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Copied directly from the polycount thread:

FYI My longest post on PC ever. Sorry in advance - OP I hope there's something useful in this for you. I'm back in your thread and giving you my morning before breakfast, is my way of saying ' I care '.

Usually between 1 - 5 NEW students, per day come to me for random pieces of advice. Some from here @ PC , some from Deviant Art - Mostly from Deviant art.

It's always the same questions maybe worded slightly differently and I do my best to answer every single time, every single message. Sometimes I get behind and have to catch up at the end of the week but I do my best.

As well as those, I did 2 10+ question interviews last week, on my time, for students who were still in school. For school essays, papers, projects etc that contain the same questions they always do.

I'm exposed to 'all this' *makes a big circle shape with hands* on a fairly constant basis. Everything that encompasses 'young artists trying to find their way in this scary fucking environment coming out of school' Being unmotivated, finding your place as an artist, juggling family life, finding a job, paying bills, working for fuckall $$$ while trying to improve your skill.

Now I don't think that being bombarded with these kinds of questions on a daily basis qualifies me any more than it qualifies someone else for handing out motivational advice, but maybe it will help explain why I'm 'being a dick about it'. And why I believe people are being harsh on you.

Everyone's a n00b at some point. Everyone asks stupid questions, annoys some pro until he or she blows a gasket and says dumb shit on forums. Then I thought - why are these people coming to me for answers? I am the least qualified person to provide guidance or help. My path to where I'm at is so fucking weird to me, it doesn't seem like good advice to give out. It REALLY doesn't, so I'm not going to tell people what I did, because what I did is the WRONG WAY.

Then as my career went on, I talked to other artists and artists talked to me, veterans, revered artists, 3d and 2d, some working in big AAA stuff, others working in mobile stuff. Some drawing comics, some sculpting in clay, some working in film! Some of them become very good friends, and with them, I'm able to really get into the nuts and bolts of what got them there - I'm talking about the Slipgatescentral's the haikai's, the Gav's - guys that are really fucken good. That's when I discover that their experience to becoming an art god (and being successful at this career) is pretty damned similar - it's a pattern that's remarkably similar for all the artists that we all raise up on the 'I gotta be as good as this artist' platform.

Over the years, that got me thinking and It's something I spent an awful LOT of time thinking about.

My experience and my path to get where I am, is not crazy at all, sure some decisions are unique to me, but I'm not special, and the path I took to get there is even less special.

When you're a n00b artist, the answer is so simple that it doesn't even make any sense, you just aren't equipped with the experience to absorb what it means.

Put in the time.

Scared of the results being shit? Doesn't matter.
Scared of making yourself hate your work? Doesn't matter.
Scared of not knowing what to draw? Doesn't fucking matter.
Scared you're doing it wrong? Doesn't mother fucking matter.
Pick up the pencil right now and drawing a funny looking penis with hairy balls on the paper – ALL THAT MATTERS.

So do another one.

This time draw it pounding a sheep in the buttcrack. Draw the sheep eating a farmers leg, draw the farmer holding an axe about to bring it down on the sheep's spine, draw a horned goat in mid leap attempting to save his wooly buddy, draw the farmer's wife with a loaded gun aimed at the goat. Boom you just told a little story. 'My day at the farm!' Quality? Shit. WHO CARES. It's better than sitting there passing that time and doing nothing, trust me IT IS. And you have to believe me that it was worth it. As someone asking for advice, believe me when I say... it's worth it no matter how fucking piss poor, terrible your skill is.

But thats not enough, still the students ask, but HOW do you get good, what tools do you use, what tricks do you have to get good, how do you stay motivated, there must be something that gives you the edge. Very rarely, some are satisfied with the answers, they just 'get it'. But most feel like my advice ripped them off somehow, I can see in their faces when I talk to them, I can hear it in their voices when I skype them, I can feel shift in conversation when I IM them. It wasn't the thunderbolt from the heavens they were looking for.

That 'AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I fucken get it!!!' Moment was not present in my answer.

Now Deviantart makes it really easy for me to keep track of those same artists, I can with a click jump back to their folio, to see where they are at now. I store all of my conversations, notes, all of our exchanges. I've been able to watch some young artists grow over a 5 year period - (it makes me feel really fucken old) And I've been able to watch some students flounder - still asking the same questions, still struggling with the same problems they have been for 5 goddamn years.

Out of the hundreds, Literally HUNDREDS of students that have asked me stuff, there is only a few that still add artwork to their folios more frequently than once a year. And in those students, you can also see the pattern emerging. They are slowly leaving the others behind, they are getting better, more skilled, and they are even starting to pick-up freelance work. They are rising up above the sea of n00bs all on their own - They also stopped asking for advice, because they realize what they are doing, works. And there's no other way, but to keep doing it, and keep posting your results even when you can't be bothered.

However, the same students that TOLD me so eagerly, I need to get a job, I want to work in games, I need to be a killer artist!!! Folio's empty. Journals that talk about playing Dota or league of legends, but artwork? None.

They seem to never get it, always asking 'How do I get a job?! It's really tough out there for students!' Some even come back to tell me they feel guilty for pissing their lives away and are fucking up and need to get back on track!

I applaud their persistence yet the advice remains the same. It didn't change from last time you asked!

Stop playing games, hanging out with your friends, and make your folio. You're a student, now is the absolute best time to be working on it - trust me, you do not want to be an old bastard like me trying to build your folio when you have more serious things to worry about, it gets infinitely harder to do. I have no question there are a tonne of artists here that would attest to that. Don't fucking waste the opportunity you have RIGHT NOW. Your friends will be there in 6 months' time and if they give you the flick, fuckem! You'll make more better quality friends through your art! Take control of your shit! you're the boss and you CAN do it.

I just wish they'd truly listen to the little artist voice inside that pushed them to reach out over and over again. Its starving and dying in there, its food is not playing games, its food isn't fucking about getting drunk, watching days of your life go past without doing anything, it needs hairy balls and cocks drawn on paper to survive.

'I can't do it, it's hard, I don't know where to start '

Yes!!! It's fucking hard!!! I've been through it, I've been through my own set of problems, I climbed my own mountains, without telling you my life story, have the foresight to understand that even though you are a student and I have 10 years of experience doing this job, we are the same!!! We are cut from the same fucking stone you and me. I'm trying to help you, I'm telling you what I did to 'get there' and you won't listen to the words. You won't! You refuse to help yourself, even though you're asking for help!! TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SHIT!!

I have reached this point with dozens of students, and it's taught me a few things. Firstly, no matter what I say, or how often I say it - the words can only be received, whether they are digested, fathomed or understood is completely up to the recipient. Secondly, what they do after talking with me about the problem isn't up to me. From that moment onwards it's all up to them.

They are alone again. Right back where they were before asking me anything at all. They were demotivated, they asked for help, i answered, they said they were motivated and pumped up to make art! But now they are alone with themselves.

They need to figure out how to move past the point of sitting there doing nothing right now, to sitting there and doing some art, and NOT going to play a game or watch a movie.

And it's within that tiny little statement where *everyone* is remarkably unique.
What makes YOU go, 'okay I am now going to pick up my pencil and start drawing hairy balls on paper' is completely unknown to anyone else but you.

You won't find the answer to that riddle no matter how many questions you ask on what forums, how many awesome reference pics you find, or how many epic artists you befriend, or how many threads you create. No one has that answer.

There is no substitute for putting in the time.

Knowing that the ultimate point of this dance of questions comes down to something that is unique to every person, knowing that before the student even asks the first question - already knowing that I really can't help them with that magic bullet that switches them on and turns them into art machines, what do I say?

I look at the people I've respected in my life, and recalled how they treated me, and what makes them special - why did I listen to them? What habits do I have from when I was a child, how come I kept them? I find out what it was. For me, it was people who were honest, and straightforward if that mean hurting my feelings, punishing me for making mistakes, making me cry - then so be it.

I don't remember people who treated me nicely, told me my work was great, coddled me and told me everything's ok (except my mom! of course). I remember the people that took me to heightened peaks of emotional state - and encouraged me to fly on my own. People that gave me bloody knees, got my hands dirty, encouraged me to take a plunge into the unknown and abandon my fears. Those people made me a much stronger person. And that kind of person, is who I would like to be for others if they need it – because that's all I know, that's what worked for me and I try to share that.

My huge fucking posts in a lot of these motivational threads is my way of trying to tell you, listen, I do give a fuck. But be that person that goes away and figures it out, not only will that process equip you with +5 armor versus life It will make you a better artist, and It will make you a better person.
  • Listening to: Silence
  • Watching: Game of Thrones Season 2
  • Playing: Record of Argarest War ZERO
  • Drinking: Rice Milk
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FancyPaints Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2018  Student Digital Artist
I really needed this! Thanks!
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HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2016  Professional Artist
Im sorry my post was so inferior to your blog.
GravureArtist Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Pretty much what i say to friends that also like to draw. Lock yourself away from friends and gf, get to work.
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015  Professional Artist
hahah yup!
Zearthus Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015
So the takeaway of this post is, to think for yourself, experiment, learn, fail, keep moving forward. And continue learning, continue drawing, eventually things will start clicking or am I mistaken? Thanks for taken the time to make this article :) 
HazardousArts Featured By Owner May 7, 2015  Professional Artist
4nof Featured By Owner Edited Mar 22, 2015…
My day at the farm! Feel the roughness!  
 I got a degree in computer science, but its killing the artist in me to get all my time taken up troubleshooting code... alone w/ google. >.< part time work wears me down... I feel like I'm building up code to showoff nothing, and my coding skills aren't up to par yet... but my drawing skills are mediocre-tastic - I could draw all day if you let me!  
I don't want to abandon my degree, and I don't want to abandon art... stupid question, but how do I do both & "get my shit together" without abandoning either? 
>.< I guess I'll ponder that for a bit and figure it out. 
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015  Professional Artist
hahaha thats an awesome effort :) Really cool to see this!! I would say nurture both until one takes your fancy more than the other, i think eventually one will man. it will just take time.
4nof Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015
haha, thanks. I'll give it some time then.
splicer Featured By Owner Edited Feb 14, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This is good stuff. People need to work, make things the you like. Draw things you like. Not everything you make you have to show, do it for you, so you learn.

Your advice of drawing a hairy dick fucking a sheep is awesome. IT's how we get good. The path you take is your own, but very similar to other artists' paths...

In high school, the way I learned Photoshop, and became awesome at it, was making things. Over, and over again. Because they were fun and I enjoyed it. I had mini competitions with two friends, the three of us would make a banner or a flier, or whatever it was. We would show each other and judge the winner among ourselves. I would usually lose, my one friend would usually win. He picked up on tutorials faster, and learned faster overall. Still, it never discouraged me, I was having fun and learning. When I wasn't doing that, I did something else, personal, and private. I would make photo manipulations, usually head splicing, usually it was perverted, and I never showed it. But it was practice, lots of practice. Then I made porno banners for a friend's small online porn company, didn't get paid, but I liked looking at boobs and naked people. I learned A LOT. Now I do the same by making 3D porn.

So my advice is draw, animate, model, texture, or write, about things that are fun for you as practice. You will learn A LOT. Don't think you have to make certain things, make what you want. Even if it's adult content...

It's still practice, and making it is better than not making it.

And to conclude my story. My one friend who won most of the Photoshop contests we had, he's very successful now, working in the IT field. Not sure if he even knows Photoshop anymore. And my other friend became a very successful video production engineer and editor. He knows Photoshop, but can't make the things I can. So it was me, the straggler, who stuck to it and never stopped created, who won many years later.
Linkzelda41 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Reading this earnest and honest post from you definitely helped me gain more assurance in art in general, especially 3D art as well. Thanks!
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2014  Professional Artist
Im glad it helped!!
yaoifreakfan Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
Thanks a bunch! I really needed this. Even cried a little. I am gonna print this out and put it up on my wall for motivation! Thanks again!
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Professional Artist
Truth hurts sometimes, but in this case its a good hurt :)
PyrZern Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haz, you little ... !
Thanks for posting this. That's exactly what I need ! (still not sure U wanna draw a dick with hairy balls though)
kouotsu Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Couldn't be more true. I came out of college in 2011 with a lazy portfolio of my past class assignments. Surprise, I didn't get hired anywhere! What did I do the next 6 months? Hell if I remember, but the answer isn't art. I still manage to get a couple of freelance jobs now and then.

Cut to last year, I finally get my act together and start doing some low poly 3D character commissions. Suddenly my portfolio has doubled in size, and I can remove the rushed work from college. I get some higher profile freelance work after gaining some klout with the low poly commissions. I'm asked to make a character in Zbrush, which I haven't learned well. So what do I do? Spend 3-4 days straight doing nothing but watching and reading Zbrush tutorials and practicing handling the program. My result a month later is not an amazing, but passable character.

A few months later -- guess what? That company offers me a full-time job. Now I'm creating at least 1 character per week at work, gaining a ton of experience and a ton of portfolio pieces. It really frustrates me to think back to those 2-3 years after college where I only made a couple of characters total, all while avoiding Zbrush.

Zbrush both terrified me and confused me. How do you even sculpt good hair? How do you do hard surfaces? I looked everywhere for answers to those, but any answers will be useless if you're not willing to dive in and screw up over and over until you can apply what you've learned.

I can't even figure out what I was thinking before a few months ago, when I wanted an art job so bad but seemed indifferent to art alltogether in my daily life. Keep practicing and the work will come!
D3moira Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Exactly what I needed to read. Thank you!
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Professional Artist
Youre totally welcome!
FangedSeth Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I just came across your page and read this and I just wanna say thanks for writing this. You're so right and I am going to draw right now. XD

I love your art too and someday I want to get there too. I am just starting a program in game art/design (today!)
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Professional Artist
go for it man! wish you all the best!
FangedSeth Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks! And I'm amazed that you respond to your comments and all; that's really cool.
xaotherion Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, so there really are no magic bullets?

I kinda knew it all along - but then I thought, maybe there are some pieces of utterly arcane lore, known to the professionals only, completely unavailable for me? And you say there aren't... Good one! :D

While there's gotta be a ton of things I don't know, it's reassuring that these 'magic bullets' are out of the equation.
HazardousArts Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Professional Artist
no magic bullets! :D
ultra2000000000 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013
First, I just want to say thank you to you. Not for this post, but in the past, when I was one of those people asking "how do I make those markings on paper look so cooooooollllll?" And when you answered, I was surprised, grateful, and a little ashamed of myself. I was ashamed because I could see clearly that I was yet another fan asking for a magic trick. And for some reason, before you answered, I just couldn't comprehend the simple answer. When you told me, I felt like I could see the matrix - alright, not that clear, but it got me to practice more and sharpen my skills.

It's also the simple fact that you give so much attention to the community. I have crazy respect for you.

Second, I apologize for being yet another one of those "make me magic" artist want-to-bes.

As far as my dA updates, well, I don't think I'll be doing that. I usually get good feedback from co-workers and friends now. I rather have their feedback than dA users saying "she's fuckin hawt! but whats wrong with her boob!!!!!1111??" It does *appear* I'm improving, but just needs more time and WORK. Also, most of what I do is asset building.

ANYWAY, point is, I'm glad you give a fuck. So thanks! :)
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Professional Artist
your welcome! Keep going!
Faerie-s Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I'm 20.... and I literally just drew hairy balls for the first time ever.... and you know what... I giggled ^_^
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Professional Artist
YES!!!! keep going!!!
DESMONDDx Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Right! Kick some ass! This is right motivation!
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks!! Glad your pumped up!!
elsierivest Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I read all your thread, thank you for taking the time, it helps me a lot.
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Professional Artist
Your absolutely welcome :)
ArtchemistJB Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:clap: Agreed !

Nice speech mate. No wonder why everyone asks for your advise :)
You are really good with what you do, but you are also good at helping
others achieve or lets say find their path to what is the best they can do.

I do believe that the hardest part of becoming an artist is finding yourself.
If you undetstand who you are then you have your motivation and your path
wide open and nothing can gets you down.

I'm pretty sure this apllies for everything you want to achieve in your life, not just
for Art.

HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Professional Artist
Your right man, it really does :)
karytsukino Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thanks! I think it's the best tips you could give to us =D
Hamtoilet Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Student Artist
Just like always, you say the right things every time you go on one of these motivational rants. I haven't been posting but I have been working, if I was one of the n00b artist you were watching lol. Im interning with one of my professors right now and he kicked me into the unknown world of doing an ecorche study. Putting in the time is the best advice anyone could give. I know for me, back then, that answer was not enough. I think it was because I was scared, and I wanted to be good right then and there. I've realized that you cant always get that instant gratification and it take time. Im still struggling to keep myself on track sometimes though. XD
RandverSerence Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thankyou for posting this I am going to share this with my class because it really does raise the points that especially the younger students could learn from. You are an amazing artist and I'm always impressed with how attentive you are to your followers. Thankyou again and bravo sir.
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional Artist
Your welcome!
satbenji Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Not every people do the stuff's you've been doing..right from the workflow you share on your BLOG,live online sessions n the articles u post here(i learned lot from ur posts)..!! u r such an inspiration to all who have been watching you!!

Thank u very much for taking your own time to do these things!!!✿◕‿◕✿

i dont believe in GOD but the artists like us who has heart n people who lived for their passion!✿◕‿◕✿

Again..Thank u sir !!
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional Artist
Your welcome :)
satbenji Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
VapourShark Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
I found this thread last night through a fellow games art student. I've been recently struggling with finding the energy and motivation to do my coursework as I didn't know if I'd ever be good enough. I gave this a read before bed and it really did help a lot, I usually dislike the outcome of my own work, but after reading this I felt that the journey throughout a project is more important than the end product itself since I'm still learning and it's okay to mess up sometimes.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to write this, It really did help a lot. :) I love your work as well!
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Professional Artist
Np :) Im glad you find it helpful!
ale-xander Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks. I still draw a ton, but don't post here often. I'm one of the people who asked the question. I work full-time as a roofer, but draw as often as possible during lunch and the afternoon.

I definitely appreciate your post and the emotion behind it. I'll get on your level soon. :)
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Professional Artist
Awesome, glad to hear it :)
necromancer120 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I had a friend ask me last night how to get into art because his daughter, 20, liked art and wanted a career in it. The best advice i had was work and keep working. Everyday work because the industry is competitive.
I went to school originally for art just out of high school and failed miserably because i had no ethic, because RBI Baseball on the nintendo with friends was more important. 17 years later i got my shit together and went back to school for art where i labeled and overachiever. i pointed out that i wasnt an overachiever, i was simply working hard while they thought they were in high school and 'good enough' was ok for them. One of the points i made to the friend last night was that good enough was not enough. That an A in your classes was not enough. Then re-emphasized work.
So i graduated at the top of my class which also meant nothing, but i continued to work. Every night. all night. Took shitty freelance jobs, did free work, did personal work, but worked all the time. Missed nights with friends, missed nights with m family, continued to work. Eventually i started looking at my old work from school that everyone raved over and realized it was 'ok' and ok is not good enough.
Then all the work started to pay off. The freelance jobs were starting to come more regular and people were coming to me. You know what i did? I kept working. Every night. 3am, 4am, whatever.
Last fall one of the companies that i reallky wanted to work for posted a job that really fit me. Of course I applied. Short end of that story is I got the job. Some days I feel guilty for having such a great job, but then i think back to all my classmates half assing their work or doing just enough and realize that I got what i worked my ass for.
I get more questions now that ever and try to answer as best possible, but it always starts and finishes with 'keep working'.
Wolvenmoon Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I get it, I see what you say, but the light is still divided by a thin rim of darkness.

At a point in my 3D artwork I hit a wall, artists told me, "Go back to square 1 and learn to draw". So I did, and it's hard to get moving again.
True, so damn true. When will people realize that there is no substitute for putting time into things? Look, you play games, so you should be able to figure it out. Time => experience => skill points => get better at something. Even though it's so fundamental, people seem to overlook it. Investing time is essentially putting forth the practice and application so that you can improve and develop skills. How much time and what skills you invest in is how you use your time. But apparently people still don't get it. They become awesome gamers, but they don't realize that unless you're putting that time into art, you won't become just as good. What can you do? *shrugs*

I most definitely agree with you, and the fact that you lay it out there straight- all the power to you man! Mad respect to you! If you pull your punches, people just don't want it enough to get back up and keep trying for it. If they don't want it enough, then they obviously don't have the heart needed to succeed. The people who become great get there because they want it more than everyone else, work harder than everyone else, and dedicate more time than everyone else. Some people can be a drag at times, but don't let that bring you down with them. Keep up the work and advice man! You're doing right by me.
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Professional Artist
No problemo dude.
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Submitted on
March 11, 2013


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