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The [chat] Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

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Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 29
    DiamondGFX wrote: »
    Hey all! I recently started getting back into art (mostly drawing/painting) in a pretty big way after having essentially taken about 10 years off (at least from serious work, I've been doodling and sketching here and there but nothing significant). I was considering starting a blog about my exploits and using it as a way to keep track of my progress and potentially even making that all public...

    Is this a terrible idea fraught with peril? Obviously there's a lot of vulnerability in showcasing what is...honestly, probably some pretty awful art. I majored in art in High School but then switched to Computer Science when I went off to college so I don't really have any formal training outside of books/tutorials/Udemy courses/etc. I'm hoping that maybe doing something a little more public will encourage me to actually stick to it and also provide a little bit of motivation with a record of where I "started" vs where I am now. I'd love to know everyone's thoughts on the topic :)

    What I've been doing is just mostly keeping two separate identities, my professional and my online one. Professional is still online but I try to divorce it of all connections. If I like someone enough and have a reason to "invite" them (or they ask) I give them my personal deets.

    There's not a whole lot of ways to get back and forth between bowen on PA to my professional stuff.

    That might be a good enough degree of separation if you don't want to go full public in case there is some deeply personal stuff you share here you don't necessarily want to be linked via google.

    bowen on
    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited June 30
    DiamondGFX wrote: »
    Hey all! I recently started getting back into art (mostly drawing/painting) in a pretty big way after having essentially taken about 10 years off (at least from serious work, I've been doodling and sketching here and there but nothing significant). I was considering starting a blog about my exploits and using it as a way to keep track of my progress and potentially even making that all public...

    Is this a terrible idea fraught with peril? Obviously there's a lot of vulnerability in showcasing what is...honestly, probably some pretty awful art. I majored in art in High School but then switched to Computer Science when I went off to college so I don't really have any formal training outside of books/tutorials/Udemy courses/etc. I'm hoping that maybe doing something a little more public will encourage me to actually stick to it and also provide a little bit of motivation with a record of where I "started" vs where I am now. I'd love to know everyone's thoughts on the topic :)

    @DiamondGFX

    As a thing do to do because you just want to? Sure, go for it.
    As something to keep work organized? Sure, why not.
    As a motivational tool? Ehhhhh.....

    Likely what's going to happen (and I apologize for how pessimistic this is going to come across as), is that you're going to be very excited day 1- you do some sketches, you make this blog, you upload some pics, you post on Facebook and all your friends and family say, 'good for you! <clap clap clap>'. Day 2 you upload some more pics and nobody looks at them, because while your friends and family might love you, the art equivalent of uploading a video of you doing your daily pushups workout routine every single day, does not make for riveting watching for general audiences.

    So, you're likely looking at a blog that's viewed by nobody but yourself- and if you do get a surprise hit and try to foster an internet audience (or spend a LOT of time and energy acquiring one), you're likely going to wind up repeating your one hit to keep that audience, rather than doing what you meant to be doing, which is improving your art. Hard to do if you're locked into drawing, for example, all the elements of the periodic table as Disney Princesses, rather than buckling down and learning anatomy.

    So if you start a blog, I'd say do it just because that's something you want to do, rather than thinking it's going to be a cureall for a motivation issue. I might be totally wrong and it could end up being that, but I have my doubts.


    So to be more productive and helpful, what would be some other ways to keep you motivated and making progress?

    -The first thing I would suggest as a self-motivating tool is called Don't Break the Chain- the idea is that you set a daily task for yourself (ie: "20 minutes drawing", "Design 1 character", "Do 1 anatomy study", etc., then every day you do that task, you write a big X on that day on a big year calendar- the idea is that you build this chain of X's, and your goal is simply to not break that chain. It's surprising to see how much this simple idea can keep you honest and working, no outside pressure required.

    I personally use an app called Chains.cc that does this same thing, but allows for setting multiple goals/doesn't take up wall space. My personal goals are to put in 30 minutes of drawing practice every weekday, 1 hour each weekend day (this is in addition to the 40 hours of art I do at work each week). Depending on your schedule/level of commitment/goals, you may want to have more or less time, or structure things more specifically (ie: Mondays: Anatomy study, Tuesdays: Construction practice, etc.)

    The point is to enforce the idea of drawing as a habit, something you make a point to carve out the time for, and the calendar is more consistent and effective at keeping you honest than a fickle audience that may or may not exist. It's also a little easier to deal with the 'off' days that everyone gets, when you're getting rewarded a checkmark for making the effort regardless, rather than having to dread some public humiliation on top of everything else.

    -Groups/classes: While relying on internet randos/friends/family for external motivation is pretty unreliable, having a social group that makes a point of coming together on a consistent basis to practice can be hugely helpful in terms of motivation. This can take the form of actual classes, but uninstructed figure drawing sessions, drink n' draw meetups, workshops, or just having some like-minded friends can help you put in the time and effort when maybe you don't feel like it. (To go back to the exercise routine analogy, the Youtube posting sounds ridiculous, but having a coach or workout partner do the same thing in person is actually hugely useful.)

    -Separate "Performance" from "Practice"- and when you practice, practice deliberately.
    I cribbed the term 'deliberate practice from a book called "Peak"- I'll save myself some time by reposting a section of an earlier thing I wrote on it:
    I found out about these listening to the Freakonomics podcast, which was recommended on the Muddy Colors blog- which is probably where I'd recommend you start if you want a quick, free primer:
    http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2016/11/how-to-become-great-at-just-about.html


    Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011H56MKS/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o04_?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Definitely would recommend this book to all y'all.
    This book is by the person who did the original study that lead to the '10000 hour rule' made famous by Malcolm Gladwell (stating that reaching an 'expert' level of skill in a given discipline requires 10000 hours of practice)- and goes into why that 'rule' may be partially informative in conveying a sense of the quantity of effort required, but misses the key component of the quality of that effort. In all disciplines (chess experts, athletes, artists, professional violinists, etc, etc.), he found that experts were engaged in what he dubbed, deliberate practice, rather than just simply practicing.

    The key elements of what separate deliberate practice from general practice are:
    -Working exclusively on one aspect of they want to refine at a time- not trying to improve broadly at everything, or even a subset of things.
    -Making sure that their practice is designed to be objectively measurable, that the parameters of success or failure are defined, so it's clear what to strive for and it can be recognized if that goal is achieved.
    -Always working on something just beyond their current skill level- not being complacent to work only on things they are currently well capable of, but not reaching for something beyond their capabilities that succeeding would be almost impossible at the current point in time. Trying to cut a second off a lap time, or adding another rep to an exercise, not trying to cut 30 seconds or doubling the number of reps.
    -Giving full, undivided mental and physical concentration to the task at hand. They don't think about other things going on in their life, or listen to music, or let their mind wander- all their attention is placed on exactly what they are doing at that moment. As a result, deliberate practice is incredibly exhausting, even if the task isn't physical in nature- and he found that people were incapable of maintaining that level of concentration for more than an hour without taking a break. An examination of the habits of music students for that the best ones arranged their schedules to take a nap after their practice sessions, to recover and allow them to continue practice later on.
    -It's not fun. Executing the skills in performance (painting that big illustration, running the race you've been training for, performing the dance in front of the crowd, etc.) may be described as pleasurable and enjoyable and fun, but none of the top people thought the practice was fun, or had that expectation. (A study of a singing class comprised have of professionals and half of beginners/amateurs, found that all of the amateurs found it enjoyable because they came at it with the idea of "this is a time to express myself, let loose, do something fun away from work, etc.- while all the professionals did not find it enjoyable, because they were focused on narrowing in what they were doing wrong and fixing those things, at maximum concentration.)


    There's a couple more things of interest he mentions as well, such as having good coaching/teaching that uses/teaches deliberate practice makes a huge difference in effectiveness versus trying to learn on one's own or with coaching that it more vague about why they are practicing certain things, or doesn't do much to give individual attention to what each student needs to work on. They also found that individual solo practice in between sessions was a larger indicator of success than simply spending more time in classes, doing more performances, or working in groups- it's dedicating those a great deal of time focusing on those individual aspects at a high level of concentration, that makes the bigger difference beyond just doing one thing more.

    That defined, I'd think of 'performance' as when you bring all those individual skills together- getting that thing they've got rolling around in your imagination down on paper. In other areas a 'performance' would be a musician playing a concert, or a football player playing a football game; that's the performance, but it takes a lot of practice to succeed at it.

    Now, when it comes to drawing, a lot of people try to conflate their practice with 'performance'- and they wind up getting nowhere quickly, because there's too much to try to learn and improve upon all at once. They sit down with a blank sheet of paper and head full of dreams, but trying to learn shading, anatomy, construction, composition, lighting design, expression, gesture, calligraphy, color, etc. all at once is just ends up being too much for one brain to handle. They wind up frustrated, don't know what's going wrong or how to fix it, and there's only so much of that before they give up drawing completely.


    So if you want to have your blog to show your progress, obviously you'll want some progress to show- and it'll be easier if you make sure you're using dedicated practice principles to make the small, but noticeable and significant gains in specific areas, than trying to bust out a gallery-ready drawing every day.

    Certainly you'll want to spend time with 'performance'- that's the whole point in the end, after all- just be sure to divvy up your time appropriately so neither area gets neglected.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
    bowenBlindPsychictynicDoodmannProspicienceEnc
  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    edited June 30
    So anyone want to do this with me? Should I make a thread?

    nWgSOCFl.jpg

    Doodmann on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I wish I could but I dont read enough and I'm traveling quite a bit this month.

    Is your idea that people just pull any book from the genre that they've read already?

    Doodmann
  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    I wish I could but I dont read enough and I'm traveling quite a bit this month.

    Is your idea that people just pull any book from the genre that they've read already?

    yeah I realized picking specific books would leave too many out so its genres and you take a literary twist on it.

  • SeveredHeadSeveredHead Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Iruka wrote: »
    I wish I could but I dont read enough and I'm traveling quite a bit this month.

    Is your idea that people just pull any book from the genre that they've read already?

    yeah I realized picking specific books would leave too many out so its genres and you take a literary twist on it.
    GZyzXay.jpg

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Iruka wrote: »
    I wish I could but I dont read enough and I'm traveling quite a bit this month.

    Is your idea that people just pull any book from the genre that they've read already?

    yeah I realized picking specific books would leave too many out so its genres and you take a literary twist on it.
    GZyzXay.jpg

    That baby seems totally okay with what is happening.

    Smug, even.

    rotate.php TumblrLink.gif
    SeveredHeadDoodmanntynicbowen
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    There's a reason the international title was Infant Warlock: Golf Shirt Revenge.

    NightDragon
  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    I picked up a book at Blick called Art Inc by Lisa Congdon, and it was really helpful in terms of explaining the basics of how to pursue income from art. As someone who didn't study art at college I feel like I missed a lot of that information about how galleries, illustration, prints, etc all work. It would probably be very useful for anyone who didn't get education about the art industry.

    tapeslingertynic
  • gavindelgavindel You were sent from my sight When your heart grew darker than your nightRegistered User regular
    Every time I practice perspective, I think of those snap together building blocks from kindergarten. https://amazon.com/dp/B0199IISP2/ref=psdc_166099011_t2_B000G3LR9Y It can't be that hard, right? Its just snapping blocks!

    Then again, Lego these days is practically scuplture, so little blocks can go a long ways.

    Looking for magical girls? Try: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/144223/Sparks
    Maybe more interested in morally dubious shapeshifters and stealing from gods? Try:
    Signature.jpg

  • DiamondGFXDiamondGFX Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback bowen and Angel_of_Bacon! I ended up deciding against doing the blog because I was worried I'd get too wrapped up in "oh, this is public, I should make it perfect" instead of just trying to learn and improve. I may still end up writing a blog and keeping track of my progress but doing so privately instead of publicly, just as a way to show to myself the progress I've made.

    Also, thank you about the note on chains. I've never heard of that before, so I think I'll give it a shot!

    ain't got one
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I agree, you should still keep one and just make it private for your own use. No harm in that.

    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited July 19
    One of the professors at my university found out I have been doing 3d modeling and is pushing me to switch from Blender to Maya. The pricetag is considerable and I don't qualify for the student license, but I'm told that it is apparently the superior system and has better lighting and fluid stuff.

    Should I follow their advice and switch before i'm too invested in Blender? Any thoughts on this are appreciated.

    Also, as a thank you for folks encouraging me to go the 3d route:
    interiorwendystavernopen.jpg

    Enc on
    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
    bowen
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited July 19
    Do you want to spend $1500 a year on it?

    E: also that tavern thing is fucking fantastic, Maya isn't going to change much about what you're doing.

    bowen on
    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
    EnctynicDoodmannNightDragon
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Depends on how great it is, I guess. If I went that route I'd probably start selling my stuff instead of just plopping it up for free to try and cover the costs, but learning how to make very cool things is my goal in life and someday I'd like to start making little mini-videos of the environments as previews.

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited July 19
    I'd say stick with blender until you do decide to sell stuff. Once you've got income, consider upgrading.

    To me the Maya vs Blender feels like a Photoshop vs Gimp argument. You can do most of the same things unless you're a professional artist, and the user interface is kind of garbage.

    bowen on
    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    Yeah I agree with Bowen- as long as your ambition is basically 'hobbiest' level, I probably wouldn't want to drop that amount of money on Maya.
    Now if your intention was, "I want to become a professional 3D modeler for a living', then I'd suggest dropping the cash on it, because it would do your resume good and yeah it'll probably be a lot nicer to deal with putting in 8-10 hours a day on.
    But if literally all you want to do is make these RPG maps (cool, btw) for your friends? Maybe save your cash and use it on monster manuals instead.

    bowentynic
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Yeah, hobbiest is as far as I want to go with this. My day job is unreleated and pretty amazing.

    That said, I do want to get better with these things. Would it be appropriate/ok if I opened a thread for critique of 3d object rendering & feedback?

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
    bowen
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited July 19
    Enc wrote: »
    That said, I do want to get better with these things. Would it be appropriate/ok if I opened a thread for critique of 3d object rendering & feedback?

    Yes, of course!

    Angel_of_Bacon on
    bowen
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    @Enc there is probably a huge market for those things right now too, PnP games are a huge market atm.

    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited July 19
    There is, after a fashion. I've played with this off and on for the last few years. Lots of demand, but you can't really make money.

    Virtual marketplaces for DnD stuff are fairly widespread right now but In order to actually make money on them you simply have to produce more than what is possible in a 40 hour work week. A +5 dollar module doesn't sell, but a dollar module does. Once posted, you get about one week of sales before it is leaked to free sources on the internet and your sales die overnight. You might make 100 sales of a map in the first week, which is roughly $300 dollars of revenue for that release before your sales taper. I might get another $300 over the life of that mapset. The mapset itself might have taken 20-40 hours to create for a solid, marketable product (or far more depending on the set), which still isn't a bad rate of return at face value.

    But people won't buy your stuff if you sell every week. They get fatigued and there are so many producers that within a few weeks of regular posting other artists will literally copy what you can produce and flag it for half the price. The crab-bucket effect is considerable. Plagarism is rampant, and honestly pretty nasty out there. I've found a bunch of my free maps from my website in more than one "custom mapset" from folks that just cruised pinterest and slapped some collection of random things up on a vendor site. Then you have to enforce your CC license with the vendor to get it taken down and by time you do, its just up on a different one of the 300 startups and platforms out there after hours of work.

    Unless you are a legend and supported by the big publishers, like Mike Schley, you probably aren't going to be able to produce full time and not be either miserable or barely making minimum wage, if not both. That's not uncommon in the art world, but it's also hard to justify for me as a full time profession when i'm making endgame pay at a job that grants me plenty of time to work on this stuff as a hobby.

    Enc on
    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
    bowenSadgasm
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Also, I've been told by others in the field how mapset markets for some stuff died nearly overnight when Inkarnate when into live beta, which doesn't surprise me. It will only be a matter of time before someone makes a similar tool to replace the now defunct Dunjinni software for interior maps and puts most of the full-timers out of business who don't have contracts with physical publishers.

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    PnP are truly the hobbiest of hobby board games too. So many niche skills and things you can pick up to support it. I toyed with making elaborate set pieces out of foam and painting it and stuff. I stuck with the free tools. Really trying to convince myself that a 3d printer is a good buy.

    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
    DoodmannEnc
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Depends on how great it is, I guess. If I went that route I'd probably start selling my stuff instead of just plopping it up for free to try and cover the costs, but learning how to make very cool things is my goal in life and someday I'd like to start making little mini-videos of the environments as previews.

    I know nothing of Blender, but I do work in Maya regularly. Making videos and fly-throughs might be a reason to look into Maya, but I feel like the work you're doing in Blender now is super nice. Maya is one of the industry standards for modeling and animation, but I'd only suggest you get into it if you're finding that Blender is currently lacking something that Maya has.

    rotate.php TumblrLink.gif
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    I also don't know a lot about Blender, but I seem to recall that the Blender...dudes? Or fan-dudes? try to put out a fully animated short film every year or so to show that, "Hey Blender can actually do shit! (please love us!)"
    https://www.blender.org/features/projects/ So I'm pretty sure that Blender can do camera flybys and render out animation at least.
    The issue always seems to be less, "can Blender do this?" and more, "why does Blender do this this way, it doesn't make any sense."

    I suppose if you really want you could download the Maya "demo", but it's one of those deals where it's "First 30 days free! Then we start charging your credit card every month when you forgot you downloaded it, and therefore forgot you needed to 'cancel' before the 30 days is up GIMME DAT CASH SUCKA." So if you wanna check it out and see what that $1500 a year would buy you, that may be an option.
    https://www.autodesk.com/products/maya/free-trial-dts

    (Bewarned if you do this, that the first time you open up Maya it will probably look vastly more intimidating and confusing than Blender does, even though everyone's telling you, "Blender is super unintuitive, Maya make so much more sense!" (I feel like I talked about this before, have I talked about this before?)
    It won't feel that way initially, because while Blender may have one (crazy and stupid) way of doing something, Maya's interface gives you like 4-7 different ways of getting at any given function (toolbars, spacebar menu, right-click menu, shelves, hotkey, script editor...feel like I'm still missing one).
    So while this is nice once you've figured out this whole thing, because you can then work the way that you want to, watching other people go through their work processes and have them all be working entirely different ways can get confusing. So my 2 word bit of advice for that first bootup: DON'T PANIC.)

    NightDragon
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