You’re out of town and about to meet up with an artist friend. You realize you forgot your art supplies. What do you do?
You check the local directory and look for someplace to go. There’s a Walmart (or a Target) nearby and possibly a hobby store. Budgets are tight, but if they have the right supplies, you might be able to scrape together enough for a basic kit. So… what do you do?
The art of giving a good critique is not a simple one – however it is one of the most useful skills you can learn to have as an artist, no matter your focus. It will help you to interact with other artists and collectively improve your craft. Giving feedback to artists is a tricky business for both parties. The person looking at the artwork needs to be able to formulate their thoughts and comments in a way that they can express to the artist. The artist needs to learn how to listen (or not listen) to the feedback that they are getting. There are chiefly three forms of feedback that you can receive as an artist: edits, comments and critiques. The first of these often refers to pointing out grammatical or other technical errors that need to be fixed in a draft of a piece. I would like to focus on the latter two of these today, as I have noticed that a lot of times people get these confused.
I would like to talk to you all today about artists.
Firstly, welcome to my art process journal/art essay series! For those of you who don’t know me or are recent viewers, my name is Nathan Rackley, and I’m an independent comic artist and freelance illustrator. I often go by the online handle of Droakir (also known as Dro, Dr. Dro, or Doc on various internet sites forums), so if you see me on another site, feel free to drop me a line!
My time on deviantArt and the artist/social media circle in general since my return in late 2012 has been a whirlwind affair. You guys have all been so incredible and welcoming and open that it’s been a wonderful experience for me. And for that I am eternally grateful to all of you.
Anyways, now that the introductions are over, let’s get down to business. I’ll be posting this blog both here as well as over on my deviantART account. Eventually I’ll translate some of these blogs into journal-style comics for easy reading, but I figure these topics are important enough that I want to talk about it.
I have a lot to share but I’ll try to keep these short, so they don’t fall into that TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) category.
Up until a few short years ago, I never really considered myself an artist.
That probably came from the fact that I am predominantly a cartoonist, which is often considered to be “low brow” by other “fine artists”. Most people look at it and say “Is it writing? Is it art?” The realm of literature would say that it isn’t writing, but art, even though comics are published in books. The artists say that it isn’t art, but writing, despite the fact that each panel has to be meticulously illustrated. It’s a stigma that’s been attached to comics and cartoons for almost a century now.
I bought into it. I constantly looked at cool art and would think to myself “Wow – I wish I were an artist like those guys,” or I’d think about doing an drawing, but then I would stop. “Why would anyone want to see what I draw?” I would ask myself, “After all – I’m no artist.” So I never considered myself artist. I was merely a cartoonist. A hack. Not anybody worth noting.