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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. 
Add a Comment:
Jaeox Featured By Owner May 11, 2014   Writer
Nicely said.
reincarnationOFfoxes Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the read! :)
Vitaessesum Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, amazing advice.  I like it where you mentioned not to give up after failing.  In my opinion, failure is just another way to improve.  Look at what you failed at, how you failed and improve upon those areas so you have better chances next time.

Great advice, will definitely be heeding this advice for the future.

I'm never giving up on my goal to get my book published and all those (which I believe to be awesome ideas) other stories I want to write.  I have so many ideas and characters in my head I want to work on them, draw them and expand on their ideas and keep in mind to take it slowly, rushing projects is never a good thing.
LadyMignon Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much. Again. :heart:
ADreamIntheGalaxy Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Student General Artist
Wow, I like the advice you gave! I think I will try to heed them. Thank you! :D
Kamome07 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That is great advice for any time not just new years. Thanks for sharing.
I saw a couple of the negative comments and I thought "did you even read it? you totally missed his point!"
I understand that not everybody is going to like my art, but I don't do it for them, I do it for me. (although sometimes I don't like my art either)
MashallAmin Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh how can I relate.. A shitty mentally abusive step mother and an alcoholic artist father. Life does teaches you lessons. As once said  “Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim--letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.” 
― C.R. Strahan
Happy belated New year. 
IndayDoodle Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
This is very inspiring. :)
Lupizora Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is one of the most inspirational things I've read. Thank you! (Happy late New Year too!)
JoshuaWalton Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Dam, lol .... that was really inspiring a lot of this seems to apply me , definitely going to work on those points :D Thanks and Hope you have an awesome 2014 : ) :happybounce:
flameheart10 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014
Thank you! Awesome advice! May your 2014 be full of joy! Best wishes! :heart: 
Basmah999 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014
thanks Dan
syinthetic Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
awesome words. thank you for sharing :)
DarkWinxGirl Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. You are very good at giving advice.
KandyMann Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
Thanks, man.
Queen-Soulia Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Easy to give advice , harder to follow.
To take the human factor into calculation and remember nobody is perfect. Would be a far better advice.
Expecting to gain back what you have given is not selfish but human.
Being the giver all the time is extremely tiring.
Dwell in the past is something I cannot get pass, it haunts me like some bad song. To much bad happen to me and no therapy or medication can cure it.
I rather be a giving gold-hearted bitch then a saint. Because saints often have skeletons in their closet.
Journeyful Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
Great write up dude
Schuylerr Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Student Interface Designer
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this; it's insane that you've taken the time to compose share your thoughts for everyone to read. I know I'm not speaking for solely myself when I say the idea within itself, as well as the journal entry itself is truly inspiring. Thank you for that.
Solumbra Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for sharing those thoughts. You inspirated and cheered me up.
Forsaken59 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I feel better now, and motivated, thanks for the advice, and taking the time to type it. Well *stretching/ cracking fingers* off to draw, now where was I on that...
Demon-Fire-Fox Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
This is a definite eye opener. Thank you for sharing this.
sun-lily Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist
I am totally motivated by this journal. Thank you!
Sirius-Sam Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist
It's funny, even though your art is awesome it did not make me follow you, but this post did. I can feel the dedication, and passion. Best of luck!
PlasmaRaven Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the advice Dan! These words really helped. :D

Have a great 2014 and good luck with your LMS Projects and other works!!
rbl-art Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I love these posts man. Very inspiring. 
Gazzycakes Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the post, and Happy New Year!
ItabbyandJapaneko Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Thank you and happy new year!
DesignSpartan Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent Dan, thank you.
MidnightHobbit Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I know this is a tad late but I finally set down to read the whole thing and WOW..!

Your insights are profound and on par with where I am right now in life while trying to better myself and learn from past mistakes. At the moment they are hindering me but I am aware of it so that is at least one step closer to dealing with it and moving forward.

You're right about life... We get one chance and some things we will fail at but others we will succeed. I would even consider it a failure to not even try. The worse thing that can happen is whatever it is will be a flop, but it could not and the offset of NOT trying will be worse than failing and never trying at all.

Unfortunately it took a tragedy in my life to finally get me to see these things. The debbie downers WERE my friends and I let them take what was once me because I was in a bad moment in my life. I would say that I wish I had handled it better, that I had not reacted in the way that I did but what will beating myself up over what happened and how it was handled achieve? Absolutely nothing except for continued bouts of depressing feelings over people who are not even in my life anymore, right?

So thanks and here's to a new year and improving on self for the benefit of others!
rmayani Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
This was great!
I'm super excited to see your talk at OFFF Barcelona this year! 
Loony26 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
That's really inspiring, all I have to say is Thank You!!
Qihah Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
This journal really speaks to me. Thanks for helping us all. :hug:
TheAbstract01 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Thank you for this Dan :-)
redadder515 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy New Year and thank you for the advice. :D
hina-star Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student
Hello, this is a really great advice :) I feel really relieved reading it. I've always felt nervous around things and I was always worried about what people think of me but this just helped me ^^ I hope I could see more great art from you ^^
Gulril Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Man, I've devwatched you for years. I've seen your art grow over time, got the one of the first LMS (back when you had to get the whole thing reprinted) and will probably gift another one this year. I've never met you, possibly never will, and yet stuff like this makes me want to give you a hug and a hi-five.

You are doing amazing, and your work makes my life better.

Thanks, Dan, and keep it up.
LordMystirio Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Merci Dan, simplement MERCI :)

Heureuse année à toi aussi
miletich2 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
That's really good advice! Thank you.
Sid-axn Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Really a good inspiration and a wake up call !! :) thanks for sharing it with us
pooribu Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
Great note! Respect, sir! :)
LovablyAwkward Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This here? Is awesomely amazing. Words of wisdom, my friend!
Arteaus Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Best inspiration for the new year. It sounds insincere from over the interwebs...but really, thanks. I personally needed that.
CatalanoMedia Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Fantastic post.
Thanks so much for sharing.
NicChapuis Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you. I am going through a lot of this as well right now and you are dealing very well with the problems you have mentioned.

Motivation High Five from germany ;)
KCRJrArts Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks man, It's good to get insights on life especially for someone as direct as you. Much love for LMS, hope to actuality meet you this year.
deviantsaster Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
very good
DumitruFurculita Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
wise words,the analogy with rpg system cracked me up,xp penalties and such:)))  Rock hard the 2014!
legomaestro Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the talk Dan, and congrats on the Deviousness Award.
buetly Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Reading this, I actually am (frighteningly!) quilty of these points as well! this journal was a real eye-opener. Any chance for a link to the article you spoke of? I want to read it.

The last year, I've always been whining about how I fail at drawing and don't improve at all while looking at my favorite artist's works. So I hardly drew anything last year (only completed one digital work... I think I will stay with traditional drawing).

And this was one of my (many) New Year's resolutions: stop whining, start drawing more. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Btw, Happy New Year to you as well!
Aikaibyou Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy New Year and I must thank you.
I'd almost given up hope on life itself, but your words touched me.
I shall never give up again, thank you :)
Have an awesome yea r :D
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