I want my art to be more mature
6mo
Lo
And no! I don't mean mature in *that* way. I want my art to look more adult, more professional. I'm not sure exactly what that pertains. I've been feeling dissatisfied with my art for a while. I don't feel like I'm challenging myself enough. I still haven't made any big strides towards learning environments or perspectives. And most important of all, I feel embarrassed to show my art to people in my life. I feel like it looks very teenage-y, like something only a niche internet community enjoys. I don't know how to remedy this, do I change my art style? Do I do more traditional art? Do I do more 3D art? Do I draw horror, or dark and gritty things? I don't know how to get out of this slump, I need a concrete plan. Instead of me attaching images, you can get a quick overview of my art here (if you want): https://instagram.com/snokkart?igshid=NGVhN2U2NjQ0Yg== Thank you in advance for any input :')
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@jsg
18d
Honestly, I would just look at Takehiko Inoue's Vagabond art. His drawing are so mature in a way that it is realistically stylized. His art has helped me a TON! I used to draw so cartoony but my art has matured while studying his art. Idk if what your looking for is not with Inoue but I know that has helped out me!
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@jsg
18d
P.S. Drawing Adult character also helps a ton to make your art look more mature. Nothing wrong with drawing teens but sometimes I can fall into a more simplistic style with youthful character idk whatever works for you.
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@sintija
Hey! I am no professional, but this idea occurred to me- maybe to address the maturity issue- you can try to use a really limited colour palette, maybe even one colour. For me- colour palette like that in a peace make me feel more serious towards it. You know also maybe thinking about how colours can make us feel. Again, I am really new to art so I am no expert, but just as a viewer- those are the things that are important to me visually. Hope this makes sense:) have a good day <3
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Martha Muniz
I agree with Jared's very comprehensive response on tackling the fundamentals--very spot on. I do also want to add a bit of advice I received (and was originally posted on the Muddy Colors blog!) that helped me out quite a bit, which was a practice called a "goal folder". The idea is to collect as much art that you really, truly admire and want to emulate--and these pieces would be what you are referring to as the standard of professional/mature--into a folder, and then eliminate them until you reach your top 20 favorite pieces. Study (both analyzing principles/techniques and doing master copies) from them and try to extract those lessons into your original work. When you're done with an illustration, you can take a moment to assess how it would fit within your goal folder and how it differs, and what you can emulate from it next time. As you continue discovering new pieces and artists and styles, you can continue to replace these 20 or even narrow down the number, just never go over 20--and remember change is good as you evolve as an artist. Hopefully this helps guide you a bit more in your objectives as an artist, as this practice helps give a more concrete understanding of what your goals are and how to reach that standard we deem as professional and polished. So while studying the fundamentals and from life observation is the most important, supplementing by training your eye and learning from finished pieces can help you steer towards the direction and guidance you are seeking.
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Jared DiPietro
Hey Lo, First of all, it's great to have you here in the Proko community. I know that, at least in my personal experience, it can be daunting to share your artwork and open yourself up to criticism (especially when you may find your work "embarrassing") but it is certainly a big and beneficial step. Aaravi has some good points. Learning how to create art is a journey and everyone's journey can be different. It's important to be able to sometimes just let go, experiment and see where it takes you. But I understand the frustration. Oftentimes we have an idea, even if only vaguely, of what our art should look like (or of what our "destination" is on this journey) and when we fail to achieve that ideal, it can be disheartening. I often think back to this video with a speech from Ira Glass. https://vimeo.com/24715531 It may say storytelling in title but I believe it fits all kinds of creative expression. You may have to do a lot of work to get to the point where you feel you are consistently creating things that live up to your vision, but I believe with good practice and perseverance you can get there. Now, you came here asking for a concrete plan. While there is a balance to be struck when it comes to following a rigid plan and allowing your creativity/desires to flow, I, as an artist who is also always learning, will try to give you some ideas that I think will help. You're probably familiar with the saying "practice makes perfect" and maybe you've heard the follow-up from Vince Lombardi "Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." In this case, I believe the answer is somewhere in the middle. You can do a ton of work and make progress, but intentional work will in most cases get you further faster. With that said, here are some things I would recommend focusing on. Structure: The Basic Forms This was something that I neglected for a long time, and it wasn't until I started going through Proko's figure drawing series that I really started to grasp and incorporate it. Being able to consistently draw the basic forms (spheres, cubes/rectangular prisms, cylinders) can be key to leveling up your art. Even before knowing anatomy, it can take a flat, lifeless drawing and turn into something that looks like it really exists in a world on your page. Take this drawing I did almost a decade ago, and compare it with just the underdrawing of one of my recent projects (For an even better example of using simple forms to construct the figure, check out Proko's Mannequinization Lesson in the figure drawing fundamentals course https://www.proko.com/course-lesson/mannequinization-structure-of-the-human-body/assignments ) I see so many newer artists who can do beautiful things with colour, but it's effect is muted because of the flimsy structure beneath it. You don't have to be a master of anatomy to draw the basic forms that help the objects you create to feel real and tangible. Breaking things down into simple forms also helps with shading. When you're armed with this knowledge/ability you can really make your drawings pop! I really like to look at animators, or artists with a simpler style when it comes to studying these basic forms, as it can be easier to spot the building blocks they used. Some of my favourites to look at are https://www.instagram.com/seangallowayart and https://www.instagram.com/gurihiru In addition to breaking down real human models into basic forms, it can be fun to look at artists you enjoy and do the same to their work. This can open up your eyes to new ways that you can break down the human body into simple forms. Looking at your work and one of your time lapses, it looks like you already have a fairly good grasp of this area. Your piece with Ganondorf, Link and Prince Sidon stands out to me in this regard. Especially Ganondorf's arm, you can really feel the form. Continuing to work on these foundational elements while expanding your knowledge of perspective and anatomy will serve you well. Even though this is an area you already do well in, I wanted to cover it before getting into the rest of the points. I have to take a break for now, but when I get back I want to talk about using interesting shapes + rhythms, line quality and confidence. Also, I will try to draw over some pieces to help give some visual examples that might be more helpful. For now, I'll leave you with this. I think your work is in a great place and I see a lot of potential! It's been fun to look through your work and I'm excited to see what you do in the future!
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Jared DiPietro
Part 2: Interesting Shapes While a lot of work can go into our artwork to make it look three-dimensional, at the end of the day we are still creating shapes on a 2D surface. And the shapes we construct have a lot of power! Proko just did a great video on this not too long ago, I actually just finished watching it. https://youtu.be/ID8r0OhiYe0?si=_hT0IPJ4P7a--ccn Shapes can add a lot of visual interest to otherwise standard, or static, drawings. They can imply movement and energy, or be used to guide our eyes around a piece in a specific way. A simple "trick" is to have contrast in the shape. This could be as simple as one side being straight, and the other side being curved (Like in this video by Ethan Becker https://youtu.be/mFuNdJoEhq4?si=l1SmPFsuhb5uSnYe He has a lot of great stuff, including a few more on shapes so I highly recommend checking him out) When we make shapes that are interesting and have a clear direction, it also can make our work look more confident, which I will touch on more later. You can combine your knowledge of shape design with anatomy to make drawings that are both accurate and full of energy. Being knowledgeable about our shapes and how they work together can also help with creating rhythms through our art, helping to guide the viewers eyes and create a pleasing design. Continuing to use your Legend of Zelda piece as an example, we can break down the shapes of the arm. I did my best to trace over the different parts of Ganondorf's arm in the image attached alone. Through each of the parts I drew a line from the "peak" of each side, similar to Proko at the beginning of his video. I did the same over a couple reference photos to see what we can learn. As far as the peaks go, we can see that your work is pretty good. It's clear that you paid a lot of attention to the forms. Looking at our reference we can see ways to push it even further, especially in areas like the delts (shoulders) and forearms. You can see that in the last two images I've drawn some simple representations of the upper arm and the for arm. For the upper arm, going so far as to depict the bicep as a straight light, with a small angle at the bottom, the the triceps as a large curve (not unlike the lemon shape in the Ethan Becker video that I linked). What's cool is that when the arm is bent you see almost the opposite happening. The bicep becomes very round and pronounced as it squeezes to bend the arm, and triceps becomes more stretched out and flat. This push and pull, along with just the general placement and shapes of the muscles, does a lot to establish rhythms throughout the body. You can see an example of these rhythms from Luis Escobar, in the second image attached below. As you grow in your knowledge of anatomy, you'll begin to notice the variety cool shapes and rhythms that pop up as you see the body from different angles and in different poses. You might even choose to exaggerate some of these shapes past what is commonly seen to better show motion, tension or just to make it more interesting. Animators and stylized illustrators are great to look at for how they simplify the shapes of the body at different angles, but almost all artists do it to varying degrees. And as much fun as it can be to study how other people simplify the body, don't forget to make your own observations from life and experiment!
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Aaravi Reya
Hey, don't sweat it! I think you are too afraid of your imperfection in art. Imperfections are totally normal, especially when you're starting out. They're like little signposts showing you where you can improve. Your so-called "childish" style is just a part of your unique artistic journey. Embrace it and keep experimenting! You'll be amazed at how much you'll grow and improve along the way.
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Lo
6mo
Thank you for your encouragement. I've had art as my primary hobby for 7 years now. At the beginning of my journey I'd improve heaps every month. Nowadays I feel like I've hit a plateau. It's difficult to not feel dissatisfied.
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