This Article is About
demo reel
job hunting
raw talent
freelance jobs
art work
graphic design
Drawing From Your Life
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Drawing From Your Life

People often ask me, where did you get that idea from? Where do you start? How do you get your art work to turn out the way you want it?

For example, I can attest to the fact that I too am no genius and I have been quite aimless for much of my life. First, when I went to college to study art I was one of those students who was merely raw talent. Then you have those students who are a medium, whereas they kinda have a sense of what's going on behind the scenes, but it's not keen to an extreme level. Finally you have those genius students who, for whatever reason, no matter what they do in life it most often turns out right. Thanks to good professors they got me on the right track, which helped me see what I needed to be successful in Graphic Design and Animation. I'm speaking in terms of learning all about putting together a demo reel to get a job. My demo reel was basically technical, or in other words, a tutorial in many employer's opinion. At the time I was really discouraged because my professors gave me a tough time. Even so, I managed to pick myself up as I met young incoming Animation majors.

Second example, I moved to California to pursue a career in Art and got the rude awakening of the nature of an industry that is freelance. As I was job hunting, one interviewer said this to me after reviewing my demo reel, "Your reel is weak." I responded by explaining how I did struggle in college to get the basics down and I had no computer to work on to improve my work. It's mindbogglingly to me how many employers have told me to find crack software to improve my demo reel!!! He then said, "You gotta start somewhere." This really stuck with me, and I find myself giving this same advice to others. Fortune smiled upon me because I was still able to land small freelance jobs that lead to bigger jobs which gave me the professional experience needed to get started.

Where did you get that Idea from?

From my experience I can say that everything in your life, from the time you where born until the present, affects you. These things will influence you tremendously, and much of it is on an unconscious level whereas we don't really stop to think about it. For myself when I grew up, like any other child I watched cartoons and was inspired. I would draw my favorite ones, primarily Transformers. That was a start. Recently, I was at a business orientation, and the speaker asked us why is it that rich people are rich? Of course, we missed the correct answer, but the speaker replied, "The rich have a plan. The poor are just winging it. Don't be mad at the rich people. Copy what they're doing!" I heard a similar thing from my Photography Professor in college. He said, "Those darn Japanese are great at copying things." The older generation show strong disapproval of the Japanese because of the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II.

As I think about it now, it makes sense to copy what creates success, when you have absolutely no sense of direction of your own. It is most important to note that as you copy something, in this process you can develop your own sense of identity, style, a new technique, a new method, your own sense of direction, ideology, understanding, and so on. With that never be ashamed if you have to copy someone in order to find direction for yourself.

To answer the question of this heading and to use myself as an example; my influences come from my family, my American culture, Anime, and my own personal value system.

Where do you Start?

I'm certain we've all found ourselves in this position. I'm here again now as I have been working in areas of 3D Animation that are outside of my area of expertise. Years previously, I got stuck here in graduate college. Two of my professors were a great help. They made us do assignments that where all about, Figuring out who you are. We had to write a personal assessment of ourselves, and we were allowed to keep some really personal things private. We also had to take a personality test. Once we shared our data, the professors were able to better accommodate us. For a group class such as 3D or 2D Collaborative, this information helped us all see how we might interact with one another as we formed teams. In individual classes such as Thesis, were we had the opportunity to be totally honest with ourselves in terms of what we wanted to present to the world, this process allowed us to see what it is that we might enjoy exploring most. Unfortunately, the majority of people take the easy way out, present the common art topic to get a grade and pass. There are exceptions such as foreign students who really struggle with English, but in an educational setting it can only benefit you to challenge yourself. You could be surprised at what rewards await you later.

Again to answer the heading, I chose to write about the Human Rights Issue in North Korea. Why, well that comes from my American culture which broadly encourages us to stand up for people who are suffering an injustice. This matter is very complex and debatable. Examples we have are America's stand against terror in the Middle East. People are strongly divided on both sides as to what should have been done. I can say that recently I have learned some new things that have made me reshape how I view these international issues so that I'm no longer 100% committed to rolling in the tanks. The bottom line is, to think before you blindly act.

The second reason I chose such a serious topic is because that's one of the main reasons why I love anime so much! Anime tackles serious issues. Finally, my goal was to use my drawing abilities to do a traditionally 2D animated short film to display this grim subject matter in all its dark glory.

How do you get your Art work to turn out the way you want it?

The answer is Plan ahead. It first starts with the idea. Your idea will come from your experiences, likes, dislikes, etc. During this stage consider your strengths and weakness. Someone who's really good at 3D Animation will strongly consider creating a 3D Film, for instance. Sketch out your ideas, figure out your story, character development, and so forth. Do a final drawing that's all fleshed out. Then move forward to complete your work.


Finally, be open-minded to the world around you and even things outside of your comfort zone. Explore! Experience life. You'd be surprised at what you might learn from a party. Sitting alone at home equals nothing. Life offers you the ingredients for a great story. Go into the unknown. Different cultures, their food, music, etc have brought me great ideas! My love of anime has taken me on a journey that has helped me meet the world. My further interaction with people from all sorts of walks of life and cultures has made me a better person for the sake of the world. Learning new things such as the foods a culture eats, mythology, religions, history, meditation, yoga, martial arts, doing a sport, music, etc can really be an enlightening experience!


Street Talk

Super great article, Bricoe. Excellent!

  about 1 decade ago

Hey, this article really helped me I find myself in a similar position. Thanks :D

  about 1 decade ago
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