Video: Drawing demo

We recorded me drawing another painting. It’s about a a traveller that has finally made it to his destination. An ancient library that holds the secrets needed on his adventures. I talk about my workflow in the video as well.

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Competing in a Saturated Market

Response to Roberto Blake’s video: competing in the saturated market

His question of the day was: the idea of competing in a saturated market scaring you off and keeping you from putting yourself out there?

I was going to slap together a little blurb in his comments section but instead will write a full post on this. I understand that this is something that others face as well so I will share this in this public platform in the hopes that this post as well as Roberto’s original content helps so, done take a chance on some idea.

Growing up Taisa and I assumed that a proper life would be to go to school, be good students get a job which will keep us employed for 30-40 years. Get a pension, retire and then mosey on off to the grave. We were risk averse because it wasn’t necessary for the above goals and in fact, competed with the prescribed life formula. It was risky to be risky even if the reward would be better. As stated in the post on why we don’t draw anime anymore, we didn’t have the tools to draw slick digital art like the top artists on early 2000s DeviantArt. I for one assumed that being competitive wasn’t an option. The fact that art is so competitive kept us from taking art seriously as a career option for a long time.

The only thing that made me think that I could do it was the points in life where it was necessary. I put myself out there because I had to. The alternative was to just get by in degree program I didn’t care about and eventually work jobs that I hated. So the option for us was binary: make ourselves competitive or be miserable forever. We weren’t even hurting anyone or doing anything unscrupulous, we wanted to draw some pictures. When the conversation was reframed in those terms that is when we stopped caring about challenges or others’ expectations for us. We figured out the things that we needed to do to improve because when it boils down to it those challenges tend to be excuses that feed into fear.

As Roberto stated near the end of his video on this subject; if you aren’t pulling the trigger on what it will take to tailor your life, if you aren’t engineering your ideas or contributing to the solution you aren’t allowed to complain. There are stories that we wanted to see in the world so instead of complaining about jobs or what other people are doing we are stepping out on faith and making it happen.

My final note on this is that everyone who has created successful things in some way started with nothing just like the rest of us. Even if a super great artist had a parent who taught them, that person still had to put the pencil to paper. Even people with inherited wealth can squander it away. Using other people’s innate superiority or privilege is actually an excuse to not do things when you break it down and just feeds into a fear of not starting.

Check out Roberto Blake’s video on the subject,  we are more than happy to send traffic his way!

In summary, we know that there is a saturated market but we chose not to care.

His question stands: is the idea of competing in a saturated market scaring you.?  Share this post with someone you think is letting fear hold them back!

Stop Drawing Anime?

We didn’t always draw anime as kids.  In the beginning we would doodle characters from western animation, make up our own characters, and copied from books around us.  Even as we would draw anime, we would occasionally draw things not in that style.  But from the ages of 9-17 anime took over the life of our art.  That coencided with the height of Cartoon Networks Toonami.  During our teen years we discovered art on the internet (remember that dialup noise anyone!) and Deviantart.com.  We saw people do those slick drawings that turned out to be digital paintings. For various reasons, we were stuck with traditional art and it became apparent that there was no way to make our stuff look that ‘cool’.  So we stuck to being as best we could with traditional art.  We did mess around with online tutorials and those infamous “How to Draw” books; y’all know the ones I mean.

By the time we were a couple of years in college, we had all but stopped watching anime for various reasons.  When we decided to pursue art as a career, we did not delve back into anime for the following reasons:

-we spent so much time on learning fundamentals.  We took the time in school to learn what we could.  As I said above we did dabble in the basics of art but we did only the bare minimum that we thought we needed to make cool little drawings.  We didn’t exactly know where we wanted to end up when we started taking drawing classes but we knew that we needed to build a solid foundation.  At that time we didn’t want to focus on making a style.

-we started looking at other types of art/media. Soon after we immersed ourselves in basic art we took a look at art history, architecture, graphic design.  We had to as part of our degree program but we did learn that there were so many disciplines!  There were so many cool things in the world other than anime.  We couldn’t just unsee all of it.  We also broadened our horizons because we were becoming more aware of our worldview at the time.

-we needed to look into realistic career options.  The options that we were aware of did not leave room for the style.
-there where things we wanted to articulate that weren’t served drawing anime.  When we were younger we saw art in books or maybe on the internet.  Those works were seen basically out of context.  But we were seeing these digital paintings and cartoons on a screen, in their element…they way they were meant to be consumed.  It wasn’t a fair fight!  Then we were going to museums and galleries as adults.  We’ve seen work from Kinkade, Dutch masters, Hudson River school, pre-Raphaelite paintings, life size portraits IN PERSON.  Even work from contemporary artists is impressive in person but when I saw my first gold leaf medieval painting face to face at the Nasher museum in Durham I knew that there was a standard that I needed to reach for; especially with the subject matter I wanted to explore.  The anime style would have handicapped our artistic expression.

Should other artists do anime then?
This is not a hard and fast no.
BUT…

we do implore our fellow artists to do the following in the early stages of your artistic journey:
-get multiple influences
-study fundamentals
-figure out where you want to go with your art and assess the practicality of this plan
Please realize that anime style may not survive all of that but the experience will be rich and rewarded!

So what do you think?  Please comment on your experience in different styles.  How did you decide to make the art you do now?

Video: Drawing foliage

Our newest video is up on YouTube!  It contains Taisa working on the pen and ink drawing phase of what will become an acrylic wash painting.  She explains her process, a few tips and tricks and there’s even some of our twin banter on there.  Comment if there is content you’d like to see from us and share with someone who would find this type of content interesting.

 

Conclusion of Inktober2017

October has concluded and it kicked my butt.  I am working on a few oil paintings that I’d like to get done by the end of the year.  Taisa, however, went all in with it.  She got some amazing ideas out of it including but not limited to a full blown narrative!

In conclusion of this awesome art community event, it’s very important to use these community events as a learning experience.  We implore you guys out there to not use these things as a means of drawing just to say you’ve drawn but to use it to hone specific aspects of your work.  That’s my inspirational blerb for today.  Have a great week!