February 26, 2015

Common Mistakes Made By Beginning Artist

I’ve been reading some article on what is considered “good” when it comes to student work and it inspired me to write my own. I’m a digital illustrator that enjoys working in digital mediums such as Photoshop and Painter 12. I loved it from the very beginning and I am still continuing to develop my skills. I wanted to share my thoughts on creating art from the beginning stages to the very end when you have to present. I hope you enjoy reading this article.

Why Art
Before we begin, I wanted to start out with a question. Why did you choose art? Was it because you thought it was going to be an easy and fun subject where all you do is sketch some designs and play with color? The reality is that the art industry (weather its illustration, graphic design, or traditional painting) is a very cutthroat arena. You have to be very good at your craft before the world can start taking you seriously. If your going to choose art as a career move, make sure you’re hear is in it otherwise it’s going to be a very painful career move. Don’t get me wrong, art is fun, however there is a lot of work that goes into it. If you think about it, its one of the most time consuming subjects when your comparing it to homework assignments or presentations. The only thing I want to say is that if your truly interested in becoming an artist, make sure your doing it for the right reasons.

The First Step
As an artist, you must except that no beginning artwork (no matter how much time you strategies) will ever be perfect. You have to remember that you’re always on a time crunch and you can’t waste too much time thinking about how you’re going to start. Don’t worry about the idea that you’re presenting, just show what you can do with it. You will never find the perfect subject, idea, or thought so just pick one and run with it. If you wait too long to choose a subject, you are going to panic and you will rush your art project. I personally have not met a single person who believes in waiting to the last minute because they know just as much as I do that their quality of work will show. You don’t want to be “that” artist who presents below par artwork. Just make sure you start as soon as you get a decent Idea (good composition) and use all your time wisely.

Bad Art
Let’s discuss the reasons why an artwork isn’t as successful as they think they should be. I’ve bullet some of the main reasons and I’ve provided some ideas of what I’m talking about.

  • Having cheesy artwork – beginning artist tend to have the impression that drawing or painting a rose, skulls, a woman with no pupils, or making things glittery will make them stand out as an artist. The truth of the matter is that it makes you look so immature because that idea has been overused so much. Try generating original work.
  • Boring artwork – When I say boring, I think of paintings that reflect landscape such as hills of trees on a sunny day with a blue sky. It’s nice and all but it doesn’t grab the attention of the viewer at all. If anything it just makes them yawn and move on to the next artwork. You need to present some interesting point of view that also has a dynamic set of colors to really get that painting to stand out on its own.
  • Very simple artwork – When I think of simple artwork, I mean “simple artwork.” It’s the type of artwork that a child could probably create in a few minutes, you just polished it a bit to make it look presentable. As an artist, you need to challenge your self to do things a bit more complicated in order to showcase your true talent. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t use simplicity to get by on your art project. You will never get very far that way. 
  • Artwork composition is off – I personally believe this is the most important of them all. If you don’t have a solid artwork that can stand on its own, it’s practically impossible to make it any better. Have a solid pose or angle and make sure it’s one that draws the viewers eye into the picture and keeps it there as long as possible. Don’t get too caught up on this though, when you find a good idea, your inner voice will let you know.

Weak Art Presentations
The saying goes that you only get one shot to make a good impression. Keep this in mind when your about to present your images to a potential client. I’m not talking about your physical appearance per say. As artist we do have some le-way as to how we physically present ourselves to a client. What I’m referring to is what does your art portfolio say about you as an artist. I know that some fellow artist just want to present everything they have, whether it’s good or bad, just to show volume. However, this gives the impression that you like to flaunt bad artwork. My best suggestion is to get rid of your week art projects and keep all the strong ones. The goal is to present your most successful artwork to the client in order to gain that potential job contract. I understand that all artists have their flaws. Some artists have issues drawing realistically in pencil and/or in painting. You might want to consider taking on more classes to strengthen your weaknesses or you can simply embrace your gesture drawings as if it was done intentionally. One word of advice my professors gave me was that when you present your portfolio to a client, make sure you put your best work at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. You want your work to come out strong when they first open your portfolio and it should resonate with them at the end of the day.

Where’s Your Growth?
There are few artists that strive for perfection in all the projects they do, but you have to be realistic and know that each artwork will have their flaws. Those subtle mistakes are what make an art project unique. What I’m trying to say is don’t keep restarting an art project just because you don’t like the initial sketch or the beginning design. I know from experience that if you choose to restart an art project midway through your deadline, your final artwork will say, “semi-completed.” You don’t want to be the artist that displays sub par work because it doesn’t showcase your best abilities as an artist. Get an idea going and start developing it. That’s why artist use thumbnails, so they can generate ideas quickly and come to a conclusion on the direction they want to take.

Originality & Plagiarism – A Thin Line
Be very careful when you draw or paint an image that was created by someone else. When people know for a fact that the artwork you are presenting was copied from someone else but it was slightly altered, you will come across as the artist who lack in originality. Even if they made significant changes to the original, you still get the impression that it’s somewhat superficial work. But when the resemblance is just too similar to the original or it is the exact artwork; that is plagiarism.  Make no mistake about it, all artists, including my self, will use references such as the Internet, books, and magazines to come up with themes. The reason being is that you want to make sure your getting your proportions and layout right. Sourcing and referencing your artwork is one thing but when you can’t come up with original work it hurts your credibility as a processional artist. You should be using these sources to springboard your ideas and making them unique to you. All I can say is handle this touchy subject with care for moral and financial reasons.

I personally find this topic important because not a lot of artists give it much though. How you present your artwork to the client speaks volume as to the type of artist you represent. Your art will either say you’re a committed and creative artist with a strong work ethic or that you could care less about the assignment. When I talk about presentation, I’m referring to the way you mount your work, how it’s been handled, how it’s been arranged, and how the final package was assembled together. Examples of a bad presentation is having smudged boarders, torn or ripped corners, or the whole image is wrinkled due to moisture damage. When I see work like this, I can’t help but think of an artist who is disorganized and lazy. I believe that there is only a small handle of people in this world who can ignore the presentation part and still capture your attention because their work is so good. For the rest of us however, we need to make sure that our first impression count by showcasing our work in the best possible manner.

When you get right down to it, the ultimate downfall most artist are struggling with is procrastination. For all I know, you could have a bright mind with a wonderful memory and cramming technique that works for you when you study for a test or an exam. That way of thinking will not work for an art projects.  Art is something you need to give time in order for you to develop a good concept. You will also need to carve out a large chunk of time to actually executing the project.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that I was able to help you in your art endeavors. If you would like to learn more, please visit one of my social media sites. Visit my Facebook page or my Google+ page to see more of my posts. Visit my Website to see some of my other works I've done in the past. Follow me on Twitter if you like some quick art tips. Thank you for reading and never stop developing your art skills.

October 12, 2011

A Victorian Interior Feel

My Second project using Coral Painter 12.  I will be making adjustment to this one as well in the near future.  Just keeping you posted.

September 25, 2011

My Top Art Sample

This was for my graphic design project movie poster

This was for my one of my illustration classes

This was also part of my illustration class (Tiger and Hawk)

This is a sample of a painting I produced

February 3, 2011

My 2nd Best Top 4

Non-Profit Organization
Graphic Design

Descriptive Drawing

Color Pencil
Illustration 363A

Water Color
Illustration 363A