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December 15, 2013
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While You're Young

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 15, 2013, 9:41 AM


Learn art while you're young, trust me. I mean while you're still in school, preferably grade school. It's just easier to learn without all the pressures of an adult life; having to pay the bills puts you in a tough position. Will you pick up a part-time job? It'll cut time out of your practice, probably more than you think. Maybe if you copy somebody else's style then you can get more work. Just take lots of little jobs, it's like getting paid to practice, right? Wrong, trust me, commissions are no substitute for REAL study, especially when you're getting paid $2.00/hr and you've got thirty more to finish this week.

I'm not saying it's ever "too late" to pick up a pencil and learn to draw like the pros, but there's just no opportunity quite like doodling while your teacher drones on in the background, providing you with the perfect white noise and the excuse of boredom to practice. It's the perfect head space, like meditation. So learn while you're young, without all of the distractions that come with being an adult; and if you're not young, then share this message with a young artist, because you probably know what I'm talking about.

~ Wes

  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Listening to: Tegan and Sara
  • Reading: The Thief of Time
  • Watching: Breaking Bad
  • Playing: Path of Exile
  • Eating: Hummus and Green Pepper
  • Drinking: Orange Juice
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:iconsauceyfellow:
SauceyFellow Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Preach, brother!
I tend to obsess over this nowadays, wondering where I would be if I had started TRYING earlier. I always drew growing up, I always loved it. Almost always I was the best at it in all of my classes so I never really strayed from what I liked to draw(mediocre designs of warriors, uncolored or shaded) because nobody told me I sucked. I never tried coloring my stuff digitally until I was 20 working a full time job juggling social obligations. Now I'm 23 with a son and getting alone time to practice means staying up entirely too late. Trying to pack the fundamentals in with adult life is hard. Now with stressful adult life in the way learning to color well is frustrating and slow. It feels like I'll never be able to color as well as I can draw. I just wish I would have known how important getting better at this would be to me back then but it always seemed like the future me was another person, like I'd never actually be there, y'know? I can only imagine how scary this'd be trying to survive on it. Good luck, bro.

Wish I learned an instrument too! I really enjoy making tracks in FL Studio but I'm working with the disadvantage of not having any musical training in the slightest. I can hear wonderful songs in my head but I lack the skill to lay them down. It's like that with art too! I can easily picture something grand and unique but by the time I manage to try and actually make it I lose everything that was cool about it. 
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:iconwestlylafleur:
WestlyLaFleur Jan 16, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm actually learning music myself, it's something I'm very interested in. Just remember how powerful your unconscious mind can be, draw or paint at least once a day to keep it working away at those skills during your sleep.
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:iconsauceyfellow:
SauceyFellow Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is very fun. When you make something that you actually want to listen to it becomes worth all of the frustrated hours teaching yourself. Plus it feels neat to have a musician that only you really listen to. Ultimate music snobbery. 
Geez, I didn't expect you to be awake. I've been blasting your journals with long rambling comments. I was mostly typing to seal my own thoughts. It helps for me to just leave long winded comments on strangers' pages. I spend more time with my son than anybody else since my wife and friends' schedules don't line up with mine and toddlers aren't great conversationalists. I get the urge to just dump monologues in response to others' posts, otherwise I'd talk too much about my worries to my loved ones. I'd rather not talk about myself constantly to them.
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:iconwestlylafleur:
WestlyLaFleur Jan 16, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Feel free to dump on my journals any time, I read all of it. And yeah, we're all in pursuit of satisfaction.
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:iconpachycrocuta:
Ow.

And yeah. Half of why I've gotten as far as I have art wise is being unemployed and trying to do something to feel okay while worrying about day jobs.
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:icontwilitwolf:
TwilitWolf Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wish I'd known this years ago - now and again I sit and think, "where would my art be if I'd started to put effort into it __years ago?"

Honestly, if I'd started to practice things like anatomy and colour theory back then, I would be so much better off now than I am. I kinda bumbled along and didn't realise that I had to try, thinking things were fine as they were. Then again, an art class that actually taught us about the importance of references and colour would have helped too!

I'm trying to make up for it now of course, but the "what if"s still linger!
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:iconwestlylafleur:
WestlyLaFleur Dec 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's stories like yours and mine that have me considering teaching as a follow-up career to this freelance thing.
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:icontwilitwolf:
TwilitWolf Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would have really appreciated a teacher who actually taught me about art and not about artists! While I understand that they had a curriculum to follow, the total hours spent showing us powerpoints was just ridiculous. It wasn't uncommon for them to last 30mins of our 50min lessons, and in the end we gained nothing from them. I think it would be great to have more teachers with experience in freelance or who have generally done more than decide that "if it's not done my way then it's wrong".
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:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Dec 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Amen to this. I am so envious of some of my younger friends who had Photoshop/SAI/etc from a young age on, because I really didn't have Photoshop on my home computer until I went off to college because I'm thirty and, well, it just wasn't really around when I was a kid. I'm glad I drew as much as I did as a kid, but I do wish I had worked on perspective for buildings and such a bit more. Never thought I'd draw them as much as I have to now.

I still feel like I will never be a very good digital illustrator compared to my younger peers, though. 19-year-olds these days handle Photoshop like old pros-- as they should, since they've been using it since they were in elementary school! So so jealous. I never thought digital coloring would be the norm for my area until I was maybe 24, but none of my college courses taught it. I'm sure by now it's part of the curriculum for most sequential art schools, though, especially since animation storyboards are now even done on computer mostly. So much has changed in ten years.
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:iconwestlylafleur:
WestlyLaFleur Dec 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I appreciate the testimony. Starting young, provided it's what you want to do, is a real advantage.
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