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okay, time for another journal

so i keep getting the same questions over and over again. how did i learn to do this.

i was self taught. by this i mean, i took the initiative and seeked out the knowledge, as no one was offering it.

i draw on average 8 to 10 hours a day, every day. by average i mean that some days its 6 and some 12

so... the argument.
i keep hearing this one. well i want to be a professional artist, but life is hard, i need to work, i don't really have the time....

let me put things in perspective here.
i used to work as a night guard on the beach. every single night from 8 pm to s6 am. after that i would go meet up with my dad who gouarded another beach to get a cup of coffee. we had a bite to eat, and then both went to haul and sell fruits and vegetables.
every evening i was drawing. when the sun set i sat under a street lamp and drew through the night.

every night. this was on occasion interrupted by a fight  with some  exceedingly drunk people who wouldn't take verbal persuasion not to throw beach property in the sea.

i drew, i drew constantly and relentlessly.

seven years of drawing got me to the point where i was hireable. it was then that i started getting paid for my work. for doing a job i wanted to do.

i kept working hard and i kept improving, and i will keep on doing the same.

it is like an rpg, you will grind, but you will unlock those new skills.

now listen, there is nothing wrong about treating this as a hobby, it is a wonderful satisfying hobby to have. but if you want to be a professional, be it a comic artist a game artist a n animator a designer... you will have to put in the time, you will have to pay your dues.

life is a bitch, it will do you no favors. all you can get out of it is what you are willing to fight for. it is a hard battle, but it is worth it.

see, at a certain point it truly is about this. what is it that you want to do in life, do you want to spend your life being slowly killed on the inside  by the job you hate while dreaming of your could haves, or will you fight for your dreams.

let me repeat this cause it bear repeating. it is a bloody fight, but the rewards are beyond amazing.

rest is up to you. seek the knowledge. in this thing you need no colleges, you need ambition, and thirst for knowledge. and knowledge my friends, at least in our line of work is a mere google search away, see in this work they dont ask you where you were schooled, they only ask what can you do, and how fast can you do it.

if your answers to that are, everything, and as fast as you need it....  you will get hired,

and if anyone asks where is art in all this very jobcentric rant of mine.....

art is living in its parents basement talking much about how big he or she will be.

this is about professionals!
  • Listening to: rhapsody of fire nightwish
  • Reading: scripts by my writer
  • Playing: diablo2
  • Eating: much less
  • Drinking: cofee
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Jonup Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
thank you  thank you
i Have an ambition is to become Manga /Anime Artist
thank you for your Journals     
Azurewhiterose Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I know that this is an old journal but I always take the time to read this sometimes because I really want to be a professional artist and what can I say. You have a point.
moni158 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Student Filmographer
You are so inspiring :iconhappytearplz:
ECOWARRIORX Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Stjepan your work on Witchblade, etc inspired me to give up making plenty of money selling my Soul as a film and video director doing shitty commercials for money/power hungry assholes at advertising agencies that sucked out my creative Soul, to start my own comic book company with a message and go back to the dream I once had of been a comic book creator! Hard f#$king work BUT I'm loving every digital stroke of it! My bank balance does hate you with a passion at this point but my creative Soul thanks you for life! LOL Hope to meet you in person one day and say thanks then! Keep enjoying all your hard work dude! For all our sakes! LOL I will definitely contact you for a commission as soon as that bank balance is a bit healthier!
KwesiX Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
salute and congrats off to level up
TheFirstAngel Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
well written and i exactly know where you're coming from :) i had a barjob tried doing decoration and muralpainting same time pushed my drawingskills and been drawing 10 hours a day since i can rememeber :P
I'm happy your hard work paid out :D
GavinMichelli Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I LOVE that you compared being a professional artist to playing an RPG! LEVEL UP!!!
TheFirstAngel Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
ding! ;)
BrettSmith1106 Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well that sure puts things in perspective
ManonDiligent Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Student General Artist
this really inspires me, i really try to fit in the time in and between school to draw, but i have a question:
i'm really confused, i want to become an animator and an illustrator when i finish school. i guess i don't need to go to uni for been an illustrator because i can just learn that of myself, like you said, you can find it on the internet and in books. but what about animation, i don't think i can learn that by myself, i wouldn't remotely know where to start with programs and how to use them. would it be worth going to uni for that or it just be a waste of time and money for a course like that?

if anyone could answer that question it would really help me because reading through comments a lot of people said that art education is worthless and a pain and i just really want to be sure.

manon :)
Dualmask Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I know this is an old comment but I happened to see it and if I could offer one piece of advice (that you've probably already gotten) it would be to buy this book:… I used to attend school for game art and design and I was required to purchase the book for a class. I've long since been forced to drop out of school for financial reasons but I kept using the book. I gave it one good once-over one night when I was desperate to learn how to animate my own 2D characters for games and with that book and some graph paper, I managed to make some decent walks without taking any other classes. Now I can make a basic walk cycle on command without reference--I'm no master by any stretch, but I know the basics, and they say if you can make a walk cycle, you can animate anything. If you study hard and put in the time, you can learn anything you want without attending expensive schools.
ManonDiligent Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Student General Artist
thanks, ill give it a look :) in the mean time, you keep practicing 
Ashpyr Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello~ You can either look up animating programs online that allow you to work with frames and what not (Like Adobe Flash or GIMP) Or you can draw what you want in a program, make a new slide/canvas/and-or layer, then save them each to different files. (For example, say you have an image of an eye blinking, you'd draw it three times, one of it open, one half closed, and last closed. If not, copy paste, and edit it on your own. But after that, you should save the files differently ((like eye 1, second is eye 2, last/closed might be eye 3)) then you can download a free program called photoscape, go to the animation/GIF part of it, drag your files there, and adjust it to your liking ^^ Sorry if it was confusing, I'm not really good with explaining. But good luck with everything! Also, I'm not sure if art education is worthless/a pain or not.. I've heard it's expensive though
Wordsmithcrafts Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Professional Artist
Very eloquent. I heard a guy on the radio saying that his best careers advice was to do something you love, as if you do it long enough you will become an expert and eventually find someone who will pay for your skills. The doing, not just dreaming, part is vital though.
Cabose5 Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Well said sir. I went to school for graphic design (which I do now) and I just need to start drawing religiously again. I miss it terribly, and I just need to get motivated again. Reading this helped give me some of that much needed inspiration. So thanks. :)
Rvannith Featured By Owner May 14, 2013
So how on earth do you make time for RPGs? :D
CarlottaBlackwell Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well said Mr. Nebezial and you have aspired me! :D
GumboAssassin Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really feel like crap after reading this. I never practice or put in the hours. My left hand has done the work naturally.....Thanks bro I needed that. I'm no different, and need to bleed it out just like everyone else. Here is you shoe back from shoving it up my @**.
Yeshuash Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist
It would be awesome if i got this kind of advise like 10 years ago.
P4ssion4t3 Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i just want to say thank you for sharing the hurtful truth that you learned about life as an artist ... your words touched my heart
criscura Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Kay, so maybe I'm a bit emotional, but I'm kind of maybe crying a little bit. I'm stuck at a huge crossroads--it might as well be a fuckin' eightway intersection--and it's on what I do with myself. I have skills, just not enough for anything. To know that it took you seven + years to get where you are now is so unbelievably comforting. What I want, I want *bad* (published author, and eventually collaborate with Neil Gaiman on anything. Gotta set the bar high ^^;), and I know it'll take a long time. It's so fucking relieving to know that the work will pay off, and that it isn't silly to keep on doing it.

Thank you....
nebezial Featured By Owner May 12, 2013
set the bar however high you want, and work for it. there are two kinds of people, quitters who set the bar high just to hace an excuse when they ultimately give up...because... gee..well that bar was too damn high...

or warriors who keep pushing forward till one day they reach and even overshoot the bar because they will allow nothing to stop them

the difference between those two is the dedication and willpower to put in the work!

criscura Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconmrtplz: YEAAAH.

And absolutely. I've found that skills are important, but what separates you from everyone else is how hard you're willing to push yourself to get there. You *have* to have faith in yourself, and you *have* to go waaaaay outside your comfort zone. Gotta build the wings, put 'em on, and jump off the cliff. Otherwise you're stuck on your island forever. Simple as that ^^;

Thank you so much for this :iconarigatouplz:
KhalFrodo Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd have to say, most artist are self taught. You can't get good without observation and trying new strokes/ techniques/ styles yourself.
Asrath Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Student General Artist
Great journal, very inspiring, and I believe also true.
When you want to make it as an artist, not so much schooling matters, but more does creativity, and a drive to go on, whatever the cost, no matter what.
You're a great artist, and an inspiring person. Thank you for writing this!
delineans Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This kick asses ! I devoured every single line you wrote, thanks for that ! You're a model of determination. Really, :clap:
Mclauritsen Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very inspirering, thanks for putting your story out there :D
Your analogy with RPG was spot on ;)
ArtofthePainter Featured By Owner May 11, 2013
Thanks, I needed this!
LivHathaway Featured By Owner May 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Curious- I thought I remembered you saying something about your wrist hurting a while back. Did that resolve itself? Good post- I may end up linking some folk here :)
TechnoShadowBlood Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your Journal should be on a steel plaque and placed in front every game, comic and movie company. Then inside every Collage and University that has gaming and designing classes.
WickedJuti Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
SJWebster Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The way you started sounds very much like what I do now. My day job has become something I can do entirely on autopilot, so I'm constantly drawing at work. Admittedly I've recently taken two weeks off from drawing at home after finishing my first comic by doing 8 hours day job, 8 hours drawing my comic at home, 8 hours sleep, rinse, repeat, but I'm now taking said comic to any and all conventions I can within the UK (about to go to my third tonight, averaging one convention per fortnight).

Lately, I've been applying for Junior Graphic Designer and Junior Artworker positions to get my foot in the door professionally. I keep being told they love my CV, my portfolio, my website, any test pieces they ask me to do prior to interview, they love my energy, enthusiasm, personality and work ethic, but they always say "We had to hire the guy who had industry experience though." I'm trying to remedy that by doing freelance art on the side of my day job and self publishing the previously mentioned comic, but like you said, it is a bloody hard slog.

Thanks for putting it quite bluntly and giving us your personal journey in a very straight forward manner. It's given me some renewed energy knowing that people who's work I love, respect, and look up to, also went through the period I'm going through right now. I just hope I get the same end result XD
Eromaxi Featured By Owner May 10, 2013   Digital Artist
I`m leaving my signature under every word, sir. Hard every day practice is the basis for anything valuable, including art creation as a hobby.
And once it turns from hobby to commercial product, things become even more hardcore. But reward is worth the effort by all means!
Doro626 Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
I like that stuff you said. Draw and get good. But seriously, that is it. You have to draw and keep drawing. I have decided that I want to continue this as a hobby and I will continue to do it. I wish more of the You Tube videos would mention how many HOURS you should be drawing daily. I wish Deviant existed back then for the support, but I also wish that I'd had never stopped after hearing the stories of the other artists who didnt make it. I always compared my art to theirs and said, if they can't get work, then I don't have a chance. Their work , style and dedication was not mine. I know that
cre8DV8gr8 Featured By Owner May 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is the entire premise for the book 'Outliers' by Malcolm all of his works a very good read.
gerbilicous Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
I'm a professional writer. All this advice applies to being a pro novelist every bit as much as to being an artist. Very well said.
344485453227283 Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
right on. one thing people fail to realize sometimes is that the people we think of as the 'great artists' - da vinci, michelangelo, etc. were almost exclusively mercs, as in paid professionals. far and a way almost every artist we've ever heard of was a paid professional, a hired gun ... except maybe van gogh whose brutal existence as a perpetual loser was just sad.
Zaigwast Featured By Owner May 8, 2013
Damn man, hardcore life you had, beating idiots on the beach and seeling fruits and vegetables, I envy your courage of drawing with a mere time to sleep ..... RESPECT !
IndustrialComics Featured By Owner May 6, 2013
When I was a kid, I drew like crazy! Loved drawing ninjas and superheros. Then when I got into high school I became obsessed with Batman and drew stuff constantly while trying to create my own stories.

Then I started taking art classes. ... I definitely agreed with my teachers that it was important to study different techniques and styles to create my artist "tool box", but their ideas about drawing comic books? "That's not really art your doing." "Why do I want to waste your time with that?" etc. etc. Hearing that and seeing the work I was most proud of ignored, scoffed at and rejected ... Yeah, that got old fast. But the worst part was, a part of me believed them. Next thing I knew the love of art was slowly being sucked out of me. Drawing suddenly became a chore. Finally, I packed up my art box and stopped drawing altogether, even though a part of me still craved it, and always has.

Wish I had been as strong as you were. I salute you, sir. :salute:

Fortunately, I never lost my love of comics! Now I'm back and drawing is a joy again! :dance: I doubt I'll ever be able to reach professional level at this point, that ship has sailed, but as long as I can create my own work and share it with anyone willing to read it, I couldn't be happier! :)
domino-smile Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
rocketworm Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ahhh love this. So inspiring...and true!

I was expected to go the higher education route (and did...), but they don't teach you skills. The stuff I wanted to do was poo-pooed and I was told that drawing skills didn't matter. But they really do.
legrosclown Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is a bit out of context but my brother told me that he has spoken to you on some forum about how much the quality of the artwork of Witchblade has decrease since you left the series. He said that you told him you left the series because of how much work you have going on right now. He was very disappointed by that since he's a huge fan of Witchblade and the Top Cow universe. My memory is a bit fuzzy so you will probably have to correct me.

I do agree about the quality of the artwork of recent Witchblades but I perfectly understand how much work you put in your stuff to be able to do the quality you are able to do. I am myself a student in 2D animation and I know how it is, how much hard work you have to put in to be able to achieve your goals. I congratulate you for being able to do what you do today and I do wish there would be more people out there that can understand that.
Charliesan Featured By Owner May 5, 2013   General Artist
Thanks! It reached me:)
Tribble-Industries Featured By Owner May 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Point on Nebeziel.

Here are two points of reference.
"Those who can't do, teach."
"To Act like an Artist is Easy, To Think like an Artist is Hard."

I think you are very right, about this. My college experience has been disappointing to say the least with art departments. Usually its either abstract artists or hippy third generation post-modernists that dominate the situation. Or the heinous art elitists. Realism is bashed on, because it is what draws people into the story, and makes them interesting. And those same abstract and post-moderns can't compete because their art only feeds a very narrow sliver of the artistic market.

Now on the flip side, I have noticed a push back beginning to build against not only comics but also manga/anime. From the professional, but also public zones. Now its not against comics as a medium...once a medium has been established it can not be gotten rid of unless you totally make its support infrastructure obsolete or ideologically abhorrent. The major consideration to this push back, is the education of the public on the fallacies and failures of artists to consider real world concepts or ideas into their artwork. If something is disconnected from reality, it usually gets destroyed in the long run.

Comics are getting heat either for ideological inference or insensitivity [meaning the beliefs or views of the artist are transposed on the comics,] sexism [which is getting a lot of flak right at this moment usually on the depiction of female characters,] or errors of mechanics, physics, proportions, physical relationship. [On thing that has alot of people railing against comic artists...and honestly shows how the training of comic artists in general has been sub par. Although honestly their coloring skills are top notch.]

Manga/Anime is a whole different can of worms. It usually gets heat because it is highly repetitive, and generally uncreative, as by what critics say. Now the cultural propaganda that is in manga can not be ignored as well. The Samurai Culture, the concept of Yoban(Night Creeping), Anti-Americanism, and other cultural concepts are constantly thrown into Manga/Anime and promoted. Also the fact that such a medium has also contributed to cultural decline, and concepts of society that even in Japan are considered taboo if not worthless. Hence why otaku in Japan is akin to saying "worthless person." Also artistically manga/anime can be mass produced because it generally highly stratified, to even the point that mangateers and anime makers are using photoshop to do all their backgrounds, and using electronic bases to build characters. [Yes there are creative exceptions to this observance, but a majority follow the observance.] The way of making manga/anime is very very easy now today. Also the fact that alot of anime/manga ignores reality and or insults or thumbs its nose at the problems that get comics in another sticking point for critics.

But, you are right Professionalism requires you to consistently work on your art, and also to challenge the norms, rules, and traditions of the "art world." It is our ethics, morals, and standards as individual artists that we must hold ourselves to. We really can't break Laws though...Moral, Social, Natural, Divine, or Physical/Mathematical/Mechanical/Chemical, without certain consequences. But that has never really stopped people from doing certain things artistically. We just have to take responsibility for such actions in what we do.

I personally think that artists need to train not only their hands, but their minds as well. And in some cases both are lacking.

I usually do a series of drawings, and consistently work on an idea. Comparatively to what I put up, I have destroyed three times that amount. I think that sketches need to be gotten down to a 5 minute mark, and that an artist needs to learn to commit to a concept off the bat. I remember a fuss I got into with a manga artist who spent nearly 8 hours on a sketch, before they even did lining in, coloring...and that was nearly 3 days...for a file that could be done far less with.

It's a bit frustrating when people don't think and apply themselves to artistic endeavors, and think that art is just is everything. It is interconnected with alot of the concepts and life work.
ojii Featured By Owner May 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i needed to reads this, as a artist who left to find REAL work with other skills and dont get me wrong my job is not as depressing as some but its not my love. i am just now after 8 years coming bacl slowly into art with a lot of catching up to do i can take comfort in the process it took to get as good as you guys. your analogy is as clear as we can understand you have to take it as an rpg and learn the skills. level up and grow as artists. take it as a hobby or a full time gig you have to earn your dues. but you have to keep at it.
mujiin Featured By Owner May 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
YES! my eyes are open!!! :iconcryforeverplz:
boxingasian Featured By Owner May 3, 2013
:< rpg? ...grinding?! NUUUUUUOOOUOUOUOUUUOUO!

Damn it! I salute you!

deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
Steel-Avatar Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Student General Artist
As somebody who went to college for "art", I can totally agree with this entry. "art" education does nothing. Back at my best, I drew all the time...None of my skill really had to do with education, though education about the importance of principles of optics (Perspective, figure drawing, etc.) sure sped things along. It had to do far more with me being inspired by art.

The only thing I think "art education" does is make me hate my profession more. I do "art" all the time, but it's not illustration or drawing, it's photography and typography...I suppose that even if it was, it might be one of those highly conceptual classes taught by a teacher who's there for the free income (in other words, they don't actually teach you something.) One of those teachers who says they care about drawing but doesn't actually evaluate the drawing skill of the artist.

Education has helped me out sure, but it's not really in the kind of ways that you get with hard work. It teaches the niche ways that everyone can learn. It's more about how to use a program or how to properly display something than it is about hard work. Even for Fine artists, it seems to be more about carving out a niche in a world that has basically abandoned Fine arts. Art education is highway robbery for the aspiring student. Seriously, if you are thinking about going to college for art, DON'T.

No amount of college will give you a leg up on the masters. There is nothing more worthwhile than a major that yields something as opposed to an "art" major. I assure you that the only thing you will use your diploma for after college is to show that you did four years in academic prison (hooray) or to do some freelancing. (which doesn't have the greatest prospects and doesn't outweigh going to college for about five years)

After a while I became dissatisfied with "art" because of how much professors ram into people's heads. To a professor, illustration is worthless. Anything less than the Adobe Creative Suite in a digital project is not only inferior but invalid. Imagination, creation, and emotion are sucked right out of art. One must be refined, adherent, and "safe". tl;dr, fuck college. Effort and practice all the way. The best educator, critic, and creator of art will always be oneself. Keep up the good work OP.
Sekhimet Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
Amen to this! I just have one teensy roadblock, and maybe you can give a suggestion... after several hours of drawing, my hand cramps horribly. Yet if I remove the pen, it wants to default into that curl. It will still ache the next day. Any tips?
shiniez Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
get those balls you can roll in your hand, they helped me immensely back in the day
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April 6, 2013


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