If you haven't taken Rob Chang's "Becoming a Better Artist" CGWorkshop....

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  04 April 2013
If you haven't taken Rob Chang's "Becoming a Better Artist" CGWorkshop....

...then maybe you should hear from a few of the many CGWorkshops students who have:

Rob, you were not what I had expected. In addition to your educated and informed critique you gave support, constant day by day support at that, to each and every one of your students. Something that puts most college teachers to shame.”
- Abbey Termeer, student May - July 2011

"This course value just paid off, in my opinion, after the first week alone."
- Jacek Krzykowski, student June - August 2010

“I also really like and appreciate the way Robert put in a humane and spiritual edge to things, such as when he mentions how this course can stop people developing "unhealthy biases and emotional/psychological baggage due to feeling so lost and insecure for so long."
This is what had happened to me, and this course has given back to me the enjoyment and love of creating meaningful and beautiful art. You're a great guy Robert, coming straight from the heart, and giving such a great gift. Thank you. "
- Jason OHara, student July – September 2012

...To everyone even glancing at this course, take it. Your expectations cannot be fully trusted, you have more to gain from this course than you can possibly know without already being a part of it. If you want to understand what it means to truly begin your journey to being a great artist, this is the best place to find that beginning. It doesn't matter how lowly or advanced you may consider yourself, there is much to be gained from starting anew here"
- James Filippone, student June - August 2011.

Next run starts 20th May. Enrol now - sells out quickly.
  04 April 2013
my testimonial

I'll make this short: enrolling in the Better Artist workshop was the best decision I've made in my (young) artistic career. And I'm not joking. This 8 weeks workshop covers so much that it's hard to keep the pace, so be prepared to work really hard. But at the end you will have a priceless asset: you will know exactly what to do to become a better artist.

If you're serious about becoming a better artist and are ready to commit yourself, enroll now!

Nicolas Demers
  04 April 2013
Before I give my midway review of this course, I'd like to first let you guys know about where I stood before taking this class.

I went through 4 years of art school, worked in the tv broadcast field doing 3d animation and vfx, and now I am a graphic specialist for a government contractor doing animation and graphics for military coursework. I have always had a dream to be a concept artist and like many folks here at CGS, I wanted so badly to become one that I spent so much time.. thinking about it. I watched tutorial videos (gnomon, digital tutors, lynda) but not so much time actually doing... I've got all this 'bla' work and an empty design portfolio that I wish I could be proud to show off...

Now this isn't some kind of sob story. Basically I am gearing you all up to tell you what this course is and isn't. I'm not going to give a testimonial in the sense of convincing anyone to take this course, because frankly some of you may not 'want' to take a course like this.

This course will NOT teach you how to make a matte painting. It is NOT a masters course in zbrush, maya, photoshop or any other application that we as digital artists use on a day to day basis. There are hundreds of courses like that going on right now spread through dozens of sites.

This course WILL break you. No matter how much you've learned and no matter how much you've known in the past, this course will both enhance and re-evaluate all that knowledge.

You cannot go into this class with a resistant mindset. The "oh I already know this crap..." mentality. If that's the way you are, you will not get anything from this course. In fact I can tell you right now, you may as well burn your money in a bin because you'll be one of those people that will not do the assignments because you "think" you know better. You have to accept and want it.

I say that because going into the first week, that's what I thought! I won't sugar coat that at all. I read the past testimonials and was enthusiastic yes, but I thought that by the first week I'd be painting like Bob Ross and doing concept matte paintings like Dylan Cole... WRONG!

You MUST accept that what this course is... is both a refresher and a very thorough breakdown of why or how we understand things as an artist. As artists, we know what a form or cast shadow is, or how it relates to the sun and the direction that it faces.... but that's not the point. The point is we as artists have to know why it is important when we design, to know all that. We as artists instinctively know what looks good, but that's not the end of it.

It is like a racecar driver who drives because he has the instinct for speed and no fear... but instinct alone will not win races, he needs to know the technical limitations of his car, the places he drives, the environment around him.

This course will drive (no pun intended) every point home about the what and the how we as artists make critical decisions. Each week is designed to make you rethink and possibly restructure the way you think about that week's topic.

And IF you are accepting of Robert's style of teaching. You WILL improve, you WILL undergo a change, and you WILL become a better artist. Because this is what the course is about right?

Like I said I'm on Week 5, and many of my peers, INCLUDING myself are struggling... I can't speak for them but for me, I am struggling with personal self doubt and what it really takes to become what I want to become. I am going through these assignments and going WTF, I should KNOW these things but wow, I really don't.

I know this is a testimonial area and not a soapbox rant section.. so I'll say this...

Did this class impact my life? Yes.. Robert is the type of instructor that you look back on years later and know him by name, because he brands his name to your ass with it!

Was it worth the money? Yes.. The class notes alone are worth more than many books and DVD's I've collected in the past. And the best part? Robert comes with the package, the instructor that will not sugar coat things. He'll call it like it is and I love that... if something sucks he'll say it.

Did it make me a better artist? Yes.. even only 5 weeks in, and I can already see the changes in my current artwork... Hell, it has an effect on me when I go outside and look around! It's like gaining an 8th sense! (6 and 7 are taken by my innate ability to detect bacon and alcohol within proximity).

So there you have it folks, that's my TWO cents about this course. Bottom line, take the course if you're in a spot where you are confused about where to go as an artist. To me this thing is like a pre-requisite and a sort of post-quisite (is that a word) to any class you take in the future. Because again, it will teach you new things but also hone the skills you already have.

This course is like an artist exorcism that will remove the demons that have plagued your soul from bad habits, teachings and other useless crap you've managed to pick up through the years. It will cleanse your artistic soul!

Kudos to Robert and kudos to CGS for keeping this class going!
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by LLRTist: He'll call it like it is and I love that... if something sucks he'll say it.

Hahaha, you make me sound so scary!

I should probably clarify that bit, just so people don't get the wrong idea.

If any of you have seen the vast number of constructive critiques I've been doing in the 2D WIP section, you'll have somewhat of an idea of Lloyd meant (except I go in much more depth in the workshop, since the workshop assignments were designed to push the students out of their comfort zone and have them learn things that are critical for their artistic development--things they probably wouldn't have learned on their own, or at least would have taken them many years). I don't ever tell anyone that he "sucks"--that's not what Lloyd meant. What he meant was, if you're not doing something right, I'll tell you that you're doing it wrong, and then this is what I do:

-I point out exactly where the mistakes are (for example, sterile composition without any interesting visual design for the overall image, ineffective values with contradicting lighting that's neither logical or artistically effective, dead colors that looks unnatural and lacking expressiveness, inaccuracy in likeness, lack of consideration for aesthetic sensibility, body language not reading clearly, facial expression too vague, brushwork too smudgy and indistinct, visual narrative idea has no compelling factor, etc).

-I try to figure out how you arrived at the decisions you made by asking you questions regarding both the creative and technical elements in your image, and I'll devise a strategy for you to combat your weaknesses by doing the following:

-I give you suggestions for various other options that you might not have considered, and also to home in on specific fallacies in your thinking, so you can correct your misconception and solve the visual problem with a different point of view and approach.

-I also do paintovers examples when required, if words aren't enough to help you understand.

-I tirelessly give as many critiques as you have the passion and drive and tenacity to continue improving with new iterations, each improving upon the previous, until your final version looks like it's not even done by the same artist, and you have surpassed your own expectations of what you're capable of. All the students who have stuck with their reiterations and achieved what I described, LOVES this part, because they feel like they are Neo from The Matrix when he says, "Whoa, I know Kung-Fu." When you surpass your expectations, you realize you really do have what it takes.

And that's how I teach.
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by Lunatique: Hahaha, you make me sound so scary!

I should probably clarify that bit, just so people don't get the wrong idea.

My bad! Sorry, I'll go ahead and clarify my statement too.

Essentially in the art business, clients, directors, managers or leads are going to tell you how it is. If you're an aspiring artist, then this is something you have to get accustomed to and get a firm grasp on immediately.

From my experience, my boss(es) or clients either like it or they don't. If they end up changing one of your ideas, it's essentially because they don't like it or something is off. Too many artists spend time defending their work and to some degree they may or may not have design techniques to back it up, but ultimately the saying is "the customer is always right" or you can substitute that with "boss, manager or lead".. and essentially you will have to change it. Unless of course you're the boss

So going back to my clarification, I think that Robert's critiques are fair, to the point and do point out any major problems. He's not going to be mean about it or try and demoralize you in any way. He does it in an affirming way, and my reaction has always been "wow you're right!" His critical critiques make sense and if you've ever second guessed yourself, Rob makes an effort to really hone in on any problem areas.

I think this is really important in a class because it raises the bar because you realize your problem areas quickly and when it's working, you feel good about it. Having that secondary critical eye looking at your pieces makes it really cool and having him there for that is great.

As I said in my other thread, this class is all about the lecture notes, Rob and the forum interaction. If you choose to participate then it is an invaluable tool to becoming an artist on another level and is worth taking the class for

Hope that makes sense! And no Rob is not mean at all.. in fact when I get a critique from him, I wanna give him a hug to say THANKS MAN, you've helped me out immensely!
  05 May 2013
the way to become a pro

I didn t feel like writing because of the language, is always hard to express myself in english. But then I thought "at least non-english speakers may find usefull my post".
If you want to take seriously your career as an artist, you must enroll this course. Why? Because you can see
1. where you are
2. where you want to go
3. how to go
And is not easy to find the answer to those questions without a guide. But in order to understand deeply each one (mainly the 1 st one) you need knowledge and practice.
In Becoming a Better Artist you start your first steps towards those questions. Probably you ll need the entire life to answer them, but I do think that the first word for that answer is this course. Don't hesitate; it s really worth it. What you may learn in 10 years -working hard- you can get it in 2 months -working hard, too.
Sorry for my broken english
  05 May 2013
Before enrolling in this workshop, I was really unsure whether it would be a good decision to enroll. Was it fit for an hobbyist like me? Was is worth it's price? Was an online workshop really a good environement for learning?

And now, one year later, I can answer that... yes it was 339% worth it! (339,4% to be exact)

I've made giant steps during the workshop and, the better part, since there's an alumni forum for everybody who enrolled, I still got critiques, advices, cheering, ideas for exercise from Robert and access to the ever evolving material course. Seriously I feel like I didn't pay enough for all what I'm getting and feel like I'm abusing the passion of Robert for teaching. (hence why I'm writting all those positive review)

If you're really motivated to get better, ready to work hard (and not afraid to get your ass kicked a few times because Robert will push your limit) don't be anxious and enroll.
  05 May 2013
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