Monday, June 30, 2014

Being an intermediate, and looking to the future

Alright, you've dedicated the past year, two years to really developing your skill set. You've got a firm grasp of the basics and maybe even sold a couple pieces of your artwork. You don’t suck, but you are not gainfully employed entirely off your art. To make matters more confusing, your artistic development has started looking like peaks and valleys. If that sounds like you, as it describes me now, then congratulations are in order. You’re an intermediate. Now it is time to:

Study all the things!

This is what I've got on my curriculum for the next year or so. This is the general over arcing things I need/want to fix after having gone to Spectrum back in May. Marc Scheff gave me an awesome portfolio review and really laid out some food for thought.

He also recommended I check out smArtschool, an online mentor-ship style program where you can work with an amazing artist in small classes. I checked out their site after talking with him and it looks amazing! The only reason I'm not signed up immediately, is my personal budget and I'd like another year under my belt before I dive into a mentor-ship like that. Be sure to check it out though!

Keep in mind new info may be released and as I learn more about my chosen profession I may refocus to align my study with new goals.

Goal #1- Anatomy:
  • George Bridgeman: Complete Guide to Drawing from Life
    • Really in depth breakdowns, treats the human body as a machine, which helps understand how to convey real movement.
  • Andrew Loomis: Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth
    • Some of the text seems dated, but wonderful knowledge bombs about ideals/templates, talks about the human form in perspective. Haven't found a Loomis book that didn't help.
  • Glen Vilppu’s lecture series on figure
    • A video series that I only got just recently, give him a quick YouTube glance, he is considered one of the strongest figure instructors guys of our time. 
Goal #2- Light and Color
  • James Gurney’s aptly named book “Light and Color”
    • Grounded in oil painting this book really provides great insight to all different types of lighting scenarios and how that effects color. Great pictures, examples and a pleasant read.
  • Color Studies from movie screens- Focusing on learning different cinematic lighting. I.e. DreamWorks movies versus Sci-Fi so on and so forth. 
  • Plein Air painting from life- Focusing on learning to understand color via observation in real time.
Goal #3- Design
  • Iain McCaig’s visual storytelling Gnomon DVD- Learning good character design
    • I attended his workshop at Spectrum. This guy is amazingly entertaining and full of gold nuggets. I have high hopes for these videos. 
  • Costume studies from movie screens: Trying to understand choices they made and why it is cool/successful/interesting.
  • Finding historical reference and trying to gain a mechanical understanding of armor, tools, war machines, buildings etc. 
Goal #4: Business practice
  • This is a research goal, and as I find good books or articles I will link them for everyone to have. Remember how I said this is our small business? That wasn't just an analogy; we’ll need business sense to make a profit from what we love.
  • Also, go sign up for Drawn and Drafted newsletter. Chances are you'll want there book "making Art Work". I attended Marc Scheff and Lauren Panepinto's Bootcamp at Spectrum, and had a complete revamp of what I thought I knew about art and business. They even had handouts and you can get them from their site on my sidebar!
At this stage, if you haven’t already, you should seriously get into some forums, and start a sketchbook. Critiques are invaluable, and extremely necessary for growth here. I’m on Crimson Daggers, and have loved my experience there. You can also try or something newer like permanoobs. Let me know about your experience over there.


This is my planned schedule for July. Grab the template here.

 I made it this past Thursday and already I have some hang-ups. I’m not going to change the schedule though, because this is the stuff I was getting at in my last post. I have two big events that are going to eat two consecutive weekends. I’m relocating with my roommates, and I have to deliver a commissioned oil painting four hours away in my home town. Life happens right?

Aside from that, I learned about Illuxcon’s Scholarship opportunity for degree seeking artists like myself.

Link here: Illuxcon Scholarship

So, that’s going to be my secondary focus in every time slot dedicated towards commissions. You really do just have to roll with the punches. Just understand that any amount of progress is still progress and that is the only goal. It’s going to be stressful, but between my calendar, my goals, and a fair bit of coffee I am positive I’ll survive July.

I hope this propels some thought about what you've got lined up for the next month. Just stay positive and seize the moment!

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