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Letter From a Frustrated Artist – Draftsmen S1E11

August 18, 2019

Bum bum bum bum She gives me everything and tenderly Do you know this song Yes, can you sing with me? No, ha Well, then I’m going to just get my head into what we’re gonna deal with today. Stan: Can you keep singing? No, I think everybody watching wants you to keep singing. I don’t know that I’m gonna do it, ha I want to know I want to know that you will join and when you will join I will say on all the words we can make this whole podcast done in song But if we do it you have got to sing too Guess we’re not doing the podcast in song. Oh, well, yeah as if everybody would like that Okay, welcome everybody to another episode of the draftsmen podcast where we talk about arts stuff we teach you stuff about art and We sometimes but never draw on the podcast I never draw. Yeah. No. Yeah. No We talk yeah, this is marshal Vandruff. Hi, I’m Marshall Vandruff. He’s amazing Yeah. Stan: Are you going to introduce me? Oh, yeah. Sorry. I was caught up in myself. This is Stan Prokopenko The founder of proko. Yeah, thank you. What do we got to talk about today? Or should I introduce that? Well, I could start off by saying that I got an email from Rafael is that his name Rafael assuming we’re pronouncing it correctly Don’t know and then I forwarded to you because I thought it was a worthy Email. I did too and then you just took off I did When you get a question this sincere and this thoughtful It evokes a response in like spirit. Should I just start reading it? Yeah, it’s very long very long. So I I’ve taken out some including some personal actually I’ve left some personal things in here Rafael. I hope that’s okay Well, let’s say you start off by saying that he has a question for the podcast, right? I’m writing you to suggest a topic for your podcast and maybe ask for some advice the topic is Frustration and how to deal with it. I I know many people complain about frustration with their art But they also don’t put in the study and the hard work to improve I swear to you. That is not my case So let me give you some background. I’m 34 years old. I’ve been taking drawing lessons twice a week since November 2014 I’m a freelance translator and I work from home. So Whenever I’m not working, I’m studying and practicing once I started taking classes I absolutely fell in love with drawing and I’d say I practice three to four hours a day at least five times a week every week for the first three years Since I started taking classes since mid 2017 I have gone up to six or seven hours daily. Stan: Wow, Marshall: I know However, my progression has always been extremely slow. This is in bold Due to the amount of hours. I put in I hoped I would be much better than what I currently am So my question is this how the hell does one deal with this frustration. What am I doing wrong? Seriously, I often wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life. I don’t even know why I haven’t given up yet I hate 99 out of 100 drawings I make and I’m lukewarm at best about the ones I like Every time I look at them all I see are the flaws Did you guys ever struggle like that? Is that normal? Is it just a matter of time? Do I have to struggle like this for like ten years or something to finally see some solid results My drawing instructor says I’m overly critical and that I pushed myself too hard And he says that that is what is stalling my development, but I don’t get it. Maybe I’m studying the wrong way Maybe I’m just not cut out for it. I don’t know all I know is that I’m desperate Let me tell you how I study so you can have an idea. Okay, we’ve got the problem Oh, yeah, but he’s also gonna cover for some things like we said well You might be studying the wrong material. You might be going on these some of these trendy He said let me tell you I study so we can have a night you can have an idea I try to stick to gesture and form I go to the books and try to study the basics of that structure I have a huge library with Andrew Loomis, Bern Hogarth, George Bridgman, etc So I don’t think the authors I’ve been reading are the problem here Then I go back to the drawing and try to finish it Every time I correct something I notice something else is wrong with it and by the third or fourth attempt. I’m already Fuming with rage so I go outside and smoke a cigarette to cool off Then I start over rinse and repeat at this rate. I’m afraid I’m going to get lung cancer before I get any good And that is basically how I’ve been living every day for the past two years. Please help me figure this out on Instagram sometimes I post something just to delete it five minutes later when I notice a mistake Plus I’ve had like four or five Instagram profiles over the last few years Sometimes I get so self-conscious of my drawings that I delete the whole account Anyway, thank you very very much for taking the time to read this. I hope you decide to make an episode about this topic Well, maybe if not an episode at least ten or fifteen minutes Well, we might do a full episode. Okay, but definitely at least fifteen minutes, we’ve already spent ten Reading it Well, that was a very well-written email. I feel it. Yeah, he put a lot into this. Yeah Well, go ahead Marshall you’ve prepared for days for this well actually I just read it last night I’ve got at least three things to throw in here. The first one is that it does take time to develop talent and What talent no. Skill. It takes time to develop skill it takes you’re right. You’re right It takes time to develop skill. That’s that’s well Corrected it takes writing to develop skill. Yeah kudos. Who’s wise now? Yeah you Me! I’m the wise guy. That didn’t sound desperate yeah Comment below about how wise I am. Raphael and everybody all of you because I have a feeling in reading this that a number of you are saying Yeah Wouldn’t it be horrible if some person who had a great deal to offer the world Had a teacher tell them Mm-hmm. Yeah, you’re just not fit for this it has happened and it has happened that some of those people have gone to do to do greatness because they’ve got something to rebound against are you about To tell him. Pardon. Is that what you’re about to tell them? No, I understand To to look at you when you’re in development. Let’s use the ugly duckling story Hans Christian Andersen wrote that ugly duckling story And it is stuck with people because it it means something that is that you cannot tell in the early stages necessarily What this animal is going to be and it’s going to be a greater animal than the others But it’s also going to be more difficult. Sometimes the most difficult pregnancies result in the best Babies, there’s a there’s another you know in in The Magician’s Nephew one of the Narnia Chronicles. There was a horse I think it was fledged that that grew wings and I think the author of that CS Louis said Might have said it somewhere else that if you were a horse and you were gonna grow wings There would be a stage where the wings were really ugly looking there would be little nubs and things that get in the way Yeah, yeah But is having to see through those stages. So what if this takes you ten years and and you emerge glorious, there is the first thing I don’t know and Stan doesn’t know and your peers probably don’t know and you may not even know but that’s the first thing the possibility that you’re gonna do great work and It just takes a long time to get to it that animal analogy is not a bad one either you know, somebody said that if you build a cage for a cat and The cat wants to outgrow the cage and if it’s a tiger and you built this small cage I think that some animals will Stop grow-. They won’t realize their full size because they’ve been enclosed and Who decides what kind of animal you are? you are the one who decides what kind of animal you are and if it’s just that you’re your period of development is longer than other peoples. It may be there’s some great stuff is coming out I want to pause after mentioning that before going on to the other things you have any thoughts about this? um Yet. Well, first of all, I looked at his work and it’s not bad Have you seen as I haven’t seen his work? No. Yeah, it’s good. Yeah, that’s the first thing I did was like, okay Let’s see if he has A reason to be frustrated. I mean he does he has a reasonably frustrated but it’s like is it really that bad that he would? describe it just in this way or is It more of just that he it’s a personality thing. He just gets frustrated I mean he’s too hard on himself and I found out from looking at his Instagram that he’s just too hard on himself One of the chapters in Eddie O’Connor’s psychology of performance is on being the perfect perfectionist and what they know about perfectionism is that perfectionists tend to do better work and perfectionists pay a price Personally emotionally they suffer more The most extreme example, we may have talked about it force Kubrick. He was a perfectionist he was Obsessive-compulsive diagnosed as such his wife said that he wished that he had been more productive So there was pain Involved in it, but you can also turn right around and say yeah But nobody did a string of movies in the late 20th century that have had more impact on Filmmakers and have been more revered as a body of work so there That chapter though on being the perfect perfectionist has some useful things for a perfectionist. I’m not gonna elaborate on it right now Yeah, I carry through with this. It’s not just an emotional impact. I mean if I’m him for him, it’s a physical one, too He’s smoking because of it. Yeah, it’s turning into more It’s yeah, I think that you need to compare yourself not to yesterday Not to the you yesterday, but to the you 10 years ago and see if there was progress because sometimes progress is so slow that it feels like there is no progress, but if you go If you look back far enough, you’ll see that there is actually progress. It’s just very slow Or it’s not just very slow. It’s a normal pace of progress but to you, it feels like nothing. Oh, so I would stop Judging yourself on where you want to be right now Because you’re always gonna want to be better and judge yourself based on where you were Yeah in the movie young Sherlock Holmes Holmes has a fit at the beginning because he’s practicing the violin and he’d been a real short amount of time He said I should have mastered it by now Everything is harder more expensive and takes longer then it seems like it’s going to be when you start out with few exceptions So, yes, let’s let’s take a look though, it would be horrible to say now you don’t have talent It would be horrible to say yeah, give up It might be horrible to actually give up because you’re going to deprive other people of what you have to offer but If you’re going to be courageous You may at this point of frustration Look at the possibility. What if I’m not fit for this you’re asking that in here, I Have a few questions about that one is how would you know? How would you know that you don’t have talent? it may be that I have worked so hard at this for 10 years and I’ve seen such a tiny amount of Progression that I conclude that I don’t have talent, but I’d say that you should be the one to decide that What would be the criteria to say the gavel has come down I have the verdict is in I don’t have talent I’m going to move on to something else I would start with that so that you’ve at least got something you can say. I don’t need to make my decision until later I know of a writer who said that he was going to give himself 10 years to master his craft and in 10 years, he had not mastered his craft maths or whatever, but he gave he gave it another 10 years and then He mastered, when do you know you’ve mastered it when you when you write as well as you know You can write to me that’s what is mastery is when you can do it as well as you as you imagine doing it Ok, there. You are engine you are, you know large Standard by which every artist need is judged on right when you decide like this is a master This is not we know that we are not masters if we want to draw hands, but we can’t so we cover them in sleeves We know that we have not mastered that the hand is mastered us rather than we’ve mastered the hand Have I might have I mastered hands I think so. No, I haven’t again, it’s but if you want to draw hands, you don’t say well, I’m not gonna do it because I Haven’t mastered it, okay Well, here’s like I can’t draw it from imagination from every angle of every single type of hand There’s still so much I could improve on in drawing hands Okay, so we’re but do we tug of war on what the word mastery means? Because no no, we don’t my point is that you can always improve and so if you judge yourself Based on if you know everything or if there’s something you can improve on then you will never be good enough Because there will always be something you can improve on. Yeah, there’s another another phrase That from that same author CS Louis is being pleased but not satisfied. That’s right. That’s a great one that I can say I did a good job. It isn’t as it as good as I can Do I want to do better but instead of only looking at the thing that needs to be punished? looking at the thing that needs to be excoriated focusing on that that Can become negative spiraling energy? Yeah, whereas you can say, good. It’s the same way when we’re kids, right the first steps that a kid takes everybody applauds The kid knows that they’re all happy that I’ve done something the great the kid is beaming but that first step sucks It’s a horrible step Yeah, it’s followed by a fall you imagine. I hope that I’m never satisfied with My current level. I hope I’m not like oh, well, I can’t do better than that. Yeah, I like learning I like improving if I know I can’t get any better than I am now I’m gonna be very depressed Because it’s like I peaked Raphael is up against should I is this even worth it? Should I even be doing this? Stephen King has a an essay on how to be a writer and I think he’s got 10 things 10 Maxim’s and one of them is be talented and he talks about how If you send out six manuscripts and you’re rejected for them, do you give up? No not after six? not after sixty because there’s too many stories of Bob Mankoff story about how many it was thousands of cartoons that he submitted to the New Yorker before he got hired for his first New Yorker cartoon and Stephen King says what about six hundred maybe and then he says six thousand my friend if you have received six Thousand rejection slips, you might consider going into computer programming Instead of trying to be a novelist There does come a point and that’s what I that’s my first appeal is Where do you draw the line to say I should give up? You’re putting a lot of energy into this You could put it into something else is Is this worth it you decide but the first thing is how would you decide how would you say I? Don’t have talent for this second thing This is if you’re going to be courageous, you’re gonna face. Maybe I don’t have talent What would that mean to you? What I mean your life was over What I mean if I can’t draw it isn’t worth it to do anything or would you replace it with someone else? I hardly ever make images anymore. I miss it. I’m sorry about it, but I found that there were too many students that were claiming me as a teacher and I was being encouraged to teach more and I Essentially segwayed from being an illustrator into being a teacher and I I don’t regret that Alan Moore is a better example Alan Moore set out to be an illustrator. I don’t know if you knew that. No. Have you ever seen his work then? No, okay. It was a very much like Robert Crumb and It had an underground Comics quality it was it was good He could have been a professional but he decided at some point that he was the writer As opposed to the illustrator and if he hadn’t decided that There’d be no Alan Moore writing the comics that he has written So if you do come up up against I’m not a drawer What’s what does that mean to you? Is it mean you can do something else? Do you have something else that that even this can contribute to you may know so much some of the least impressive drafts people are Some of the best teachers of it just like some of the least impressive musicians can be very good music teachers Because they light the fire with someone else whose talent blazes So that’s the second thing. What would you do? What would it mean to you if you if you decided I Don’t have talent. I’ve got a third thing how would you know that you do have talent? I have a couple things I would point to do you get images? In your imagination, do you? image Stuff that you say I want that to be given birth Does it make you feel like this is worth working for if you don’t have images in your head of what? You could do Well, almost everybody. I know that I would deem talented is someone who does they get images in their head? And that makes them want to pursue them if you’re a musician But you say I want to learn my craft. I want to learn the skill of composing. I want to learn the different instruments well, are you a composer do you get tunes and then when you get the tunes do you get ways of which they could inter relate to each other and harmony ideas that would be if you do say Marshall I have images in my head and They are vivid to me or even if they aren’t vivid to me. I know they’re good that would be like the guests that I think I’m pregnant I think there is something going on in here and I would say that would that would be the Suspicion that you’ve got talent. Yeah, but if don’t get images in your head, it doesn’t mean you don’t have talent I would yeah, I would not I mean you can be frightened. I take pregnancy tests Either way, you couldn’t you could be pregnant and not know it. Yeah, but if you feel something stirring in there So I might If you might be stabbed, it’s just after lunch. Oh I’m just full. Yeah. Okay. Here’s another way if you say you don’t get images. This is close to it though. Do you envision? Doing your best work See, I can’t do it now. Every child has this happen when they say I want to do it They want to try it on their own and that impulse is natural and I think it also happens with artists that you get this Again, I use the word imagination that I could do this kind of stuff It most often happens as it does with us as people Because we’re Apes. We see grown-ups doing things We see other people doing things and we say I want to do that And so when you see these art parents that we’ve talked about and you say I want to be like that and then you start to work toward it and you’ve got a Sureness if I just keep working at it, it’ll go So again, it’s a suspicion Now you are chasing this suspicion the way a detective would chase a clue and you’re you’re working on it Okay, that’s that. That’s the last actually about the last thing that I have to say. The rest of it will be wrapping it up Hi, this is Marshall. Vance Kovacs And I will Co teach another five Tuesday’s of lessons from the Masters at brain storm inland starting September 17th This round will be on comparative anatomy both from animals to humans and from artists like JC Leyendecker Chiseled painterly approach to Arthur Rackham’s from the bones out style Will show lots of examples and Vance himself will demo the process. He uses to create creatures he designs for the movies lessons from the Masters with Vance Kovacs and Marshall Vandruff brainstorm – and Okay, a few things I wanted to say, I think that None of this will help him get over the frustration, right? That’s where we’re headed. Yeah So I was saving this as one of my things Yeah for a future episode. I finished the book called the the art of learning I think it would really help Raphael to read this because it’s a lot of it is about your mental state in How you learn and how your mental state really really determines how fast and how good you learn? How could you learn? Is that how well you love? It is fun? Yeah good is good enough. So read that book or file. It might really help you It’s the art of learning by learning Josh Waitzkin. Yes, Josh. He’s the the subject of the book and movie Searching for Bobby Fisher’ Right. He was a child prodigy the chess Yeah, so he wrote this book of the art of learning. He he since that he has become a world champion in martial arts He’s not just good at chess He’s good at a lot of you know other things that he so he knows how to learn But he also knows how to explain how he does. He knows how to explain it very well It’s a very well-written book, but I’m still gonna save this for one of my things. Okay? I just wanted to recommend it to him now because I think it really really pertains to him So the mental state he’s in that frustration I think is is hurting his progress a lot I think his teacher is correct. I think his teacher is correct. Also, even if his drawings do suck The frustration is still gonna hurt his progress. I don’t think his his drawings suck But even if they did I think you need to figure out how to Get over that frustration start meditating do some yoga whatever figure it out on your own What is gonna work for you? but the frustration thing has to be solved some some friends of mine that are great caricaturist said that they don’t like to Just look at still photographs is it like to see the person move like to see how they hold their energy and Your teacher is in the room with you. The teacher that you’ve mentioned is picks up your vibe The teacher that is is a doctor who has looked at you and can say here’s what I think is going on. I you’re getting confirmation From it because there’s been a lot of clues of that in here Clues know about what about that? His attitude, not attitudes emotional state my instructor my drawing instructor says I’m overly critical and that I pushed myself too hard and he says that is what is stalling my development But I don’t get it. Well, that’s something worth getting that’s something to really pay attention to and work on that It might not be the only thing that’s not there might be other things, but I definitely think it’s a huge part of it Yeah mental state If you’re positive if you got that energy and you believe in yourself You will perform better the best athletes believe in themselves. They know they can do it. If you start doubting you perform worse. That’s right So name the top athlete that has no confidence and doesn’t believe they can actually succeed The danger here though is we can start I can start recommending other resources like Eddie O’Connor’s psychology and performance it also I know that the book mastery that Stan likes a lot by Robert Greene Robert Greene is the the other book George Leonard’s version of mastery is a short book that can be read in one sitting and whatever You say is mastery the ability to do something easily and and you control how it goes there are three personality traits that are obstacles to mastery One is being the dabbler The dabbler is the person who tries it and finds out it’s hard drawing is hard. I’ve been at it for six months I haven’t gotten good. So I’m gonna do painting instead. Ohh painting. Oh, oh, yeah This is great. But painting and when it starts to get this stuff about core shadows and reflected light and Value control, it’s hot. I’m gonna do skiing. Yeah, I’m gonna do scuba and you move from one thing to another and you always Drop out because you’re a dabbler The hacker is a little different. The hacker is a person who reaches a level of skill That is good enough and says great I’ll just keep doing the same thing over and over I can do these charcoal portraits and it’s always the same procedure and I never grow and that means you don’t you don’t drop out you camp out you camp out on a level of Progression a lot of teachers are hackers You know a hacker If the hacker does not like to be in the presence of people better Than them because they feel shown up. It’s like I’ve got my little domain here I don’t want to be shown as someone who’s at a lower level. Okay, you’re not a hacker because you’re still working on this You’re not good enough yet You are the third enemy of Mastery which is the obsessive The obsessive is the one who when they work They say I’m getting better good that’s consistent with my self-esteem. And then they keep working. I’m not getting better. I’m something wrong I’ll work harder and they work harder and then they get better and they say ah now I’m back to normal and then they’re gonna go through a whole other stage of having to Assimilate this next level during which they will be miserable. And so the problem with a session Is that rather than dropping out or camping out you burn out you can only handle that for so long Before you don’t enjoy the process Anymore and my older brother who has been an avid surfer all over LA his life every time he injures himself including some serious injuries surfing Soon as he heals he goes back and then injures himself again. It always says it’s worth it It’s worth it And he uses a lot of surfer analogies and one of the things he told me is that you cannot plan surfing Because you don’t know what the next wave is going to be so there’s a there’s a secret attitude the attitude is when you ride you enjoy the ride and when you’re not writing you enjoy waiting for the next wave and This is pretty much what? George Leonard mentions in mastery is that that the secret is to enjoy these plateaus where you’re not growing and now How the hell do you do that there’s a few things there’s things we’ve talked about in this podcast Make it in an environment you’d like to be in where you’ve got your your bed stuff around it. Make it a social thing So it’s people that you enjoy just being in their companies or even mail you had a good time. That’s right You were with your friends Make it a game Give yourself some rewards also. Hey, hey, the secret is here. You already said it Raphael. I’m gonna use your own words we’re in holding you in court you said I Absolutely fell in love with drawing. Ooh Guilty That’s it Now that you’re married to drawing you find that the honeymoon is over, but there’s still the You you fell in love with drawing. There was something in it that you really I fell in love with drawing, too I remember I was in high school when I fell in love with I was walking around thinking I Want to do this all my life You also said something else in here, you said? Did you guys ever struggle like that? Is that normal? Well, first of all, did you guys ever struggle like that? you don’t want to know maybe you do want to know I I’ve had a 10-year stretch of drawing with students thinking this is the worst drawing I’ve ever done but wait till next week and It’ll be worse. It was just it was amazing. How how? Awful they were but I had to remind myself Just enjoy it. Just yeah, try to enjoy it and then there did come some points. Where there were there was 2014 one of my students pointing out how you’ve reached another level getting up to those next plateaus. Yes The answer is yes. I have struggled like this if you Me, yeah Yes Not like that. No No. Yeah, I’ve had the opposite issue. I was delusional Of how bad I was? Which I think is a better problem to have honestly It’s an easier because you’re you have a positive attitude going and every time like I’m gonna kill this Well, I’m gonna be so good and then you do a drawing like yeah It’s rocks, and then you just have motivation to keep going, you know eventually You got to calm down and realize that but when you don’t know what you don’t know you can be in that childhood stage I’m just having a ball They’re both problems that need to be addressed. But I think it’s better to yeah to be overly positive Raphael is over there on that other extreme. Now you had another question is this nor is that normal? It’s more normal than most people would let on The story apocryphal or not that Michelangelo had to his one of his assistants burn all of his preliminary Drawings and the assistant asked why and he said I don’t want people to know that I had to work that hard That is their the ideas. I want people to feel like I was just a God. It just came out of me Yeah, and I think that not everybody even or even remembers You how do you remember how hard it was to read and write I? Think that it’s more normal than most people will let on but then the third question is It just a matter of time Do I have to struggle like this for like 10 years or something to finally see some solid results I think you should see some solid results before 10 years, but this is the word struggle then you don’t need to struggle at all You can enjoy it starting tomorrow if you choose to I think it can be a choice now go into it with an attitude to enjoy the failure and Enjoy the problem-solving that comes from the failure, you know, then it doesn’t have to be a struggle ever The role of fun is one of the biggest things Because the role of fun means that I can I can get hit by the snowball I can fall down and it’s just a blast watch me get up and do it again so that there’s a genuine embracing not only of the successes but of the short slender calls them the plateaus and it’s this love of the the process and the love of the long periods of doing it the 10,000 hour thing that Malcolm Gladwell made so popular about 10 years ago whatever your opinion about it is when he Came out with this or made popular this research in a music school I think it was in Germany about what makes people great, and it’s 10,000 hours of having consciously and deliberately practiced well, whatever When the 10,000 hours thing came out there were a number of people saying 10,000 hours. Oh I didn’t know was gonna take that long but then there’s always gonna be a few who say Only 10,000 I wish it was 20,000 because I want to spend 20 years getting good at it and that is the mindset That means that you’re gonna you’re gonna do it. You’re gonna do it even if you uh, if You don’t see results because you love the process and you’re more likely to see results that way Okay, so we’re fil fell in love with drawing. He got married and then he found out he was pregnant Well, yeah, you know if you’re gonna choose analogy, what a drama There there’s no better there is no better analogy for creativity that I know of than Pregnancy then. Yeah Sex pregnancy childbirth and the whole thing I mean it’s figure it’s a creative act in a nest in you in a sense as it can be and It’s universal and it’s problematic So there’s a lot I think to be learned from it. Yeah. Well, I can’t wait to meet his baby. Yeah. Oh So keep going make sure you deliver a healthy human being So voicemails guys call in the numbers in the description ask us a voicemail know ask us a question in your voice and We might get to it. We’re getting a lot of them It’s good so if you called in on one of the early episodes you were it was pretty likely you’re gonna get an answer but now It’s too late So Charlie play us a voicemail hi, my question for you guys is Entertaining what’s more important the craft the actual Skill of the painting or the emotion that the viewer reviews from it. Thank you. I have a short answer I do too For me, it’s the craft but I I know that that’s almost like judging a book by it’s cover or Judging a woman by her body Mm-hmm. It is no it’s like it’s just kind of the surface. It doesn’t have any meaning But I really enjoy the aesthetic this the appearance of a painting and when it’s executed really well, I really enjoy looking at it just it doesn’t even have to be Anything it could be an abstract painting with really well-designed Shapes and texture and The composition could be cool and I could just look at these shapes in the way They go into other shapes and I could just enjoy looking at that. I don’t have to have a meaning behind it or I don’t have to feel some kind of emotion that The artist tried to make me feel I just feel good looking at something. That looks good. Mm-hmm So that’s kind of emotional So, I guess either way it’s an emotional thing Well, I feel that way too about some craft that it’s just so John Singer Sargent’s crafts alone Yeah is so impressive that even if you didn’t care about the people that he was painting or the landscapes? It’s just it’s so amazing and that comes to a dry point, you know pencil drawings I think the most amazing accomplishment in the history of art with pencil drawings has been W Ellenberger the guy who did the anatomy book that he spent decades on at the animal Anatomy book From about a hundred and some years ago. The one that Leyendecker would have studied from those pencil drawings are beyond belief I keep going back to them just to look at all of this sumptuous detail in them. But if you’re gonna make me choose I Wondered first of all, why would you want to want anybody to choose between this what’s behind the question? I mean, it’s you’re doing a Sophie’s Choice thing. Which child. Do you want to sacrifice? Yeah, I don’t want to sound like they’re one of them. Yeah, and I think a better way to look at it is That craft is the vehicle for emotion craft is a means to an end and Ultimately in the end of art I think is that it should evoke emotion It should elicit emotion and open people’s eyes and listen play along. Okay He’s making you choose that’s the question mark so I have my shoes I know that it’s not binary Yeah this or this it’s not you can’t but he’s making you imagine in a world where it’s this or this Which one would you choose? What would you choose to you lose your heart or your lungs? Yes, exactly Yeah, that’s exactly that’s uh, yeah, I wonder why what’s behind this question? No, you said that already? Which one is more important do you mean I have to choose we want to choose my poison? Yeah Since you chose craft no, come on I usually gone to the first. Yeah, I think I would choose a motion and here on this basis I didn’t choose crown now if I you had chose a motion, I would have chosen craft I would have liked you’re gonna get on that side of the boat. I need to get onto the other side of the boat Be on the same boat together Marshall because I like being with you And you just have to like sail away from me all the time We’ll just bring somebody else that will take another point of view altogether Different than both of us and we will react by connecting on craft How am I doing? Am I weaseling out of it? Okay, you like you’re breaking out? There may be a legitimate concern behind this question, I don’t know what it is we don’t know he’s not here yeah Yeah, so if there was a legitimate concern, okay, I’m gonna choose I’m gonna choose emotion on this basis Okay, having listened for many hours to baby talk and Childhood louder and being so amazed and charmed by it. I would say I’ll go for the emotional. Okay, cool Alright, well, I am not as excited anymore to ask you this, but I have to because it’s part of the podcast What’s your thing? Okay, I here’s what I’m going to do for I wasn’t planning this but because of Rafael’s question There’s a a movie from 1994 that I think is one of the two best comedies of the 90s It’s called bullets over Broadway in it John Cusack plays a playwright in the 1920s who wants to direct his own play on Broadway and runs into trouble Now if you look it up on Wikipedia and you read the plot points, you will not get out of this I’ve seen this movie about thirty times. I used to show it every semester at the beginning of my visual storytelling classes It’s it’s a good comedy for one thing But the other thing is that David Shane this character seeking to be the playwright and director has a lot of lessons for artists and The and the plot you would never guess where the plots going to go. That’s why I say just don’t don’t tell us yeah, don’t just we’ll just Start it find it. Don’t read anything about it start it and see what you think. I Love the movie enough to where when I’d seen it 22 23 24 times I was thinking do I want to watch this again with students and every time I do it doesn’t take me five minutes Before I am in and I know the whole thing by memory But I can write it like music so I wasn’t gonna bring it up, but I’m bringing it up because I think it’s appropriate Okay, what’s your thing? Hello today? I’m sorry. Sorry, what’s your thing? What’s my thing? Well todays thing I got a gift from One of my favorite pencil manufacturers and I was gonna make another thing Black-winged which I’ve been using for a few years now Sent me a package Well, do you have the package here? Why don’t you open that package so that everyone can see it? Okay Well, I should what a surprise. Well, unfortunately, you have it. You know, some people can’t see it. They’re listening. Oh, that’s right I mean, it’s gonna describe it it you’re not missing out if you can’t see it just that sound there Well the pencils have you ever used the black-winged place I have Yeah, what does it say in the back where it says half the pressure twice the speed? Yeah, that’s the slogan for a black wing pencil Do you know their story? It does it go back to Chuck Jones. And yes, I’ll let you tell it ok, so Chuck Jones and Who’s the writer? American writer who’s the writer Hemingway? Yes did without a wild guess? No, I I kind of knew Oh, you knew the story? Okay. Yeah, so Chuck Jones in Hemingway. Wait, is it Hemingway was at fault? Let’s just pretend it’s anyway, and then you guys can correct me in the comments and boost our video by commenting about They swore by these And then in the 90s They went out of business because they’re the machine that made them Broke and then I guess only only had one machine and it was too expensive to get a new one So they just like went out of business Yeah, right reason yeah, and then I don’t know how long ago Minoo how long ago but recently I think it’s Bellamy. No. Mm-hmm Palomino but in the last ten years I think maybe even more recent than that looks like it was John Steinbeck Steinbeck. I was joined by magnet anyway They bought the rights to this and then they brought it back. So these pencils are they’re the same. So there’s four types But they’re basically graphite pencils. What are the four types? The four types are hard? Soft medium. So what they call them are extra firm firm balanced and soft extra firm firm balanced balanced and soft and soft The original pencil the one that is the famous one that everyone likes is the firm one. It’s the gray one It’s the black wing 602. Okay, that’s the famous one these other three They were made by appellant me know after they they got it They basically they made a softer version a firmer version and like an in-between those, you know Cuz graphite has like H, you know six h HB It’s just six B, you know that whole range and so for artists You want to have a little bit of that range? And so the soft is more like a 4b, I think then I forgot which one I think the balance or the firm is like an HB and then there’s everything in between so You got a whole collection of a hand. They sent me four boxes. That’s very nice. He also sent me this shirt that I’m wearing a point guard so you put it on the tip so that the tip of the pencil doesn’t break and when you’re traveling oh Okay Sharpener, I like their sharpeners a lot. Yeah, they make the points a little bit longer Than the tradition in tradition just a little bit but I like that, okay Some sketchbooks Wow three sizes of sketchbook. I’ve never used their sketchbooks. Okay, I bet you will They sent me some stickers Wow a pencil box Stan my god, so I think in some Eraser refills, I love these eraser refills. They pop right out and this is a metal piece that keeps it compressed and then you put a new eraser in don’t you hate it when then like You have a regular number-two pencil and then the eraser dies like when? Just by using it for like a few days and then you still have most of the graphite still left but no eraser on it Well these erasers come right out and you put a new one in If I have one of those erasers, I wouldn’t have to hate anything. You want one of these boxes. Oh I already have several boxes of these. Oh, yeah, if you’re sharing Yeah, I take a box Marshall take a box take of refill. Okay, Wow. Okay. Yeah. Okay black-winged. Oh Just get it impale. I was about to throw a pencil into Marshalls eyeball no competition That’s it. I’m done Well, that’s exciting. They’re not sponsors. They are not sponsors. This is a plug out of sheer Yeah, they sent me this from and I actually do really like these. Mm-hmm, but your well being if you want a sponsor Yeah black-winged If you want to pay for this Now they don’t need to I really do like Blackwings I know Okay, so what should people put in the comments? Any advice for Rafael or any of you who are older or not people who have you’ve got your craft together, you’ve made your living with it presumably or even if not, You just do your best work as an amateur? If you have encouraging stories to tell Rafael that it took longer than people thought it did Write him a paragraph Isn’t that what I said Like Stan what should people comment and then I answer and you’re like or even better and then you just repeated what I said I thought that I was appealing to the older people who heard the ones that are over 30 That have got their mastery. I was thinking that I was making it specific for the younger people We could see more specific a Lonely Hearts Club you improve. Oh, yeah, we are gonna get there well, Okay, does that mean we’re done? Hey, I think we’re done. All right guys Leave a five-star review and if you want to sponsor this episode black-winged Contact [email protected] Okay. Thanks guys. See you here you next time. See ya no hear you Wow what an awkward that’s perfect. I love that


  • Reply Proko August 13, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Do you guys have any advice for Rafael? How do you deal with frustration?

  • Reply LadyAlleria August 14, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    My one profesor told me that I am an amateur and shouldn't be in this Academy. I was laughed so many times, even now. I am going to end Academy in a two month and my teachers still look bad at me (exept one).They made me to redo my diploma from a scrach. I learned my value by this.
    This sound stupid but You have to learn to like yourself. Every time I have a bad day painting, and complain at myself, my mom tels me:"do not insult my daughter". 😉

  • Reply Joe Pearman August 14, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    I'm on Raphael’s Boat. My art sucks and I've been trying to get good at it for a lot longer

  • Reply Heronjim August 14, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Advice given to Vollaton by another artist was that his frustration came from not loving his craft. Learn to love making art while you are doing it instead of thinking about the results of it and your art will instantly improve. Concentrate on the prize, you miss the target. Concentrate on  the target,  you win the prize.

  • Reply Chris Johnson/ Airbrush Artist August 14, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    I would have to say there's never going to be a time that you except your work as being perfect, just acceptable. Accepting certain flaws is what makes a deadline. It's the curse of any artist in any trade. I know too many people that say this painting isn't done because of it and in reality they don't you to point out there flaws. You spend so much time looking close and closer just wanting to see a flaw. Which is what other artist do when they look at someone else's work. Upholsterer's look at stitches, welder's look at welds, cabinet makers look at joinery, etc, etc.

  • Reply oakktree August 14, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” – Alan Watts

    Enjoy the plateau.

  • Reply Marie August 14, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    where can i get a talent pregnancy test?

  • Reply Real Idiot August 14, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Proko has a small nose

  • Reply Afrida August 14, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    yo Rafael, just be PROUD!! Cuz when ur proud u have more fun drawing and that helps u be more positive and draw more! which equals to more practice and thus u can develop ur skills better too! u have spent so much time on drawing and have become pretty good with hardwork and stuff… just coz u wanna get better, ur frustrated A.K.A. striving to be a better self…and thats actually positive thing if u ask me..

  • Reply Mariana Pott August 14, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Rafael, ta tudo bem, a gente não precisa se estressar ou frustrar tanto por alguma coisa sabe, tente "ser o seu melhor dentro do seu pior", isso pelo menos tem me ajudado a lidar com a frustração de parecer muito ruim enquanto todos os outros são bons. Se parecer que não tem melhorado, olhe algum desenho de uns 5 ou 10 anos atras e vc vai ver que teve uma melhora <3 não seja tão duro consigo

  • Reply Flame Alligator August 14, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    I had to make a choice early on between dance and art. I chose dance because one can only dance so many years. I started as a child. We fumble and fail a lot but my first teacher was wonderful. Telling us that the first time we did a pirouette, we won’t remember how we did it but our bodies will find it again. Patience. Class was technical skills. The last part was free flowing and fun.

    When I returned to drawing, it was frustrating. My drawings looked like a 5 year olds. No, I will never show them to anyone. Then I remembered the patience and acceptance I learned as a child in dance class. When I become frustrated with my drawing, I take a few days off. It always makes me long for it. When I return, I see the flaws and how to improve on them. I also see what I like about my art work. Or at least what I can tolerate.
    Raphael needs time away from art.

  • Reply Baykal Sarioglu August 14, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Raphael, let your drawing has a story then those "flaws" won't matter that much

  • Reply Juan Calvo August 14, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Raphael, what exactly are you doing in those 7 daily hours of drawing practice? As a cartoonist you'll do fine. For anything else, get some art teacher who tells you exactly why you suck and work on that particular problem.

  • Reply MOStein August 14, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Just from listening to that email, He is far too analytical, and not intuitive enough. I've been in this mindset before and you will never be satisfied with anything you draw if you view it from this sheer objective lens of perfection/linear improvement. When you draw, you are not solving a math problem, you are making a creative expression. You will never have a drawing that is "literally perfect" or anything close to it. Ever. Not even the best in the world can achieve this, just because you can see some tiny error(s), doesn't mean 99.9% of people who view your art will be able to see it, and most people who can spot it probably won't care unless it is a jarring issue on a fundamental level. Honestly as long as your fundamentals are solid and your drawings are structurally sound, the rest doesn't matter.

    Further improvement in the small details is just intuition and will take a very. long. time. to develop this. Some people's intuition develops faster than others depending on their personality type, or their experience with other creative work/hobbies/tasks.

  • Reply NATA5 August 14, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    25:56 god damn it, who put this in there?

  • Reply HSP August 14, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    I'm not convinced that there is something like talent beyond basic physical attributes but maybe there is. Are you doing art because you are talented ? Or are you talented because you do art. Good luck coming up with a definitive answer.

  • Reply Dark Matter August 14, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Hey, buddy. Get yourself a better art teacher, but more importantly, you've a very wrong attitude towards art. Don't expect to see 1:1 improvement by increasing the number of hours you put on your studies.

    Your foundation is shaky. Your strokes show restraint and mental battle. You said you fell in love with drawing, but your works speak otherwise. You're very aggressive with your strokes. You're suffering more than you need to. Don't use erasers. Get yourself a big mirror, so that you can work on improving symmetry. Your forearm, wrist and fingers are very weak. Train them. Make them strong. Practice quick, bold strokes, and precise but very slow strokes. When you're good in these exercises, get yourself a long pencil; break it into pieces; join those pieces back. Use this pencil, especially while drawing things you struggle with. This much for the craftsmanship.

    But, before you follow the above methods, you need a break. Hide all your art material someplace where you cannot see. Don't scribble, or watch any materials related to art, for (I recommend 2 months) at least 23 days. Start incorporating meditation. Most of the 'how to' videos on youtube are craps. Look for 'vipassana', and look for videos made by eastern monks ( just a rule of thumb, not necessarily true). You don't need to quit smoking, well.. not right now. When the time comes, you'll quit it willingly.

    And, about the visions, images. Everybody sees them, but only a few are aware of them. You just need to practice unfocused attention in order for these images to have a viable impression on your gross mind.

    And, regarding frustration. You're frustrated because you're comparing your past with the future. JUST BE, and you shall enjoy the fruit of Art that has consumed millennials since the dawn of the time.

    Now, some harsh words. You're partially right, your work sucks(true for every artist). You did notice that microexpression on Proko's face. How couldn't he? First he's a teacher, and secondly, he knows his audiences. You're right, you're making extremely slow progress. But, I don't think you'll need another 10 years either. I believe you can eventually reach this 'ok' level,. By 'ok' level, I mean, you'll be somewhat above or below popular art YouTubers. But, if you really want to imprint your work in art history, then it takes a lifetime, and often even lifetimes aren't enough. If you're here only for the destination and not for the journey, then buddy, art isn't for you.

  • Reply Birgit Blume August 14, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    So funny and profound. Love your podcast! Thank you!!!!

  • Reply marxistbros370 August 14, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Oh man you laughed about lung cancer. Used to like you, Proko. 🖖🏻

  • Reply marxistbros370 August 14, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Wow man. Yeah you’re a great artist, I don’t know what to do with this though.

  • Reply marxistbros370 August 14, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    You guys might be right. A lot of knowledge and wisdom between the two of you. But I’m shocked by the initial response to Raph’s question. #stilllearning #neverstop

  • Reply Caitlyn Waltler August 14, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    I feel like stan was taking too many jabs at the rhetoric and turning it into semantics. I think he puts too much weight on certain words and decides to use them cautiously for some reason. Mastery, for example is possible well within all things, such as the saying, "The more you know, the more you don't know." You can master you craft but still have things to learn. Beethoven was a master of music, yet even he made mistakes, and even on his deathbed he learned from a Handel manuscript. Mozart made mistakes all the time, and so did chopin, liszt, debussy, and Schubert. They all made mistakes, but they were well within masters of composition, technique, and their respective genre. You asked if you are a master based on what perhaps Marshall didn't know, and put him in a tight spot, all for the sake of proving a point in a terrible manner. Just say you're not a master of drawing hands, but say you're on the road. Don't demeanor marshall on a topic only you can judge yourself on.

  • Reply Fantom Limb August 14, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Holy shit that topic was intense!

  • Reply Ishmael Hutson August 14, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    I never knew I needed this

  • Reply CaptainPecato August 14, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    These episodes just keep getting better and better. Talk about learning… you both are showing us what it looks like to improve as you go because you enjoy the process. Very cool episode! Thanks!

  • Reply victor carvajal August 14, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    probably the best advice I can give is to listen to the song "hakuna matata" several times

  • Reply eric schultz August 14, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Frustration happens when reality doesnt match our desires. When we are frustrated, our bodies tense up. Our hands and arms (the portals that show others our inner visions) stiffen and become more unwieldy.

    Each stroke of the brush or pencil is a message about the artist's current state. If an artist is hungry, their strokes will hasten so they can eat sooner. If they are tired, their strokes will be longer and slower.

    When your body is stiff, your arms and hands wont be able to to accurately create the vision in your mind. This parallax will lead to more frustration. An endless cycle of frustration as reality differs from our inner vision. Its easy to forget one of the most fundamental fundamentals: healthy posture.

    Let go of your frustration. Take a brake. Lower your expectations for awhile. Draw abstract, draw environments. Draw bad on purpose. Draw things that dont require perfection. Treat drawing like a stranger and fall in love with it again.

    If you can spot flaws in your art, thats a sign you are improving. Flaws are a good thing that separate drawing from photography. Flaws make each drawing unique and attach the image to their creator. If everyone drew perfect realistic art, we'd be cameras and not humans.

    An artist puts their life and soul into their works. We will always find flaws, especially when we spend hours or days working on a piece. Remember that the average viewer only spends a few seconds looking at our work and won't see the flaws.

    Also, Stan used the blackwing in the zoo sketch video a few weeks ago with Aaron Blaise. They probably got a bump in sales from that exposure.

  • Reply SaOrA6 6 August 14, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    you know what leveled up?
    Proko's use of memes

  • Reply FinalStand August 14, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    25:55 why … like just why ,good thing i wasn't drinking anything

  • Reply Rafael Dantanna August 14, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Not the guy, same name and totally happy for that e-mail. I'm struggling with quite the same issue. These podcasts are making my journey more pleasant and hopefull. Thank you guys very much! Stan and Marshall, you guys are awesome! Love from Brazil!

  • Reply Twofigo August 14, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    I'm an obsessor.

    But I've gotten better at laughing at all the flaws I'm making, than tearing the paper appart in frustrated. Giving out a little giggle as i accidentally make the face cross-eyed makes it so much easier to continue drawing, and not doing the same mistake next drawing.

    I don't often carry an eraser, because if i did I would rub the paper appart before getting satisfied. I try embrace the flaws. As long as i can see the flaws i can get better.

  • Reply VictorianEvening August 14, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    14:29 That just gave me hope.

  • Reply Lord Vath August 15, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I actually am finding a lot of help for this same type of frustration from the book called, "The Artists Way" by Julia Cameron. But its been really interesting seeing the same type of subjects weekly in each episode released of the podcast. Keep it real guys, you have a gold mine in these videos!

  • Reply jeffhreid August 15, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Very compelling episode. Excellent commentary

  • Reply jeffhreid August 15, 2019 at 1:41 am

    My advice for Raphael is to do some exercises and use some tools / techniques that allow for objective comparison of results and progression. For example Bargue copies done using the sight size method. The completed image is a direct reflection of the reference. If he times his exercises he can see progress over time and won’t be tempted to obsess over the work because the time has elapsed. As for tools I suggest a proportional divider. Using one helps train the eye and hand to observe and transfer observations onto the page/ canvas.

  • Reply alexvid43 August 15, 2019 at 1:45 am

    after seeing a few drawings by him, i feel like the problem isn't really about rafael's skills but more about the pre-production phase. he should try to spend more effort on the idea and imagine how it should look before drawing it, then doing rough lines and composition to see if it works before spending hours on the drawing, it could save up a lot of time. To me the pictures he designed are simple and cartoony pictures that work pretty well. For example: the guy on the tank… if it was meant to be cartoony then it's just good but i don't really understand what he wants to express through it and this might the problem… the subject and the composition.

  • Reply Kat Landreth August 15, 2019 at 2:06 am

    I think he should consider talking to a counselor about this. The level of frustration and reactions described, if they're as consistant as he says, are beyond normal occasional frustration. I think his teacher is correct, if he's having that strong of a reaction he won't be able to see the forest for the trees and objectively review areas he could improve. I honestly think talking to a counselor about this would be very helpful. Just like you would ask a professional art teacher for advice about art, there should be no shame in asking a professional psychologist or counselor for advice about anger management and personal growth.

  • Reply DoggoKYS August 15, 2019 at 2:37 am

    Stan is wise

  • Reply PounchPounch August 15, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Wow that's some powerful comment section, I'll just share my frustration here: I've always been bad at school, I'm not very smart, I love playing video games, I love drawing even if I'm not particularly good at it and above all I try to do 2D animation, right now I'm working a little short personnal animation a little scene with a little story, and the final project should be 4 – 5 minutes long and guess what, I'm on it since september 2018 and did nothing else exept some life drawing in the street

    I'm extremely slow, and I feel like I'm getting slower, sometimes I work on it only 20 minutes a day and sometimes I don't work on it at all, I'm lacking motivation and yet sometimes I think of the satisfaction it would give me when finished but I don't work it, I refuse to think that I might not be interested in animation anymore because I think it's not the case, but I really don't know how to work harder on my project, my marks were not really good in school so I think that I don't have the discipline required to do the project I want to do. What do you guys recommended?

  • Reply Piggy Tsai August 15, 2019 at 2:54 am

    I haven’t finished watching the whole video but it already talked about some of the things I really needed to know! And discovered that I’m obsessive :0
    But how do you know you’re working toward the right direction when you’re not improving though? How do I know whether or not it’s just a stage to the next level?

  • Reply DeeDah August 15, 2019 at 4:20 am

    My piece of advice for you Rafael is this: You can stand nose to nose with the most famous drawings and paintings in the world and you will NEVER see the mistakes. Mistakes are what help define us. Be kind to yourself. In my youth, I was arrogant. I had skill and talent. I didn't think I needed to practice drawing boring still-lifes. I wanted to paint big important things. My arrogance lasted 25 years. It didn't bring me fame or fortune and it never brought me joy, because I stopped. I couldn't sell myself. I wasn't a natural salesman. So, I only drew in secret. Now that I'm 69 I'm going to paint JOY. Whatever brings me joy!

  • Reply Alexey Garmash August 15, 2019 at 4:38 am

    Hi everyone!
    Stanislav and Marshall, your talks are not only informative but also funny to watch!
    Here is a question, maybe a theme for the next video?:))
    How much should I know as a concept artist, to be able to launch my career as fast as I can?
    Ultimately there is a tonns of topics, but could we simplify it somehow?
    For example, 3D takes a big part of a process at the moment, but sometimes it underestimated.
    I found an Illustrator & Concept Artist Learning Path on Watts atelier web page.
    and it consists of more than 20 courses and workshops, BUT!
    there is nothing about a digital thing they all traditional when I saw it the first time I was just….F…K!!!!!!
    I don't say – let's skip the traditional things at all but, I think we need to simplify it more and learn some tips and trick to speed up the process.
    For example, if you are already over 30 you just don't have as much time as young ones.
    And you need to train yourself in the fastest and in the most precise way to break into the industry.
    This guy had the same aim, and he heavily uses 3D. It helped him to nail down his art skills very fast, in his interview he said he already was familiar with 3D when he decided to start over
    His Illustrator career, and also he was over 30 YO. And he needed it as fast as he can. So he learned just all the basic art principles like composition and light and shadows etc.
    And just put it on his tech. core knowledge ( software).
    So what I was scared and confused about is a huge number of traditional mediums in the Watts Programme. While the Industry itself heavily demands a good knowledge of the software.
    Do we still need to use this approach (very traditional core) or the learning methods are changed now?

  • Reply Austin Foster August 15, 2019 at 5:06 am

    this has been one of the most helpful things ive seen lately, I am a digital artist, and although I spent 10 years and a lot of money getting a BFA in digital art, I have yet to really have any success or get a job doing art, I did get to meet Kevin Eastman(creator of TMNT) and he said I was a good artist, so that was pretty cool…anyways! if you are frustrated try to really figure out what specifically your frustrated with, and whittle away at them, is it line quality, flow, or time spent on one drawing, or shading/rendering, or detail vs simplicity…pick one and focus on getting better and you will improve in all aspects, and then move to the next thing! Also remember that when you finish a piece, that at that point you are the only person who has seen it, but you need to get feedback from other people to convince your brain not to destroy it! i.e. don't believe everything you think! if you love doing something, you owe it to yourself not to quit…but you can and should take breaks! sorry for all the exclamation points…but writing this is also helping me take my own advise. cheers!

  • Reply GettinLa8d August 15, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Why would you want a painting with bells and whistles (high technical prowess) if there isn't anything for our feelings to resonate with? I think at that point its purely aesthetics. Some of the greatest art works in the world make us FEEL some sort of way, and not exclusively by having high technical achievement.

  • Reply Cloudizc August 15, 2019 at 7:44 am

    6:16 I´m the wise guy (duh).

  • Reply bolang ka August 15, 2019 at 8:24 am

    In the far east they have something that’s call the Chinese bamboo tree. The Chinese bamboo tree takes five years to grow. They have to water and fertilize the ground where it is every day, and it doesn’t break through the ground until the fifth year. But once it breaks through the ground, within five weeks it grows 90 feet tall.

    Now the question is does it grow 90 feet tall in five weeks, or five years?

  • Reply MIGUEL PINEDA-DRAWS August 15, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Oh boy
    I hope Season 2 of the Draftsmen podcast is a musical

  • Reply ABHED PATIL August 15, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Its not about how hard you hit… Its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward…. How much you can take and keep moving forward…. Thats how winning is done…

  • Reply DeyARMY August 15, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Min 3:31 ME
    I extremely relate to this

  • Reply oli x August 15, 2019 at 10:22 am

    So, Rafael maybe you don't like the style of your drawings, or the way you shade,etc. I would recommend you find artists that you like. Make boards on Pinterest of illustrations where you like the colors or the shading or whatever you like. Also don't always study, 'couse studying is frustrating.There are a lot of popular artist that are not masters,don't know all the muscles and bones etc., but there stuff are pretty,aesthetic nice to look at.Use them for inspiration.Look at something and try to draw it,but not exactly the same,don't make that your goal.Your goal should be to create a piece you like, not an accurate one.Try not to make basic anatomy mistakes like drawing the hands too long etc..Watch videos,sketchbook tours.All that fun stuff. I recommend Chris Hong videos on YouTube she has some fun studies. There are so many drawings that don't require master skills,simple but pretty .You don't have to make it complicated to look nice .Draw things that are not too hard for you,that are fun,that make you exited.And study to get better,but not all the time .Just watch art YouTube videos they are full of hacks and tips.For example before drawing the body with all its muscles an easier way to peruse it with circles watch jazza and his video for how to draw bodies in different positions.Watch how to videos they are simplified and help you draw easily.Good luck!

  • Reply misominmiso August 15, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Listen to draftsmens podcast while drawing, it will get you in the right mood! No smoking needed 🙂

  • Reply Tasya Nabila August 15, 2019 at 11:56 am

    "You need to be talented."
    Strike me really hard

  • Reply Amanda Lynn August 15, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Lol! I'm 34, been drawing since I was a toddler. I've had artist block for 18 years. It takes time to develop skill, they even said this. I've hear from many other artists that hate their art. I am critical of my art too, but my audience loves it. Show it off, you may hate it, but it could be gorgeous to some one!

  • Reply idan August 15, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    does Marshel has an audio book?

  • Reply Star Lord August 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Still waiting for that Karl and Kim jung episode

  • Reply swiirlee August 15, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    I think it should also be said that you should also like WHAT you're drawing.

  • Reply George Bestman August 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    "Every success and every failure are equal bricks in my mansion."

  • Reply George Bestman August 15, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Bring in some guests!

  • Reply Super Nerd Entertainment Show August 15, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    @proko; I have a question if I may, about the whole mastery or "art" If you can never master it (and I understand your point) how do you know when or even if your art work is good enough to share and in the end sell?

    At what point can you turn around and say yeah this is good enough to charge someone for, or yeah this is good enough that I can take a monthly wage doing this? 

    If your goal is not real life/realism/photo realism but just to produce works that people enjoy, like, love and want to have on their wall, or on a t-shirt or whatever. How do you know you are at that point? Is it a case of just keep trying to sell work and you know when someone buys it, it was good enough to sell?

    @Marshall you suggest going on to teach, you might not be the world's premiere draftsman but you have the ability to teach, again how would you know you have this ability, where and how would you go to prove this? If your portfolio is not so hot, how are you going to go to an educational facility and say hey I totally have what it takes to teach humans to draw. Even in a Youtube series, how would you know if what you are saying is helpful or useful and not damaging? I have looked at a number of "teachers" on youtube give hints, tips, advice and "how to" and I actually feel the information is destructive to new artists, or misleading or just plain incorrect, based on their own clear lack of understanding.

    You could do either of these things selling art and teaching art with total abandonment and just not care, but what if you care about being the best, and doing a good job and not screwing up someone's education or feeling like a fraud taking people's money for work you feel is not worth what you are charging (but you have to)

  • Reply Kaique August 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm


  • Reply Tony August 15, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Please sing more, Marshall. That was everything I needed this afternoon.

  • Reply Stephanie Wozny August 15, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    You are very wisdomous, Stan.

  • Reply Gabriela jivkova August 15, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Top 10 rappers Eminem is afrade to diss 4:00
    Jokes aside 😀
    This is note my self that I wrote a while ago :
    "Push through the bad phase of art embrace the "uglyness"  the flaws the lack of knowledge or skill ,see your art in that bad light, let it be ugly !
    By acknowledging those parts of your art and trying to imrove while being okay with it ,but probably the most important is to fall in love with the act of creation to be truly free from judgment of your current stage."

    That such a good topic to discuss thanks to Rafael for writing the email .
    I think the best advice I can give is to take a look at what is going on in your life maybe even your childhood and try and find what is the thing that makes you think you're not "enough " maybe that's plays a role in your artistic development and you're trying to compensate to try to be "enough" in your art .
    I see you are good at art, it's not as bad as you presented to be …
    I think you are person that keeps hammering at the problem and that leads to even more frustration instead of seeing solutions you see even more problems instead of solution .
    Try develop healthy habits in your life , when you feel that frustration do something don't overthik it just go out on walk, clean your work space anything to prevent you from getting you more frustrated.
    Best of luck to you Raphael!

  • Reply Luis Fernandez-Izquierdo August 15, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    interesting painting behind Proko … can you show it a bit more?

  • Reply Katie Kerr August 15, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    If y'all wanna make this so more people watch it, title the caption "I've practiced for 10 years with no improvement, what can I do? (Or however many years it was)

  • Reply ThePolygator August 15, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    that old dude is talking SO MUCH…but hes not saying shit.. hes just quoting other people and giving strange examples and goes offroad way to often. so many points where all u can say is "wtf is the man talking about". just because hes old, it dosent mean hes some kind of all knowing entity. idk i dont like the man i get some shady taste with him, maybe its just me

  • Reply Алиса Косолапова August 15, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Probably a bit of weird comment, but for the first time in my life I'm enjoying drawing hands. And it's because Marshall's hands are just beautiful. Man, I'm having a blast, really! I'm pausing the video to draw hands and it feels amazing. So… thanks for that >< (yeah the podcast was very good too :D)

  • Reply Syncra August 16, 2019 at 12:10 am

    My fine artist mentor told me that our consistent "mistakes" are what makes us unique. Instead of hating "mistakes", play with them, take it in a different direction just for the fun of it. So as I strive for realism I play with a more illustrative or even very abstract take on the area I labeled a "mistake" and enjoy that particular exploration. I'm a dabbler and a very new artist, so in my avoidance I've explored other mark making techniques and enjoyed the journey. Now I'm coming back around to drawing. Thank you Stan & Marshall!

  • Reply gmeliberty August 16, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Stan: “You can enjoy it starting tomorrow, if you choose to.” Wisdom.

  • Reply drunkbobo August 16, 2019 at 1:20 am

    You know how sometimes you go on vacation, and when it’s almost over you need a vacation from your vacation…? Raphael, you need to take a week off from drawing. Immerse yourself in something else for a bit. Read a couple of your favorite books, binge a series on Netflix, pick up something else to get your creative “fix” like cooking… And when you get back to drawing just have fun!

  • Reply Marie August 16, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Rafael and anyone else feeling similar I highly recommend Noah Elkrief's youtube talk "Why Confidence Can't Make You Happy".

    You are not your failures or your successes. Your self-worth is not dependent on your drawing. You may think it is but it is not FACTUALLY and OBJECTIVELY —-True.

    Take a moment to congratulate yourself and feel appreciation for your progress. You may not be where you want to be, but you can still take pride in yourself–because you are doing what you want to do and you're taking steps to improve. Draw from that space of inner appreciation and joy. Remember that because that's what inspired you to draw in the first place–JOY and FULFILLMENT.

  • Reply DarthVaderAnakin August 16, 2019 at 3:54 am

    This is great!

  • Reply Isabel Borges August 16, 2019 at 5:22 am

    A fellow frustrated Brazilian artist…

  • Reply Anton Deckman August 16, 2019 at 5:31 am

    im so ADD, that the beginning of this video had me on a Beatles Youtube wormhole for a while, but im back …. for now

  • Reply SueTheHue August 16, 2019 at 7:11 am

    i just love your podcast, you two have a great thing going for you!

  • Reply SueTheHue August 16, 2019 at 9:01 am

    marshall and stan my ears are glued to your lips and i love your insights on the process of creating and personal growth. im truely thankful that you two are doing what you are doing.

  • Reply NarpytheCrimeDog August 16, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Everybody must now address Stan as "The Great and Wise Proko."

  • Reply Michel Ferreira August 16, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Stan the Wise. That's some baddass nickname for a good RPG.

  • Reply Michel Ferreira August 16, 2019 at 10:07 am

    These podcasts feed my soul.

  • Reply DESS DESS August 16, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Proko is so wise.

  • Reply Liz Gridley - Artist August 16, 2019 at 11:37 am

    I love the point of the rule of fun as someone who is scared of heights because of the fear of falling i want to learn to have fun with the feeling (soft crash mats help but still!) Just as i have always focused on what i learn when failing in drawing…

  • Reply Rahul Rajeev August 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    The best one so far.❤️

  • Reply Mixuter August 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Marshal:literally anything
    Me:wow thats deep

  • Reply Status Quo August 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    This seems like a person who doesn't take enough rest to integrate skills.. how the f*** can you even still hold your pencil if you draw 6-7h a day on top of your dayjob?
    The balance seems wack here.

  • Reply Gisi August 16, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    XD you are awesome guys

  • Reply Drew Mariano August 16, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Analysis paralysis

  • Reply Grendel Prime August 16, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Rafael, I've been a professional artist for 25 years who has struggled with procrastination, self loathing, negativity and worst of all Perfectionism. It has kept me from pursuing an avenue of art I love to do, of which I'm in the process of changing, but I can say 25 years is a too long a time to be pinned down by my inhibitions and frustration.
    You need to share your work with other artists who are interested in seeing you grow. Understanding this is important because you need to know critiques are honest, genuine and delivered with your best interest in mind.

    Perfection is paralysis – This is true in Art, Business, Planning and Strategy. Once you come to terms with this and free yourself, you will improve. Bless you.

  • Reply DashCourageous August 16, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    It's Christmas! Woo!

  • Reply Dave Barrack August 16, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    I'm a little surprised you guys didn't mention Impostor Syndrome, which is essentially where people doubt their abilities despite evidence to the contrary. I think a lot of artists suffer from it. I know I do. I've been a professional artist for years, but I've never considered making any sort of art tutorial videos or anything like that because every time I sit down to draw I feel like I have basically no idea what I'm doing. Even when I have a good day and put out a piece that I'm momentarily proud of, I go and look at some pro artist on Artstation and it makes me feel utterly incompetent by comparison. I think a lot of artists, and probably anyone doing something remotely creative has issues like that.

  • Reply Joshua Jensen August 17, 2019 at 3:44 am

    If this fellas is able to see his mistakes in everything he draws, what is he doing to reflect on them and adjust/learn/adjust for the next situation? I get the feeling he is not using his self analysis to his advantage. I'm working to be a professional comic book colorist and I'm constantly frustrated with my work…to a point. The network of other colorist around me is always forth coming with advice and most of the time they say "hey, good but remember the fundamentals of color theory". This usually leads me to start asking the right questions of myself or others and helps get me back on track. The other thing I do is look at photos of real life, art, and comics from professionals that I study or admire. There are times when I'm looking at a Matt Wilson, Dave Stewart or FCO colored work, it will take me an hour to get through a 22 page book because I'm just looking at everything carefully and soaking in the knowledge.

    This guy's work is very stylized and enjoyable to see, each has its own life to it. I agree with Proko, stop being over critical and just keep drawing.

  • Reply Opti Zensidar August 17, 2019 at 8:33 am

    You know. it's not a laughing matters. Just because you were born with the talent it doesn't made you somehow ABOVE us who didn't win that genetic casino and got that sweet preinstalled right vision from the get go! Just because it got easy for you doesn't mean you have any RIGHTS to laugh at person who have to struggle with it for a decays!!! You know, instead of laughing why don't you give some ACTUALLY USEFUL advice to right way to improve faster already!

  • Reply krunal mangrola August 17, 2019 at 8:57 am

    My first Draftsmen podcast. So much wisdom in 40min. Love the chemistry between them, it's for more like friendship than father and son.❤️ Marshall has so well insight into things I can't even express.

  • Reply Adiel Ben ari August 17, 2019 at 10:43 am

    to the frustrated- talented student who wrote the letter
    watch this amazing artist: Donato Giancola –
    very inspiring.
    and thank u for a great show, haven't fished watching it, but I will after the beach.

  • Reply John Edelmann August 17, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Why is there a skull on the table?

  • Reply mnoldbstrd August 17, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I had a period of time where I would say, that I lost my inspiration. I recently picked it back up. I always find flaws in my work and have often wanted to trash it, but I don't. I leave it in sight, look at it and do little touch ups once in awhile.
    On another note, as a carpenter, I was told by an older carpenter, that when I think I know everything there is to know about my craft, find something else to do. Never stop learning.

  • Reply Jayymes August 17, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Jesse pinkman and Walter White in the future.

  • Reply DoranArtMedia August 17, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Sounds like he's writer who should be writing (;

  • Reply DoranArtMedia August 17, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Ray Doran, 50 years old "I wish i believed i was great in animation school"

  • Reply David Philips August 17, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Advice for Rafael from a professional musician.

    I make my living playing guitar and singing. I've been playing concerts since I was 10 years old (I'm 43 now) and i'm still learning and improving. But one thing that struck me about Rafael's story is it is very similar to mine when I was studying jazz guitar. I was obsessed!! I would practice 9 hours a day and gig in the evenings and I seemed to get worse. I got so angry and so frustrated, but I was determined, so I just practiced more and more until one day I went crazy and quit altogether. I hardly touched my guitar in 6 months. Then I got called for some blues gigs and I started to improve! I was hardly playing and I was getting better by the week. I came back with a fresh perspective and what I believe to be the key to learning and breaking plateaus… TAKE TIME OFF!!!
    Your mind and body need time to assimilate all the new information you are feeding them and they just can't keep up if you don't take time off.
    Rafael, take 2 weeks away from drawing. Don't touch a pencil in two weeks. Forget about it. Live a bit. Do something else. Then come back and go easier. Less hours a day, a day or 2 off a week. I'm almost certain you will see better improvement. It sounds crazy and counter productive, but you can study, and even care, too much and you just get all bound up and tight and hateful and then your art/music will look/sound like that.
    I haven't practiced guitar in years now. I just play gigs and run the tunes I have to play for those gigs, and I am still improving. Those 9 hours a day are still showing results 10 years later. No joke!
    Hope that helps.

  • Reply Boggesh Zahim August 18, 2019 at 1:16 am

    I looked at his art. He has nothing to feel bad about, keep it up friend. His centaur drawing is breathtaking

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