So often, I get people asking for my secrets, praying to some god to give them what I have, asking me for my Photoshop brushes, joking that I must have sold my soul to Satan, that I must be cheating somehow, asking what programs I use in hopes that there is some magic "art button."
I'm sorry but...... No.
There are no secrets. No god and no devil had anything to do with it. There are no magic Photoshop brushes. There is no magic art button. There are no magic programs that will do the work for you. You can get Poser- some of the images that come out of it are lovely and if that makes you happy, fine. But if you want to do more than play with 3D paper dolls, to make your own art, to realize the wildest imaginings of your dreams exactly how you see them....
THERE. ARE. NO. SHORTCUTS.
Do you know how I got here?
Lots of it. Maybe I have some inborn talent? I don't know. But really, it's mostly WORK. You want to get good at something? Want it more than anything else. Need it. Need it to the point where you feel worthless without it. Tangle it up in your self-esteem, so much so that when you fail, you want to die and when you succeed, you feel like you've conquered the world. NEVER be satisfied. Never become complacent. Try new things as often as you can. Listen to people when they correct your technical mistakes. Don't listen to them when they tell you your aesthetic is wrong- you'll figure that out on your own.
Start with no armor. Everything will hurt- every criticism, every jibe, every jest, every poke, and prod will go straight through to your heart. Your armor will build up in time but don't let it get too thick. Doubt yourself and be sure of yourself at the same time. Know your tools. Try new tools. Don't throw your tools away just because some snotty asshole doesn't like them for whatever ignorant, stuck up reason. Ask for help when you need it. Don't dismiss unsolicited advise offhand, painful as it can sting sometimes. Don't be afraid to let others influence you. Scrutinize other artists' work. Dissect it. Figure out what they did right and wrong. Ask yourself why you like it or don't like it.
That is my life as an artist. That is what I have had to go through to get here, at least.
There are no shortcuts. There is no easy way. If you want it badly enough, you'll fight for it and you'll keep fighting until the paint you slop down on your canvas looks exactly and precisely like what you see in your mind. If you want it badly enough, you will find a way.
But don't ask for my "magic Photoshop brushes." That's just insulting. Make your own. Learn how to do it. You'll see that the brushes, convenient as they are, still don't do the work for you. It's not magic. It's not rocket science either. I didn't sell my soul to Satan. I figured this shit out the hard way and I think you can too if you want it badly enough. You've just got to be willing to fight for it and have the strength to not give up when the doubt rolls in.