Artistic Growth Is NOT A Goal & How To Become An Early Riser :: ArtCast #58

In This ArtCast ::

  • 5 Tips to make the new year productive and creatively fulfilling.
  • New Year’s resolutions I DON’T recommend.
  • What art & religion have in common.
  • How to learn to love early mornings.

PLUS: Music by Good Old War!

Play
Artistic growth is NOT a goal. But a full sketchbook is…
-Tweet This Quote

Links Mentioned:

My Daily Routine: Comics, Podcasts and Visual Development at Disney

BUY Screenwriting Tips… You Hack by Xander Bennett

Paper Wings Podcast

Wunderlist

Can’t Find The Time For Your Personal Projects?

Check out these resources to help make 2013 your most productive year ever!

More Inspiring Episodes Of Chris Oatley’s ArtCast:

Start Something You Can Finish :: ArtCast #41

Avoiding Artistic Burnout :: ArtCast #48

From “Paper Wings,” My Site For Comics Creators and Other Visual Storytellers:

7 Time Management Tips To Accelerate Your Personal Project

6 Time Management Tips To Create More Space In Your Life

How To Pick Your Next Personal Project

The Five Lies Of Creative Block

What To Do When Your Dream Seems Far Away

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What is the one personal project you can realistically complete this year?

Tell me about it…

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Caggegi

Really enjoyed this episode! I felt in many ways you were talking directly to me. So guilty of so many of those faults! Also hoping to continue getting small goals completed. Have a Merry Christmas, and can’t wait to hear from you (on both podcasts, as well as the webcomic) in the new year!

Cheers, Chris. You are the source of awesome.

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ChrisOatley

Thanks, Paul. I really appreciate it.

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Manelle Oliphant

I’m so going to try getting up at 7:30 tomorrow. We see how that goes. And I’d really love to learn more about character design. Especially things like how to start, how to know when your done, and how to keep your character consistent. Which I’m sure are very easily explained and very cut and dry and that you have a surefire method that works for everyone…(ha ha) ;)

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ChrisOatley

Ha! …unfortunately,you’re right, there’s no formula but I have learned a million little tips and tricks along the way.

I have a lot of character design content in the works. It will probably be a much larger product since I’ve been working on it for a few years but when I do release it, it’s going to be awesome.

Subscribe to my email newsletter to be kept up to date.

Thanks, Manelle!

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Scott Wiser

Great thoughts. I’ve been doing sort of a sketch a day for this month and it has certainly had pros and cons. The big pro is that it is a goal with focus. As my goal is to generate new animation and begin a storyboarding portfolio, this Character-a-day Marathon has generated quite a pool of material to pull from. It has also stretched me far and had I done it for more than a month, I might not make it. As of now, I’ve doubled my efforts to two characters a day so I can take days of for the holidays. Another con is that I’ve been concerned that the ideas are a bit shabby.

I’ve been waking up at 5:00 in the morning for quite some time and it has been AWESOME for my creative growth (with has come through PROJECTS, not vague goals). So I back you up on the mornings theory. They are the best time.

And of course, meeting up with you throughout CTNX was a huge highlight for me. You’re really making a difference and I can tell this is only lifting you higher. This character design content and everything you else have in development sounds exciting. Keep it up!

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ChrisOatley

That’s a great feeling, huh? I work well when I’m just a *little* bit in over my head. It can very easily turn into WAY over my head and then I might freak out a little but when it’s just barely over my head, it keeps me feeling challenged. It keeps me growing.

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Alyse

Thanks for another great art cast..! You made some great points about resolutions that I’d never really given thought to, but now I can make a conscious effort not to make those mistakes :) I also went and downloaded that program you mentioned, Wunderlist. It’s already left me feeling more confident in my plans and the work load I’ve set up for myself.
I did try waking up early, and I did well for about.. a good two weeks, before I just lost it again. I think it’s because my work schedule varies in time sooo much that it’s hard for me to keep any kind of sensible schedule outside of work..
Can’t wait for the next podcast :) Til then, I’ll probably go back to catch up on what I’ve missed. So much to learn or re-learn..!

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ChrisOatley

Yeah, I go through phases where I get off course with projects or sleep schedule.

But we all do.

The key is just keeping our eyes on the prize and course-correcting when we realize that we are off-course.

Thanks for sharing!

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Mark Keller

Love your podcasts and this one in particular as I am a night owl. I’ll have to see how I can achieve an early morning routine as I have little boys that are up early, so my night time is my quite time.

On a side note, I am a newbie to the digital art world (used to draw all my life but put that aside to pursue what I thought was a “real career” and didn’t think of my art as a way to make a living). Currently, as in the last couple of years, I am seeing my artistic side yearning to get out. Your podcasts are great to keep me motivated. You provide some great insight and inspiration. I look forward to many more of the podcasts!

Thanks Chris!

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Chris Oatley

Yeah, Mark! Just try to start with a small, measurable project goal and break it down into micro-goals with task-management software or just pencil and paper (I have to switch back and forth to stay engaged).

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Daz Awisreu

Hi Chris! I’m new to the podcast, found you through the Paper Wings one (which I just discovered three days ago). Given me quite a bit of motivation in my time of laziness (vacation + holiday + skyrim = noooo work done).

I can totally empathize with you on getting more of a comic out quicker. I did so for my own webcomic, switching to twice weekly too soon and burnt out after a month. It’s a learning experience alright!

I do know of a neat motivational trick for when you are working, though. Ever heard of working in pomodoros? It’s a time system of 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break, focusing on one task at a time. I find it to be very efficient.

Anyway, I’m going to try and give a shot at the “waking up early” thing. I’m a notorious night owl in my circle (staying up till three will do that), but I figure I’ll give it a go for a month or two.

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ChrisOatley

I do the pomodoro technique often. I LOVE IT!

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Russ

Excellent episode Chris! It was good to know that I am on the right track for each new year for setting goals rather than resolutions. Keep up the great work! I will help promote your podcast.

Best
Russ

PS I get up at 5:30 to begin the day. Pretty insane, right?

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ChrisOatley

5:30 is hard core! Awesome! And thanks for your support!

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Sam Kirkman

OK So I’m late!!! Gotta say you are So right about the early AM. I am so much fresher then. Places that I’m stuck on in my work get unstuck right after a good nights rest. The Day job has me out the door at 5:45am so if I can get up by 3:30 I can get quite a bit done. But that does mean early to bed. Once that internal clock is set it gets much easier, you just gotta keep it set.

We gotta get your numbers back up buddy! Don’t worry, We’ll get right on it!

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Niki Jackson

I really enjoyed this podcast, it came at the perfect time too. Thank you for sharing your insights, so helpful and now I just need to set that project so I don’t fall into the never ending goal. I’m going to listen to this podcast again. Thanks again! Niki

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ChrisOatley

Thanks, Niki! Sweet! Keep us posted on how the project goes!

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joey feldman

chris-
happy /healthy new year to you and yours….another great inspirational podcast-thank you
quick question-when i watched you stream one night, how do you have your cintiq set up?-is it your primary monitor?im hooked up to an imac, and i keep photoshop on the imac screen but my canvas, brushes, colors on the cintiq-seems to stop my flow toggling back n fourth if that makes any sense…
thanks again

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ChrisOatley

Thanks, Joey!

For over a year, I’ve been meaning to make a video that explains this because a lot of people ask about it. Hang in there and I’ll get around to it asap.

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Moe

Ok, so first off I first learned about your podcast from Big Illustration Party time…and after listening to the latest pod cast, I was definitely psyched and inspired. I tried to get up an hour earlier today and failed. However it sounds like it is the kind of thing that takes a while for your body to keep used to. I will keep at it, and keep working (and keep listening to your pod cast) Cheers!

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Moe!
Yeah, it’s definitely a process.
I just saw Josh from BIPT recently but I can’t wait to hang w Kevin again. I just love those guys.

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Matt Ashcraft

Just now found the time to listen to the podcast. Awesome stuff. I’d been avoiding making resolutions because I’ve been so busy the last two months that things have been falling through the cracks, but now I’m starting to get things reorganized.

I’ll be putting many your tips and suggestions to good use over the next month, particularly picking a single well-defined project and gracefully quitting other things or at least putting them on hiatus.

Thanks for the incredible resources you provide for us, and I hope 2012 is a stellar year.

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Chris Oatley

Great to hear, Matt. Keep us posted!

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Tegan Clancy

I know I’m a little late, I’ve been distracted by the summer weather since returning from CTN, and needed this new years resolution advice, real booster and motivator, so thanks! I hope to put your CTN feedback into practice in 2012! And good luck getting 2 pages of your web comic done a week!

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Chris Oatley

Well, Tegan, I have since decided to put the comic on hiatus to focus on my educational stuff but it should be back on the front burner by 2013. I’ll keep you all posted!

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Stephan Royer

I had to reply and say thank you, really thank you so much. I’ve started my own film portfolio and am determined to get there from this internal calling…and its a big mental battlefield. This really helps, and please never leave out the small details that get you through the day as those are the ones I gleamed from this podcast and really relish.

Great stuff, I’m going to continue scouring your blog now :)

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Chris Oatley

That’s why I’m here, Stephan! Thanks so much for the encouragement.

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Kira

gah. i’m so glad i finally got around to checking out your site. i have gotten your newsletter for a few months now and never got around to actually looking at them, oops. but now that i’m out of school for the summer i have no excuses. i just told all my classmates about you and expressed how awesome your advice is. hopefully they come and join in too.

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Chris Oatley

Thanks so much, Kira!

I’m so glad you enjoy the site and I can NOT thank you enough for telling your classmates about the site!

Thank you thank you thank you! (Not enough thank yous.)

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Fred Lang

Early Riser Club, here I come! Most of my clients are on the East Coast anyhow, so this early riser thing may mean that they’ll be able to contact me earlier in the day than before.

Great ‘cast!

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Chris Oatley

Let me know how that works out for you, Fred! Can’t wait to hear!

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Sorcha

What the hell do you get hate mail about?! “Quit helping aspiring artists; you Minion of Evil ™”? Or “Stop being so awesome, or we’ll hate you more!”? Its a wonder the ‘net still exists and people keep putting up content, especially useful content, in the face of such incomprehensible idiocy.

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Chris Oatley

I know… I know…

Some people just don’t understand that I’m only trying to help and that I’m just one guy… And, apparently, that bothers them enough to fire off angry emails at me.

God bless ‘em though. I try not to sweat it.

There are a whole heck of a lot of people who DO love the site and the podcast and the newsletter so I try to always direct my focus and energy toward them.

And now that I’ve started Oatley Academy, I have my awesome students to challenge, encourage and care for. So I try to redirect the negative energy from the haters into positive energy for my students and subscribers.

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Isaac

Hi Chris, this topic captured my attention but unfortunately I am unable to hear your audio because i am deaf. I really hope you don’t mind typing everything. I feel that it is indeed important to me and my future. *fingers crossed*

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Justin

Chris,

I am not a visual artist — I don’t draw more than the occasional stick figure*. However, I just wanted to say that this artcast was very helpful for me, and it turned from good to great starting at 19:00 to about 20:00. Though I don’t typically make resolutions, I regularly consider things like blogging once a week or tweeting three times a day (without much success as I’m sure you can imagine). When you introduced the concept of “projectizing” those kinds of habit-centric behaviors — especially those that may be tangential to the direct mastery of your craft — it really clicked for me. I must quickly formulate a small project I can use as motivation to develop my social networking and online content creation skills.

Thanks and keep up the great work!

* I am a technologist, but even though I am a talented programmer, I now think of myself more as a “creative artist” than a “scientific engineer”. Recently I’ve been trying to clearly define precisely what I do (so that I can better communicate it to others) and thought that “concept engineer” might be close — a profession that mimics “concept artist” in tech instead of art. But I don’t really know anything about what it is to be a concept artist; my research brought me to your site.

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Thien Warder

I just want to thank you for this podcast. Making a resolution was a common problem in my life and it is now very affirming to hear about how to go about it from an experienced person in the field. This gives me a lot of confidence and the method made a lot of sense. Thank you so much.

thien

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allie

Do you/ANYONE know Ryan? He makes the first Disney character(s) ‘walk-abouts’. These are the huge sized Disney characters which walk around Disneyland and Orlando. He has a big company in the LA Valley area…I have forgotten his last name. Please help. Thank You.

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Jason

Super excited about this podcast.
There is so much great advice. I particularly found the idea of been focused on a project as opposed to being tooooo abstract i.e. ‘I need to draw more faces’, or ‘I need to get better at (blank)’. For such a long time it was a guilt thing for me which definitely does not motivate.
So thanks Chris for your insight.
Loving your website.

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Tue Volder

Great episode Chris.
You made a really insightful distinction between two ways of approaching creative work. Its so simple, yet so brilliant and not at all obvious until someone points it out.
Thanks :)

Tue

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Emma Vantaa

Awesome podcast like always. Got a lot from it!
I feel so lucky to live this year when there is so much great artists who teach people art related things.

Keep up the great work, cant wait for more :)

- Emma

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Karla Diaz

Wow, it really opened my mind because I used to think about that kind of goals like “be better at…”. So thank you! I hope you have a great 2014 :)

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Ximena

THANK YOU!!! I’ve been so lost every year trying to become a better artist and falling to depression every year end when watching all my friends and role models grow… I was so stuck. This is great, you are a life savior, now I can work on a new project without feeling bad about the other unfinished shelved ones, have a incredible 2014 :3

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Wonderful web site. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to
a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you
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Kathleen Caliway

Thank you SO much for this artcast! This is totally one of the podcasts I *needed* to hear (alot of your podcasts are that way) I make to-do lists all the time which just say “get better at anatomy” and “practice each day drawing figures from online” and I never, never get around to them and they just burn a hole in my productivity and pollute my mental clarity :) Thanks SO much for bringing up this topic and for pointing out that it’s just not gonna work (gives me permission to delete all those to-do items, some of which have been around for years) and get on with something real. You are awesome and thanks again!

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