It is possible.
How to achieve things toward you ultimate goal.
Few years back, I was a bit unhappy about what I was doing, and when I was looking at my own work my first reaction was disappointment...
But why was I disappointed about my work?
Because my work wasn't going toward what I was aspiring to, because I wasn't doing what I would have loved to do. I was sort of blocked I guess.
1- Make your work going toward your goal.
The thing I wanted was to master the use of light in my illustrations, I was fan (and still am) of Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo's work for their use of light and colour, and how light is an element to bring a mood and emotion to any scenes.
I wanted to be able to do that but the things I was doing were not showing at all that my aim was this. My work was showing my passion of shapes and colour but at any point I did try to include that use of light into my work or to study more how light works.
When a friend told me "Look, that looks a bit like what you do" by pointing to an illustration that was linework + basic colours, it just struck me, I didn't want my work to go in that direction, I didn't want my work to look like this.
What I needed to do was bring more light into my work, so I've started with this, and just radically changed my way of doing pictures, that picture was litterally a starting point. I decided to put light as an element to every one of my illustrations.
And I was glad, it was a start, I've started that year to do more and more of these.
More I was doing, more I was learning things about how light affect colour values, that shadows are not obviously black etc and I'm still learning because I'm still going toward my goal.
So you need to put your work in the way of your goal, if you want to get better at doing watercolour but you use your computer everyday and never take some paper out to finally do some watercolour you'll never get better at this.
2- It's possible
That's the title of what I'm talking about because I find it's the most important point. Keeping that in mind will always help you to go forward.
Even though you're looking at Glen Keane's work or John Singer Sargent or whoever you admire, IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO ACHIEVE THAT!
It's possible for you to be as good as Glen Keane about movement, character design or to paint like Sargent, of course it won't come like this in few days, it's practice and practice but if that guy made it, why can't you?
I thought about that when watching Dice Tsutsumi's work, because we think we might never manage to go to their level, we elevate them as gods and think it will never be possible for us to do that cause we're human beings.That level doesn't become a goal anymore but is reduced to something we can never achieve, something we'll never be able to do and we put it far away as the things we wish we were able to do but we can't.
But that's a lie, they're human beings too, they made their way to that level, you can make your way to the same level!
And that really motivated me, if they've done it, it means it's possible for me to achieve that!
Even though it will take time, It's not unreachable ! That far away goal is now closer, and more you work on it, more you're getting closer and closer!
3- It's impossible.
But one more thing that motivated me too its: It will be impossible for you to do the same as them.
When I admire the work of some artists, let's take the ones I named below: Glen Keane, Sargent, Dice Tsutsumi.
I see their work and my first though is: I'd love to do exactly the same!
But you know what that is impossible, you can reach the same level as them as I said in the point before but because you're unique, even though you try your best to make your work look like your master's one, you'll never be able to do exactly like them because you're not them. You'll have something that makes your work different! And that doesn't mean that's bad ;)
And that's positive I think, the fact that you'll never be able to do like them but nobody else will be able to do like you do either.
Your art will always stay yours.
Every single artists are inspired by other artists, sometimes we can think people are in the same movement because they get inspired by the same things, or sometimes an artist does love so much the work of an other one that he makes something who LOOK LIKE that other artist but it's still really unique in his way.
Art is an adventure and so what you're inspired by today won't be the same as you'll be inspired by tomorrow. Every time you go toward an other goal or have again an other big inspiration, you kept some things you learned by looking at your previous masters/inspirations, it might be the colour, the "style", the light, the technic they've got.
It's what makes you unique, all your life, you'll get inspired by different things, different artists, and every time you like the work of an other artist you add probably what you like in it to your own work and it makes your art unique.
4- Make achievable steps toward your ultimate goal.
Let's take my "ultimate goal" is to master the use of light.
I can set up small achievable steps toward that, think about a month ago in advance, we're the 28th of September, think about what you want to achieve on the 28th of October, what you'd love to have done at this time.
Set simple expectations, could be:
- Do at least 1 studies of light from photography or real life
- Do at least 1 study of a master painting.
It can be that small at first, it's only 2 things to do in a whole month but at least you know it's reachable, it's not something that you're pretty sure to not do like: this year I'll do a drawing a day.
EVERY SINGLE time I was doing that I always failed and been disappointed about myself, of course!
I was setting things that were way too hard to complete and so I've never had the satisfaction of completing a task.
But if you set up simple and achievable steps toward your goal, progressively you can make it harder and harder, more and more, you'll get better and better till you can finally achieve what you were aiming for and on every step you would have felt happy because you felt like you go forward!
So let's do this, shall we!