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Thread: Just no flow...

  1. #1
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    Just no flow...

    Hey everyone. I just want to get some input from others here.
    I am certainly no artist. In fact, my real ability is writing and I've been composing music for about 10 years, though not in any professional or formal capacity.
    I have always wanted to be able to draw/paint/illustrate/balance a canvas successfully, but I just do not seem to have the innate skills to pull this off. Whenever I have tried to paint something, it just ends up looking terrible. And yet, I can design a graphic interface for a VST plugin, using the inbuilt tools in a program like Real Draw, and it can look fine.
    I cannot translate what is in my head to a canvas, digital or otherwise. But I can sit and write an essay without a problem.
    I have all sorts of books on painting and drawing and they all make it sound so simple, but I am still frustrated.
    Perhaps I am simply running away from what I am really good at because the grass seems to be greener.
    I bought Artrage last year alng with a Wacom tablet to try and break some creative habits. I thought that if I could run interference on the inner critic, I could somehow come up with something worthy or even aesthetically pleasing, but so far, what I end up with seems immature and scrappy and that little voice inside just calls it 'pathetic' and 'stupid' and berates me for even bothering.
    Perhaps I should simply go back to the things I do best and give up on trying to expand my head in this direction. The truth of it is, that I was never great in Art at school, so perhaps I should just respect my real callings and give up. I seem to have inherited my mother's illustrative skills : stickmen and wobbly curved lines !

    Does anyone else here face similar frustrations or crises of confidence?

  2. #2
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    Well, I only face a crisis of confidence once a month or so. When it happens ... I let it happen. Then I kick myself and get back on the horse, so to speak.

    It sounds to me that you may be expecting too much of yourself. You're not going to paint your masterpiece first time out. Other things may have come easily for you but don't expect that everything always will.

    That having been said, I sense a strong desire in you to find a way to express yourself visually. I don't know that anyone can tell you how to do that; in fact, I'm fairly certain that no one can. So, what to do?

    The beauty of ArtRage is that you can invest yourself in an image with no fear of having wasted money and materials, so my advice is to just relax and experiment, learn the tools, play, have fun. Don't worry about making the "perfect" image. You're very good with words, but in painting there are not many hard and fast rules of grammar or syntax and therein lies the beauty of the visual medium: you get to define what is right and proper and real.

    Put another way: relax. Maybe you'll start by just putting some color on a surface rather than trying to recreate reality. I can't know. I can't help but feel though that maybe you're overthinking the process. Remember ... the most enjoyable music happens when you're "in the pocket".
    Last edited by RobertSWade; 08-14-2008 at 07:11 PM.

  3. #3
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    Have fun first, worry about results later... I'm bad at guitar but I enjoy making a noise.. and once in a while it makes me smile when I get it right...

  4. #4
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    Dear Eidolon, Hello! What in the world is a graphic interface for a VST plugin again??? Robert is right! sounds like you are excellent at what you do and expect everything to be that way, if you were as old as dirt you would "relax" and just enjoy ArtRaging, there is everything from Soup to Nuts here, (check out the 'Food With Attitude" thread), Some professionals and amatures and everyone in between, you WILL fit in, Welcome and have fun!!! ps. you can still compose along with your pictures if you feel like it

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for responding and providing such good food for thought.
    I suppose, like most creative people, I know that overanalysis and expectation dampens the entire spirit of creativity. I don't know if anyone here knows the book, but I have been reading 'The Artist Within' by Julia Cameron. The focus is squarely on the process of creativity and the inner demons and critics that make it difficult for the creative spirit to function. The message I receive is that creativity is much like a sensitive child and will recoil from criticism and should be nurtured lovingly and fondly.
    The book just reinforces that which many of us already know.
    What I probably need to do is just focus on the basics. Just dab around with colours...make shapes...practice some shading...just get comfortable with the idea of making a mark, whether on screen or paper.

    I am hoping that I can distract the inner critic by responding to music and just drawing inspiration from it while dabbing around on screen. I find that if I sit in silence, the voice of criticism is much louder.

    Oh yes, a VST plugin is a virtual software instrument. So, basically, I work with a guy who does the code and I've put together a few of the interfaces using a combo of Real Draw for vectors and Corel Paintshop for extra layers and tweaking. Yet, when it comes to holding a piece of plastic above a Wacom tablet, I cannot even draw a straight line on the screen !!

    I shall persevere. It's taken me 10 years to learn what I know about music composition, so maybe, in another 10 my paint lines will be straight

    There is a fascination I have though. I have been reading about the Golden Mean. Well, I've known about it for a while actually. Does anyone here adhere to it, either consciously or unconsciously? Do you think that it heavily influences your visual compositions?
    I know that many Classical artists used it in a very scientific manner to produce works.

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