Being An Artist

By February 1, 2019 Much Love
RK Headshot

Hi there. Ryan Kingslien here. 🙂

Yesterday, I had two totally different conversations that I think perfectly sum up the problem that 3D Artists have to solve.

In the morning, I found myself at a table sitting next to the president of a local game company. Very cool guy. Awesome conversation.

In that conversation, he mentioned how important it is for artists to create for the project, not just for their portfolio. The example he gave was somebody spending an entire day focused on shoelaces for a character that’s in a first-person shooter… Where they’re never going to look down at other people’s feet.

That made sense. It’s just wasted money in terms of man hours. As an Exec, I get it. He’s got to stay on budget.

Then, later that night, I had a conversation with Siamak Roshani (which I’m excited to get onto the Podcast for you guys in the next few weeks) that had a totally opposite perspective.

Siamak was talking about how important it is to slow down and to get things right. In his critique of one of our students, he talked about how too many people try to rush Marvelous Designer. Instead, he recommended keeping the particle distance at 20 and really spending several hours, if not a full day, trying to get the folds where you want it before you increase that resolution.

I could hear the Executive groaning at the idea of spending an entire day just to get shirt sleeve wrinkles right. But I also can feel the need from the Artist to spend that last extra bit of time to make that Work just a little bit better, because that’s what’s going to attract attention and maybe help them find that Job.

The way I like to think of it is that, as an Artist, we have an internal management team. There are three roles: We are Visionaries (a.k.a. Creators). We are Realists (a.k.a. Managers). We are Critics (a.k.a. a**hat).

All the problems in my own creative life have come down from the mismanagement of these three roles.

If we’re constantly trying to get better and are never happy with our Work, then our Inner Critic is the one we are listening to the most. If we keep producing piece after piece after piece and we’re not going deep enough, then we’re listening to the Manager who is just trying to make a quick buck. If we’re just thinking about ideas and dreaming up possibilities, then we’re smoking the pipe a little too often with the Visionary.

As Artists, we don’t just produce Thoughts. We produce Products.

As you head into the weekend, I just wanted to put this bug in your ear.

While everybody else goes about being a cog in the machine of efficiency or sitting around in dreamland… You, the Artist, are the one that pulls it all together to create something the world hasn’t seen before.

Wanna do a cool exercise? Imagine your Inner Critic as an actual person. Then give him a name. What is it?

Mine is Pierre. And he’s an auctioneer at Sothebys… What an a**hat.

Much love,
Ryan 🙂