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I finally got fed up with Photoshop fucking up my workflow with this "feature" that I decided to look into it. It turns out users have been bringing up this issue since 2008 and Adobe has refused to acknowledge the validity of their cries. If you know me, then you know that makes me livid. I have actually developed a tick where before I start drawing on a different layer, I will switch to my eraser and put a mark down on some empty space in order to record that I switched to that layer in the history. Can you imagine doing that every fucking time you want to switch layers? Adobe thinks that's reasonable... or just doesn't give a shit.
Well fortunately someone by the name of Will Fuller wrote a script that you can use to deflect this insipid behavior, and draw confidently, knowing that your layer will never switch on you without your knowledge. Here's what you do:
1) Save this webpage in ProgramFiles/Adobe/AdobePhotoshop/Presets/Scripts as a text document with the extension .jsx
2) Open Photoshop and go to Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts, then under the shortcuts for 'Application Menus', open File and scroll down until you see Scripts. Under there will be the name of your newly added script. Select it and set it as your new shiny 'Undo' button.
It's super easy and I know it will save me so much time that I used to spend performing some nonsensical behavior. The author's name and email address are at the top of the script, so you can send him your thank you's if you appreciate his hard work. (though I'm not a programmer so maybe it wasn't that hard). If you found this useful I encourage you to spread it around as much as you can, I was suffering greatly with this issue and I know someone out there would appreciate it as well. Take care.
One of my behind the scenes projects, this video is already way outdated. You can see more progress videos of this drawing on my channel.
Vuja de is the opposite of Deja vu. It's when you've seen something a million times before and suddenly have the feeling of seeing it for the first time again. It's a prespective refresh, and it's what I'm endlessly chasing everytime I draw. The ability the throw away all of your associations, all of your biases when you look at your own work is an incredible advantage to have. As some of you may know, staring at the same thing for a long time makes you accustomed to it, you stop seeing the flaws but you might still feel like something is wrong. If you've ever erased an eye or a nose too many times to count because you couldn't get it right then you know how this feels.
To curb this effect and to achieve vuja de, I've been using one method that wasn't very practical. I would draw something half-way, then shelf it on my hard drive for months, even years, and revisit it at a later date. This definitely works, but it's not very advisable.
Recently I devised a new way to counter this problem, I don't let myself get accustomed to the picture I'm drawing by either drawing it fast enough or changing it fast enough that my brain doesn't have the chance to get acquainted with it. This is ideal either way because working fast is the goal for every artist.
There's also the sunk-cost fallacy to worry about. It's the idea that because you worked on something then changing it would be like undoing that work. I used to fall for this all the time, but now I see the more you change something you don't like the closer you'll get to something you do. Changing and iterating as fast as possible is the solution to both these problems.
Good luck with your pictures!
I'm writing this as an alternative to leaving hate and negativity in a review on an artist's work. I find myself very frustrated with particular artists whose body of work consits predominantly or entirely of fan-based creations. There's nothing wrong with having a healthy amount of enthusiasm for other people's work, but after I see a trend of only creating fan-based work I begin to suspect that these artists do not create for the love of creating, but rather for the success that those creations bring, however they may define that.
In layman's terms, these types of artists are tryhards. A tryhard is someone who participates in an activity with the express purpose of finding the easiest path to success. It is the success that matters to them, not the love of the activity.
What already exists and is massively successful? Popular media, the stuff that you see saturating the internet and newgrounds. Mario, Undertale, One-Punch Man, Minecraft, Splatoon, etc. Then there are sub-cultures that exist mainly on newgrounds that these artists also pander too, like: Meat Boy, Castle Crashers, Bitey, Tankman and so on. All these IPs with their pre-established fanbases require only moderate effort to pull in massive numbers.
When these artists saturate our web space with pre-established content, it makes it very difficult for original content to be recognized or discovered. Everyone only has a limited amount of attention to give each and every day, and the more they funnel their attention into a single creation the less they can offer to everyone else. Other artists who are working very hard to create something new and fresh are being ranked at the same level at best as those who exclusively make fanwork. You know who you are, and shame on you.
I'm trying my best not to let this get too heavy-handed but the more I write about it the more passionate I get. With the recent Pico Day and all the self-fellating newgrounds has done I'm just a bit over it. Again, a healthy amount of homage to great works is fine but when that's all you seem to be capable of doing, then I start to call into question your integrity as an artist. This isn't helped by the fact that Newgrounds likes to promote work that is instantly recognizable and attention grabbing (could it have something to do with... money?) as well as its own culture.
I don't know why Newgrounds doesn't promote more art teachers or streamers. Works under judgement are all the way at the bottom with no way to move them up. The site doesn't sort fanart and original work, so people end up giving their attention to the fanart more. It's all very upsetting to me, but it's an important criticism to voice.
It's 2am and I can't sleep again, so I might as well put down what I'm thinking about.
I've tried to define what art is a lot of times in my life and the definition that I'm currently using is 'anything that can be iterated upon'. I've been able to think about my work very clearly with this new definition. I'm now understanding where exactly I can call something finished, instead of going overboard with it. For example I could shelf this blog for a day and come back to it, re-read it, and improve upon it, but I know that it's probably going to serve the same function as a one-pass write-up. The quality won't improve very much and will have wasted a lot of time.
Once you get what you want out of a drawing, then any more work you put into it is, honestly, wasted time. If your aim is to go for a very detailed drawing then sure, it will require several iterations. But as I come to understand what I'm looking for in every drawing I see that most don't have to be very detailed at all. There's a time and place for iterating, mostly if you're doing something professionally or for your portfolio. Otherwise you always want to be working on something different.
Sometimes (actually all the time) I shelf a project and come back to it in a few months and iterate, but I only do that because I know that I'm not good enough to do it right the first time. It's a way for me to artifically enhance the quality of my work by creating it over a long period of time. What's better to do is put it out there, crappy as it is, and if you want to come back to it later you can call it a repaint, recolor, or whatever you like.
I won't hide from how bad I am anymore.
Making art as a kid is a lot easier and more fun than it is as an adult. Art should always be enjoyable, but the more I understand about it, the more of that underlying pressure I feel to only put out the best I can offer. Right now, that's too much to ask of myself. I no longer draw for fun and I'm always expecting that my work will turn into something I can benefit from in some way. It's no longer about that joy that I had when I was younger.
When I was younger, drawing was this thing that nobody else seemed to be interested in. All the other kids around me felt so distant because I was the only one who could draw, that was until high school anyway. So there was never any competition to worry about, I could be sure that no matter what I did I would always be the best at drawing and at least I had that. Then came high school and I found out there were other creative kids, and they were making all sorts of amazing things too, and we were all being graded on our work. That was around the time I started to "obsess" over whether my work was good enough.
I had a subscription to Gameinformer magazine and loved looking at the featured art every month, and fantasized about my work being featured one day. That's actually the reason I came up with the Okami Fan Art I drew, that picture was to be mailed in to gameinformer's offices with the hope that it would win first place in their magazine. Before that picture I never, ever worried about the outcome of something I drew, but it's been a reguler problem since then. I completely stopped working on it for almost a year because I worried it was not good enough to submit. I wanted to win, that was all I cared about, and it prevented me from even contributing my work.
I'm writing this so that maybe someone can gain some wisdom from my mistakes. I recently watched a video by Satchbag on this very issue, the conundrum of wanting your work to be absolutely perfect till it cripples your ability to be satisfied. In the video he quotes another individual who works on the principle that "Done is better than perfect". This was something I absolutely needed to hear and that I need to repeat over and over. The work you do will never be as grand as it is in your head, it will never reach that point where you will become satisfied with it.
In order to get back to improving at art, I almost need to cut myself off from it. To get away from seeing how good everybody else is and just focus on how good I am. I'm really starting to believe that drawing 100 crappy drawings is better than drawing 1 good one, because at least you're training yourself for the future. If you do 1 nice drawing... well you only learned how to draw 1 thing really well. That probably won't help you too much down the road.
To try to bring this back full circle, don't worry if you need to take a crooked path to get around the wall, if you try to keep your path straight you'll never get past it. It's better to finish with a sloppy method than to get stuck halfway through your perfect run. There's a lot of halfway finshed work on my plate and I hope to bring you all that and more in 2016.