Sometimes making art feels like a long series of frustrating failures. The truth is that every artist feels this way some of the time. Your mindset can be a huge roadblock to artistic progress if you let it. Hopefully this video will give you a little perspective, and help remind you of the big picture.
Being inspired by art you see on the internet is both good and bad. It's bad when you copy the style, and not the substance. This video discusses the danger of digital painting fads like 'speed-painting' and 'painting silhouettes'. In this video I break from tradition and use some examples of other artits' work: David Levy and Mike Yamada. To see more of their paintings, make sure to check out both vyle-art.com and myamada.com.
Do you keep an "inspiration" folder? You should! This video explains the benefits of keeping a folder of inspirational paintings, and organizing them with Adobe Bridge. There are a variety of programs that offer similar tagging and organizing, but Adobe Bridge integrates well with other Adobe software, so I like it a lot.
Do you ever feel like you're treading water? You're stgnating, while the rest of the art community is progressing at lightning speed? You're not alone.This video is a little detour from the standard ctrl+paint technique videos to talk about inspiration, mindset, and 'getting better'. Ultimately, we're all experiencing this in one form or another, so it's worth talking about. Remember: even professionals feel sub-par a fair amount of the time. Art is mind game. UPDATE: It's been really, really great hearing these responses. Art is one of those challenges that we all take on personally - and can feel isolated by the effort. Knowing that everyone else is wrestling with similar issues can be a big help.
So keep the conversation going -- It's an important one to be a part of. Additionally, reader "Jonathan" reminded me of a fantastic series of videos by the radio host Ira Glass on storytelling and inspiration. He's the host of This American Life, and has a lot of experience fighting through the self doubt and frustration involved in creative work. It's definitely worth watching.
Visit any large book store and the 'art technique' shelf will be filled with titles like "How to Draw ___ (dragons, zombies, vampires, cars, etc.)" -- this is deception. Instead of useful instruction, this is merely a scheme to sell books. Want to learn the real secret of how to draw anything? Observe, and practice. This video shows a versatile approach to learning any kind of new subject-matter. As you progress in your art career you'll find that drawing isn't a set of individual recipes, it's a single way of working. When I set out to draw a dragon I use the same techniques that I would use to draw a fire hydrant. Hopefully this video will empower you to tackle the subject matter your're having trouble with - and to ignore the "1,2,dragon" shelf at the book store.