknesses and don't dwell on things you can already do in your sleep--train on the things you can't yet do and learn to do them well. Push yourself and explore your limits, then break those limits. Learn and grow with a clear focus--know exactly why you are doing what you're doing at any given moment, and know exactly how it will help you learn and grow. Don't just draw and paint mindlessly--think about what you're doing and analyze, observe, deconstruct, and recognize the structures and patterns--be it the scientific physical laws of our world (light, shadows, colors, stress and compression points of fabric...etc), or creative approaches that yield the most effective results (utilizing contrast in color, values, and shapes, varying edge qualities..etc).7) Have realistic expectations; Rome was not built in a day. It takes years of working hard and working smart to get good. Filling up a sketchbook or two means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Artists don't just draw a few dozen heads and then get it right--they draw hundreds and thousands over the years, decades, and they don't do it mindlessly--they are studying the underlying structure of the human head and the affected surface by different facial expressions. And that's just the head.8) Learn to take criticism. To be an artist and living among other people means you will get comments about your work, and if you cannot take criticism you will be miserable. Instead of being miserable, you should see criticism as valuable arsenal for your growth. When nobody bothers commenting is when you should be worried, because your work is not able to elicit any response from another human being, which means you are neither getting helpful criticism to help you grow, nor getting feedback on what people like about it. When you get both negative and positive comments, be grateful, be gracious, and keep an open mind. A bruised ego is an ego that's being conditioned to be stronger and more open-minded. If you cannot see beyond your bruised ego, you will become crippled by it. Also keep in mind that sometimes you don't get feedback because you are simply still too early in your growth, where everything you do is wrong, so it's very hard to give feedback on specific points other than "keep learning your foundations." When that happens, buckle down and strengthen your foundations for a while and you'll automatically see improvements.9) Be a well-rounded person. If you know how to draw and paint well but have no life experience, your work will suffer. Learn about the world we live in. History, politics, religion, economics, science, literature, music, photography, film...etc. You'd be surprised how the world is interconnected and so many things have direct or indirect relationships with each other beyond your initial understanding. The more insight you have about the world we live in, the better artist you will be. Have healthy relationships with other people--family, friends, lovers. They often form the core of your emotional expression as a human being and as an artist. An intellectually and emotionally sterile or vacant person will have very little to offer as an artist.10) You may or may not be suited to become a good artist. There are all kinds of personality types, and not all are suited to become a good artist. If you are impatient, cannot sit still, lose focus quickly, easily frustrated, lack motivation, lack ambition, cannot take negative criticism, wants only instant gratification and not willing to pay your dues...etc, then you probably won't fare well as an artist. This goes the same for many other human endeavors--not only the creative ones.Human beings are not created equal physically or mentally, and we have different potentials and different degrees of natural inclination for certain endeavors. Whether you have the natural inclination to be good at art may or may not dictate whether you'll become a good artist--it's your willingness to learn and excel and your ability to persevere through hardship that is the most important. More than anything, you must be able to enjoy the process of learning and growing. If you are hating every step of the way, then maybe you love the idea of being an artist but your personality dictates you are not suited to actually be an artist. Remember, wanting something and being suited for it are often not the same thing.It's like how some people watch dancers on stage and wish they can do it, and they love shaking their ass to the beat--they feel good doing that. But once they look into actually becoming a competent or professional dancer, they lose the will to go on because the demanding physical training and the relentless pursuit for perfection that pushes their body and mind to the breaking point is way too exhausting for their personality to deal with. In other words, they have the desire but not the personality for it. It's those that enjoy the demanding training and whose passion extends beyond merely the desire, but also embrace the demanding training and pushes on through pain and exhaustion to triumph over the odds--they are the ones who end up on stage. Becoming a good artist is very much the same. You must embrace the entire journey, through frustration, failures, sore eyes and cramping hands, long periods of no apparent progress, self-doubt and self-loathing, insecurities, envy and jealousy over others' talents and achievements, and so on, to finally emerge as someone that others will look up to and label as a "good artist."You have to not only have the desire but also the ability to persevere, or else remain a fan, a hobbyist, or pick something else that's more suited to your personality. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because you may actually end up a happier person by remaining a fan of good artists instead of trying to become one yourself, as being a fan does not require you to make sacrifices or go through years of anguish and frustration only to feel like a failure and nowhere near your goal. No one can tell you whether you can stick it out. You won't even know until you have reached your breaking point. Some people get a couple of years under their belt and have started to get competent, but not yet good enough, and then they stop for whatever reasons. Some people get a few weeks into it and decide it's not as fun as they thought it would be. Some even get very close at becoming a good artist and then they stop because they feel they've had enough, or they have focused their attention on other endeavors in life. There is no right or wrong in any of this--your life's journey is your own, and as long as you feel fulfilled as a human being, you're on the right track (well, unless your fulfillment involves harming others).So yeah, that's pretty much my top 10 tips to becoming a good artist. Just about everything on the list is interchangeable with other endeavors in life. I really believe it to be true because I have gone through the journey to teaching myself to excel at multiple creative endeavors (art, writing, music, photography...etc), and those 10 tips apply to every one of them. Becoming good at something is not the end-all, be-all goal--it merely opens one of the doors to a life of fulfillment, and the journey continues well beyond merely becoming good at something. Once you become good at something, you try to master it, and on the journey to mastering something, you realize it's only a part of your entire life's journey that includes everything else in life--your growth as a human being--emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and the journey goes on until you die. Maybe it continues in the afterlife, but we won't know until we get there.The original link can be found at http://forums.cgsoci...344#post5914344
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#3 neilkevins

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:48 PM

HI keiichi...Thanks for sharing information of Top 10 tips to become an artist.I think you have provided me with very helpful information.

#4 LaiciLunarix

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:32 AM

thanks so much Keiichi for sharing this top 10 tips~!!umm...isit okie that i can link this to my journal? =)

#5 keiichi

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 08:33 AM

hey, no worries. This is beneficial to me, as the same to you. If you wanna link it elsewhere, just credit it to robert chang or Lunatique from CGtalk.com. I'm just posting this to share with everyone.
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#6 takayukiryuu689

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 08:02 PM

wow~~ tis is so gud~~ it makes me wanna learn more XDD thanks keii-kun~
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#7 hell angel

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 06:22 PM

oh my, the sluggish mods suddenly become more activeI unable to accept criticism? Please, view through my artwork thread, did I even once throw a sarcastic phrase toward those whom critiqued my work?do I skip explaining my part of ideas when confronting a critique?when I respond to critique, do i even try to act highly?most important thing of all, do I ever take their drawing ability into account to decide whether their critiques are worthy or not?I reread my words twice and thrice, or else the post would have been edited by me.Edited: to add up, you didn't even read my critiques on his thread properly, i did say it is an alternative story of Joan the Arc execution, that is if put in good words AKA Artists Deliberated Mistakes.next time you mods want to cover each others up, do it less subtly
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#8 LaiciLunarix

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:46 PM

[quote name='"keiichi"]hey' date=' no worries. This is beneficial to me, as the same to you. If you wanna link it elsewhere, just credit it to robert chang or Lunatique from CGtalk.com. I'm just posting this to share with everyone.[/quote']oh okie ^^ then i don't have worries of spreading this tip news. hehe but i'll be sure to credit those guys plus u in it. XD

#9 keiichi

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 04:32 PM

yup. we all have pride in our work, and naturally we are very defensive about it. Learn to take crits, as well as praises. Probably one of the hardest lesson to learn, and to swallow. haha.this one takes time, and effort. As they say, you're good as your last work.
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#10 hell angel

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 07:04 PM

yea, right, like you take crits very well *sarcasm intended*
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#11 keiichi

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 12:55 PM

of course, i try to learn as much as i can, but i try not to listen to people who just talk, but cant produce the goods, like hell angel here. I choose who i listen to, and naturally to people who can back it up with facts and works.
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#12 hell angel

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 03:49 PM

movie critics don't necessary create movies as well, costumers of a business can't produce the product they bought as well,game critics not necessary able to produce games as well,yet, their critiques are not to be taken lightlywhat you shown here is plain arrogance.the 1st lesson u have to learn is to put down ur arrogance and listen to whichever critique that actually pointed out your mistakes.
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#13 Naoko Kensaku

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:14 PM

Mod Hat On: Dear Hell AngelConsider this your first and only warning. I've warned you before regarding your personal attacks. That was not sarcasm, but a malicious attack.RegardsNaokoMod Hat Off: And with regards to your complaints about the consumers of the media may not be able to create the content itself, generally these consumers still know what they are talking about. Movie critics may not create the movies, but they can back up their opinions with facts. Business customers can purchase and critique a service within bounds. Try working in customer service for six months and see if you understand. Game critics can pinpoint what is it that they do not like about the games they play, even if they cannot program or design. What YOU, not Keiichii, have shown here is plain arrogance. You've consistently shown that you are unable to accept criticisms and insist on behaving in a high-handed manner. Before you click submit, please reread your words out aloud to whoever is sitting next to you and consider whether or not you sounds arrogant yourself. Please bear in mind that not everyone sees the world as you do, and thus what may seem like "mistakes" to you could be deliberate on the artists' part. Keichii, will send you a PM regarding this.

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#14 Naoko Kensaku

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 10:07 PM

MOD HAT OFF: Hell Angel, as I said previously, personal attacks. You seem to like attacking people for no other reason than you can. I will not bring other threads into this one, but anyone who looks through your past 5 posts in your history can see it. If you'd like I will PM you with examples of your high-handedness. Suffice to say that I don't want to deviate anymore for this thread.

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#15 kyouyark

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:29 AM

A very interesting article and helpful indeed. My favourite key points that Rob had pointed out are:>>Do not simply practise hard- So true and I've experienced it. I've been wondering why the heck am I not improving on my art and suddenly found myself drawing the same thing over and over again without actually trying to practise on my weakness. It takes time to actually realise it, but when you learn what your mistakes are and work on overcoming it, it rewards a lot. You'll be satisfied more with your work. -Learn to take criticism>> Agree with you on the hard part ^^ As tough or as harsh as the critique may be, you gotta accept it and think about it again. What did I do wrong? What should I change about it? Its always a good thing to get someone to actually see your artwork and get their opinions. Better than not showing it to people and don't know whether its good or bad, right? :D-Be well-rounded person>> Again, good point. I just realized that a person's drawing gets more mature if we put a touch of our life experience on it. Like when we see the world more, interact more with it, lotsa freshly new ideas will come pouring in. I like to use the the phrase "A froggy under a transparent mirror" than "katak bawah tempurung" cause you actually see the world, observe and learn from it. As most say, you gotta work for it if you wanna earn it ^^ And from observations (and countless stalking moments on some of the artists) i find originality of a person's artwork don't come from a month's time, they come from years and years of practise. I hope i can be like them one day and will start to work on it.Thanks for sharing this awesome article with us, Keichii! *throws a lot of cookies for ya ;)*Oh, btw, I just stalked you on DA and found so much love for your art! They're epic. Can I add you there at DA? Thanks again!

#16 heyjean

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 04:23 PM

that would be helpful ~
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#17 fishu

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:57 AM

Looks like I still have a looooong way to go XD1, 3 ,5 and 8 are the things I still need to learn XD (9 is too hard for me orz I don't even know politics, and I don't like them anyway)
The procrastinator.

#18 keiichi

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:08 PM

kitsu > no one says that you should like them, but if you understand enough, more power to you. That's the thing about being an artist: our eyes, heart and mind need to be open. Take note of everything, anything even to the smallest details.I guess thats why some of the editors in Japan refuses to accept works of an artist below 25 or something, even though their works are simply god-like. Life experiences put a definite perspective on things, especially on our works.
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#19 FripSide

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 01:46 PM

Hey man thx for sharing!those words wake me up! Do Not Simply Practice Hardlol all this day i have keep drawing the same thing even i have weakness in art still i draw the same thing again== i should be fixing my weakness not keep drawing it like mindless zombie.Now i should be TARGET my art weakness and destroy it!Anyway Thanks!and Thumbs up!

#20 darkcreamz95

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 12:38 AM

hey keiichi, thanks for sharing ^^really useful ^_^

#21 Azunatsu

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:07 PM

Nice post! I somehow regain my motivation after reading this.#9 is the most helpful to me ^_^
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

#22 monitsams

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 01:43 PM

It is really good idea to be an artist to expand your career. there are some great tips to become an artist such as learn the sketch, create a reference library, explore various mediums, play with perspectives, develop an original style and learn as a positive thing.

#23 nobitasam

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:37 PM

Normally we can see art is all around us in different shapes and designs. there are some tips to become an artist such as draw things you see, create more of an artistic nature, expose yourself to great art and search internet sites about artists.

#24 Raylorn

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:56 AM

Great post but I also would like to add:A person who loses focus, cannot sit still, impatient and get bit a frustrated (like me and I have the skills in drawing) can still become a good artist if he/she have the passion..