First off, if you're gonna say, "deviantART is for art and LJ is for rants," then sorry, but this is art-related, so I think it's fine. If not, why did they add this feature into the site, eh? Anyway, it's long, so don't read it if you don't want to. In fact, I don't expect anyone will ever read this word for word. Isn't everyone happy? Yes? Awesome. Feel the wrath of my unedited ranting:

My mind is - for want of a better word - intense. That time in which many of you claim to have nothing to do is a golden oppurtunity to think. What about? I don't know. My mind thinks about every which-what in all where-ways. Sure, sounds painful, but I'm used to it. It's what I do. How is this related? Read on, my fellow artist, and I'll share with you many of my thoughts of late.

I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil/pen/piece of chalk/crayon/whatever and at that age (maybe 4 or 5) does the thought ever cross one's mind, "I'm liking people's reactions to this, so I'll keep drawing what they want to see". No? Yes? I think not. But does it sound familiar? It may. It's an attitude far too many artists of today have. Sites like this - fantastic as they are - put an emphasis on numbers and figures. Sure, it's hard to imagine an alternative, but just take a look at the site's layout. On the main page there's a place for 'Popular' and 'Daily Deviations'. But hold on. Popular? Isn't good art about opinion? Whose opinion is it that says what's popular? Hmmm... What about pageviews? What do they mean, honestly? It just means time has gone by, or people are visiting your page wondering what all the fuss is about, or they genuinely like your art - in which case a visit is usually followed by a comment/fav of some kind.

I understand it's getting a little chunky already so I'll thin out my paragraphs a little. Anyway, what does all this mean? Who here has already gotten used to where the pageviews are now situated? What does THAT mean? How often do you check them? Why? Acceptance? Everyone wants to be accepted. It's only human. Some peoples's only outlet is art, so this is where they seek it. It might feel good to have waves of praise, but tell me, where does that lead? Doesn't that make one merely a 'phase'? Wouldn't you rather be drawing for yourself?

I know many of you have heard me say this before. Draw for yourself. Seem selfish? Whoeve says so is being selfish. Haha. Yeah. So who else are you going to draw for? If you get paid to do it, and you're the type to sacrifice your own standards and morals to do art for money that you mightn't agree with, then by all means go for it. This isn't about getting paid to do art though. This is about improving your art as well as improving yourself as an artist.

How do you improve both your art and yourself as an artist? Surely, with a few million pageviews, it would prompt one to think about certain things. Has anyone noticed a few 'popular' artists on dA who seem... maybe have an attitude problem? I'm not naming names or pointing fingers, but who are they as an artist? Are they an artist? What is an artist? Argh. The questions. Stop. I get it. You must ask or you'll never know, though. What is an artist? Someone who draws. Sure, simple enough. Nobody can argue with that. Do you draw? Probably. So what's the problem? Why don't you feel good about your art?

Go back to when you started, be it last week or 50 years ago. Art is an expression. All the phenomenal artists out there probably have some kind of expression within their art. I dare you to prove me wrong. What about the people who submit pencil scraps continuously? "Why are they drawing?" you may ask yourself. If it makes them happy, what does it matter? In your mind, what does drawing come down to?

My friend once called me an 'art tank'. God rest his soul. He said if I didn't slow down I'll get an artist's block because I'd run out of ideas. Pfff... What's an artist block? I don't believe in them, just as I don't believe in boredom. The mind is a tool to be utilised - not feared. I push myself and push myself. Sure, I may be an army tank of art, but I love what I do. Nothing else matters. If I run low on ideas, I search for more. I search high and low... far and wide. I explore other avenues. I draw things I've never drawn before. I copy some pictures I love - without claiming them as my own of course. If you want to push yourself, you need to be doing the same. Were you born to lay in bed all day? I sincerely hope not.

I'm sure you've seen me explore areas of art. Anime, realistic anime, realism sketches, digita, realism, scenery, traditional scenery, monsters, creatures, soldiers, gods, both - yes both - genders, animals, places, and the list goes on. I don't consider myself to be talent in any one area, or even all areas. I'm just a guy who draws. I'm a guy who draws because I love to draw. That's what it comes down to. If I can get some money on the side out of it, I will, but my expectations are relatively low at this time so as to avoid too much disappointment. Though, didn't someone once say that with no high expectations comes no satisfaction? Did I make it up just then? I'm putting my money on the latter.

Where was I? See this is my mind. It goes on and on and on and on... Ahem. I need a mental filing system... Oh yeah, that's right. Ideas! I explore avenues of art - contrary to popular belief - when I run low on ideas. Just last night I was flicking through my 20-25 odd old sketch books and now have ideas for three new images. That's one of the many glories of always drawing in a sketch pad. You can revisit old images to recover great ideas. I'm not gonna say what my plans are, 'cos I'm evil like that, yeah. What do you do when you're low on ideas? I know some people that might say, "Oh. Artist's block. Better sit back and not search for ideas, lest I be proven wrong." Again I'm not pointing fingers. I had no one in mind when I typed that.

Does your art frustrate you? Why? When? Are you annoyed that you can't get that body part right? Haha, oh, everyone gets that. Do you think the best don't get frustrated? Don't fool yourself there. Everyone has doubts. Everyone has bad times. And absolutely everyone, at some point, hates something they drew. Don't ever compare yourself to someone with more experience than you and take it to heart. Honestly, that's just silly. Sorry but it is. Why would someone compare themselves to artists in another league? Probably both technically and psychologically. Compare yourself to the one's 'above' and you'll always appear below. Being an artist is accepting this and not trying to compete directly with an artist's art. Don't make it personal. Compete with yourself and your past art. I think you'll find that once you do this you may advance at a much greater rate.

The world is an ocean of ideas. Don't feel like using someone else's idea? Chances are, you do it all the time. Art is about sharing ideas, not packing them away in concrete vaults. That's by no means an invitation to encourage art theft. Ask an artist if you're going to use one or more specific aspects of their work and people will be able to tell. Let people know what references you used in images. Heh, I would, but I keep losing mine. I have sorta unorganised folders with over a thousand reference images at last count. Gets hard to find things again but it's good for spontaneous ideas. Be brave. Be an art tank. Become fascinated with art! Art is a fascinating topic and it has many aspects within that are to be explored. Pay no heed to the ones who put you down. There is no one piece of art in the world that every single person likes. In the end it all comes down to opinion. Remember that, young Padawan.

*scrolls up and down quickly* Grargh, so many thoughts. Makes me wonder how I get through each day, haha. Maybe I really should write that book on art... Hmm... To anyone that's read every word up to here, you have my gratitude, and if you leave a comment more than two sentences long, as well as with some depth and meaning, thank you. But I'm not looking for anything here. I'm sharing thoughts. If just one artist gained some knowledge from this I will be content. Heck, I'm content anyway, but I'd be moreso if someone felt as inspired as I do right now. Maybe I should be a teacher...

I realise I digress. I apologise if you are frustrated at me for writing so much, but then if you're reading this, chances are you're not bored with what I'm saying so there's no need for me to apologise. Unless you're that guy who wants to dissect my brain. Yes you. You know who you are. Get away from me and come back with a warrant like the rest. Hey, how come this entry has no emoticons yet?!

Maybe some day I will be able to organise all of my thoughts and ideas into a book. I have no idea who'd buy such... mmm, odd speakings... but again, just as I draw for myself I also write for myself. Call me pretentious. Call me egotistical. Call me a such-and-such. Call me... Well, we won't go there will be. I care not. I know who I am, and I am me.

I draw what I love.
I love what I draw.

No comments desired. Go get some much-needed sleep, tell your family you do love them, take those headache tablets already, tell you're partner you're sorry, and thank God thorns are born with the gift of a beautiful sweet-smelling rose. I feel sorry for whoever one day wishes to marry me, hehe. Thank you for reading, you insane nutcase of a pal *shot by a sniper*


All art and content of this site is © 2013 Joshua Gillies. All Rights Reserved.
Contributions to the library/wiki are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 License.
Portions not contributed by others are Copyright 2013 Joshua Gillies.