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So, I was drawing at work yesterday (I'm now at WB btw, yay!), when I just looked down, startled, and thought, "This is what I wanted it to look like."  I suddenly couldn't fathom how that had happened.  Like I don't remember when I got to the point where someone tells me their idea, then I'm able to sit down and just MAKE THAT THING.  I remember being someone who couldn't figure out how to do that, and I acknowledge being the me I am now, but where were the two bridged and when did I cross?  This whole week has kind of been like that - me thinking about the person I was when I joined this site and the person I am today.

On that note, lemme take you back to a journal entry from August 2007, essentially at the start of my second year of USC (I was getting a Master's in Comm. Management):
"My career counselor at my school (which btw, I feel, MUST train its employees to dissuade bright-eyed students from having any ambitions outside of the SPECIFIC interests of the program), says to me in our FIRST meeting in more than a little condescending way when I tell him I'm interested in animation, 'Well, ya know Amanda, animation is a REALLY difficult field.  You'd have to be really dedicated.  It takes a lot of hard work and time.'  Thanks pal.  And here I'd been using a pencil to pick my nose all these years."
Aside from the questionable sentence structure, haha, this was really kind of interesting to revisit.  You've come a long way, past-me.  But I'm sharing this to emphasize: do what you effing love.  There I was, six years ago, getting a degree in something COMPLETELY different and heading down a completely different career path, but the heart wanted what the heart wanted.  And I could go around busting the balls of that poor counselor, but ya know what?  He was right.  I wasn't focusing on the thing I said I wanted to do.  I was just kind of wistfully hoping the universe would catch a glimpse of my warmest, fuzziest desires, and take a chance on me.  

I had to take a chance on myself.  I had to "be really dedicated."  I had to put in "a lot of hard work and time."  I'm just glad I decided to wake up and push forward.

Do this for yourself with whatever you want most.  Be really dedicated.

Love.
  • Listening to: The 1975
  • Watching: really bad rom coms YES
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:icondrawn-imagination:
Drawn-Imagination Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Ok can I just say.... I am INSPIRED!!!!!!!!

Its been way too many years, but this year I decided to really give my art my all because this truely is what I was born to do. I studied Animation at university, but while there I just couldn't get creative and was instead pushed towards producing, and I was good at it, But I longed to get over my crushing fears about my art and the inadequacy I felt about whatever art I did compared to others. Its been super hard, but once I made the decision to just start, do better than I did yesterday and just start telling my own stories, I've been feeling better about my art and finally drawing more. But most importantly virtual (online) mentors have been appearing left right and center, sharing their art, personal stories and process.

I cant wait to get to the stage you are at because I really, really, really LOVE art, illustration and animation.

We may never meet or talk or reply to my post, but I just want to say thank you for sharing and inspiring me and even more importantly others like me. Because of ladies and gents such as yourself, we can be inspired to get better and live our truth... becoming the artists we are meant to be. :)
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:iconlunamiranda:
LunaMiranda Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Student General Artist
You have no idea how much I can relate. I currently study industrial design yet I know I want to to become a visual development artist and specifically a character designer, which is far from a common career here in Mexico. I've been struggling a lot in whether I should finish my current studies and later go into animation or just change even I'm half way college. I dedicate all my free time to study on my own, but I know I still need to improve A LOT, and sadly my current career is very absorbing. So I wanted to ask you how did you give that step of changing fields? Was it hard at the time? 
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Professional Filmographer
HI HI!  SO sorry it took me so long to write back.  I'm mostly on other sites these days, and just didn't see this from you till now.  

Super happy this post was out there for you to relate to, and everything you said was something I could relate to right back.  I think it's a common "artist story", tied somewhere with, "My parents didn't want me doing art."  hahaha.  Most people turn out to fit in one or the other.  

For me, life kind of gave me the opportunity to switch paths and I took it.  I got out of my master's degree right when the U.S. recession hit in 2008, and there were simply no jobs of any kind anywhere.  While I looked for work, I kept taking art classes at local community colleges, and I found I kept trying to find jobs that included an artistic element to them.  After like a year of this, my now-husband saw things more clearly than I did, and said, "There's no work, what you really want to be doing is art - go to art school and get the training you need."  Despite the fact that I'd been drawing since I was three, and had known since I was five that I loved most in the world was animation, this was still just about the hardest thing I'd ever had to accept in my life.  I think I probably yelled and cried at him for 2 straight hours about all the reasons I COULDN'T do art, and why my life WASN'T SUPPOSED to be about that, and all the MONEY that I'd already put toward education in different careers, and excuses excuses excuses.  The bottom line that was ultimately undeniable was: he was actually right.  haha.  Art was all I wanted to do, and I was doing myself the biggest disservice by ignoring it.  

I mean, let's address the things that had been holding me back: 1) I thought my parents wouldn't approve because we'd spent too much money and time on different schooling.  2) I was afraid a career in animation wouldn't make me any money.  3) I was afraid I was too old to be changing things up.  What made me go for it anyway: 1) I got my parents on board by discussing how passionate and dedicated I was (like, hello, I'd been their child my whole life, they KNEW all I did in my free time was draw, so they understood this was the real deal). 2) Turns out commercial art makes plenty of money.  3) No matter how old I was, I was always going to want to do this, so it was better to be breaking into the industry at 30 than at 45 (and it turned out I got in at 29, almost 28!  So hey!  hahaha, Better than initially expected!).

My advice would be to ask yourself what you really want to do and what you're willing to put in to make it happen.  I knew that if I was gonna do this and give up everything for it, I had to make myself good enough for the industry to take me, which was a hard task, but was the end goal and thus what needed to get accomplished.  And you also need to have the conversation with yourself of, "If I know I want to do X, why waste time I could be getting there by messing around with Y?"  That's the hardest conversation.  That's when you look at that industrial degree you're working toward and determine what's worth your time.  Because that's what this is: worth and time.  If you spend two more years with an ID degree you won't use and you know you're going to want to pursue art, those are two years you've robbed yourself of improving that art.  This is to be taken with a grain of salt, of course, if you believe there's value for you in the other study.  But it's the hard look you have to take at your situation while being truly honest with yourself.

I hope this helps!
~Amanda
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:iconlunamiranda:
LunaMiranda Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you so much for the response and the wonderful help! It means a lot to me that you've taken the time to reply my comment and your advice is just what I needed to hear right now! Although I've decided to finish Industrial Design after a very long talk with myself (cause I've actually learned some very useful and helpful things), I'm now focusing most and not just a little of my time in what I love and my parents are fully supportive 😊 Thanks again! 
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:iconimfragrance:
imFragrance Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014   General Artist
thanks for the inspiration :) I see myself in your journal. I am now working in a different field- but my dream is becoming a character designer/illustrator. Are you a self-taught artist? How did you manage to come to the point where you are at now ?
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Professional Filmographer
You're so welcome.  So glad it could hit home!

I was a self-taught artist up until about 4 years ago, at which point I started attending Art Center College of Design to get the structure and industry-understanding I needed.  It was a great school, and I have a significantly broader grasp on art because of it, but most of my character learning was still self-propelled (ACCD is a design school, not an animation one).  I would say that what made Art Center such a game-changer for me was that it made the animation industry feel like a tangible, accessible business, versus a big, gauzy dream I couldn't touch.  Like, you see all those movies growing up, and read the art-of books, and you think, "Who DOES this magic?  How would they ever notice me?  How could I ever be a part of that?"  At least, that was what I felt.  haha.  But when the industry became more real to me, a business I could contact, then I started realizing the importance of making connections, going for portfolio reviews and conventions, talking to people and asking questions about what companies looked for.  I also started attending outside seminars and workshops taught by industry professionals so I could get their direct insight and feedback.  

It's a SMALL industry.  Like so small.  Everyone has worked everywhere and knows everybody, so it's easier to navigate once you're inside.  

I hope this helps.  Feel free to ask any questions if you have 'em. :)  And good luuuuuck!!
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:iconimfragrance:
imFragrance Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014   General Artist
Thank you so much for replying. I want to attend an art college for animation or visual development MA program, so i am saving monry and working in a different field. Had you ever got another job unrelated to art ?

I have been thinking like you used to do. I mean, i am working for building up my portfolio but i feel like i will never make it there. Not saying only becoming a full time character designer like you, but even freelancing for companies and clients sound like a dream. After reading your message i got a little encouraged, but i also dont know what to do or which path to follow and how.
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Professional Filmographer
The only thing I did before this job was interning and temping in Columbia Pictures' story department.  I have two other non-art degrees, and when I went to get a job based on them, the US economy crashed (this was 2008), and nobody was hiring for anything.

The best advice I feel I can give anyone looking to do art is just: do your research.  The less clear you are on the realities of the job or the options you have, the more time and money you'll waste.  So ask questions, start learning about positions.  "Visual development" and "animation" are really broad categories in and of themselves, and then if you throw vague company-freelancing into the mix, you're really giving yourself too many ideas to juggle/  It might make it hard to directly strive for anything.  There are people who study illustration and then go on to do freelance things like covers or pieces for articles in magazines or greeting cards or children's books, etc.  Some of that can be transferred into animation vis dev as well.  Visual development is really its own discipline, though, with many sub-categories branching off of it.  What makes it different than other art forms is that it's really about DEVELOPMENT, as in there's no set idea of the end-goal when you get started.  So you have to be someone who likes exploring ideas and doesn't get married to any of them along the way.  It's also HIGHLY grounded in story-telling, versus simply being pretty pictures.  

So, ask yourself what you really want to do and what you'd love spending your time doing, is what I'd suggest.  It should make things seem less dreamy and more possible.

Hope this just gives you some more food for thought. :)
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:iconsixtine-d:
Sixtine-D Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Student General Artist
I finished High school last year and i'm starting my first year of studies in visual development. I enjoy my school but what I really like is the animation field. I'm really interested in animation and I'm hesitating between keeping on my visual development studies or trying to enter an animation school next year. I still don't really know what I will do but you made me realize that I should do what I really desire and that if I work hard I could succeed. Thank you a lot. 
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Professional Filmographer
You're SO welcome.  Honestly, that's what it comes down to: what YOU want to do.  There's no reason to pour so much effort into something you like second best, when that time could be spent improving on the thing you love.  Each day away from it is one day less you could be getting closer to what you want.  All the best of luck!! :D
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:icondankelby:
dankelby Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I just found your profile today and this was a timely read for me - I needed a huge kick in the ass! Love your work, thanks for the inspiration :)
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Sorry to be replying so late - the holidays got away with me.  haha.  But thank you, and I'm so glad you stumbled on this at a good time.  Nothing like that motivated feeling. :D
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:iconu91tedpark:
U91TedPark Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your head tutorials on Pinterest brought me to your art and make me added you as friend, then this journal make me wanna say hi to you, and your replies to everyone makes me feel that you're not only a good artist, but a good person in life too!
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Professional Filmographer
WHAAAAA, get out, those things are on Pinterest?!  HAHA.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised - everything has somehow made its way to Pinterest.  haha.  But thank you so much for all of this!  Really, it means a ton, and I'm also really thrilled you like my work. :)
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:iconrochocochip:
RoChocoChip Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I just recently seriously decided to pursue animation or concept art/entertainment design (not entirely set on one just yet, but regardless, an artistic career) and to take on the dedication, as you said, that it entails. Being young, leaving college a year before graduating (was an early grad due to a huge amount of high school credits)  and working, made me realize that in the end, a money making career or job won't make me happy or passionate, it just makes me miserable for not following my dreams. 

I'm just curious, did you graduate with an animation degree from USC? And, what are you doing now?   
:happybounce: 
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Good for you!  And yeah, it's always a huge step to realize that happiness really DOES mean more to you than money.  That said, there's actually a LOT of money to be made in animation, so as it turns out: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.  hahaha.  

And no, my degree from SC was completely unrelated to art.  I have an English degree from UCLA, a Communication Management degree from SC, and I was at Art Center for three years before I started working.  
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:iconrochocochip:
RoChocoChip Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha true!  Art Center is an awesome school from what I hear, so cool that you pursued your dream!
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Yeah, it's a great place.  I met some of my most favorite people there. :)  And thank you!  I'm really happy I did. :)
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:iconrosella-of-daventry:
Rosella-of-Daventry Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this, I mean it. :iconcryforeverplz: :rose:

I'm in a similar situation now. So thanks for sharing this.
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Just catching up on repliiiies!  hahaha.  Thank you, and you're so welcome!  I hope you just power on through!  :D
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:iconrosella-of-daventry:
Rosella-of-Daventry Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I sure will. Thanks! <3
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:iconsolanos:
solanos Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I would like to hear your opinion about Animation degrees and how necessary they are.

Most people I've talked too said they are not necessary at all, and if You want to go an animation university you should choose a good one since You don't go there for the degree but to actually learn something.
I am currently in really low budget and I am considering the option of learning everything on my own (which is still the same if you go to a Uni, they just know how to "path you" ) or getting a big/huge scholarship.

And also a simple phrase I like: "It's not over until I win" 

-Has life put you in a different path? Just keep working daily in the path you would like to be right now and you will get there sometime.
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Wow, so I'd genuinely thought I'd replied to this, so sorry about the really delayed response!!

As for the necessity of a degree, it's a tricky subject.  If the question is simply, "do you have to have a degree in order to get a job?" then no, you do not.  You CAN get a job, a excellent top-of-the-line job, without getting a degree or without completing a degree.  In the art world, portfolio is king, so that's what matters.  HOWEVER, the portfolio IS what matters.  You have to be good in order to get a job, and that's usually why people turn toward degrees and school - because those, in theory, can advance you farther and faster than you can get on your own.  If you find your way into a good school program, it can be invaluable.  If you don't want to spend the money on a degree, then study the industry, study the work of the top professionals, and try to understand and emulate what they're doing.  Go to conventions or sites where you can talk to professionals, and ask them to look over your portfolio for critiques.  You could even head to an art school just to talk to a counselor and have them look over your portfolio to get advice.  This might give you a good starting point!
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:iconsatbenji:
satbenji Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
wow..tats wonderful n Magic!!! HeartWork really works!!❤
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013  Professional Filmographer
:D  Thank you so much!!  And it does work!  :)
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:iconsatbenji:
satbenji Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
✿◕‿◕✿
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:iconchuckles-the-cat:
chuckles-the-cat Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is wonderful, thanks so much for sharing :D Your work is wonderful, the dedication really shows. I had a very similar experience 3 years ago while pursuing a degree in biology. My then boyfriend (now fiance, he's a keeper!) said to me one day "so why aren't you doing art anymore?" and the next day I felt like my life had been rebooted. I changed schools, changed my major, and am now pursuing a BFA. Definitely takes dedication, and guts to take that chance on yourself. Congratulations on doing it so wholeheartedly, you are a fabulous artist, keep at it! <3
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:iconcatburglar002:
Catburglar002 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Lovely journal!  I'm in a similar position, also busy with a degree I'm not interested in, thats taken up my time and left me with little time to draw.  Worried now that I'll get stuck now in a job after my degree that I'm really not interested in, that will also take me away from what I really want to do.  Guess I gotta just hang in there and keep fighting :)
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:iconkiilkannibble:
KiilKannibble Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Your amazing and inspiring. :) 

I feel like you should know that/
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional Filmographer
AW!  Thank you so much!  :)  I appreciate it.
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:iconbinturongboat:
BinturongBoat Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us as you go through life yourself - being a high school kid, I'm so glad to be able to hear from people that are going through what I am constantly being told to "start thinking about." You're a great role model and I appreciate all you do! :hug:
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Oh, thank you SO much.  *hugs back*  I'm really glad to be able to put out that kind of info for you.  And I'll say, it really IS good to "start thinking about" this kind of stuff as early as you can, and be as true to your own wants as soon as you can.  But even if you can't, or you stutter-step, or you take some wrong turns, what they don't tell you enough is that that's okay, too.  And that for as short as life is, it's also a little longer than people give it credit for, so there's never a bad time to course-correct and do what you really want. :)  
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:iconsolocell:
Solocell Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
This is really inspiring i gotta admit. I mean for me its just difficult, cause i like so much XD but in general, what you write is so important. Really nice journal. Made my week^^ And i hope, it makes other's too
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional Filmographer
AWWW!! Thank you sooooo much.  I'm so glad it made your week. :)  And yes, liking a lot always gets heads spinning in a bunch of directions.  haha
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:iconit-is-a-circle:
It-is-a-circle Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
Thank you for sharing this, I found it very uplifting! I also want to work in the animation industry eventually. I am headed down that path, but it's taking longer than I first thought. I know I've just got to remember that perseverance is key!
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional Filmographer
You're so welcome and thanks!  And honestly, it's true - perseverance IS key.  And for better or worse, I've also come to understand that things just take as long as they take.  I'm 29 and I just got into the industry because I spent 26 years looking at other careers.  I have a couple friends in their late 30's who only recently got in.  And then I also have a number of friends who had the chops at 18 or 20.  Life just takes you different places at first sometimes.  The key is always keeping in mind where you want to be and creating plans you follow on how to get there. :)
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:iconthe-troglodyte:
The-Troglodyte Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Can I just say that I love what a positive person you seem to be. There is so much whining and moaning and ranting around dA and tumblr, and while I understand it and often take part in it myself, I don't think I've ever seen you really do anything of the sort. I've read a lot of your posts and updates about your life and they always have a hopeful and positive spin on things and . . . well it's just really really nice to see and read.

Basically, you're quite inspirational :P
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Professional Filmographer
BAAAAH.  *huggins*  Thank you so much, darlin.  hahah.  I'm definitely full of rants and some good righteous indignation, but I think I hit walls more quickly these days where grousing doesn't feel as productive as meeting things with... well, positivity.  haha.  And I made a conscious decision awhile back to try to limit negativity in what I write and put online, not because I'd look bad from it (though, I guess I probably wouldn't look great, either, haha), but because I feel like the world already has enough of that going on.  Positivity tends to breed positivity.  And while people don't need to go wandering through life oblivious to negative things, there's something to be said for being constructive versus destructive, additive to the world instead of subtractive.  That's where I'd like to be.
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:iconshadedcorners:
ShadedCorners Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Weirdly enough, I started writing/drawing with this attitude: I can just put what I want on paper, no problem. And then at some point, I became really self-conscious and critical of my work, and it would take me forever to get anything out. Nowadays, I've finally started having an easier time drawing and writing more intuitively and confidently. It's a magical feeling to say to oneself, "I'm going to get this THING done" and then actually see the fruits of one's labor :heart:
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Yeah I totally agree!  It's really kind of startling, but very comforting too!  haha :D
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:iconwho-the-moon-is:
who-the-moon-is Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Because you are that incredible. :) Thanks for the journal.
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
AW, thank you!  And you're very welcome. :)
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:iconmrsbrushwood:
MrsBrushwood Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Ehhh I have the some problem. A different career path and love for childrens illustration! Every time I spend my time drawing I feel bad for not pursuing my field of studies and vice versa :/ It's like a never ending circle I can't seem to break! And I fear that when I do I wont be an illustrator and I won't be doing what I'm learning know, because I didn't focus enough on either... But I simply just can't choose...
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
In your case, it honestly feels like a matter of time organization until you better understand how you want to handle your life/career paths.  It sounds like you actually like both things you're dong quite a lot, which is why you don't want either of them to suffer (if I'm reading you right).  In matters like this, I've found it helps to actually sit down and admit to yourself that you're interested in both things, so they both need to be explored.  A lot of confusion comes from feeling like you're "sneaking" in one around the other (I have done this, HAHA), and then time gets away from you, you get stressed, things fall apart, apocalypse, blah blah.  hahaha.  But when you actually say, "The reality is I need to explore both", then it becomes a matter of MAKING the time.  Dedicatedly saying, "These days/hours/etc I'm working on this, and these other ones I'm working on that," so the two don't collapse into each other.  And maybe you'll start realizing you're more passionate about one over the other, and you adjust your scheduling accordingly.  Maybe one takes over eventually, and you'll know what you really want to do.  Maybe you find you simply DO love both things, and now you need to make the time.  But it's usually when things are foggy that they become hard.

/totally unsolicited advice from me.  HAHA
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:iconmrsbrushwood:
MrsBrushwood Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Woah, to be honest that really help! Especially knowing that I'm not the only one who has felt that way :). Thank you :)
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
:)  My pleasure!
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:iconanastas-c:
Anastas-C Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I think I'm still in that bright-eyed phase, thinking I want to pursue one thing, yet my school doesn't really offer classes for it, so I don't honestly know if I've got the talent for it. I always knew my interests were related to the animation industry and though I went into my current college thinking that animation would be my focus, I ended up floundering about and falling back on my drawing skills. For my senior project I was trying to incorporate character and environmental design, but since the school doesn't teach pipeline production art, my final has to turn back into a series of digital paintings. It feels like I'm being thwarted by my school's limitations or by my own, but I really want to be recognized for my efforts despite all that. I hope my dedication can still show while not having the formal training in visual development art.
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:icontravelingpantscg:
travelingpantscg Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
That kind of thwarting definitely happens.  It's a hard thing to accept, but pursuing something artistic is very different than pursuing something more academic or corporate.  When I studied the latter things, the focus was getting good grades, impressing teachers and doing what they wanted, and finishing on time with X-number of credits.  In the creative world, it's about the skills you come out with.  With art, it's all about the portfolio, not the grades, teachers, assignments.  If you wanted to be a character designer, but your school forced you to do a million environments thereby preventing you from strengthening your character skills, no one looking to hire you would say, "Well, but look, she followed what her teacher wanted REALLY WELL."  They'd just go, "So, you're not as great with characters as we'd want."  For me, it was nearly an impossible pill to swallow, because I was a lifelong academic when I entered the art world.  Grades and teachers had been everything.  Eventually, though, I had to start asking, "But what's right for my career and portfolio?" and used that as my North Star.  

It's not easy.  With where you're at right now, so close to finishing, it does sound like you just need to trudge through and get over that last hurdle.  But don't ever ask yourself if you're "talented" enough.  Talent is only part of drawing/arting - the rest is dedication and practice.  Honestly.  Some of the indisputably best artists I know are self-described as "not the best natural talent, but a hard worker."  If you find yourself still wanting something when you're out of your program, dig deep, find what you need to do, and work to make it happen.  That's all it usually comes down to.
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Anastas-C Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I do a lot of outside artwork while doing class assignments, there's just so much more creative freedom. I'm mostly concerned about the things I'm going to come out not knowing about visual development art. I have learned bits and pieces of character design, but what's left? It seems like a shot in the dark. I would hope that I wouldn't have to seek more academic means to get where I need to go, just because of the time and money. My worst fear about this is that I try to do my best to self teach what I want to know, but find that I have to pay money because there's too much to learn and then spend years earning back enough funds while working a service job. (That's what everyone is afraid of though in this business.)
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:icontallytodd:
TallyTodd Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It probably sounds silly, but I really appreciate you posting this. I've been worrying about a similar thing, struggling with what I really want to do, and reading your journal entry really helped cement what I'd been thinking. To not worry so much because it may seem unattainable that I completely avoid it, and just work at it. 

Anyway, I don't want to clog up your comments too much, but thank you, and I really admire your artwork :)
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