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Posted on

Hushicho your comment kind of gives me an idea about a curator or mentor who would recommend next classes or areas of study to focus on.

I'm glad the newsletter is useful! I don't hear many comments about it so I'm glad to hear about it.

Yeah shading is a tough one. I'd like to do a livestream about beginner shading. But it will probably have to wait until April since I'm doing a lot of traveling soon. Though that might not be directly useful for your use case (dark colors, fur, substances)

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Thank you so much Hushicho for adding to this conversation! Your insight is very useful for our community. I'm sure others will benefit from it.

I've taken on a similar habit of maintaining a bullet journal where I put down my tasks for the day. I also check in on my goals once a month to assess progress. Perhaps I could do a blog post about that.

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Why I think New Year's’ resolutions aren’t worth worrying about, and what I’m doing instead. I'll also share my art goals for the year 2018.

The Deadly Pitfall of the New Year’s Resolution

The new year is often treated as a chance for a new start. The problem, though, is that many people fall into the trap of making a new year’s resolution, setting big, grandiose goals  for the coming year.

Are you reading this a month into the new year? If you did set a new year's resolution have you stuck with it? Most regular gym goers know that the gym is often crowded in January and returns back to normal crowd levels into February. Why is that? It's likely that people aren't sticking to their fitness new year's resolutions.

Why is this a problem? Often new year’s resolutions tends to be far-reaching and involve the entire year. For example: “I’m going to work out three times a week, every week.” Now, that’s a great idea in theory, but to meet this expectation, you have to do something consistently for an entire year, and that’s more than a little daunting and many people can't stick with it. In general, New year’s resolutions are usually very big, long-term goals, and that’s why they usually end up being ignored, forgotten about, or lamented as failures .

This isn't healthy for our mindset because inevitably we'll end up losing confidence  one month into the new year. And a loss of confidence can completely stop us from progressing at all. But there's a better way.

Reach for the Stars...but Build a Ladder Rung Each Day to Get There

Instead of setting a new year's resolution, I try to set smaller, shorter term goals . Last year, I wanted to start my own business. But instead of setting a new year’s resolution to have a new business by the end of the year with no direction beyond that, I thought a little smaller to begin with. Big goals are great, and it’s good to have them to reach for, but you have to set smaller goals along the way, to pave the path to the big ones.

I said to myself that I would try to work on a daily routine of getting up early to work on building my business for two months. After starting that routine, I had a new goal to come up with a new product concept within a month. After completing those steps, I set a new goal to  formalize my business as an LLC. Which, by the way, I actually succeeded in doing last summer.

My 2018 Art Goals

For 2018, I have a long-term goal of improving noticeably as an artist.

For smaller goals along the way, I first started by taking a month (December) to establish a daily drawing routine. In January, I set a new goal to study figure drawing. I'm taking an online figure drawing class which should take me about 2-3 months to complete. Within that the class is broken down into several mini goals or segments (gesture, bean, structure, long study, etc).

After that, I'll be ready to set a new goal. What will that new goal be? I'm not sure yet. Maybe painting or maybe studying anatomy. What matters is I don't have to worry about it yet and I'm focused on the short term, smaller goals.

Now, what happens if I fail? Well, if a week goes by, and I’ve hardly drawn at all, that’s ok. It's not a big deal because it's only a week’s loss. I'm not going to be hard on myself. I will pick it back up again.

If I wasn’t breaking up big goals into smaller ones, I might get a few months into the year and give up, convincing myself that I'm not capable of achieving what I want and feeling bad about myself.

What We’ve Learned

  • Traditional New Year’s resolutions are a pitfall in and of themselves; they involve setting grandiose goals that are difficult if not impossible to achieve without smaller ones along the way.
  • By setting smaller goals and working to stick to them, you can eventually achieve the big goals by chipping away at them bit by bit.
  • If you fail to achieve a short-term goal, it’s only a small loss, and you can pick right back up where you left off.

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About character profiles

A character profile is a nice way to share information about your character with the community and make it easier for them to find all artwork related to your character.

Special thanks to  MaskedDragonNamedLin for suggesting this for the community and making the character profile template!

Steps to create your character profile

  1. Come up with a unique tag to be used on all of your character art submissons following this structure: "{username} oc {charactername}". For example: "maskeddragonnamedlin oc Hyūra"
     
  2. Update all of your art submissions with this tag
     
  3. Find the link to your tag in the tags page and click and copy the link
     
  4. Go to the art forums and create a new topic as follows:

Topic title: OC Character Profile: {character name}

Use the template below (or create your own) to tell everyone about your character. You can also insert images if you'd like. Example

---

 

View all art {make this a link to the tag}

Race:

Age:

Gender:

Ethnicity:

Sexuality:

Residence:

Occupation:

Relationships:

Physical Description:

Personality and Disposition:

Hobbies and Mannerisms:

Miscellaneous:

 

 

 

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Hello PaperDemon Community,

I'd like to improve PaperDemon to better help you all become more awesome as artists! 

If you wouldn't mind answering this simple question for me below or in a direct message:

 

What is your biggest frustration toward improving as an artist?

or put another way...

What is holding you back from becoming the artist you want to be?

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Does anyone here stream their art on twitch.tv? If so, please share your twitch profile link so I can follow you Big Smile

 

Here's mine:

https://www.twitch.tv/bogusred

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A few of my artist friends have confided in me about their struggle with artist's block, known by some as "art rut." Artist’s block is an incredibly common problem among us creative people. In essence, it involves not being able to find the motivation or inspiration to create art.

Today, I’ll share my personal struggle with it and the strategies I used to overcome it.

Some of these things are embarrassing to admit. But my hope is that if you've experienced some of these same struggles, you can learn from my mistakes and overcome them much quicker.

Mistake #1: I compared myself to others

From around 2008 to 2011 I was a doodler for Google, creating fun and fanciful illustrations to commemorate holidays, inventors, events, and other dates of note. Google decided it was time to expand the team of then three doodlers into a more robust team so we began hiring. The new artists were more skilled art illustration than I was and that fact made me insecure. I was comparing myself to them and feeling I came up short on everything. Their lines were so smooth, their colors were great...I could go on, but the point is I thought they were much better than I was, and that comparison made me insecure and less willing to give it my best to try and make good art.

It's true that even those of us who are successful illustrators and have had millions of people see our artwork are susceptible to this problem.

How to overcome comparing yourself to others

It wasn't until someone else pointed it out to me that I began to see how destructive this line of thinking was. I became more aware of my negative thoughts like “they’re better than me” and replaced them with less judgemental ones like “this person is further along in their artistic journey than I am.”

Even better would be to avoid making comparisons at all, and remind yourself that your art is just as valid and meaningful as anyone else's’. Full stop.

Mistake #2: I was a perfectionist

Some may talk about perfectionism as a positive trait expecting that it will cause you to create higher quality output. But the reality for me is that it completely blocked any output from seeing the light of day.

For example, when I came up with ideas for gifts I wanted to make for others, the negative thoughts would begin to creep in. "If I make this, it won't be as good as I want it to be, so there's no point in even trying."

How I overcame perfectionism

I had to get to the point where I acknowledged that perfectionism wasn't helping me and that producing more art, even if it didn't live up to my standards, was still progress and worth doing. Because the more we create, the better we get.

The perfectionism mindset is very damaging, and can prevent an artist from doing much of anything, but trying to pretend you’re not thinking that way can be just as damaging. Instead, acknowledge and accept that you’re having these thoughts. Acknowledge it, accept it for what it is, remind yourself that it’s not going to help you, and then set it to one side and move on.

This shift in mindset takes intentional daily practice. You can make yourself notes on post-its on your mirror, or any other form of reminder somewhere you’ll see it often. I do this through daily affirmations that say

“Perfect is the enemy of done”

and

“When negative thoughts arise, I think about my thoughts and reframe those that don't serve me.”

But feel free to come up with your own.

I owe a lot to my coach, Brett Thornhill, who has helped me identify these negative thought patterns and reframe them into positive ones. Thank you Brett!

Be reborn

Once I began working on overcoming my negative thoughts, I set the intention to work on my art more. And I began by starting a new drawing routine. By having a routine, it removed a lot of the friction to getting started with an art project. It's like performing maintenance on my inner art machine by adding oil to the gears.

I know from prior experience and my art studies that it all comes down to the fundamentals. If I work on the fundamentals, the rest of my art will improve. It also helped me to improve my confidence because I had more early success by practicing things I already had some knowledge to build upon.

What We’ve Learned

  • Comparing yourself to others is destructive to your self esteem. Reframe these thoughts to more positive ones.
  • Perfectionism can prevent you from finishing or even starting art projects. Intentionally work to curb negative thinking and let go of perfectionism.
  • Starting a drawing routine can help ease you back into things after a rut, and improve your confidence.

Have you been challenged by artists block? How did you overcome it? Please share your strategies with the community so we can all benefit.

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Thanks for your responses everyone. I'll find some time soon to revise the rules to allow collage under certain circumstances:

 

  • Collage of your own photos such as to create a new work of art
  • Collage of your own artwork
  • Collage of others photos is allowed only if significant altering has taken place such as to constitute fair use.

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Topic: Hello

It's lovely to meet you LinmirianJoyrex! Let me know if you need help with anything

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Hi Firiel. What do you think is making you tired and distracted?