Professionals use references…

William Vaughan in his “[digital] Modeling” book has this to say to those that would ask “How do I make my work look like what the pros are doing?”:

[Use as much reference material as possible and hone your observational skills].

Not exactly what you were expecting, huh? But yes, that is the mind-blowingly simple trade secret of the pros. It’s what separates a hobbyist from a professional. Remember that the sooner you come to the realization that there is no magic “Do My Job” button, the sooner you can start down the road of creating professional CG work.

The biggest problem I see for new artists is a lack of reference and observation. It immediately shows up in their work. Not only is it obvious to me, but most importantly, it’s obvious to those doing the hiring.

And I agree wholeheartedly! You can never have too much of it, so I suggest you get into the habit of collecting good references and store them in a digital morgue file. Using references is a skill and it doesn’t make you inferior, but will only make you a better artist in the long run. The more realism you want to see in your artworks, the more you’ll have to consult references.

morgue

When Comparing Yourself Is a Good Thing

Every one of the articles I read talked about comparison as if it were the worst thing you could ever do. Quotes were pulled from famous men and women alike. “Comparison kills.” “To compare is to despair.” “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And, yes, comparing our lives to others has lots of negative aspects to it, and we certainly shouldn’t always be measuring our accomplishments against everyone around us. But sometimes, it seems to me, comparing our lives to others—in balance, of course—can help us. (Read more)

Dark Patterns

A Dark Pattern is a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.

Normally when you think of “bad design”, you think of the creator as being sloppy or lazy but with no ill intent. This type of bad design is known as a “UI anti-pattern”. Dark Patterns are different – they are not mistakes, they are carefully crafted with a solid understanding of human psychology, and they do not have the user’s interests in mind. We as designers, founders, UX & UI professionals and creators need to take a stance against Dark Patterns. — Source

http://justdelete.me/

Goethe on the Psychology of Color and Emotion

Color is an essential part of how we experience the world, both biologically and culturally. One of the earliest formal explorations of color theory came from an unlikely source — the German poet, artist, and politician Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, (Read more)

Do I Own My Art? On Intellectual Property Rights

Question: “I’ve been thinking a lot about copyright and often wondered how copyright fits with Scripture. I am a video content creator and sometimes the copyright laws matter deeply to me, other times not. How should believers view intellectual property rights?” (Read more)

Four Productivity Lies

A look at productivity from a biblical perspective.

I have invested a lot of effort in understanding productivity and emphasizing it in my life. Eventually I came to peace with it. But I only did so after addressing some of the prevailing lies about it. (Read more)

Where do ideas come from?

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

“Good artists borrow; great artists steal.”

“The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.” — David Bowie

“Good artists copy, great artists steal. We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” — Steve Jobs

“If you have one person you’re influenced by, everyone will say you’re the next whoever. But if you rip off a hundred people, everyone will say you’re so original!” — Gary Panter

Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist)

The Psychology of Cryptomnesia: How We Unconsciously Plagiarize Existing Ideas

YouTube: Copying vs. Stealing in Web Design

Theme Recycling: There Are No Fresh Movie Posters