Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Creativity versus Artistic Ability versus Education
BlkKnight at 5:14PM, Oct. 28, 2007
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CharleyHorse
BlkKnight, I should have been more careful in composing my top-post. While I think most people assumed that I was talking about artistic education what I was really thinking about was an all around education in the humanities. Of course there have been pure physicists that made the transition to cartooning and did a bang up job, but they – only one that I know of actually - admitted that they were also inveterate readers of fine and not so fine literature, classics and otherwise.

While I do have a library of art books I consider my saving grace to be the wide cross section of generic reading I do in almost all subject matter.

Considering what I learned at Dilbert's Scot Adams' keynote speech at the 2007 SAS Global Forum, I can believe a physicist taking a cartoonist route. All you need is a single person or event to doodle about while bored and off you go.
That's “Dr. BlkKnight” to all of you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
bobby_the_kid at 3:44PM, Oct. 29, 2007
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even though i probably have no right to be here right now…

(i'm working on a comic,i just haven't posted yet.*cough**cough*)

i'd say that education only plays a very small part in web-comic creation.
i know this guy who can't spell properly,didn't go to any fancy colleges or shit,
and in fact dropped out from high school,and he draws AMAZING artwork.absolutely amazing.

and i'm not saying anything to diss the people with the fancy education,i mean,thats great.you must be very smart to get in those places,but….when it comes down to it,the only thing that matters is…is it in your blood?
do you want to do it?
is creating a comic your passion?
if it is then go right ahead.

its in my blood,thats why i got interested in web comics in the first place.
if people think i'm under creative,or under talented,or under educated or whatever,then thats there issues.not mine. _ _
why should there opinion matte(unless it has some kind of constructive criticism. - )

*shrugs*



WEEEEEEE!flesh eating hamsters and happy hour girlie drinks make good bobby!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
mlai at 4:05PM, Oct. 29, 2007
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Someone
i know this guy who can't spell properly,didn't go to any fancy colleges or shit,
and in fact dropped out from high school,and he draws AMAZING artwork.absolutely amazing.
Maybe you missed the multitude of threads where most ppl state that story is more important to keep them as readers than art.

Of course, it's easy enough to partner with a writer… assuming one can tell good writing from bad writing.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
bobby_the_kid at 4:16PM, Oct. 29, 2007
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*shrugs more*

i never said it wasn't the most important part.
it is.

i was just saying that,for any art,education isn't the absolute MUST HAVE to be an artist.
WEEEEEEE!flesh eating hamsters and happy hour girlie drinks make good bobby!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
CharleyHorse at 5:54AM, Oct. 30, 2007
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bobby_the_kid
. . . i'd say that education only plays a very small part in web-comic creation . . . if people think i'm under creative,or under talented,or under educated or whatever,then thats there issues.not mine. _ _
why should there opinion matte(unless it has some kind of constructive criticism . . .

Actually I think this would be a great new top-post. Is a significant depth and breadth of education important in cartooning? But that's not what really interests me in this thread.

It - in my case anyway - boils down to wanting to become the best that I can in all aspects of cartooning regardless of any artistic deficits that are part of my personal nature. Other cartoonists naturally have different priorities.

I'm reasonably talented as a graphic artist - though not what I would consider professional class - and am only going to improve in that area by incremental amounts over time . . . if at all, being as how I am an essentially lazy artist. As for creativity or imagination I definitely have some sort of problem there, but I have found that possessing a wide breadth and depth of knowledge in general has enabled me to cobble together techniques that can more or less substitute for that natural lack of innate talent.

But if I did not care about creativity or imagination in my cartooning then I would not have sought workarounds for what I consider a problem. If another artist has an abundance of creativity and imagination then there's no motivation to work on further development in that area. If a cartoonist is so good in the visual area of the work that creativity seems irrelevant, then that is a perfectly legitimate personal call.

Even if creativity or imagination is a problem for such a skilled artist then as mlai stated,

Mlai
Of course, it's easy enough to partner with a writer… assuming one can tell good writing from bad writing.

Again, this would be a perfectly acceptable workaround for any perceived writing fault.

So the dual thrust of this thread is pretty much determining what, if any, weaknesses a cartoonist possesses and if or how they decide to do something to correct the deficit.

It's a given that nobody has to correct anything or even consider a lack of skill or knowledge in an area a problem.

Oh yeah, and as far as having work up, bobby_the_kid, that's not a requirement for posting in the forums. If you click on my banner signature you will discover that I haven't got a work in progress myself. I will have something up and running again in the near future, but for now I'm content to keep it on the drawing board while I noodle around on the DD forums.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
cartoonprofessor at 6:10AM, Oct. 31, 2007
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Personally, I believe although a ‘formal’ art education can definitely help it certainly isn't necessary.

I stress to the children I teach in my cartoon art classes at schools here in Australia, that it is vital to do lots of homework… read as many comics as you can get your hands on.
Everything from the classics… Uncle Scrooge Adventures, Tin Tin and Asterix… to Spiderman, Sandman and Star Wars (Droids, if you can get it has some absolutely brilliant art and writing).

I learnt to read with Donald Duck and although I could draw a little as a kid it was limited to guns, tanks and stick figures.
Then when I was about 11 I fell off a roof (my neighbour and I had converted an ancient piggery into a club house) and damaged my back a bit.

While in hospital I got sick of rereading my comics and began to copy some of the characters from them. The first real character I drew was the ‘Dog’ from a very-popular-at-the-time New Zealand comic strip called Footrot Flats.
My Mum, a typical teacher, thought she would inspire me and bought some Walter T Foster How-To-Draw cartoon books.

I have been drawing professionally for twenty years now but never gained any ‘formal’ education. The Foster books were the closest any education came to formal.
To cut a long story short, I simply read a lot of comics, observe and learn from Those-That-Have-Gone-Before.

I consider myself a fair cartoonist. I know my weaknesses and most importantly, how to work around them.
I think all cartoonists have weaknesses. Some practice more and make them strong. Others work around them and develop other skills to hide them.

'CharleyHorse', when you say a good cartoonist “in the visual area” may make it seem like creativity is irrelevant… I think creativity can never be irrelevant. If a cartoonist is not creative they are not a good cartoonist. I have seen many well-written, ‘creative’ works ruined by illustrators with very little creativity. These artists may seem at first perusal to be very talented, but their lack of creativity ineviteably leads to lack of life or ‘spark’ in their work. These artists are usually good at copying but not at visualisation and imagination.

Most importantly, do not judge your own abilities. Many of us are constantly frustrated at our own percieved limitations yet others see our work and think its great.
I have seen work done by 7 year-olds in my classes that are nothing short of brilliant… totally unique in style and execution, yet these children look at their own work and think it's crap!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
CharleyHorse at 9:26PM, Oct. 31, 2007
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cartoonprofessor we may be comparing apples to oranges under the category of melons.

My creativity deficit is primarily in the plotting or storyline categories. In the artwork itself I can be brilliant, mediocre, or inadequate depending on innumerable factors. The miscommunication is my fault for not narrowing down my term. On the other hand, I honestly did not expect the element of creativity or imagination to be so significant in this thread.

After thirty years of trying and failing to be a novelist, I am reasonably certain as to my weaknesses. I know that it carries over into cartooning. The differences between the communications mediums of a novel and various forms of cartooning, however, makes it easier to disguise my deficit in this area. There are simply different creativity criteria for the two media.

That would be another interesting thread, I warrant.

Someone
'CharleyHorse', when you say a good cartoonist “in the visual area” may make it seem like creativity is irrelevant… I think creativity can never be irrelevant. If a cartoonist is not creative they are not a good cartoonist. I have seen many well-written, ‘creative’ works ruined by illustrators with very little creativity.

My intention there was to assure another poster that in the amateur field at least one's personal criteria can take precedence over professional, industry requirements. All else being equal, sure, it would be wonderful if we were all as creative and skilled as the average Disney cartoonist. But as amateurs there is a great deal of leeway.

Because I am experienced enough in various fields of art and I have the advantage of fifty years worth of rather interesting life experiences I am capable of judging my own innate abilities and learned skills. But I agree that most beginners are almost entirely wrong about their abilities in both their positive and negative aspects.

It helps in my case that I have taught fundamental art techniques to some children and adults in years past. Not in a professional capacity, but simply because I was the best and handiest instructor for them at the time.

I've enjoyed reading your input on these forums cartoonprofessor. It's very nice to have access to advice from an experienced instructor and a fine artist to boot.


last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
cartoonprofessor at 5:21AM, Nov. 1, 2007
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Thanks for your comment CharleyHorse.
I'm sorry for not understanding. I should have read the previous posts more carefully.

Define “plotting or storyline categories”.
Do you mean you feel you write scenes well but ‘lose it’ when you come to plot complexity? Or do you have good ideas but can't write the scenes well?
Do you normally write a story from scratch right through until the climax? or do you first come up with a rough plot outline and then write?
Or are you simply frustrated with trying to come up with something original?

“To return to thoughts about my own artistic deficit, since I lack creativity I have to substitute education and a very wide and eclectic study habit for originality. This irritates me no end, but there's nothing else I can do about it. I can train myself to fake enough aspects of creativity to get by, but no amount of study will generate real creativity. You are either born with that element or you are not.”

If you asnwered yes to the last question before the quote above… maybe you simply have not found something to be passionate enough about to write a story for it.

My whole and entire reason to begin ‘Min n Fin’ was and is to attempt to make a difference. The characters began life in my lessons at schools, ie the desire to send a subtle (and not so subtle) message about human nature in the ‘bad guys’ the Snamuh. The Snamuh desroy everywhere they go because they can only see a dollar value in anything.

I would tell a story about the creatures the class was drawing while we were drawing them.
I am extremely passionate about the environment and "Min n Fin' is an attempt to spread that passion.

Sometimes I worry that elements of the story are not ‘original’ enough. For example, the giant Snamuh ship, ‘The Coorporate Raider’ may be percieved as being too similiar to Star Wars' Death Star. (There is an important part of the story where our heroes get lost in its bowels).

I try to remember that most good stories are retellings. George Lucas himself recognised this truth.

I don't believe anyone is born more creative than anyone else. The difference is in being open-minded enough to let your imagination ‘run through the fields’ unrestrained.

Going back to your original question (I think)… Formal Education can often stifle creativity in my experience. For example while at university I learnt to write for the lecturers, not for myself.

Sorry for being so long winded.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
CharleyHorse at 4:50PM, Nov. 1, 2007
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Arrrrrrrgh!

Sorry about that, but you do ask the difficult questions.


cartoonprofessor
Define “plotting or storyline categories”.
Do you mean you feel you write scenes well but ‘lose it’ when you come to plot complexity? Or do you have good ideas but can't write the scenes well?
Do you normally write a story from scratch right through until the climax? or do you first come up with a rough plot outline and then write?
Or are you simply frustrated with trying to come up with something original?

“To return to thoughts about my own artistic deficit, since I lack creativity I have to substitute education and a very wide and eclectic study habit for originality. This irritates me no end, but there's nothing else I can do about it. I can train myself to fake enough aspects of creativity to get by, but no amount of study will generate real creativity. You are either born with that element or you are not.”

If you asnwered yes to the last question before the quote above… maybe you simply have not found something to be passionate enough about to write a story for it.


Plotting is fairly easy to define. It's the central big problem and can be surrounded by other, slightly less dominating big problems, depending on how complex the author wants to make the storyline. So protagonist against nature or protagonist against leering antagonist. Plotting also includes motivation, if any. It's pretty much what the work of fiction is about.

Storyline is far more difficult to define, mainly because it is a catch-all term and one not necessarily embraced, as a legitimate one, by all scholars of storytelling. So I'll offer up my own rule of thumb definition. It's the background information making up the rules, the texture, the time from of the world – originally I was going to be a science fiction novelist. Now tacked on that is the precise nature of the protagonist, support group, average citizens and the antagonist and support group, if any. To an extent, I think of storyline as the nuances draped over and threaded through the hard kernel of the plot. Sotryline would be the unique particulars that give the plot its particular flavoring.

Now the above is from the perspective of a novelist of - at least - fantasy work, and so it is broader in nature than would be required for something existing in a known reality environment, such as the author of a contemporary mainstream mystery novel. So far, it seems to translate one for one to cartooning, if there exists a plot and storyline, that is.

Now to actually try and bring this to a meaningful conclusion, it's the storyline, the environment and what its nature that gives me mucho frustration, not the plotting. This is because there are only about thirty five or so possible plots. Whether they know it or not every fictioneer, regardless of medium of expression, utilizes some minor variation of known plots.

I used to disagree with the universality of plots, by the way, and then gradually came to the grudging conclusion that, by golly, the assertion was correct.

One can have original storylines but not original plots.

As for the creativity aspect I have a library of ‘how to’ books and have at one time or another utilized just about every suggestion for imbuing originality in my fiction. Unfortunately the ones that offer the greatest freedom leave my hopelessly adrift in a sea of random possibilities. The ones that narrow down the options to a range that works for me, puts me back to producing derivative works.

After thirty years of gradually learning how to ‘do’ every aspect of fiction writing, except be original, I finally conceded that some fundamental and innate trait required for producing original work in the field of fantasy novels, I am lacking.

On the other hand, in all other respects I did teach myself to become one hell of a good writer.

So what's this got to do with cartooning? For whatever reason I can live with my creativity deficit when it comes to cartooning. This may simply be due to the fact that cartooning is a dual storytelling process; it relies on both word-based and visual storytelling to get the job done. For whatever reason I do seem to be creatively adequate in the visual aspects of cartooning. Go figure.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
mlai at 7:53PM, Nov. 1, 2007
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I think the CP made a good point. There's no human who can be a good writer who knows all the tricks, yet have no creativity in writing an engaging storyline. The word you're really looking for isn't creativity… it's passion.

When you don't really care/feel about what you're creating… there will be no life, no inspiration, and you naturally fall upon derivative templates which you yourself recognize as such immediately. Most webcomickers don't have your problem, because the entire reason they're making free comics is because they feel the passion, to tell a story which fuels their muse. They love their characters, they love their worlds.

If you don't have that, your characters and worlds will feel derivative.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
cartoonprofessor at 3:56AM, Nov. 2, 2007
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mlai
I think the CP made a good point. There's no human who can be a good writer who knows all the tricks, yet have no creativity in writing an engaging storyline. The word you're really looking for isn't creativity… it's passion.

When you don't really care/feel about what you're creating… there will be no life, no inspiration, and you naturally fall upon derivative templates which you yourself recognize as such immediately. Most webcomickers don't have your problem, because the entire reason they're making free comics is because they feel the passion, to tell a story which fuels their muse. They love their characters, they love their worlds.

If you don't have that, your characters and worlds will feel derivative.
Well said!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
CharleyHorse at 6:04AM, Nov. 2, 2007
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On the whole I agree with you mlai. It's certainly something that would apply to most people in similar circumstances and one that I would also offer up as a probable explanation in such instances.

In my case I did also conclude that I was originally far more fascinated by the notion of being able to create wonderful works of science fiction and fantasy than in the process of the writing itself, which I generally had to force myself to do - and force in a grim ‘do it or die trying manner’for year after year.

There was no love of writing for the sake of the writing itself. In my youth I had gloomed onto becoming a novelist because it seemed to me at the time one of the most noble of pursuits and - frankly - I wanted to some day be able to call myself a successful novelist. On the other hand, I was young and they do not call youth callow for nothing.

So, all of the above could likely apply in my particular case and definitely in the case of most failed novelists. On the other hand there is such a thing as lacking enough of the necessary elements in the accumulative amounts that collectively we call talent for a field of endeavor.

I generally dismiss the catch-all term called ‘talent’ as being the determining factor in art, as most aspects of what we know as talent can be learned through diligent study and consistent and critical practice.

Ahhhh . . . and there's the rub. I don't quite think either of you realize what thirty years of study and practice and sheer bloody-minded effort amounts to in it's practical nature. I gave it my all; and were talent not somewhere a vital element in the mix, at least one aspect of talent that I simply do not have for writing novels, then I would have ultimately produced and refined during the editing process something suitable for publishing. While I did finish a few novels none of them were publishable. In retrospect I would even have hesitated to use the hard copies as source for a good fire, as the dreck printed on the sheets might have smothered the flames aborning. But then perhaps I exaggerate slightly.

In any event, I suspect that we have dragged this whimpering specimen of a top post rather far off topic at this point as I can't imagine how any of this is of any value to anyone working at the art of cartooning.

There is a conclusion though, and one I offer up to all critics and educators - based on having myself been wrong after the fact more often than I find comfortable - sometimes the most logical explanation, even if it covers all the bases, is still, in fact, wrong. Sometimes the thing that we least desire to admit to being a factor in a process is indeed the culprit after all.

Being on the inside looking out and also having been on the outside giving advice and guidance to people struggling to improve themselves or at least their skill in various areas of art and craft and scholarship I remain - reluctantly so, I might add - convinced that in my particular case my self-assessment is correct.

Of course the above conclusion is just like the admonition to do all things in moderation, as the next fillip is a caution to approach even moderation in moderation. So usually a cigar is, after all, just a darn cigar; and just because after long and careful analysis you think you are correct, this does not mean that you are.

Now if anyone can use any of that for the purpose of developing their cartooning ability or staying on course as a cartoonist then they are welcome to it. As for myself I think that I shall show this particular horse a modicum of mercy and cease flogging it.

I've enjoyed the debate people. I honestly have!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
Zad at 2:40PM, Nov. 17, 2007
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Hey all! *jumps into random discussion, with no diea whatsoever of what is going on*

I think I would say my creativity would be OK if I wasn't so lazy, my art is mediocre ocre ocre ocre, and I have NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO edumacation, not counting one bad art class.
I bet I'd be betetr if I could color my art, but i ehat colored pencils, and i CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT find a program that works on Windows 98.
So right about now, I'm pretty low.
:D
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:54PM
CharleyHorse at 7:45AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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Hey Zad, before reading the silliness of mine below, you might want to check out the following site for what seems to be a pretty good quality software application that claims to be usable for Windows 98 users:

http://wang.zhenzhou.googlepages.com/

===========================================================================

Ha! I bet I could out lazy you any day of the week! That is, I could if I weren't so darn lazy. Hmmm . . . I might need to rethink that concept as a challenge.

Anyway, what this weird thread - I have NO idea why it was made into a sticky - is supposed to be about is how you as an artist go about fixing problems you have in the areas of creativity or artistic ability or education.

Take me, for instance, I've got this weird problem in that I seem to have the creativity of your basic soft-shelled crab. Why a crab comparison? Hey, why not?!

Anyway, I sort of compensate for having very little in the way of creativity by studying a great deal in literature and in art techniques and the critiques of arts and artists and so on. None of this works particularly well in my case, mind you; but that's how I deal with my artistic deficit.

Boring big time, yes?

Believe it or not – and you should believe it because it seems to be true – your art work or styling will get better with practice. Of course this can take years of more or less steady effort. But then you are going to be living and breathing and stuff for all those years anyway, right? So you might as well fill up some of that spare time developing your art styling. Shazam!

Art classes are pretty much over-rated in my estimation, unless you are going to become a professional or simply can't learn from what's freely available over the Internet. But then again, I may be wrong about that. Still, I don't see why anyone should refrain from doing whatever art they desire just because they've never taken a formal art course.

Yeah, the art coloring stuff is a big problem. I, too, am not real crazy about the use of colored pencils for webcomic art, but then that may be because I don't have the patience for really getting good with colored pencil techniques. I'm better I guess with water color or acrylic paints.

What I'm saying is that things don't have to be perfectly colored in order to become good webcomics material. Sometimes - when I do upload work in color I use diluted acrylics on card stock and then scan that in or resort to a software application for coloring. The thing is, though, that you CAN probably find something even at your local store that will work well enough on your paper to scan into your computer. Some people like to use markers.

Hmmm . . . windows 98? Have you tried any of the freeware software applications that are available? Now I don't know that they would be satisfactory; but it would seem that freeware software archives would offer you the best possibility for finding something that would work with Windows 98 and still be half decent. Of course, I wouldn't want to place bets on that happening. I'm just saying . . . it may be worth a try.

Sigh! If I put half as much time and effort into my artwork as I put into writing in the forums, I'd be much farther along with my comic and cartoon strips work.

So it goes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
dueeast at 7:35PM, Nov. 21, 2007
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I apologize that I haven't been able to read every paragraph of every reply but I have gotten the general gist of the thread.

My take is this: there's always room to be educated to improve either one's artistic or writing skills, no question. However, one will grow more bored than watching paint dry if there is no passion, as mlai said. There is a danger in only going with one's passions – that's a great way to write yourself into a corner. That's where one must balance experienced/educated writing with passion and creativity.

Artistically, experience is the best teacher with some real life subjects, whether people, objects, etc. (that is, if one wants to draw realistically and not in a stylized method, which is equally interesting)

I think the main point I'm trying to convey is how important that balance is, and it can develop pretty naturally over time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
CharleyHorse at 8:21PM, Nov. 25, 2007
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I think you are correct, dueeast. Balance is key. Unfortunately this is impossible for some people in that they - some few people, I mean - are almost always either totally and passionately engaged in what they are doing almost to the exclusion of all else or they are very nearly equally disengaged. Life is itself either feast or famine to them due to their brain chemistry. people like this have no choice but to force themselves to throttle back during their manic phases and then to somehow, dutifully trudge forward during their down phases.

Of course I am just picking nit here. Essentially you are entirely correct.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
jimmy_genocide at 4:45AM, Nov. 27, 2007
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id like to start by saying this thread is a brilliant topic.

i believe a good artist should be knowledgable (educated), creative, unique, and some degree of ability. now the problem i have with these things is that they can be easily altered, or might not even exist in the first place. what i mean is as far as education goes, its more than just going to school, its being expierienced and knowing about what your dealing with. and it isnt really that hard to increase education.
uniqueness is another story, we are after all, all individuals, and unique at that, the problem with being unique is that not everyone will appreciate your style, but on the other hand a piece of art could inspire someone to change thier life.
creativity is a great one too…. i dont think any one person is actually “creative”. ideas just kind of happen spontaneously and develop into something amazing.
and ability is just talent and practice.

as far as i go personally im 18, just graduated highschool and havent had any “real” artistic education other than standard art courses. but that doesnt mean im no good, i still have ideas floating around in my head for comics and artwork daily, but that doesnt mean all of them will end up on paper or canvas. i do have a unique style, but style isnt limited i can create a variety of different styles.

so yeah you can say im not creative all you want, but you just gotta be inspired.
you can say your uneducated all you want, but you can change that if you really wanted to
you can even say you dont have any artistic ability, but that just means you gotta work a little harder….
after all did da vinci just wake up one morning and decide to paint the mona lisa…..

didnt think so


-jimmy

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:09PM
CharleyHorse at 6:02AM, Nov. 27, 2007
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Speaking of brilliant, jimmy_genocide, you have delivered some deep thoughts here. There's a goodly amount of great assertions in your reply, but what really struck a cord with me was the inspiration remark.

jimmy_genocide
. . . a piece of art could inspire someone to change thier life. creativity is a great one too…. i dont think any one person is actually “creative”. ideas just kind of happen spontaneously and develop into something amazing. and ability is just talent and practice.

Now, I'm not a hundred percent in agreement with the entirety of that quotation simply because over the course of decades I have encountered a few people so imbued with creativity that original thought rolled off them like perspiration on a hot and muggy day. They are rare creatures, but they do exist. But I definitely think that inspiration is the handmaiden of creativity – or vice-versa – in that I'm not certain you can be creative without that spark of inspiration that mysteriously explodes behind your eyeballs and makes your hands grope for paper and pencil, or the monitor and keyboard, as the case may be.

I don't usually quote the heck out of a fellow artist, but your ending was pure gold as well,


jimmy_genocide
so yeah you can say im not creative all you want, but you just gotta be inspired. you can say your uneducated all you want, but you can change that if you really wanted to you can even say you dont have any artistic ability, but that just means you gotta work a little harder…. after all did da vinci just wake up one morning and decide to paint the mona lisa…..

didnt think so

You've managed to encapsulate what I've been trying to say here regarding creativity. Both education AND that necessary element of INSPIRATION together can substitute for innate creativity, if a person happens to be limited in that one area.

The whole point of this top-post is that hard work and diligent study and practice can make up for nearly any natural deficit an artist may be struggling with. This doesn't mean that a person will become the best of the very best, but it does mean that he or she can become very good in whatever areas of art is personally considered important. Hard work and critical self-analysis do matter.

You've gotta want it bad enough and you have to be willing to work your tail off to accomplish your goals, and you have to be determined to work at them consistently.

Thanks for the reply!

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
jimmy_genocide at 11:56AM, Nov. 27, 2007
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first off you welcome, and thank you for the compliments aswell

CharleyHorse
You've gotta want it bad enough and you have to be willing to work your tail off to accomplish your goals, and you have to be determined to work at them consistently.

Thanks for the reply!




i gotta say though its this line that makes me really think we're on the same page here. it all comes down to desire and what your willing to put yourself through, i didnt just wake up and say i wanna be a comic artist… thats just the way it is. and charleyhorse, i like the term you used “best of the best” personally thats my my motivation and my desire, and thats why i work so dam hard all the time, of course im not saying that im the only person in the world who wants to be the best at what they do but if you dont aim high, you'll never achieve high.

-jimmy

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:09PM
Ziffy88 at 9:40AM, Nov. 30, 2007
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I'm lacking in all especially in artistic ability. I mean I have improved in a year how I draw stuff. As for creativity I never had that much trouble coming up with ideas. It's just making them flow that's hard
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:01PM
CharleyHorse at 10:44AM, Nov. 30, 2007
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It's odd, I guess, but I consider artistic ability the least of the problems an artist can have, because it is definitely one that sheer time and consistency will fix to a large extent. Oh I know the differences between the natural artist type born able to sketch a face or a body or a complex looking starship on the fly and someone starting out at the stick-figure drawing level.

But since I did start out on the stick figure talent/skill level I KNOW that time eventually fixes that problem to a great extent.

I think the problem there is the intimidation factor, though. I mean you look at what you can do now and compare it to someone your own age or younger that seems light years ahead of you in artistic abilities and you tend to want to just give up and do accounting instead. This is when you need to trick yourself.

I look at it this way, I know that no matter how disgusted I get that I'll always come back to art work eventually. Look at how much better I would have been though, had I never given up in the first place. Sure, I probably still wouldn't be as good yet as those natural artists but I would be a far more skilled artist than I am today . . . if only I had stuck with it all along . . .

I envy those people who never give up. Those are the real winners in life.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
ledpusha at 11:12PM, Nov. 30, 2007
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I am self taught but I also sought some formal training for fun. I say if you think you can do it then you can do it no matter that it is. Determination and practice is more important.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:30PM
marine at 5:09AM, Dec. 1, 2007
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I'd like to think I don't have any of the three. Thats why I draw poses with no anatomy and sparse shadows, stories without a begging middle or ending, and get laughs without jokes. Having no education or creativity allows me to involve poop as much as I can, in my comics.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:53PM
korosu at 1:42PM, Dec. 1, 2007
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I see myself lacking a lot of creativity. I can draw, sure, but a lot of times I have a hard time thinking creatively. But then again, I've always been a harsh judge on myself, so maybe other people don't think I'm as bad as I think I am. :/
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:21PM
liz at 8:56PM, Dec. 2, 2007
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I consider myself to be self-taught in art, since I've had no real education in art until this year. But for aspiring artists, I recommend educating yourself before you screw yourself over with bad drawing habits that could develop over years. Style is great, but make sure it doesn't clash with anatomy and basic art principles. Develop style off of how you interpreted what you learned. But artistic ability and education aren't nearly as important as creativity.
I've seen some people who were able to conceal their poor artistic skills with an immense amount of creativity.
korosu
I see myself lacking a lot of creativity. I can draw, sure, but a lot of times I have a hard time thinking creatively. But then again, I've always been a harsh judge on myself, so maybe other people don't think I'm as bad as I think I am. :/
You are your worst critic. It's easier for you to spot your own mistakes after laboring over a drawing for hours. From what I've seen, people don't notice half of the mistakes made in most illustrations, so don't judge yourself harshly.

Updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday! =D
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
jimmy_genocide at 7:07AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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It seems the real issue here is creativity. i think this thread has basically enforced what ive been saying about needing all skills, education and creativity but it seems in agreeance that creativity is everybody's weak spot.

but i think creativity is really just the question, the final product being the answer to that question. with that said there is always multiple ways of answering a question. so how does one come up with ideas for comics without being creative. you create creativity!… if that makes any sence. heres what i do when im creating a concept for a comic.

usually it all starts with a simple idea, this could be anything of topic (war, zombies, vampires, dogs whatever) and this becomes the base of the idea which stems out like a flow chart. from the topic i can usually create a basic generic storyline. from there i create a hero or main character, basing him on the the simple facts ive gathered thus far. with a hero i usually come up with a side story, or a background history for the character, this is a neccesity to me, a more complex story line if done right is the key to keeping your readers on the line. once the basic ideas are in mind and the characters are in place with thier individual side stories, i pick a theme or style to use for the artwork and after that i start to work on the keys that make evcerything interesting and those are also common story traits (ie keeping somethings hidden until the oportune moment)

its a long process, but its the process i would go through even if i were creative just to make sure that the writing is appealing and so on.

the one thing that i do enjoy doing is when i fet one of those rare creative bursts i'll usually use the creative new ideas and merge them into a piece im currently devoloping…. so instead of just creating one idea one day i base it on something generic and firmiliar and then throw in the creativity afterwards and then jazz everything up and sugar coat it….

it may sound like a pain in the ass or a dumb idea but believe me not only does it work but its mroe entertaining than sitting on your ass waiting for something creative to hit you in the face

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:09PM
CharleyHorse at 5:22AM, Dec. 6, 2007
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Well said jimmy_genocide. That's almost precisely the recommendations usually offered to aspiring novelists. While I found that I could not apply these techniques to carry novels through the process I can utilize these techniques, with some changes, to craft a comic storyline. Hard work and painstaking attention paid to logical methodology can substitute for raw creativity. It pretty much leads to the same product in the end.

The only thing I do differently from your scenario is that I do not work out everything ahead of time. I do know in general the elements you listed but mostly I just let them ferment together in the back of my mind while definitely thinking about them as I go along.

This is NOT a methodology that I recommend to other sequential artists, and I wouldn't do it that way myself if I had a choice, but I found that my interest level stays highest if I'm sort of making up the ongoing story as I upload each finished page. Now I can get away with this for two reasons: first, it seems to be my natural technique and, second, I've been in the story crafting game for at least thirty years and so I have the background skills necessary to keep the entire thing in my head.

Many artists function well without worrying about creativity or artistic skills or the determined pursuit of education. Many other artists, however, find that they simply cannot produce steady work without investing in one or more of these areas, because their particular deficit seriously interferes with their goal. Depending on your goal and how your skills and learned materials come together you may or may not find it necessary to concentrate on developing end-run techniques.

It all depends on what you are aiming for and what you find that you have to do in order to get where you want to be; but you do not have to declare the goal an impossibility simply because you are lacking in what you consider a vital area. This thread shows that you can develop areas that you find lacking in yourself.

CharleyHorse

PS: I'm going to put a caveat here. I'm on record declaring that I found I could not be a novelist due to my innate lack of creativity. Since this declaration runs counter to the above statements, I'll point out that it took me thirty years of very stubborn effort before I finally threw in the towel on becoming a novelist. My goal, you see, was to be a professional novelist. Well, through dint of incredible effort and literally thousands of failed attempts, I managed to produce three manuscripts in my chosen genre. Three manuscripts - not one of which was actually publishable - in thirty years is a fair indication that I should strongly consider altering my professional artistic goal.

After YOU have invested thirty years of trying and failing to carry through on your personal goal as a sequential artist then you, too, can then consider yourself justified in declaring that you just don't have what it takes. Meanwhile keep working!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
jimmy_genocide at 7:23AM, Dec. 7, 2007
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CharleyHorse
After YOU have invested thirty years of trying and failing to carry through on your personal goal as a sequential artist then you, too, can then consider yourself justified in declaring that you just don't have what it takes. Meanwhile keep working!


nice statement, at least to me its a reminder of just how hard one has to sweat to succeed, and it sometimes is a goal just too far to grab, but one way or another you gotta keep on truckin'.

im not professional yet, im just out of high school. for me the pressures on, just trying to even see if i “have what it takes” (according to colleges)

but i agree with charleyhorse, you cant give up just with one or too flaws, i know i would never have the stregth to give up on my artwork, so i cant let myself fail. thats all there is to it.



-jimmy

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:09PM
acadia at 2:09AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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A lifetime of thought and creativity is useless without the skills and tools to properly express it.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
CharleyHorse at 12:05PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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Sure acadia but then that just triggers the original top post premise of Creativity versus Artistic Ability versus Education in that when you are lacking in more than one area and if you feel the need to fix your deficits do you bother to do so, can you do so, and if you try and if you fail, then what do you do?

Now that's one heck of a convoluted sentence, isn't it?

Someone
A lifetime of thought and creativity is useless without the skills and tools to properly express it.

Reading back over this lengthy thread we see that some artists point out that they are lacking in one of the specified areas and still do not find that a problem when it comes to developing or applying their craft. Others confess the same deficit and proclaim the lack a real problem.

While not better than being blessed with a natural supply of creativity, I do find that, in sequential art at least, my substitution of deep study and thought on the matter does allow me to produce an adequate gag-a-day strip with an ongoing story line . . . just as if I were an innately creative person.

Now I agree with you about the vital necessity of possessing the right tools for the job and accruing the skills set to properly apply to paper or to monitor screen what blossoms in the depths of the artist's mind, but I can't really speak authoritatively on those subjects because I find those easy to attain. I am one of those proverbial Jacks of All Trades type of person, and to push the analogy to extremes - unlike the traditional ending - I actually have become the master of more than a few of them. So I find it relatively easy to develop and grasp both the skills and tools that I need to do the art style that I enjoy.

Lord knows, there's billions of cubic kilometers of room for improvement in both my skills and tools department but, again, I don't feel crippled by my deficits in those areas; whereas a lack of innate creativity finally just flat shut me down as far as becoming a novelist is concerned.

But everybody has a different artistic sticking point - unless they are a perfect natural.


last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM

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