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Lessons Learned as an Artist

I love art, and my enthusiasm shows. I’m always happy to share my knowledge and help other artists grow. I don’t believe in hoarding knowledge and looking back in fear of those who might (and often do) overtake me . . . I believe in generosity.

Here are my primary beliefs when it comes to fine art and illustration and living an artistic life:

  1. Study Life Drawing: Nothing competes with drawing real people in 3D space
  2. Become a Sketchbooker, and carry a sketchbook with you everywhere.
  3. Style should never be an affectation. It should be drawing to the best of your ability, and your style will emerge naturally. Style is not an excuse for weaknesses in your art.
  4. Develop a critical eye of your own art, and for the art of others. Recognize what you are good at, and learn to identify your artistic weaknesses so you can train for improvement.
  5. Learn to take your time develop images. There is a time to forego prepartion, references, etc., and rush through a picture. Then there are times to give it your all for as long as it takes.
  6. It is not “cheating” to use props, 3D applications, the computer in general, photo reference, or the like. What matters is the end product.
  7. Make a lifelong habit of studying life, ie. paying attention to things around you. Study people of all sizes and shapes, hairstyles, automobiles, brick patters, textures, reflections in glass or chrome, the folds of clothing, and everything else.  This is a way of seeing as artists see, and adopt and use it for the rest of your life. Build a huge “morgue file” in your brain.
  8. Make ongoing study and improving a lifelong goal. Never be smug or overly satisfied with your skills as they stand, but continue to work towards greatness.
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