There are times...

... when I peruse the Oriental Art Supply web site or peer at all the Daniel Smith Art Supplies catalog or poke among all the anime and manga drawing supplies at the local asian market and I wonder... what can I buy to make my drawing/painting better?

And.... I know there isn't really anything... beyond a certain level of quality in my materials, the rest is really just up to me just sitting down and painting or drawing again.

But Jet and I were reading Whistle!, the Shonen Jump soccer manga, and in the 20th book the mangaka finally decided to answer the two most burning questions in her mail, which were "How can I draw a good as you do?" and "How can I get to be a mangaka?" And she drew a little picture of Sho, the hero of our tale, working his ass off practicing inside passes, and she wrote: "Draw. Draw. Draw. Draw. Draw. Draw. Draw.... " all over the page and right around Sho she wrote: "Just like Sho, practice what you want to do ALL THE TIME."

In a nutshell.

And John had an interesting quote today.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” -- John Wooden.

It seems a very Shunsui thing to think about.
Practice what you want to do ALL THE TIME
It's late and this is muddled, but this is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, both from the perspective of teacher and student. I think desire is so much more important than aptitude when trying to figure out if someone is going to do well in something. Sure, someone who is inept is going to take longer to get to where they want to go, but if they enjoy the practicing, they'll get somewhere interesting, eventually. If you start out with some natural talent, there's the temptation to do something once, to prove you can do it, and then drift off to something else. Unless you enjoy the everyday act of practicing whatever it is, you're not going to keep practicing once you get good enough to please yourself.

At least, it works like that for me. YMMV. But, yeah, practice makes progress.
Re: Practice what you want to do ALL THE TIME
Yeah... I have to agree with all that you've said...

And "good enough to please yourself" is such a relative thing. *laughs* I find, with some things, that the better I get and the more I learn, the more I want to know and know that I *don't* know. Sometimes that gets daunting, but the pleasure and curiosity that drives me has to be "enough" to keep me going.

Re: Practice what you want to do ALL THE TIME
"good enough to please yourself" is, yeah, very relative. Hm... that may relate to being able to see a thing as it is. The better you can see it, the easier it is to see what you still need to learn, and therefore, more interesting it is to keep working on, at least for me.

Re: Practice what you want to do ALL THE TIME
Yeah, I'm figuring out that "seeing" is half the battle...

There was an artist friend of mine on devart, who was saying that it's obvious when an artist has a certain amount of capability because you can see the quality of the technique that they use, but she said that there wasn't such a thing for writing.

I was aghast. There are very specific things that one can instantly spot in writing as to whether a writer even has a command of the language they're using.

Then I realized that it's because of my writing experience that I can spot those things and she can't, and I said to her that I can't see the differentiation she can in artist's techniques because I don't have her experience with them. She just laughed when I said that there really is the same thing in writing, but I realized that a lot of that was just because she couldn't see them, so they didn't exist for her.
Re: Practice what you want to do ALL THE TIME

This is why I have some trouble with the "a manager can manage anything" school of thought. I think there needs to be a base level of being able to see the subject at hand (maybe not well enough to do... or maybe only Salieri, not Mozart) in order to manage it effectively. Managers who know nothing about the field they're managing in are a little too blind.

(Blind Kung Fu Managers might do it, but their kung fu would have to be pretty strong.)

edited for typo.

Edited at 2009-12-12 01:10 am (UTC)
Re: Practice what you want to do ALL THE TIME
Yeah... I have to agree with you. If you can't see what quality is, how the heck can you manage it?

Mmmm... management Fu!
The quote sounds a bit like one of Aral Vorkosigan's bits of advice to his son (then again, Bujold may have borrowed it): "Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
Ooo... yes, that sounds very much the same, though in the one it's a valuation... Aral's seems to be more of an assessment of what's going on.

It all goes with a fine, long military history of not letting appearances fool you, either. *grins* Or of putting up certain appearances in order to fool the enemy. It's an interesting root to a number of thoughts.
I have a friend who is a successful author. I asked her once what was the most important thing about writing. She said "applying the seat of your pants to a chair."
*grins* that sounds very familiar and very, very useful as well.

Edited at 2009-12-11 09:21 pm (UTC)