I created this poll
on what people thought they best needed for general improvement but I admit I was a little reluctant to post it. Who can honestly look at that list and pick just one?
Some people were commenting on a few things in my art that made me a bit nostalgic of "the good old days". I can consider my 'artistic history' in stages. I thought I'd like to chat about it a bit and I'd love other people to tell me theirs for comparison.
What really defined each "stage" of my development was: My intent (what did I meant to DO with the art), my media, and most importantly my focuses for improvement. Retrospectively, what I saw as flaws seem a bit superficial to me now, but I totally understand that it was really important to get me to where I am now.
I really think my art was boring, uninspired and unoriginal and completely normal until this period where I decided to try and FOCUS on my mistakes. I did not have a style and I did not even care. The most important thing to me was drawing better hands, hair, and clothing folds/cloth texture. My weapon of choice was pencil and I was on a mission. This was about 1998 or 1999 [I had been drawing nonstop since I was about 9 and I was about 12]
People started telling me I needed crazy extremedies like background and colour (bah! Those take too long!) But eventually I actually started listening and made attemps at colour and background. The background concept didn't really go over so well for me but the colour just exploded. God, how I loved those pencil crayons! I invested in an expensive set (I still have it, too. One of my best investments ever) and I learned a GREAT deal about colour, light, form, shadow. Look its kat-art from 4 years ago! [link]
flaws became obvious: my anatomy needed work and I had begun to develop my own style, especially with my colouring.
I then made a huge jump to software. There was an undetermined amount of time where I would just fiddle and attempt at oekaki but then I got an oekaki and AH! Then I started producing stuff that I totally love and will treasure forever as important steps to get me where I am today. Stylization became difficult and more important. I struggled against the intuitive instinct to "copy" better artists like Bara-chan and Hyung tae kim (who were my largest inspirations) I had it in my head that it was completely wrong to referrance them (though I'm pretty sure I had a definately bara-chan phase). I realize now, in retrospect, that its actually HEALTHY to learn off other artists. I just felt guilty and my strict ethics wouldn't allow me to really use and abuse any sources. I'm also glad for that or else I would have been a huge hypocrite because I call out other people sometimes...
Now my main focus is atmosphere, composition, background, and especially movement. I think its fair to say that these things are more "sophisticated" than my previous goals but that doesn't make the previous ones any less important.
The reason I'm writing this is because I am in a bit of a rut. I don't really know what to do with my art right now. Surprizingly, I'm not completely blocked. I'm not complaining, but I AM hopefully that it means another "art spurt". I was wondering if anyone else had this: every time that I make some big jump in my ability/art/style I usually get in some kind of rut. I can't really explain it except that I'm just not satisfied with what I'm doing and then I force myself to do something really extreme just to impress myself.
Also its a huge pet peeve of mine that people always say "If I had a tablet/expensive markers andor pencil crayons andor other stuff I would be a much better artist". The medium doesn't make an artist--but on the other hand I also think my step up to professional grade material also did aid my development. It doesn't automatically make you better but it lifts all kinds of restrictions. I still don't know how I feel about it...
Just a self reflection post but I'd like to hear about you guys. What do you consider the most important self improvement stages or do you not gauge your art like that at all?
o due date: Undecided.
o due date: January 31st