A Year's Worth of Lessons

  • SVS OG

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    Art by Tanner Garlick.

    "New year, new me!" A new year provides plenty of excitement as everyone makes goals and sets resolutions for improvement, it is also a great time for reflection on things learned from the year prior. In this episode, we share some of the lessons we learned from 2018, and hopefully some of these lessons can be helpful for you this year. Happy New Year!

    Our newest episode is up and posted, let us know what you think!
    What lessons did you guys learn last year, or what resolutions do you have this year?

  • @jake-parker I just started listening to this podcast and y’all crack me up with your laughter!

  • SVS OG

    I'm only 15 minutes into this episode, but I HAVE to say what I'm thinking.

    I understand what @Will-Terry is saying about concept over craft. (And why @Jake-Parker and @Lee-White seem to be totally agreeing with him.)


    I believe that the true answer is... you have to have both.

    I think its true what Will (and Jake and Lee) are saying that in school and elsewhere, craft is the focus. No arguments there. So, I think that is why they are having this reaction against it's importance compared to concept.

    (And just by the way guys, you have an entire site that is about teaching people the craft side of things.... so are your classes not important?)


    I'm reminded of a recent tweet by Illustrator/Author Adam Rex, basically commenting on how often he gets messages from people who say, "I have this AWESOME IDEA for a children's book, but I'm not an artist/author, so I'll give you my idea and we'll split the profits 50/50." (How many of us have had this message/conversation more than once?)

    Most of the replies to that thread are basically saying some variation on: ideas are a dime a dozen. Its those who put in the work and learn the craft and ship the product that find the success. You don't get anywhere from being JUST an "idea guy."

    So really, I see where Will, Jake and Lee are coming from on this. As artists we get craft pushed on us a LOT and so it seems right to say, yeah thats important but what about the concept? Forgetting that Average Jane out there doesn't have the skill to execute her ideas.

    Think about it: maybe you have the most awesome, cool, biggest-award-worthy IDEA. But you can't draw well enough for anyone to understand your idea.

    No matter how cool your concept, it won't get you anywhere.

    Maybe you can draw really, really well. But your ideas just miss the mark. Also not going anywhere.

    One can't reach a high level of success without the other. OK ideas or OK skill levels will get you to a certain point, but both need to be solid to gain any real traction.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @Sarah-LuAnn I think all of us would say that both are important. We were stressing that craft is pushed so much in school without that balance of how to actually come up with good content. So maybe it sounded like we were saying that craft doesn't matter, but that was not what was intended.

    Craft is EXTREMELY important. It Has to be focused on in a very deliberate way. One of the points I was making in the podcast is that knowing what kind of content you really want to make will dictate what kind of technique you will need to acquire.

    I am very interested in technique. Which is why I'm teaching an interactive basic painting class now where we don't focus on any content. Just how to make paintings in an intentional and controlled way.

    So you are right about concept and technique working hand in hand. That is exactly what we feel as well. : )

  • This podcast was loaded with useful information! Thanks so much for that! I was halfway done with painting our livingroom when I realized you were talking about my Christmas Hustle drawing I started making last year! (I am going to finish that. Just needed a break to focus more on my studies.) That was so cool. Thank you so much for talking about that discussion as it was really educational (for hopefully more than only me).

    All in all a really great podcast again. You guys really crack me up. And I just wanted to say thank you for talking about the perspective problem and how to learn to let things go and just accept it for what it is.

    Ps: @Lee-White Not that it is very important but I'm of the female sort :face_with_stuck-out_tongue: Still, thank you for your and Wills help on that piece. I really appreciate it.

  • @ThelmaKat seriously I cannot listen at work. I will get weird eyes for what I am laughing at.

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