Trex Sketch with heads

Do I have to make Art a Career or Hobby?

Interview with Kunio Okawara from the Sankei Newspaper

I was listening to a podcast where a listener asked should I pursue multiple passions or just focus on one thing? How would I know which Art or Craft is really just a hobby or possibly a career?


Why you want to make art?

Recently I happen to chance upon a video by Brandon Dayton on why he quit his dream Job at Disney interactive to make comics and art full time. I would encourage anyone wanting to do your own creative work to take a look at these videos before jumping  in. He has recently released a comic Green Monk after quitting Disney.

Some Notes:

His early goal was to be an animator for Disney but ended up at Disney Interactive

His time at Disney Interactive Studio pushed him to be a be a better artist.

But he felt that something was missing from his life.

We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make movies. – Walt Disney

Art did not make money for Disney initially, but he wanted to make the art form better.

Currently the CEO Bob Iger says Disney knows how to leverage the mind value of their Intellectual Property and make money.

But he feels that Art has become Intellectual property. That has to be mined for money. Market forces determine the value of the Art. Which sometimes feel uninspiring.

He feels that because of this there is little room for Art to experiment and is regulated to side projects after your day Job, which sometimes after a long day you do not have the motivation left to push boundaries of your art.

Some thoughts

There is no right or wrong if you do art for money or just want to make Art just to improve the form. Its important to know why you are doing it and how to make it as an artist. There is no end to the discussion.

That is why he quit his job to create art that is not market drive and see how it goes.

His advice goes if you want to purse art that is not made for IP. Save up and plan for it do have a short time period before you go in, its a challenge but it has a reward for taking the risk and he hopes that he can make money to make Art.

This reminded me about Jim Henson Book on Making Art to Make Money. Jim made art that is true to himself but also aligns with the market needs.

One other video to watch:

Brandon talks about his reason to make comics after he has went on to make art for himself.


Craig Mullins interview about the history of digital painting

Need not futher indroduction from the Grand Dad of digital painting, interview conducted by Bobby Chiu.

Some of the Show Notes:

Digital Art seems to be homogeneous due to everyone using the same software. Advice is to expand your art knowledge techniques. A need to go back to traditional art.

Freedom of Speech and Art Digital makes it too easy that it does not have any weight to what you say as there is not cost anymore…

Digital Art not the same as Traditional Art due to it being easily copied.

Syd Mead – he had a chance to work with the man, who did a lot of architecture renderings in the past of the construction boom. His assistant did not hire Craig as he did not complete Art Center.

He feels Syd Mead assistant too business like, anyone that does not finish Art Center does not make it in the business. Education is important going all the way through.

Liberal Arts important to help you as an artist. If you can’t do it in school you will need to read books over time. It helps you more than just being a painter that can paint a realistic head.

Get inspiration from Living Life not looking at Star Wars Art books.

Matte painters learn the craft of art (perspective, drawing and value) cause they love the idea of the shot and film experience. Craig advice  to artist, he be an artist not for art sake but expressing something about life. Expressing his view of the world through on art (ie. perspective, drawing and value). Don’t be focus on tools which are means to an end. There is got to be more about what you are drawing. What have you learned about Art (eg. drawing heads) which makes it interesting.

It is about what you are painting and what you are expressing. Its about the feeling. Some of the best artist are not technically adept. There is a sure fireway to be a better artist just by technique.


You Draw Well but

You draw well but you don’t have any ideas…


Heard this quote on a creative interview podcast. Sometimes we get focused on technique that we forget that the most important thing to communicate is the ideas in our drawings, paintings, art books or whatever media or medium we use.

A timely reminder that the art must serve the ideas don’t get too hung up on technique. Use what best suits to the way you want to communicate. Even The Oatmeal has bad drawings but it communicates lots of funny.

Seth Godin on Vulnerablity and the ABC’s of Creativity

A great interview on creating art and fighting the resistance in our brain to make art. He goes back to Steven Pressfield book on The War on Art.

A Transcribe highlights of the interview can be found here

Some interesting highlights from the interview are covered from Seth’s writings and blog posts and books:

Scarcity drives values old model of doing things. New model is about abundance. We have wider reach thanks to the internet. Making things is it still valuable eg, making a book? If I am making something there must be something experiential. His book captures the experience of hearing your mom reading you a book it is like magic. He stole the feeling and put it in his book. So that he can get to the part of your head that is not afraid and have bravery.

Am I making art or showing up to make a paycheck?

How many people are Artist in Kindergarten; all raise their hands, less in the higher grades and few admit it. What happens to our creativity overtime?

Are we limited by lousy clients? Not its not a problem. Some deal with it by making great art anyway. Accept the fact in the industrialized work we have to use what we are given.

The work is not about being more technically proficient the computer can do that, but to craft something that the client has never seen or feel.

We got to pick clients what you want as well to do good Art.

Should Design Firms stay small? (Or reframed into Are you a freelancer or Entrepreneur?)
Freelancers cannot scale and succeed, unless they kick out their current client and find better clients. You can’t hire more people to do your work.
Entrepreneurs create something that is bigger than himself. You only hire people to do the work.

Design at its core thrives when a human produces work that touches another human being.

Designer will push the envelop father and better than me.

Anxiety: It is experience failure in Advance. Worry is not preparation.

We can’t make the fear go away only dance with it.