Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Craft, Creativity, & You

You're thinking of going to art school, you're going to art school, or you went to art school...or you didn't go to school but because of your dedication you're teaching yourself. I'll bet you've spent most of your time working on your craft - more so than your creativity - right? I've talked about this subject before but this time I want to convince you of something I've been thinking about lately.

With the proliferation of the internet I've noticed as I'm sure you have that information is shared and spread much faster than ever before. So when there is a new piece of hardware released we all find out about it overnight. Even if someone isn't addicted to facebook or twitter chances are one of their friends will let em in on the secret.

When a group of award winning illustrators announce a master class, video series, conference, or tutorial - you hear or read about it. When a blogger offers advice, tips, demos, reviews, etc - you find out about it because someone shared it, liked it, retweeted it, emailed it, re-blogged it and on and on. We're all benefiting from the generosity and enthusiasm of each other.

Check out this amazing new little tool that I would have died to have in my early illustration days (brought to me via email from a friend) - and it's FREE!!! This is what I'm talking about! So much goodness out there to learn the craft of illustration. Handy - an artist's reference tool - FREE - app store - android.



SO, my conclusion is that learning the craft of illustration is getting easier and easier. It will still take an incredible amount of time and dedication but you don't necessarily have to have the means to go to school. And even if you're going to school you have way more resources, gadgets, and opportunities than ever before.  My thought is that there is and will be more talented artists at an ever growing rate than there ever has been. Does this scare me? A little, but in the end I realize that it's going to be the creativity that is paired with the craft that will sell a product. So if you just want to make great pictures you're going to have a harder time earning a living than if you couple it with a creative idea and package it in a product that people can't live without.

Example: Mary Grandpre: Great stand alone art portfolio....combined with the Harry Potter manuscript = big$$$

So work on your creative ideas, stories, products etc...it's your originality that will keep you in the game.

19 comments:

  1. I really enjoy Mary GrandPre's art, and have a few of her children's books. :) Recently, I've been surprised at seeing various "up and coming" artists who seem to be copying her style... Did you know Mary Grandpre only received flat fees, not royalties for her Harry Potter images. Quote: "Harry Potter is not a typical arrangement," GrandPre said. "After the first book, Scholastic wanted control; it was so huge with so many spinoffs. I sold the copyright. I get a flat fee." http://www.sptimes.com/2007/07/15/news_pf/Art/Artist_conjured_up_Ha.shtml

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    1. This is interesting because back around 2009 I talked with her former rep who told me that he was successful in negotiating a small percentage royalty from book 2 on... According to that information by my calculations she should have received millions of dollars. I met her husband Tom a few months ago when I was at Ringling - I wish I had asked him at that time...

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  2. Funny but in less than 24 hours since I downloaded Handy for FREE - it's now been "upgraded" to $1.99...GO MARKETING!!! Wooot! I would still spend the cash at $1.99.

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  3. Will that is a great app. I have passed that on to our years Illustration Course at Plymouth University. Thanks

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    1. Great! See what I mean - we're all sharing...four and a half years ago I asked a friend why I should be blogging - had no idea the value that we all get from this technology. Things change fast! I hope your students appreciate you!

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  4. I just bought it for $1.99. Still a great deal I think. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You're very welcome Dena - when I saw it the other night from my friends email I knew it had to be shared! I would have died to have this years ago!

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  5. Yes it has gone up today. But this is there business, and I think it's a fab tool. I will still download.
    Have u seen http://www.posemaniacs.com/
    similar concept, but has the human anatomy in poses. Great anime action posing!
    Thanks for your blogs Will. You are always inspiring and u do it with a smile. Cheers!
    K

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    1. Great site! I didn't know about this one - what a resource! You're very welcome Karen! When I first started blogging I had to force myself to make entries - somehow I caught the bug and now I can't wait to make another post!

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  6. I only had to pay $.99 for it... apparently there is a limited time "launch sale" going for it? anyway thanks for this wicked awesome tip will! And I agree with everything you said in your blog... so true.
    But you know what? I dont think that I will worry too much about the fact that the market will be more saturated with artists... you, you are already established and you have a distinct name and style. me? I'll be competing with people who had it easier than you did in your day (I'm guessing) and so they will want everything else to come to them just as easy. when it doesnt they will fade into almost-was and coulda-been... but me? I'm going all the way and I don't care how many people don't approve of my art, I'll keep going until I find success. And I'm thinking that my creativity and will to perservere ALL obstacles is what will set me apart from the vast crowd of eager artists. Thats the hope anyway ;)

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    1. Great point Rachael - I didn't think of this but come to think of it you're right. When I think of my UVU students some of them - some...ok a few :) are somewhat lazy. They have access to the internet and digital cameras to get good reference and yet they don't bother to get reference. So you're right - it will still come down to hard work - which will ultimately weed some out.

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  7. There is nothing easy about the self taught route. Not if you're truly serious about making good art. It takes long, lonely, dedicated hours to perfect your craft. Especially without the feedback of the masters to tell you if you are doing it right or somehow missing the mark. There are always going to be the thousands of wannabe's but the best will rise to the top because they have the X factor, or at least the sheer determination to make it there. Still, I know what you are saying. There has never been a better time for going the uncredentialed route. I truly, truly appreciate the knowledge that is shared on the internet! I have learned a lot from you, Will. Thank You.

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    1. I hear you Jacqueline - I hope I didn't mean to make it sound easy - you're right tons of hard work - incredibly hard work but yes - great advantages as well right now.

      Thank you - I love to share - it brings us closer and helps everyone including me.

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  8. Thanks Will, this looks like such a great tool for figuring out perspective and shadowing techniques something that always eats up a whole lot of time for me...I studied the science behind perspective and lighting but somehow illustrating for kids makes me want to throw some of it out the window...I think I have to because it's just way too technical (and dry)!

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    1. True - this won't excite everyone - nor will everyone be able to use it with their style - it's just a cool thing if you're into light, shadow, and anatomical accuracy.

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  9. I think that even if you did go to art school you need to keep working at your craft and creativity. I think we are all works in progress. The hand app is pretty cool. I am always looking at my hand and contorting it for reference. This would be much easier.

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    1. I've already been able to use it - soo cool. No more hand cramps Patti :)

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  10. thanks for sharing.

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