I just had a fascinating talk with a friend of mine. This friend is pretty respected as a figurine painter, and his close friend group includes a very active musician, a traditional 2D artist (like, hand-drawn stuff), and a couple of other creatives. My close friend group includes a few part-time writers and way too many actors. All creatives. Through the talk we sort of came to the conclusion that various creative types are VERY isolated, by choice, to their particular kind of creativity; musicians interact mostly with musicians, actors with actors, and so on, especially online.
Do we do that, us who use Blender? I never talk to people about using MAX anymore (does it still exist?), and only fleetingly talk to people using Cinema 4D. I nver think I have talked to a single Maya user. But I can only talk for my own background, so I just wonder, do Blender users talk about their craft much, especially online, with people of other 3D persuations? What about non-3D creative folk, are we good at talking to writers, sculptors, painters, whatever, that are not already part of a circle of friends?
It both fascinates and scares me to think that we may be our own little bubble, especially because I have some future pet projects meant to go across fields a lot, and I fear that everyone is just in their own little world…
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got in art was to look to other media for inspiration. If you’re an animator, go to a play at a theater. If you’re a painter, read poetry or stories where writers describe scenes. If you’re a sculptor, listen to music and pay attention to patterns and how sound manipulates the volume (as measured in liters, not decibels) of a space.
Even better, try to practice in one of those other media. Act. Paint. Write. Play. Every time I’ve done that, it’s informed and improved my work in my medium of choice.
I totally agree. I write, draw, listen to music (don’t play, because I once tried and I think I’m still on a few lists…), and of course animate. But it feels more and more like this is ‘against the times’, and that the hip and trendy thing is to stick to single fields, especially in the social aspects. A bit like jocks and nerds not mixing, back in the day…
I’ve broken out of my skin in the last few years to really try and go meet and socialize with more people. Like you said artists are often a bit more isolated in our own little world.
Going to Art festivals is a great way to meet local creatives, if I see an artist whom intrigues me I sometimes go and chat with them, I mainly see painters and photographers at these festivals but I have seen some artists who did more digital work before as well.
Have you ever heard of an Open Mic? There’s a few in my area, they are usually at restaurants, bars, or galleys, and they are places where you can usually sign up for free, and you can play music, read poetry, do comedy, etc. Or just watch others perform. It’s very casual, and a great way to meet other kinds of artists.
I looooved open mic when I loved in the city, mostly standup comedy or stage magic (yes, we exist…)! I live out in the sticks now, so not that many opportunities, especially with the bad C still keeping people from being too social. But I am always looking for good places!
How about online? It is so easy to just pick one community and never move out of that bubble. Are you breaking out of that bubble, too?
I think it is due to the lack of interest. People that don’t practice 3d modeling or a related profession or hobby have little to no interest in what you have to say.
I sometimes do some basic 3d modeling when on break at work, cups, tables, pens, etc. Usually someone will take interest and will ask some questions They will ask about the software i am using, tell me they don’t know how i am doing what i am doing and then lose interest when i explain some of the basics.
I’ve never had someone at work download Blender at work and then ask me for advice or just chat about 3D stuff. It’s usually just games, politics, shows that were on TV and recent events at work.
I would agree with this- while we can talk to other artists about artistic principles, at the end of the day, Blender (and all CGI) is both extremely technical and extremely esoteric. For example, most painters are also drawers, have a basic understanding of sculpture, may have taken a ceramics class in college, maybe even took a typography elective. A painter goes to the same college classes as a figure drawer. They know the same people, hang out in the same places- even after college, they’ve got their community, and that community is “art”. 3D people exist in a very different sphere.
I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I agree with Fweeb that it’s very important for us to try and break out of that sphere. I think it’s just a lot harder for us to move out of our sphere as compared to traditional artists. Worth it, yes. Hard to do, also yes
Personally I tend to hang out with many people I work with, so indeed most of my friends are a bunch of 3D artists doing Blender. But they do very different things in 3D. Some are more into editing, cinematography, others in animation, others in modeling SF stuff, some do technical work (Scripting, FX) Other are more into drawing, design, writing, production… So already that makes very different POV when we discuss.
I think part of that is natural, that’s some people I spend most of my time with. And also we understand each-other quite well when it comes to talk about our passion.
I’m passionate about visual stuff, but I can relate to other passionate people in different field. When I have the chance to meet someone doing something different it’s easy to come along. Even if we can’t talk about the specifics of our passion it’s interesting to share some POV about what we like.
And of course, it’s awesome to open our mind and go out of our CG bubble from time to time.
It’s great to have friend that are not into CG or art, and also to have other interest in life than CG.
(nearly sleep writing here, sorry if I seem a bit tangental)
Just off the top of my head, a couple of non-3D communities I have had an interest in over the last few years include:
Physical models (puttyandpaint.com)
Traditional art (deviantart.com)
Indie comics (tapas.io)
Game development (gamedev.net)
Writing (www.writingforums.com or even, gasp, fanfiction.net)
Tabletop Roleplaying (rpg.net or forums.sjgames.com)
Some places seemed alluring but had really poor or no community features, like Wattpad and Soundcloud, and I tend to snoop out new stuff now and then. I am a lurker in nearly all these days, but I feel that the potential for meeting people in new fields is horridly overlooked by many of said fields. And it makes me a sad panda…
Wait, wait, wait!! …you mean, like, there is some kind of thing called ‘life’ outside of CG somewhere, somehow?!
If that should be true, I’ll have to use more adhesive tape to fix the VR headset tighter around my head! Do you guys think using hot glue and screws will help with his? How about a staple gun? Please, I really need some advice here.
I think if you want to make some 3D work or 2D or VideoFX then you could be happy to use blender. If you only use blender for the sake of using blender… then you are already isolating yourself…
On the other hand i see a lot of postings (also on other sites… so i’m not isolating myself ) which say something like:
i used this (1000$ ) app and this (1200$) app to finalize with this (2400$) app using this and this and this addon (3400$ in totall) using this total awesome tablet (3000$) while using this (1200$) virtual glasses and made this…
( or just: “i made this”)
… and then i think… … and now what? So the maker of it is in an isolated bubble ?? Or earning money because of his/her follower/supporter/whatever (who are in the same bubble?)?
So in a more general way. Yes there are some people being too isolated. Independant off what tools they use (or opinions they have).
Radio traffic announcement: There is someone driving on the wrong side.
Driver: Why only one? I see hundreds.
There is a saying that if you use only hammers, you will treat problem solving like “nails”.
If you consider that we have being accustomed to use a “Personal Computer”, in a single-user operating system, in one software session, following one exact workflow pipeline. Being an isolationist is kinda something like a privillege. Someone who wants to use computers and graphics software (or a developer or something) is similar to becoming a cyber-castaway.
But not taking the paradigm too far in absolute terms. As for example in online games like Minecraft, is interesting to see 1000 players joining a server and cooperating in order to build something large, which is much more social (because is real time) in some aspect compared to using only Blender, or 1000 users using Blender at different times working at different paces.
This paradigm of online games is a derivative of the human civilization/history. Which again in the real world is feasible to have 1000 workers building a grand structure or something, but again you can have only one “DaVinci” working at a painting at one time. It has to do with the amount of personal mastery that is put into a work piece, and the “division or labor” following a scientific master template.
Have we not all mostly been becoming isolationist in the last few years regardless of what sort of work we do. But isolation is a part of many creative practices. Just look at writers or illustrators or comic artists. Or painters and sculptors.
I never really saw any divisions or walls and like others here feel blessed to have close friends family and collogues working across multiple creative fields. I personally never set out to become something called a CGI artist. Just an artist in general with an interest in animation and film. Blender and 3D is surely simply another process and method for creating art. I am not sure it’s ever good to limit yourself with a narrow label like CG artist. Surely it’s better to say an artist working with CGI and also look for ideas and influence from everywhere and everyone around ?
From what I can tell Blender actually must have perhaps the widest reach across an incredibly world wide range of creatives and vastly different creative and academic work and practices than any other similar app out there. Part of that is I guess that community is so much a core part of what Blender is. The life blood and beating heart. Also it’s self contained wholistic nature that offers so much flexibility.
I’ve actually been working extensively with Blender in the fine art and gallery field in the last several years. An area most would possibly not immediately associate with 3D and CGI. Mostly this is on the designs and creation of large scale projected animations and sculpture installations collaborating with an established international gallery artist. We recently finished a 35 min long fully CGI immersive virtual gallery animated film completely in Blender that just had two public screenings at art gallery open evening events in London. We are working on a massive projection sculpture installation right now using Blender. It will be a large suspended sculpture that will have a projection mapped surface like a detailed moving living painting or tapestry. It is the biggest VFX compositing challenge I have ever faced. The possibility’s for creating and building on and manifesting new ideas when using a powerful tool like Blender are virtually infinite.
There is so much potential in using modern CGI tools and methods. We have all been through a very sad tragic time of enforced isolationism. We should surely more than ever now, not be tempted to limit or narrowly define and further isolate and label ourselvess if we can help it.