How can I keep my arms and wrists healthy? I seem to have developed carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand, which I was using to draw---I switched to my non-dominant hand so I could still train, but I seem to be developing the same problem there. My mom thinks I should just stop drawing, but isn't there a way to keep my hands healthy while drawing? I don't want to stop now!
it’s an issue that all artists have to deal with. there are exercises you can do to help prevent it from getting worse, but i think the best way is for you to go see a chiropractor. i was developing wrist pain and back pain as well in 2012, but since I started seeing a chiropractor regularly it’s been getting better. a chiropractor isn’t a miracle cure that will magically fix you and the pain will never occur again, but they’re like mechanics that you take your car to for regular maintenance. their adjustments and massages help prevent scar tissues from developing and your pain from getting worse in the future. i always recommend people to go see a chiropractor early and regularly, because if you let it sit for a long time, it may get to a point where it’s no longer possible to fix/maintain, and unless you start getting injections or surgery, you might have to give up on your career.
Do you still have Lines 2013 available? I completely forgot to pick one up when I thought I bought one. Thanks!
What do you do when you show significant improvement, but then the improvement starts deteriorating at an impossibly fast rate?? I've been practicing drawing every day for two months now, and I saw a great leap of improvement through the first month, but now in the second month, I can see it somehow getting...worst? I've watched technique videos, observed others, but I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong! How can I stop this problem?
one teacher told me that when you can see an improvement, that’s because you still suck. it’s easier to notice improvements when you’re still way below on the skill level, but once you get higher up, it will become less and less noticeable, until you won’t notice it anymore if you’re only comparing this month’s work and last month’s work— however, if you compare a year’s worth of work, you’ll totally see the difference.
that is to say, don’t get discouraged. keep at it and know that even though you can’t see an improvement right now, next year you may be able to see it.
another way to go about it is to stop drawing what it is you’re drawing and try drawing other things you still don’t know how to draw. for example, if you’ve been practicing drawing humans for the past two months and you’re fed up because you don’t see any improvement, take a break from it and try drawing animals. once you don’t see improvements in the animal, go back to the humans, or move on to vehicles, then environment, then plants. keep the subject fresh.
I sold at my first convention last year in artist alley, and someone came up to me and asked if he could take a picture of one of my prints. It seemed like a really weird request and the print wasn't exactly something I worked extremely well on, but I figure there was no harm in it, so I let him. I wasn't sure how to deal with it as a first timer, so as someone who is a veteran of artists alleys, has this ever happened to you, and if so do you (or do you know artists who) have a policy on it?
oh yeah, it’s happened many times. i think the main concern by other artists is that these days cameras can take such high resolution photos that if you take a good, straight on photo of a print, you’re essentially able to reproduce that print. with this in mind, a lot of artists don’t allow con attendees to take photos of their prints or even their booth. a lot of artists may also have their unique way of setting up their booth, how they decorate and such, and they don’t want people copying their ideas, which is quite understandable.
for me personally, i don’t really care. the idea of reproducing prints from a photograph to me is something i just shake my head at. even if you can get a good, straight on shot, the lighting in the room is usually bad enough that you’ll end up spending hours on photoshop tweaking that image. and no matter what, when you print it it won’t look as good as the 300dpi print i’m selling. it really doesn’t concern me that a customer may just photograph my print and print it at home instead of buying it, because really, let’s be honest here, if i tell them no they can’t take a photo, will they actually buy it? highly unlikely. besides, if they wanna just print the damn thing at home, all my prints are uploaded at a pretty high resolution without watermark on deviantart anyway. go crazy, i don’t mind.
as for the concern about people reproducing the art through photograph and selling it as their own, again, they can just download the goddamn thing off deviantart and it would print better than a photograph… so with that in mind, whenever people ask i would just tell them yes, go ahead. i have never noticed sales at a con drop significantly by allowing people to take a photograph.
the way i see it, the whole “no photograph” rule thing that some booths impose is a result of overthinking. it’s the same paranoia that cause some people on the internet to watermark their art so much you can barely see what the art is about. i choose to believe that attendees are usually much simpler people, and all they want from the photograph is something to show their friends when they get home. anime cons are generally attended by a younger audience who probably don’t have a lot of money, so instead of buying, they would usually just take a photo of the art so when they get home they can tell their friends and go “hey look, i found this cool thing that i think you would’ve liked.” it’s a fairly innocent scenario, and i don’t see why it should be misconstrued as an attempt to steal art.
that said, people who impose these rules may have other reasons that escape me, so whatever their reasons are, you should respect them and not argue with them. for me personally, photographs are never a big deal.
Do you have any tips for improving creativity and basically making your art more interesting? I tend to be way too formulaic in my angles, my poses and my stories, plus I have a hard time creating interesting and complex environments. Any ideas at all would be helpful!
i think technical skills are something that everyone can improve with constant practice, but creativity is different. i don’t believe that creativity is something you’re born with, it’s not a talent to be creative, but creativity is an accumulation of knowledge. if you want to be more creative, you have to see more, digest more, understand more. look at what other artists are doing, look at the stuff that appeals to you, look at the stuff that doesn’t appeal to you, look at stuff that has no relevance whatsoever to whatever it is you’re interested in. creativity comes from all these things (yes, even stuff you’re not interested in). you take them all in and they all get mixed up in this giant melting pot that is your mind, and from there out comes creativity.