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Thanks to a brief comment recently made by a friend, it spurred me into coining the phrase 'Creative Near-Sightedness' to describe something I've battled with and continue to battle with, throughout my journey. I hope that this might make some sense to others out there and shed some similar light on your situation like it has mine.

I have achieved some of the big goals I've set myself in life, but have always had trouble with achieving some of the more creative goals, due to the fact that, they are often rather ambiguous to begin with, for example:

How do you quantify / visualize a goal like 'I want to be a good artist' when being good is completely relative?

So firstly I want to break it down into a couple of things that might seem simple commonsense, but in my case something I need to constantly remind myself of:

The first thing is: Keep the major goal clear and simple!

Something you can understand and describe to someone simply when they ask you 'but what actually is it?'
Using the example above 'being good' is not acceptable, because it's just so damned nebulous.

But saying 'I want to produce artwork like this *insert example*' is perfect, because its tangible, it's clear, it's something you can see, or feel or touch, it's a clear set of 'goal posts' to plonk into the ground, see from a distance and attempt to kick your ball toward.

The second thing is: Don't move the goalposts until you've kicked the goal!

Now, this is me with many of my creative goals: Before I've really given myself a chance to kick the goal, I've made a new set of goalposts.
Because during taking aim for my kick, I realize I have no idea how far away I am, how hard to kick, what way the wind is blowing, I'm trying to gauge distance, and before I know it, I've made a new set of goalposts. Hopefully this new one isn't so unclear! Rinse and repeat this process, and before long, I'm standing on a green grassy playing field, soccer ball at my feet, a tonne of goalposts in every direction around me. On top of this mess, my chaotic artist brain starts thinking about crap like 'what are the consequences of shooting for one before the other?' 'Which should I shoot for first?' ..ARGH!!!

Now, most of the non-creative goals I've set, like owning a specific car, getting hired as a video game artist, working overseas as a video game artist, shipping my first game, shipping an mmo, I've nailed. So long-range goals? No problem. But personal artistic / creative goals? They seem to constantly elude me and I never knew why until fairly recently.

It's because I suffer from Creative Near-Sightedness. I just can't focus on something I know is miles away in a creative sense, because my experience tells me the pathway toward it will be chaotic.

When the goalposts for a large personal artistic / creative goal are too far away, my vision is blurry, the path toward them is uncertain, and subsequently it becomes much easier for me to lose my way. The temptation to change / move / create new sets of goalposts is strong, and without conscious effort to keep things structured and inline, well, it's easy to end up in a place of total chaos - goalposts everywhere. If that sounds familiar to you, then maybe you can try this, because it's working for me so far.

Take your large creative goal, ensure its something very clear. Set those goal posts up, it doesn't matter how far away they are (ie how crazy your goal is), because focusing on it, is not important AT ALL.
Now make a massive list of tiny goals that lead straight towards it, not deviate away from it. Break down your big creative goal into mini goals, and set those goalposts only as far away as you're able to keep focus. The idea here is to setup a string of success that keeps you moving toward the big one. This will play right into your creative near-sightedness. Keeping the major goal in the back of your mind and the smaller mini goals at the forefront, instead of the other way around, will keep things in better perspective, and destroy the urge to keep shifting, or creating a whole bunch of new goalposts. Providing you take the time to plan these mini goals out to begin with, if you keep hitting them, you'll have a clear and visible path of winning behind you, which will in turn build up your confidence & drive to keep going toward the big one.

Something critical to remember, the distance from you right now, to the goalpost of your big goal, doesn't ever need to be measured, or even be worried about, just set it and leave it, no matter how far away it seems, that distance is irrelevant. If you're creatively near-sighted like I am, the tiny mini goals between you and the big goal that you set up? The ones you can keep in focus? Kick those one at a time! And before long, you'll be making progress narrowing that distance. Effectively you will have turned what was a 1 in a million super goal from miles away, into a 100% gauranteed simple kick.

Luck is for loosers. Progress is for winners.
  • Listening to: Offworld Show LM1
  • Watching: Supernatural Season 7
  • Playing: Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen
  • Drinking: Hot chocklick.
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:icondiphylla:
diphylla Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is very insightful and helpful thank you for sharing this! :heart:
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Professional Artist
you are absolutely welcome!
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:icondiphylla:
diphylla Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:heart:
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:iconcakeroll:
cakeroll Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
i wanted to write something like this on my notebook today but you said it best. :D


thank you, reading this made me happy~

making a good system that works is the best thing to do.
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional Artist
awesome i hope its helpful!!!
Reply
:icongraphix-goddess:
Graphix-Goddess Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Professional Writer
I know EXACTLY how you feel and what you mean here, and as a writer, I have the same problem!! The trouble is there is also no one to push you, no one to help you with this creative goal. Yes, you can get mentors and friends, but the art is all up to YOU and no one else can create YOUR art for you.

Great advice, too! I appreciate it and I have tried this method myself when I am having a severe creative block. Sometimes writing pages is just too much fear and trouble and so I challenge myself to just write a little bit at a time - just so I can remind myself that I CAN do it if I try. Writer's block is a killer, and so is creative near-sightedness! Thanks for this advice!!
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Professional Artist
Hey cool! Im glad its making sense to some other people!!
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:icongjael:
GJael Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
BIG thank you, man
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Artist
Np man :)
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:iconlady-compassion:
Lady-Compassion Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have hit the proverbial nail right on the head......thank you for capturing these thoughts and sharing them with us!
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Artist
your welcome, i hope it helps in some way :)
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:iconpiguer0:
piguer0 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013
im really preciated for you take time to writed down this.
It s has turn very usefull for me and very motivational

thanks lot
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Artist
Hey thanks so much man !! :D I really appreciate your kind words!
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:iconthesolarwolf:
TheSolarWolf Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much, exactly what I needed.
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Professional Artist
your welcome, i hope it helps!!
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:iconowl1990:
Owl1990 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
I have read it many times . Thanks for share^^ It's really usefull to me !
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Artist
Your welcome! :)
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:iconsnomanx:
SnomanX Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
That's my problem, and I think I'm going to try that.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Professional Artist
I hope it works out for you :)
Reply
:icondepsi0:
depsi0 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
oh deam, now i can understand why i and up always depressed in the end ,because i don't never meet my expectation .so your tip is gonna work.
A quote what a read this days in an anime say "Those how fail do so because they can't imagine the kind of effort put in by those how succeed"
thank u .now i am release by that cramp feel when i start think for an new goalpost
now it left to confirm my doubts in "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
thank u again it was very inspirational. :meow:
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Professional Artist
Your welcome!!
Reply
:iconmyselfsama:
Myselfsama Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
As usual, your advice is excellent. Words distilled from years of experience, tastes very refreshing. I was just coming on DA to ask you a couple of advice questions too, so its like perfect haha.

1. I just finished practice sculpt of a bust and had a hard time getting the eye area perfect. How do you go about creating the eye lids ? (may have to do with question 2)

2. As far as the base mesh is concerned I used a mesh that was recently up on Zbrush central that is pretty rudimentary, has basic proportions of limbs/body but doesn't really have any loop topology for eyes/mouth/ears. I've seen some lower res models of yours that seem to have all the features of the face already in, so that's probably the direction I'll aim in for my next one.

And lastly, 3. Whats your general process for creating clothes? Here's my angle/problem mesh extractions seem to create real messy topology, thats generally higher res than it should be. Making it with zspheres is one way to go about it, and or maya. The cloths you make seem to have a weight and consistent thickness through out. But sculpting or moving it around affects both sides of the cloths sometimes making it too thin, and possibly creating holes when dynameshing the whole thing later. I'm referencing for example your warrior girl with the horn helmet, scythe (and boobs out). Really clean topo, crisp edgework. Its pro. I'd love to learn how to do that. Thanks for your time, as always.

~Myself
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks :)

1) I sculpt them in, check this video out here - you can see me scupt a face from essentially a base sphere. [link]

2) you should need topology for the features, its just a shortcut for me becuase I've sculpted so many heads.

3) If you watch more of my twitch livestream videos they will answer all these :)
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:iconmyselfsama:
Myselfsama Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
My mind totally slipped the Twitch stuff after livestream stopped working out. I try to keep up as best I can but life keeps me busy. Realizing that you have a twitch now just kind of makes my questions invalidated >_<;

Thanks for for your time again, I really do appreciate it a lot. I'll definitely see if I can catch a stream soon.

~M
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Professional Artist
No problem :) Yeah im trying to guide everyone towards them because alot of the stuff can be answered by watching :)
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:iconveni-scripsi-vici:
Veni-Scripsi-Vici Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I completely understand! Thanks for another good journal to really make people get up and work on their projects :)
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Professional Artist
thank you! I hope it helps someone :)
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:iconargoncyanide777:
ArgonCyanide777 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
I have the same sort of issue on a variety of things.

In fact, a brilliant man, Nikola Tesla, had a version of this same problem. Basically when he invented something and it functioned to spec as he had envisioned and imagined it (and the account he gives of that and his falling asleep and dreaming "sequence" is REALLY something), he suddenly became uninterested and moved onto his next project. He obviously worked long term on SOME things, but he was not a man of industry, a man of OC and some phobias that might seem strange to you or I, he was naive when younger and betrayed for it and became more wary and guarded when older, and of course had many other things about him which put him into the eccentric category. But I digress: long term goals are, as he demonstrated, is not something people have many of. The amazing things he did, though, are the culmination and fruition of many years diligent work.

I do think our modern society with all its distractions also is another thing to factor in. We're too used to things being quick and easy. When we read of the incredible feats of, say, shaolin monks or similar, we're totally amazed and mystified by it. Yet upon examination, we find they go through many, many, MANY years of doing seemingly mundaine grinding on small tasks, some it would appear needlessly complex and difficult. They do it for hours and hours each day. But you have to think how life used to be when Xiaolin gong fu (Shaolin Kung Fu) was first formed. The miles of hills, woods, and stairs to bring just two buckets of water to your temple's training quarters, then you had to get on your hands and knees and clean it with a rag. Think about that. It takes incredible endurance for frustration, astounding concentration, and an iron will to keep going. Its nothing special and you needn't be talented. But what is really going on? You're steeling you willpower, shaping and forming your character, and repetition trains things into permanence.

Do I have creative shortsightedness? You bet. For years I've been floating from one thing to another (electronics and lasers, swordsmanship, working out, drawing, cosplay, martial arts, among others)--all things which interested me. I now, 28, look back and realize my many pursuits are small, and nothing stands out. I, personally, have the same issue as you about some long term things. The best way to achieve it is in steps and taking it a day at a time but keeping oneself rooted and actually sticking to it and doing what needs doing because you know you should.

Success is a fleeting thing, it's up to us if we want our success to be enduring.
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Artist
nice writeup :)
Reply
:iconargoncyanide777:
ArgonCyanide777 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
Dah! I went on too long...And I didn't even cover all your points...
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:iconjoelwhite:
JoelWhite Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Always good journals man. I can say they have definitely helped me and will continue to help me on my path to become pro.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Artist
your welcome!
Reply
:iconale-xander:
ale-xander Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That's a great idea! I made a list of goals to conquer. I've had no luck with getting a job in the industry, so making a list of things I need to overcome was excellent advice on your part. However, my objectives might be larger than they should be. If you have time to maybe check it out and give me suggestions to make them even smaller, I'd appreciate it.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Artist
Thats the really difficult part. I cant say if you should make them smaller or not, but your past experience will tell you. Keep making them smaller and smaller just until they are small enough for you to start hitting them and knocking them down. Thats why its difficult, because each person will be different. If you reach the point where your mini goals are like 'Open software' then haha! Probably cant help. But if they are like 'build 3d character' and you cant hit that, then i would break it down into smaller pieces etc. Does that make sense ?
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:iconale-xander:
ale-xander Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Absolutely. Provides clarity :).
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:iconyngvarasplund:
YngvarAsplund Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Good advice. I'm gonna have to try this. :)
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Artist
welcome!!
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:iconcatalanomedia:
CatalanoMedia Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
" Before I've really given myself a chance to kick the goal, I've made a new set of goalposts."
Wow. Truth.
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Artist
yup....
Reply
:iconmoorecreativity:
MooreCreativity Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
I definitely have it...but mine seem to be the opposite of yours in a way....I'm so nervous I'll never be able to get to my dream job that I set up other dreams as "back-ups" then I end up getting so turned around I don't know which way is up...I need to start focusing on one project at a time. :)
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:iconmckadesinsanity:
mckadesinsanity Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I totally have it :XD:
I've got to do this, I've been so scatterbrained all this time..!

By the way, you are too awesome ;)
Hey, I've been meaning to check out your stream but I'm always asleep by that time!
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks so much Sara!!! You are awesome too!!

Doh! Whos the jerk that invented time zones and time differences anyway!!?!?! *curse you cronos!!*
Reply
:iconmckadesinsanity:
mckadesinsanity Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:giggle: ;)

Might have to stay up late for it ^__^
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:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Professional Artist
If you do manage to make one, shout out so can make a big deal of your work in the chat etc :P
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:iconmckadesinsanity:
mckadesinsanity Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:XD:

So when is the next one, is it every night at a certain time or just random?
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Professional Artist
Usually around the same time, when its on shouldnt be too far away actually. My schedule is super hectic!! I try to do it as often as work allows. NDA's and all that stuff!!
Reply
:iconmckadesinsanity:
mckadesinsanity Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome! I'll try to make it sometime!! ;)
Totally understandable about the schedule, I sympathize!
Reply
:icondarkmag07:
darkmag07 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks for the tips.
Reply
:iconemeraldus:
Emeraldus Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the inspiration! ^^
Reply
:iconalemja:
Alemja Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Something that could possibly tied into this is a quote I read a while ago: "Your mind is 5 years ahead of what you can actually do" or something a little similar to that. With long term creative goals (especially vague ones) it's easy to lose track, and become frustrated because what you want to be in the future, you aren't now. My personal experience is that when I changed my view from a long term thing to more of a present thing, I got far more focused and had a better jump in quality, because I was thinking about what I want this model to look like and who's quality I wanted to try and match.
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