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Nicely done! I really enjoy this series of yours.
you. are. endlessly. awesome.
Another great one. I wonder if there’s a similar parallel between learning a SECOND language and becoming an artist. Like, if you try to learn a second language as an adult (or even an older child) your native language kind of gets in the way. You’re so used to the specific sounds of your own language that it’s hard to change your way of thinking to learn the new language. I think as artists a similar dangers exists of getting into an artistic rut. Instead of trying new things, we use the same tried and true techniques that always work for us; so we stop growing and improving. Hmm…
Great observations Robin– most of my insights into learning have come from trying to learn a second language– I definitely think there’s a parallel!
Love this insight too.
I love the plunging musician. And the hand holding the compass is really nicely done. All those years of pounding comics from the library were really worthwhile studying, huh? Just developing your compass… :o)
These are awesome. Looking forward to seeing them all as a collection!!! Keep ‘em coming
Thanks for this perspective.
Wow, this series actually made me tear up a bit… It’s exactly what I needed to know right now. You’ve done a fantastic job of conveying the importance of persistence and self forgiveness. This should be required reading material for every art student.
Wow, thanks Kacey– it’s cool to know there are other creatives out there who feel like I do about these things.
I completely agree! “required reading material”
Love your work! Truly Inspiring!
I just found out about this series from tumblr and I am so glad I did. It has told me a lot of things I needed to hear. I have been pretty discouraged lately in starting illustration projects because the inner critic in my head is telling me I suck. Glad to read a comic that tell me how to deal with it. Thanks for making such fantastic comics!
You’re welcome! Thanks for coming over from tumblr!
I love your series. It teaches me lots of important lesson. Thank you
Awesome! You’re welcome!
Truly, I think you were meant for this. I’ve read your comics over and over, and no matter how many times I read them they still inspire me. You’re doing a great think, Stephen, and I hope you’ll continue indefinitely.
That’s my sincerest wish. =)
I’ll keep going for as long as I can! Thank you!
This is so great. Beautifully made with intellectual insight. I don’t know who said it first and it applies to all form of arts but taste is very important. “You can’t write better then you read”
i understand this one i like art and writing but i cnt find away to get it out
i understand ths one complety
[...] Alley, which deals with sustainable creativity and there are a few pages I want to focus on: “Taste is your teacher“, ”Be friends with failure” and “Practice does not make perfect“. [...]
These comics are so inspirational that I think I have to share them with others.
[...] Uncanny Adventures in Comic Costume Creation for her incredible costume designs. 7. Stephen of Doodle Alley for his wonderful artwork and simple color palette. 8. Caitlin of The Siren’s Tale for her [...]
I just nominated you for a Liebster Award – Check it out!
You are good. Like, so good! At being boring #suckit
Thanks for reading it even though you find it boring! I hope you have a good day.
how beautiful is the process, and how hard is to explain it to who doesn’t follow a creative way. seen from the outside, it can seems just entertainment, but it’s studying. and you described it perfectly.
[...] http://doodlealley.com/2012/10/01/taste-is-your-teacher/ 0 Comments – Leave a comment! « Previous PostNext Post » [...]
This is a great article. So I’m wondering, if I want to create indie games or basic video games, does that mean my immersion is to play more games?
Yep! Just watch out that playing games doesn’t take too much time from creating them!
I just came across your work today and I must say it’s incredibly inspiring. It also provides great insight into the artistic process. I can show someone your work and say, “Here, this is what it’s like!”
answer the question
Not only greatly explained, but also very motivational. Thank you. I liked the connections that you made for the other professions.
[…] I love this teaching. You can find the author/artist’s website here. […]
Babies probably have it easier because they get to start practicing closer to the point at which their immersion started. I guess this explains why it’s hard for old dogs to learn new tricks.
A baby’s tastes haven’t developed past their practice since they’ve spent (in our perspective, at any rate,) roughly the same amount of time experiencing and practicing.
If you were immersed in something long before you start practicing it yourself, your tastes can get so far enough ahead of your skill that you end up perceiving yourself as simply unskilled. It’s also a convenient excuse to use as a way out if you find the disparity too big, making the task daunting to tackle. “Oh, I’m just a shitty [insert tradesman here].” But what if it’s just that you’ve been exposed to a lot of quality work and as a result set the bar too high for yourself?
There’s a learning curve to anything, and the difficulty of it, if you ask me, is measured by the amount of disparity between the exposure/immersion curve and that of the practice/experience curve. It’s always harder to get better at something when you see that big gap because you’re ultimately comparing yourself to what you’ve seen. If you’re still at step 0, but have seen others at step 10,000 you’ll say “no way, that’s too hard– I’ll never be good.)
I think this post of yours goes hand-in-hand with the Be Friends With Failure one.
Anyway, if any of you guys are like me and find it hard to keep this in mind and overcome that measurement of difficulty, then maybe try practicing something new when you’re still getting your early exposure to it. Did you discover some kind of art that you think is really cool and you MIGHT want to try some day? Good! Go ahead and give it a shot right away, keep practicing as you get exposure to it, and try to keep up. As you discover new things through these peripheral pursuits (tools, techniques, concepts, etc.), you can find ways to incorporate it into your own work. It can help in the grand scheme of things.
Plus, for anyone that worries about being perceived as a monkey-see-monkey-do hack, think of this: since everyone has their own tastes, they’ll incorporate their own blend of things they like, and end up making their own unique recipe that has a distinct flavor of their own. That flavor may be reminiscent of others like it (such as being told “your work reminds me of the work of so-and-so’s!”), but it of course will be unique. It’s the same as if you said that Chow Mein reminded you of Pad See Ew. There’s subtle differences in the ingredients, preparation, and where they come from. Similar, but still unique.
The body of work done by all of humanity is one giant creative buffet– pick out what you like, and hey, some time later you might even get an idea to combine two things into something completely new that nobody else thought of– and in turn contribute something entirely new to the buffet. Others can then follow in your footsteps. Maybe someone first thought of a wheel. Someone later thought of grippy treaded shoe soles. Someone later yet could have thought to combine the two and end up with tank treads. Who knows!
Also, some people might not want to try too many new things because it’s seen as being flighty if you don’t commit to it and lose interest after a while. For instance, not too long ago I found a neat art form called Popotillo, so I started practicing it right away. I eventually lost interest in it, but these things are no-strings-attached. Don’t feel obligated to follow through in mastering everything you try, it’s useful as a change of pace and helps broaden your experiences and can even improve your primary skill. It’s supplemental! You can be a jack of most trades and master of a good few.
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