Feel completely Inadequate

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Old 03 March 2013   #1
Feel completely Inadequate

I've been looking for 3DS max and Vray tutorials and this place keeps popping up in the google search list. One day I stumbled upon Serges' Poker Pinup Girl effort. Amazing. Then I proceeded to look at more poeples profile galleries, and man!!!

...I feel like I am approaching things in the completely wrong way when it comes to actually properly learning the tools I have (Max, Vray, PS, FumeFX, etc...), and I just make 3d cars and our house at the moment.

I don't want to be a downer, but how long did it take for you men and women to get this good at your craft?
 
Old 03 March 2013   #2
You have to understand that it's a process. It's a very personal process. Not everybody learns at the same rate. Not everybody has the same natural level of artistic ability and, as such, have to work just a bit harder to cultivate it.

The absolute worst thing you can do is use others as your personal benchmark. It's nice to aspire to be as good as your favorite artist, but you shouldn't have to feel inadequate because you're at a different place in your development. Judge yourself by yourself. You're your own best metric.

What you do today will be better than what you did yesterday. What you do tomorrow will be that much better. So long as you challenge yourself with each new project, you'll get to that place where other people will envy your work.

That's the key, challenge. While repetition, along with observation, is the key to mastery, you won't get anywhere if you never leave your comfort zone. Running on a treadmill might be great exercise, but you don't actually go anywhere.

I don't think that anybody becomes a master. There's always something new to learn, especially in CG. Nobody ever reaches the top of the mountain because the peak's always moving. While the art form itself is constantly evolving, the one constant, however, is the foot of the mountain. Everybody starts from the bottom.

Start yourself off with a solid foundation. Want to model characters? Learn as much as you can about anatomy. Take it piece by piece. Want to make fantastic renders? Learn what goes into good composition or how sets are traditionally lit. Once you understand the theory, it's an iterative process. You'll eventually look back on your first character or scene and shake your head.

Again, it takes time. How much varies from person to person. When I started doing CG, back in the stone age, nobody was doing characters. Everything was CAD related. The resources necessary to move beyond that were far too expensive for non-studio entities. That was back when everything was about dedicated workstations and five figure price tags.

So, for me, getting from architectural or mechanical models to characters took a period of 7 years. Once the prices on software dropped and consumer hardware became more powerful, I was able to move to my next goal with a period of months.

However, as I said, the target keeps moving. All I can say is that I strive to make sure that everything I make now is better than what I made yesterday. The process never stops. You're always learning, even years or decades later.

Don't feel discouraged by what you see on portfolio sites or in galleries. Use it to inspire yourself and know that, like you, these guys all started out at the foot of the mountain.
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Last edited by cookepuss : 03 March 2013 at 06:22 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #3
That was a great reply cookepuss. You said allot of what I was thinking. Especially the base in the fundamentals, composition, lighting, drawing, anatomy. It amazes me how critical these are, I keep on rediscovering this. The rest is just layering technical knowledge and technique onto these bases.

Also to be an artist is to often be discouraged and think you are rubbish. Best be aware of this and take it as a positive, as to realize your work is not at the level you want will push you to advance. Thinking you know everything is deadly.

It may take years, but with a lot of hard effort and study of the right subjects (once again fundamentals) you are well on your way to becoming a stronger artist.

Last edited by sk3d : 03 March 2013 at 10:43 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #4
Originally Posted by cookepuss: .....The absolute worst thing you can do is use others as your personal benchmark. It's nice to aspire to be as good as your favorite artist, but you shouldn't have to feel inadequate because you're at a different place in your development. Judge yourself by yourself. You're your own best metric.....


That sums it up perfectly. Remember also that all the great artists here had to start out like you, and they kept working and practicing. So start making more stuff and posting less.
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Old 03 March 2013   #5
The first person mentioning the 10000 hours rule, and meaning it seriously, gets a punch in the face through the internets.
Just saying...
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Old 03 March 2013   #6
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: The first person mentioning the 10000 hours rule, and meaning it seriously, gets a punch in the face through the internets.
Just saying...


+1

more words
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Old 03 March 2013   #7
Leigh's right, it's 10001 hours.
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Old 03 March 2013   #8
Damn you and your wit!
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Old 03 March 2013   #9
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: The first person mentioning the 10000 hours rule, and meaning it seriously, gets a punch in the face through the internets.
Just saying...


Dare I ask, what is the 10000 hours rule?
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Old 03 March 2013   #10
Originally Posted by Dillster: Dare I ask, what is the 10000 hours rule?


It takes 10.000 hours to beco .... AH NO JACO NO HHHHH ....
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Old 03 March 2013   #11
Originally Posted by Dillster: Dare I ask, what is the 10000 hours rule?
It's a stock response that you 'must do something for 10000 hours before you will can master it'. People nod enthusiastically, discussion turns to 'art theory', post lengths increase exponentially until someone inevitably says "But what is art?" - at which point the Internet becomes self-aware, starts screaming then bursts in a violent shower of kittens and filth.
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Old 03 March 2013   #12
Originally Posted by Dillster: Dare I ask, what is the 10000 hours rule?


Actually its from the book Outliers. Forgot the author. Anyway, some people debunk it, since we are talking about art. Following tutorials, you might be good enough to copy, but can you generate original art? You can read 1001 books on drawing, but can you generate a style as original as Matt Groaning?

Then we might go into nature vs nurture debate.

And then what AJ said
 
Old 03 March 2013   #13
Why do I even bother....
 
Old 03 March 2013   #14
tmg, look at this forum thread. It's huge, 71 pages, but just skimming through it will be enough to get the idea.

(10 years * 260 workdays per year * 4 hours per day = 10 400 hours. See, not 10 000, la-la-la! No punches for me!)
 
Old 03 March 2013   #15
Originally Posted by cookepuss: The absolute worst thing you can do is use others as your personal benchmark. It's nice to aspire to be as good as your favorite artist, but you shouldn't have to feel inadequate because you're at a different place in your development. Judge yourself by yourself. You're your own best metric.


Actually this is the one thing I disagree with.

Of course don't let it discourage you, or make you feel horrible and kill your motivation. But I think there are too many folks trying to get into art not comparing themselves to professional work or artists they love. They compare themselves to other learning artists on deviant art or fellow students, and they can get an unrealistic, dangerous confidence in their work.

Judging yourself by yourself sounds like a good way to stagnate.

Really it's a balance. Always strive to be as good as those incredible artists, but accept that you're starting out and won't be that good for a while. And really the whole learning process is going to be full of phases (feeling great about your latest piece, then hating it, then excitement over seeing what you did wrong and knowing how to fix it in the future, etc.), and one of those phases will be feeling inadequate, and as long as you use that feeling to push yourself further it doesn't have to be a bad thing.

I can think of plenty of times I have felt the way you do, still do at times, and I always work to leave that mindset more motivated to push myself to the next level.
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