Trying to get back into the habit of using my sketchbooks. Practice… I needs it.
I like this toned paper, but I think I’ll stick with the cheap Blick books after this. They’re easier to sketch in.
All my life I’ve been extremely negative and mean, so I want to change that!!
I completely understand why a lot of us feel that we’re not good enough artists. Especially in animation, it’s a competitive field. And we’re constantly pressured to go to an art school, get a degree, get an internship, and work in an industry before we turn 30 and we’re “old”.
The anxiety and stress is unhealthy and just lowers our self-esteem dramatically. I personally blame the internet.
- It’s never too late! Who cares if you’re 15 or 40. Don’t feel inadequate if someone younger has accomplished more or if someone is more admired than you.
- It’s okay to dream to work in certain studios, but your other big goal is to be the best artist you can be. I know that sounds cliche but it’s a good way to feel proud of yourself. That is still my biggest ambition and the amount of friends and contacts I’ve made over the past couple of years is a tremendous bonus.
- Be nice to yourself!! I’m a self-critique but it’s okay to feel proud of your work. Accept every compliment you receive and be grateful. I’m a bit nervous towards any form of adulation but I’m thanking everyone regardless.
- Sometimes it’s okay to whine. I used to be against that but that just bottles up your emotions until it explodes and you’re depressed for 3-4 whole months. Write it out in a journal or talk to someone. Then cheer yourself up because you deserve to be happy.
Yeesh I’m sorry for the all the blabbering. I hope this helps everyone. This is also for me too so I don’t always feel crummy. It stinks but we can pull through it!
Let’s get confident!!
This is excellent advice. Feeling like I’m a hack is something I’m currently fighting with and I know I could use all the encouragement and aid I can get.
I would like to add a tip if I may… Do not let other artists pull you down. Many folks who feel insecure about their abilities decide to combat those feelings in a toxic way, by attempting to make others feel worse. Catty comments, shaming, backhanded compliments, twisting your words, posts, and accomplishments to focus only on them. If you’ve a “friend” using these tactics on you, please try to distance yourself from them. I know, it hurts - both their actions and your attempts to gain some breathing space. But the sooner you recognize their behavior for what it is and get clear of it, the better off you’ll be. You deserve better.
Spider-woman and Sexual Portrayals of Women
So many opinions on the interwebs these days! You guys know I tend to stay out of this stuff, but I actually have something valuable to say…or so I feel.
If you want to know my opinion on Milo Manara’s Spider-woman cover, I’m going to have to disappoint you and say I feel super divided on it. I love Milo Manara!! It’s a variant cover…so it’s sort of an erotica variant! Of course, I’d also like to see Katie Cook do her own version…that’d make Marvel’s choice seem a little less like a systematic problem. And yes, it’s all a different story with context, but without context, it is a bit jarring and I don’t negate that because the Internet really changes our experience these days. And the image itself does remind me a lot of images by artists I DON’T respect…I wish it looked more characteristically Manara instead of a Greg Horn illustration (sorry, Greg Horn! (Not that you care!)). Again, all that said, it’s Milo Manara and if anybody should be able to do things how he wants, it should be him.
That’s not my point. My point is, it’s not an easy thing to evaluate or explain what is okay and what’s not. Some sexy drawings of women I can get behind, some I can’t. Some of that’s context. But a lot of it is what seemed like a weird intuition that I couldn’t really pinpoint, until recently.
The word that changes everything for me is “personhood.” Does this woman seem like a person? Do they have life breathed into them? A personality? Or are they an object? Do they feel manufactured or repetitive? Would guys who like this appreciate that I am a living, breathing woman? Or would they complain I talk too much?
This is why I love Guillem March’s work despite some weird occasional gems…He exaggerates but his women are diverse and boiling over with life. You can tell he likes the ladies, but he likes them, person and all. I know not all women can get behind this dude, but I strongly believe we need him in this industry.
Compare that with this image…which appears to be a photo manip by someone named “CHOWY”…anyway, it creeps the hell out of me. Why? Because these are not presented as people; they are objects that serve a purpose. Moreover, it’s obvious I was not invited to this celebration of comics. And I like getting invitations.
This applies to stories, too. It’s an oldie, but I’ve always disliked the Tomb Raider movie. Female protagonist? Check. Strong? Oh yeah. Smart? Anthropologist smart! Human being? Bzzzzzzzt!!! Wrong. Hollow shell…HEY! Let’s watch her take a shower!
(I wish I could tie this all back to the Manara cover, but I feel like the point was that she’s Spider-woman, so she’s less human, more spider. The truth: I was just using this controversy as an excuse to get on my soapbox.)
Of course, the depressing undertone to this post is that so many guys don’t see (or don’t want to see?) women as humans. So, so weird, so sad. I tend to surround myself with guys who think I’m human and gals who think they themselves are humans, so I can pretend this problem isn’t common. But reality is a bastard.
Anyway. Personhood. I have a name for it and it has given a reason to my rhyme. Maybe it’s your reason, too?
Next thing I know, we were at his lair / He had a high-tech record player / We listened to Modern Lovers that night / I’m dating Batman and it feels right / Then things started to get weird / Middle of the night, he would disappear / He’d come home smelling like bad guys / And that would make me really mad
Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.
Depression is humiliating.
If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life.
It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too.
Depression is humiliating.
No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.
- Quinn: [trying to get others to help pay for her cosmetic plastic surgery] "So you see, when you contribute to my surgery, it's like we're all sharing the surgery. We're making a statement about solidarity!"
- Andrea: "Solidarity?"
- Quinn: "You know, sisterhood is powerful!"
- Andrea: "Aren't you a little worried that there may be a hell?"
Q:Did you go to college for art? I'm thinking of attending art college after high school and wonder if you have any advice.
No, I’m afraid I didn’t. Technically my associate degree is in art, but I spent as much time focusing on writing and the social sciences as I did on the visual arts so… I doubt that counts for much. Even with the scholarships I was offered, the art colleges I applied to were too expensive for me to afford. So, I finished my college life at a big public university and focused on English / Library Science instead.
The only advice I can really offer is this… once you’ve narrowed your choices down, try to actually visit those campuses. Take the tour, talk to the representatives, and check out the facilities. And, once the official tour is done, wander around the campus without the guide if possible. Try to talk with any students you meet. Poke your head into a few labs and classrooms if you can. A college may claim they have state of the art equipment in their brochures, but if it turns out that the majority of that equipment is damaged and has never been replaced… that’s not a good sign. Also, get a feel for the city the college is located at. Does it feel safe? Can you easily get to a grocery store or numerous restaurants by foot? Are there any activities and clubs available for students?
The guide’s job is to talk the college up to you. They’re going to do everything they can to make life there sound great because they want you to enroll. Getting out on your own after the official tour lets you build a more personal and less biased view of the campus.
One of the art college I was interested in was a nice, safe campus… as long as you didn’t leave the campus. Turns out the neighborhood surrounding the college had a reputation as a heavy violent crime area. It looked like a war zone, and this is coming from someone who’s lived in some rough neighborhoods. Not good.
I’m afraid I can’t offer anything else other than that. If you don’t want to go with your folks - I remember finding that embarrassing the few times I did - maybe see if a friend or two would like to go with you. It tends to be a lot more fun that way. Good luck!