Hello everyone, how are you doing?
I thought I should definitely try to get some more Journal posts done to keep myself from working too much. As you know, I want to step back a bit to be more effective in the future. For some of you it might be the same thing - you work very hard, but you are getting more and more tired, but you can't stop because of your conscientiousness.
Let me show you what I think could help to keep yourself from working too much, regaining energy for work and how to stay active at the same time:
1. Appointments. Sure, these are stress too. But sometimes they are a good thing. I per example have some more appointmens at the doctor's office next year (just routine stuff), because I really had no time (and was stressed enough) this year. I just need a break. Next year it could be helpful as it will make me having a break from work at least once or twice a month (for several hours, but still...). Whatever else you have to do (I will have to go to another office - just paperwork - for something I have to get done...), to prevent yourself from being stressed too much, maybe take a little A5 sketchbook with you. That way you can still work at ideas, take notes for them, or small rough sketches. These are just for yourself and for being possible material you can pick for future projects. That way you take a break, but you'll stay active and you use the time you would otherwise feel like it's being wasted. Just trick your conscientiousness that way. So you will start to think positive. In my case, I am always superstressed with appointments, because my conscientiousness is killing me while I am not at the desk or in front of the computer. My little sketchbook already arrived and will be my best friend in the future.
2. Giving 100% is a respectable attitude, but in the long run it will drain your energy. Compare it with the following that is similar and becoming an issue: More and more money (equals your energy) is being spend for videogames (equals your work). So as the market (equals your conscientiousness) wants you to do more, and faster, and better, it will soon become a major issue. All money is taken to get a project done, but will it be successful? Maybe, but most likely not really, as more and more videogames are getting half finished and uninspired. You could equal that with: You skip more and more worktime with shortcuts, because your conscientiousness is begging for more, for faster, for better work. But not only will your work be uninspired and your skills won't improve (skills could equal the earnings for videogames) as much as if you spend more time and less energy on them.
So instead of giving 100% during a whole year, which will make you tired in the long run (and you won't have enough energy left, but still trying to give full power, that is impossible) as well as causing you being caught in a circle, just give maybe 50% or 60%. Just like the videogame industry you will run in circles to keep your own always growing standards alive, but at the end it will all crash. In your case you will burn out. But is it necessary to keep running and your energy constantly burning, that will make you hitting the wall (which means - you literally drop)? In terms of videogames: They can be done with less money, even though that much money is left for a studio, they don't have to be technically perfect (in terms of graphics) and throw all these effects or crisp details at the player. They have to provide great gameplay and a great idea.
Now what does that mean compared to your work? Maybe: Giving 50% of your energy for your work and taking your time with practice (always important) will help you to have enough energy left throughout a year. The energy I talk about is basically needed for you active worktime, hand movement, your eyes, and brain, etc.
You can still aim for great ideas and spend much time for the actual concept. Thinking needs much energy too. So I mean: Balance your focus. An image that focusses on a great idea doesn't need to be technically 100% perfect. Just like the gameplay sells a good game apart from the graphics, your idea for your work will sell your image. Technical great images can still be done while showing a great idea at the same time, but these actually need a lot of time.
Here you can use shortcuts to skip the technical part, but think about it: Will it improve your skills? Will it help you to be better in the future? I am clearly talking for the personal part of an artist's life and work. When you have clients it is important to make them happy. And here you aim for what is required to do that. Crisp detail but a tight deadline? Use shortcuts, as long as you know what you are doing that is great. The client wants something that "sells"? Use clichéd design-decisions and follow the basic designrules (per example the typical archetypes for characters). But just don't let this take over your personal work, your personal ideas, etc.
The best thing is to find a client who wants exactly that unique and personal way you chose for yourself. That is cool (and in my case, I found some) and still, you need to find a balance between worktime and your own focus.
In my case, I will step back and focus on what is important for me. It might mean that I won't upload much crisp detailed, but also for the most handpainted digital artwork, but rather focus on penciled drawings, traditional paintings and digital illustrations that might use more shortcuts (if needed) or being handpainted, but showing less texturework (what I meant with shortcuts) and needing more time. In the end, I aim for improving my skills and I cannot do that with being in a hurry, shortcuts and almost digital work rather than traditional. I will focus on my ideas and will spend 50%-60% of my energy for the future personal work. I aim for working effectively. An image can still look very good, which is why I mentioned the shortcuts. Knowing how to use these is important. At the end a client will get what he wants and at the same time, I can get my personal work done, and also improve my skills by spending more time with it. Which leads to the next point.
3. For personal work: Less "high detailed and digital rendered work", more "sketches, traditional coloursketches, or digital concepts, pencildrawings and traditional rendered paintings". Especially the sketching and drawing-part is something I need to spend more time with. My experiment (the "texturewhack" here brollonks.deviantart.com/art/A… ) shows that people click on the clichéd and simply very detailed looking stuff. That is okay, I don't judge anyone for this and still thank you for being interested. But to be honest, this image is deliberately a badly executed "texturewhack" with a very clichéd motive, just to proof the following: If the idea is what people like, it doesn't matter how you did the image. It is good for becoming known or attracting people, but not so good for your skills, as you want to stay focussed of your handdrawn and handpainted work.
The question you want to ask yourself is: Do I want to attract the mass, or do I want to find peace by walking down my own path?
For instance: Do you want to be known with work you don't really like or become bored with, or do you want to do your very own work with own ideas, with other tools, something that needs time and will improve your skills?
Walking down an own path will highly likely cause the mass to ignore your work. But those who will watch you and decide to support you, to walk down your path next to you, are the greatest people you can meet. Because these people are really interested in what you do, not in the subject matter you draw or paint, but in your idea behind the image.
(Example: If I would draw Batman fanart constantly, people would follow me only because it's Batman, it doesn't matter that I do it or not - what counts is only the subject matter, that could be drawn by anyone else - versus - People being interested in my own ideas, stories, characters, concepts, and also people who like to see work apart from highly crisp rendered digital work, but work that shows penciled, inked, traditional painted content.)
I highly recommend you to walk down your own path, people who will support you will do the same automatically (walking down their own path), because they think out of the box.
Now I don't want to say that you should look down on people doing matte paintings, or textured conceptart, or 3D paintovers versus handdrawn, handpainted traditional art. There is nothing wrong with that for what they (the matte paintings, or textured work, or 3D-paintovers) are done for (and mostly these people know what they are doing, they know their tools). There are actually no rules how art has to be done or not. The only rule is what you decide is important to you. When you want to practice, don't use shortcuts or you will skip the hard work. Do you want to be done within a tight deadline? Use shortcuts. Just work effectively and find the right balance between what you need for improving and for what you need to get done in time.
Still, a texturewhack can show a rather unique idea, but will be ignored due to that: brollonks.deviantart.com/art/T…
Because an arctic jungle is rather surreal, versus an asian stiled castle/temple in the background with rather basic landscape design: brollonks.deviantart.com/art/A…
4. Use most of your time for "the quest for ideas" and brainstorming.
While it's important to show activity on your gallery/galleries, it is more important to spend your time with ideas and brainstorming. That also means you cannot show as much as you want, if you want to have high rendered work in your galleries frequently. Because if you focus more on finding ideas and brainstorming, you will mostly sketch, draw and scribble constantly into your sketchbooks. Buy tons of cheap sketchbooks and just sketch. It will also automatically improve your drawing and painting skills with ANY tool.
The second thing for this point is actually writing: Handwriting. Scribbling ideas and writing down notes is very important. I did that for some years, but I will focus more on that. It will keep your imagination flowing and growing constantly. As for my personal project, writing will be something that is highly needed in order to tell my story. Even there I focus on telling the story, I don't want to write a novel, rather a script that is descriptive and sometimes has little hints of narrating text. So I aim 100% for the story-content here. Everything else can be done when I complete the product with images, then I can also try to give the text a better writig in terms of which words I chose and how to improve the wording as such. I think you know what mean here.
5. Find a balance between your carrier and your personal work.
Now this is for, per example, illustrators. My decision to use less energy and aiming for more effective work is also coming from my thoughts about what has to be done, in terms of client work or what I have to do in order to work effectively for them. To be more effective, I also have to spend most of my energy for them. And to guarantee that I have to spend less energy for my personal stuff (which doesn't mean that the quality drops, I can still find an effective way here too).
It is the price for being dependent on money (time is money = time for client work done as good as possible) AND doing work you like. It doesn't mean that work cannot be fun though. Just don't forget what is truly important for you. It also means to find your own field of expertise clients want to hire you for. (It doesn't mean that you cannot aim for getting hired to work in other fields too).
I got hired recently because of the way I draw, and paint, dragons. This is a client I am very happy with, as he really likes how I give my dragons a sort of "character", so I got hired because of the way I also do my personal work, and not because I show just fanart and clichéd content. (By the way, another bookcover still hasn't been revealed yet, I am eager to upload it to my gallery soon, it has one dragon shown that I enjoyed to do very much)
All in all I think finding a balance in my life between my personal stuff, my personal goal, and work, is very important or else it will burn me out.
6. What really counts for you...
For me (and everyone has to find out for themselves) the way of an illustrator is the only way to find peace. Illustration (dreaming, writing, drawing, painting, improving - then the loop of the previous words begins) is my only ray of light in this dark reality. I say that because just due to illustration I found my best friends, which are a part of my way, and a part of that light. The same goes for those who are truly interested to watch me walking down my way and maybe I can cause a ray of light for other people too, maybe because I can inspire them to find and follow their paths to their very own goals.
For me it is cruel to think about "time". Time passes and is gone, there is also no guarantee that I have less time than expected. My conscientiousness therefore can be very strong to do more, and more, as much as possible per day. But that can burn me out one day... And then even the rest of my time would be hollow, without being able to go on.
What really counts for me is that way I go. And I think only that is my goal, as the way is endless. I imagine my way like that:
I once dreamt of a dragon who has an endless heart, surrounded by an eternal nothingness. And I am the process to fill that heart with what I do. Like a pencil, or a brush, painting worlds on an eternal canvas. To make it less empty, it is literally the only ray of light. The dragon could be my conscientiousness, and the process is what I am. It was an interesting dream. As long as I live I will be that process with all those tools I need for it to be done. I fill canvases with worlds to explore them. As my way is endless, and that only counts for me (as my way is my way, and anyone else's way can be different, but similar), I will be that process forever. It might sound weird, it is what it is though. No one has to believe in my way, nor can anyone follow the same path (which would mean someone lives my life or becomes my existence). I just try to encourage people to think about what really counts for themselves, something that doesn't involve anyone who cannot walk down ones very own path. It is also something all my stories are about, more or less.
I can live with the message that dream I had gave me: My life might end some day, but my path won't. So it doesn't matter if I really get everything done I want to do, which also doesn't mean I shouldn't try. In the end my way goes on, so do "I". And to be able to go on with my way in my life, to do the best I can, I have to find that balance, to reorganize my schedule, etc.
And just while writing that journal, I got a clearer idea as to how my world/my storyverse is functioning. I will try to include this to my Forlorn Knights story somehow, this idea.
Now I need to find something to eat. And I am tired as well... The rest of this year, after probably the next 5 days, will be my holidays. Perhaps I will find some time to look at other people's worlds (playing games, watching movies, reading books...). I really miss playing games. I have 3 "old" games (Skyrim, Dragon's Dogma and Kingdoms of Amalur) for my XBox360 left. Actually that time over the upcoming holidays makes it even better, as I can enjoy the time with these games. I don't care much for the Next Gen of consoles yet. There is also Xenoblade, 50% played through, and Red Steel 2 on my old Wii left. And I would like to get The Last Story and Pandora's Tower into my little game-collection as well. Next year I might have enough money left (the majority is for my work, tools and personal work, daily needs, etc.) to spend for a new console and some more games. I would like to get Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2 as well. I need long games, games that last for lots of years. The console I might spend that money, I maybe have left at that point in time, for a WiiU. For this console I see the most entertaining games already being out or upcoming. I am no onlinegamer (no time for that - work is more important) and, although I love the ideas and the concepts (as mentioned earlier, I have many artbooks and also soundtracks for these kind of games), over time the endresults that become shooter-games kinda ruined the whole genre for me. I don't know why, but that started with the HD era of games...
However, I hope you will find a great balance, find what is truly important for you, to find peace on your path and never give up to walk towards your goals. As my way is my goal, I won't stop walking that way in my life, nor will I stop after that. It really is my attitude. Never means never, even when my life ends one day. I am very positive that I will never give up, due to my attitude, in my life in any case. And to be able to do that I won't forget that I need my friends and all people I can inspire with what I am.
I will not proof read this post immediately, so if you find weird wording or mistakes, please forgive me. I might edit my post later, if I find better words for what I want to say.
I hope you enjoy the rest of this year, and the upcoming holidays, and I think we will watch each other's paths for another year, in 2014. I will try to stay active, or even more.
Visit the galleries of my best friend and our team-gallery, and if you like the Fantasy-Club and painting Fantasy-Art, read our rules and join us.
Dracorigian-Fantasia MrsGraves xxfantasy-clubxx.deviantart.co… (xxFANTASY-CLUBxx)
And finally: The GREAT-ART-COLLECTION Group of my best friend