Thanks Jon There are still so many things we are all learning, especially with the steady supply of new features, so just keep at it and have fun. This star idea was something I whipped up a while ago when I needed stars to do things that Blender’s stars couldn’t do.
Dedication and patience are essential in the long run, since bigger projects will demand that. That point of giving up you describe is a big problem, not only for cg artists, but people in many fields. Projects are easy to start yet can be more difficult to finish, especially if the results one wants don’t arrive right away Consider all the posts in Finished Projects that end that way, prematurely if not abandoned.
If people only realized the potential they had, so many of their works could be amazing, many with just a little more effort, but it’s always easier to give up or give into the false feeling of impossibility (I say “false” because if we really cared enough about a creation, we’d be more inclined take as long as necessary to do it right, whether it’s minutes or days).
Which leads to another issue (one of many) of people creating things they really don’t care much about, which is okay too, to a certain degree, but probably detrimental in the long term. I guess a good question to ask at some point is “what do I want to achieve”? Myself, I try to work constantly at things, sometimes to the point of exhaustion or beyond the point I probably should have stopped (e.g. this post! LOL), but questions like what was actually achieved always fascinate me, especially when some results achieved in relatively little time may be superior to results achieved over many hours (creation time I mean, not render time).
Caring about your work can be important, I think – not necessarily the subject matter but the actual thing(s) you’re creating, as in the case of a weekend challenge for example, where a topic might not be attractive but the work you produce is still something you want to be good, if not excellent: finding ways to succeed, in other words, even if success does not seem attainable.
Persistence helps, but sometimes it’s also helpful to step back from a work, gain some perspective, and reapproach it with fresh determination, not only to complete the work but to complete it as best as possible, which is always a challenge, especially if something turns out more complicated than we initially envisioned.
But don’t discount all those unfinished projects just yet I have something like over 2,000 blend files on my hard drive and more than a few of those are “WIPs.” Some I do plan to return to, others I’d like to forget All of them were somehow a step forward though, part of the learning process, and important in their respective ways, even if some turned out to be examples of how not to do something.
Continuing to move forward – to keep going as you mentioned – is also a big part of the challenge. Many things can motivate and inspire us, but ultimately we have to want to do something well and then do it, even in spite of the potential of failure or negative reactions to our creative works. Our varied experiences point us in different artistic directions and make us unique, and that can surface in one’s art given enough time and lead to new possibilities. Maybe it’s the possibilities that excite me the most.
Those who crave true satisfaction may be disheartened to learn it’s not just down the road or around the corner. Few people want to go the way if the distance is great, while others cannot simply because of current situations and other responsibilities in their lives, in which case maybe some reprioritization needs to occur so there is more room and time to pursue interests and develop talents. Everyone has potential talent I think, but it takes sincere effort to recognize and then develop it. It’s the age old difference of knowing versus walking the path.
The simple notion of there being “work” involved can be discouraging to some people. There’s nothing easy about art, especially cg art, 2d or 3d. Yet with the realization of there being much more work involved than first anticipated also comes an opportunity to persist and experience the rare fulfillment I can only imagine that comes when one realizes she or he has just climbed a mountain and now stands where few have stood, at its peak. Me, I still have a long way to go myself, still I climb, maybe like Sisyphus
For the serious aspirers among us, we know lasting success and fullfillment may not come so quickly, so along the way we need to find things to keep us going, whether it’s a thought, the promise of a certain goal attained, or each other – the community, for example. For the moment, the only “real advice” I might provide that might be universally applicable is this rubbish: remain positive and open-minded, derive inspiration from everything, never pass up an opportunity to learn or improve (but learn to appreciate if not celebrate imperfections as well), believe in yourself and your endeavors, try new things, live a good honest and humble life, be fearless but not entirely foolish, listening to reason wherever it’s reasonable (e.g. constructive criticism), but don’t be trapped by logic (especially other people’s logic) or forms and appearances (some of the “best” art transcends perceived physical limitations, suprises us, defies expectations of form and color and other conceptual boundaries, e.g. Escher, Dali, Pollock, Picasso, Impressionism). Above all, if you feel your creative goals are indeed worthwhile, let nothing deter you, not even yourself
Yes, I have benefitted in various ways through my Blender works, professionally and personally, but by far the greatest benefit is having this community and being able to participate in something so revolutionary and creatively liberating like Blender. I don’t think the people who collectively make Blender possible and exciting can be thanked enough, so gratitude and recognition of their ongoing efforts is also part of the Blender experience as I see it, since it’s through the efforts of others we can do all this cool stuff.
As for professional/paid work, it is usually conducted on a per-client basis, so the terms will vary person to person and place to place depending on the nature of the deliverable work and how you structure your service agreement with the client. Static art versus animations require different considerations and pay scales; the same goes for game (low-poly) art. Educating people on the complexity of cg art is something I think that needs to be ongoing so that cg artists can be better compensated and appreciated.
Having a portfolio and website is definitely a good idea, but often cg artists are asked to create things they may not have created before; so there I would say it can be helpful in the long term to demonstrate a certain degree of creative flexibility (style, modeling techniques, types of models/scenes – organic vs. technical, simple vs. complex, etc.).
Well that was long I hope some part of that made sense
Best advice yet: Keep on blending!