Breaking Point by Mygames19

I don't know. I'm kind of at a cross road right now in my carrier, academically.... Really, a lot of things.

But I've been thinking about my artistic ability recently. More, I've been confronted to think about my artistic abilities and what they really are, and also what purpose they may serve for me and others in the future. I recently had someone who is a friend but didn't want to hurt my feelings come out about how he feels about my artistic abilities.... in the middle of me trying to design a logo for him. I think he was frustrated about the long process the logo was taking and got kinda upset over it. I don't know why he felt like attacking me particularly because... well, we're supposed to be friends (Or at least internet acquaintances) and I'm trying to provide a service for him. Bah, it doesn't really matter.

The point is, I kinda took what he said to heart. I think it's because I can be kinda a perfectionist and he (Like the few other people who have actually critiqued my work) only point out flaws that usually I know I'm making - and when people point them out, it only magnifies them to me. Like, a scary degree. I feel powerless to my own faults.

So the thing is, I'm not a very confident artist. Not that a ton of artists are, but recently I've been questioning my own abilities. It's weird thinking this way - for my entire life I ignored (bad) criticism even though I knew I was terrible, because I figured over time I'd improve (And I guess I did). But now that I'm an adult and expected to make an income, I don't know.... suddenly I get super critical because I know I'm not doing stuff for free anymore. And then I start thinking about all the time I wasted not learning to do more, to not focus on my art drive. I should have. I would be a better artist then I think I am now.

But, well that didn't happen. So now what? Well I don't know. I'll probably always be doodling, but art as like a carrier? Or even to make money? I mean seriously, I feel like my art is terrible, and the fact that no one takes any interest in what I do just makes it worse, like.... you know, I'm not good enough for people to even care to say something. But I know there's more going on there it just feels that way to me, you know?

But anyways, carrier. I went to College for Graphic Design, but I've been thinking about it lately, and honestly if I don't get my dream job (Making games!) I don't know if I want "Graphic Designer" to be a fall-back. Like I'm totally cool with making logos, I find them fun to make, but I don't want to do advertising. I know that that stuff doesn't lie per-say, but I personally don't want to be part of something that I would look at and ask, is this honest? I also don't like the idea of perpetuating social standards like the blatant sexism that is in a lot of advertising these days.

But one of the main reasons I decided on Graphic Design instead of another art field is because I'm not confident in my real artistic skills. So what do I do then? Well... I don't know.

That's why this is a breaking point. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to continue down a artistic carrier path, or if I'm going to ditch it for something like Computer Science or something else more mundane.

Wish me luck, and uhhh.... If you could please help be honest with me about my art while also not being a jerk about it... that would be nice.

Thank you for reading this. If you read all of it you must be a pretty cool person. High five!?
~ Sam / Mygames19

Breaking Point


25 February 2014 at 04:53:35 MST

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    I certainly wish you luck, although I am not really qualified to critique art as I should be hanged for the stick figures that I draw. :P My realm is music.

    Regardless of the quality of your art, it doesn't give anyone the right to be rude and harsh about it, even if you're late on the project. There's mature, adult ways to go about handling such an issue, but that sounds like it didn't happen. You might want to take a look at our Critique forum, we have a couple of talented users who help out a lot over there, but they will be direct and honest with you.

    Do what you want to with your career, but do also look ahead to see how you'll be able to support yourself. A Comp Sci degree is far more practical than a Graphic Design one, although you can certainly be successful with either. It's all about balancing what we want with what we need to do... something we all struggle with, more or less. Regardless, your experience will be more valuable overall than the degree, so don't forget that.

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      Ehh, Hanged might be a strong word. There's nothing wrong with expressing yourself in art, even if you are bad(?) Music works fine too.

      Well I wasn't really being late, more the he was upset the project was not being produced the way he wanted it to be in the time frame he desired. He kept requesting changes to things (Which is fine) But he felt like I never understood what he wanted even though I personally feel I was doing my best with the context he would give me. But anyways, it doesn't really matter. I was not aware there was a way to request or ask for critique - I guess I blame that on my own lack of investigating as I'm still pretty new to this site. But knowing it is an option, I may request it in the future.

      The struggle has been difficult regarding financial vs. emotional success, and there's no doubt in my mind that many others struggle with this as well (I've heard many stories!). I know that computer science will be more financially supportive in the long run, but I have struggles with it that may make it a carrier beyond my abilities. Additionally I've been unsure about it's role in my life - it seems more as a tool to produce interactive art then it is a hobby I like doing within itself. Ideally then I would go into something like character or game design, but unfortunately there's no realistic way to study that field with the budget and restrictions I currently have. That's why I instead went with Graphic Design as a major. :P

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I honestly was not expecting more then a few friends to even read this! Good luck in your music production. :)
      ~ Sam

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    I kind of know what you're feeling though the circumstances are different. Back when I was still in school I really had it in my head that I wanted to make a career out of my art but also back then I was terrible and needed a lot of improvement. I really wanted to be an animator or dabble in comics. I went through several phases of doubting my ability and skill level. It carried with me and still likes to rear its ugly head every so often despite how much I've improved in a major way, but that's just kind of the way of the artist sometimes I've come to realize. No matter how skilled some of us can get we always feel there's room for improvement no matter how great we get at what we do.

    As for the critique, I've also had some harsh critics who have done nothing but tell me the bad, and without me asking I might add. It seems like I'll always have the memory of this one particular artist who barged into one of my boards on iScribble some years back when I had a thick and clean line style. The guy got after me because I wasn't "confident in my lines" and he'd "never seen an artist take this long on their linework". Well the place doesn't have pressure sensitivity and I would have taken just as long erasing ends off the thicker lines to get the look I wanted at the time. The earlier time I recall is when I was still very new and a friend of mine apparently knew a manga artist and the only thing they had to say about my art was "everybody looks like kids/too young." Gave me no tips to improve with age ranges, nothing. Just to say also, the iScribble guy had a very different not so precise style that was more like sketching. ...Oh. I've also had a friend tell me I drew the ears of my character wrong and proceeded to fill me in about human ear placement rules when the character isn't entirely human.
    Now for how I personally look at things, I might not be the best person to get critique from, but I feel pretty strongly that all my friends who draw, while they may not be that skilled yet or don't have the most awesome art, I believe they have the potential to make lovely art with practice. I say I might not be the best for critique also because I have a hard time telling people the bad, but I know critique if its wanted is for the sake of improvement is to point out flaws and give constructive feedback to help....but I also very much understand your troubles with having the things you're aware of pointed out to you and it just amplifying your doubt and frustration because I'm the same way.

    All in all, I still question my artistic ability and if I can do something with it. I can certainly try and give you constructive criticism if you ever want it as well!

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      I pretty much agree with everything said here D:...and noo not just cause of bias.

      And all and all regarding choosing careers..unfortunately that's probably just going to happen for a while I think. It's a journey afterall, but remember you don't have to stick with something forever! And even if it's tough you can still choose what you want to put yourself into to some extent. If you still poke at gamemaking...don't forget to give it your all \o/ Sometimes it takes a leap to get where you want to go, and don't give up. It may not seem like it but just drawing a lot is a big thing that can really help in learning and well...a lot of other stuff too I imagine.

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        Agreed. Whatever you aim for, give it your best c:

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      Hmmm. While I don't remember particularity thinking a Art carrier myself, I also tried doing things like Animation and Comics in middle and high school. I always knew I was terrible artistically but I was at least proud that I was at least producing something. Naturally, being a creative type, it offered quick access to let things loose without the immense delay it takes to produce something creative like a computer game. I'm at least comfortable with my drawing in the status of being that - a stress reliever of sorts, and a hobby. It's when I start looking at it from a more financial point of view that I start poking holes in my work. Which is not to say I don't already see problems in the work, but I'm used to having a passer by attitude to it - I goofed, but as long as it's not a really bad goof I'll probably just leave it as is. I don't feel like that's an attitude I can continue to have should I try to make any money off of it.

      Ahhh, I'm aware of these people. They for some reason either think they are helping (somehow??) or they purposely try to be overly critical because they just don't like your work or feel entitled to the work being more fitting to their desires. Regardless, none of these three sources you provided sound like actual helpful criticisms - just personal taste differences. If it was actual criticisms they would not only go beyond surface appearances (like "they look like little kids") but also would explain why the shapes are unfitting for the style or basic design principles you are looking for. Or at least that's how I'd envision good critique. It might be disappointing to say that in my vast scouring of the internet I've found very little of this. :/

      Then it looks like you believe people are capable of bettering themselves through practice, which is not only correct but also basically the only reason I'm in the position I'm currently in. So I suppose that's something. I grew up always being overly critical of myself (and others for a period on my past life) but these days I often word my critique in a way that is not meant to sound as if I'm demanding, but I'm trying to be helpful and provide insight. Avoiding addressing the artist directly (using "You" or the artist's names) also helps criticism be taken less defensively. Anyways - maybe take you up on your offer sometime?
      ~ Sam
      (I'm sorry I'm ending this so abruptly but I was typing this late at night and my brain can't even focus anymore - must sleep!)

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    Hmm. Well, how much money would it cost you to switch tracks in college now? It might not be a terrible idea to go to a 'reliable' career where you're more certain your values won't be sacrificed (an unfortunate problem many people face in most commercial industries). If you think you could make a living working at a minimum wage job and work on your art as a side...

    I generally don't recommend going to college for art. It's expensive, you get out what you put into it (regardless of what you paid for it and that's true even if you don't go to college), and it isn't the most useful degree to have in getting employment - ESPECIALLY in the game industry where my research says they'd rather see the games you made or help made rather than an overpriced piece of paper.

    Strictly on the realm of art and improving, I know the feel as I'm going through it myself. I can only suggest practicing more core skills ie anatomy, perspective, color theory.... and asking for critique lots. It's not fun advice to hear, even knowing it to be true for myself at least I grumble about it, but...

    And remember, just because you go to a different degree doesn't mean you have to give up drawing and pursuing a career in game design, so there's always that.

    I don't know if this is all that helpful, ahaha. Just thought I'd give you some thoughts on the situation! Good luck!