Struggling with my insomnia, I wanted to post some things. Perhaps they will be of some value to beginning artists, at the very least I hope this will be an interesting read.
I've been an artist all my life. I started sellign my work commercially while in the 7th grade. I'm now 38. I have always worked as an artist...sometimes as a "purist" (as during my time as an apprentice and then porcelain sculptor), and sometime as an art whore (as art director for a couple of ad agencies)...whatever it took to keep the outlet open for my creativity. In the course of devoting one's life to a creative pursuit, you have to make sacrifices, right? I know many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. It keeps getting better and hopefully so does my work. I have worked with digital media as a profession since 1983, but continue to work with several forms of more traditional media. I am completely self taught in both forms, except for my time at the aformentioned sculpture studio.
Throughout the course of my work on computers I have developed a philosophy I use as a catalyst for my work: Design beyond media. At its core, this means creating outside the boundaries of any particular medium of delivery; That one should be as comfortable working in one form as another, utilizing whatever tool the idea necessitates. The idea should control the tool, not the other way around.
It became apparent to me at some point that creativity crossed the boundaries of whatever tool/media I used; That elements of many different forms of expression combine during the course of a work. This is particularly true with digital art, whether it is CG, 3D, 2d, etc. No matter how advanced the technology or the tool, a foundation of solid design fundamentals is essential! This realization led to the philosophy of designing beyond media as not only a paradigm for my career, but a focus for my traditional work as well.
Consequently, this seemingly apparent fact is perhaps the most common error I see among digital artists; Software knowledge does not an artist make. (This certainly is not the case with the majority of the fantastic artists who frequent this site, which is why I keep coming back here. I am amazed that such expression can be found in one place online. CGTalk is truly the Louvre of the web, the Online Guggenheim, if you will.) I refer mainly to the vast majority of those who own software that draws, paints, etc. 3D modeling/rendering seems to be one medium that this does not apply to. I suppose that it stems from the learning curves, devotion one must have, etc., to work well in 3D. I am a relative newcomer to 3D, having only worked in it for two years. I have much to learn. But I am learning much, thanks to this site. Whenever I start feeling like I am exceptional, I come here and it brings me back to reality. SO MUCH TALENT HERE! It is inspiring.
In closing, I will add one little phrase that keeps my head in the right place when I hit a roadblock:
Where science and technology fail, ART survives.
Thank you for taking time to read this. I hope you feel it was not wasted.