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ElectroNugget

John's Daily Journal

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The uncertainty is natural. The more immersed you were in games, the more lost you will feel without them. I'm still struggling with understanding who I am, but only through putting myself in uncomfortable situations did I gain some knowledge on this. I say this regarding your worries about career and art, but also about your schedule. If you have more than a couple hours unaccounted for in your day, habitually your brain will remind you of a nice overdose of dopamine. Make yourself very busy. If it feels like you don't want to do the things you planned to do, take that as proof that your brain hasn't adjusted yet and the only way to make it is to stick with the plan anyway. If nothing else, at the the of the day you will be able to put a checkmark on staying sober and discipline practiced.

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Thanks for the continued messages everybody it's really nice to log on every day and see something new. You're all awesome. 🙂

DAY 61:

 
 
 
 
3
14 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

If you have more than a couple hours unaccounted for in your day, habitually your brain will remind you of a nice overdose of dopamine. Make yourself very busy. If it feels like you don't want to do the things you planned to do, take that as proof that your brain hasn't adjusted yet and the only way to make it is to stick with the plan anyway. If nothing else, at the the of the day you will be able to put a checkmark on staying sober and discipline practiced.

This is actually exactly what I was starting to think about today. I've passed two months game free (although I have still wasted a lot of time on other things, and watching games), but I still don't feel like things have really lined up yet.

Today it became clear to me that setting really long term goals has been kinda screwing my ability to get things done. I've had a really long term goal of updating my portfolio for over a year now, but I've never made it much past the preliminary stages because the task itself is large (2-3 months of work), and as such the deadline is always far away even if I set it in such a manner that I would have to begin tomorrow. What I instead have experienced over and over again is looking back on a half year/year and wondering why I didn't produce more? I think the secret is in the long term goals being so broad and distant that could always put off work for another day. And suddenly a week slips by, then two, then a month, then a year. 

Starting this coming week I want to try setting really concrete short term goals and deadlines every week. I have a plan for next week, but I'll share the results once it happens. I've read somewhere that speaking about your goals before you accomplish them can give you a sense of completing them. Not this time.

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DAY 62:

Uneventful day today, flu finally seems to be nearly over. Spent most of the day sleeping and reading. Really looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow! 

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DAY 63-64:

The days seem to crawl by at the moment. Every day I consider going back to games, I tell myself it must be safe now, sure that I can control my habit this time. Hahah, nice try brain, but somehow I doubt it. I've managed to stay away despite these yearnings. That said, I've been keeping up with E3 this year as a force of habit. That probably doesn't help with the urges, but I am finding that I am increasingly disinterested in what the games industry has to offer. Perhaps that's a good thing.

I've actually started working a lot more lately, and giving a lot of thought as to how to motivate myself better. I am a very visual and tactile person (no surprise for an artist), and I'm starting to find that having a physical representation of what I want to do, where I can tick or cross things off, really motivates me. In an attempt to get my portfolio moving a little quicker I've decided to gameify the process, with each image going through stages, including visually updating a layout I made that contains all the artwork I wanna make. That way I not only have an overview of how the portfolio is progressing as a whole, but I am motivated to push my drawings through each stage so I can update the layout and see how it looks. So far it's been very effective, and I've managed to put in a lot of hours this week despite still feeling a bit weak from the flu. 

My aim is to get it all done by the time I go back to university, which gives me about two months. It's nice to have something to aim towards again.

I've attached my portfolio plan below, images speak better than words after all.

 

PF_ART_ThePlan_001_JHM.png

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Man, your drawings are amazing! I love your art style. Looking forward to seeing the Jahai Party transform from four lollipops to an actual image xD

I really like your planning process though, looks really clean and organised, while still maintaining some of that artistic charm.

I've gotten into sketching this last week or so, I always wanted to improve my art. I think my goal is to be able to create digital fantasy art to supplement my D&D games (is that a bit sad? haha). My drawings still don't seem to look as good as your initial planning panels, I've got a lot of work to go yet but you really help inspire me to get better!

Do you have any advice for transitioning to fantasy art? At the moment I'm just practicing drawing things in my room, basic shapes, lines, shading etc

 

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@James Good Thanks man! I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes as well. This is kind of my last gasp at art for now I guess. Then it's off to study Software Design.

It's not sad at all to want to supplement your DnD games with personal art! A lot of the stuff I drew when I was younger was during/for DnD sessions, and now often a session involves many sketches from me as things unravel. It's really good fuel for the imagination.

As for advice for drawing fantasy stuff... It really depends what you wanna do. Do you want to draw characters, creatures, buildings, props? The reality is that drawing is just a skill, like carpenting. Some people might have an eye for it but anyone can learn to do it well with enough practice. But there's a big difference between knowing how to draw a person and how to draw a building. Drawing from life will improve your understanding of shapes and improve your eye (a big part of life drawing is just learning to actually look at things properly). But if you want to focus on characters for example then there's books or websites I can recommend for you. 

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DAY 65:

Work on the portfolio continues. I have a really big self-esteem issue when it comes to my art. Almost as soon as something is done, I dislike it. I can't think of a time that I thought my art was ever 'good enough'. I want to work as a concept artist, but the skill bar is really high in that area, where I might be much better as a storyboard or comic artist. Jobs are thin on the ground though, and I take it personally that I'm not 'good enough' to find stable employment. Sadly I can't separate my job from my self-worth. 

Anyways, still really tempted to play games. Thinking about it all the time, but resisting.

That all said, I made a lot of progress today with my portfolio! Attached below.

 

PF_ART_RockSketches_001_JHM.png

PF_ART_TreeSketches_001_JHM.png

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For what it's worth, I think you're incredibly talented. Every artist struggles with the idea that they're not good enough, and unfortunately I don't have a solution to that. Maybe it's something that will develop in time?

I think all you can do is continue on the path that you're on, and work to the best of your abilities. As long as you create the best work you can at the time, then it doesn't matter if you think it's good or bad.

 
 
 
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On 6/11/2019 at 8:54 PM, ElectroNugget said:

As for advice for drawing fantasy stuff... It really depends what you wanna do. Do you want to draw characters, creatures, buildings, props? The reality is that drawing is just a skill, like carpenting. Some people might have an eye for it but anyone can learn to do it well with enough practice. But there's a big difference between knowing how to draw a person and how to draw a building. Drawing from life will improve your understanding of shapes and improve your eye (a big part of life drawing is just learning to actually look at things properly). But if you want to focus on characters for example then there's books or websites I can recommend for you. 

 Ideally, I'd like to be able to draw landscapes, similar to this I guess?

Image result for D&D landscape art

Or this:

Related image

I know the ability to do stuff like that is years and years away, but I'd love to be able to create something like that. I also feel like if I got to that point, I'd also be fairly competent at drawing characters as well. Would be nice to be able to draw a D&D party for example.

Do you think this level of skill is something I can only get to if I dedicate hours of work every single day towards? Also, is it a good idea to just keep sketching random stuff with a pencil at the moment, or should I start focusing specifically on landscapes? Any resources you recommend? I don't plan on going digital for a while, especially not until I can afford a decent drawing tablet.

Thanks in advance!

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On 6/12/2019 at 8:53 PM, ElectroNugget said:

Almost as soon as something is done, I dislike it. I can't think of a time that I thought my art was ever 'good enough'.

That's because you are in this phase that you are aware of where you are, skill wise, and you are also aware of where you want to go. To say you're not good enough is firstly vague and we should be specific when we tell ourselves things, especially bad things. Good enough.. for what? For a job? Maybe you are not up to par with those artists you admire yet. Yet. But are you better than 2 weeks ago? Because we have to be realistic and know that everyone who is at this point a leader in a field, once was a zero in that field. So remember that, and just try to find time to practice as much as you can, to earn time. If you are getting into challenging things and thus getting better learning from mistakes, you should at least tell yourself that side of the story too.

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DAY 66:

Today I was just completely exhausted. I'm still not fully recovered from my flu and it seems to be taking a vengeance on me for working so much yesterday. So today was slow. Accompanying that were urges to play that were the strongest they've been in perhaps the past month or two, I really sit and seriously consider opening another steam account to buy a game so I can play without having to ask my mom for my account back. I'm still resisting but it's amazing how tempting it is. The side effect is that I can feel that I lack meaningful things to do if I don't do art. Despite the fact that I've quit gaming, I haven't been great at changing the rest of my lifestyle yet. Most of my time right now is spent isolated and on meaningless commutes and Youtube. 

I'm really looking forward to getting back to university where I'll have some external goals and a social life forced on me.
 

1 hour ago, fawn_xoxo said:

That's because you are in this phase that you are aware of where you are, skill wise, and you are also aware of where you want to go. To say you're not good enough is firstly vague and we should be specific when we tell ourselves things, especially bad things. Good enough.. for what? For a job? Maybe you are not up to par with those artists you admire yet. Yet. But are you better than 2 weeks ago? Because we have to be realistic and know that everyone who is at this point a leader in a field, once was a zero in that field. So remember that, and just try to find time to practice as much as you can, to earn time. If you are getting into challenging things and thus getting better learning from mistakes, you should at least tell yourself that side of the story too.


@fawn_xoxo Good enough for stable employment is probably my bar. I guess I have improved somewhat recently, but right now I am in such a hurry to replace my portfolio that I don't really have time to improve. At the end of the day, the reality is that I've wasted a lot of my time up until now, and my art is really not good enough to make me a steady income. It kills me that I might have to quit art because I fucked up the past few years. And at the same time, the sheer pressure of having to always worry about if I'm good enough makes me second guess my career choice. I don't know if my 'passion' is worth all the pressure and self-esteem problems I feel every day.

Hopefully, I'll make more progress on the portfolio tomorrow. Can't wait until I'm back to full health either!

P.S: @James Good, I think we should continue this discussion in PM's or else it's gonna take over my diary. 😄

Edited by ElectroNugget

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DAY 67:

Started out slow today as well but got several hours in working on the portfolio nonetheless. Finished my first piece for it! Feels good. Then I spent the evening playing board games with some friends. Its definitely nice to scratch the gaming itch from time to time in this manner, but I see the time as a lot more productive as the social element is so much bigger than just playing online together. Cravings for gaming seem to have subsided, even before the board games started up which is nice. And now that the portfolio is going I'm starting to feel like I'm on a roll. I just have to keep this momentum up, maybe in a month or two, I'll have something I'm actually proud of.

 

john-muller-pf-art-treesketches-001-jhm.jpg

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As someone with no artistic experience, it's actually really cool to see you going through all the steps on these and posting these here. It's fascinating to see and great to see you progress!

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