Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Get Over It - You're Just Another Artist!



Status Update: Monster App still on schedule (there's no schedule so I'm right on time)

Just Another ARTIST???!!! What kind of a statement is that?

Remember back when you were in junior high and you started making really bad copies of spider man or (insert cool character here) and because it sort of resembled what you were going for you thought you were an amazing artist? Your friends who had quit trying to draw were now propping you up - "awww WICKED"..."dude that's bad". Fast forward to high school and you were determined to draw in art class amongst the stoners. It didn't take long for you to get their attention: "Dude that's bad ass....draw Eddie from Iron Maiden on my Jacket." Your head was completely filled with hot gasses and arrogance as you headed off to college. Even though your teachers bathed you in beautiful images from working professionals you weren't that impressed. Caught up in the grandeur of your graduating portfolio you excitedly started marketing your work. When assignments didn't actually flood in you got the first twinge of insecurity but you shrugged it off. After a few years of struggling to keep freelancing you gained a partial attitude overhaul. Humility was still in short supply but you started giving a few nods to other artists. 5 years in and you put yourself near the top shelf of illustration talent. 7 years and you still grossly overestimated your skills. 10 years - the internet was bringing more and more amazing artists to your attention. 15 years you realized you're just another set of hands. 18 years you start to feel lucky to be an illustrator. 20 years and you know you're lucky! Being able to do what you do while there are so many artists much more talented and capable than you roaming this little rock. Fear sets in when you realize...you might not be keeping up. Embarrassing, but this was me.

Become a "WHOLE" artist:
Work hard
Have heroes
Open mind
Listen
Engage

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14 comments:

  1. I thought I was pretty hot stuff until I actually took a job...then I had a horrific dose of reality and immediately came to UVU. That very day, I met Don Seegmiller and it changed my life

    One things for sure, I was the best artist working at Walmart at the time hehe

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  2. I think that's a Guy Thing maybe? I was always considered "good at art" even as quite a small kid but I personally never believed it, I used to look at Picasso and the Old Masters in awe and know that I could never even aspire to a fifth of their talent and that has continued right through my degree and a career of almost 25 years.

    I continue to be hired and I continue to paint canvases that people buy but have never shaken off the idea that I am pulling some massive con and will one day be found out!

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  3. The great thing about being on this rock with 7 billion other people is that there is something for EVERYONE. No matter what your style is, somebody out there will see it for exactly what they need. This becomes easier thanks to the internet. My life has been enriched by many artists and authors who are not household names, but they succeeded in creating work that touched my heart and the hearts of others. Fame and fortune was never my goal as an artist. I'd be happy just to pay my bills and continue to serve as a conduit for art that will make someone out there smile.

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  4. love the illustration and the story Will :)

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  5. Isn't that the truth! I read it out loud to my wife and we both laughed pretty hard about the stoners in art class. You hit it on the head.

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  6. Will, you nailed it. Approaching 50 I feel like do I still have anything to offer and am really amazed on the amount of talent out there. I am very grateful to have lasted this long.

    I actually did Eddie for someone and lettered Judas Priest across many jackets.

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  7. Well. I suppose I thought I was hot stuff as an artist, until I went to BYU. I believe what Brad Holland taught us. Work hard so you can go out there and prove them wrong.

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  8. I think this probably is a "guy" think however it was also a coping mechanism. It's stressful thinking you might not be good enough and much easier being delusional about your abilities. Teresa - Perfect! I keep preaching this - just do what you do the absolute best you can and your audience will find you.

    I had to nail the stoners in art class Scott, because they were so funny and a big part of my delusion. And yes Russ - Judas Priest was also one of the top requests for me too.

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  9. I copied the album cover of Heavy Metal for a buddy of mine in high school- he paid me $50 and I was ON MY WAY! The older I get, the more I realize I DON'T know about how to make art. And yes, I too feel lucky that nobody has pulled the drape back and exposed my charade!

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  10. Hee hee! love the sketch and your story is entertaining and as usual, inspirational.

    I also have to agree on the "guy thing." I met so many guys in school who were filled with delusions of grandeur. But I'm not bitter. Wish I would have suffered from the same delusions, I might have started my illustration career decades ago instead of the meandering path I took.

    At the end of the day though, regardless of the path I took to get here, I feel lucky too!

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  11. Yes, this is me. Only I never felt the desire to prove myself wrong on the 'I am such a great artist' front. Until someone basically made me and an agent didn't have anything good to say about my artwork. The author still has other ideas, though. How in the heck do I get to the point I need to before she goes ahead and publishes my sub-par artwork with her own money??

    No, really, please tell me.

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  12. Art School was an eye opener for me. I was in classes with some pretty heavy hitters. In retrospect I think that was really good for me. Time spent in my studio is golden and I am so happy to have what ever I am afforded.
    I also love seeing other work like yours. Really nice work inspires me to grow. One of the great things about what we do is the possibility to evolve.

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  13. I think I have the opposite problem; I've never had much confidence in my work. Even when people say they like it, I can always find something wrong with it. For a long time I wouldn't even call myself an artist. I'm just beginning to feel fairly good about my skills, but there's always a tiny set back when I put myself out there for freelance work, and the phone doesn't ring.

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