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Since we're on the subject of taboos, I feel it necessary to talk about this one. This one pisses me off and it's very much a cornerstone to a bigger issue with our artistic community: The idea and assumption that as an artist you MUST improve at all times. 24/7. No exceptions. Every work you produce must be 10x better than your last. You must constantly strive for perfection. To ignore this "truth" is to commit the terrible sin of rejecting the very concept of improvement, and you will never break out of your "comfort zone."

I'm here to tell you that this is hogwash.

Well... partially.
You should strive to improve. Never say that I don't encourage improvement. It's why you go to school, why you go to college, and why after college you continue to work on your art. You always want to be better. The problem is that far too many people have a strictly binary concept of what "better" is and on how to "improve."

First off, there is no pinnacle of perfection. There is no singular mountain with a summit for only the most amazing works of art. Improvement for an artist is not a linear path straight up to a single point. I want to make that very clear because it's a fallacy so many people firmly believe. Like all aspects of life, there is a wide range of artistic styles, goals, crafts, and skills. There are many mountains and hills and valleys and paths to take, but for some reason the common wisdom is that there is only one path and one mountain.

There seems to be this vague concept that only hyper realistic art is desirable. It's the mentality that old master's paintings from the renaissance are more important and revered than modern more abstract art. It's the idea that a highly rendered digital painting with enormous amounts of detail and variety in shadow and light is inherently "better" than a flat monochromatic cartoon. It's the whole "high art" versus "low art" belief, and we are all being silently judged and categorized on this list.

But art is much more than that. You don't have to make the most realistic anatomically correct paintings to be considered a good artist. This whole "high art" goal had been so pounded into my head during college that afterwards I refused to let myself explore. I was under the impression that the ONLY way to be a great artist was to make paintings, with "deep" meanings and messages behind them. There was only one goal, and my constant failed attempts to achieve it was very difficult for me. I felt like a failure because no matter how hard I tried, I could not achieve the level of quality and "high art" that I saw around me (And wouldn't you know it? Those painterly works I did in college are often cited as my "best" by those who are critical of my cartooning work).

I learned an important lesson then. There isn't only one goal to try and achieve. Firstly let's put to rest the idea that you must be perfect at all times. As Salvador Dali once said: "Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it." This is not meant to be mean-spirited, but instead liberating. You can strive to improve and get better, but since perfection is technically unobtainable, you should not dedicate your life towards trying to achieve that which you cannot have. Making mistakes is how we learn and grow and get better. Don't be afraid of not being perfect.

And that's been my philosophy for a very long time now. I know that I will get better and improve. I will practice in my spare time and I will make what I feel is quality art for the project that I am working on. But I will not go out of my way to force improvement upon myself unless it is absolutely necessary for me to do so. And this is where the poisonous "high art" mentality I spoke of earlier comes into place.

People seem to have an aversion to things which stay the same. They see it as being "lazy" or not breaking free of the "comfort zone." It's viewed negatively by many and there are even those who violently oppose the very idea of letting your art grow at a gradual pace. They think that by jostling these artists out of their "comfort zone" they are doing them a favor and helping them grow, but more often than not it's detrimental.

And of course that mindset ignores when staying consistent is beneficial. Yes, there are actually good reasons to make art that is similar in nature. If you're running a web comic, for example, making sure the characters and settings are consistent between strips is highly important. If you work for a comic company you need to be able to produce consistent artwork that doesn't vary in quality. If you work for an animation company you need to be able to learn how to draw consistently in a style that may not be your own, and to be able to learn a whole new style and maintain that one as well for years at time. There is skill and honor in being able to maintain your craft and not shake things up.

Cynical improvement for the sake of it is almost as bad as refusing to improve at all. You can't force change, you have to let change happen. This is why I've always hated it when people look at my comics (which are meant to be posted on a semi-regular basis) and complain that they all "look the same" and are "stagnating." Yeah... they're kinda suppose to be like that. They're a series. It's not to say I won't improve and change things when I feel I need to, but demanding change for no reason other than to change is arrogant.

Let me reiterate, because I have a feeling people might forget, that I AM NOT AGAINST THE IDEA OF TRYING TO IMPROVE YOUR ART. You should absolutely do so when you can and when it's right for you. Likewise there are also a lot of fundamentals that we all need to learn. It might not seem like it's appropriate, but figure drawing and drawing from life can help you in a variety of fields, not just the ones dedicated towards realistic art. You should absolutely experiment and try new things.

But this singular narrow-minded mentality that you MUST constantly improve your art 24/7 or else you'll never achieve "greatness" is bullshit. It's a mentality that does more harm than good to our community. People should be allowed to grow and improve at their own pace. If they ask for help, help them, but don't force them to try and change.

There are many mountains to climb and it's incredibly unhelpful when an artist is halfway up one to point to another mountain and tell them they should just apparate over there now. If an artist is struggling with their realistic anatomy, you don't hand them a book on "how to draw cartoons," right?

I know that this is gonna be seen as me "rejecting improvement" but I really hope that most of you don't see this journal in that simple-minded way. I am not rejecting improvement, I am rejecting the belief that everyone must march in step to some socially accepted norm of our artistic culture. There's more than one way to make art, therefor there is more than one way to improve.
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RoseSerpenthelm Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014  Student Digital Artist
"Strive for perfection in your area, and be happy when you achieve a 98%" :D
Gnome64 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
People do tend to forget that art is meant to be enjoyed...
Gnome64 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I gotta say, though...the people who are the most critical and harsh about improvement are often those who are not very good themselves. I see it as a difference between people who walk the talk, and those who just keep talking.

If you've got a big and critical mouth, have the skills or an implemented work ethic to back it up.
NEJOS Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014

"There seems to be this vague concept that only hyper realistic art is desirable. It's the mentality that old master's paintings from the renaissance are more important and revered than modern more abstract art. It's the idea that a highly rendered digital painting with enormous amounts of detail and variety in shadow and light is inherently "better" than a flat monochromatic cartoon. It's the whole "high art" versus "low art" belief, and we are all being silently judged and categorized on this list."

Silencelabyrinth Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
Thank you :) This is actually one of the much more sensible things I've read about improving in art ^ ^
Devilfire-Dragon Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
(( OCC/Admin: This is an incredible argument I stumbled upon. It has cheered me up! :iconclapplz:  ) 
SisterHipster Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013   Traditional Artist
My motto in life from what someone has spoken to me has been "Strive for excellence: avoid perfectionism" and that very same motto is what aligns with what you are saying.  One should keep learning, but shouldn't beat themselves up about the skill level the person is at.  It takes TIME! 
LeccathuFurvicael Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
A thousand thank-yous and 'hear hear!'s be upon you! I feel similarly on this topic, but have not personally stated it as such to a public audience. It is so wonderful to hear this stated in such eloquent terms. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
frederickofolympus Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Artists have their own pace, like regular people. Some blossom right away while other do take time. Same with an artist's evolution/progression. I agree that in order to improve you must constantly hone your skills and never stop but you must also learn to observe because we as artists are observers first before we ever put our thoughts and creativity into a piece of paper or canvass. When you observe things around you, people, nature, you tend to absorb these into your psyche and along with your creativity and imagination, manifests itself thru your art. 

My opinion about progression is that as human beings we are designed to adapt, to learn, grow and evole so being an artist is but a natural extension of that. We evolve as we acquire more outside stimuli or influences around us and then we apply it to our lives and to our art. Never force yourself to progress or adopt a certain style of art but rather it should be a natural process or inclination on your part. I feel that you'll find yourself and your art style/niche better this way.
omtay Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013
Everyone should strive for an unreachable goal, because the further the reach, the better you become, even if you can't get to the end.
And yes, you can force change, as in, you are the only one who can change you.
You choose the rate of change and how it changes you.
As for this "cynical" stuff. I don't understand what thats about. I'm not even sure if its even a thing.
Stitchpunk0 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well said. :iconclapplz:
Pechan Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Don't be an artist that wants to get paid for what they do if you can't handle criticism. 

ellysketchit Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
I've been saying this for years! No one listens, though (well, hardly anyone). I generally point out as an example that Charles Schultz was a great artist, but if you compare him to a hyper-realist, should his work be deemed "crap" just because it's a "cartoon"? The man was awesome, but he couldn't draw cats - even toon ones -- for shit (as he even commented about once or twice). But that doesn't mean he wasn't great. 

I absolutely HATE "chibi" style. Since I draw a lot of anime-styled works, everyone assumes I can't draw it because I don't. I broke down once and drew the shiniest, crappiest ... thing I ever did. Just to show the folks out there that a good artist can usually draw all sorts of styles. We just don't like doing certain ones. We can have likes and dislikes, y'know. Sheesh. 

I do dislike getting "typecast", though. Everyone thinks I "only" draw anime. What about my illustrations, paintings, crafts and Western-style toons? WTF? Are you blind? I had websites up for years that showcased all of my art, but no one looked at the other pieces. >_>
iSpazzyKitty Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This makes perfect sense, and I totally agree! :D I hate it when people try to get me to change my style instead of giving me advice on how to improve the field I'm personally good at. I want to make comics and possibly even animations one day, and I love cartoons more than any other type of art. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate others, but that's what I do, so I work to improve that. :)
MadCatter15 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
This makes me feel so much better about myself and my art, thank you very much. : ) 
milojoe100 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
Hironemo Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Student Filmographer
A lot of great artists on DA, I find, were usually drawing since they came out of the womb... metaphorically speaking. However, I didn't start getting into art till I was in the 7th grade, and it's for reasons similar to what you're talking about. For most of my youth, society (school/parents) had given me the impression that academic arts & crafts and traditional fine art were what we should think about if we intended to create art ourselves. As a kid I had no interest in what the significance of a museum painting was nor whatever dinky art project I was working on for school. I was pretty good at art, but I didn't see it because I didn't care. And I didn't care because the art world felt very limited. If I ever did draw for myself, it only out of a whim, not an ambition.

I totally understand what you're saying about the whole high-art over low-art dilemma. A lot of the stuff I'm into right now, nobody would even consider adapting into a profession when I was a kid. I never had contact with any art friends or groups that were into anime/cartoons/video games. In a way, I had to discover for myself the joy that drawing cartoons would bring me. Nobody pushed me in that direction, or motivated me, or recommended me, and I was even advised against it.

I can't say that anybody has told me upfront that I should "force myself to improve" (in a hyper-realistic sense). But...

:icongrindsmygearsplz: people who say a drawing looks weird because it's "too cartoony"


:iconcaptainobviousplz::iconsaysplz: cartoons drawings look cartoony

Hmm, I hope I didn't go too off topic.
BerylliumArt Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Student
In my right mind I would agree with this, but lately I've been depressed about my art and thinking that I need to start from scratch in learning how to draw. Which I suppose is the whole point of this...Ha, oh well.

Anyways, I actually have read a webcomic where the art drastically improved throughout the whole thing, and it was really neat to see the art evolving. Actually, it's still going on, but the art has been relatively stable for a while. It's called Gunnerkrigg Court, and you should check it out if you haven't seen it yet.
Vardenaar Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Great article. I mean I'm a hobby artist but I always had a gripe with fights over what's the "most aesthetic". I'm most familiar with this in music where it can get to a truly awful scale but I was never a fan of what one could probably call the "high art" of photography - or at least a lot of what it represented (since the rise of internet platforms this fortunately changed certain aspects for a lot of genres of art). After all, at a certain level it comes down to preference, I like to think that a lot of the times we are tempted to judge, compare and categorize things in a manner of value it would be more appropriate to think of things as "different" which - in my opinion - should also be considered under these different circumstances.
Lord-Rael013 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you very much for this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  This is what I personally believe, and it flies in the face of so many of the people I go to school with, and who are my teachers.  One of my classmates once posted a flier around the art department of my school that read:

"If you're not good, get better.
If you're not getting better, STOP.
Persistence despite mediocrity is
not art, it is the WILLFUL CREATION

What makes this worse is that one of the more influential teachers allowed him to post it, and indeed encouraged him.  The student who posted this, let me add, was a pure follower of the trends, all but unable to innovate, at least in what of his work that I saw.
GraphiteHeart Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
i know i'll never be at the level of my favorite renaissance artists, but i don't care. I want to make what makes me happy, the style of drawings that i see when i've reached my dreams. The world needs different art styles because we all have our own vision of beauty and happiness. I want to make people happy with everything I have, and that will be my perfection
Kimsanerii Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013
This is just brilliant! 

Your journal is rather motivating, especially to doodlers like me. People who are not into art as much as most people on dA often assume that Renaissance artists like Picasso (please correct me if he is not from that period) produce high-end works or, simply speaking, fine art. To be very honest, Picasso's work isn't appealing to me at all. But then again, that's just my say. I guess I'm speaking behalf of the many people that only assume that his works are high-end because they sell for millions, are very popular, etc.

Also this cliche of ordinary people thinking that every excellent artist has a incredible gift and talent for art and that they had little to improve on really worries me. People often think that excellent artists had a few flaws, but they were corrected quickly thanks to their 'immaculate talent, precision and inspiration'. In nearly all cases, this is NOT true. Artists like this spent months/years correcting their flaws, and sometimes they never even got close. This is not clearly shown on their works because many artists will do anything to hide the flaws that they haven't yet corrected. They made progress eventually, but every artist continues to work on the imperfections till they think is perfect.

I completely agree with the fact that perfection is un-achievable. Perfection basically means that 'everyone who lays their eyes upon a perfect piece will think it is unbeatable and accurate in every way.' The thing is, many people may think someone's work is unbeatable, when some might think it isn't as good as everyone thinks. This happens on everyone's art, even mine. (Trust me, my art is not very good.) Some people like it, some people don't. Perfection is only achieved when everyone thinks it is non-critique-able. Unfortunately this is impossible to achieve because everyone has their own tastes. Remember when I mentioned that Picasso's work isn't appealing? Well that is the point. His works are good, but not perfect, and people have already made better pieces. Of course, I'm not saying he is rubbish. NO ONE IS RUBBISH. I just think that people have made better art. Just putting this is B.O.L.D just in case someone gets the wrong idea of my point.

For some reason, I don't see why anyone should 'critique' this especially when you virtually cannot criticize opinions that are reasonable. You gave both sides of the argument so your point is fair and you explained in detail about nearly every concept of your point. I understand some might have questions, but when I see a few comments on here, I feel rather sympathetic. :(
shareyourworldwide Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013
You're doing good I'd say. I like to look at your art and the variations you make thereof. Create whatever you feel like, your fans will continue to enjoy your stuff (As long as you don't go on with radical messages against human rights or so) and you'll be able to filter those from the... Ignorant bunch.

SavagingDragon Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"This whole "high art" goal had been so pounded into my head during college that afterwards I refused to let myself explore. I was under the impression that the ONLY way to be a great artist was to make paintings, with "deep" meanings and messages behind them..."

Ive never seen any of the deep meaning behind these high-and-mighty paintings and artists, so it might as well be a awesome picture to look at...

And I agree that some people don't need to change, and find their Niche in semi-realism style (like me...) or other.
Chickenlover13 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013


I like manga. I like the way that anatomies and faces can be modified to simplistic versions. Most look better than realistic representations due to the lack of pores and wrinkles.

 "Oh, oh, Hikari kawaii."

It's not high art. It's not snobbish. As you mentioned, if you're able to draw realistically, you stand a better chance of drawing cartoonish figures (which look better than works from people who don't really spend time in studying the fundamentals).

Cynical improvement? I look at my drawings and see the flaws. I don't like the idea of not getting better. Thus I do it. Even though I DON'T LIKE DRAWING that much.

Being great? Nah, nowadays my aim is just to keep getting better. Not for the potential fanboys or girls. Just for myself. It's not cynical, it's just improvement.
Religion0 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
What you're describing isn't what he's calling cynical improvement, so...

I have to ask you about your... Whatever-it's-called-at-the-bottom-of-the-comment (too hot). Why is "passion" a dirty word? I think it's one of the finer words.
Chickenlover13 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013
Because passion doesn't mean anything. It's a lazy way of pigeonholing intentions and motivations into a single word.

Some people don't do it because they are "passionate" about it. They simply have no choice. Others do it because they think they can get some respect. Maybe a few do it because they like it....but then you see them spending time with their girlfriends or wives. "Oho, you're passionate about it? Then why aren't you putting in effort 24/7? Why are you bothering with....relationships?"

The only person who really, really came close to dedicating his life to painting was Van Gogh and look what happened to him.
pauljs75 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Or you can "improve" by doing what Picasso did sometime after 1906... bunneh icon17
Baconmoose Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I admit that I read this kind of loosely because it's so long and things I've heard before, particularly from you. Unfortunately I find it full of strawmen, contradictions, and statements that are blatantly unfavorable on their own. I'm not going to get extremely detailed, but I'm going to touch a few things that are screaming at me.

The general art public does NOT think every single piece of art must be a massive improvement from the last. NOR do they think only hyper-realism is good art. I don't know where you got that impression, but it is highly mistaken.

Here are some things that might just be my 'opinion' but I assure you they're more highly regarded than your opinion probably is by the professional community, to be frank.

-Yes, you should force improvement out of yourself. Absolutely. Improvement does happen naturally from practice, but in art especially, significant improvement only happens when you attack your weaknesses and push yourself. If you're not willing to do that, you're not truly an artist.

-Yes, you are being lazy when you refuse to try new things or get out of your comfort zone.

-Yes you SHOULD continue to strive for perfection, even though you will never reach it. Perfection is infinity, and you will climb higher and higher toward it, and that is the nature of caring about your art. That does not mean you should actually expect perfection from yourself. It means you should keep TRYING.

-There's a difference between consistency and stagnation. I have said this before, but let me YET AGAIN extrapolate on it, and maybe something will get through this time.

You have definite FLAWS in your style. YOUR style. The style YOU want to portray, has flaws. a) The composition is generally lacking. b) Color theory is generally lacking. c) Anatomy EVEN within the stylization is bad, particularly hands and posture. d) Backgrounds are often lazy, with flawed perspective, bad composition (again) and inaccurate to what they're meant to represent. These FLAWS cause your style to be INCONSISTENT. And in addition to that, because you won't improve them, you also STAGNATE. Therefore you are failing on both fronts. Improving those flaws I mentioned will NOT cause your style to change, or at least it shouldn't. It will cause it to look more uniformed and intentional, which is what you WANT. Claiming it will somehow take your style away from you is a really lame excuse.

Stop conflating it with these other issues. No, you shouldn't constantly 24/7 obsess over improving. Sometimes you should be drawing for fun or to express some ideas or to meet a deadline. You're right about that. But that isn't what people are generally telling you to do. You've gone from not improving 24/7 to not improving AT ALL. We're not asking you to constantly pump innovation steroids into your art like your other comic implied. We're asking you to do some fucking studies, and fix your FLAWS. I have literally just outlined exactly what they are.

Go look up some tutorials and practice your weak spots, and or please stop misrepresenting the art community in these ridiculous journals. As a professional artist that does legitimately strive for improvement and feels passionate about my work, and encourages others to do the same, I find that extremely insulting.
scarletadragon Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013
actually read the journal not"loosely read"because its "too long" before you start criticizing it. 
also be aware that some of the things YOU say can also be found extremely insulting:
-claiming your opinion is better than everyone else's 
-criticizing (or insulting) a artists style instead of the actual journal
-calling a artists opinion "ridiculous journals"
you seem to believe that you are better than everyone else and have complete authority in if this opinion is wrong or not
if the journal and the person typing it are as flawed as you say why aren't the comments filled with insulting flamers like you?!??
Baconmoose Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I believe I read it well enough, if I made an actual error in what Dobson was trying to say, I'm sure he could tell me himself.

-I did not claim my opinion is better than everyone else's. I claimed my opinion was likely to be more fitting to the professional art community than his.
-I did not insult his style, I criticized it. It is related to the journal because the flaws in his work are a result of the convictions he presents in the journal.
-They are ridiculous and they are also journals. Opinions can be ridiculous. Sometimes even I have ridiculous opinions, and when people explain why they are ridiculous, I gain better perspective.

I do not believe I'm better than everyone else, nor that I have complete authority. I'm not an insulting flamer, and Dobson himself doesn't consider me one. If you do, that's kind of a lazy frame of mind used to avoid considering counter-arguments. Furthermore, I believe the comments show quite a few people that agree with me, and I'm willing to wager there are many more that are too afraid to post their agreement due to uppity white-knights like you getting on their case.

Essentially, if you consider criticism to be insulting that's fine, but I don't really care. I doubt it's going to drive Dobson to tears or something. He'll live. There are worse things in the world than being insulted. Like being deluded, for example.
PicklePieCow Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
This is absolutely true and is expressed wonderfully.
SpookyChick1013 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
"I am rejecting the belief that everyone must march in step to some socially accepted norm of our artistic culture. There's more than one way to make art, therefore there is more than one way to improve."

Thank you, again.  I am one of those who tend to devalue anything not done in a hyper-realistic fashion.  I suspect that my background in digital art, especially 3d render art, has a great deal to do with it.

However, as I mature as an artist, I am (slowly) growing out of this foolish belief.  My ongoing education in traditional painting assists with this, becAU (pardon, I am pausing  for a moment to grab my screwdriver and pry the DANMED caps lock key off the bloody, flaming keyboard,) because I am coming to terms with the limitations of working with paint and brush on canvas, and no ability to zoom or expand, or repeatedly hit CTRL Z as I have with the Infinite Canvas of digital art.

I had the realisation recently, that sometimes the oh-so-maligned "comfort zone" or "zona de comfort" as some around my part of the planet might word it, has a purpouse.  It is a safe place for us to marshal our internal resources whilst we decide in WHICH bloody DIRECTION we are next going to strive for improvement, or IF we are going to further strive, which is OUR decision, NOT some other idiot's decision.

In the end, (the teal deer for the 'neterati)  I agree with you, improving or not should be exclusively our decision, made at our pace, and in our chosen direction.
KatrinaTheLamia Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional General Artist
It takes somebody well versed in High Art to make decent Low Art.

If somebody in High Art cannot make Low Art, you cannot think of them as versed in High Art at all.

I saw this journal in the side bar... figured I'd comment.
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013   Digital Artist
Visual art is probably the hardest, most complicated topic out of any other crafts, sports, skills, etc.

Many disagree. ITS HARD. My AP Art teacher proved it.
rockpopple Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
I'm just gonna leave this here:…

Incapsulates all I want to say on the subject.
TomPreston Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is a really well article and I agree with it. I might post it in a future journal...
aychh Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
i hope i'm not being rude in suggesting this, but you never seem to be happy in this career. you always seem angry, stressed, paranoid, and depressed. it's just difficult for me to understand why you chose it, because you don't seem to like any of the realities. sometimes you aren't always going to get a pat on the back for just doing alright, you know? as an art school kid myself, it took me awhile to realize that. when i was a freshman and no one would say anything about my piece during critique, i'd feel miffed and think "surely there must be something that i did good (or bad) in this picture!" but it became this fantastic challenge for me to try to make my next piece for critique better and better, make something that will get someone talking about it. i'm so thankful for that motivation because it made me really think about what i wanted to say in my artwork. and, that motivation still sticks with me today. do people get motivated by different things? yes. but sometimes you do need that reality check for growth to happen. if you're going to have an artistic career, constantly improving your craft is one of the things that should be your focus. that should stand for any career, really. in such a competitive market, you can't afford stagnation. your proverbial "product" should be getting better and better. 

i'm not oblivious, i do know that you get a lot more constructive criticism and sometimes just plain negative attention while being under the deviantart public eye. but you also get a lot more praise than most people, too. all i'm saying is, when i look through your comments section i see a lot more praise for you than disagreements. i think you've just been under a rain cloud so long, that it affects your whole perception and you don't see things like that. but it's not healthy to see it so black and white. there are so many people who do criticize your work because they do genuinely want to see improvement. but, sometimes they get frustrated with you too just like you do with them.
Rohvannyn Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student General Artist
So..... I guess you didn't read the bold print Tom put up that said, multiple times, and I quote, "I AM NOT AGAINST THE IDEA OF TRYING TO IMPROVE YOUR ART. You should absolutely do so when you can and when it's right for you."  

The whole point of this journal is to discuss that.  Maybe he chose art because he loves it.  Just because he loves art, doesn't mean he has to love the dickish behavior of many of its practitioners.  There's no reason to suspect depression, high stress, or paranoia.  Even doctors don't diagnose or give advice over the internet because there's insufficient information to do so!

Sorry to dash your hopes aychh, but you were indeed rude.    If you have to say "I hope I'm not being rude..." then you are probably doing it.  It's a dodge.  You can't kid a kidder.  It's just like "with all due respect..."  I trust you take my point. 

I was an art school kid as well.  I went through all of it and earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary visual art.  I've been practicing and trying to improve my art for over thirty years.   Do you know what I've learned with that experience?

Tom's right.  

As for me, I believe that the quest for mythical perfection can cripple some artists.  Some of us prefer instead to compete against ourselves, improving on our own time and at our own pace.  
druesnant Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
Also I'm sorry, but your works doesn't show someone who has done practises in 30 years. I would consider them good from a beginner with one year or two of experience but not for someone who's been painting for THAT long. Did you actually bothered to paint from realistic references ? 
druesnant Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
This journal (and especially the sentence in bold you're re-quoting) demonstrates his issue with improvements on these points. He's basically saying it's okay to starve as an artist, and that you should report your duties later as long as you wish. I'm sorry, but life isn't like that, and an adult like him should know that.

As far as I could see, Preston only show interest in art in the only purpose to get meaningless statistics and valueless positive comments on a website. He didn't really show any kind of improvement that would benefit him in the professional field, not just in a drawing matter (such as his issue with colors, anatomy, composition, and motion) but also his lack of changing subjects (his strawman comics) or buisness (his abandonned comic projects because of low sales, his hypocrisy on copyrights, ...).

Improving "in your own pace" becomes really problematic when you're close to be a supposed professional, for ex. being in the last year of an art college before finding jobs. You cannot do that kind of thing if art must be your source of income. Preston often find pompous lazy excuses such as "he can't find enough time for practises". I'm currently doing a summer job that generally takes 7-10h a day (6 days a week) and I'm still able to find time to do drawing practises. It's just a problem of will from his part, which do sometimes happen to me as well, but the difference is that I only blame myself and no one else. 

Not constantly striving for improvements, especially as a professional, is also insulting your customers, actual and potential ones. He's just shooting himself in the foot for crippling himself with that kind of mentality. 

I also remarked that his followers tend to be incredibly aggressive when someone is calling out the man off his behavior. Not your comment in particular, but the one below us is just the perfect image of a community that pretty shows its issue with criticism towards anything it likes, by labelling that weird "troll" word to anyone who dares to have actual standards in the art field. Which the Deviantart community seems to lack, because of the 'social networking' context, where everyone should be "nice", as no one should ever say anything bad (that do explain why Preston only uses this website to post his works).  The comment you're replying is nowhere rude as the comments of Preston's fans (and Preston himself) in reponse of a ounce of negativity from someone else. 
SpookyChick1013 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Could you at least use bloody CAPITAL letters at the start of your bloody, fucking, run-on, apparently methamphetamine-fueled sentences?  My fucking eyes are BLEEDING after trying to read your nay-saying art-school-product establishmentarian rant.

Cheese 'n RICE, man!  What you have just delivered is nothing more than an apologia for the same jackasses the author is calmly and articulately arguing against.  Moreover, you apparently suffer from a recent and growing internet trend of diagnosing (supposed or alleged) mental disorders, based on thirty seconds reading of the subject's writing.

Perhaps it is YOUR perceptions which are off-kilter.  Mr. Preston is not articulating any sentiment which is not long-shared by many other people on DA.  Sometimes, we need to look in the mirror and say, "Maybe it's me?".  Have you looked in the mirror recently?  If not, I would recommend you do so;  I have!

"there are so many people who do criticize your work because they do genuinely want to see improvement. but, sometimes they get frustrated with you too just like you do with them."

This kind of statement you made serves the same purpouse as "I'm sorry honey, but you made me black your eye by not doing as I told you to,".  In other words, it is ABUSE.  The last time someone used this kind of BULLSHIT rationalisation with me, they ended up unemployed, fired for cause, as our boss didn't like it any better than I, and felt the same way, namely that if you want to see improvement," guide and instruct, don't berate and criticise,"

I may have violated that personal principle at the beginning of this comment.  If so, think about how raw non-constructive criticism feels to you, and take a long look in the mirror...
AmyTheSpiritSeeker Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Did you seriously compare un-sugarcoated concrit to domestic violence?


SpookyChick1013 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
No.  I did not.  I pointed out that the same backwards logic is used.
Pluzie Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013
"This kind of statement you made serves the same purpouse as "I'm sorry honey, but you made me black your eye by not doing as I told you to,".  In other words, it is ABUSE."

"No.  I did not.  I pointed out that the same backwards logic is used."

Do you not understand what a comparison is?
seriouschuplz Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
What right do you have to attack someone like this. Your entire post reads like a person trying to use all the imposing and intelligent words they could pick out of a thesarus just to rip into a person giving their view on it. You're worse than the people TP claims to attack/ridicule him, using such a nasty tone only meant to hurt. Given the emotional nature of the  journals TP has been posting, it's a little hypocritical for you to attack a person saying "it seems" in regards to TP's mental state, no less saying they are drug induced. 
Also your comparison is way off for this situation. It would be more akin to a person catching small fish when they have all the resources to catch bigger one, but won't because they don't care. 

SpookyChick1013 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's called free speech.  What right or grounds does aychh have to diagnose the mental state of someone who is writing rather reasonable journal entries?  Is he a psychiatrist?  Let's see his qualifications as a mental health professional.

It sounds to me as if you may be intimidated by someone having and using a large vocabulary.  I feel sorry for you if such is the case.  This is the level of vocabulary sophistication I normally write with.

My remark about amphetamines was because the last time I saw a writing style similar to aychh's  it was with something written by an individual strung out on crystal meth.  Also, go back and read it again.  I said apparently; as in, it looks like your run-on sentences are methamphetamine fueled.

As for your analagy regarding catching small fish when you've the resources to catch larger, but don't care?  What right does anyone have to tell a person what they should catch.  That is the individuals choice.
Baconmoose Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Pardon me, but this response makes you sound incredibly arrogant. Freedom of speech goes both ways. Reasonable is clearly subjective in this case. One doesn't have to be a psychiatrist to comment that another person seems depressed. It's called 'caring about your fellow man'. Seriouschuplz does not seem intimidated by your 'vocabulary', nor does anyone else. I don't find it particularly impressive myself. Accusing someone of being on meth is far more insulting than accusing someone of being depressed. Aychh's response doesn't read as anything remotely related to meth. Yes, correct capitalization and grammar would have been nice, but to go on about the lack of it is an ad hominem fallacy that ignores the actual argument. Tom Preston can catch whatever fish he wants, no one is holding a gun to his head and forcing him to draw better. However as his audience, we're making it known that we would like to see him do better. If he choses to ignore us, that's his decision, but we're entitled to form opinions about it and / or stop being a part of his audience as a result.
Madhatter2801 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
"However as his audience, we're making it known that we would like to see him do better. If he choses to ignore us, that's his decision"

Or instead he chooses to make journals and argue with us because we're not providing him with the comments he desires, when he should be working on his art.
Baconmoose Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Fair enough.
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