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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?

WORK.

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.

</rant>
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:iconstatic-foil:
Static-Foil Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wait. . . but you . . .stilll COULD . .. sell you soul to avoid the work, right?

:iconbloodplz:

Thanks for this. Sometimes we just need that kick in the butt =w=
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:iconadon23:
Adon23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I have felt much the same way about my photography in the past but I'm getting better and will keep striving with it. My passion however is writing and that is an art form that I am very proud of these days and even then each new edit session has me changing things and making it better. I've been writing the same book since I was 10, I'm 28 now and not giving up, I am too close to getting it done now. :)
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:iconkantuck-nadie:
kantuck-nadie Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
[clap, clap, clap] A fine statement, one that needs to be pasted to every movie, song, and taught to fawns in school from kindergarten.

So many today think that things should be handed to them, upon a silver spoon. While us old-timers know what it takes. I grew up in Appalachia. I was poor, I had nothing handed to me. I made my own entertainment, I faught tooth and hoof for every bit of education I gained. I learned how to use the GIMP, service computers, and (now) learned to write by hard work.

Some may call me a hillbilly, but hey. we 'hillbillies' believes in hard work, we listen to our elders, and look out for each other, and  we do not admire the rich, or big basketball players (Maybe U.K. basketball, but that's collage athletes who do not earn one dollar from the sports. They /work for their admiration./)

You would be a good hillbilly, :iconbobbie-the-jean: Or more like Ms. Judd in this picture :) - www.furaffinity.net/view/98310…
Reply
:iconkevin-robb:
Kevin-Robb Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
I would say some people are born with a natural talent but that talent has to be brought out in them but I would imagine most people get there by hard work and determination. 
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:icondarksapphiredrop:
darksapphiredrop Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
Yes. I'm sad to say I haven't figured out painting people yet or painting any shit digitally, but I completely agree. When people ask me about my sketches and color pencils, I tell them I practiced.
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:iconchochi:
chochi Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
:iconsaluteplz:
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:iconsyinthetic:
syinthetic Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
i love you !
Reply
:iconforgotten-wings:
forgotten-wings Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Student Digital Artist
every time someone says: "i wish i had your talent", i just feel like going: "nah, no you don't"
after all, if you wish you had skills, you'd be working on them and not telling others you want something.

you can't get anything in life without working for it. Those who are given everything, haven't lived yet.
Reply
:iconalvarofuegofatuo:
AlvaroFuegoFatuo Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Well said! 
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:iconkhaotis:
Khaotis Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional General Artist
Well said, You must put in the work
Reply
:iconrhian-skyblade:
Rhian-Skyblade Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I just wish I could get my Wacom Intuos work properly with Photoshop CS4... it loses it's configuration all the time and I cannot draw one smooth nice line with it. Comes out scraggly and the brush loses also it's dynamics.

Right now I work with mouse most of the time when I color details or correct rendering errors. And that's darn annoying with a mouse *sighs*

So my current and only hinderance is that I can't draw with my Wacom as if I draw with a real acrylic or oil brush. If I could get that solved...
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Eeewwwwww. I hated CS4. 5 was my favorite. I am slightly annoyed with 6 but it's functional.
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:iconrhian-skyblade:
Rhian-Skyblade Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I wait until CS 7 and hope they won't enforce this annoying new payment model where you have to pay a rent for the use of that software.
Reply
:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Last I heard, the Creative Cloud thing is going to be permanent. That's why I bought 6. Bought it, keeping it, Adobe can go fuck itself.
Reply
:iconrhian-skyblade:
Rhian-Skyblade Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Same here :D I rather stick to CS4 than doing this Creative Cloud poo
Reply
:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I just don't like feeling like I'm obligated or leashed. I'd rather pay one lump sum and get it over with.
Reply
:iconnicknightshade:
NickNightshade Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
If I may lend a professional resource, I would highly recommend going to www.conceptart.org.  They are critique forums, weekly contents and challenges, and a huge community of professionals and aspiring professionals genuinely eager to hone their skills and help others do the same.  I have been a member of the forum for 7 years and the guidance I received there helped me grow from a clumsy art student to a working professional (don't believe me, check out my gallery from 2007 to the present).

I would heartily recommend the forum to anyone serious about becoming better.  Emphasis on SERIOUS.  You've been warned, if you go there seeking guidance you will be critiqued, and it will hurt.  You will feel like giving up.  You will be expected to take advice you don't necessarily agree with ("they just don't GET my work" Waaaah! ) and work harder.  And harder.  And try, and fail, and try again.  Bobby is 100% right: the only real way to get better is to keep working at it.  There is no substitute for blood, sweat, and tears, but if you're passionate about art it will all be worth it.

So intrepid artists, head on over to www.conceptart.org and kick-start the journey!:D (Big Grin) 

(Good post, as always Bobby)
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks and excellent points. :)
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:iconnicknightshade:
NickNightshade Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
My first thought upon reading this comment was "OMG Bobby responded to my post OMG OMG OMG!"

Then I realized I was attempting to maintain an air of dignified professionalism, and such a juvenile response would utterly shatter that image.

Then I realized I had already posted this response, thus precluding any chance of me salvaging my image.

Blast.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oh my god, you are so spazzy. It's kind of adorable. =P *Ruffles your hair.*
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:iconnicknightshade:
NickNightshade Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Dignified professionalism now listed as "irrevocably lost"...  oh well.

*Accepts hair ruffle*
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Heh. Well, professionalism is nice and dignity is admirable but personally, I'm not at all opposed to a little bit of flavor. ;)
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:iconnicknightshade:
NickNightshade Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Sorry, not listening right now, getting hair ruffles from Bobbie... ;)
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:iconliciandragon:
LicianDragon Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for making this. I needed to hear it. I've been slaving over my work for years, trying new things, indulging my old favorites. When I was in high school, I'd see artists who where 19-23 and their work was amazing. I always thought I'd be amazing too at that age. Now I'm turning 23 in a few weeks and I'm not. I don't know why it bothers me so much to see people my age or younger who are so much further ahead in their skills. I guess it's because I worry I'll never be that good, that I'm not improving fast enough for it to matter in time. I love drawing to much to ever stop but I wish I could get a handle on it just a bit faster. Your art has been so inspirational for me over the years. The amount of detail and your creativity are mind-boggling. I want to create my dreams too.
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:iconpurplecatcreatives:
purplecatcreatives Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Pretty much.     Bugs the hell outta me when people say, "oh I wish I had your talent" or "you're so talented, can you make me this for free since it's so easy for you?  It'd be so much work for me to do it."   Like I'm some magical unicorn of talent that craps rainbows while they do "real work".     

Bugger that, I've busted my butt to get where I'm at and I'll be continuing to do so as long as I'm creating art.    Art is work.   

Talent is education and work combined with a person loving what they do.    


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:iconliciandragon:
LicianDragon Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hate hearing this from people! I always get a ton of "I can't draw.", "I tried drawing but I'm not good." and I try to tell them it takes years and years of practice and work and they never believe me.
Reply
:iconraccoltoluna:
RaccoltoLuna Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
Thanks for writing this! I love drawing and have for a very long time, unfortunately, for the past few years I get frustrated and very discouraged about it, also very impatient/lazy. All the things I can't draw (near everything) gets overwhelming. But I love drawing, this is the one thing that I want to be good at and it's important to me. So when I think "I can't do this, I just feel like crap when I keep messing up" after a while I break down and go draw anyways. When I continuously mess up I feel  bad sometimes, but when I don't draw I feel many, many times worse. I'm glad you wrote that the ability to draw well takes work, I definitely agree with that. 
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:iconlennythynn:
LennyThynn Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Student General Artist
Yes yes yes yes yes. All the yes. Is there a multiple fave button somewhere?

I'm pretty patient, almost to a fault, but man, comments like that are really frustrating when you get a lot of them, and often. At school it was especially irritating.

"You have talent" "Aaaah, wish I could draw as well as you, but I can't, because you have talent" "My art looks like rubbish compared to yours *insert sulk here*"

Man. Sure, I have this inborn thing of being able to put feelings into things easily, making things alive, if you will, (it carries over to my writing and music, too), and I might grasp certain things faster than others, but that DOESN'T give me the ability to learn anatomy and perspective and colouring and pretty much everything by magic. It's by drawing and studying consistently for at least ten years now (to the point of now being almost required to draw something if I see a pen and paper - can't help myself), learning by studying the world around me, other artists, and things like poses and skeletal structures. Also, a general competitiveness with myself - like you said, doubt yourself but be confident in yourself. If you don't want to get anywhere, if you're content with your skill level as it is, you won't get anywhere. Just... aaargh. Sorry. I don't often get the opportunity to rant about this, and it's been building up for a long while XD
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:iconrottenyellowjello:
Rottenyellowjello Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
:iconclapplz: 

Thank you for sharing these inspiring words. :D
Reply
:iconlostfootsteps-art:
lostfootsteps-art Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
My thoughts exactly! Work and dedication!
Reply
:iconcyan-airus:
Cyan-Airus Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
My sentiments exactly.
Reply
:iconstorm-rao:
storm-rao Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
*nods* same thing with my writing. I admit I have a bit of instinct for how to phrase things a certain way such that the message is perhaps clearer or more vivid, but that came from learning and researching, finding new words that matched the feeling I wanted as opposed to just coasting. Writing is just as hard to get right as a beautiful image.
Reply
:iconnapoisk:
Napoisk Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
Just. wow. :iconclapplz: Perfect.
Reply
:iconxxmossfacexx:
xxMossfacexx Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is how it is with every skill and craft, people just need to wake up and realize it. I don't know the scientific names of all the animals I care for and work with offhand because it naturally came to me LOL. I don't know how to care for them all and give advice on husbandry and such because it's a natural skill. :I 

The REAL key in life... The REAL secret... Is the ability to learn. To always learn. To start when you are born and never stop. 
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:iconorinoor:
orinoor Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
So true!! What I like most about practice, I can see each one is better than the last one. It still sucks, but it's a better level of suckiness. I draw, I study it, I turn the page and draw it again. Thanks for affirming what I've already figured out....lots of work and study.
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:iconsablekage:
SableKage Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ha! I can fav the journal here. *clicky the button*

Now they're teaching kids that you have to have a 'talent' in something to be able to do it at all and if you do have talent then you don't have to work at it. Drives me insane. My daughter comes home from school and starts going on about how her 'special' talent is singing. Or drawing. Or whatever caught her interest that day. Makes me want to beat my head on the wall. It's even more frustrating that she has this attitude that since it's her 'talent' that she doesn't have to work at it. At least watching me draw on my tablet seems to encourage her to use the simple wii tablet and her skill with digital art is greatly improving and I always make sure to answer her questions and give her little pointers when she gets frustrated. And then she tries to use this skill to show up her friends. So frustrating.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
*Sage nod.* I know that feeling. As much as I LOVE technology, and I really, really do- you will be hard to find more enthusiastic a tech fanatic as myself- sometimes I think over-reliance or under-appreciation can lead kids of the newer generations to think they don't have to work to accomplish things. I know generation that came before mine probably griped about the same shit and ok, valid point. But doesn't make it any less true. People need to be taught discipline and about the importance of good, old fashioned, hard work. THEN they may make good use out of convenient digital tools properly.
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:iconsablekage:
SableKage Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just wish they'd stop teaching kids that in order to be good at anything you have to have some magical talent that automatically makes you an expert. Makes it incredibly difficult to get a kid to actually try when the first attempt turns out terribly.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Exactly. I think some people may have an aptitude but I don't think that precludes everyone else and ultimately, I really do think most of it comes down to practice, hard work, and studiousness.
Reply
:iconsablekage:
SableKage Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now if only they'd teach kids that instead of giving everyone a medal for just being there.
Reply
:iconxraika-chanx:
xRaika-chanx Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well said! Sometimes I come across people saying "my art is crap and no one likes it, so why should I try more" or something.... well a few years ago my art was crappy too and today I'm still never satisfied. But it's my passion for art that keeps me going, I truly enjoy it with all my heart and I always will.^^ And the hunger for it, like it has already been said. So I will keep spending hours and days on a drawing and let's see where I am in another few years:P
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Wow..... your art is DEFINITELY NOT crap. XD I don't know who told you that but they can go fuck a soggy waffle. NO ONE rolls out of their mother's vagina painting like Leonard Da Vinci. XD While that would be fucking awesome and terrifying at the same time, it just doesn't happen. :P
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:iconxraika-chanx:
xRaika-chanx Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh no you got me wrong!! I ment that people say that about their art, not mine XD Means they give up after a bit, cause the "miracle" of instantly getting good at it didn't happen:P and I myself say it now about my old art from years ago compared to now.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oooooh. XD Lol. Ok. Phew! I was about to say.
Reply
:icondanjiisthmus:
DanjiIsthmus Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014   General Artist
Yes. Perfect. 

I have so many people who retort to me that I may have done some work, but I was born with the talent that they somehow were born without. It's so so wrong. I just want to scream at them that they are just being LAZY and are setting themselves up for failure as artists.

I was born with a hunger more than a talent. A need to improve myself to where I would finally be happy with myself. But I never will be. So I will work until I die and that is how I will become a great artist. Work. Work. Work. 
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:iconfrankt:
FrankT Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
10,000 hrs practice is what they reckon it takes to become proficient at a skill - lots of people really can't be arsed to spend that amount of time.  Poser actually does have a "make art" button - gives you the word ART in glorious 3D RGB coloured text :)
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