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Artistic Limitations?

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 12, 2011, 7:19 PM

Thankyou to all those who shared their stories and opinions on my last journal, I haven't gotten around to replying to everyone but I have read every comment.

Another topic I want to discuss? A bit of a dead-horse? but then again I haven't really had a chance to talk much about this issue and I would like to hear other peoples opinions and whether or not they agree or disagree.

Overtime I have noticed an attitude regarding artwork and peoples means of determining how talented and skilled an artists is. By this I mean people have an attitude that if an artwork doesn't feature correct anatomy or the artists doesn't practise realism then they are a novice and are limiting themselves artistically. I have lost count on how many comments I have gotten along the lines of " your art is good, but I think its time to move on to more professional stuff, start doing some still life, portraits and landscapes". Obviously I encourage going out of your comfort zone and drawing stuff you wouldn't usually draw to expand your style and skill. I guess what I am trying to say is that painting photo realistically doesn't make you a better artist than someone who is very good at drawing in a cartoon style or a very abstract style.

Also if someone does realize they are limiting their ability to only one style? then isn't having one very refined style is ok? As far as I know there are no specific guidelines or universal rules on what makes you a good artist other than the personal opinion of each individual viewer. From what I have learnt, drawing from the imagination is much more difficult than drawing from observation thought observational drawings are considered more skilled?

So..the question is? what do you think? Is creative skill or technical skill more important? or does that depend completely on the individual?

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Enigma-Dragoon Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012
It's good to practice that other stuff once in a while. But if you've found a style you like, I say stick to it.
burn1213 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011
I think at first a lot of people start out by increasing their technical skill, like drawing hands, faces, anatomy, the typical stuff...and then they get so much practice at drawing anatomy and stuff that their hands sort of remember and then they move onto drawing things from imagination. In my style of drawing I think that both technical skill and creative skill are of equal importance but depending on what order you choose to focus on improving first defines the difficulty unless the person has amazing imagination.
Art for me is freedom therefore it depends on what style a person has which defines what is more important. In normal portait, still life drawing - the artist has to focus on improving the anatomy and technical side much more. The surrealistic or anime or whatever other style uses both technical and creative but there are also many styles in anime so that also depends. It's really difficult to say, I guess you could asses a work according to the standards of the style
natakarin Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011
Personally I think that creative vision is far more important than technical skill. I think it's an artist's role to express their individuality and idea within a workpiece. For me looking at still life paintings is simply boring. I don't want to offend anyone but there are many great artists here, on DA who draw almost perfectly from photo references. I appreciate their talent and dedicated time but these works don't enrich me in any way. I don't think if I actually could call it art because it's just copying.
There can be technically average artwork which plucks heartstrings because of the impression it makes.
Bringin-Crazy-Back Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
AND ALSO! (Going on a rant here)


The only kind of art that is better than any other kind is the art that is inspired by something in yourself. If you can "feel" it, then it is true art, no matter what anyone else can think or say.
Bringin-Crazy-Back Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think that it is good to reach outside of your comfort zone, but if you really don't want to, no-one can make you stay there, and there is no-one who has any right to tell you what you should do with your art. Most of the time, the people who criticize other people are people bruning green with envy. Don't listen to them. Do what you want, when you want, and only if you want to do it.
LycanFangs1941 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I hate this, especially when people don't understand you are still learning and say your art is crap.

In terms of your question, it's dependant on the person, I think. What matters is that we all keep striving to have both.
I totally agree.
LycanFangs1941 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
no prob, we artist gotta stick together XD
Spector-Q Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I consider myself an artist, even though I'm not nearly as professional as many (shoot, if I actually practiced, I might become downright good by most standards). Personally, I believe that one needs to let their crativity flow. While technicality has its place, art is nothing unless the artist a.) enjoys their work, and b.) draws (or paints or whatever) in a style that they themselves are happy with.

However, it is also my opinion that more technical styles are better suited for the professional market, as it appeals to more people, but again, THIS IS UP TO THE ARTIST. Do I make sense?
IndonesianElephant Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011  Student General Artist
;o I think it honestly would at that point depend on what you want to use your artistic talent for. Recreational artist? Do what you want. Illustrator/designer/anything where you'll have specific requests from a boss or client? You'd prolly have to change depending on the client's wants. Drawing for school, it's what the teacher asks of you. So I think depending on where you want your art to go, you should focus either on different styles or on just what makes you happy. but drawing one line seven ways doesn't really matter much if the line looks like a circle all seven ways. i guess i'm trying to say, you should work on the quality of your styles rather than quantity if you decided to have many? but one nice, refined style may work just as well for a person, especially when building a name for yourself because you'd be more easily distinguishable...

xD; i'm no pro, so this is all my opinion. ;3 i know this is an older journal but i reaaally like this question and wanted to answer xD
Mutsuki-K Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Huh. It seems like you've already studied realism in general (it shows in your cartoons) so I don't understand why anyone would recommend you go back to it. It should be understood that you're choosing the style you work in.

As far as why people admire realism more, I think it comes down to basic instinct. humans/animals naturally reject deformity (excluding baby-like features), and are more comfortable with what they're already familiar with.

Whether there are art styles that are more important than the other, I guess it's always good to have the basics down in realism. But it shouldn't have to reflect in everyone's work. That would be boring if everyone did realism.

From the time I was in 3rd grade until I graduated high school I was in a gifted arts program that's through the public schools in my state, and I'm grateful for the teachers and experience I got from it. I'm actually pretty comfortable with still life, landscapes, realism in general because of all of the years of drawing exercises and practicing in different mediums... And I think the ability to draw realistically IS something to be admired because it's typically the result of years experience. But to be able to draw something without actually having a reference to go from is much more remarkable. And it's very difficult to teach.

I only recently started trying out manga style art, and I think it would be a lot harder for me if I didn't know the basics to anatomy. Even if the features are exaggerated, you have to have something to base the exaggeration off of. So for me I guess realism and any other art style should go hand-in-hand. That's my opinion.
NordicLynx Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think you spoke very well in the last paragraph!
yanxxx Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
My rule has always been: I DO WHAT I WANT (THOR).
SlowlyFallingAwake Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, it's kind of a weird thing. I, for one, think I already advanced quite a bit in a year with my art (still nothing to be too proud of). I met this artist who's really known in my town and he said 'hm yeah ok. I see. Still in the figure phase eh.' Needless to say I was kind of disappointed.
He works with abstraction in his paintings, obviously an entirely different genre of art and from an opposing viewpoint.
I do like his works. The colours add lots of dimension and the fact that you can make your own version of it is great.
But I just feel like... I need to do my own thing. I don't know what that is exactly - that's what I'm looking for. In fact, this applies not only to art, but of late to many aspects of my life. I'm kind of in an identity crisis at times, which will seem weird for anyone here, throwing that out. But that's how it is. I need to find where I'm headed. In my life, in my studies, in art.

I, for one, do not believe one art style trumps the other. Art is versatile, art is intangible, only the medium is tangible. Even if the medium dies, the concepts live on.
Tbqh - and I may receive criticism upon saying this - I am of the same opinion as my stepfather: art is not drawing from photos, art is not exactly copying what you see. Art is taking something - be it in real life, in fantasy, from your imagination - and putting your soul into it, morphing it into something you can grasp. It's like putting a piece of soul on paper.
Realistic photos are impressive and most people who see them say sth along the lines of 'wow, you're so good at drawing!' but when they see a different piece, with e.g. a great idea behind it, but in a different, unusual style, they won't even pay attention to it.
It's true that I once thought the same way, but being an artist has opened my eyes to a lot of beautiful things in life I had never seen before. I think more about what I see and don't let it pass me by. I think artists shouldn't be so quick to slam other pieces, but actually dwell on them, try to empathize, see the message.
Of course, all art is subject to opinion. That's a fact. But being open-minded is a tool I think every artist should learn to handle.

This opinion will prob get lost along the rest, but I think it's an important question to ask yourself and I wanted to vent anyway.
Mutsuki-K Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
The artist in your home town kind of sounds like a Douche bag. I mean, a close-minded abstract artist? He's a walking contradiction don't you think?
SlowlyFallingAwake Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hm, interesting thought, I do agree. But he is definitely no douche bag, he inspires me, although I can't agree with his opinion on that matter.
Mutsuki-K Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Well it's good that he inspires you. :) Maybe since he's gotten a steady amount of recognition he's forgotten that other art styles besides his are acceptable too. That happens sometimes.
Rincs Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011   General Artist
I think that there has been enough discussion on the subject matter as you can most likely see. But here is my two cents:

I believe, that it is important to have both.

You don't really lose anything by learning the technical aspects of art, and in fact, one might find new ways to do things. We all know that Picasso drew very non-traditional art, but he was fully capable of doing realistic still-lifes and portraiture. Everyone can do with a good lesson on proper anatomy and perspective, and the individual can use that however he/she wishes. They could disregard it completely, or they can integrate it to their current style.

Doing studio art (landscapes, portraits, etc) is very admirable, though it is far from being the only definition of "professional art". The industry does have standards, however and for those seeking to work in the field (whatever it may be), having a wide tool set can be very advantageous.

Technical skill and creativity go hand-in-hand with art, and I think that they're inseparable. Cause while having technical skill will help the artist achieve what they need their art to do, creativity is what help bring life and character into the piece.

Demonrik Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I believe this to be true. I my self have noticed this frequently. It is true that it is the artists' own opinion and it is there decision to work on there own artistic aspects whether it be anatomy, color, background, etc. An artists style is just that "There Style" It should not be hindered by the opinions of the few or many; but themselves. For example I believe my anatomy could use a little improvement. I need to be a bit looser in my form.
jd-taylor Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Both are important, but practising 'technical' skills (i.e, life drawing, attempting to draw things you're not good at etc) helps you to improve a lot quicker than doing the same thing over and over again does.

think of it this way. Disney artists have a distinct style. But they still got a real lion cub in to draw simba from. Distinct style - but making sure things are still kept sort of realistic, like the way his limbs were and the way he moved. In fact, I've heard the artists do a lot of life drawing together. It doesn't mean their style's still not 'cartoony'. they all have a confident background knowledge of anatomy and a good knowledge of the foundations of art :)

Just because you're technical doesn't mean you can't be creative.
the-monkey-ninja Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Student
I'm quoting here and then responding XD :
""I have lost count on how many comments I have gotten along the lines of " your art is good, but I think its time to move on to more professional stuff, start doing some still life, portraits and landscapes". ""

Okay, in regards to that, I find it funny that some people would actually post something like that XD XD XD There are different styles of art, and while some may work in a variety of styles, its more common to find an artist specializing in one particular field.
That doesn't mean they can't do the other things, it just means that you're going to get brilliant results from their area of work compared to the other styles.
Now, 'still life, portraits, and landscapes' are not exactly professional XD It depends on an artists skill in that field, I mean I've taken art as one of my main subjects in school and intend to get into the artistic world through university and onward, and we've done observation art, landscape and other themed paintings, and facial portraits (in pencil) of a person in front of us --I wouldn't call that work professional if I compare it to an artist who has chosen that field of expertise.
With that said, a person who has taken that specialization can't compare their work with a comic/mangaka artist, an animator, a concept artist, etc. Its just not possible!

I mean, basically what people are saying when they tell you they think some other style is professional, is this: (example) "Oh its great you've mastered the violin, but I think the piano is a more professional instrument to play, so you should learn to play it instead." --- what? Its different yes, that doesn't make it more difficult let alone considered a greater piece than the other.
Heck, if I use music as an example again its like this "The music you write and play is amazing! But you know, scripts done by the greats and the classics are more, y'know, up there." --- Utter balls. That's like saying "Throw your creativity away and think inside the box."
People who tell you they think some other style is professional are just showing you how much of an amateur they are in art - they don't comprehend that every style has its specialization. And sure, its great to be able to tackle other ways of doing art, but its certainly not something you HAVE to do, and it doesn't knock down how good an artist you are either.

So all in all after this long reply I've just typed XD What I'm saying is that there's no such thing as a 'more professional' style. Each art style is a profession in its own right, and to say otherwise is an insult to both the artist and the art world itself.
Your art is brilliant, and I feel that to be able to create something from the mind and bring it into the physical world is one of the most amazing skills possible.
Mikouyo Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
I approve of this message. Lol. I am in my third year University taking Fine Arts. There is so many different fields of art that people who say those sorts of things are too opinionated and maybe need to open their mind to the realities of actual art. Art is whatever the individual making it wants it to be. Art is so diversified it's almost impossible to have an exact explanation of what it is. "What does art mean to you?" Is the real question and everyone has a different answer. People are thinking of art history and channeling their thoughts to great artists in the past. That's what art is to them because that's how art is defined to them in society. Large art galleries hold old works of art. Don't get me wrong, when you actually see those works in real life, they're amazing, but when you have to sit through history classes with analysis after analysis on the same work. It brings it down a notch. Could just be me who feels that way, but oh my history of art can be a pain at times. Lol.

Creativity is truly where art should be, not neglected and put into one genre of realism and no more. Yes, learning technical skills can further your creativity to a new level, but not all great artists need it. Some people can be naturals and they can just get it bang on, or just know it because they've seen it before. Everyone has they're own talent. Everyone should enjoy what they make, and if landscapes, still life, and whatever is what you like then you go ahead and do that. But there are other people who like to make things up off the top of their head or interpret life in a different way, or they might even take that landscape of yours and turn it into and origami dragon. So who ever tries to tell you to do something you don't want to, well, you don't technically have to. Even if it's an assignment you can find a way to make it enjoyable by adding your taste to it.

Comments that tell you to change your art completely to something they want, shouldn't be acknowledged. Constructive criticism on the other hand is something the artist can take in and try out if they want depending on their opinion on the matter.

Anyways. I like your journal, and I don't know where or who is commenting thing's like this, but I'm sure they have stick shoved way up their arse. Don't let those type of people get to you. ;P
Mikouyo Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
Excuse my vocabagrammar. I'm an artist, not a writer.
brendon195 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
I think every artist should have some degree of foundation in technical skills in order to really develop their creative skills. For example, if you at least know some basic anatomy, it'll look much better when you draw than if you had no knowledge of anatomy whatsoever.
Frogore Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
I've always looked at an artists skill by summing up what style they're going for, and knowing what the future of that style looks like. In the end, no one has the same style, but they can be similar because of influences from other artists.

An example would be the fact that I know I'm a lineartist, and compare myself to :iconneondragon: who is my favorite artist on this entire sight.
DemonLog Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist
Here is my SIMPLE answer: Good art is what makes the artist FEEL good.

However, if I were to delve deeper into this subject, there are many things that make an art form of any kind worthwhile. Let's simply say that we're talking about drawing and sculpting here - the visual arts - since we're talking about anatomy, realism, still life, and so forth. You can cut the quality of art into TWO categories: The artist themselves, and the audience, I believe.

The artist themselves can gauge their own talent by how happy and pleased they feel with their work. I have been drawing for many, many years and it used to be that I was never completely satisfied with what I drew, and I would actively CRINGE or even feel slightly nauseous looking at "old" work - anything more than a couple months, usually. Then one day I drew something... and I remember the exact piece that it was, and it's still on the first page of my featured gallery... and I remember looking at it and thinking, "Damn, that anatomy is AWFUL, but... there's just something that's really FUN to look at in this piece." I felt fulfilled! I posted that piece sometime in 2009, but I can still look at it today and feel GOOD about it.

I thought that perhaps this was just a fluke, but as I kept exploring this new angle of my style ( a style that I call "realistic cartoon" ), I kept finding that I was exceptionally satisfied with what I was creating. I felt GOOD about what I was DOING. I felt, for the first time in my life... professional. Satisfied. Competitive, even - as if I could rank my art amongst the "great" artists on DA, and I still feel that the only reason I'm nowhere near the front page is simply because I don't socialise and network much. Most of the people you find on the front page - either as DDs or top favourites - tend to be people who are very active socially in the art community, or active uploading, or any number of such things, but the key is activity, and I have not been very active or social. But... I HAVE become genuinely happy with the art I've produced. In the past, I would create something, post it, and if I got any favourites or comments I would HATE to look at the picture that gained attention. Today, most of the pictures that are featured in my gallery are images that I enjoy looking at whenever. I have come to the point that I ENJOY browsing MY OWN ART just as much as I enjoy browsing the gallery of an artist I admire! THAT, to me, is personal success, and to ME, that's what matters as an artist.

However, some artists strive for the approval of an "audience". They can strive for being titled "prolific", which simply notes a number of creations in an artist's life time, or they can strive to be admired, or valuable. I think it was Stephen King regarding some book series that was receiving a whole lot of flak for gaining fame without talent, and he said something along the lines of, "Talent is subjective. If you gauge talent as making money, then this author is clearly talented, because they've made a lot of money." The same can be said about a painter who produces thousands of pictures in their life time. The sheer number is impressive! Or what about an artist with a particularly large following? That, too, is pretty impressive, no? Well, it depends on what the artist, themselves, want.

I, personally, have long since ceased being impressed by photorealism. Whereas some people gawk over how "detailed" something is, I am disgusted and jaded to how lifeless or awkward a so-called "detailed" piece can be. I began watching an artist many years ago because I was impressed with how detailed their work was, but I soon contemplated un-watching them when every piece began to look them same, and they became more and more "detailed" until it was nearly impossible to tell what was happening in any given instance! I am still watching this artist, however, as they have taken a new turn with their art which is much more pleasing to my eyes. Their characters feel more relatable to me, more emotive and all-around alive.

However, I recently declined choosing to watch another artist whose style is quite charming and characters easy to empathise with because they were TOO prolific, in my opinion, and all of the images in their gallery looked the same. The same characters, the same expressions, the same backgrounds... This artist was clearly happy with themselves and their creations, and they were having fun, but there's no way I could share that joy with them with how repetitive their art was.

If an artist chooses to gauge their success based on their audience, then they must take into consideration what their audience enjoys, what gains the most attention, and how. Shock images could be classified as "successful" if only by the sheer volume of their followers, but I have found that many shock artists seem dissatisfied with their work after the initial rush of being "popular" washes over them. I think it's due to the fact that their work becomes a "bandwagon" and the initial desired effect and message is soon lost, and even items that become memes, the artists often seem upset at first, though memes being more light-hearted in nature, generally, I think are easier to take with a grain of salt and embrace. If one gauges their success on sheer volume of exposure, then becoming a meme would likely be the pinnacle of success to that particular artists.

Many artists that I enjoy following who take their audience into consideration to their success are often times already comfortable and happy with where they are, and simply ask their audience for suggestions. One such artist will occasionally post poles asking for people to vote on what they would like to see more of, and another opens discussion with their watchers of what they enjoy in said artist's repertoire. This is a great way to socialise and network with one's audience in order to gain more notoriety, and often when an audience feels heard, they are even more supportive of who they watch. I believe that's why MS Paint Adventures, and My Little Ponies are both so popular right now - because the artists make it very, very clear that they are not only aware of their audiences, but that their audiences can, in fact, affect what they are supporting. The internet reception to the advertisement for Season Two of My Little Pony in which a popular song was adapted to be ponified, and gave shout-outs to memes amongst the audience community ( "bronies" and "DJ Pon-3" were both terms born of fans made canon in this ad ) was massive, and I think boosted the show's popularity once the audience realised that they were being listened to.

I enjoyed watching season one of My Little Pony, but I find the simplified art quite unnerving. Still, it seems like the artists were having fun, and the interaction between the creators and audience is definitely appealing. I feel similarly about MS Paint Adventures - the art is, at times, mediocre at best, but the artist is clearly enjoying what he is doing, and the amount of interaction he has with his audience is, in one word, fun. Imagine, if you will, the thrill you would feel when something so widely known references something of yours, or perhaps, the artist of said story contacts you directly, perhaps even asks for a service such as drawing a panel or writing a score. How thrilling would that be to be part of something so large?

My observations would lead me to believe that an individual's talent and skill are fairly synonymous with "success" in many ways, especially since all three are so very subjective. My personal success of being able to browse my own art and enjoy it for what it is, also makes me FEEL more talented and skillful. I feel more talented than ever at conveying emotion and attitude through nonverbal cues, for instance. I am currently challenging myself to try to learn how to draw noses, knees, elbows, and backgrounds.

An artist will NEVER be perfect, and will always be improving. I currently don't take too much mind of my audience, but I hope to begin drawing in followers and interacting more with them as time allows, but I also consider myself highly successful and talented as an artist due to how happy I feel with what I create, how satisfied I remain after its completion, and how excited I am to begin my next, big project. I have come to a place where I am happy, and now I am ready to share that happiness with others. I will always feel successful based strictly on how pleased I am with my own creations, but soon I will begin to accept an audience's view of my talent as well, and though their perception of talent, skill, and success will always be different than mine, it exists, nonetheless, and as such will be taken into consideration as I grow further as an artist.

These are my opinions and my views on talent, skill, and success, and I thank you for the chance to write them. It was fun to be so introspective for a short while during the time it took to write this. Thank you, and I hope my words have been as fun to contemplate as they were to accumulate.
Mardia Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Huh, I was actually quite surprised to see MSPA and MLP mentioned (especially together) in this, but now that you mention it I guess their authors do interact with their audience. That's something that always draws me toward people, especially if they're more or less "professional". That they try their best to reach down toward the average human being and just... I don't know, it makes them seem less of a working machine and more human?

(The art in MSPA is incredibly mediocre yup, but the cool thing is, it doesn't really need to be anything extremely detailed.)

I remember watching the works of a ton of great artists on deviantarts. Artists who had an extremely consistent style, but not to the point where their characters were void of emotion. And I remember thinking to myself, when I first found out about one of them, how their art was absolutely phenomenal. Not to mention they would draw and upload lineart (at the greatest resolution possible, normally something bigger/around 5000x5000 pixels) just to see how their fans would color something they did, and acknowledge the alternate color schemes by their fans. And then it dawned on me that there was a pretty good chance that their art hasn't been on the front page for a long time (and as of late, while browsing, I haven't seen it), yet despite that they were still motivated by their supporters anyways. I guess it was a silly enlightenment for me, that maybe hitting the front page every day isn't what it means to be an artist, that maybe as long as you love what you do, and you're content with it, that's enough.

I wrote a little bit more but then realized how irrelevant it was heh.
DemonLog Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist
Yeah, I think the artist-audience interaction really tears down the intimidation of the "celebrity" barrier and, like you said, makes them come off as more "human". More approachable, overall. I was really amused one day when I was browsing the art forums for MSPA and someone suggested jokingly suggested "bro / mom". Not much more than a page later was a sketch, drawn and uploaded, by Hussie himself, and the comment he made on it sounded, well... like any other comment by any other artist who may have been caught in such an act of non-canon art. I honestly laughed out loud.

The artist you speak of sounds like *neondragon, and I'm a bit on the fence about her work. It's gorgeous and well thought out, but somewhat repetitive. However, her characters show emotion well, and she keeps a nice and positive attitude which is fun to follow. I honestly can't follow someone who does nothing but whine and complain in their descriptions, and I never follow anyone who refuses to put descriptions to their work. I like knowing the stories and being able to relate to the artist as well as the artwork.

I wouldn't worry about feeling irrelevant. Most of my "essays" and rants I just let my words go wherever my mind does, and try to wrap it all around to the beginning again... eventually. For instance, I completely neglected to touch on whether or not "technical skill" makes a good artist in my writings above, but I still think I made a pretty decent point!
kairi1011 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I would have to say creative skill is more arty i mean anyone can sit and draw from something, I mean I am not saying don't Im on an art course and have to do that. But I tend to draw in my own style in my free time. I find being creative seems to fit me more than drawing from still life and landscapes I find it boring after a while.
MythicalArtist1027 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think technical and creative go hand in hand
Those with creativity are often able to use technical skills better to their advantage :) Someone may have the technical skill to be able to produce a life-like portrait but one with creative skill can give that same portrait an entirely different composition.
Just as a more creativity skill based person cant draw a cartoon character or abstract portrait and use their knowledge of technical skills to perhaps add something to make it look just right
I hope im making sense :3 there's a clear opinion in my head that is having trouble forming into words
hairlikelemons Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
I agree with you completely :).
I think it's ridiculous for people to say that realistic art is better or more "professional." That being said, technical skill is still very important! I personally go with a cartoony style, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to get better at observational stuff and realism-- the more skill you have the better equipped you are to create whatever you choose to, no matter what style. If someone doesn't understand anatomy, or how to draw what they see, it would be pretty hard for them to draw a person, even if in anime style.

Skill and creativity need each other.
Nari-Moor Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Personally, I'd rather purchase and look at a piece that is creative than a piece that is a slightly different rendition of what has been seen and done a million times before. Anyone can draw a fruit bowl, and draw it well, but not everyone has the audacity, or creativity to draw a fruit bowl inhabited by tiny unicorns being eaten by said fruit. I'd much rather look at the unicorn-eating fruit than the boring fruit that is drawn over and over and over again.

Don't get me wrong, working on fundamentals and practicing using real-life referencing is good...very good...however-if all you're going to do is draw still life, scenery, or what not, then where's the fun in that? Art is supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be an outlet for people to express their creativity, individuality, and make a statement. It isn't supposed to be stuffy, or bound by laws. It's a free form of expression that ANYONE, no matter their technical skill, should have the right to use. As an artist-yes, I do kinda sorta consider myself one-I find it a little disheartening, and disappointing that people-getting so wrapped up on the way things are supposed to look, or flow together-are harping on the people who are both trying their hardest, and expressing an insatiable amount of creativity. Instead of bashing on these people, we should nurture them, and support them, because, without art, people's souls would be dead, and without creativity, there wouldn't be anything fun in this world.
forgotten-light Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
There are "anime" or "cartoon" style artists that scoff at anatomy and say that since they have a style they don't need to study that sort of thing. They are the ones with limbs that bend at impossible angles and body parts that are shaped oddly. When someone tries to point out that their character's balance is off, they fly off the wall saying it was intentional, or that it is their style. These are the blind artists that think they are above study or practice.

Then there are those that critisize anything that isn't a 100% realistic. An artist may have piles of anatomy practice in their scraps here on DA or even just a sketchbook dedicated to real life practice, but they enjoy drawing in a different style. Those that critisize these artists often look at only a single picture and state their art isn't real since it isn't realistic. Nevermind these same people wouldn't bother leaving a comment of praise on a "realistic" picture by the same artist.

How I personally see it, studying anatomy and real life help my art get better regardless of my style. I have drawn realisticly for practice and for art classes so it is not that I am unable. The style I draw in makes me happy, but there are also so many other artist out there that are amazing at realistic drawing. They can draw people that look like photos, paintings that look better then the real thing and I can't compete. There are artist that are good with that style, and ones that enjoy it. I like being outside the box, and my personal goal isn't to copy real life.

It's kinda like drawing in they Disney style. I could if I wanted to, but other do it better anyway so why not do my own thing?
ethereal-sinner Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
My professor says good art is not in the eye of the beholder: it is something that has standards and not something based on individual opinion. That was the first thing we covered in class and it felt like a bit of a slap in the face to me, who's always drawn in a cartoon-ish style. However, over the past few months, I would agree with her. People who draw cartoons are limiting themselves and if you start drawing professionally not only will your art draw attention from more people than kids interested in anime but also other professionals. Furthermore I get so much more satisfaction out of my work now that I've stopped drawing cartoon characters and started working on portraits/still lives/landscapes. I feel that my skill has grown tremendously and that I'm climbing the staircase to a higher level are art. Instead of something you just glance at and think "oh, that's cool" the art I'm being taught how to create is the type you stare at for a long time. (However, here I should also make note that art is more about the composition of a piece and how it makes use of the surface it's on than how correct or detailed it is. Super detailed and correct art isn't actually "art"--it's illustration.) So the way I see it, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you don't expand your horizons to realism, still lives, landscapes etc. I'd like to say that's just my opinion but it's not: it's what the professionals say and after personal experience opened my eyes I have no choice but to agree with them. However, more important than that, I think every aspiring artist needs to learn how to properly compose a piece. A character floating in the middle of a sheet of paper is nothing special. You need, more than anything, to learn how to use your space and guide your viewer's eyes through the picture.
Selene-Blackthorn Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There are two options on that one; either you didn't understand what the intention of those people was, or they don't understand what art is.

I'll start with explaining the second one actually.... because there ARE a lot of people who think that photo studies or still life is TRUE ART. But thinking of it as "true art" only makes you a "7ru3 art!s7" in my eyes; the little fanboy of realism who got lost on the way. True, some people's ACTUAL art is still life or photo-realistic quality; but that's not all art has to offer. Still life and photo studies are only a tool, a tool for you to learn perspective, shading, anatomy, color usage, light sources and so on. If you choose to stick to these it's completely okay, if you can pass your emotions and intention by drawing vases on a table - then so be it. And some people can pull it off AMAZINGLY. But for the rest, I would advise to do it just to learn how, and to be able to later on upgrade your own artworks, in whichever style you choose to use, with what you learn and acquire from such exercises.

I that you in particular see you make a soft, rather realistic shading (not fully realistic, but with realistic elements). I think, that you of all, could learn a lot and develop your personal style onward with some studies. I wouldn't want to see you wasted on drawing apples and oranges arranged on a table; but I think that maybe if you drew them, you would find some new methods to sharpen and beautify your anime paintings, adding depth and detail, and so on. I, for one, sometimes shade anime semi-realistically, and I think it adds, not degrades.
And I think that maybe that's what some people tried to tell you, and you may have misunderstood. You don't have to practice many styles to be an artist; but if you did, your personal style could become much richer and more original, rather then just limited to the core guidelines of anime.
nintendo-nerd-ftw Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
i think it important to have both. but it should be what the artist wants it to be, if they like to draw technical then that's fine. same goes if they like to be more creative but have less technical skills. no one is a professional artist in my opinion.
Gabby101826 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
Creativity is more important, hands down. I see thousands of technically perfect (or near perfect) pieces of artwork on deviantArt everyday; I'm numb to it. I'll never be numb to creativity.
TaciturnReserve Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student Writer
Creativity and technical skill go hand in hand. Art is an act of creation. You must, whether you are drawing/painting/writing about something realistic or about something out of your own head, possess creativity in order to do that. Even in a still life, how the scene is arranged, what the objects symbolize, and so on takes a certain level of creativity. But technical skill, and the development of technical skills even outside our chosen style or medium, can only improve our art and, if nothing else, it gives us new creative fodder if you will.

For example, in a creative writing class, I was made to learn about spoken word poetry. While I like listening to it, I don't like writing it. I prefer more structured poetic forms. But what I learned about word flow, internal rhyme, and natural speech rhythms from spoken word poetry, when applied to even such rigidly structured poems as my sonnets, has improved my writing and my overall grasp of how language works.

Both are important. Creativity is a necessity, Technical skill is not, but learning new skills and improving old ones can only make you a better artist. There is no down side to that.
Razzl3erry Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Both are important. But anything can be considered art, art is relative, really.

But I do have to say that I don't like the...dare I say snobby realism artists who think they are better than cartoonists simply because they fancy themselves professional. It takes skill to be a cartoonist, trust me. I personally don't like to draw realism because it's too exact, too...technical. Where's the creative freedom in style? All realism is the same when stripped down to the bare bones. (Coloring style is what makes it different). It's really an inarguable fact because if the drawing style of realism artists is different...then it really isn't realism, it's semi-realism. But cartoonists can all have drastically different styles!
Firedblue Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I think that if you never try to push your boundaries, you'll stagnate as an artist.

I know if I just produced the exact same thing over and over again, I'd get really frustrated at myself and start scribbling to break myself out of my habit.
SillyHippo11 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student General Artist
i treat stuff like that the way i treat people who assume there's a secret meaning behind every piece of fine art.

I find that regardless of cartoon styled art or realism, its all beautiful in it's own way.
do what you want to do, try what you want to try, and just do what you love.
thats what being an artist is.
noacat Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011   General Artist
Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that there's still a huge prejudice in the art world against work that is considered cartoon-y or comic bookish. It's gotten somewhat better, but the idea that a style that is inspired by cartoons and/or comic books is less than more traditional "High" art. It's something I struggle with throughout my short time in art school. Because my style tended towards a more cartoon feel, I wasn't taken seriously by serious art people who felt like you HAD to write a manifesto about your painting before it could be considered finished. The fact that I picked colors because they looked cool wasn't enough for people in that frame of mind. It's hierarchical nonsense, and worse than that... plan snobbery.

Frankly, make art in the way that best expresses how you see the world. That's the way I look at it. Whether you draw, paint, tattoo, photograph things, knit, customize cars, whatever... all of that, to me, can be considered art because it's an expression of the artist's soul.
stambo42 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
The cult of conceptualism is an entirely different monster from Academic painting, or even just the honing of technique through observational study. Academic painting as just as discriminated against if it can't back itself up with an essay on contemporary theory. For some people that kind of content is a natural extension of their work... for others, that essay would be forced. All they're trying to do is prepare you for a particular market. The question is, what market are you interested in being part of? Most of "high" art's hierarchies have already been dismantled by the very cult you resent. The markets just reflect different interest groups and consumer bases.
noacat Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011   General Artist
**struggled ** plain

sar-the-scare Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student Photographer
I think, overall, it is good, but not required, to explore all kinds of art mediums and subtypes to expand your knowledge and skill. Something you learn in one medium can help you in another. Learning realism and proper anatomy can help you better yourself at anime/manga styled drawing. I know from experience that photography can help you with drawing. You don't have to be good at everything, I just advise people to try to dabble here and there. It really helps with everything. That being said, I think it's perfectly fine for anyone to go about their art however they choose. Everyone is different. I don't think it's anyone's place to judge the art of another in that way.
ebstout Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student
If you're a hobby artist, who cares. Draw how you want. For people interested in a career and those who seek personal growth, learning technical skills is very important.
You can't draw something if you don't know it. That is true for stylized work. If you only know how to work in one cartoony style, you are just repeating memorized shapes and line formations. When you have a solid understanding of how the body moves and how objects exist in space, you can convincingly create scenes and have options when it comes to storytelling through your character's body. Usually with cartoon styles you can tell if the artist has technical knowledge or not. When you have a knowledge of how things work in the real world, you can distort it, and when you have tried out more than one style, that's when you can judge which one looks and feels right.
Technical skills extend beyond just anatomy - knowledge of form and how colors work is important too.
Some people seem to be suggesting that landscapes, still life pieces, and photo-realistic works are less creative than something drawn from the imagination. Entirely wrong. There is a lot of thought that goes in to composition, format, mood, color choices, what to keep and what to omit, etc.
To sum that all up, for a serious artist, having one refined style is ok if it is a choice; it is not ok if you are forced to use that style if it's all you can do. You don't have to be amazing, you just need to understand it.
S-chama Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
Art. So many, many opinions of what good is... I think the point of truely "good" is impossible to reach.
Not because there aren't any good artists, but because there are infinite possibilities for improvement, and all art is good. :heart:
Artwork is just such a vague thing; one person may hate a piece while another adores it....
Hard to know, hard to describe.
But such fun, art is!

And specializing is totally great! And some people just don't like to draw "realistically...
stambo42 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
Practicing naturalistic drawing from life will make you better at whatever kind of visual art you prefer to work in. Especially if you are younger than 30. End of story.

I've seen a lot of talented people develop personal styles while neglecting observational studies. They build conventions, standardized solutions to rendering certain, things. They wire themselves to think that way, and than when faced with the actual object, they cannot draw it any other way. You may not make your career of still lives and nudes (few people do these days), but that isn't the point of drawing them. The point is to train your hand to do what your eye sees. If you can't do this, your mind's eye will be completely lost. It's a matter of drawing with intent. It builds your vocabulary, and keeps you from cycling through the same dependent conventions. You can than apply this vocabulary- of harmonic and dissonant approaches to line, form, shape, color and composition to the most realistic, stylized or abstract thing you want.

Professional cartoonists study the figure as intently as anyone else... if not more so. In order the distort the figure you have to understand it first.
Crown-Jewels Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
I have to say it really comes down to what you want. Anyone can say your not a good enough artist because you don't do this or that. But to me, someone who tells you your not good enough and aren't holding up to their personal standards shouldn't be giving you a critique to begin with. Weather you are an artist, an art lover, or both you really have understand that it's all a matter of personal taste and preference, what works for you may not for another person.

In the end, maybe going back or just really focusing on the technical aspect of art works and is enjoyed by many or maybe even the majority of the art population, but that doesn't have to be the mark of a great artist, but that is also not to say that the artists who do focus on such things aren't great (and also, you can't really ignore the great benefits they reap).

I think we'll find that there really isn't a right or wrong answer, just what works for you.
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November 12, 2011


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