Motivation and Frustration with Progressing

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Hello,

I am a senior graduating from school this May. I seem to not enjoy much of anything game related now a days. I keep wanting to dig myself in to a good project with some sort of modeling. But I try to start but find I have a lack of motivation, inspiration or even ideas on where to start. So i always stop, hit a dead end and just sit around thinking and doing nothing pretty much for the last 3 months.

So I thought I would ask the polycount community for advice!!


Also my second problem for me seem to be programs. I have a modeler in Maya and zbrush. I am having mucho problems with having to use scale( ie the units in the engine and the modeling program so things match) Also that griding in things can be very off or different. I know how to get everything great for UDK, but i never use that i mainly use Unity and now the HeroEngine. Its a headache for me and makes me want to not do it and quit. This is another place the puts me from from doing anything. In short I am very discouraged.


Thanks, Would appreciate any tips and advice people have for me.

Replies

  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous dedicated polycounter
    For motivation you need to learn how to use the search function of this forum. It's the big white box on the upper left under 'Search Polycount Forums' - you'd be surprised at how many threads JUST LIKE YOURS have the same nice people
    writing the same things over and over again for people like yourself.
  • aliasbane
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    Hazardous wrote: »
    For motivation you need to learn how to use the search function of this forum. It's the big white box on the upper left under 'Search Polycount Forums' - you'd be surprised at how many threads JUST LIKE YOURS have the same nice people
    writing the same things over and over again for people like yourself.

    Well you really didnt have to be a dick about.
  • ZacD
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    You don't need motivation, you need structure. You need to practice and study. Don't worry about waiting for inspiration to hit, it's a waste of time. The more you practice, the more mature your skill becomes, the more refined your ideas will be. If you wait around and procrastinate too long someone else will take your place and they'll get to do all the cool shit you wish you had.
  • aliasbane
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    Dan! wrote: »
    You don't need motivation, you need structure. You need to practice and study. Don't worry about waiting for inspiration to hit, it's a waste of time. The more you practice, the more mature your skill becomes, the more refined your ideas will be. If you wait around and procrastinate too long someone else will take your place and they'll get to do all the cool shit you wish you had.


    Thanks I will keep that in mind. Yeah I understand the practice, i tend to start and then stop, i have so many just started things. Not sure if I have ADD or something or what not but.

    And thanks ZacD for the links!
  • artthoumadbrother
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    I've had this problem aswell. I think the main thing you need to do is complete something, anything! Make a small prop and make it as awesome as you can and feel that awesome sensation of finally completing something. Then you move on and take on something a little bigger and continue from there.

    The important thing to remember is that when you get sick and tired of your project you have to force yourself to sit down and work, because sooner or later you will break trough that barrier and love the project again.

    That's what I got!:)
  • WarrenM
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    aliasbane wrote: »
    Well you really didnt have to be a dick about.
    Understand that these threads pop up every other week and they really get tiring for people who have been here for years.

    If you need motivation, look within and do a gut check. Do you really want to be an artist? Because if setting stuff up on a grid is enough to discourage you from doing anything, your bar seems pretty low.

    Try modeling/sculpting something for fun. Don't do a project. See where that takes you. Just let the polygons fall where they may. If that fails to motivate or inspire then ... I dunno, maybe look into another profession? :)
  • Ben Apuna
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    When attempting a task:

    If it's too easy it'll be utter boredom, you won't be motivated,

    If it's well within your comfort zone you'll be a bit bored and won't learn anything by doing the task. At this point it's just work.

    If it's challenging and right at your current level of skill you'll feel great as you make progress and will be so motivated to continue you'll lose all sense of time as you work. This is the state of flow which you want to be in.

    If it's beyond your comfort zone but doable you'll still be interested and motivated to complete the task. This is the state you will learn the most in.

    If it's way too hard then it'll be frustrating and give you anxiety, You won't be motivated to continue at which point it's pretty natural to give up and/or fail.

    The main point starts at 13:58, though I recommend watching the whole thing.

    [ame=" Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness - YouTube[/ame]

    As for Maya and Unreal:

    Export a 128 x 128 or 256 x 256 cube from Unreal and import it into your scene. That's the scale you should be working from. 1 unreal unit = 1 cm, model at real world scale. I typically figure a character to be around 196 cm tall when modeling props.

    Freeze your transformations before exporting from Maya to Unreal.

    Make sure your object's center/pivot is where you want it to be. That's what determines how things will align themselves when imported into Unreal. A general rule is to place the pivot/center at the objects' base (where it meets the ground).
  • JacqueChoi
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  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse I love typing
    What frustrates me is the "I'm never unmotivated" crowd that comes out to threads like this. There are plenty of famous artists that have to struggle with loss of motivation. It's like telling someone who has financial problems "I don't know what your problem is I never have to budget my money" - it's a new variant of the humble-brag.
  • ZacD
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    What frustrates me is the "I'm never unmotivated" crowd that comes out to threads like this. There are plenty of famous artists that have to struggle with loss of motivation. It's like telling someone who has financial problems "I don't know what your problem is I never have to budget my money" - it's a new variant of the humble-brag.

    I completely agree with you there, just because you never had an issue with motivation, doesn't mean most people don't struggle with it at times. Of course there's always a dozen of ideas floating around in an artists head, but sometimes there is a disconnect between actually working on these ideas.
  • scapulator
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    Dan! wrote: »
    You don't need motivation, you need structure. You need to practice and study. Don't worry about waiting for inspiration to hit, it's a waste of time. The more you practice, the more mature your skill becomes, the more refined your ideas will be. If you wait around and procrastinate too long someone else will take your place and they'll get to do all the cool shit you wish you had.

    love this
  • Gav
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    Gav dedicated polycounter
    GGGUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    [ame=" I Go Again On My Own - YouTube[/ame]
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous dedicated polycounter
    aliasbane wrote: »
    Well you really didnt have to be a dick about.

    ahh no, If you had done that search you would have likely found the threads that ZacD so graciously provided you.

    What I was trying to do was encourage you to HELP YOURSELF. I think thats an extremely valuable skill and something you will need learn to do to survive as an artist in this industry.

    EDIT: I actually think its the core reason behind a lot of these threads. Learning to help yourself, and getting yourself out of these situations cant be a bad thing.

    But hey, aliasbane what the hell do I know?!

    Best of luck :thumbup:
  • TAN
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    TAN polycounter
    My character model stays there looking at me which should have been finished 5 days ago... It is still looking at me...
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer card carrying polycounter
    JacqueChoi wrote: »
    I don't get this.
    My issue is I have too much shit I want to do and not enough time.

    same here.
  • JacqueChoi
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  • maximumsproductions
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    I don't think it's necessarily a complete motivation factor but the somewhat daunting task of doing something your not confident doing on your own without any guidance. Because I'm 100% sure we all have wild fantasy models and ideas we would love to do but always factor in time, priority, and ability while weighing each one to each other.
  • Gav
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  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous dedicated polycounter
    What frustrates me is the "I'm never unmotivated" crowd that comes out to threads like this. There are plenty of famous artists that have to struggle with loss of motivation. It's like telling someone who has financial problems "I don't know what your problem is I never have to budget my money" - it's a new variant of the humble-brag.

    HAha man, come on, the stark difference here is the 'famous artists' who struggled with motivation likely exhausted themselves on an immense body of work. Not stepped forward at the beginning of their career saying "I'm unmotivated, I don’t enjoy this, so I sit around for 3 months doing nothing - help"

    And if that wasn’t the case, those same 'famous artists', likely had to defeat and overcome these problems themselves, which is where im coming from and what im obviously woefully attempting to promote. These old artists wouldnt have had the internet, and likely even less friends / people to talk to in their circles who weren’t infected with the plague or who could possibly understand what they were going through.

    Turning inward and solving these problems by yourself is both crucial to discovering who you are as an artist and to how you tick as a person and I believe going through that and coming out the other side was a vital part of what enabled the 'famous artists' to become famous in the first place.

    What I find amazing is the same helpful souls coming back over and over and over to say the same things and share the same links. (I think you guys are saints!)

    Of course with the internet here, there’s no reason to exclude it as a tool to helping get people into gear - it’s amazing and there are insane communities and tutorials aplenty for anyone looking to take on this career path, so USE IT! Don’t ask someone else to use it for you?! Its 2 levels deep worth of laziness - inception style.

    I would be interested to check out those prior motivational threads, track down the OP's and see if any of them actually went on to have a gangbuster year in arts after being fueled up by all the helpful advice.

    I'm putting my money on 'despite all the inspiration and advice - they’ve still done nothing at all'.
  • nyx702
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    Haha hell yea Jacque (and Haz). My thoughts exactly.

    If I may add something that helps me... just fucking do it. It doesn't matter what you do. Even if its not the idea you are going for just do it. It could be scribbles. Just the act of DOING something will break the habit of NOT doing. The creative process needs to be practiced just as much as technique.
  • TomDunne
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    I joined the old Q2PMP site in late 1997. 15 years later, it's the same ill-conceived question and the same put-upon replies. Polycount is the unchanging rock in life's sea of chaos!

    Anyway, to the OP:

    You're not unmotivated. If you lacked motivation, you wouldn't have bothered to come here. What you are is some combination of confused, reluctant, uncertain and scared shitless. Most of us creatives get that at some point, as a creative career can be a tall order for the psyche. You've chosen to set your life on a difficult path that allows other people to make snap judgments about your value in seconds. You can't coast along being a less-than-average Joe Office Drone; your portfolio puts your talent stark naked on display, and you won't even get a chance to prove yourself on the job if your portfolio isn't bad ass enough to get you hired. That reality can be intimidating as fuck, and it often compels us to push our work away - you can't fail if you don't try, and not trying is a lot easier than dealing with failure.

    There are ways to deal with it. Read this - a Polycounter recommended it to me about seven or eight years ago, and it helped me get through a rough patch:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Through-Creative-Battles/dp/1936891026"]The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles: Steven Pressfield, Shawn Coyne: 9781936891023: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]
  • Nysuatro
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    I see frustration as a lack of memories or something to build from. So your next step could be trying to make memories to refer/associate from. This is where failing comes in.

    Fail fast - recover fast. If you know you are going to fail, you will more easily recover and learn from it so you can take another step.

    Motivation is what you get when seeing progress from that little step. Even though you failed, you used that experience to learn from so you can do better next time. This learning should be the proof for your progress which can result as in motivation.

    If you are still not taking the first (small) step, Then you might have to do better research for inspiration. People, books, movies, games, galleries, ...

    If you do not even want to do that, you might want to think if this is maybe a waste of time for you and it could be better to do something else.
  • Barbarian
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    Your business is never really good or bad "out there" your business is either good or bad right between your own two ears.

    The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not in the job.

    It is easy to get to the top after you get through the crowd at the bottom.


    Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do!
    It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.
    Late Zig Ziglar
  • Plyomet
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    A lot of people here with a very "no motivation? Then clearly you're not cut out, gtfo and stop wasting my time" attitude. Very negative, very unhelpful.

    Of course, they may have a point, there is a line you can cross, where you genuinely may not be cut out for this line of work. A lot of people get in to this industry because they grew up playing games, and thought that this is a natural extension of their hobby. If it then transpires that you don't have a natural gift but you've set your sights on a goal already... well, maybe you need to re-evaluate.

    On a slightly more upbeat note, I can only echo the sentiments of other helpful replies here. I get a kick out of completing a project. Big or small. Set yourself something to make. As someone else mentioned, setting yourself something too small to complete isn't much fun. So how about thinking of aportfolio piece you are interested in creating? You know, something that really has to be amazing. Now that's a lot of work and requires motivation (of which you are in short supply). So, think of the piece you want to create, let's imagine it's a sprawling vista, now break it down to one small object (if your portfolio piece is a character, then maybe focus on just one tactical pouch on his vest, you get the idea) and do that. Finish that one, small piece. Set up a nice render on it, maybe play about with some materials/textures on it if that's your thing. But the idea is to take one tiny piece from start to finish.
    Post it up on these forums and bask in the praise (harsh criticism) from your fellow polycounters.

    At least, that's what gets me going.

    TL;DR: Take one small object from a potentially much larger scene from start all the way to completion. Post it for all to see on Polycount.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse I love typing
    Hazardous wrote: »
    I would be interested to check out those prior motivational threads, track down the OP's and see if any of them actually went on to have a gangbuster year in arts after being fueled up by all the helpful advice.

    I count myself as one - luckily I looked for help back before the "maybe you should quit" crew was here. The lack of motivation came around when I was suicidal depressed as well, so calling people "non-contributing zeroes" and telling them to just suck it up is really shitty.

    Depression is more prevalent in creatives, just because some of you are lucky enough not to struggle with it it's always a logical fallacy to look at your life and judge everyone else based on it. If the OP wasn't into what he's doing then he wouldn't be struggling with being inspired. I don't have a passion for gardening so it doesn't particularly make me sweat that I seem to kill every plant I own (ok, I'd like my lawn to stay green at least).

    Personally, when I'm super excited about building a hovercraft, machining a Stirling engine, composing music, brewing beer, drawing a comic, making my indie game... all in the same day I have to try and focus on one thing otherwise I'll get nothing done and the inevitable crash will be that much worse. At one point I was on medication but it just made me bland vanilla all the time - I've been off meds for a long time now but they are the answer for some people, the real solution is to figure yourself out which is a life long journey. Ugh that sounds really lame and self-helpy!
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous dedicated polycounter
    Ugh that sounds really lame and self-helpy!

    No man, that doesnt sound lame at all. That sounds like a smart person, making smart decisions to overcome very real problems.

    Self help is paramount. Noone said anything about depression until now, we were talking about lack of motivation and an OP that was frustrated to the point of not doing anything for 3 months.

    Citing depression half way through a loss of motivation thread would change the context drastically, and deserves a thread-name change IMO, especially if its ACTUALLY the real problem behind the lack of motivation.

    I'm sure, given the influx of 'lack of motivation' threads over the last 6 months or so, having an 'I have / had depression' thread wouldnt attract the same kinds of comments. It may even surprise a few people who showed up to tell their bit in there, and maybe THAT could be an inspirational thread for anyone else battling depression, but too afraid to say anything.
  • VictorH
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    I count myself as one - luckily I looked for help back before the "maybe you should quit" crew was here. The lack of motivation came around when I was suicidal depressed as well, so calling people "non-contributing zeroes" and telling them to just suck it up is really shitty.

    Depression is more prevalent in creatives, just because some of you are lucky enough not to struggle with it it's always a logical fallacy to look at your life and judge everyone else based on it. If the OP wasn't into what he's doing then he wouldn't be struggling with being inspired. I don't have a passion for gardening so it doesn't particularly make me sweat that I seem to kill every plant I own (ok, I'd like my lawn to stay green at least).

    Personally, when I'm super excited about building a hovercraft, machining a Stirling engine, composing music, brewing beer, drawing a comic, making my indie game... all in the same day I have to try and focus on one thing otherwise I'll get nothing done and the inevitable crash will be that much worse. At one point I was on medication but it just made me bland vanilla all the time - I've been off meds for a long time now but they are the answer for some people, the real solution is to figure yourself out which is a life long journey. Ugh that sounds really lame and self-helpy!

    Im on the same boat as well. I get down when looking at other's people work and say whats the point? They have years of experience and I have very little, why should I still have any interest in this field if everyone else is better than me? I have a passion in 3D and some day, hopefully, I can get to the experience they are, but I know just thinking about it isn't going to help me.

    Just by starting something and thinking about the amount of work to get done is highly overwhelming. Block out, modeling, unwrapping, exporting, etc... Its just to much to think about and just crashes you motivation to the wall. So I quit, I go outside, just go to work, play video games, just forgetting what you dream of doing and do something else that brings you to the point of death.

    Im trying to bring my self up. This city I live in has noone I can talk to about 3D because everyone is about competition, everyone wants you to fail. And it hurts, real bad, so noone in this city can help you do it.
    Thats why I love polycount, because there is people here to help, but getting around to post something is still hard because I still fear the depression and quitting and thinking to myself whats the point.
  • Two Listen
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    The question for me has never been one of motivation, but rather one of worth. I have endless motivation, but dealing with and pushing through the inevitable, and very personal failures makes me constantly ask, "Is it worth it?"

    Very few professions are as deeply and inwardly depressing as pursuing a creative endeavor. Art is not something you can simply learn about in a book, or take a class followed by a test that says, "You pass." You can pull from those things and work towards your goals, but nobody can tell you how best you'll learn, or how many years it will take you to be at the level you're shooting for.

    I agree with both Hazardous and Justin Meisse. I have never encountered something so persistently difficult as pursuing art as a career. I think it's true that some people simply aren't cut out for it, and that's ok. It is not an easy thing to time after time put all of yourself into your work, and in 2 seconds be able to open up a picture from your inspiration folder and realize so quickly that your best efforts simply...aren't good enough. There are only so many times you can say to yourself, "Not yet, anyway." Really if you're going to pursue this, I feel like you need to be able to look inward, and overcome these things yourself. Constantly. I think every artist worth his (or her) salt has had to figure all that out, and learn how they personally are best able to overcome their difficulties - be it a loss of motivation, inspiration, or the depression that comes with failure.

    At the same time, I do think it worthwhile to be open with your fellow artists, providing help if you can. In the same manner that no book can simply tell you how to be a great artist, no person can overcome the hard parts for you - but you can still pull ideas from their words, and use them to push yourself beyond where you were previously.

    For myself, these days whenever I wonder, "Is it worth it?" I usually decide that it doesn't matter. It's not like I'd stop if I found out the answer was no.
  • VelvetElvis
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    [ame=" Carlin Motivation - YouTube[/ame]
  • crazyfool
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    CGhub + 30 mins = inspired :)

    I get where Haz is coming from, I find it tough to understand it too much as Ive never felt it bad enough to post on here about loss of heart. Ive burnt out, been burned and have had to look inwards for the solution, like many.

    I can tell you not to stress, or forget about it, but ultimately you need to be happy within yourself to move on and overcome the issue.

    I can watch Tron Legacy and draw for hours, others will pull their eyes out with ice cream scoops to make it stop.
  • Joseph Silverman
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    I count myself as one - luckily I looked for help back before the "maybe you should quit" crew was here. The lack of motivation came around when I was suicidal depressed as well, so calling people "non-contributing zeroes" and telling them to just suck it up is really shitty.

    This x10. I find it hard to believe that there is a single person in the world ANYWHERE who spends weeks or months making art, and goes onto a forum to write a post to ask for help about motivation because they're LAZY. Art is a challenging field, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Depression and loss of motivation and job-related stress is common for people both in and out of the industry, from what i've seen.

    I DEFINITELY admire the haz style take no prisoners attitude, and he's a wonderful example and it's a great end goal, but it's simply not a realistic short term solution to many artists' situations (especially young ones, with school/money/hormone problems.)

    Some of you are simply more emotionally/mentally fit -- not that you have some unfair advantage, just that through the choices you've made in your life and the skills you've developed you're BETTER at handling your time and your stress and your motivation than these posters. Why not try to share some of that mojo instead of just shaming them?

    Yeah, sometimes people ask silly questions, but if all you have to offer is discouragement, why post?

    Polycount could use a motivation/life advice/personal experience sticky or wiki page or hub of some sort.
  • Joseph Silverman
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    Oh, and to actually contribute to the thread: I'm someone who kindof publicly/obviously struggles with balancing art in my life. I by no means have this down to a science, but here's what gets me results:
    1. Immerse yourself in things you find inspiring. I try to consume media based on what's impressive to me more than just what i enjoy -- for inspiration, i'd rather play a gorgeous videogame than a fun one. Browse through art you admire, listen to music you admire, read books by authors you adore -- Pick artists who dazzle you with their abilities -- skill is what you should seek out, not subject matter.
    2. Try to make what you would want to make if your art skills were sublime. When you fall short, analyze the experience and determine goals to do better next time.
    3. Isolate your artistic goals and attack them from all angles. Experiment with different methods, skim tutorials and timelapses to see how artists you admire achieve their results, interrogate fellow artists for workflow/technical insight.
    4. Your skills will develop quickly through repetition. If you feel stifled or inadequate around a particular subject, tackling it head on is sometimes the solution.
    5. Manage stress. You do not need to achieve every one of your artistic goals this instant, your progress won't be ruined if you have to put down art for school or work or whatever for a day or a week or a month.

    Also, imo, videos of artists' process are the best resource ever. Livestreams and the like are better than tutorials -- watching an artist struggle and solve problems is both immensely helpful and encouraging.
  • JacqueChoi
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  • Tejay
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    Tejay spline
    Depression is a real problem among artists. And sometimes it's the main cause of no motivation. Most wont admit they've been there
    . I can't count the number of times I've lost all motivation from depression and then it turned into a vicious cycle of becoming more depressed because I'm not working towards my goals. And in not working, the depression wont go away because not having a job or not being good enough is the cause. You have to try and drag yourself out of it, which some days is easy to impossible while others start fine until you break down for no reason. Its something many artists experience and I don't think enough people know how to deal with. I've taken a very long time to even come to terms with it myself, I've been in constant denial for years. All the while no one knows what to even do about it. I've had close siblings admit they've known how bad I was and over that time done nothing to help or even check in. Its a tough problem that no one knows what to do about or people just ignore.

    For artists I think sometimes we have to work on our mentality as much as our art.
  • moof
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    moof polycounter
    My opinion is that art is for tough motherfuckers who either make it or die trying (figuratively)

    If you're depressed welcome to the club, it's what'll make you good in the long run if you face it like the demon succubus it is.

    This shit isn't for everyone, and it certainly isn't fueled by 'my life is fulfilled and I'm super happy, so I guess I'll draw for 10 hours every day for months on end to get better'


    Not to say it's all depression though. The bright side to it all, is that you can end up on a happy path if you find it for yourself. There's no assurances though, and no one has it figured it out really that they can tell you how to get there. There's definitely some personal footwork involved.
  • JacqueChoi
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  • Barbarian
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    It is not just limited to the art field. I've seen the same phenomenon in many different fields. For example: local chess club (many people drop out after they learn how much effort it takes to become a good player), the gym (people drop out when they realize that there is no quick fix), math/comp sci courses at college (people drop out when they realize they have to buckle down and study a lot more than many other courses), or many other fields.

    The other day in the gym I noticed a couple of young guys complaining that they just were not motivated. I was recovering from a cold and did not feel the best. But they just walked around and talked and went through a few motions. I went over, grabbed the bar, and started dead-lifting. Instant motivation.

    I think that part of the problem is societal-related. Many students graduate and "expect a job"--the "sense of entitlement" issue. Many of them get good grades for work that is not realistically critiqued. When your expectations later run into reality it either means that your ego-defenses take over or you harden the f*** up and do what you have to to get where you want. There is more information available (free or low cost), better tools available, and more places to get feedback than ever before. We're not starving for information.

    One of the best critiques I ever saw really sums up the basics of the issues (and I think it ties into Jacque's point above):
    It can be tough to get break into the industry, and everyone thinks they are the next big thing and have a lot to offer. In general though, it comes down to 3 things:

    - Quality of your work
    - Having the right attitude
    - Being able to communicate the above two effectivelyl


    I would break down the problems, and would start with your mental state: stop playing videogames, watching TV or getting rid of it completely. Yes, I believe it's important. Then, make sure you have enough physical activity and a good nutrition. This should make you more positive. But you should understand, it's a professional forum, not a mental support one. If you don't particularly want to work in games and are ok with a technical job, then find a low-paid, for the time being, but in the 3d-field work until you have a portfolio. But remember: once you choose your direction, it's a bit hard to switch later. So if you're aiming for gamedev, you'd better further trying to specialize and make an appropriate portfolio.
  • Ruz
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    Ruz insane polycounter
    others will pull their eyes out with ice cream scoops to make it stop
    you missed out the bit about replacing them with hot toffee apples :)

    yeah motivation, is a tough issue at times. when you are going along well and you career is thriving then everything is 'hey ho pip and dandy', but it can easily change for the worse.
    There is no real solution for it , apart from to fight:/ IMHO

    I am rather suprised that there are so many posts from new artists, finding it hard to get motivated - surely the chance to emulate so many great artists, must have some kind of motivating effect. I don't quite get that. i understand if you have been doing it for a number of years, get burned out etc,
    but to be a fresh faced 20 year old - c'mon, you haven't even started shaving and you don't put on 10 pounds every time you eat a slice of pizza.

    If you don't man up I will come around your house and tell you boring stories about how great the 1970's were.
  • Snacuum
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    JacqueChoi wrote: »
    This thread isn't about depression, it's about motivation. (And yes they CAN be mutually exclusive).

    I am under the impression this thread about capable and non-depressed lazy people looking for empathy for their laziness, Which imho is complete bullshit.

    If you're depressed you really shouldn't be trying to find answers from an art website.

    Ok lets round up every new guy here with even the remotest 'attitude' problem and have them hand in their Polycount keys. That thread of inspiration could not be more proof that some good artists used to be terrible schlubs. Maybe there were some who wanted to reach out to fellow artists, I know quite well that you can't just walk next door and find another artist who might understand your problems. Places like Polycount are (probably unfortunately for the vets) a refuge for new artists in this topsy-turvy world.

    If the issue is that these artists are clogging up General Discussion then like why not use some of the advice we give the newbies already and don't post in it? I'm sure it was as much a waste of your own time as the unmotivated/depressed guys to tell them to pack it up. Heck I try my best not to post at all; I come here sometimes with art and sometimes not and then feel as ashamed as that preschooler at 'show and tell' with no new toys. A great way to run a community? I don't know.

    Motivation and Depression can be mutually exclusive but are seldom not. In fact when the latter is present then the former is almost always. Hands up how many people here were depressed at some point? Okay then hands up how many knew it the minute it started? I'm guessing not many. Being an artist means dealing with a lot of ambiguous problems. We spend a great deal of our early lives getting 'A's for Effort' rather than real A's. There are enough books and tutorials teaching how to do the same thing different ways and none of them are the right answer when the only answer is "It'll look how you want it to when you've practiced and failed so much you hate it."

    Some of these guys who wake up unmotivated may in fact be on the wrong path but heck, even if they are they are then they're still artists who now think they might not be for any reason and when concerned about it, told to give up. I don't know about you guys but I'd rather live a lie that I am an artist than accept the truth that I definitely am not because I don't look like one.
    For myself, these days whenever I wonder, "Is it worth it?" I usually decide that it doesn't matter. It's not like I'd stop if I found out the answer was no.
    This. This is what matters. I'd rather find those OP from last 5 years who did nothing and still chase that dream than the ones who gave up because all signs pointed to "you suck."
  • JacqueChoi
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  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM veteran polycounter
    When I see these same people tell me they aren't inspired, and don't have time, then log 40+ hours a week playing games on Steam. It's bad habits.
    Yeah, you see that a lot actually. There was an amazing video I saw from a concept artist who said something like:

    "People often ask me what they have to do to become a professional. I think that's the wrong question. It should be, 'What are you willing to give up?' Put down the bong, put down the controller, and start drawing."
  • Rockley Bonner
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    never had artist block. I believe unmotivated is a mindset.
  • Snacuum
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    Yeah I didn't really display my reasoning on the depression/motivation argument. I agree that the two are not wholly linked. I was meaning that if it is depression then a lack of motivation will follow.
    When I see these same people tell me they aren't inspired, and don't have time, then log 40+ hours a week playing games on Steam. It's bad habits.
    "People often ask me what they have to do to become a professional. I think that's the wrong question. It should be, 'What are you willing to give up?' Put down the bong, put down the controller, and start drawing."

    This does indeed seem to be a truth, but damn do I have trouble accepting it. I understand that may well be what separates the men from the boys here. Gaming is a big part of my life and I'm sure it's a big part of the lives of all these hopeless newbies; after all this is a game-art forum, a lot of them didn't just make art in their youth before landing here. It makes sense to me that there is resistance to changing that; especially since before the concerns, the unmotivation, the depression, that it was all smooth sailing with the artist playing as many games and doing as much art as they felt like and happily believing in a future in game development.

    Not only does the truth hit hard but it's absolute. We're told how HARD we have to work, how WORTHLESS our achievements so far are and that to experience any success we should abandon entire facets of our lives to do so. There is no mention of a middle-ground, no way to do some of everything. For those people who are relentlessly passionate they may already be there and be happy. Unfortunately one persons happiness is not another. Further unfortunately it's still all so muddled: I wish I could back up my posts with some kind of advice about a mythical middle-ground but I'm still discovering that myself.
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous dedicated polycounter
    FYI My longest post on PC ever. Sorry in advance - OP I hope there’s something useful in this for you. I’m back in your thread and giving you my morning before breakfast is my way of saying ' I care '.

    Usually between 1 - 5 NEW students, per day come to me for random pieces of advice. Some from here @ PC , some from Deviant Art - Mostly from Deviant art.

    It's always the same questions maybe worded slightly differently and I do my best to answer every single time, every single message. Sometimes I get behind and have to catch up at the end of the week but I do my best.

    As well as those, I did 2 10+ question interviews last week, on my time, for students who were still in school. For school essays, papers, projects etc that contain the same questions they always do.

    I'm exposed to 'all this' *makes a big circle shape with hands* on a fairly constant basis. Everything that encompasses 'young artists trying to find their way in this scary fucking environment coming out of school' Being unmotivated, finding your place as n artist, juggling family life, finding a job, paying bills, working for fuckall $$$ while trying to improve your skill.

    Now I don't think that being bombarded with these kinds of questions on a daily basis qualifies me any more than it qualifies someone else for handing out motivational advice, but maybe it will help explain why I’m 'being a dick about it'. And why I believe people are being harsh on you.

    Everyone’s a n00b at some point. Everyone asks stupid questions, annoys some pro until he blows a gasket and says dumb shit on forums. Then I thought - why are these people coming to me for answers? I am the least qualified person to provide guidance or help. My path to where I’m at is so fucking weird to me, it doesn’t seem like good advice to give out. It REALLY doesn't, so I’m not going to tell people what I did, because what I did is the WRONG WAY.

    Then as my career went on, I talked to other artists and artists that talk to me, veterans, revered artists, 3d and 2d, some working in big AAA stuff, others working in mobile stuff. Some drawing comics, some sculpting in clay, some working in film! Some of them become very good friends, and with them, I'm able to really get into the nuts and bolts of what got them there - I’m talking about the Slipgatescentral's the haikai's, the Gav’s - guys that are really fucken good. That's when I discover that their experience to becoming an art god (and being successful at this career) is pretty damned similar - it’s a pattern that’s remarkably similar for all the artists that we all raise up on the 'I gotta be as good as this artist' platform.

    Over the years, that got me thinking. It’s something I spent an awful lot of time thinking about.

    My experience and my path to get where I am, is not crazy at all, sure some decisions are unique to me, but I'm not special, and the path I took to get there is even less special.

    When you’re a n00b artist, the answer is so simple that it doesn’t even make any sense, you just aren’t equipped with the experience to absorb what it means.

    Put in the time.

    Scared of the results being shit? Doesn’t matter.
    Scared of making yourself hate your work? Doesn’t matter.
    Scared of not knowing what to draw? Doesn’t fucking matter.
    Scared you’re doing it wrong? Doesn’t mother fucking matter.
    Picking up the pencil right now and drawing a funny looking penis with hairy balls on the paper – ALL THAT MATTERS.

    Not how good the balls or the cockhead look - all that matters is that you did it.

    So do another one. This time draw it pounding a sheep in the buttcrack. Draw the sheep eating a farmers leg, draw the farmer holding an axe about to bring it down on the sheep’s spine, draw a horned goat in mid leap attempting to save his wooly buddy, draw the farmer’s wife with a loaded gun aimed at the goat. Boom you just told a little story. ‘My day at the farm!' Quality? Shit. WHO CARES. It’s better than sitting there passing that time and doing nothing, trust me IT IS. And you have to believe me that it was worth it. As someone asking for advice, believe me when I say... it’s worth it no matter how fucking piss poor, terrible your skill is.

    But thats not enough, still the students ask, but HOW do you get good, what tools do you use, what tricks do you have to get good, how do you stay motivated, there must be something that gives you the edge. Very rarely, some are satisfied with the answers, they just 'get it' somehow. But most feel like my advice ripped them off somehow, I can see in their faces when I talk to them, I can hear it in their voices when I skype them, I can feel shift in conversation when I IM them. It wasn’t the thunderbolt from the heavens they were looking for.

    That 'AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I fucken get it!!!' Moment was not present in my answer.

    Now Deviantart makes it really easy for me to keep track of those same artists, I can with a click jump back to their folio, to see where they are at now. I store all of my conversations, notes, all of our exchanges. I've been able to watch some young artists grow over a 5 year period - (it makes me feel really fucken old) And I’ve been able to watch some students flounder - still asking the same questions, still struggling with the same problems they have been for 5 goddamn years.

    Out of the hundreds, Literally HUNDREDS of students that have asked me stuff, there is only a few that still add artwork to their folios more frequently than once a year. And in those students, you can also see the pattern emerging. They are slowly leaving the others behind, they are getting better, more skilled, and they are even starting to pick-up freelance work. They are rising up above the sea of n00bs all on their own - They also stopped asking for advice, because they realize what they are doing, works. And there’s no other way, but to keep doing it, and keep posting your results even when you can’t be bothered.

    However, the same students that TOLD me so eagerly, I need to get a job, I want to work in games, I need to be a killer artist!!! Folio's empty. Journals that talk about playing Dota or league of legends, art? none. They seem to never get it, always asking 'How do I get a job?! It’s really tough out there for students!' Some even come back to tell me they feel guilty for pissing their lives away and are fucking up and need to get back on track!

    I applaud their persistence yet the advice remains the same. It didn’t change from last time you asked!

    Stop playing games, hanging out with your friends, and make your folio. You’re a student, now is the absolute best time to be working on it - trust me, you do not want to be an old bastard like me trying to build your folio when you have more serious things to worry about, it gets infinitely harder to do. I have no question there are a tonne of artists here at polycount that would attest to that. Don’t fucking waste the opportunity you have RIGHT NOW. Your friends will be there in 6 months’ time and if they give you the flick, fuckem you’ll make more through your art! Take control of your shit! you’re the boss and you CAN do it.

    I just wish they'd truly listen to the little artist voice inside that pushed them to reach out over and over again. Its starving and dying in there, its food is not playing games, its food isn’t fucking about getting drunk, watching days of your life go past without doing anything, it needs hairy balls and cocks drawn on paper to survive.

    'I can’t do it, it’s hard, I don’t know where to start '

    Yes!!! It’s fucking hard!!! I’ve been through it, I’ve been through my own set of problems, I climbed my own mountains, without telling you my life story, have the foresight to understand that even though you are a student and I have 10 years of experience doing this job, we are the same!!! We are cut from the same fucking stone you and me. I'm trying to help you, I'm telling you what I did to 'get there' and you won't listen to the words. You won’t! You refuse to help yourself, even though you’re asking for help!! TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SHIT!!

    I have reached this point with dozens of students, and it’s taught me a few things. Firstly, no matter what I say, or how often I say it - the words can only be received, whether they are digested, fathomed or understood is up to the recipient. Secondly, what they do after talking with me about the problem isn't up to me. From that moment onwards it’s all up to them.

    They are alone again.

    They need to figure out for themselves how to move past the point of sitting there doing nothing now, to sitting there and doing something, and NOT going to play a game or watch a movie, but to go and start making art.

    And it’s within that tiny little statement where *everyone* is remarkably unique.
    What makes YOU go, 'okay I am now going to pick up my pencil and start drawing hairy balls on paper' is completely unknown to anyone else but you.

    You won't find the answer to that riddle no matter how many questions you ask on what forums, how many awesome reference pics you find, or how many epic artists you befriend, or how many threads you create. No one has that answer. And there is no substitute for putting in the time. Remember that.

    Knowing that the ultimate point of this dance of questions comes down to something that is unique to every person, knowing that before the student even asks the first question - already knowing that I really can’t help them with that magic bullet that switches them on and turns them into art machines, what do I say?

    I look at the people I've respected in my life, and recalled how they treated me, and what makes them special - why did I listen to them? What habits do I have from when I was a child, how come I kept them? I find out what it was. For me, it was people who were honest, and straightforward if that mean hurting my feelings, punishing me for making mistakes, making me cry - then so be it.

    I don't remember people who treated me nicely, told me my work was great, coddled me and told me everything’s ok (except my mom! of course). I remember the people that took me to heightened peaks of emotional state - and encouraged me to fly on my own. People that gave me bloody knees, got my hands dirty, encouraged me to take a plunge into the unknown and abandon my fears. Those people made me a much stronger person. And that kind of person, is who I would like to be for others if they need it – because that’s all I know, that’s what worked for me and I try to share that.

    My huge fucking posts in a lot of these motivational threads is my way of trying to tell you, listen, I do give a fuck. But be that person that goes away and figures it out, not only will that process equip you with +5 armor versus life It will make you a better artist, and It will make you a better person.
  • Makkon
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    Makkon card carrying polycounter
    Dan! wrote: »
    You don't need motivation, you need structure. You need to practice and study. Don't worry about waiting for inspiration to hit, it's a waste of time. The more you practice, the more mature your skill becomes, the more refined your ideas will be. If you wait around and procrastinate too long someone else will take your place and they'll get to do all the cool shit you wish you had.

    Quote of the month, posting this on tumblr

    Also, WOW Hazardous! Fantastic!
  • TheDerpyChicken
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    I am new to 3d modeling and everything but I stay motivated by finishing a model, being ashamed by how bad it is, telling myself that I can make the next one better, and then begin working on some other model. My failure motivates me because I want to be able to produce the results I see on this website.
  • Gav
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    Gav dedicated polycounter
    TL;DR

    Hazardous wrote: »
    FYI My longest post on PC ever. Sorry in advance - OP I hope there’s something useful in this for you. I’m back in your thread and giving you my morning before breakfast is my way of saying ' I care '.

    Usually between 1 - 5 NEW students, per day come to me for random pieces of advice. Some from here @ PC , some from Deviant Art - Mostly from Deviant art.

    It's always the same questions maybe worded slightly differently and I do my best to answer every single time, every single message. Sometimes I get behind and have to catch up at the end of the week but I do my best.

    As well as those, I did 2 10+ question interviews last week, on my time, for students who were still in school. For school essays, papers, projects etc that contain the same questions they always do.

    I'm exposed to 'all this' *makes a big circle shape with hands* on a fairly constant basis. Everything that encompasses 'young artists trying to find their way in this scary fucking environment coming out of school' Being unmotivated, finding your place as n artist, juggling family life, finding a job, paying bills, working for fuckall $$$ while trying to improve your skill.

    Now I don't think that being bombarded with these kinds of questions on a daily basis qualifies me any more than it qualifies someone else for handing out motivational advice, but maybe it will help explain why I’m 'being a dick about it'. And why I believe people are being harsh on you.

    Everyone’s a n00b at some point. Everyone asks stupid questions, annoys some pro until he blows a gasket and says dumb shit on forums. Then I thought - why are these people coming to me for answers? I am the least qualified person to provide guidance or help. My path to where I’m at is so fucking weird to me, it doesn’t seem like good advice to give out. It REALLY doesn't, so I’m not going to tell people what I did, because what I did is the WRONG WAY.

    Then as my career went on, I talked to other artists and artists that talk to me, veterans, revered artists, 3d and 2d, some working in big AAA stuff, others working in mobile stuff. Some drawing comics, some sculpting in clay, some working in film! Some of them become very good friends, and with them, I'm able to really get into the nuts and bolts of what got them there - I’m talking about the Slipgatescentral's the haikai's, the Gav’s - guys that are really fucken good. That's when I discover that their experience to becoming an art god (and being successful at this career) is pretty damned similar - it’s a pattern that’s remarkably similar for all the artists that we all raise up on the 'I gotta be as good as this artist' platform.

    Over the years, that got me thinking. It’s something I spent an awful lot of time thinking about.

    My experience and my path to get where I am, is not crazy at all, sure some decisions are unique to me, but I'm not special, and the path I took to get there is even less special.

    When you’re a n00b artist, the answer is so simple that it doesn’t even make any sense, you just aren’t equipped with the experience to absorb what it means.

    Put in the time.

    Scared of the results being shit? Doesn’t matter.
    Scared of making yourself hate your work? Doesn’t matter.
    Scared of not knowing what to draw? Doesn’t fucking matter.
    Scared you’re doing it wrong? Doesn’t mother fucking matter.
    Picking up the pencil right now and drawing a funny looking penis with hairy balls on the paper – ALL THAT MATTERS.

    Not how good the balls or the cockhead look - all that matters is that you did it.

    So do another one. This time draw it pounding a sheep in the buttcrack. Draw the sheep eating a farmers leg, draw the farmer holding an axe about to bring it down on the sheep’s spine, draw a horned goat in mid leap attempting to save his wooly buddy, draw the farmer’s wife with a loaded gun aimed at the goat. Boom you just told a little story. ‘My day at the farm!' Quality? Shit. WHO CARES. It’s better than sitting there passing that time and doing nothing, trust me IT IS. And you have to believe me that it was worth it. As someone asking for advice, believe me when I say... it’s worth it no matter how fucking piss poor, terrible your skill is.

    But thats not enough, still the students ask, but HOW do you get good, what tools do you use, what tricks do you have to get good, how do you stay motivated, there must be something that gives you the edge. Very rarely, some are satisfied with the answers, they just 'get it' somehow. But most feel like my advice ripped them off somehow, I can see in their faces when I talk to them, I can hear it in their voices when I skype them, I can feel shift in conversation when I IM them. It wasn’t the thunderbolt from the heavens they were looking for.

    That 'AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I fucken get it!!!' Moment was not present in my answer.

    Now Deviantart makes it really easy for me to keep track of those same artists, I can with a click jump back to their folio, to see where they are at now. I store all of my conversations, notes, all of our exchanges. I've been able to watch some young artists grow over a 5 year period - (it makes me feel really fucken old) And I’ve been able to watch some students flounder - still asking the same questions, still struggling with the same problems they have been for 5 goddamn years.

    Out of the hundreds, Literally HUNDREDS of students that have asked me stuff, there is only a few that still add artwork to their folios more frequently than once a year. And in those students, you can also see the pattern emerging. They are slowly leaving the others behind, they are getting better, more skilled, and they are even starting to pick-up freelance work. They are rising up above the sea of n00bs all on their own - They also stopped asking for advice, because they realize what they are doing, works. And there’s no other way, but to keep doing it, and keep posting your results even when you can’t be bothered.

    However, the same students that TOLD me so eagerly, I need to get a job, I want to work in games, I need to be a killer artist!!! Folio's empty. Journals that talk about playing Dota or league of legends, art? none. They seem to never get it, always asking 'How do I get a job?! It’s really tough out there for students!' Some even come back to tell me they feel guilty for pissing their lives away and are fucking up and need to get back on track!

    I applaud their persistence yet the advice remains the same. It didn’t change from last time you asked!

    Stop playing games, hanging out with your friends, and make your folio. You’re a student, now is the absolute best time to be working on it - trust me, you do not want to be an old bastard like me trying to build your folio when you have more serious things to worry about, it gets infinitely harder to do. I have no question there are a tonne of artists here at polycount that would attest to that. Don’t fucking waste the opportunity you have RIGHT NOW. Your friends will be there in 6 months’ time and if they give you the flick, fuckem you’ll make more through your art! Take control of your shit! you’re the boss and you CAN do it.

    I just wish they'd truly listen to the little artist voice inside that pushed them to reach out over and over again. Its starving and dying in there, its food is not playing games, its food isn’t fucking about getting drunk, watching days of your life go past without doing anything, it needs hairy balls and cocks drawn on paper to survive.

    'I can’t do it, it’s hard, I don’t know where to start '

    Yes!!! It’s fucking hard!!! I’ve been through it, I’ve been through my own set of problems, I climbed my own mountains, without telling you my life story, have the foresight to understand that even though you are a student and I have 10 years of experience doing this job, we are the same!!! We are cut from the same fucking stone you and me. I'm trying to help you, I'm telling you what I did to 'get there' and you won't listen to the words. You won’t! You refuse to help yourself, even though you’re asking for help!! TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SHIT!!

    I have reached this point with dozens of students, and it’s taught me a few things. Firstly, no matter what I say, or how often I say it - the words can only be received, whether they are digested, fathomed or understood is up to the recipient. Secondly, what they do after talking with me about the problem isn't up to me. From that moment onwards it’s all up to them.

    They are alone again.

    They need to figure out for themselves how to move past the point of sitting there doing nothing now, to sitting there and doing something, and NOT going to play a game or watch a movie, but to go and start making art.

    And it’s within that tiny little statement where *everyone* is remarkably unique.
    What makes YOU go, 'okay I am now going to pick up my pencil and start drawing hairy balls on paper' is completely unknown to anyone else but you.

    You won't find the answer to that riddle no matter how many questions you ask on what forums, how many awesome reference pics you find, or how many epic artists you befriend, or how many threads you create. No one has that answer. And there is no substitute for putting in the time. Remember that.

    Knowing that the ultimate point of this dance of questions comes down to something that is unique to every person, knowing that before the student even asks the first question - already knowing that I really can’t help them with that magic bullet that switches them on and turns them into art machines, what do I say?

    I look at the people I've respected in my life, and recalled how they treated me, and what makes them special - why did I listen to them? What habits do I have from when I was a child, how come I kept them? I find out what it was. For me, it was people who were honest, and straightforward if that mean hurting my feelings, punishing me for making mistakes, making me cry - then so be it.

    I don't remember people who treated me nicely, told me my work was great, coddled me and told me everything’s ok (except my mom! of course). I remember the people that took me to heightened peaks of emotional state - and encouraged me to fly on my own. People that gave me bloody knees, got my hands dirty, encouraged me to take a plunge into the unknown and abandon my fears. Those people made me a much stronger person. And that kind of person, is who I would like to be for others if they need it – because that’s all I know, that’s what worked for me and I try to share that.

    My huge fucking posts in a lot of these motivational threads is my way of trying to tell you, listen, I do give a fuck. But be that person that goes away and figures it out, not only will that process equip you with +5 armor versus life It will make you a better artist, and It will make you a better person.
  • bounchfx
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    bounchfx veteran polycounter
    "Stop playing games, hanging out with your friends, and make your folio. You’re a student, now is the absolute best time to be working on it - trust me, you do not want to be an old bastard like me trying to build your folio when you have more serious things to worry about, it gets infinitely harder to do. I have no question there are a tonne of artists here at polycount that would attest to that. Don’t fucking waste the opportunity you have RIGHT NOW. Your friends will be there in 6 months’ time and if they give you the flick, fuckem you’ll make more through your art! Take control of your shit! you’re the boss and you CAN do it."

    YUSSS.

    fuckin' hell. Don't squander any time you have. There's nothing worse than looking back at your school time and wishing you played a little less WoW and drew more than once every two weeks.
  • Polygoblin
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    Polygoblin polycounter
    Gav wrote: »
    TL;DR

    Lol

    Really superb post, Hazardous. This is me high-fiveing you through the internet.
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