Jul 16, 2011

Creative Depression

I've suddenly hit a brick wall on my artistic endeavours this week. Not so much in the output, but more the outlet.

The plan had been for 2011 to be my break-out year into the world of legitimate palaeo-art. I had networked hard, and lined up a good half dozen gigs. It looked like I was going to pull off this feat, which had even just last year looked impossible. Who cared if none of the projects were paying ones, that's why I have a day job. The point was all the countless hours of tinkering and producing would amount to official recognition (and publication). From there I might have been able to make this into paying hobby.

Then over the last two months I have seen those active 6 projects evaporate to a single uncancelled reconstruction. Admittedly one of them I understand, it is the biggest find in Alberta of the new century, hands down. Once this was realized by higher powers it was insisted that money be spent on a pro palaeo-artist. I get that. It still sucks, but that one I can get. I'm not worth the gamble with either the money or that particular press release.

However on four of my other for free gigs, I've been told not to bother as the scientists involved have all been deciding due to "not like 3D reconstructions versus traditional methods"... Despite the fact I was doing this for free, and as far as I can tell they have no replacement artist. They are deciding to have no accompanying image of their new critters, should anyone in the press of blogging world choose to report it, rather than accept a free reconstruction these people could use.

It feels like a kick in between the legs frankly. The take home message I'm getting here is that my stuff is carp. No ands ifs or buts. I suck. Why the BEEP am I even trying...

Mind you there is the last remaining gig. Which is actually a big deal. Once it comes up I'm sure it'll cheer me up. Sadly my client is busy for the remainder of the summer doing field work, so I can't proceed any further till the fall.

This leaves me with nothing to do in a sense. While I can just randomly create things, I find I work best with not only a product in mind, but a use for said product when I'm done. Before this would have been something like Traumador or the ART Evolved gallery, but on this particular day those aren't feeling grand enough (I've been there done that).

Traumador's adventures while fun to do once, have become too much work on both the photography end (none of my human "characters" want to pose for photos after 5 years) and the CG end (the constant increase in quality I strive for has outpaced the quantity Traum required). I was and still am hoping to redefine and relaunch Traumador as a more educational site. For this I was hoping to dabble with Adobe Flash.

Which has just been adding insult to injury. My attempts to animate this simplified version of my new Gorgosaurus have been meeting with nothing but complete disaster!

Up until now I was rather proud of being self taught in all my artistic efforts. However with the rejection of my CG pieces and Flash completely repelling my attempts at using it, have left me feeling perhaps I'm just not very good at anything.

I hope to bounce back. In an effort to figure out all the different ways I could render a 3D image in Carrara for possible use in Flash I took my Gorgo through several filters.

The out comes leave me with some intriguing possibilities for future projects.

I especially like this painting simulating one...

I couldn't even animate this basic pencil outline simulate...

The only thing all this motivates me to do, is think about a book...

Anyways I don't think this is a permanent depression. Just a momentary one, that time should heal. Just thought I'd see if anyone else has encountered this overwhelming feeling of uselessness, and if they know a way to defeat it quickly.

I'm going bird watching now to try and get my mind off things for a bit.


Albertonykus said...

I can't offer much except my sympathy and the hope that you'll get well soon (in a sense). Hang in there!

davidmaas said...

I've been up against this in advertising for ages... 3D is 'cold' and 'impersonal'. I responded by developing an illustrative style, and - with an eye on animation - financing the development of a non-photorealistic 3D framework because all 3d systems are inanely focused on teaching the computer how to be an artist instead of teaching it to assist me, the artist.
As it now stands - some 15 years after beginning illustration and 5 years after the software development - I may soon have a testable prototype and all the advertising world now embraces 3D.

I actually find motivation in paleontology as it views things in such long time-frames. I draw inspiration from the fossil-collectors who spend decades getting their collections together.

A bit of abrasive support: think about the 10,000 hour landmark:
That's 5.2 years of 5 8hour day weeks, without vacation and holiday. Hands-on hours. If you are part time, those hours stretch out even farther. Experience tells me its a realistic landmark and - though I've already put in my 5 years on 3D illustration and another on animation - I accept the fact that before I become truly proficient in palaeo-art, I can expect another bout of active 10,000 hours engaging the subject matter.
Buck up and enjoy where you're at now. You won't have the chance again.

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

Come on buddy! they don't deserve your skills if they are unable to see them!
Better days will come!