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Old 06-23-2009, 11:09 AM   #16
kennychaffin
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Kenny Chaffin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique
I'm glad you guys are getting something out of my posts. I started this Art Techniques & Theories forum precisely to help out guys like you--people who are passionate and serious about becoming better artists and need some advice and pointers from more experienced artists. I'm still on my own artistic journey and I'm still learning and growing (hell, I'm only 36--so many years more ahead of me to learn and grow), but I think I've at least learned enough to be of help to beginning and intermediate artists.


You really should put together a book Robert, you have not only an excellent grasp of technique along with the experience but an in credible understanding of the human psyche and the creative mind/drive. If you have already put this book together please, please let me know where to get it -- I'll take a dozen copies!
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennychaffin
You really should put together a book Robert, you have not only an excellent grasp of technique along with the experience but an in credible understanding of the human psyche and the creative mind/drive. If you have already put this book together please, please let me know where to get it -- I'll take a dozen copies!


Thank you for the kind words.

I'm still working on the course material for the workshop I'm going to teach, and people keep telling me I need to turn it into a book since it's so comprehensive and encompassing, dealing with not only technique and workflow, but also the struggles behind becoming a creative person and the choices made along the way. I'm not sure if a book specifically about visual art is something I want to tackle since in many ways I've moved on as a person, as my life revolves around multiple creative endeavors (music, photography, writing, directing, design, art...etc), and as I learn and grow in those various creative endeavors, I'm more and more convinced that the creative struggles behind all of them are very much alike, sharing so many similarities. Their forms are different, but the psychology behind all of them are so much alike. I participate in various creative forums, and I see the same complaints, depressions, questions, insecurities, egos, flame wars, debates...etc, regardless if it's an audio production forum, a composer's forum, a photographer's forum, a painting forum, a screenwriting forum, or a CG forum. People are always asking about how to become motivated and why they can't seem to improve, or why they aren't getting the results they seek...etc. If I were to tackle a book, it would probably be one that deals with the struggles behind the desire to grow and improve as a creative person, regardless of medium or industry, and I'll probably get into the direct correlations and similarities behind different creative endeavors and how learning one makes it much easier to learn other different creative endeavors.
 
Old 06-23-2009, 06:30 PM   #18
kennychaffin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique
Thank you for the kind words.

I'm still working on the course material for the workshop I'm going to teach, and people keep telling me I need to turn it into a book since it's so comprehensive and encompassing, dealing with not only technique and workflow, but also the struggles behind becoming a creative person and the choices made along the way. I'm not sure if a book specifically about visual art is something I want to tackle since in many ways I've moved on as a person, as my life revolves around multiple creative endeavors (music, photography, writing, directing, design, art...etc), and as I learn and grow in those various creative endeavors, I'm more and more convinced that the creative struggles behind all of them are very much alike, sharing so many similarities. Their forms are different, but the psychology behind all of them are so much alike. I participate in various creative forums, and I see the same complaints, depressions, questions, insecurities, egos, flame wars, debates...etc, regardless if it's an audio production forum, a composer's forum, a photographer's forum, a painting forum, a screenwriting forum, or a CG forum. People are always asking about how to become motivated and why they can't seem to improve, or why they aren't getting the results they seek...etc. If I were to tackle a book, it would probably be one that deals with the struggles behind the desire to grow and improve as a creative person, regardless of medium or industry, and I'll probably get into the direct correlations and similarities behind different creative endeavors and how learning one makes it much easier to learn other different creative endeavors.


Keep me/us posted about the potential workshop! I understand completely what you are saying here as I am one who's muse continues to pull me from art, to music, to poetry, to writing and I seem to cycle through them. I long ago put it off to being driven by creativity rather than any particular artform and you are absolutely right that the same psychology (I've also done a lot of psychology study both academically and personally), and forces are in play in any creative/artistic pursuit and the lessons and methods apply equally (but perhaps in different forms) to any of those creative/artistic areas.

Looking forward to your book on the subject.
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Last edited by kennychaffin : 06-23-2009 at 06:32 PM.
 
Old 06-24-2009, 06:15 PM   #19
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Karen Atkinson
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10 Steps to Getting Your Sh*t Together for Artists

I thought I would add some business type advice to this thread. I run an artist run company for artists called GYST Ink (Getting Your Sh*t Together) www.gyst-in.com
We also have a professional practices blog. www.gyst-ink.com/blog.

Here is the article.

Ten Steps to Getting Your Sh*t Together

STEP ONE: Plan Ahead

Life Goals: Know what you want to do with your life. In a Harvard Study, those who planned ahead made three times more money than those who did not. Those who wrote down their goals, made even ten times above the average. If you don’t know where you want to go, then how are you going to make decisions on how to get there? Consider writing your own obituary as a way to begin thinking about what you want to have accomplished by the end of your life. Then make plans to get there. If that freaks you out, write a roast or a speech touting your accomplishments for an awards ceremony. Envision yourself in the future and what that future looks like.

Being an artist is a lot of work, so planning ahead is important. In order to reach certain goals, there are steps you need to take to get to those goals. If you want a solo show in an important gallery, chances are there are many steps you will need to take to get there. Starting your own mailing list might be another goal that has many fewer steps, but will help you get to where you want to be.


STEP TWO: Make the Work

Make sure that you schedule time for:

Making Your Artwork: If you like structure, schedule a specific time every week where you spend time in the studio, i.e. every Wednesday evening, every Sunday afternoon, etc. Don’t put it off until tomorrow. If money is an issue, plan ahead to see what kinds of things you can get donated to your project. Learn the fine art of bartering and use it often.

If you can’t afford a separate studio from your living space, get an apartment with two bedrooms and turn one into a studio. Your not the first person to have your bed in the kitchen and your artwork in the living room. Getting the work made is the most important part of having a career. Everything else revolves around the work.


STEP THREE: Manage Your Time

Staff Meetings: Just like any other company, you should consider putting your lists into some kind of order, as well as coordinate the time it will take you to accomplish tasks. If this is not working well, consider having a staff meeting every Monday morning with yourself. If you have collaborators, meet with them as well. Put your most pressing deadlines at the head of the list and plan ahead for things you need to complete in order to meet future deadlines. Figure out what you are going to get accomplished on what day.

Use online software to keep track of multiple projects with collaborators or others.

If you find yourself with extra time (after your deadlines are completed) schedule some time to work on your To Do List, or to work on your planning tasks, such as update your mailing list, or work on a proposal description or a budget, or create file folders for papers you need to find in the future. Schedule time to call your mom.

Find time for:

• Keeping your financial books in order
• Spend a little time each week entering receipts or checks into your financial software.
• Keeping your resume up to date
• Adding contacts and updating your mailing list and press lists
• Keeping organized so you don’t miss deadlines
• Reading the Artists* At Work Newsletter (www.gyst-ink.com)
• Keeping up with relevant information
• Reading your e-mail and organizing to do items


STEP FOUR: Get Organized

Things you have to keep track of:

• Proposals (who you sent them to and when, and when you expect to hear back from them).
• Deadlines (for grants, proposals, grant reporting, press releases, gallery checklists, etc.).
• Expenses (for each artwork, exhibition, and production, bills in general).
• Mileage, in order to deduct it from your taxes if applicable.
• Income (from jobs, artwork or earned income from lectures, etc.)
• Calendar Items: Exhibitions, Lectures, Deadlines, Meetings.
• Business Papers (business license, resale license, taxes, sales tax, self-employment issues, contracts, agreements, release forms, insurance information).

There are a number of resources available online for keeping your art life in order. In addition, check out software and basic programs. Collaborative projects can be tracked by using BaseCamp or other management software, which is free for simple projects. GYST Ink has software for visual artists (many others use it) that will help you keep track of all things in your art life. Chock full of information on professional practices for artists. (www.gyst-ink.com).

If you have multiple web sites and social networks, consider using an aggregation site such at NetVibes where you can have everything in one place.

Calendars: Deadlines can be a real hassle to keep track of. Use an online calendar, or find a big one to hand on your wall, but use it! Missing deadlines only compound the problems encountered by practicing artists.

Come up with a strategy for keeping track of art and grant deadlines. Keeping track of grant deadlines can be important so you are not writing a proposal at the last minute. Many grants are rejected because the questions were not answered correctly, or the information was not informative because the grant was written in haste.


STEP FIVE: Know the Business

An art career is a business: Whether you like it or not, an art career is a business if you want to sell your work, or become part of a public dialog. 10 years ago, there were very few venues to learn about how the system works, but now there are multiple organizations that provide information through workshops, classes or online learning. Seek out websites which have specific information about how things work.

Share resources with your peers. The practice of keeping everything you know a secret is not a good strategy. If you tell other artists about a deadline that is perfect for their work, you will get the same courtesy more often than not. Don’t apply for things in which your work does not fit. And don’t tailor your work to fit an opportunity if it is a stretch.

Buy a book, read publications, and ask your peers and your mentors. If something has you confused or you just can’t find the information, ask a mentor or someone you trust. Most artists with experience will share information with you. Offer to buy them a cup of coffee or lunch in exchange.


STEP SIX: Network

Studio Visits: Seek out and schedule studio visits on a regular basis. This not only introduces your work to others, but is good practice in learning how to articulate your practice and what you are doing. Start with friends and family if you are shy or uneasy. You can invite other artists, writers or former teachers as well as curators and gallery dealers. The more you get comfortable with talking about your work the better.

Go to Events and Openings: Schedule time to go to openings and events of your peers. Don’t hound curators or dealers at an event as they are busy conducting their own business (or trying to have a good time at a party and NOT work for a change). If you go to enough openings, eventually you will meet people who may be interested in your work. The artworld is small, and your reputation can spread pretty fast, so consider your actions before implementing them. Never stand at the front door of another artists’ opening and hand out your own exhibition announcements. Never try to show your work to someone at an event. If someone you meet shows interest, give them a business card and follow up to schedule a studio visit.

Take a workshop.


STEP SEVEN: Seek and Propose

Things you should have ready at all times: If you find out about a show or an opportunity for your work, you should be ready to get a proposal out to the person or venue within three days. Starting from scratch every time is going to drain you of time and resources.

• A full resume (you can cut and paste specific resumes from this (i.e. public art, curatorial etc.).
• A current artists’ statement
• Work samples’
• Work sample descriptions
• Project Proposals (when applying)
• Project Budgets (when applying)
• Current Mailing List
• Everything you need to create a portfolio and a proposal.
• A list of those people you have keep in touch with that can write a letter of recommendation.

Create a network of information that keeps you informed of deadlines and activities. Get yourself on mailing lists, subscribe to blogs and join local organizations.


STEP EIGHT: Get Rejected

Rejection: If you are not getting rejected, you are not applying for enough. Rejection is going to happen a lot as it is the process of how you find your place in the art context. Apply for things that make sense to your work. Never apply for something because of just money, or tailor a grant application to a project that does not fit your work just to get cash in your pocket.

Rejection happens to even famous artists, so keep applying. It is important to know that many funders have a panel that changes every year, so new people are making decisions all the time. When you are rejected, find out why if at all possible. It could be something simple like they didn’t understand an answer to a question, or the gallery has had too many painting shows recently, but would consider your work at another time.
When you find out why you were rejected, make the necessary changes. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. Most people learn a lot more from mistakes than they do from their successes.


STEP NINE: Follow-through

Don’t drop the ball: Following through is an important part of one’s practice. If you find an opportunity, it will not be available to you unless you follow through with it. If you meet a curator who is interested in your work, make sure you follow through on either sending them a link to your website, or arranging a studio visit. Don’t try to do everything, but follow through on things that could be important to your goals. History is made by those that show up according to a quote by somebody famous.


STEP TEN: Document


Keep good records: Documenting your practice, whether it is a non-sanctioned guerilla type activity or a commercial gallery exhibition is important if you want to retain a presence. Having good images will allow you to get grants, propose exhibitions and meet with others about your work.



Resources

Getting Your Sh*t Together (software for artists, professional practices workshops for artists)
www.gyst-ink.com

Side Street Projects (grant writing and other professional practices workshops for artists, support services) www.sidestreet.org

New York Foundation for the Arts (lots of information for artists)
www.nyfa.org

Gottlieb Foundation
www.gottliebfoundation.org/

Creative Capital Foundation
www.creative-capital.org/

Creative Capital Interview
http://www.toolbox.creative-capital...undraising.html

Arts Opportunities
www.artsopportunities.org/

Cultural Affairs Department (city of your choice)

Foundation Center
Fundraising library and resources for nonprofits and individuals, including a proposal writing “how to” and both free and paid database searches.

Grantmakers in the Arts
Provides links for arts funders nationwide and access to research papers.

Guidestar
Posts IRS 990 forms for all nonprofits that include complete lists of every grant they make, which are valuable when deciding if they might be receptive to your proposal. Requires free registration to access this information.

World Wide Web Arts Source
www.wwar.com/categories/Agencies/Grants_Related/
 
Old 06-24-2009, 07:28 PM   #20
Lunatique
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Karen - I think some of your tips may be off the mark for the context of this thread, as they are about budgeting business expenses, taxes, scheduling appearances, resume, proposals for grants...etc. While they are helpful to artists trying to make a career and seeking funding, they have nothing to do with helping artists improve technically, creatively, intellectually, and emotionally. This thread is purely about improving as artists, not business tips (although we could have a separate thread for that).

Artists don't really start to deal with the business issues you mentioned until they have already reached the level where they actually have a career to think about, and even then, I'm not sure if you are familiar with the kind of careers that CG artists typically have (seeing it's your first post here and how your tips are out of context). This website is dedicated to CG, and the industries typically covered under that umbrella are feature film/television special effects, animation, video games, illustration, architectural/product/scientific visualizations...etc. The kind of advice you'd give to artists with aspirations for these industries would be somewhat different from the kind of advice you've given.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 02:26 AM   #21
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Bryan Hines
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This post was real helpful. I'm starting to draw again for the first time in a while and I was pretty stagnant back then. I'm starting to develop my artistic sense and I'm trying to get better at drawing and am trying to learn how to design graphics on the computer but need to find some more help there. I'm really brand new right now and this really answered some questions. Thank you.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 06:57 PM   #22
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Thank you for the inspiration in this thread-well written words do some more good than a pat on the back depending on the mentality.

I've held a pencil in my hand since I could walk, have had two generations of artists before me give me inspiration, aide, love and guidance. I have had instructors during school (Barring one that told me I had no talent and should go into shop rather than art classes) inspire me beyond anything I thought was possible. One helped me get published into a small, state-wide magazine, and a museum display with other young artists. The other paid for instruction in another museum in another state out of her own pocket because of her belief in my drive, ability, and talent as well as push me to enter into numerous contests that taught me more about the way I put together my work more than anything else had prior.

Though I gave up any sort of artistry for over a decade, I've only begun to step back into the wide world of visions, colors, beauty and brutality that is the artist's world.

It is places, and people that are found in those places (such as here) that drive and inspire me to continue on.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 07:06 PM   #23
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Kenny Chaffin
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Wonderful! Welcome back from your days in exile!

Enjoy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarwinsMishap
Thank you for the inspiration in this thread-well written words do some more good than a pat on the back depending on the mentality.

I've held a pencil in my hand since I could walk, have had two generations of artists before me give me inspiration, aide, love and guidance. I have had instructors during school (Barring one that told me I had no talent and should go into shop rather than art classes) inspire me beyond anything I thought was possible. One helped me get published into a small, state-wide magazine, and a museum display with other young artists. The other paid for instruction in another museum in another state out of her own pocket because of her belief in my drive, ability, and talent as well as push me to enter into numerous contests that taught me more about the way I put together my work more than anything else had prior.

Though I gave up any sort of artistry for over a decade, I've only begun to step back into the wide world of visions, colors, beauty and brutality that is the artist's world.

It is places, and people that are found in those places (such as here) that drive and inspire me to continue on.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:10 PM   #24
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Thank you, Kenny! I have been, and shall continue to do so!
 
Old 07-17-2009, 11:07 PM   #25
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very use full, it sound little hard "about" personality, but they have right, i found allots of artist less passionated for understand what and why are making art, but surely in CG ART or something more close to commercial work we need focus in hard matters, any way i always believe it's a hard chose really work in graphics, but when your work makes tedious and you not are enjoying your work something are wrong...
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:53 AM   #26
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Yahiya d
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Smile

this topic is really so usefull and the Sketch is so important ,thanks for tips
 
Old 07-21-2009, 11:26 PM   #27
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Michael
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shrunkendesigner and Lunatique big thanks to you for words like this
it's real help with a bit of motivation to go with painting and get some more form ourself
and I's something perfect for me cuz I started my journey with painting for real fev days ago and I'm still looking for information how to start, what should I practise, how to improve skills fast etc.
so
I really needed that words of wisdom

I'll try to not give up
 
Old 07-24-2009, 03:28 PM   #28
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Jush
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HI! Lunatique vbmenu_register("postmenu_5945903", true);
I go to some forums in a long-term. I have seen most of the individual works by almost all the impact of Japanese CG . The pursuit of Japanese cartoon style CG....Although beautiful style
but when I read their experience....I am sad that moved more than
As you said.....They are only pursuit of others ....


I would like to express my thoughts in many ways ...Just Humanities .I think therefore I am
so you said the spirit of the artist .I very much agree with



I am very strange expression in English...Continue to learn in ^^!
 
Old 07-25-2009, 09:14 AM   #29
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claude
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Im new here, in the past ive joined endless forums/websites and found nothing to inspire me.
ive been looking at this forum only for the length of time ive been reading those two posts and it kicked me in the groin and said to me "reality check" and forced me to inspect what art i have done so far.
as with many ive been drawing and have been passionate about art for a long time, and as with many i was originally mimicking anime i had watched on TV.
my stlye still reflects that, im glad however. because without it i would be alot worse an artist.
but now i look toward becoming a futuristic conceptual artist
and this thread got me motivated to do so.
(im gonna thank google search for forcing me to stumble upon this site :d)
and thank lunatique and shrunkendesigner also for helping me awaken the dormant passion for art, guitar and sci-fi writing.

Thanks

~c~
 
Old 08-05-2009, 08:59 AM   #30
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Smile big appreciation

I feel I'm so lucky to find this post, Lunatique,you clearly solved my puzzle and showed a way for me.Now I know what I want and what I should do to reach my goal. by the way, I learn Cg not for living, it is what I love and what I want to sacrifice for. it is a kind of lifestyle.
 
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