Haven't posted in pretty much forever so not sure if I even recognise anyone hehe, so I'll repost my background.
I don't come from an illustration / fine art background, I have a degree in computer science and also one in operational management because my parents told me from a young age I wouldn't be able to make a living with art =(
I've always doodled to some degree, not that seriously to be honest until about 6 years ago when I discovered concept art and decided to take art seriously and taught myself, tone, perspective, design, etc. During this time I was working 9-5 in some dead end job in health foods for a very disorganised person. I'd come home after a long day, after going to the gym and just spend from about 8pm-12am drawing and doing artwork every night learning form as many sources as possible. After 6 months I landed a concept artist job, which totally wasn't my intention at all, I just wanted to draw cool pics hah.
I've now been a senior concept artist and Art director in the games industry for 5+ years now and I now run my own design studio called Stylus Monkey Design which services the games / film / publishing industries. It has certainly been one hell of a crazy ride, at numerous points after numerous closures of companies I worked for, I was considering throwing in the towel and turning my back on art since it seemed to bring nothing but stress and misery.
There was one point where I was looking to join the military full time, the police force, even the domestic spy agency to feel like I was giving back to society more than I was taking - you just get to this point and you start asking "sure this is fun...but what the heck am I actually contributing to society?!". There was a lot of growing up I had to do as well, becoming an art director at a relatively young age (23 at the time) screws with your mind, you start to see yourself as greater than you are and you just don't have the maturity to really keep things in perspective, you become a know-it-all and you hurt people in thoughtless ways. I've certainly done my fair share of that and I think only recently I've put a lot of that behind me and as much as possible made amends from my end. I know some of you post here and hopefully you know how sincerely I mean it when I say I am sorry.
Of course, since I'm here now, I did decide to stick with the art, I spent about 6 months off all art, I ceased to sketch and instead started working on my mind, reading lots of good books, taking care of lots of different areas I had neglected over the years, finances, relationships, ethics, learning about commitment, volunteering to help old people and disabled people and just really learning to be a proper person, something I had let atrophy in trying to prove to the world - and my parents that I deserved to be making art for a living. Helping out these people in my opinion helped me more than them, it made me realise that I am indeed one lucky individual, I have my health and my whole life ahead of me.
Also, coming out of that big cluster fuck of a situation at that previous work environment, doing simple things like cleaning the kitchen dishes for these people made me really appreciate that I could do things again, that I wasn't some failure because we didn't accomplish everything we set out to do. Anything of something in excess is bad, something I prided myself on - professionalism and perfection - began to choke sleep out of me and began to turn into a big festering mental wound that eroded the very values I wished to preserve.
Now, it might sound strange to those who aren't of Asian descent, but parents are pretty much the guiding force in a lot of our lives growing up, and keeping them happy is a cultural thing, not necessarily one of our better virtues to be sure. It took a long time for me to really cut that umbilical and to become self determinant. I also got out of a destructive relationship that didn't seem destructive at the time, those are the most dangerous, they alter you in ways you don't even realise, and when you come out of one, you find out you were in a bad bad place and it almost suffocated you life force.
Once I'd gotten myself back on track mentally, I got back into art nice and gently, doing bit projects here and there, getting my feet again and pretty much a year later I've managed to turn things around 360 and I freaking love my life! I rediscovered my love of my art, I feel I have twice the energy, on top of my business endeavours I am also lecturing - my way of giving back to society I suppose and it is an exceptionally enjoyable experience for me. I don't go to sleep thinking "what are you doing for society?" anymore.
So in the span of the last 6 months, I've helped shipped a couple of current gen games to market, written multiple tutorials for 2D artist magazine, Advanced Photoshop Magazine, The Official Corel Painter Magazine, Digital Artist Magazine and I've lectured at QANTM media college and RMIT University Melbourne on digital illustration. Through my design business I've also undertaken numerous project for current gen systems, a couple are in beta testing now, a few illustration assignments, I'm art directing a game prototype for a client as well as acting as a defacto developer recruiter and I've also been seeing a wonderfully calm beautiful woman for the last 8 months and I am spending the next 3 months working only a couple of days a week so that I can spend time learning to oil paint!
Pretty much every day I wake up, gratitude is the first thing that enters my mind, thankfulness for the situations I am not in, for the situations that I am in, for the people in my life, for my ability to do something enjoyable and make a living at, and for reigniting my love of what I do! I feel at this point in time, that so much is possible, for the first time in my life it doesn't all seem temporary, it is sustainable and for me that is an exciting thought indeed!
Hah, true to form, I've probably written a pretty long arse post, sorry about that! If you've read my previous thread, you'll know I treat these as an emotional enema =)
Oh, recently, I also began to upload some vids of me sketching, check em out:
Last edited by Magic Man; April 18th, 2010 at 08:31 PM.
Magic man! I remember seeing some of your stuff on the society of figurative arts forums a couple years back. You had an amazing copy of Michelangelo's Libyan Sybil and that drawing really pushed me to start learning anatomy and taking art more seriously. It's great that you started a sketchbook. I hope you keep updating it on a regular basis.
"Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley
"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
These are phenomenal, man!
My thought of the day:
Life, like a blank canvas is a perfect, daunting thing, it's future an infinite expanse of possibility. As we apply our influence to it, these possibilities shrink at an exponential rate until there is only inevitability, borne of our preceding actions.
In most cases, I feel that life is not short, but that we don't apply our time effectively in what we want or dream to accomplish, often we don't know how to go about it so we keep absolutely still, preferring to dilute our time with inconsequential things - which in my opinion is such a huge mistake. All of us hold within ourselves such untapped potential, which if tapped in the right way can flourish and grow into something beyond our own imagining and reckonings.
We owe it to ourselves to continually improve and become better, because life is not short of opportunities, it has an abundance of them, but often when we're presented with those opportunities we have not previously worked hard enough to be able to capitalise on opportunities when they do arise.
I find that having something I have heard referred to as a BOMAG - Big Overriding Mother of All Goals - is the best way to work hard continuously towards a unified end, when intrusions arise, compare it against your BOMAG, does it add or detract in it's accomplishment? When you have a driving imperative for your life, whether it is to achieve a high degree of skill in art, or in some other part of your life, you need to define what you want, before you can attain it and the more succinct and clear the vision is, the more easily you will attain that vision in your head.
For the shoutouts:
Andrew Sonea: Thank you mate, your name actually rings a bell, not sure if from Mentler's forum or not hmm. I wonder how he is doing, does he still post here? I think I will start posting at his Forum again, his work is phenomenally cool. Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it, and I'm glad you decided to take art more seriously! It really is a journey that is to be enjoyed =)
Metal Fingers: Thanks mate, me too, when I had my first SB, it helped me through people's comments to improve at a pretty fast rate, I credit CA.org's forum with a lot of my growth as an artist.
The Flying Dutchman: Thanks buddy =)
its great to have you back, you have been missed!
its great to read about such a burst of ewly found enthusiasm, and its cool to read your thoughts too.Sometimes its good to actually associate a human beign to the sketchbook, for once, makes coming back after every update feel like visiting a friend to see how he's doing!
Really cool to see your process in video, the way you handle form, edge and manage to find a balance between lively lines and tight rendering never ceases to amaze me!
again, good to have you back, and looking forward to seeing/reading you next updates!
Awesome, its so good to see you posting again Magic Man. You might not remember me, but i regularly visited your old SB and it was such an inspiration to me when i was younger (all of 4-5 years ago ah ha!) i mean i even think i was inspired to get fit and workout after reading your inspirational posts. You work ethic seemed so perfect already, but im glad you seemed to have got yourself sorted!
And keep up with the posts, i myself am finding that truly writing and thinking about your art helps you understand it so much more. It sought of puts it before your eyes to see and analyze.
Would love to get some crits from you in my sketchbook too Ive also just found my reinvigoration to start posting again.
Keep it up dude, looking forward to more.
DUUUDE! you got the skills that kills any soul sucking slackerage that would otherwise fester and rot away any goal reaching aspirations if left alone. SO i thank you and bow to your ninjician wacom black belt and thankyou for dropping by my SB to shed some light and warmth to my scribbles. Feels great when somebody that keeps the pencils extra sharp drops by and says hello! Likewise thanks for sharing your words of life, learning and the wisdom therefrom. I completely empathize with your journey as Ive traveled similar paths fosho. So heres to breaking the pattern and then back to breaking the mold! I got this SB subscribed and you got the full fledged 5 star treatment to help announce the magicmans might! right on brotha. and welcome back (now to search for your old SB.... )
Most of the times I don't read people's introductions. And I care only about art cuz that's what this site is supposed to be about, but this is an exception I spent more time reading what you've written above than looking at your amazing work (i'm speechless by the way).
Thank you so much man! you don't know how much you've just helped me, I am only 18 but I was going through something like that.
I'm just happy to see that there's people with this thinking around the world. People that is worth to have a conversation with.
keep it up!
Hi guys, wow! So many of the old people are still around I see hehe, great to see you all. Oh, btw, if you'd like, add me on Facebook, you can find me easily enough, just search for "Darren Yeow".
TheGnoll: I totally remember you mate, and your avatar hasn't changed in what 2 years!? Hehe, awesome to see you around =) Thanks for the kind words, yeah I've always been someone who sketches really quickly and then takes FOREVER to render something! I'm glad you enjoyed the videos, I'll be doing a whole bunch for my wonderful students that I am teaching at Uni.
PhatAndy: I remember you for sure mate! How are you going? Thanks for the kind words, yeah look, the work ethic was never my problem - seriously speaking, you have too much of something, even a good thing and it can turn bad! I was looking at my stuff and just driving myself into the ground. I find I'm a much more balanced person these days, I used to equate relaxation to laziness. If I can make an analogy, it felt like I was trying to pedal a unicycle as fast as possible to NOT fall over, all the while you know at the back of your mind "this is going to catch up to me, and when it does I'll be fuckered!", thats how it really was I think. Total work-life imbalance. But as they say, sometimes you need to crash in order to discover what is really important, and I would say that I have learnt more about myself in the last year, about what drives me and correcting all of it than in the previous 27 years of my life. It's an exciting feeling to have when you get to this point, and it's exciting that there is a looooong ass time to come for making art and making an impact on other people. You know, you also touch on an interesting thing, I think at some point, if you do things well, you start becoming an influencing force on other people, whether you ask for it or not, you become laden with more responsibility, when that happens your maturity comes through, your real maturity, not the facade you put on for the world. Anyway, I should be posting relatively often now. So take care and keep drawing mate =)
DanielC: Nice to see you too! Another familiar face =)
Smokenmirrors: Haha! Thanks buddy, jeez, I feel all shy now! Ah, we'll get there with our art, just keep going hard at it! Look forward to seeing more of what you do =)
wow. a truly epic start to a new sketchbook. i have a feeling this is going to be on my top 5 sketchbooks. it is definately my new favorite one. the art is stunning, and i like how your treating this like a journal/sketchbook. i think art requires a strong physical will, as well as a strong mental will, so why not compile both into your sketchbook as you progress. a very good idea indeed. i am very eagerly awaiting updates! thanks for sharing.
I've been studying art for a long time and yet I still feel like I have trouble when rendering form from memory or sometimes I don't remember how to draw something. I just don't get it and it's been bugging me for a while. I think this year is the hardest I've ever worked and yet I notice other people that haven't been doing art as long as me improve much faster. I feel like I'm missing something and I just don't get it or I feel like I have made some progress but then I occasionally take two steps back. Have you ever had this problem? And yes, I've been drawing and painting a lot so it's not like I'm not doing that. Any thoughts?
Wow, the mind is a amazing part of a human being, it can be a calm ocean or a ravaging hurricane, it seems that a mind can have a mind of its own. I read your whole introduction. I took a few things into thought about what was written, I knew you were amazing before I even look at your artwork, such honesty and humbleness, and I love a person who can admit to his or her wrong doings. It made me think of my current problems of getting into a school that fits me and my struggle being able to pay for school, it also open my eyes to how lazy I can be sometimes when it comes to artwork, sometimes I feel that even when I put 8 hours into a painting (frequent 10 min break intervals in there), I just dont get anything done. The part I loved so much was when you talk about giving back to society, Ive volunteered for things but Ive never really thought about how I would give back to society on a daily basis. Thanks for your kind words, you dont have to reply to this long message, I would just appreciate it if you read it. Now for the art part
YOUR AMAZING, WOW WOW WOW, your painting skills are so fleshy, lol, ttyl.
Look, Iam diet drama, want to spend tha night dont bring pajamas, man there's so much heat beneath clothes, you see me !
JesArt Sketchbook, go have a gander..
Very great and creative concepts! And sooo much Energy in your pieces!! And of nice quality >> awesome, as i said before
I was just flashed by your pics, they forced me to reply immediatetly! I'll read the texts now ^^ I've seen there are some longer,... must read what they are about.
Hope to see more grreat work here
great stuff here man - look forward to seeing more!
MY SKETCHBOOK - http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...4&page=6&pp=60
My Blog - http://andrewleysketches.blogspot.com/
ah man, you have absolutely no idea, how glad I am to see your stuff back here again!
Maaagic Man i couldnt believe ....how great maan that you came back.
yoy inspired me many times when i was only browsing this forum.
Then your sketchbook just gone but great you are alive and posting again.
I think im in the dead end with my art . I was doing a lot till the point in which i felt bad when i was not painting. It resulted with forcing myself to draw to paint i started losing my drive and i had to force myself more and more while my drive was slooowin down till i stopped completely.
I know somewhere that i love it(or loved it and i want to find this passion again)
but i simply dont want. You said that doing something in excess is bad but what was your experience with getting back your art desire.
i hope thet its understandable
anyway im glad that you are back take care
Really incredible work!
holeeeee shit. You're back. Found you lurking on Min's sketchbook
Your intro makes a lot of sense to me.... I still trip out every now and then and ask myself what the hell am I doing to make this world a better place. Would love to sit down and talk about how you got out of that hole
There's a sketch group Min used to come to on sundays and school me when I was starting out. It's at the old GPO in the city. I've started it up again; nothing too serious, just gesturals and talkin crap mostly. come if you are free!
Last edited by knoxie; March 20th, 2010 at 08:35 AM.