Art school? And other questions..
(Re-posted by request for reblogging purposes.)
Answering CondescendingAsshole , who asks..
Hi, heh, I’m a big fan of your work, and I just wanted to ask a couple questions if you don’t mind me asking them at all just because of my artistic curiosities: 1. Does going to art school generally help your chances as a fundamental artist and what are the best courses to look at? 2. How does one really go about practicing their art work in order to improve on it? 3. Could you possibly do more tutorials and things on here? i really appreciate them and I learn a lot from them! Thanks!
Schooling tends to be a hot button issue, from what I’ve seen. There are folks who will insist that it’s absolutely necessary to get proper schooling in art in order to succeed, and others who feel the whole process is a crock and an extravagant waste of money.
Me personally? I believe it’s entirely up to the individual. When you’re presented with the idea of attending college for art, I’d like to think you have a rudimentary idea of what you’d prefer to do with your work. Even if it’s vague. Do you want to do commercial work? Be on display in public galleries? Start your own series? Jump into the game industry? Film and animation?
The next question is ‘Can I find a school that caters to what I want?’ You can do as much research or as little as you want with this. Searching out schools known for being particularly good at certain subjects, visiting campus’, talking to students and teachers. The better the fit, the better experience I’m sure you’ll have in school. If you go to a school that has a ton of teachers dedicated to traditional art and painting, but you’re looking to get into say, sculpture, you might not be as happy. Now don’t get me wrong, of course, art is a very broad subject and you can most likely benefit from every last facet of it. At least that’s what I believe. Even if you just want to do commercial digital art, you can learn a MASSIVE amount from doing traditional painting. I went to college for animation before switching my major, but I don’t at all regret the time I spent studying it. It can only broaden your horizons.
Well that was a mouthful. But on to the second part of this question. What are the best courses to look at. I can’t possibly answer that one, unfortunately. Courses vary wildly from school to school. Some offer things as niche as Character Design or Environments for Games, some don’t. If you’re asking what some of the most important things to learn are, well. I’ll give you the same answer I’ve given countless times before, and it’s by far the least popular, most boring answer ever. The basics! Your foundation classes! ANYTHING dealing in lighting, shape, perspective, proportion and dear lord color theory. Do yourself a favor and don’t be the person who slacks off on all this stuff because it doesn’t ‘fit your style’ or you want to get straight to all the exciting dynamic crazy stuff. This is the worst move you could make in your early artistic career.
You get those basics down, and completely rock their socks off? When you do finally move on to all the ‘good stuff’, you’re going to stand several heads and shoulders above your peers that neglected these subjects.
How does one really go about practicing their art work in order to improve on it?
Phew.. this is another big one. There are.. thousands of ways to practice your art. And again.. it’s really quite strongly based on what sort of art you’re looking to do but agghhh who cares about all that nitpicky stuff. Here’s a couple thousand ideas.
Draw every day. I mean that. Every single day. Even if it’s just a doodle. Observe people. Draw memorable outfits or faces. Use the countless reference materials you can find online. Draw series of expressions, outfits, or monsters based on a theme. Monsters can really help you loosen up, because you don’t have to follow a lot of the guidelines that come to making an appealing human body. Speaking of, draw tons of human bodies. Learn anatomy, and learn it up, down, left and right. And then left again. Go to classes for Figure Anatomy. Don’t try and draw the model EXACTLY as he looks. Look at the shapes, the proportions, the overall gist. Draw THAT first. Sometimes your teacher isn’t looking for a picture perfect representation of the model. Exaggerate your work.
Draw outside of your comfort zone for a day. Can’t draw horses? DRAW NOTHING BUT HORSES FOR A WEEK. You will end up better. Maybe infinitesimally better, but still better than where you were a week ago. And that feels good.
Try drawing other peoples work. Sometimes one of the best ways to find your own style is to see how you handle unfamiliar territory. That way you can more readily spot what makes your work ‘yours’, compared to the source material. Style is a nebulous word. Don’t take it too seriously. Do warm-ups before jumping into any major work. Drawing big pieces of art can be like a major workout, and you don’t want to strain a brain muscle. Don’t spend more time looking at other peoples work than making your own. If you DO, don’t spend that putting yourself down with petty comparisons. The world already has THAT artist doing THAT thing, it needs more of YOU doing YOUR thing. Finish your work. Even if what you’re currently working on is just sucking the life of you, try your best to ‘complete’ it. Sometimes you can push through a rough patch and really come out on top. That being said, don’t be afraid to erase and start from scratch. Even if you reeeeally liked how you drew that one nose. Sometimes a fresh start makes all the difference in the world.
Read books on the subject of choice. Draw from life. Cleanse your palette when you’re studying/practicing. Don’t try jumping from one thing to the next immediately, you’ll burn out faster that way. Take a small break, do something else, turn an idea on its head for fun just for the sake of musing on it. Come back when you feel refreshed. Sloooow down. Take your time. Revisions are a GOOD thing, they are not personal failings.
TAKE CRITICISM GRACEFULLY. You could always stand to improve something. You can be proud of a piece of art but still realize there are mistakes that you will work hard to avoid next time. And while we’re on the subject, realize that brutal criticism does not equal good criticism. Constructive criticism equals good criticism. Sometimes constructive criticism CAN be brutal, but anyone that tells you the only way to improve is getting someone to rip your work to shreds for the sheer sake of being brutal? They’re talking out their ass. Don’t coddle yourself by only asking your friends for their input, but familiarize yourself with the difference between advice that helps you learn something, and advice that tells you nothing other than ‘it’s wrong’.
Whew.. um. Well I hope that helps!
Could you possibly do more tutorials and things on here? i really appreciate them and I learn a lot from them! Thanks!
I most certainly will! But I’m not always sure what folks are interested in. I encourage anyone who wants to know about something specific to just send an Ask my way. I’ll help to the best of my ability. :] (When I get the time. Making an MMO can be pretty heavy duty work!)