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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hi Connor,

I know from my own personal experience that sometimes all the advice in the world can’t really help you figure out how to improve your drawing.  Sometimes you just have that feeling that something’s missing and all you can do is keep searching for whatever it is.  So you keep practicing and practicing and studying other artists and eventually you forget what you were looking for, because it wasn’t really something specific except a desire to improve yourself.

I am also color-blind (I inherited my poor vision from my grandfather on my mom’s side, but luckily also his lack of balding).  There are lots of times where I have thought of it as a hindrance, but it has actually turned out to be quite an advantage.  One of the first things people always compliment me on is my color sense, which is quite amusing.  My limited color vision allows me to pick what are apparently bizarre color combinations that are interesting to people with normal vision.  I’ve also learned to deal with it by using very limited colors, which people also find interesting.  For instance, sometimes I decide that instead of adding a new color to a composition like blue,  I’ll just make all of the blue stuff green and I’ll end up with green oceans and green skies.  To me it looks normal, and to other people it looks “intriguing”.

As far as artists, I wouldn’t know who to recommend, because there are very few universal artists who I think everyone should study.  Your tastes and interests are what will shape you as an artist, and you shouldn’t blindly study whatever work people tell you is good.  Just because something is in a museum doesn’t mean you have to like it.  I’ve seen quite a few things in museums that I didn’t care for.  One of the most important things you can do as an artist is figure out what you like, and no one can help you with that.

Good luck with everything!

- kevin

 This was a personal response I got from Kevin Dart, one of my favorite artists of all time. I had received this and read it during one of my classes while my teacher started to prattle off course from the subject she teaches (for the millionth time). I have been going through some tough personal decisions and mini-breakdowns as an artist this past month. This isn't anything new or uncommon, but I thought I'd try something new and reach out to professionals and artists that I respect highly, Kevin Dart came first to my mind. Roughly a week after e-mailing, I get this message from him.

This is easily one of the greatest bits of advice I've ever received. Now I'm not gonna deny, this is virtually nothing new that I haven't heard before. But to hear from Kevin Dart himself in his own words forces my brain to absorb it so much more attentively! Also it blew me away that he has color problems too!

And you know what? I feel more confident, I may not be professional in any sense, or have god-like artistic abilities, but I'm happy with what I've made and that has created a world of difference. I was afraid getting the advice of "follow the artists you like, don't feel like you have to study everything someone gives you" would make me think I had a golden ticket to shut myself out of the things I didn't like in art; but it has done the exact opposite! I seem to take things slower, and with a more open mind. I don't know why but it's like I'm seeing things again in another light. 

I can't thank Kevin Dart enough for these fantastic words of wisdom!

Expect some new posts with the examples of my art after reading this soon

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