FYI (For Your Inspiration)
Well over a decade ago I ran across a website called ConceptArt.org… a lot of film and game industry folks hanging out and chatting on a forum, with a lot of pictures.
One discussion thread caught my attention: Journey of an Absolute Rookie. See, I had joined this online forum in December of 2003, and the fellow who authored the first post in that particular thread, Jonathan Hardesty [Facebook Profile], started his thread about a year prior to my reading it.
Jonathan, who uses the handle “MindCandyMan” on that site, decided he “wanted to be an artist.” He told me later, in an e-mail, that he had a boring job and he didn’t want to do it for the rest of his life just to make money and so he thought about what would be a cool job? He liked playing computer games and admired the guys who created the creatures and environments, so, as simple as that, he decided he was going to learn to draw. Then maybe someday he could work for a computer game company.
Now, to be honest, I would not have ever called this kid “gifted” — maybe “eager” but I probably would have encouraged him to keep his day job, perhaps forever. Okay, I will come out and say that he didn’t draw very well at all. At first…
There is a lesson to be learned about that kind of thinking.
By June of the next year, barely 9 months into his journey to becoming an artist, Jonathan had enrolled himself in some art courses, and was studying Life Drawing. (There is no substitute for Life Drawing when it comes to developing the eye for drawing and/or painting).
He posted his current work, above right, 9 months into his quest. A remarkable improvement.
By 2004, just 2 years into this crazy idea that he could be an artist and not have to do a desk job, he had found a top-notch Atelier (Fr. – uh-TEL-yay – “an artist’s studio or workshop”) and was getting individual training and assignments to refine his skills. He was not allowed to paint until he could master values:
The mask drawing is what he had accomplished freehand, from life, less than 2 years from Day 1 of his quest.
You can see where this journey has taken Jonathan in these slightly-more-than 13 years [at the time of this post, October 2015]: www.jonathanhardesty.com. Not at all remarkably, Jonathan now runs his own atelier, teaching other students to become quite good at drawing and painting. His school is an online venue, Classical Art Online, and the school has a Classical Art Online Facebook business page.You don't necessarily have to be gifted at #art to become a fantastic #painter. #oilpainting Click To Tweet
What I learned from this is that you don’t necessarily have to be gifted artistically to become a fantastic painter. It seems that what you need is, in this order:
- A strong desire and motivation
- Hard work
- Knowledgable critics
- Honest self-criticism
- Training from teachers who get results from their students that represent what you desire from their instruction, which is far more important than learning from a teacher who is good at the craft — not every craftsman is a good teacher.
A Dream. A Decision. Hard Work.