Wanting = Working

“You have to really want it.”

Many of us take this statement to mean that we that if we just wish harder, we will wake up one day to a personal creative renaissance, a new, inspiring career or an impressive level of skill.

…but wishing is NOT the same thing as wanting.

We can’t expect anything to change if all we do is complain about our current circumstances and fantasize about a more creative occupation.

Wanting means working.

Most of us can actually do something in response to our occupational frustrations but we have to stop complaining, burning time in front of the TV, attempting to satisfy our creative hunger by buying stuff and obsessing over the “competition.”

It’s time to build something real and most of us already know where to start.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Lord Ryan Santos

It is so true. You must put in work and time. There are so many distractions in the world that you have to block out just about everything if you want to become what you want to be and not wishing what you could have been. You just got to get out and do it. You will get criticized and you will fail. No matter what, you become a better person and you become a more humbling person to appreciate what you have become. To live and enjoy a job in the art field is like growing up watching Saturday morning cartoons and enjoying every second of it. Thanks Chris for this website, it is an inspiration to me.


Chris Oatley

That’s right, Lord Ryan. As an example: I rarely play mobile games, even though I love them because they turn into such a huge time suck! But I have several friends who just burn precious hours playing mobile games and then complain about not having time or energy to work towards their dreams…



This is so true man… I just started actually wanting, to be instead of wishing to be just about yesterday i could say…I got tired of always thinking about being as good as a lot of artists i see, and planning to draw draw draw, but almost always end up wasting time looking at speed paintings, or art demos, or just wasting time all together…So i decided to draw something , and to motivate myself a little more i decided to draw live on live stream. I’s sticking to drawing at least one thing a day at least, as opposed to drawing thinking of drawing something and drawing nothing.


Chris Oatley

Eli, this is great to hear. Listen to ArtCast #58 (Improve Your Art Before You Start), the Paper Wings series about Time Management and the episode called “How To Pick Your Next Personal Project.”




And stay away from speed painting!

Write me if you need to know why. ;)



why we should stay away from speedpaintings? i thought it is very usefull to be ablo to do some speedpaintings. Could you explain why it is bad?


Matthew Sample II

Stop me if I’m wrong, but speed painting is painting without thinking.

On one hand, it’s great that you’ve got your skills honed to the point where you do not need to think about some of the details.

On the other hand, painting without thinking is lesser painting. It’s much easier to fall into mannerisms when you are not thinking.

And on top of that, speed painting is usually not as good as well thought out work.



This is such a hard lesson to get through to people. Maybe because we live in a time of instant gratification, I dunno, but the number of people I’ve given advice to, I’ve always ended it with ‘but this is going to take time and a lot of effort’ Seems those kind of words do just wash over people now, and I do think that it does have to be a self realisation to some degree. I also love the fact you say stay away from speed painting – again, maybe a factor of this instant gratification thing. If you think of it like a language, the equivalent of speedpainting before you’ve done the longer harder work is attempting to speak, say french, but just blurting out a bunch of french sounding words without knowing what they mean. Yeah, you might impress someone else who doesn’t speak french, but anyone who’s French will instant know you’ve no idea what you’re doing. And we all know learning a language isn’t an overnight thing!



I definitely know the feeling of wanting that dream. Passion fuels the desire to work towards our goals, but people unfortunately burn out quickly if there isn’t instant gratification. It’s a difficult lesson to learn. I think people fear criticism and take that to mean that they don’t have the talent, which is where a large amount of people stop pursuing their dreams. There are so many reasons to feel like he or she can’t grow as an artist. They compare themselves to another artist’s work or feel like it will take years before they reach the level they want to achieve. To get to the point I want to reach I have a daily routine of practicing my skills, working on a project that requires a difficult technique, and to remember the passion I have to create. That satisfying feeling of one day coming to work in a place I love is worth the effort.


Lauren Scott

This is so true. I love everything about this blog post. If you have the true desire you can dig down deep and execute doing what you want. Day dreaming ain’t going to get you the dream job!



I knew all this already, but reading it is still refreshing and motivational- cheers Chris :)


Pat marconett

For me it’s always been about setting up good habits. The first few weeks are frustrating, but pretty soon it just becomes your rutine & you feel like your missing something when you don’t do it. I had a teacher tel us, drawing is like drinking a case of beer. If you have 1 beer a day it’s not so hard, but try cramming 30 beers in 1 night & your gonna kill yourself. But I definatly go through periods where I just don’t have time.


Sean Azzopardi

Great reminder, Chris. The only way things get made is by finding the time to make them. With that in mind, better get back to to it. Major project almost complete, after which I can join in on forum activity again. The PD2 stuff looks good btw :)



I would like to ask if a person can creatively create character to animation and the filmmaker would like to see and buy the idea/creation since you see it there in animation world how can you comment on this. Thank you


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