InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resources

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InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resources

Postby volen » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:12 am

Hey guys :)

About a year and a half ago I decided that I was going to learn to paint. I was 25 at that time. Until I was 22 I had pretty much 0 interest in art, I had never looked at, cared for or done it. I used to read a lot... that was what I considered to be the ultimate medium and hated film and didn't see a point to art. It was just pictures of things.

And of course, as should be expected, a few years later I'd decided that all I want to do is to learn to do the thing that I can't do. I had no previous experience, I had no one to show me, I knew nothing about the industry or anything related to the art world, I just wanted to learn to draw and I sucked at it. It was definitely the worst thing I could have chosen to do. I didn't even know the words for the things I didn't know and I had no concept of how anything is achieved. 0 technical skill, 0 talent, 0 ideas about how to do this thing. My only knowledge was just popular beliefs about talent and what people who are artists supposedly do - they have a feeling, sit down and make a beautiful picture... well, balls to that.

Anyway, last year I committed myself to learning, to just doing this regardless of whether I could or couldn't, regardless of talent,career, money ,etc. to take the leap and just get this done. I also decided I wanted to make a roadmap for others, so that people who are wondering the same things I did, would have a concrete example of how it's done... if I manage to do it that is. I spent loads of time going through people's sketchbooks and trolling deviantart profiles to see the development of artists and how they progressed, what they struggled with and if I can do what they did or if there is something magical about some people and they can do certain things and others simply can't.

Anyway, to keep this short, I've been keeping a blog and have recently started making some videos, I hope my terrible beginning and subsequent improvement will serve to inspire you as you struggle to develop your art. In the blog I write mostly about mindsets and principles I've found useful, less about technical aspects. I find those to be far more easy to come by than ways of applying yourself to a task and sticking with it regardless of all the difficulties of life that will constantly happen while you're trying to maintain your focus and determination.

So, to not keep rambling on about things - here's one of my first posts with more of my story, if you're interested:
http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/my-s ... lf-taught/

Here are also a few posts with principles that I consider important:
http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/patience/
http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/your-disadvantages-are-your-greatest-assets/
http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/key-behind-progress-learning/

And a video going through my first works so you can get a better idea of how I started and what skill I had to work with...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyZ-1EUNYCA

This is a link to the blog so you can browse all the posts:
http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/

This is a link to the channel on YT:
https://www.youtube.com/user/InPursuitOfArt1

I hope you guys find these useful and inspirational and I also hope that whoever is wondering about their own ability and not putting in 100% because of fear, I hope this serves to get you off your butt and put you to work because I haven't seen a single thing posted online that is as bad as when I started out.

And just to illustrate my point, this was drawn when I was 23 and was my best work to date. First time I ever tried value I think.
being self-taught.jpg
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby Zakknart » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:28 pm

Good job in your journey and your blog. I really liked it.
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:00 am

Thanks very much, I'll keep the page updated as I post more stuff on the blog or make more vids. I'll also open up a sketchbook at some point.

At the moment I post daily on the FB page, if anyone is struggling with maintaining a consistent, daily effort and needs some accountability - post what your goals are publicly on the page and I'll hold you to that. Let's do this thing together :)
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby Lambs » Thu May 01, 2014 12:23 am

I'm on the same track as you. I got serious about art in my mid-20s, later than I would have liked, and now I'm doing my best to learn on my own. I can already tell this community is going to be a huge help. Your blog is one of many reasons. Thanks for posting!
Sheepy book of arts (sheep and sheep accessories not included)
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Sun May 04, 2014 1:26 am

Thanks very much for the comment, I really appreciate it, it makes it worth doing all this stuff that you normally just post in the dark hole of the internet and 9 times out of 10 you have no idea what effect it has, so thanks very much for that and good luck with the studying, I can see from your SB that you're already doing pretty good :)

New video guys, it'll be a whole series, I can't just talk for 10 minutes, I need to take my time... :) I want to do an overview of my first year of studying, I've decided to split it into about 5 vids, this one is a look at of some of the biggest problems I've struggled with, switching from theory to practice and how process is developed. Enjoy :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1cS6OkS6Xs
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby sha » Tue May 06, 2014 7:12 am

Wow thank you for sharing, this is really inspiring. I'm 23 now and always think I'm left faaar behind by others.

Do you have tips to overcome boredoom? I easily get bored and have bad concentration. But when I try to keep drawing that time, I get stressed. When I stop that time, I know I'm left even far behind, then I felt guilt. Not only my progress being slower, I rarely can finish a work.
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Thu May 08, 2014 1:43 pm

Hey Sha, thanks for the kind words :)

There's no easy way around that. I don't think you have a problem with boredom, it's more of a self-management capacity that everyone struggles with. To me it's easily one of the most important skills there are, but it's also something that no one has complete mastery over and is elusive for any human being at any time of life. I struggle with this daily, as does everyone else.
You can call it discipline, but it's not just that. It's knowing your motivations, knowing yourself, reminding yourself daily why you're doing what you're doing, remaining focused and then being disciplined to get the work done that needs doing.
Mark Twain said that we're not smart enough to remember all we know at any one time. That's absolutely true. If it wasn't, then you'd never have trouble with boredom, you'd always remember why you're doing what you're doing. Whether to change your own life, to help your family financially after a few years, to express something that you feel like no one else is addressing, or just to pursue an interest that you feel will make you happy - you've known the reason why you've started, it was crystal clear at some point. But daily stresses and mundaneness put a film of dust over everything, until you can't quite remember why it's important to do what you set out to do.

Number 1 and king of all reasons to do anything is always just the simplest - "why". Why are you doing what you're doing? What are you hoping to achieve? Why is this something that you're pursuing. If you can answer that, you can overcome any feeling of boredom. Why is the reason to get up in the morning, why is the reason to sit down to draw.

Number 2 would be to develop a schedule. We are hugely driven by habits. It would be virtually impossible for us to accomplish anything if we didn't have a huge repertoire of automated behaviours. Probably around 95% of the things you do in a day are automatic, your thoughts are not necessary, you don't need to focus you just feel compelled to do something and you're doing it without thinking about it or while thinking about something completely different. When you brush your teeth you never think about what you're doing, you're not calculating rotating motions to guide your brush through, you might not even notice you're brushing your teeth. Habits are what drive you to compulsions. When you sit down to draw and get bored, chances are there's something else in your mind that you're driven to do that becomes intensely frustrating after some time. I check emails and websites 500 times an hour if I don't unplug myself. It's not good enough to just try to control it by sheer force of will, you need to figure out a way to physically prevent yourself from doing what you normally do. Otherwise it's a battle of attrition, you will run out of willpower.

The converse side of this is to develop good habits. Begin repeating things that you'd like your brain to repeat for you. Have a routine of daily practice. Figure out what you'd like to improve, have a plan of things you'd like to study, then at a certain point each day sit down and start working on those things. I always find it very easy to get my work done on a work day, I know I have limited time and I have a set routine each morning - wake up, cook, draw, go to work. On a day when I'm not working I always screw up because I have too much time and options and I inevitably get drawn in to doing other things. Develop a realistic schedule. Have something like 10 figure drawings, 5 color studies, concrete things you can do. Not "work for 6 hours now" If you don't know what you're doing you'll get lost, then you'll get frustrated and bored.

I think I'll stop myself now before you have to scroll down the page to look through this whole thing. Basically - why are you doing what you're doing, separate yourself from compulsive behaviours that distract you from your work, develop a routine, practice at a consistent time and have concrete work you know needs to get done. Might be hard for a few days, but we automate behaviours very, very quickly. Before you know it you won't be thinking about what you're doing, you'll just be doing it.

Some more stuff I'd written on the topic before - http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/4-ti ... ay-course/

Good luck :)
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Mon May 12, 2014 12:13 pm

How long would you give a baby to learn how to walk?

Answer: As long as it takes.

Jim Rohn

New blog post everybody :) Some motivation for you guys. Short preview below. Let's get to work! :)

http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/fail ... nning-end/

Failure is the beginning, not the end

I remember when I first started learning to draw. I’ve talked about it before in posts and videos. I’ve thought of it before too. And each time I think about it I find something new that I hadn’t seen before. At the time when this was happening my utter failures were utter defeats. Each scribbled, ugly drawing was a sign of hopelessness with no chance of success, it was evidence of my futile, wasted efforts. Improvement did not come no matter how hard I tried or wished for it. My level of frustration could not be put into words. It was a daily excruciating experience.

Let me put this into perspective for you so you don’t think that I’ve gone completely nuts here. Learning is supposed to be fun, right? Or at least it could be fun. If someone shows you a road, gives you a process that you can follow and reveals to you the transformation you will undergo if you do what you’re told then – yep, that sounds like a fun ride, that’s exciting and awesome. But if you are unaware of the fact that there is a process, that a road exists and that a transformation is even possible – then that feeling is like living in a prison. It’s being condemned to your genetics, talents, previous experience, environment, childhood, upbringing, whatever you can think of – all of those become things to blame your failures on and you get locked in further in your cell, because those things become excuses and you no longer see yourself as responsible for what happens to you. You were set up to fail. The deck was always stacked against you.
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Sat May 17, 2014 12:03 pm

Second video in the series - After starting out with value, I begin trying to figure color out, then move back into value to solve more complex problems. Going through the period of March till May.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP7capNmvSk
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Fri May 23, 2014 1:29 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcM8baptN80

Next video in the series - trying to find a pattern for improvement and identifying stages of development. In other words - how you get better with practice and how to juggle multiple things and fit them together. You'll also get to see my head say things.
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:23 pm

A blog post for a change. Some motivation for you guys. Post is called Stop Giving Up. Short excerpt below :)
http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/stop-giving/

In Greek mythology, a hero was often offered an easy life, abundance and everything that they could want at the expense of glory and the possibility of triumph… They refused. They chose to go through tests, they chose to fight for everything they got. They chose to build legends instead of being handed shortcuts, resources and opportunities they did not earn. Their lives were often not glamorous, one of Hercules’ tasks was to clean the Augean stables. To shovel horse dung. He had 12 impossible tasks… Not 1… 12! And the key to his immortality and why his name remains to this day, is because he accomplished all 12. He did not convince himself that it’s too much work, he did not sit down to think about it, he didn’t plan to start tomorrow, the man fought lions and shoveled horse dung, that was what was necessary and that is what he did.
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:27 am

New vid :) In this one I talk about rewiring your brain, skill building, developing confidence, using art as a vehicle for self-development, some realities of studying while working - how it affects your finances & life and some more of my story.

Hope this helps :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmFoI4NgrLk
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby Palladium » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:35 pm

Hey Volen, just wanted to say thanks for posting these videos. :D
Draw draw draw

Draw draw draw

Eric needs to DRAW DRAW DRAW

-DO NOT CLICK THIS

- DA
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:27 am

Hey everybody :) It's been a loooong while... I sort of disappeared from forums for some time, trying to invest as much time as possible in work. If you want an update as to what I've been doing, how difficult things make you better and also my concept of 1000 steps to get to where you want to go - you can have a look at this vid here:
http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/upda ... teps-goal/

If you want an update on what I'm doing now, as well as some exercise images for perspective / shadow construction practice and more things to come, you can have a look at this post. I'm doing a 13 day challenge to go through all of Scott Robertson's new book How to Render. I'm posting about the major lessons I've gotten from the book and also sharing images for you guys to practice with.

http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/less ... challenge/

Thanks for checking out my thread :)
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:16 am

Did a huge update to the sketchbook, almost everything from 2014, 2013 & earlier is there. At least 6-700 images total, showing my progress since the beginning, I have to upload some sketchbook sketches as well just because they're completely disastrous and would hopefully serve to inspire even the most hard case learner out there, progress is absolutely possible. I hope the sketchbook would serve as evidence for that.

Hope this helps :)

http://www.inpursuitofart.com/sketchbook/
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:53 am

Hello! :)

New video & Blog post -Should You Use the Color Picker to Copy Color in Your Art Studies.
http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/use-color-picker-improve-studies/

This video explores the question that all beginner digital artists seem to ask at a certain point... including myself of course - should I use the color picker to copy color? It's a question that's interesting because it's not at all a rational question. What benefit would the copying bring you?


Next video will be about doing color studies and why beginners often get poor results - not understanding the different stages inherent in a color study, they'll compress multiple processes into 1, because demos of pros show everything done simultaneously.

Hope this helps :)
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:27 pm

A tutorial on doing color studies, I find that people seem to struggle with these a lot, because they underestimate what goes in them... hope this helps :)

http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/color-studies/
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Re: InPursuitOfArt - Becoming a Self-Taught Artist - resourc

Postby volen » Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:46 pm

http://www.inpursuitofart.com/blog/how- ... ing-study/

Hey everybody :) Just recorded a new video showing the process of preparation BEFORE beginning to paint a study. I also go over some things that I've never, ever seen in art tutorials, that I think might be confusing a lot of people and giving a false idea of how artists actually work. I hope this helps :)
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