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I draw stuff for chocolates.
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OddBerry, here is a video called "The Art of Freelancing." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPvyDm2er84

It's almost 5 hours long, but well worth the time spent to listen to all the advice. Even as an artist who's been freelancing since 1988, I learned a few things I may have forgotten.

It's okay to be whiny, this is a tough business.
#31 - July 24, 2013, 07:11 AM
patreon.com/wendymartin
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (PiƱata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

@oddberry

           I feel you..and it's not a very pleasant experience..but regardless of what has happened to you it's never too late to improve..just keep drawing but with a purpose. Find your style and once you found it keep at it. If you're a comicbook fan such as myself..everyone in the comicbook business emulates each other..Jack Kirby had a ton of clones but some clones were better than the others..Some decided to stay as clones while others decided to push it one more mile..and there you have it they've found their own identity as an artist.

          What im trying to say here is get influenced by artists that you adore soo much..i'd even suggest you strive to be their clone as close as you can be..and if you're smart.. through the process of turning yourself into a perfect clone your favourite artist you will discover your own style..try redoing their existing work you can start by baby steps..you can either start cloning their stuff by copying it yourself and be accurate close to a 100% then if you think you've done an excellent job..redo it but this time it's gonna be your OWN take your own style, composition, color styling or even the page layout. Through this process you can really get your gears working. Once you've found your style try to assess it if you feel that it's enough to get you some work then stay with it..but as an artist i know we're not really contented with one so go and find another artist to get influenced with and try to crossbreed with whatever artistic execution they do that you admire the most and incorporate it in your work and the process will go on and on which will give the illusion of being an versatile artist..wherein versatility wasn't really your objective but trying to incorporate new and exciting ways to further enhance your style. I've seen your site your stuff is cool but it'd be more cooler if the pieces have a sense of direction. Im not an awesome artist myself and this advice that im giving you is the one im currently doing..honestly it has its own pros and cons but im quite happy with this process if you'd give it a try i think it'll help at least a bit.

           And don't worry you'll get there!! don't give up! like me..im not giving up too..i may falter sometimes but i pick myself up and whoop my ass to get work done and so should you!..Nothing beats that feeling of artistic euphoria when you see your work evolve into something you really awesome even if the work is a week old lol..for me that's how i assess my work..if you think you've done awesome work try looking at it again after 3 days to a week if you think it's still an awesome pieace then congratulations if it's starting to suck..then go get your ass back to the drawing board and do it all over again!!

 :gogirl
#32 - July 26, 2013, 07:51 AM

Desertfoxx- I agree with the heart behind your post, but I think that it's dangerous to clone other peoples' artwork (other than a master copy every once in a while), especially if you've picked just one person to emulate. I've seen a lot of people get into trouble that way - rather than giving them the tools to succeed, they get trapped doing what someone else does, just not as good as that other person. I think it's better to  look at tons of artists, even artists who you might not enjoy outright (or might be a different genre than you), and look at their work critically. What did they do, and why did they do it? What might you have done differently to improve on it? How do they use a brush/pen/pencil that might be different from something you've seen before?
And then draw from life as much as you can. I know every artist and their mother gives that advice, but man, does it ever help. The more you think and practice, practice and think, the better the stuff from your imagination will get - and your style will develop without you having to force it. Then someday maybe you'll be the one everyone wants to clone!  :yup
#33 - July 26, 2013, 10:15 AM

I did a children's art project series at my library this summer and prepared a little PowerPoint artist bio before we did each project. The stories of developmental style were so similar between Paul Klee, Claude Monet and Alberto Giacometti. They all worked to develop their own style and struggled with it. (Giacometti even went through a phase when he only felt inspired to create figures less than an inch tall, which crumbled easily.)

In hindsight, in a biography, it looks so neatly laid out. These are they years of art school. These are the years of rebelling against what art school stood for. These are the struggling years of living on nothing but beans. These are the triumphant years when the artist finally broke through. But at the time the struggle would have seemed to stretch on interminably. What I noted most was that each artist never gave up, never stopped creating and developing their own style. At the time they did not know success was ahead of them. They just made art.

I am not an illustrator, just a person with opinions :)
#34 - July 26, 2013, 10:35 AM
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
@amandacoppedge on Twitter

Desertfoxx- I agree with the heart behind your post, but I think that it's dangerous to clone other peoples' artwork (other than a master copy every once in a while), especially if you've picked just one person to emulate. I've seen a lot of people get into trouble that way - rather than giving them the tools to succeed, they get trapped doing what someone else does, just not as good as that other person. I think it's better to  look at tons of artists, even artists who you might not enjoy outright (or might be a different genre than you), and look at their work critically. What did they do, and why did they do it? What might you have done differently to improve on it? How do they use a brush/pen/pencil that might be different from something you've seen before?
And then draw from life as much as you can. I know every artist and their mother gives that advice, but man, does it ever help. The more you think and practice, practice and think, the better the stuff from your imagination will get - and your style will develop without you having to force it. Then someday maybe you'll be the one everyone wants to clone!  :yup

Well probably in different areas of the illustration world..but in comics it's an open field..even trying to get in a certain studio you need to be a clone of the head of the studio..if you look closely on Top Cow comics..everyone there drew like Marc Silvestri..Even Bruce Timm is a 100% Jack Kirby clone everyone in comics started as clones i even heard that when Jim Lee left X-men the artist who picked up where he left were told to at least draw in a similar way as Jim Lee to be able to have some sort of continuity..well im pretty sure the threadstarter is much more intelligent than taking my advise literally..and i never said that you when you become a 100% clone of someone else then you can use that for your work..i specifically said that by emulating another's artist's work will help you discover your style..it's like practicing with an imaginary art teacher..the artist that you're emulating is your invisible coach..thus keeping in line if you ever wander out..and when you've exhausted and discovered the proper artistic execution then you start to venture into other artists that have caught your fancy..because in my opinion if you are an artist you have a tendency to improvise or experiment especially when you've gained some sort of veterancy or experience in your style.

           So my point was that if oddberry would then choose to emulate an artist way of executing his artwork then probably she'll find her artistic path..if she's not that confident she can find safety by absorbing her favourite artist's execution..and once she's gained some experience then she can experiment and through that experiment she'll be able to find her own swing that is uniquely hers..all im trying to say is use another artist work as a training wheel or crutch ones you've got the hang of it then you can get rid of the training wheel and spread your wings...This is what the artists i mentioned above did..Bruce Timm by being a complete clone of Jack Kirby and Dan DeCarlo he was able to find a way to combine the his 2 favourite artists style to create his own style..you can see a little Dan DeCarlo there and some Jack Kirby there but all in all it isn't swiping but it's a whole new art stye that Bruce Timm can call his own.

                Swiping another's work is a different story using another's work for personal artistic growth for me is ok..that's why i put it that some clones are smarter (they didn't get trapped) and some aren't (they became slaves to their own idols) im pretty sure Oddberry will get it..
#35 - July 26, 2013, 10:47 AM
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 10:59 AM by desertfoxx »

OddBerryCreations

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I appreciate each and every bit of advice and information given. Honestly, there are so many illustrators and artists I am so fond of, I couldn't possibly narrow it down. And I actually have tried to mimic the art of others only to realize that my own voice shines through in the end so what's the point? That was quite some time ago and I've learned quite a few things since then. One of those being it's ok to use references. SOOOO many illustrators and artists use reference pieces it's unreal. I have also chatted back and forth with some highly professional artists and I would never EVER want to use their work (that they struggled to find in the beginning like myself) as my own. I use things for reference by them just to gain an idea but I'm very picky about what it is I use and how much of it I use. I'm not worried about finding my style or finding my voice just yet. Right now I'm just learning the words. I have been working on gesture drawings and learning figure drawing all over again. I have tons of information and now I have a plan. wanna hear it? Ok.  :typing

First part of the plan: Make 5 pieces
Second part: replace 5 old pieces on my website with 5 new
third part: repeat

I'm not trying to be the best out of the gate but I know that my portfolio isn't strong enough to be taken seriously. My pieces have a little bit of emotion but I want them to have tons. I want them to speak without needing words. I want the message to come across plain and clear. I have quite some ways to go. When I have my sketch done, I'll color it. I'll continue doing this until it's second nature to me. I have a plan. My plan is don't have a plan. Just do. I'm keeping it simple and sticking with the basics. If I have a question, trust me, you guys will be the first to know.  :yeah
#36 - July 26, 2013, 10:57 AM

Exactly..use them as reference..there're times that you get stuck and get an artist's block..an artistic effect that you can't achieve based on your skills..or a part of the body that you can't nail down on paper..so what i do is look at how my favourite artist tackles the problem..probably do some test runs myself and try to copy the entire thing and to see how it feels..and once I've nailed it and found out what I didn't realize on my own..then I start to create my own twist on how to achieve that same effect..so basically i ran to my favourite artist for safety since he knows how to tackle that problem i had that i couldn't solve on my own..then when i was able to absorb the solution through copying his work..then i can try and do my own swing on the problem..since i've already gained some experience on how to solve the problem through my favourite artist' work..I believe that even the most seasoned artist can still get some bad drawings once in a while and for them to solve it is either they redraw it several times..refer to an anatomy book or look at their favourite artist..I even chatted with Tim Sale on FB and asked him what were his preparations before doing Spiderman Blue..he said that he did a ton of research on old spiderman stories and studied John Romita's work..so there even Tim Sale needs to look at another professional artist work to get the job done nicely..he didn't swipe John Romita's work but studied it..on how the characters should be drawn since his spiderman story and romita's were similar in a way.
#37 - July 26, 2013, 11:09 AM
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 11:17 AM by desertfoxx »

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This is a great thread, with lot of experience and advice! Thank you! OddBerryCreations, you have a winning attitude! Great!!! :goodluck
#38 - July 28, 2013, 06:12 PM

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