Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Evolution of an Artist- the advice of Daarken AKA Mike Lim

Ever feel like your art isn't good enough? We've all been there. I'm there right now at this very moment, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Digital Illustrator Mike Lim shares his long journey as an artist with us in his recent blog post, Evolution of an artist.

He talks about his ever changing art- from his humble beginnings to his latest and greatest work. Along the way he gives fantastic advice about how to keep pushing yourself, and even offers a few well kept secrets about breaking into the industry:

"The reason I was able to get work without having to go out and find it for myself was because I had a very strong online presence"
Mikes states. "I posted on many different art forums, I had a website, a blog, and I made a lot of friends and contacts in the industry."

I have always believed that having an artistic network of friends is vital not only for the sake of your career, but for the sake of inspiration, motivation, and critic which helps to push you forward. These things may seem small but as Mike has demonstrated the payoffs can be huge. So if you are new to the art game I suggest joining all the biggest art communities:

The Art Order

Participate in the challenges, give critic to others, and accept critic with an open mind. This has helped to bring me to the level I am at currently, but I have a long way to go still. Just to give you an idea of my own progression, here is my first digital painting in August of 2009 (which I am totally embarrassed to even show), and here is my current work in progress:

The biggest difference I have seen from then to now is my transition from painting "typical pretty girls" to a more storytelling approach. This is a marked improvement because I have gone from a very reference heavy approach to a "make it up from your mind" take.

But remember how I started this post about saying how I don't think my work is quite where I want it to be? Give me three years and I know I could blow your socks off. Even in three years I will feel the same because there is always room for improvement.

Like Mike Lim states,"never give up... If being an artist is something you truly want to do, be prepared to put everything else aside in order to achieve that dream." And that ladies and gents is why I have been crawling into bed at midnight and getting up first thing in the morning to get in as much art as I can. I am committed for the long run. And if you are too, then get out that tablet and get drawing. That is the best advice anyone can give you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another Win Another DD

Surely one of these days someone is going to say something about how many DD's (daily deviation features) I've accrued. I'm up to 4 already as of today and it won't be long before people have had enough of me, I'm sure! =p My failed FEZ contest entry held by Deviant Art was chosen for the honor today and while I am quite proud at my contrast work with this piece it has several flaws. It didn't even make into the semi-finalists.

I wish they had just waited a little longer because I was seriously thinking about revamping this piece for my portfolio. There is such nice contrast and lighting going on and it's one of my most successful thumbnails or "reads well from a distance" pieces. Again I owe a shout out to the guys over at FZD School of Design for their amazing tutorials which frequently go over this very concept. However it's very low resolution, and I desperately want to rework some areas that I just ran out of time to address.

And would you believe it? I also won the April Monthly challenge over at ImagineFX? That means I will most likely be published again which is way way cool. :D At the same time though, my current monthly challenge (which I had the honor of choosing), has a much more complex and epic entry in progress which I feel merits publishing over last month's entry hands down. Here's a sneak peak: