Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than for October 31, 2016
Nobody tells people who are beginners… …is that all of us who do creative work… …we get into it… …because we have good taste. RABBIT SEASON But there’s a gap. For the first couple of years what you’re making isn’t so good. BUGS BUNNY It’s trying to be good. It has ambition to be good… …but it’s not quite that good. SNAP But your taste, the thing that got you into the game… …is still killer. CALVIN AND HOBBES AKIRA And your taste is good enough that you can tell what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. A lot of people at that point… SCRUNCH …they quit. Everybody who does interesting, creative work, went through a phase of years where they had really good taste but they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. It didn’t have this special thing that we wanted to have. Everybody goes though that. It’s totally normal. And the most important possible thing you can do is a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you’re going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions. It’s going to take you awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You just have to fight your way through. - Ira Glass ZEN PENCILS
As I sit here burning late oil, getting custom preorders done and making stock for an event I go to in a few days. In the last four decades I learned a LOT I was never taught on how to make art and also feed myself. The fellow I started to study under gave you one quarter then part of your grade involved going out and selling your art at least once every quarter. You had to sell as well as learn how to make. That was the best gift he gave his students. How to make your living at it. When he left the department and the replacement was art-for-the-sake-of-art, (he sold one piece in 11 years, it was an insurance payout because someone stole the freight trailer it was in) I left too. He would get mad because I would make art to fill the booth and sell instead of weird stuff because it was ‘art’. So here I sit tonight, doing a run of stock and the stuff I wanted to make already packed…. Teaching the dedication, and that it may take years and years… is something we all need more of.