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December 20, 2012
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  • Mood: Content
  • Playing: Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
  • Eating: A cereal bar
Whenever I look at other artists' work, I can't help but compare myself to them. It seems to be a habit for me, but instead of getting me down or depressed, it actually motivates me to work on weak areas in my art.

You see, I've realized something recently. Every artist has certain 'strong points' in their art, things that they are just the best at. For example, :iconheffydoodle: draws the best cartoon animals I've ever seen, :iconnargyle: always puts amazing poses and action into her drawings and has an excellent sense of color theory, and :iconthemrock:'s line art is so detailed and expressive, not to mention his art has that cartoon wackiness that makes them irresistible. When we see that we need to improve on something that others have already mastered, it's not bad to study those artists' art. Also, if you want to learn how to draw animals better, or put more action in your art, find out how other artists have learned to do so.

It's kinda funny, this process. It proves that artists adsorb knowledge from each other, so we should never see one artist superior to the other. We're all trying to achieve the same goals of self-improvement, so let's be willing to share our knowledge with others, through constructive criticism, tips, and general support.

But remember, every artist is unique, and each one has their own talents and weaknesses. Our challenge is to overcome our own weaknesses as best we can, and we can do so with the help of other fellow artists. I guess we're kinda like a big family in this sense. :)

This was something I wanted to express, so please bear with me.

What do you guys think about what I've discussed?
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:iconcrazycrumbcake:
CrazyCrumbCake Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I completely agree with on this, I have the same habit of doing that; comparing myself to others, with helps me improve in my artwork.
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:iconspongefox:
spongefox Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I do the exact same thing as well.Though it does make me feel down from time to time.
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:iconheffydoodle:
HeffyDoodle Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012  Student Filmographer
Well said, David! :) Being in an online art community is probably the best thing for any artist young or old, it opens you up to so much knowledge and inspiration. Such a variety of talent around to learn from. That is the fun part about artists, everyone has their strengths and nobody has the exact same tastes or way of doing things. Ahh, variety. :D

And thanks for that little blurb about me, haha :heart: If you ever want advice on animals I'd be more than happy to help however I can!
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:iconsynduo:
SynDuo Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012   General Artist
I try not to compare myself to others, I did for good long while, (Themrock, Heffy, You,and Sandra) and felt really crappy for awhile since you guys have some serious talent, half of you are younger than me =p

I normally don't talk to too many artists but it was always a insecurity i had, then I just shut myself out of that way of thinking and started to be happier... even though I'm just as lonely in my artistic development. :)

But yeah I agree, that is the challenge we must all face, to just have some fun dammit =p
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:iconatrox-c:
Atrox-C Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
I agree, mostly.

Doing comparisons can sometimes show me where my own flaws are. I used to hate doing that, since I'd end up berating my own techniques instead of delving deeper into what could be improved on; almost like deleting an entire sentence because one word is misspelled instead of fixing the one word. I'm better at it now since I feel I've hit a style I'm (mostly) satisfied with, so I can more effectively parse through another artist's style and glean what I like about it and what I could do with my own style to get that way (not just in techniques, but also seeing what they draw a lot of, like animals, buildings, people, from life, etc).

Accepting your own flaws isn't always easy, but it's how you overcome them. Rejecting or pushing them away won't resolve them, and they'll always be there until you get over them.

Now, all that said, here are a few (minor) reasons why comparing isn't always a good thing.

If there's one thing artists shouldn't be comparing, it's fame or the number of watchers/views other artists have. There are younger or less-experienced artists might use that as a reason to compare themselves to others. Sure, there are some talented artists who rightfully get the views they have, but not always. There are tons of really talented people who are virtually unknown or lack exposure, and some of the people who are popular might only be so because they draw a lot of what most people like (which may or may not be what they personally enjoy). Like you already said, artists should strive for a style they're satisfied with, and I'd like to add that they shouldn't supplant exposure/fame with satisfaction.

Another thing is that while artists should know how to accept critiques, they should also know how to "take them with a grain of salt," as the term goes. Every artist is different and has their own sets of values, as you pointed out. However, what works great for one artist may not always work out great for another. I've seen a few people say they "love critiques" only to accept everything a critic will tell them. It's not the critiques themselves are the problem, but the people accepting them. These people would be so quick to change, it would seem like they felt that others opinions were more valuable than their own. This isn't to say you should flat-out reject criticisms, just to have SOME pride in your own work and know what it is you want out of your art. If a style is the visual representation of an artist's opinion (how they see things and express themselves), then it's better to figure out how to form one yourself instead of letting others do it for you. Ultimately, what goes into your style is up to you, and if you let others make it for you, it won't be "you." It's okay to get help from others, but not to hand the reigns over to them.

That's my two cents anyway.

I'm curious now; What do you think I'm doing well artistically, and what do you think I need improvement on?
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:iconredblooper:
RedBlooper Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, you touched on a lot of important things, and you're absolutely right.

Well, putting that aside I'll answer your questions! Your animations are very expressive and appealing, and your illustrations show off a certain kind of energy that may not be apparant at first, but after a while it starts to show. I think the only thing you can improve on perhaps trying to find different ways of putting lighting into your work. That last illustration you did (not sure if it's Scott Pilgrim-related or not) is a great attempt at this. I'd like to see you try it out more often :)
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:iconatrox-c:
Atrox-C Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Oh, and thanks for the advice! :D
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:iconredblooper:
RedBlooper Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
no problem!
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:iconatrox-c:
Atrox-C Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Energy, huh? Hmm.

I could do with some lighting exercises. That picture was all done in Flash with some simple gradients, but I think Photoshop might be better for doing that sort of thing.

Oh and, that poster is actually for winning TOFA 2012, not Scott Pilgrim (though I do sorta see Gideon in there...). The winner has to draw themselves interacting with the Earth.
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:iconjfdp13:
Jfdp13 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Student General Artist
Sincerely agreeing~
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