Hey sterling, I'm an illustration student at Pratt graduating this fall. I'm terrified to be in the real world as I'm in the middle of a rut. I am not happy with my voice as an artist but I don't know how to get to where I want to be. I am constantly trying new things but I keep getting discouraged. I can see what I want in my head but when it comes out its different. I feel tight, like I'm so worried about the outcome that I can't enjoy the process. Is this normal? How do I pull out of this?
Evan, sorry for the delayed response. Finding personal voice is the single hardest thing that you will have to do as an artist. God knows that I have searched, discovered, abandoned, only to search again. The discover of something unique is always the answer to a question that you are pursuing. Think of it as a hypothesis. It is a thing that lives beyond your current skill set, your knowledge base and your abilities. If you knew what you were trying to accomplish, there would be little need for the labor in the pursuit of the thing. Leaving those things that you know behind means a departure from the academic understanding of what is quality and what isn’t. There is no set path and yours will be different than mine. Remember that each obstacle that you face is the end of the journey for most people and is seen as an opportunity to solve a problem by those with the confidence and belief that there lies a space where they alone will own on the other side.
I’m developing an online course that covers this very concept and will include exercises, mechanisms of accountability, a community component and other additional elements. You can stay posted through my blog: www.blog.sterlinghundley.com
All the best in the pursuit of your endeavors. No one gets to fire you when you are an artist. You either pursue it or you quit. Stay with it.
some great advice, which made me think of another question to pose for myself — what do you do when you feel compelled to only make boring/bland art? i have this conundrum of wanting to do better and more conceptual ideas yet can’t muster up enough interest, mental fortitude ( or possibly energy ) to do so. i don’t think i can put into words how much of a mindfuck that feeling is.
i feel like a terrible artist in this regard, but this might be because i’m stuck on the academic definition of art. i also might feel this way because i literally have zero self esteem.
but when i think about all the discouragement and the distinct lack of fulfillment, i’m somewhat grateful for it, being that these are the things that pushed me to start drawing again in the first place.
after i finished this i realized that i need to get more ambitious and start incorporating more environments!
i found http://man-arenas.tumblr.com/ ( fucking amazeballz ) and i’ve been seeing Zao Dao reblogs a lot, both of which are incredibly inspiring…
does anybody know who zao dao is?!!?!! i can’t find any info on this guy.
watch your back
my first dabble in animaton-y stuff. it’s pretty terrible, but i would like to do more, particularly with my own characters!