This is part 1/3 of the tutorial, which can be found in its entirety here.
You can just watch the video if you like, although you have nothing to lose by reading the rest of the post, except maybe time, but time is illusory anyways, according to Einstein. ;3
(As usual, you can read only the bolded part for the short version)
I spent the last 14 years (unwittingly most of the time) conducting an experiment, as I worked on games, doing 3d modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, shading, teaching, concept art, 2d game art, graphic design, and illustration.
At times it was really bad, at times it was really good. But I was never quite content with where I am, even when things look alright, when I had good pay, benefits, a nice work place, nice colleagues, fun projects.
I was never in love with what I did.
I’d only do it for as long as it’s novel, paid well, and fulfilled some temporary, fleeting hole in my life. When it eventually, inevitably start to fail at that, I’ll need something new. Well, how do you know you LOVE doing something? My definition is simple:
I was no different from a hamster in a wheel, too busy running towards an illusory goal to stop and think about what it is that I’m doing.
Maybe it’s only my projection but as I went to art and design workshops and conventions, frequented fb groups and forums, and met like-minded people from the industry, I saw this happening everywhere.
Everyone is busy doing something, finishing assignments, completing team projects, wrapping up their portfolio, putting together application packages, aiming for that next promotion. With rare exceptions, everyone is also unsatisfied with something, their job, their pay, their client, their bills, but ultimately something other than, deeper than those things.
There's an old Zen quote that goes something like:
Maybe it's time to stop and ask, why do I what I do? and even, should I be doing this at all?
That was around 2015, I worked at a mobile game company, making 2d art for a variety of innovative games, games we endearingly named Legend of Clonetids, Candy Clone Saga, Clash of Clones, etc.
I watched a lot of Disney movies growing up, and always thought I want to work for them. I applied many times over the years without success.
WHY DO I DO THIS?
So why do I move towards a goal that’s actually no good for me upon close examination? I applied this line of questioning to all of my career goals as an artist, and none of them stacked up!
Maybe I’m trying to avoid staying where I am? Maybe it’s because I’m not satisfied with where I am? Because I’m doing something I don’t love?
The last 4 years was full of intense drawing and painting, learning about entertainment design and illustration, because I knew only that I wanted to draw and paint and design something cool for money, which is really just doing things that other people might want, clients, companies, producers, art directors. I didn’t do what's most enjoyable to myself.
No wonder it was a struggle!
WHEN DOES IT END?
Learning new skills, getting better clients and jobs, making more money, will these finally one day make up for doing something I don’t really love?
The 14 year experiment says no. I’d collected enough data to finally say, it’s not worth it.
Money, benefits, recognition, a false sense of security, they’re not worth the price of a life time of doing something one doesn’t truly enjoy or believe in.
A NEW EXPERIMENT BEGINS
Around 6 months ago, I saved up money, left my work, turned down job offers and didn’t seek clients. Starting at square one, I'm learning all over again how to be true to myself, asking what kind of artist am I really? What do I really want to create? How do I really want to create it? and what do I want to say with it?
I started to play again, like a child, without inhibition and constraints. I’m not a concept artist, or illustrator, or graphic designer, I’m just someone who arranges visual elements.
I learned to appreciate the tremendous power of playing, and of games, all over again.
I want to share my experiment on gamifying art making and art learning and all the solutions and challenges that came with that, because I know there are people out there who struggles like me who can benefit from my solutions, and there are people out there who already solved my problems who can help me along.
Thus “How To Draw Things You Can’t Imagine” was born
The intro video aims to look at common issues that artists face with a fresh perspective, and offer drawing games as a solution.
In the following posts I’ll present the next steps of my thesis, how drawing games can lead to better motivation, persistent progress, and overall creativity. Most importantly, how seeing art making as playing instead of work changes everything we do for the better!
Continue To Part 2
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