No matter how much you think you need a “normal life,” you really don’t have time for one - the earlier you recognize that, the better off you’ll be. You must have the courage to say “I need to do this” and then let the chips fall as they may.
It’s not easy being a professional artist. Just being an artist at all isn’t easy. It’s a challenge from the moment you experience that compulsion to draw or sculpt something or make up a song. You’re not quite like everyone else. You’re not looking for “something to do”—you’re looking for the time to do it, the means to do it, or someone to show you how to do it.
No matter how much you think you need a “normal life,” you really don’t have time for one—the earlier you recognize that, the better off you’ll be. You must have the courage to say “I need to do this” and then let the chips fall as they may.
You also must be daring enough to break something in order to make it better.. The moment you fall in love with a piece, it dies. One of my studio art instructors at the University of Arizona told me that, as a student, his teacher actually set one of his paintings on fire—while he was painting it—just to break that love spell. Whenever my instructor thought I was spending too much time overworking a canvas he would stand behind it and flick his lighter. I thank him for that.
When a project is finished you need the strength to stop, walk away, and let it live on its own.
You have to somehow get past the “ugly stage” of your work, that time in the doldrums where your piece just looks nasty—it happens quite a bit in character animation. That period is almost as bad as the stage at which it looks pretty darn good, but overall something’s not quite right (see the paragraph above about having the courage to break something to make it even betterAs a professional artist, you must push through all that—to know it looks great and then, when it turns out your client or director liked the ugly stage better, be able to go back to that ugly stage and then just walk away.
More than anything, you need the tenacity to keep learning. All the digital tools and compute power we have at our fingertips is a mixed blessing. Yes, you can redo and rework like never before, but you also must learn new methods and new tools—and that can be absolutely overwhelming.
So be strong and keep forging ahead. You’re an artist.
P.S. You can, of course, always find tips and tricks at www.intel.com/software/artist and learn more about how content creation software has been optimized for Intel® platforms at www.intel.com/software/visualadrenaline!