So why did I want to be a visual artist again?
Well before I made this hardcore decision, there was a time not too long ago that I wanted to be another kind of artist: the kind that comes with regular salary and health insurance and a 401k. I had aspired to be a concept artist, you know, those people who draw up costumes and sets and scenes for video games and movies and such. I was so into video games and movies, and when I heard they had jobs where you get to draw cool game characters and the like I was excited.
But boy, oh, boy, I couldn’t have been so naive and so stupid….
It was in 2007 that I began dabbling in that oh so whimsical magical world of sci-fi and fantasy art. And it was then that I began to teach myself fervently to draw and paint digitally, using Photoshop. I learned that was a basic prerequisite for getting a job as a concept artist. So I bought magazines that dealt with digital painting (I.e. ImagineFX) and haunted sites like Conceptart.org and DeviantArt.com posting my progress on forums and getting feedback. By the way I have a DA site which I no longer update but you may go visit my hard work of digital paintings at aellise.deviantart.com.
What I realized are three things: one, the competition for these lucrative concept art positions at top companies is like South Korea aspiring to win a World Cup (which, as far as I know, will be next to impossible), second all these aspiring artists are like gazillion times better than me ( well considering they don’t sleep a wink to perfect their skills, which is what I really should have been doing ), and third, these coveted positions are already filled by really really well established artists who are like the rock stars of the art world, and they show no signs of stepping down anytime soon. So to just get your one foot in the door of one of these big cheese gigs would take a miracle.
Oh and to make things short, the people I encounter on the forums are total psychos. It’s like they hate it when a newbie tries to step in the mile long line and they do everything in their power to grill you well done with snide remarks like “your anatomy sucks” or “you need to master the color palette” or even worse, “you’re not even close to beating He-who-shall-not-be-names”. Once in a while I do get some helpful advices and I learned quite a lot, but there was more letdowns and I felt just overwhelmed by the challenges. I’m a sucker when it comes to big challenges.
And on top of it all, some of these super star artists who are idolized by all wannabe copycats turn out to be total arrogant douchebags (no names will be mentioned out of respect)
I don’t mean to sound like a jackass myself, I have high respect for those that are passionate about their crafts and are putting hours and hours on their works, and for those that have made it big in the industry and earned the praises and admirations of all aspiring concept artists around the world.
But let’s face it: the work they do don’t necessarily belong to them, they’re working off of somebody else’s ideas. And they spend hours after hours trying to get it PERFECT detail by detail by drawing the same things over and over again…
Come to think of it, that sound pretty, exhausting.
And so NOT my style and temperament.
Not only that, the one other thing that really spooked me was when I read about some artists who sheepishly admitted they don’t know how to draw with pencils anymore. What the f—!
Do I want to fall into that rut? I, DONT, THINK, SO.