Growing as an Artist

A post of this variety is probably long overdue considering everything and how long the blog has been going, but it is one of my favorite topics to discuss. I am referring to artistic growth. You see it in many artists, especially if you track their early works and it is not limited to just visual artists, musicians grow and evolve too (Somewhere, someone is making a Nickelback joke at that sentence).

The reason I bring this up, is because I was recently working on a shot in which I prepped files differently than I would have if I was going to create those assets/drawings today. The shot below, features both Zeth and Fenix in battle.

Zeth and Fenix fist duel

At the time of creating that shot, I figured I would have both characters animate in, impact would happen and then move onto the next shot. However, over the time from when I first thought of the shot and now, my talents have increased and that aesthetic no longer was enough for the shot.

Now some of you may be thinking, “Well why not go and redo it and stop being lazy?!” It’s not as easy as that, even if I wanted it to be. An old co-worker of mine once told me “You never finish a project, they get taken away”. Whether a client has a tight deadline or we simply have too much work, projects get taken away all the time and sometimes we need to take them away from ourselves.

While I could go and redo the shot and get the character set up the way I want to, if I started revising shots now, by the time I finished them, the shots I deemed acceptable from the start may be unacceptable now. Not only is it the growth of an artist, it is also technological as well. In terms of animation maybe a new plug in came out to create better water or something along those lines. Sometimes we need to accept that we can’t have perfection in every shot.

I somewhat carry the motto around that the work I produce today was the best work my talents could let me make today. Of course over time I will learn more and have more experiences that will change things, but in todays moment I created the best I could.

This particular shot was started some time ago and I now need to do the best with what I have. I have this mentality because as much as I am a perfectionist, I exist to create stories for people to read, watch and enjoy. If I get too caught up in making something perfect, I will severely limit the amount of things I can create by continually revising existing work, because no one (including myself) would take it away from me.

While this entry is meant to be reflective, it is also part motivational in case you need it. I am not worried about trolls coming along and telling me how much my work sucks. My simple response is, if my work sucks, then go make something that is better than mine.

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