A Ranty-Article (for you artists out there)
I wrote this in my blog at half-11 last night. It's a bit of a lecture, but I thought I'd share it with those of you who aren't on the buddies' list. Let's get to it.
Recently I've been seeing a lot of artists my age - mainly on DA, but elsewhere too - worrying that they're either not getting noticed, or not getting better in their art skills. Or, the other way 'round, that they strongly aspire to be an anime or manga artist.
If you want to get better ... I suggest, then, practicing anatomy, still-life, and other real life studies. And when you take time out to draw in the anime style again, it's good to draw your own original creations, not Naruto/Pokemon/Sonic fanart all the time. Yes, chances are fan-art might get you DA-famous, and there's nothing wrong with a bit of fanart occasionally. Heck, it can be fun. However it's not really stretching your imagination to its full potential if you're always using someone else's characters, settings and/or stories. And imagination is key in art. If you don't have imagination in this field, you'll have very little indeed.
Nobody ever gets famous - and frankly, they don't improve much either - just drawing little supaa-kawaii anime girls for all of their art life. You have to have a massive variation in your art portfolios to show to your employers that you are not a one-trick pony. And not just the bosses too; when I went to a university's open day in June they told me that not many people get accepted straight after A-level because their portfolios were not skilled or varied enough. It was because of this I've decided to do another year at a local college, to get that experience.
Back to the topic of anime-styles.
The best anime artists out there have worked for years (and I mean years) on perfecting their skills in the basics of anatomy, the way the human body works, the ways animal-bodies work, and no end of poses and shading. No doubt they've also gone through some really rough times - getting a position in the industry is hella hard and they can't be massively picky about what they get because these jobs are so hard to come by.
And ... although anime is probably the most popular category ever on DeviantART, a lot of original artists I've seen with thousands of favourites and watchers have recommended in their FAQs that people should practise, practise, practise not only the anime style and other well-known manga artists, but real life stuff more than ever. Yeah, drawing from real life is hard and can be tiresome, but if you get practise and proportion down in that field, your other arts will look so much better, and you'll notice the changes.
I practise from real-life a lot for college. Not just people, but settings and from still-life like bowls of fruit or decorative beaded corn-cobs arranged in a bunch. I don't upload it all to DA, but I still practise. Yep, sketching just poses sometimes can be a little boring in comparison to crazy illustrating - I agree with one of my friends when he says he wants to put interesting detail on the pose he's practising, such as clothes or accessories. But it's a 'necessary evil' (for lack of a better phrase) if you want to improve.
I know I don't have a "guaranteed" tag that I'll ever make it in the world of art. Nobody has. But I do plan on going into teaching, and any art students of mine I get that intend on going into the business ... I'd heavily advise them to keep up their practising of the basics.
Thoughts? Discussion? Your own experiences?
Thanks to Elinox for the banner!
Fear the Lishie, Blake and Rizumu.