Pushing yourself to be better?

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Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby PLR on Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:40 pm

The discussion on pimping your comic has been interesting and has got me thinking, thus this thread.

Personally I'm never satisfied with my own work. Looking back I always see areas to improve upon. The other discussion we're talking about having minimum limits before showing work and some people seem to have taken the view that some artists are just looking for empty praise to inflate their ego. Maybe that's true, for me personally I'm always looking for that constructive criticism that's going to make me better. Having 50 people tell me something is "great", sure it's nice, but in the end if I get one person who can help me get better with some real constructive information is worth more than all the hallow compliments out there.

I guess the first real question is do you want to get better?
Or are you content with what you're doing and how you're doing it?

How do you push yourself to be better?
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Killbert-Robby on Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:38 am

I just hate everything I churn out so I try harder next time.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby CJBurgandy on Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:45 am

yeah, I've got to a point where I hated my artwork. So I've just been molding my style for the past two years instead of actually updating. But the time I'm happier with myself, I'll probably have lost interest in the two webcomics I have up. Though I think if I don't let my main character from one comic have her baby, my girlfriend might fly up here just to punch me, and then refuse cuddles. D: Or use her admin powers to put words in my mouth, like vows of completion.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Perdire on Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:02 am

I'm not the artist, but I do recall hating most of the art i did back when I did art.

I always thought the best way to go about it was to try something outrageous. Something you, and those around you, doubted that you could do. If you succeeded then congratulation, your more awesome than you thought. If you failed then you probably learned something important about yourself.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:55 am

I used to be able to just draw something and leave it how it was, and say "Well, that's how it looks. People can deal."

Ever since I started really working on this comic though... I dunno. It's like something clicked. I'm a lot more critical. I've been improving pretty steadily over the past year, but suddenly this past few months I got more skeptical of my own work. I inked all these pages back in March and April and now I can't even look at them, had to draw them over. I used to hate doing drafts, even doing rough sketches, because I used to be able to just do something the first time and be satisfied with it.

I guess in terms of pushing myself it's nothing big. I'll make a sketch and keep asking myself if there's some way I can make it convey what I want more, like if it's a funny panel, how can it be funnier, or if it's supposed to be moving how can it... be movinger.

I think it's part of stylistic changes though, since what I'm working with now is a lot less cartoony and more anatomically correct than it used to be (yeah I know, that's saying a lot).
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby McDuffies on Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:21 am

I'm not much of a craftsman. There's a lot regarding technique I could still learn, and my art gets sloppy and clunky often, I don't have ability to make eye-grabbing images and not much discipline either. Those are all things I'm unsatisfied with.
But I can't say I'm actually unhappy with my art as a whole, I'm at the point where I agree with it, where I know that if I work long enough on an image I can get the result I want, and considering that I'm not a big fan of perfectionism in other people's art, I'm not bothered with imperfection in my own either.
On the other hand, I'll continue trying to improve for as long as I draw comics, it's something inseparable from my view of art, kind of, "fight with your own limitations" attitude.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:08 am

Ugh. Once or twice I've had to force myself to colour something because the line art made me want to puke, so that's a major motivation for improving that aspect of my art.

Also I need a challenge to keep myself interested. And my mental 'camera' won't hold still so I end up drawing things from a lot of different angles. I couldn't do one of those strip comics where you draw the characters from the same angles every time, I'd die of boredom.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Redtech on Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:24 am

I'm never satisfied. The only limitation is whether I'm motivated enough to make changes. Even my habits and some variable aspects of my personality alter when it just doesn't seem to work right. Artistically, there's some stuff I like, but I want MORE and there's very, very few scenes that last under my scrutiny for long. It's how I screwed up my buffer: I couldn't stand looking at the older parts of it, long enough to complete it!

I blame experience really.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Biev on Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:58 am

I used to really try to push myself, back when I had the energy and time, aka when all I had to do was keep the house clean and cook a few meals. Now that that part of my life is over I'm way too exhausted after the whole survival part of my day/week/month is taken care of, so if I manage to draw, it's just to keep the story going. I don't understand how anyone who works full time still finds energy to try to better their drawing skills. Keeping to a semblance of update schedule is hard enough... That's all the "pushing" I can do for now, anyway.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Necrospawn0 on Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:51 am

mine's a photocomic... so usually i don't have to worry about improving my drawing :D

that being said, I could definitely work on better sets/lighting etc

I would definitely do some of my earlier comic differently, i had/have a bunch of ideas for future story lines, but i was having real trouble trying to establish the over arching plot/characters, it felt like the story wasn't really getting anywhere

so far i've been content to just explore what i can do with the comic, when i start asking people for feedback, ill be more than happy to listen to them
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Komiyan on Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:48 pm

You're not doing it right if you're not looking to get better at it, basically. That's the thing with art, you're never 'done'.

I still dislike my own stuff after less than a month, but the idea is to soldier on and improve on the flaws you see.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Fishies on Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:04 pm

Right after I finish inking a page I sometimes like it. Then I realize I hate it and cry inside.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Killbert-Robby on Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:28 pm

Komiyan wrote:You're not doing it right if you're not looking to get better at it, basically. That's the thing with art, you're never 'done'.

I still dislike my own stuff after less than a month, but the idea is to soldier on and improve on the flaws you see.


I wish my cycle was that long. I liked this stuff I did for class half an hour ago. I just peeked at it and already hate it.
Goddamit.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:39 pm

Killbert-Robby wrote:
Komiyan wrote:You're not doing it right if you're not looking to get better at it, basically. That's the thing with art, you're never 'done'.

I still dislike my own stuff after less than a month, but the idea is to soldier on and improve on the flaws you see.


I wish my cycle was that long. I liked this stuff I did for class half an hour ago. I just peeked at it and already hate it.
Goddamit.


Next thing you know you'll hate things before you even draw them, and then you'll just be an empty husk of the man you once were :(
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...and don't get me started on the stuff I drew yesterday!

Postby Cope on Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:58 pm

I already hate the stuff I draw three years from now.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Rcmonroe on Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:28 pm

I hate everything I do five seconds after I’ve finished it too, I think that’s pretty normal for an artist (or whatever I am).

That being said, it got me to thinking…

There are many cartoonists whose earlier work I prefer to their later work. The reasons vary from artist to artist; maybe their later work is too polished, or maybe their later work is sloppy because they got lazy, or maybe their style, which was fine to begin with, just morphed into something i don’t like as much. I wonder, in these cases, if these guys ever look back at their older stuff and think, “man, that was when I knew how to draw—my newer stuff sucks!

Probably not.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Killbert-Robby on Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:06 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:
Killbert-Robby wrote:
Komiyan wrote:You're not doing it right if you're not looking to get better at it, basically. That's the thing with art, you're never 'done'.

I still dislike my own stuff after less than a month, but the idea is to soldier on and improve on the flaws you see.


I wish my cycle was that long. I liked this stuff I did for class half an hour ago. I just peeked at it and already hate it.
Goddamit.


Next thing you know you'll hate things before you even draw them, and then you'll just be an empty husk of the man you once were :(


I hate things *while* I draw them, if that counts
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Phalanx on Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:22 am

Rcmonroe wrote:I hate everything I do five seconds after I’ve finished it too, I think that’s pretty normal for an artist (or whatever I am).

That being said, it got me to thinking…

There are many cartoonists whose earlier work I prefer to their later work. The reasons vary from artist to artist; maybe their later work is too polished, or maybe their later work is sloppy because they got lazy, or maybe their style, which was fine to begin with, just morphed into something i don’t like as much. I wonder, in these cases, if these guys ever look back at their older stuff and think, “man, that was when I knew how to draw—my newer stuff sucks!

Probably not.


Usually I say if I look back at the stuff I drew last month and don't cringe at the mistakes, I'd be pretty worried because it means that I'm not improving.

All that said, that thing about preferring older stuff isn't baseless. Sometimes in the striving to improve, people end up losing their own unique style and adopting someone else's style.

Maybe they do look back and get a wake up call. Or maybe they just never liked their own unique style to begin with. You don't know what you've got till it's gone, I guess.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Yeahduff on Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:15 am

Rcmonroe wrote:I hate everything I do five seconds after I’ve finished it too, I think that’s pretty normal for an artist (or whatever I am).

That being said, it got me to thinking…

There are many cartoonists whose earlier work I prefer to their later work. The reasons vary from artist to artist; maybe their later work is too polished, or maybe their later work is sloppy because they got lazy, or maybe their style, which was fine to begin with, just morphed into something i don’t like as much. I wonder, in these cases, if these guys ever look back at their older stuff and think, “man, that was when I knew how to draw—my newer stuff sucks!

Probably not.

I'm liking the new ad campaign.

This does happen to me, actually. Sometimes I'll look at some nonsense I just drew and think, "Didn't I used to be good at this?" Or I'll find an old drawing and think, "Huh, I knew how to do that back then, huh?"

In reality I know I'm about four times the artist I was this time last year. But what you mention is a reminder that, most of the time, style is the most important thing.
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Re: Pushing yourself to be better?

Postby Metruis on Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:59 pm

Yeahduff wrote:This does happen to me, actually. Sometimes I'll look at some nonsense I just drew and think, "Didn't I used to be good at this?" Or I'll find an old drawing and think, "Huh, I knew how to do that back then, huh?"

In reality I know I'm about four times the artist I was this time last year. But what you mention is a reminder that, most of the time, style is the most important thing.

I was better at drawing profile images when I was 14. When I was 14, and couldn't draw a face straight on or three quarters view without massively warping it... I could draw an accurate profile. I couldn't draw an accurate profile view six months ago. I mean, now? Now I know what composition is, now I can pose a person and make it interesting, now I paint light and I have a very distinct style... but there were some things I used to do better! Profiles, and inking, for one... I mean, sure, NOW I can draw hands and feet...

Funny, I think some of my best writing was a few years ago. I got too obsessed with getting better for a while and lost my own personal touch to it. I read it and I can point out tons of errors in sentence structure and yeah, I could polish that shit a whole lot...but in reality, for all its flaws, I think I lost something in my obsession with improving my writing and art.

I'm always driving myself forward and sometimes I think I mistake style for flaws. I've improved structure and composition and style, but once in a while I look back and think... dang. I was at a high point there and I'd like to get it back.

I still push myself, though.
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