I’ve written quite a bit of tips on drawing. Here are some that I could quickly cut and paste.
"So to all the people who ask for tips… it boils down to this.
Deliberate practice (replicating specific art that teaches you a skill you don’t have): 1 hr in the morning, 1 hr at night in a sketchbook to see your improvement. You’ll know it’s working if it exhausts you and hurts your brain.
Analyze your favorite artist and then study their strengths, improve their weaknesses.
Analyze your art, then be a magician by putting your strengths forward while you improve your weaknesses when no one is looking.
Draw through every shape. If you complete your shapes you’ll get a fundamental understanding of construction, shape vocabulary, and problem solving in art.
Solve your problems in small scale and your final larger piece will only be better.
Art is math.I wish I could explain how it all breaks down for you, but it would take weeks to type it all up, but staying interested in geometry and fractions will improve your skills.
If you’re not learning or having fun, why bother. A lot of artist go through the motions drawing things they are comfortable with, or things they think an artist should be doing (coffee shop sketching) but if you are not learning from it, then you should move on to studying other artist and skills you don’t have. I personally pick 3 art goals every year to improve. I work on them everyday cycling through them on a monthly basis. This year has been fabric, forced perspective (4 point), and color… I set up studies for each of those skills by analyzing artist who succeed in those areas. For example, for fabric I picked Leyendecker, Bernini, Cole. Then I selected works from them and organized them from easiest to duplicate to hardest. then I thoroughly study them… finding my own solutions… art theory is useless unless you completely understand the subject….so you will need to do the heavy lifting. No one became a better artist from listening…you have to draw through your problems.”
"There are paths in animation and what you ultimately want to do in animation should determine where you try to break-in.Path 1:storyboard revisionist > storyboard > storyboard writer > having your own show. Path 2: clean-up>prop design > character designer > art directer or colorist>bg painter> art director (it’s more common for bg painters to get the artdirector position). Path 3: bg layout > forever (the true heroes of animation). Get to know people in animation without annoying them. The animation community is full of super nice people who are always eager to discover new talent. Be genuine, listen to their advice and REALLY apply their criticisms to your work… only bother them again when you’ve done so. You will need to learn patience because animation moves slow. If someone tells you they’ll let you know about a test or job in a month…go ahead and double that time… it’s closer to reality. I always try to show people how eager I am to work with them and gear my portfolio towards the job because people have trouble trusting that you can handle the job until you directly show them. It is exhausting and daunting to have to test and do free work for a job that is not guaranteed…but that’s the reality of the industry. If you think you’re really good and deserve a job… you have a difficult road ahead of you and will be humbled soon. Don’t put life-drawing or studies in your portfolio…that’s like a musician playing scales to get a record contract. Good Luck, and I hope you’ll consider me for design when you finally sell your own show.”
I have a series of lecture notes from Calarts floating around if you google it. I just gave another lecture at Six-Point Harness last week, so I have an updated version I will be sharing soon.
Hope that helps. It basically breaks down to, don’t care about doing it quickly, care about doing it well. The rest figures itself out for you.
Some harsh but very very true words
When people let me review their portfolios (on career day or open days at my game design school) I explicitly ban them from commenting during the review… …because otherwise they will follow the impulse to downplay everything I see in an attempt at being humble.
"this is an old image…"
"I’m not happy with that one…"
"this is just a sketch…"
"I did this really quickly…"
"there is better stuff on later pages…"
It’s totally understandable to have those impulses. The quality of art is not empirical data and therefore impossible to measure. Good art, bad art, it all comes down to standards. And you don’t want to come off as naive or self-absorbed.
But just don’t do it. Don’t talk yourself down in front of others. In the best case you have someone supportive who now thinks “damn, this person needs to be prepped up all the time. Do I really want to work with somebody like that” or in worst case “now that you say it, yeah, this is kinda lame/rushed/unfinished/lazy, go away.”
You can only submit what you have. If that is not enough, then it’s not enough. Your attitude will not change that. But if it is enough, you can do serious harm by not being confident of who you are now.
This means appreciating what you are able to do right now and have a clear vision of what you want to learn, be confident that you will learn it in time.
This is really important. Eliminate this urge. Eliminate it professionally, when having contact with people in a position to buy your work. Eliminate it socially, when you just share your work for fun. Destroy this urge as thoroughly as you possibly can.
Because when you have done that, you’ll find that you feel at least 25% less shitty about your own work. You lose the urge to do it. You stop reinforcing those negative thoughts, and they retreat. They may never go away completely (although they might!) but this is good practice for ignoring those thoughts flat-out.
Don’t shit-talk yourself. Even if you can’t be SO PROUD, don’t ever try to influence anyone’s opinion toward your work in the negative.
Try to love your work. Try to see what you learned from each piece, even if it’s a failure. If you feel that you learned nothing, appreciate the fact that just spending time on it is honing your skills and giving you valuable practice.
i used to be super not-confident in my own work. When I stopped pointing out the flaws in my own stuff, I felt better about it almost immediately.
THIS! I see so many people post art or stories and say it’s just a drabble or doodle, it probably isn’t any good, people aren’t going to like it.
There are always going to be people who are willing to tear you down. Don’t do their work for them. Even if you can’t say good things, it doesn’t mean you have to say negative things.
King of Thorn (2010)
A mysterious virus, nicknamed Medusa, is spreading around Japan, turning its victims into stone. Given the impossibility of finding an immediate cure, the government opts for cryopreserving a select group of patients until they come up with a solution. Kasumi, one of the chosen ones, has been asleep for years and her awakening, more than a bed of roses, is a bed of thorns, and happens in the midst of total chaos where monstrous creatures lie in wait all around.
Based on Yuji Iwahara’s manga by the same name, King of Thorn.
It’s another Sleeping Beauty!!! and a horror!!! an anime about dreams and being in a closed-in environment… with death lurking in every corner.
Who will die next? I got a Resident Evil vibe along with some nice sci-fi elements. Humanity’s last hope… is doomed.
The drama and twists were as sharp as the animation mixed with CGI. This was thrilling and kept my brain running. “What’s going on here?”
Another great apocalyptic sci-fi story. I luckily bumped into this while digging for new flicks - if you like anime, you’ll definitely enjoy this! It’s a survival horror.