How To Deal With Self-Critical Uninspiration – A Ramble

A while before I originally prepared this article, I’d tried and failed to write two other articles. I felt an overwhelming sense of “it’s not good enough” about creating things, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to write about things like writer’s block and artist’s block. In particular, about self-critical writer’s block/artist’s block.

This can happen when you either feel overwhelmed by the idea of “I should be creating things” or the idea of “everything I create seems to be terrible“. Typically, it tends to happen directly after both highly inspired projects and/or failed attempts at creative projects. But, it can also happen if you aren’t in a particularly great mood or are feeling overwhelmed in some way or another.

So, how do you deal with it?

Well, if you’ve been creating things for a while, then you’ll probably know that there’s a good chance that this is just a passing phase. Something annoying that happens to all creative people every now and then. Usually, the best way to deal with it is just to keep creating things – even if they’re “terrible” – until you start making good stuff again. After all, a “terrible” finished painting or story is always better than a “good” unfinished one.

But, there are lots of sneakier ways to get around it too. One obvious way is simply to look for another inspiration – yes, this depends on time and budget – but, if you can find something that absolutely knocks your socks off (eg: a film in your favourite genre that you haven’t seen before, an awesome indie game that leaves a lot to the imagination, an amazing webcomic that you’ve never heard of before etc.) then not only will this give you something to take inspiration from, but it will also fill you with the feeling of being in awe of a creative work.

If you aren’t careful, this feeling of awe can actually make your uninspiration worse. But, if you’re very careful about how you think about this, then you can turn it into a brilliant source of creative motivation here. The trick is, of course, NOT to think “This film/game/comic is brilliant, I’ll never be able to make something that good!“. Instead, try to think something like “How can I make something different that is as cool as the thing I just saw? I’ve got to try.

The difference is subtle, but one attitude will leave you feeling defeated before you even start and the other one will make you want to try creating something.

Another way to deal with creative self-criticism is simply to see it as part of the process. All of your favourite writers and artists weren’t born talented. They all had to learn, practice and make mistakes. They all went through phases where they felt that they couldn’t produce anything good. The fact that you are experiencing something like this means that you are taking art and/or writing seriously. If you weren’t, not feeling like you can make great things wouldn’t hurt at all.

So, when you find yourself in one of these moods, see it as a challenge. See it as something that all of the people you admire have had to deal with before (which means that you are on the right track). See it as a chance to work out all sorts of sneaky ways to get out of this mood.

And, yes, keeping a regular practice schedule will teach you a lot of these tricks. Whether it’s making “silly” private projects that you never show anyone, whether it’s remaking some of your old stuff, whether it’s making fan art/ writing fan fiction, whether it’s trying to create something in one of your favourite genres, whether it’s descriptive writing/still life painting etc.. there are loads of sneaky ways out of the mood that you’re in at the moment.

So, instead of feeling terrible about “not being able to create good stuff”, try looking for sneaky ways to get around this mood. Even if you don’t succeed at first, the shift in focus from feeling sorry for yourself to trying to figure out strange and unconventional ways around the problem will gradually help you to have a better frame of mind.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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Remember – Inspiration Isn’t Always Instant

Well, I thought that I’d talk about one of the more common myths surrounding creative inspiration today. This is the idea that inspiration always happens as a sudden moment where a fully-formed idea magically appears just before the artist starts painting or the writer starts writing. Yes, inspiration can occasionally happen like this. But, more commonly, it’s a process instead of an instant flash of brilliance.

It’s a process that takes effort, perseverance and patience. It also includes various skills and techniques that can be learnt too. Yes, inspiration is as much (if not more) about skill than it is about luck.

For example, the day before I wrote this article, I prepared this digitally-edited painting for one of January’s daily art posts.

This is a reduced-size preview. The full-size painting will appear here on the 8th January.

Although I consider this to be an “inspired” painting, the inspiration certainly wasn’t instant. If anything, I actually felt uninspired when I sat down with my sketchbook that day. My first idea for a painting was to make an aristocratic painting of someone walking down a spiral staircase.

Somewhere along the way, this changed to a 1990-style painting. Then I had to work out how to draw spiral staircases (by looking at reference images). Then, I started inking the unfinished sketch, before realising that I didn’t like it. So, I abandoned it.

Then I realised that I had to make something and that I’d already got a partially-finished painting. So, I returned to it. Since I was watching an Aztec-themed episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” on DVD (the season 7 episode “Masks”, if anyone is curious), I decided to add some temple-like stones and pillars to the background. But, this didn’t really go well with the rest of the picture, so I abandoned it for a second time and decided to start a new painting:

My failed first attempt at making a painting that day.

But, again, I had to make something. So, I used the old trick of looking at lots of pictures in the hope that one of them would spark a moment of inspiration. Since I was listening to a lot of punk music at the time, I did an image search for examples of punk art. But, although I saw some really cool-looking art, I didn’t have any instant moments of inspiration until I saw a random “realistic” painting of someone wearing aviator sunglasses.

Realising that the basic concept of “a person wearing aviator sunglasses” was too general to be copyrightable (and therefore ok to use), I started a new painting and began sketching a face with a pair of aviator shades.

Within seconds, I knew that it wouldn’t be a punk painting. I knew that it would be set in the 1980s. Remembering the Aztec theme of the “Star Trek” episode, I decided to include a vaguely Aztec-themed background (which would also give the painting a slight “Blade Runner” look too). And then, about 30-60 minutes later, I’d finished the painting.

Yes, there was a “flash of inspiration” near the end of the creative process, but this certainly didn’t happen instantly. It certainly didn’t happen when I first picked up my sketchbook that day. It was something that required persevarence and determination. It required trial and error. It required knowing how to take inspiration properly (or, more accurately, a basic understanding of copyright law).

Ironically, the best way to get “inspired” regularly is to learn how to make art or write fiction when you aren’t feeling inspired (eg: taking inspiration properly, remaking your old works, making the types of things you can make easily etc..). It’s also important to stick to a regular practice schedule where you make something regularly, regardless of quality. To know that actually finishing something is the most important part of the creative process.

Yes, instant moments of inspiration are really cool when they happen. But, they don’t always happen. And if you sit around waiting for inspiration, then there’s a good chance that you might be waiting for quite a while (when you could be painting or writing instead!).

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Three Reasons Why The Noir Genre Is So Interesting ( If You’re An Artist)

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[Edit: D’oh! I’ve just realised that I posted an almost identical article about this subject in February *facepalm*. Even so, this stuff is worth repeating.]

The night before I wrote this article, I watched the first episode of a dystopian alternate history drama called “SS-GB“. One of the things that I thought whilst watching was “Wow! Some parts of this look a bit like ‘Blade Runner‘. I love the lighting, the costumes etc..” It was then that I remembered that the only thing that these two things have in common is that they were both heavily inspired by the film noir genre.

So, I thought that I’d look at some of the really cool artistic features of this genre and why it’s worth checking out if you’re an artist. There are too many to list here, but here are three of them:

1) Lighting is everything: One of the cool things about the noir genre is it’s heavy emphasis on lighting. The term “film noir” literally translates to “black film” and gloomy darkness is a central feature of the genre. All of this gloom makes the lighting stand out a lot more than usual.

In other words, it’s a genre that allows you to play around with the lighting. You have to think carefully about the light sources in your artwork and place them in such a way that they highlight the important parts of the painting, cast dramatic shadows etc… whilst still ensuring that the painting still contains enough darkness to contrast with the light.

Likewise, if you’re blending the noir genre with the sci-fi genre, then you can also give your artwork a “futuristic” look by using different colours of light (just make sure that they’re complementary colours). Like in this heavily digitally-edited painting of mine from last year which uses red, green and blue lighting:

"City Of Towers" By C. A. Brown

“City Of Towers” By C. A. Brown

Another good thing about film noir lighting is that it’s also the perfect thing to use if you’re making art in a hurry too. Since a good piece of noir art should contain as much (or more) darkness than light, it usually means that you only have to add detail to 30%-70% of the total area of your painting, like in this painting of mine that will be posted here in December:

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will appear here on the 5th December.

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will appear here on the 5th December.

As you can see, about 50-60% of this painting consists of nothing more than black paint. So, atmospheric film noir lighting can also be a great way to save time too.

2) Visual Storytelling: Another cool thing about the film noir genre is that, because it started with detective and thriller films (and things like hardboiled detective novels, crime comics etc..), there’s a lot more emphasis on visual storytelling. In order to create an interesting-looking piece of film noir art, you pretty much have to hint at some kind of story in your artwork.

This is probably also one reason why noir-influenced art tends to turn up in comics quite a bit too. It’s a style that is designed for intrigue, mystery and melodrama. After all, virtually every early work in the noir genre had to tell an intriguing story of some kind. So, storytelling is a huge part of the genre.

This emphasis on storytelling also extends to the interesting range of perspectives and compositions used in the genre. For example, one instant way to add a suspenseful “noir” look to your artwork is simply to tilt everything in the picture by 30-45 degrees. Like in this cyberpunk/noir sci-fi painting of mine:

"Midnight Centre" By C. A. Brown

“Midnight Centre” By C. A. Brown

3) Fashion, minimalism and location design: One of the cool thing about the film noir genre is it’s emphasis on fashion and style. Because the genre evolved during a time when fashions were more formal, the genre tends to look a bit “unrealistic” in a visually interesting way.

Plus, since this is contrasted with the minimalist simplicity of many vintage fashions – eg: dark trenchcoats, sleek black dresses, three-piece suits, pencil skirts etc.. it can give noir artwork an almost timeless look too. I mean, it’s one reason why the noir genre can be so easily combined with the sci-fi genre – like in this old sci-fi painting of mine from 2015:

"Data Tower" By C. A. Brown [2015]

“Data Tower” By C. A. Brown [2015]

In addition to this, the location design in the noir genre is quite interesting. In older works in the noir genre, locations just tended to be fairly “realistic” and slightly minimalist.

But, in more modern interpretations of the genre, there tends to be more of an emphasis on locations that are intriguingly cluttered with lots of fascinatingly mysterious objects. This can be a great way to hint at a larger story or to create a location that seems both cosy and creepy at the same time. Like in this painting which will appear here later this month:

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will appear here on the 17th November.

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will appear here on the 17th November.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

Three Things That 1980s-2000s American & Canadian Punk Music Can Teach (Visual) Artists

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Well, I thought that I’d write another “how can music improve our art?” article (like this one and this one) but, this time, I thought that I’d take a look at the very first “cool” genre of music that I ever discovered (and have rediscovered regularly since then). I am, of course, talking about American & Canadian punk music from the 1980s-2000s.

This includes bands like The Offspring, Bad Religion, Sum 41, AFI, T.S.O.L, Green Day and NOFX. Although these bands certainly didn’t invent punk music (I’m pretty sure that the Sex Pistols did that during the 1970s, but I’m probably mistaken), they have a very different attitude towards the genre when compared to more “traditional” punk music.. and they can be surprisingly inspirational.

So, what can 1980s-2000s American & Canadian punk music teach (visual) artists? Although I’ve already covered one thing that The Offspring’s “Americana” album taught me, here are a few more things that the genre can teach us:

1) Genre Blending: One of the cool things about American & Canadian punk bands from the 1980s-2000s is that they often weren’t afraid to look outside of the punk genre for inspiration. And, because of this, the genre contains significantly more variety than “traditional” punk music does.

Sum 41 is a great example of this since, although some of their stuff from the 1990s/early 2000s often has a fairly “light” pop punk sound, they also occasionally took inspiration from the heavy metal genre too (in songs like “Pain For Pleasure” and “Reign In Pain”). Even some of their “ordinary” punk songs from the mid-late 2000s sound a little bit “heavier” than you might expect.

Likewise, a band called AFI originally started out as a fairly “ordinary” punk band but, as time went on, they gradually started to adopt slightly more of a gothic style – whilst still remaining a punk band at the same time. The interesting thing is that, although the gothic rock genre and punk genre share a common history – most of the more “gothic” songs by AFI (during the ’90s and ’00s) have a very unique sound that is different from classic gothic rock and still very recognisable as punk.

So, what does this have to do with art? Well, it can be very easy to end up making just one particular type or genre of art, and there’s nothing wrong with this. But, the only way that your art is going to evolve into something unique and to stand out from the crowd is if you are willing to experiment occasionally and include elements and inspirations from other genres or styles.

For example, here’s a reduced-size preview of a digitally-edited painting that will be posted here in December. Although most of it is in my classic high-contrast style and includes my usual ink drawings, I wanted to try something a bit different. Inspired by a scene in a TV show I’d seen (where the camera focuses on the background and leaves the foreground blurry), I thought that I’d try to use a more impressionistic style in part of the picture:

The full-size painting will appear here on the 13th December.

The full-size painting will appear here on the 13th December.

This experiment certainly wasn’t a complete success, but it is occasional genre-blending experiments like this that can help you to make your art look a bit more distinctive and unique.

2) Substance matters more than style: One of the interesting things about 1980s-2000s punk music from the US and Canada is that it can sometimes be more sophisticated than “traditional” punk music. The classic example of this is probably the band Bad Religion, whose lyrics are significantly more complex than anything you’d traditionally expect from a punk band.

They aren’t afraid to dive into the thesaurus at every possible opportunity and they aren’t afraid to sing about a wide variety of topics and ideas. They don’t even look like what you’d expect a “punk band” to look like. They know more than three chords. Their music is rarely about shock value or rebellion for the sake of rebellion. And, yet, they’re about as punk as you can get!

So, again, what does this have to do with art? Well, it’s a reminder that, whilst attitude and emotion will get you so far, substance matters more than style. It’s all very well to think that you’re some kind of “bohemian” or “rebel” or whatever because you’re an artist, but you still need technical skill if you want to make art that will impress actual people (rather than art critics).

In other words, you need to practice regularly (even when you aren’t feeling “inspired”) and focus more on making interesting art than on being “cool”. Yes, regular art practice might occasionally seem “boring” or like it’s some kind of chore, but it’s what allows you to go from making art that looks like this:

"Cave Sculptures" By C. A. Brown [9th July 2012]

“Cave Sculptures” By C. A. Brown [9th July 2012]

To making slightly better artwork that looks a bit more like this:

"Architecture" By C. A. Brown

“Architecture” By C. A. Brown

3) Do what you want: On the surface, punk music and “the mainstream” seem like polar opposites. But, for a while during the 1990s and early 2000s, American and Canadian punk music was mainstream. This is how I first discovered this amazing genre during my childhood. And, surprisingly, “mainstream” punk music wasn’t terrible (well, most of it wasn’t).

Yet, whilst I can be fairly cynical about the mainstream sometimes, punk music was an exception to the rule for the simple reason that it still sounded like punk music. Yes, there was censorship on the radio and some of the music had a slightly “light” sound to it but, at it’s core, it was still punk music. Like with heavy metal bands, punk bands just focused on making the kind of music that they liked making, regardless of whether it was mainstream or not. Compare this to an anodyne designed-by-committee pop band that is manufactured purely to make money and you’ll see what I mean.

Yet again, what does this have to do with making art? Well, it just means that you should make the kind of art that interests you, regardless of whether or not it is “cool” or “avant garde” or whatever. For example, if you really like painting realistic natural landscapes – then paint them! You’ll have a lot more enthusiasm (which will translate into inspiration and creativity) and produce much better artwork than you would if you try to be “avant garde” because you think that this is what an artist “should” do.

Punk music, at it’s core, is about doing your own thing. If this happens to be popular, then do it anyway. If this happens to be unpopular, then do it anyway. If it makes you famous, then this is good. If it doesn’t make you famous, this is also good. Nothing else matters than creating the kind of things that you find fascinating and the things that you thrive at making.

Punk music might have got a lot of radio airplay in the past but, those who weren’t interested in it have probably forgotten about it. And, those who were interested in it still listen to it. It’s a great example of how, if you do your own thing, then you’ll have enthusiastic fans. You might not have hundreds of millions of them, but they’ll be a much better quality of fan than you might get if you try to make things that aren’t really “you” because you think that these things are “popular” or “cool”.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Three Practical Reasons To Look At Old Art If You’re An Artist

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A while before I wrote this article, I happened to watch a documentary on TV about the history of art in France. One of the interesting things was that I didn’t really learn that much that I didn’t already know. This was mostly because, during 2014, I went through a phase where I was fascinated by old European and Japanese art and ended up doing a lot of online research about it.

Yet, a year or two before that, I wouldn’t have seen the point of learning anything about old art. It seemed like a pompous and pretentious subject that had no relevance to the cartoons that I was drawing every day.

In fact, the only reason I even got interested in the subject was because I realised that most old (19th century and earlier) artwork is out of copyright (excluding, for example, Matisse’s paintings. Which are still copyrighted in Europe), so, I could just paint a copy of any interesting-looking old paintings or drawings I found online when I felt uninspired and needed something for one of my daily art posts.

And, to my surprise, there were lots of interesting-looking paintings and drawings from the 19th century and earlier. But, whilst most of the influences on my own art style are more modern, there are good reasons to take an interest in old art too. Here are three of them:

1) Modern stuff is inspired by old stuff: Chances are, if you see something that looks cool in more recent artwork, then there’s something at least vaguely similar from the past that has inspired or influenced it in some way.

For example, modern manga art styles are at least slightly influenced by the minimalist Japanese Ukiyo-e print tradition of the 18th/19th century. Likewise, “classic” British and American comic book art is heavily inspired by Art Nouveau(by artists like Pamela Colman Smith, Eugene Grasset etc..) that were popular in the 1890s-1910s. These styles were, in turn, probably also influenced by Ukiyo-E art.

Likewise, the wonderfully gloomy lighting style that is used in films like “Blade Runner” and on the covers of many classic heavy metal albums and horror novels of the 1980s/90s isn’t as “new” as it might seem. In fact, it’s just a more modern version of a centuries-old art style called Tenebrism and, if you see a few paintings by Caravaggio, you might be surprised at how “modern” some of the lighting in these pictures looks.

So, if you want to learn more about the really cool modern art styles that inspire you, then it can often be useful to go back to the older things that influenced them. Not only will this give you more influences on your own art (and the more you have, the more unique your art looks) but it will also give you a greater understanding of how your favourite types of art “work”.

2) It’ll show you that it’s ok to take inspiration: As well as copying out-of-copyright paintings, looking at old art can also be a great way to learn how to take inspiration in proper (eg: non-copying) ways. This is mostly because there has been a lot of research into what inspired a lot of old artists, and very few of them produced wholly “original” and “new” artwork.

For example, Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting style was at least partially influenced by Japanese art prints that had made their way to Europe during the 19th century.

Likewise, when you see artistic “traditions” in the past where lots of artists use a similar style (eg: like how Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi often used a very dark and tenebristic style), then this is both an example of artists taking influence from other artists and artists finding their own interpretation of a pre-existing style because they think that it looks cool.

3) Visual storytelling: For most of human history, if you wanted to record an image of something, then you had to draw or paint it. What this means is that a lot of old art tends to be about storytelling, recording interesting scenes for posterity or making mundane events look interesting. Old paintings are also brilliant examples of how imagination and reality can be blended in interesting ways. This all means is that old art usually tends to be a lot more visually-interesting than you might think.

Like with the panels of a modern comic, old artists often had to tell a story using pictures. They had to create artwork that distilled an interesting series of events into one dramatic image. If you want to make interesting art, then it’s worth trying to learn how to do this. If you want to learn how to make art based on real life look more interesting, then it’s still useful.

For example, even a commissioned portrait like Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” can contain a lot of imagination and visual storytelling. This is a painting that is filled with activity and drama… which didn’t happen in real life.

From everything I’ve seen and read about the painting, the organisation who commissioned it had gone from being an actual group of guards to being more of a ceremonial dining club by the time that the painting was commissioned. But, with a lot of imagination and clever design choices, Rembrandt is able to present them as being bold, benevolent swashbucklers who are both needed and beloved by the people of Amsterdam.

Although the painting probably isn’t “realistic”, it is far more visually interesting (since it seems like it could be a scene from a novel or a film) than a simple portrait of seventeen men sitting around a dining table would be. Again, this is because visual storytelling both was and is a centrally important part of what makes art art.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Three Last-Minute Inspiration Sources If You Don’t Have A Clue What Your Next Webcomic Update Will Be About

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Well, at the time of writing, I’m in the later stages of preparing a webcomic mini series (which will be posted here in late November/early December). One problem with this mini series was that I ended up feeling uninspired a lot more than I had expected.

Although this was mostly because I hadn’t planned the mini series in advance enough, regretting rushing into a comic mini series wasn’t going to help me finish the mini series. So, I thought that I’d go over some of the last-minute things to do if you don’t have a clue what your next webcomic update will be about. Of course, some of these will work best in some webcomics and some will work best in others. So, use your own judgement!

1) Culture: If you need an idea for a webcomic update in a hurry, then have your characters discuss films, games, books etc… These don’t have to be the latest up-to-date examples of these things. In fact, if you like something slightly more obscure and can write at length about it (without doing too much time-consuming research), then your comic update will be more distinctive as a result.

This is a good source of inspiration if you’re in a hurry for the simple reason that you probably have a favourite film, game, TV show etc.. or because you’ve probably encountered some kind of entertainment media within the past few days. Even if the only entertainment media you’ve seen recently is absolutely terrible or boring, then this is perfect source material for a cynical comic update.

Likewise, parodies (of films, games, TV shows etc..) are always a great last-minute idea if you aren’t feeling that inspired.

2) Art and an excuse: If you’re in the mood for making interesting art, but don’t have a good idea for what your next webcomic will be about, then one way to get around this is just to draw an interesting or unusual picture of your characters and then see if you can work backwards and extrapolate a comic idea from it.

At the very least, you can always use the old “it was a dream!” thing (this can work in very short webcomics, but it’s an abysmal plot twist to use in longer comics!). Or, even if that fails, then you’ve still got an interesting-looking picture of your characters that you can use as filler material to show the members of your audience who are expecting you to post something at the appointed time.

3) Opinions: Chances are, you probably have opinions that are either amusing in and of themselves and/or you have more serious opinions which can be expressed in an amusing way.

But, unless you specialise in making political cartoons, then having too many opinion cartoons in your webcomic series might annoy your audience. So, this is is best done occasionally at most. Likewise, make sure that the opinion actually makes sense in the context of your comic (and you don’t lecture the audience either).

The great thing about using opinions for inspiration is that, since you’ve already formed your opinions, the only thing you have to worry about is how to express them in comic form (eg: you don’t have to think of a totally new comic idea, just a way to use a pre-existing idea).

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Three Things That Game Design Videos Can Teach Artists (Who Don’t Make Games)

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I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this before, but I thought that I’d talk about one of my favourite types of online videos and how they can also be useful if you’re an artist.

I am, of course, talking about videos that discuss and explain design techniques in computer and video games. But, apart from messing around with a few basic “game maker” type programs in the past, I haven’t made a game [EDIT (16/10/17): Unless you count this gamebook-style interactive novella I wrote in 2015. I can’t believe I forgot about that!]

So, what relevance do these videos have to making art? They can teach us quite a lot, such as…

1) Graphics aren’t everything: Anyone who knows anything about gaming will probably know this already, but it’s possible for a game to look visually spectacular but to be terribly designed. Whilst hyper-realistic graphics might enhance the player’s enjoyment of some games, they’re worth nothing if the actual game itself isn’t both well-designed and fun to play.

Of course, art is – on the surface at least- all about “graphics”. I mean, you are literally creating a single static image (using ink, paints, digital tools etc..). However, there’s a lot more to making a good piece of art than just pure technical brilliance.

I’m talking about things like composition (eg: the layout of a picture), visual storytelling (eg: what is happening in the picture), perspective (eg: the ‘camera angle’ used in a painting or drawing) and the overall visual consistency of a picture (eg: do the colours go well together etc…). If you do these things well, then even an ‘unrealistic’ picture will be far more visually interesting than a hyper-realistic picture that doesn’t do these things well.

So, even with art, graphics aren’t everything.

2) Budget isn’t everything: One interesting thing about game design videos on sites like Youtube is that they are just as likely to focus on the design of obscure low-budget games made by small teams as they are to focus on the design of well-advertised mega-budget games made by software companies. Since game design revolves around ideas (and how those ideas are implemented), games of all budget levels can either include good or bad design.

Thankfully, since art isn’t usually a collaborative medium, we don’t have to worry about team size. However, if you’re new to making art, then it can be easy to think that you need a large art budget. That you need fancy branded art supplies or the most well-advertised types of graphics software. You don’t.

Good art is about skill, rather than about budget. An artist who has put a lot of time into practice and learning can produce stunning artwork using basic, cheap no-brand tools. An artist who is less experienced will produce lower-quality art even with expensive branded tools. The thing that matters most is skill (which can only be acquired through practice, learning, experimentation etc..) and not how expensive or prestigious your art supplies are.

Good game design doesn’t require a large budget. Neither does good art.

3) Ideas mean nothing without implementation: One of the most interesting things in game design videos is when they talk about games that have great design ideas, but which fail because those ideas aren’t implemented properly. In other words, it’s about whether a game puts it’s ideas into practice in a way that is enjoyable (and understandable) for the player.

This has a lot of parallels with modern art. One of the most trendy art movements at the moment is (still) conceptual art – this is the idea that the idea behind a piece of art matters more than the actual art itself. This is why things like unmade beds, pickled sharks and old urinals end up in art galleries. But, although the ideas behind these works of art may be complex, philosophically deep etc… they don’t always get those ideas across to the audience in an immediate, quickly-understandable and interesting way.

So, even if you have a great idea for a painting, a drawing or a sculpture, then you still have to pay a lot of attention to how you will put that idea into practice. How you will use your painting, drawing or sculpture to communicate with the audience in the most effective, understandable and interesting way possible.

Because, in both games and art, a great idea means nothing without good implementation.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂