I've collected a whole (ever)notebook of quotes pertaining to art. Here's a few rather long ones that I'd like to add. Sorry for the length!
“It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.”-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Interview with Craig Mullins)
...“To get really, really good at something you have to do that thing to the exclusion of all else. The result of this is that a commercial artist might work in one medium, one style, one subject, and do that tens of thousands of times. The best part of this is that they get scarily good at it, and it becomes almost like a parlour trick. Car designers are a great example of this. Their sketches are amazing, and that quality is the result of endless narrow repetition. Most illustrators and concept artists that I’ve seen have this pressure of facility placed on them – it’s a requirement for the job. If you think about it, it’s really the opposite of the exploration that can be so wonderful in art.”
...As the interview draws to a close, he digresses a little into how developing artists can start to build a career like his. “Focus your attention on limiting distractions,” he begins. “Artists have the curse and blessing of doing something fun for a living. It’s a blessing because it’s fun, but it’s a curse in that being fun, a whole lot of people spend a lot of time doing it, and that’s the key ingredient to doing something well.”
He concludes, “Never give up. Realise that what you like now isn’t going to be what you like in five years. Knowing this, it actually allows you to grow. The idea that you know a truth is an illusion, and you have to know it’s an illusion… or you’ll never be able to grow.”And this little gold post Johannes posted on CA.org:
Okay guys, here's somewhat of a rant on a few things that have been bugging me lately. I'll update later this day but I need to get this out of my head now so I can concentrate again.
Fist of all I need to say I don't really feel like I'm in any position to give advice, as my skills are far from where they should be, but if I can help anyone with this, it's worth the effort.
One thing that annoys me to no end is how much people seem to concentrate on the wrong things. The reason why I won't show my schedule is that it's nothing more than a piece of paper with stuff written on it. It only takes on meaning in connection with the guy who created it, which would be me. How would my schedule be of use to anyone else? It's really, REALLY important that you stop thinking in this "If I only had" and "What's his secret" mindset. It makes you dependent and weak and will prevent you from growing. THERE ARE NO SECRETS. I don't say this because I don't want to share my stuff, I say it because it's really, really important to grow a spine and learn to ANALYZE YOUR OWN WORK, look for weaknesses, and find ways to tackle them. Don't take anything for granted! If someone else gives you advice, it's a bonus, but you can NEVER depend on it.That's the most important thing my drum teacher taught me, back when I was a young, arrogant kid and sucked at drumming. He crushed my ego completely by showing me all the things I couldn't do, and, more importantly, how to FIND them. You NEED to learn this if you want to improve - look at your own stuff! To me, working completely from imagination is the best way to do this. I draw a figure, and if I had problems with the shoulders, well, then I'd better go back to studying those! And if I will ever be able to draw a flawless figure, then I know sure as hell that I will rot if I stay in my comfort zone any longer. Get the fuck out of there! Do stuff that you can't do! I feel this is essential - do never look at the things you have already achieved! It will make you fat and lazy. Strive for more, reach for the impossible. This is the only way to prevent stagnation. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Look at Jason Manley's story, check out MindCandyMan's thread - people can do anything! You just have to WANT it and WORK TOWARDS IT.
Back to the schedule, a piece of paper does NOT help you to get up early, it does not help you to stop slacking. What it does is REMIND you. The greatest danger for drive is, in fact, life. There's always so much stuff happening around you that it's terribly easy to lose sight of your goals. So write them down! This is where motivation and drive come from, at least for me - constantly asking yourself "Am I there yet? No? Well, then I'd better bust out a few more drawings, so I can look myself in the face!" You NEED to have this stuff right in your face, or it will get lost. But as soon as you are able to always think of where you want to be, you'll have the best reason to get up early, to not watch TV, to still draw when everyone else is already asleep.
I touched this above, but let me say it again for emphasis, what I feel is extremely important is becoming INDEPENDENT. This does not mean never talking to anyone else, or that you shouldn't ask for advice if you can't figure out something on your own, or if you're stuck somewhere, I do it too. But it means trying to come up with solutions to your own problems.
This applies to what I said above - if you notice you can't draw hands, then draw hands! But it also applies to questions like "Where do you get your reference?" Well, where would I get reference? Doesn't it, first of all, depend on what you want to do? If you need to study hands, then why not study your own? Get yourself a mirror and start drawing! If you're looking for specific poses, then why not think about it for a second? Are there sports that have these movements? Yes? Well, then go to google and type something like "handball galleries", or go to flickr and search for "flying kick", and you'll find more stuff than you'll ever be able to study in your whole life! It just depends on what YOU need. There's no such thing as the ultimate source, or the ultimate brush, or the ultimate sketchbook paper (Jesus, why does everyone ask DanielC what paper he uses? =D I remember asking him too a while back, he missed my face just by a few inches!) This is really really important - ANALYZE the problem, and then come up with a specific solution.
And this is exactly how your schedule should work. And if that is still not enough, then aim higher! Set more goals, like, update daily, do a character every day, reach this artist's level by that date, and so on. This requires a bit of thinking of where you REALLY want to be. Keep your eyes on the horizon!!
And a last thing that you can't stress enough - listen to Bobby Chiu's podcasts. It's the best.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJowNFmuul8