Let's all start the year off with some stuff I wish I had growing up:
So I read an article last night on people who are mentally strong and the DO NOTS of being that person.
I took those notes, and listed them, including how I learned to overcome these obstacles. It's a long read, sorry, but I figured this year it's time to open up and share that knowledge that I was once taught by someone I consider my mentor, business partner and bestfriend, Stephan.
1. Don't waste time feeling sorry for yourself - I used to feel this way as a kid. I was a child of divorce, and used it as a crutch when I was younger. I hate a (mentally) abusive step-mom who would constantly take me down. I began to feel that maybe it was true, and I wasn't going to be the person I wanted to be.
You can't think that way. No one likes or enjoys a Debbie Downer. Someone who is constantly on the negative or pining for sympathy. I began to overcome these complications with art or writing. Using that form as an escape.
2. Don't Give Away Your Power - I used to want to share everything when it came to my art or business practice. Hell, some decisions I even look back now and wonder WHY or WHAT I was thinking.
Stephan really shaped me up in that sense, reminding me to never give away full power. I don't ever feel like he meant it in a tyrant form, but more of a ownership-role. Don't step down from something you believe in or trust. Hold onto it no matter what.
3. Don't Shy Away From Change - Being different is sexy. It really is. That doesn't mean you need to be weird to be different. Stepping outside of the box, challenging yourself, and aiming for giving your audience a new outlook on your art.
A lot of people don't like change, which is why this is probably one of the Notes. Change is frightening. You can see how Hollywood is a key-player in that. Always afraid of doing something different, in fears of it not working or living.
When I began LMS, a lot of people suggested start with a comic. Ease into the world with something familiar. That thought was boring to me. We've seen comics for years now. I wanted to give the audience the protagonist's bible, his cheat-codes and blueprints. Let them feel like they're the hero.
I like to think it worked.
4. Don't Waste Energy On Things You Can't Control - Holy shit. Big problem for me. I constantly feel this way--and usually--it's about stuff that's so petty and dumb.
"Why do they enjoy this drawing over that one?" "Will the Killbook work?" "Will my story be interesting?" "Will the book succeed in November?" "Will it get good reviews?" "Will they still support me?"
I can't control that. Not everyone will enjoy my art or my stories, and you know what? That's seriously, 100%, okay by me.
I can't tell if LMS will be around forever. I sure hope it is, but who's to tell? You guys? Or is it up to how much I love it?
Why not just do it and allow it to live and breathe for what it is--is what I should be telling myself.
5. Don't Worry About Pleasing Others - There are so many artists I love on Facebook. And I wish I could be friends with every single one of them, grab a drink, draw, talk shit, and so forth.
But you know what? We all don't have the same personality, thoughts, or motivations. We're not all alike, and you can't make everyone like you.
I used to fear what other people thought about me all the time. Ranging back to being a kid with the shitty-stepmom, or living up to my dad's artistic standards (which I welcomed subconsciously I've come to realize). You want to live up to this height, and prove to people you're doing the right thing.
Nasty habit, and something I always wanted to work on. Wasn't even an ego-related problem, but more of a "I'm doing this right" acceptance-problem.
But why lose sleep over that? Instead, inspire or motivate the ones who are pleased by what you put out. Those are the ones that matter and should push you. To the ones who don't share the same opinion, as I mentioned in 4.) It's totally alright to not enjoy someone's work.
6. Don't Fear Taking Calculated Risks - It's daunting. When I wanted to begin LMS, I was scared out of my mind. Which, looking back, was motivation by fear of working for the same asshole I was working for.
But as many notes, character write-ups, pieces of art, and blueprints I had, I was still afraid of it not working.
The goal is to overcome that accomplishment. I awoke one morning after a really shitty night of not being able to crack a story-issue and almost giving up, and told myself "Then make it better. Make it work. Delete, re-write, delete, re-write until it's perfect. And don't be a bitch and give up."
So I kept on writing.
7. Don't Dwell On Past - Another issue of mine. Lot of old scars from the stepmom, doubtful and mean teachers, and negative friends. It's stuff I've tried to work on, but also allow it to humble me.
The thing is, you can't change the past, but instead allow the past to teach you what to do and what not to do. If you want to get nerdy, think of it as a leveling system on a (gloooivveeen!) RPG game. You keep getting better and better over the years from what you've experienced in the past.
Don't go backwards.
8. Don't Make The Same Mistakes Over and Over - To quote the origional article, and an amazing game, Far Cry 3's antagonist, Vas, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting change."
Except when you keep continuing the bad habits, you're not allowing yourself to learn as I mentioned earlier.
Kick the bad habits, the "I'll start working on it tomorrow" excuses, or playing videogames for 24/7. It's nice to have breaks and distractions, but you also won't have success over night or without trying...bringing us to the final two that have to deal with this.
9. Don't Resent Other People's Success - Time after time I've seen this. On Facebook, from parents, family members, friends, other's friends, or even professionals.
Don't be angry if someone else is successful. Don't speak down on someone if they come to you to tell you good news. It doesn't even have be art related. It could be as dumb as someone saying they got a compliment or did something for someone.
A good friend acknowledges what the person did well and uses that to their advantage. A good friend supports you no matter what, has your back regardless of what team you're on, and will make sure you know it.
I'm lucky to have a few of those friends, and they're always the one I share my most personal art with when it comes to my projects.
10. Don't Give Up After Failure - We all fail. Failing is the key to success in my opinion.
I look at it this way, you learn a lot when you fail, because you realize the mistakes you made a long that path. For example...I try to watch all movies, regardless of how shitty they are. Sometimes people ask why?
Because you have to learn from every one of them. What doesn't work? Where did they go wrong?
Why was The Dark Knight Rises a weaker film compared to The Dark Knight? At what point in the movie did it began to fall flat?
Even thought that movie was in NO way a failure, or even a bad-film per say, I felt a bit disappointed with it. But instead of just purely hating it, I took the good parts from it, and figured out what made it not work--making sure I don't follow those same traps when I write a story.
11. Don't Fear Alone Time - It's okay to be alone. Hell, I'm alone all the time. It's when I get my best work-hours in. Use this time to reflect on problems, issues, and complications you're currently dealing with.
Shit, I don't care, but my little studio apartment is my personal zen-room. I go in there, lie down before bed, and just ramble off in my head. Whether story notes, what I have to do the next day, or straight up just going "Oh this would be cool on this page..." "No use that for this story..."
Whatever, I'm crazy, but being alone is okay.
12. Don't Feel The World Owes You Anything - You're not special. None of us really are. We're lucky enough to be able to live in a decent home, especially if you're on facebook right now, and are given food and clothing.
I look at life this way. You're given one shot. This is your largest project, bar none, and you have one chance to make it.
Don't waste it.
And finally..the most important:
13. DON'T EXPECT IMMEDIATE RESULTS - What brush is that? What layer setting is that? What photo did you use for that texture? How do you pick your colors? What song is that?
A lot of us had to learn from the ground up. Some of us have taken years, if not all our lives, to get to our level artistically.
Pouring every minute they can into being a talented artist. We all have strived to get to this point.
Yet lately, everyone seems to be in a rush. Why? Why not learn? A lot of you new artists have been blessed with schools like CDA, Gnomon, Red Engine and more. Or websites like CGHub, DevArt, CGTAlk, and all the others. Forum boards, youtube videos, tutorials, brushes, everything your heart could desire.
Take the time and learn it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Gotta eat shit, before you can eat lavishly.
Hope this helps in whatever way, thank you for the Deviousness and let's all kill 2014.