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I wanted to ask you guys for some insight, if you would. Many of you are obviously very accomplished designers and artists and I can only imagine you have spent a considerable amount of time focusing on your work to reach your current level.
My question is how did you (or do you) balance the amount of time it you spend developing as an artist with your personal life, particularly with romantic relationships. Do you just find incredibly supportive and understanding partners? I struggle to balance my desire to develop as an concept artist with my full time product design job and spending time with my girlfriend. She tries to be supportive but her desire for my attention and what I perceive as jealousy of my interest in wanting to spend time doing something that doesn't involve her often get the best of her I'm afraid.
I know I have a long, upward climb infront of me. Any thoughts on maintaining a good romantic relationship without compromising your dreams and ambitions and career goals?
I been married for over 12 years not but during my younger days before as a Student artist I was lab rat and not much into anything but doing my art and have fun if I had the time. As for romantic relationships I just let them happen.. Yes your art is important but your mental health is more important. if you lost one you lost both.. I had some great relationships how they happen was a wonder but they happen and it made me a better artist I feel .. some ended well some ended not so well but in the end i did find that right person that is supportive and love me for be the artist I am and they make be feel whole..
the best thing I can say is find the time to step away from the work .. its good to take time out..and having some to share that time is the best thing I feel.
Hope that helps
If you're at a point where you need to work around the clock to achieve your goals as an artist I would say don't get involved in serious romantic relationships. It's good to date casually when you're such a point in your life so you can have human interaction but you're not dragging someone along for the ride so to speak.
Sometimes one gets to a point in their life where they're not available for relationships or friendships even though they would like them.
However I'm not a great artist. And I made the decision a few months ago to lay off the romance until I get my head straight.
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^I dont agree at all with the above
Id say it would be almost impossible to work on something as frustrating and complex as art (concept art what ever id be) with out the support from friends, and also significant others. There is no possible way for someone to spend 24 hours, 7 days a week, 356 without absolutely going nuts, part of learning your craft is learning to step away from it. If you don' t it will pretty much eat away at you.
I know theres no way I would have made it half as far as I have without my girlfriend, because when everything seems to be going wrong you have to have people to vent with and also keep helping you push forward, most of the time thats what CA is for people. I'm just lucky to have found CA and my girlfriend at the same time (been together 4years or something).
Yeah relationships can be pretty tough when theres a ton of crap in both peoples lives but the benefits of having a really close personal friend who makes everything better after a long hard day of doing artsy crap is defiantly worth it. If not a Girlfriend or boyfriend then at least a group of good friends.
Serious moment: Ask yourself what you want out of life? Do you really...REALLY want to be a pro artist supporting yourself with your own creations? OR do you want a life with a girl that would complete you?
If you want a career as an artist it's not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination. It will take a desperate focus. If you can have a girlfriend and it not detract from your art then cool.
But if you REALLY want something, and there's an obstacle in the way of you getting it I would say get rid of it.
My friends ALWAYS want to hangout. A lot of time I do hangout with them. But if I'm working on something I won't hesitate to focus on my work. But at the same time, life is a balancing act. As the first reply stated, you need your mental health as an artist.
So my main advice was already stated...If you really want it and theres something in the way, remove that something. Do whatever it takes to get to where you want to be if it will make you happy.
Involve her. Either draw with her, for her, herself, or all of the above. Many artists even the masters, drew/painted their loved ones. Involving her in portrait or figure studies is a great way to spend both time with her and your art. You just knocked two birds with one stone, problem solved.
I don't balance them at all. Wouldn't wish Brendan to be in the life of any woman right now. I work an average of 12 hours a day, and the go home either to beer and cigarettes or to a myriad of personal and non-work-related projects (at least 4 serious ones, several other infants).
Don't think a romantic relationship would do me much good right now, far less so the poor dame who gets suckered into being my girlfriend.
I think naturally as you keep moving towards everything you enjoy you run into people with similar goals... Then its just a matter of running with that person until you both achieve it. Don't just settle for somebody who doesn't have interest in what you do and wont understand you working at your dreaaaams. Find somebody who will help you get excited to do what you love, thats the best.
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I've been married for a few years now and I've never had an issue balancing my passions for my husband and other things that I'm passionate about (whether it be art or something else, since art is relatively new in the grand scheme of things in the last few years). He understands that, if I'm not giving him direct attention and I'm doing work or studies, it's not personal. I'm not ignoring him or saying that my work is more important than he is -- Often times he'll sit with me while I work and simply do something else in the same room or watch me work and critique as I go. It's become something that we can do together, even if I'm technically the only one doing it. (It does help, however, that he has a background in art himself and understands how much effort and time that it takes to improve. It's not something he does anymore, really, but it does help that he at least understands.)
I think that, when you find the right person, everything just works and falls into place. It's comfortable no matter what the circumstances and, in a way, it's effortless. If this girl can't understand your passion for art and feels like it's in competition with her for your attention, she may simply just not be the right one for you. That being said, trying to incorporate her into your art routine (as was suggested by the others) could be a great way to lighten the tension and make her feel better. (And, heck, who would turn down a chance for a live model anyhow? I'm sure she'd be flattered.)
She understands. I have been drawing a lot more then I use to so I don't hang out with anyone like I use to but I have asked her to be a model and she likes that (every girl wants to be a model. They might say they don't but they do.) so that helps.
I'm the guy that does his job! You must be the other guy!
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I married a gamer. Never had a single shred of trouble. And I'm sure he's incredibly relieved that I spend my evenings drawing rather than interrupting his raids and various hobbies.
Given that, we do make time for one another. We fix and eat meals together, go on bike trips and "date nights" and all that. If you spend all your time in the studio you're not going to be a well-rounded artist and you're going to miss a ton of opportunities. There are all sorts of things you can do with your girlfriend that will improve your art and grow your social network. All you have to do is be awake enough to see an opportunity for what it is.
You will have an easier time if you date people with similar social needs, though. If your girlfriend needs to go out with you every other night then you're going to have issues.
My relationship with my wife is just as much an art form as my drawings, or my paintings. I wasn't much of an artist, or even much of a decent person prior to devoting whatever I'd needed to towards her well being.
I wouldn't recommend "trying" out romantic relationships - testing the waters and floating from person to person, though. Whether you're looking at a career in art or not, the one you enter a romantic relationship with should be the best friend you've ever had. Otherwise it doesn't matter how much time you've got to devote to things, a relationship for the sake of one is never a good idea.
I've never found it hard to balance the two. The two balance out eachother. My art is just another part of myself, my wife understands, appreciates, and admires it. Similarly, I can use it to make her happy, and to build a life for us both. And if ever there happens to be a situation in which she needs my attention, she gets it. Art will still be there later. She sews herself - dolls, stuffed animals, clothes, whatever she feels like creating. It goes well together with my artwork. We work in the same room, indeed, we spend almost all of our time together and we have since we started living together years ago.
I think intrinsik said it best. When you find the right person, it really is almost...effortless.
I agree with intrinsik and Two Listen. It comes natural when it's with the right person. If the person you're interested in isn't interested in helping you attain a life's dream, they aren't worth being with.
All of the "if you're serious about art, don't be in a relationship" advice is, for lack of a better word, malarkey. I'm married with a child and have a full time job and while I don't have the time to work on my art as much as I'd truly like, I make the most out of the time I have. Besides, in the not-working-on-art time, my life is filled with people who love and support me. I wouldn't trade that.
I became a total recluse during a period of my life because I wanted to focus on my art. It fucked up my social life to be honest (but maybe that's just an excuse?) I didn't know how to balance those things and looking back on it, it wasn't worth it. And the few " friends" I had constantly gave me shit and mocked my artwork...
If your partner is your best friend they'll understand. You don't need to have everything in common, just a few things - it makes for interesting conversations.
I don't see how anybody could think that spending 24/7 living in your studio doing art and never making time to actually live life, have relationships and do things for fun could possibly be good for you. You have to get out and interact with people. Life is too short to devote absolutely all of your time to one single thing, because in the end you may achieve your artistic goals, but you are going to be unhappy and alone.
I go through long periods without having any contact with people due to the nature of things and it has never given me a one up when it comes to progressing. If anything, the ones going out on a bender with all their friends every Friday night learn a little faster than me.
Maybe it's all the alcohol.
If you wind up in a relationship where the other person is jealous of the time you spend on your art, and constantly whines about "you're not spending time with me, all you do is draw" or anything along those lines, get out now. Because more often than not, those kind of people are the kinds that are jealous of everything, not just your art--your hobbies, your other friendships, even the fact that you may need "alone time" to yourself (having previously dated two extremely jealous clingy men I can tell you, jealous relationships are not a place you want to be).
But again, like everyone seems to be saying, you've got to balance art and a personal life, or both suffer. Always find some time to spend with your partner, but if they're not the kind to understand the whole concept of "artist's passion" chances are it will not work out in the long run anyway. If you're forcing a relationship just to have one, chances are you'll miss out on "the right one" when they come along.
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I don't have a problem at all balancing the two. My boyfriend is supportive but he also needs attention and I need a break from art every once in a while. It works out.
You don't have to neglect your studies to have a good relationship but you also don't have to neglect your partner to become a professional artist. A concrete art schedule that both you and she are aware of may help a bit.
Id never really thought about how the relationship with my gf works with my art. my gf is a realistic painter and im a cartoonist. I give her feedback on things to make her characters more interesting n have personality, while she mostly helps me with colour theory. We go on dates n live together and its amazing. But i didnt really think about it, i mean REALLY think about it in terms of art til reading this thread. I appreciate how cool my gf is so much more now thanks peeps.
My girl is in a fairly geeky job that demands lots of overtime frowning at the pc so I just leave her to it, go next door and paint, seems to work for us both. If anything she's got the "do not disturb me!!" gig, so we're a good fit.
Edit: kinda similar to Intrinsiks situation, she has an art background so she can comment on what I'm doing, throw opinions out and know the terminology etc, similarly I used to be a big computer geek so I can discuss things she's up to, offer ideas to rework things etc.
We both vaguely get what the other is trying to do and why they're still trying to do it at 11pm..
Last edited by Flake; August 13th, 2010 at 11:06 PM.
Though I know at least one person who met their future spouse in art school. So you never know.
I met mine in art school, Gwens experience is statistically waaay more likely though I'd say.
Hell and romance is other people.