Someone asked me a question with their homework submission, about how to deal with a lack of inspiration or motivation. I think my response might be relevant to others, so here it is:
Hmm.. Inspiration is... a bit of a farce, really. You hear about it a lot in relation to art, but it's just nonsense, all of it. Drawing is a skill like hammering a nail. You might not be great at it yet, but there is nothing stopping you from gettin' down and hammering away.
If you start to think about it in terms of this lofty concept that requires the perfect alignment of your soul and mind to spurt magic from your fingertips, then you might catch yourself thinking, "man I just don't have it in me to hammer that nail today." It's a normal thing, really - we've all been conditioned to feel that way about art. At the end of the day, what we're doing here is *not* art. We are not artists. We are artisans, and we are mastering a craft like any other.
Perhaps one day we'll use that craft to give voice to something loftier, a message that is truly inspired, but for now, all we're doing is hammering away. So when you feel uninspired or unmotivated, pick up your hammer and do it anyway.
Though I will admit - it's easier to do that when someone's paying you!
While I have a massive library of non-instructional art books I've collected over the years, there's only a handful that are actually important to me. This is one of them - so much so that I jammed my copy into my overstuffed backpack when flying back from my parents' house just so I could have it at my apartment. My back's been sore for a week.
The reason I hold this book in such high esteem is because of how it puts the relatively new field of game art into perspective, showing how concept art really just started off as crude sketches intended to communicate ideas to storytellers, designers and 3D modelers. How all of this focus on beautiful illustrations is really secondary to the core of a concept artist's job. A real eye-opener.
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