About the child prodigies, you can talk about their technique and say that they have better technique than you. But you can`t compare artists just by looking at their techniques. Having an amazing technique does not make you an artist just by itself. For me I know that I need to learn, think, question and analyse everything about art, society, nature and many more if I want to become the artist I set out to be. Yes those prodigies may have better technique than you, but you may have the same and even better technique by working as hard as they did. After that you may put something unique in your art that will distinguish you from everyone else. And that can be the reason why someone will hire you in the future. You can say that it is extremeley difficult but you can`t say that it is impossible. As I said, for me I have to constantly read, think, learn and question as well as improve my technique on drawing and painting to be able have that unique touch.
I understand your concerns as I was having the same ones when I was 18 and it took me 8 years to overcome them. (you can check this thread the answers I got really helped me :
And to be honest I still have doubts about my future from time to time when I think about finding jobs in the future if I can become the concept artist I set out to be. However, for the last few months, I realized that if I don`t at least try to become an artist, it will always make me regret that I have not tried. I now know that I should work for many years doing nothing but drawing and painting even if can`t find any job as a concept artist in the future. Yes I would die to work professionally as an artist but the thing I desire the most is to become an artist first. Don`t let any kinds of concerns stop you from becoming an artist because you may regret it in the future if you give up now.
I always knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I want to be a professional artist, but for some reason I never really got to it. I never enjoyed the actual act of drawing or could concentrate long enough to get anything meaningful done. I blamed myself for it, I thought was wasting my life and opportunities by not working harder.
I realized I had a problem and was eventually recently diagnosed with ADHD. For those that don't know what that means, it effectively prevents you from working by making you unable to pay attention or hold a train of thought longer than a handful of minutes. I was given medication for it, and in the past few months I've spent more time than ever drawing, studying drawing, browsing art forums and blogs and thinking or talking about drawing. I've improved tremendously and for the first time had people actually tell me they appreciate my artwork.
It's by no means a miracle or any sort of free ticket, but it has taught me something very important. You can't blame yourself for not being a child prodigy and not being a professional before you can drink beer legally. The people that progressed faster and earlier aren't better people than you, there is no such thing, and you're no worse than them. They had major advantages in terms of time, attention span, peers, and availability of education through their geographical location and the financial situation of their parents and countless other factors. At a young age you have no control over any of that, you take what you're given. It's like a race to see who gets to the free cake the fastest except the other guy has a bicycle and you don't.
There have been countless artists that lived, achieved mastery, and died before you were even born, so does it really matter who was first? In the end what you have control over and what you will be remembered for is whether you gave up, or kept working and achieved your goals. That's what makes the difference.
I was diagnosed with that, too.
But I never believed in it. There was a time I did and I thought: Well, if I don't get those little wonderpills everybody with ADHD gets my life will never be okay and I will keep messing up. Guess where that led me?
So if you really suffer from ADHD it may help to accept it and take your medicine like a man ( sorry, I can't stop spreading quotes) but you will also have to accept that you have to learn to deal with it. Get skills to overcome your procrastination strategies etc.
I never got medication (don't know why, maybe because the doc who diagnosed me thought what I just told you above, maybe it was because he wanted to get rid of me fast because I picked the one doctor who did the diagnosis for free and not for 600 bucks) and I'm sure I never will. I always found the whole diagnosis far too simple and the symptoms too unspecific. For me it was more important WHY I wasn't able to sit down and concentrate on my work. Nobody asks for reasons when diagnosing you so it can be anything, fear, depression, laziness.. The funny thing is that a symptom of ADHD is that you can concentrate very well as soon as you are interested in what you're doing. So both is a symptom - being able to concentrate and not being able to. Too diffuse for me but if being diagnosed and getting medication works for anybody it's a fine thing and I wish you that it stays like that.
I saw a few friends (me included) going down the drain after they started thinking about having ADHD (they say people with it attract each other so probably every single one of my friends has it Or maybe we're just normal people. Who knows?)
They worried about never being able to overcome some obstacles as long as they are "sick" or even "insane" and as long as there's no cure for it when you are grown up (as far as I know children can retreat by medication but for adults it's too late and the brain already messed up, what a pity) you are doomed to be a messy procrastinating scatterbrain who never is able to achieve any goal.
After we all got our diagnosis (sorry but lol, I have to admit I started the whole thing first when I tried to find an excuse, pardon, a solution for my procrastination) and it was positive we lost all hope in being successful ever.
Then some started to take medication and still worried because nobody wanted to be dependent on those pills.
I write that cause it's easy to fit into this whole ADHD thing for almost anybody. And as soon as you think you have it there is a big chance you lose a lot of the spirit you had before when you were mentally sane officially. So maybe get diagnosed, look if medication helps but if not or if you can't get some don't lose hope, maybe you're just normal and making up excuses. I can't know about you but I know about myself. I have a lot of personal weaknesses I can hardly overcome but I'm sure everybody has to deal with stuff like this and ... well. Just watch it. That's all I wanna say.
Last edited by SchwarzerKaffee; April 23rd, 2012 at 02:22 PM.
My mother diagnosed me with 'Ants in Pants' syndrome. She made me tough it out.
I preferred this thread when we were plotting mass murder.
Last edited by Black Spot; April 23rd, 2012 at 03:06 PM.
I haven't read the entire thread (its too long!) but I completely understand.
It's really disheartening to see people younger than yourself churning out this amazing work (amazing to us, but probably nowhere near as close to a professional level as we think). Personally I've never really known what I wanted to do, when I was younger it was between the army, being an astronaut, or being an artist. The army didn't work out, and I was still unsure so I went into Business, only now realising what a passion I have for art, but I'm so far behind where I would be if I'd have carried it on through my late teens instead of stopping.
I've heard people say this over and over, there will ALWAYS be someone better and faster than you. I try not to compare to others too much, I want to be my own artist and make pieces that I'm happy with and that fits my imagination as closely as possible, just forget everyone else.
These kinds of threads never seem to end well.
Don't think: "Why aren't I as good as them by now?"
Do think: "What can I do to be as good as them?"
Whenever I see these "child prodigies" it sets a fire under my ass and I scramble around looking for my sketchbook and get to drawing, because dwelling about how good they are isn't gonna make you any better (or feel any better for that matter).
It's hard to completely block a case of art envy (it happens to everyone) but don't let it consume you. Remember why you draw in the first place. Enjoy it!!!! Be proud of what you can do, and then strive to make it better.
Determination makes all the difference.
If you have the patience and the discipline you'll get there, be it in two years time or twenty. It is possible
Not sure if people have linked to this already but I'll leave you with this:
Remember, chin up! power of positive thinking and all that...
"So many child prodigies, do I even have a chance?"
Nope. So now what are you going to do. Give up?
To sum it up, quit making excuses and do the work. There's no point in talking about the prodigies and talent, take a look at some of the greatest artisans in history. They're there because they dedicated their life to their craft. If you're not motivated enough to spend countless hours practicing, to lose that much needed sleep, to forget to eat, or to even forget to breath, then I truly believe that you should find another passion where do you feel these things. There's no shortcuts in life, if you're trying to find one then you've already failed. Shit, took me forever to realize this myself. Good luck to you, and I hope you truly grasp the message.
Didn't read the whole thread so my comment may be off. Anyways, I don't see why other people, regardless of age, being better is significant. You don't have to be the best to make it in the industry, just good enough. And if the success of others is bogging you down than your doing something wrong, oh and your 21, like, seriously
Oh my god Maisie, that sounds horrible. Didn't realize it's even like that in Singapore. Well, I thought you're pretty damn versatile. And I don't think you have a narrow vision or anything. But then, you did say you were working on it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWkcUxd5elU Watch this. It bloody well inspires.
Just lookin to improve.
Very cool video, thanks. I didn't find a sketchbook from Sinix with the 6 months progress he mentions. Is it here on CA? Also curious on how he supports himself.
I find the best way to get through artists block is to just doodle. Go through your favorite artists work, and or find new ones. Doodling or sketching, even though it maybe terrible gets my imagination pumping, and or allows me to say I tried. xD Usually works for me. That or talking with other artists, and or getting together with other artists and doing a drawing session. As for how he supports himself.. A part time/full time job? And yeah it was here on CA. I don't know if his work is still on here, and or if he undergoes the name sinix on here. Regardless, it is where I get my ideals towards art.
Just lookin to improve.
'Never, ever, let anyone tell you what you can and can't do. Prove the cynics wrong. Pity them...'
I can think of a few artists that really blow my mind and inspire me to work hard that didn't start doing anything serious until their twenties, thirties and so on.
In another twenty years you will realize just how young you are now. The difference between being good at 15 and 20 is actually really small. It might take you a few extra years to get that posh art job you want but in the grand scheme it hardly matters. You'll laugh at this when you are 40 and still feel young and have just as much you want to do with your life if not more.
SpongeBob enjoys burger-flipping
Personally I haven't seen much underage pro artists. Maybe one or two on DeviantART and they weren't as good as adults anyway. I think it's because of skills progression and brain development. 14 year kid don't have same sence for perspective and details as adult. Even if they practice every day, it takes years to master some skills and draw like a pro. According to my dA research it is about three, four years. By that ime they reach age of 20 or so.