In this post, I want to talk about something that I have been noticing from answering questions and giving feedback to students.

I have noticed that there are 2 types of students.

Some who just want to share with me their work, and some others who are looking to improve.

Many times I made the mistake of giving feedback to those students who were not looking for it, they just wanted to share with me their animation or drawing.

And my reply was pointing out their mistakes and some general guidance on how to improve it, things they could do to become a better artist.

And the answers I got were… well, how can I put this gently… they would basically tell me to f**k off.

Of course, not with those words, but they would get upset, or even a bit angry.

Why?

Well, now I understand perfectly why.

Because they were not looking for feedback, they were not interested in growing.

They only wanted to share with me their work. That’s it!

So, now my easy answer is: “Thanks for sharing!”

Which you will understand why I put this in many of my replies. "Thanks for sharing!"

I have found that some students are not looking to improve, they only want to have some fun drawing or animating.

And some other students don’t really mind not having fun, they don’t mind hurting their egos a bit in order to change and grow to become a better artist.

Because seriously…

You need to pick one between these two.

Fun? Or Growth?

Which one do you prefer?

Well, you can go all smarty-pants with me and say both.

GREAT! That’s the spirit :D

But you need to know that, if you are a beginner, there is going to be a moment in which you are going to have to choose.

Yes, that means, you will have to sacrifice one of the two.

Fun? Growth?

Would you sacrifice fun in order to grow? Or would you sacrifice growth in order to have some fun?

That moment will come, and you will have to decide.

What moment?

The moment you show your work to others.

If you want to have fun…

Then just share it and make it clear that you are not looking for feedback. Mention that you were just messing around with this to have some fun.

That way, no one will bother telling you any mistakes you made.

But this comes at a cost: You won’t grow.

Having fun is just exploring, messing things up without a clear goal, doing whatever you feel and putting it down somewhere. It requires really no effort. All you have to focus on is in doing things that are easy for you to do. There is no real challenge to push yourself, there is no quality standard.

So, if you are doing it for fun, then, anything goes. You don’t need anyone to tell you how to improve, just enjoy life! YOLO! You only live once! Do whatever feels good!

But, because there is no challenge, you won’t push yourself enough to improve.

Now.

If you want to grow…

Then, you will need feedback. This honest and brutal feedback will help you find the mistakes you don’t know you are making and will improve bit by bit until you become so good they can’t ignore you.

In this scenario you have a clear goal, you are on a quest, you are in a competition against yourself. Your goal is for each day become just a little bit better than yesterday. You push yourself.

This eventually gets you to a point in which you have fans, and people start paying you money for drawing or doing animation.

Like Precia-T, one of our partners, the co-instructor of our training course, the Rogue Mangaka.

She has been continually improving until she can now charge up to $100 and sometimes $200 USD for a single drawing.

But this comes at a cost: It's not fun.

The moment you get feedback feels like sh*t.

Your ego is hurt and they tell you all the wrong things you did.

You basically get people to tell you that you are not good enough (yet!). You get people to tell you all the little mistakes you don’t know you are doing.

Yes. This is the cost. Getting people to tell you why your work sucks (ouch! That hurts, doesn’t it? That’s your ego getting in the way of your growth).

Sure! You can then tackle those mistakes and improve next time, and then you do new mistakes, and you improve them again, and again and again until you become awesome.

That is a great thing! Yes! Because you can later do what you love for a living, at that point, you have fun and you can keep growing.

But at least for the moment, when you are still growing from beginner to pro, your ego will be hurt, and it will feel terrible.

It will be a difficult journey. The end will be great, and you can even enjoy the process, but just know that when you are figuring things out, when you are getting honest feedback, your ego will be hurt.

So, if you had to choose, would you choose Fun? Or Growth?

And it doesn’t matter what software you use, what type of pencil, or (if you have the budget) what type of drawing tablet you use… it’s all the same.

Because it’s not the tools that make you an artist, it’s the way you use those tools what makes you great.

So next time, if you are posting your work and sharing it with me, let me know, are you looking to grow? Or are you sharing just for fun?

Let me know and I will give you the best reply I can :D

Take care,
Mark


SPECIAL NOTE:

If you are struggling with animation and want a way to practice animation in the easiest way possible, so you can start practicing the 12 principles of animation and decide to do it for fun or for growth, you should know that Reallusion is about to release a new software called: Cartoon Animator 4 (the new name for the CrazyTalk Animator Series).

This new upgrade has so many new features that makes it perfect for beginners who are starting with animation.

The perfect shortcut for beginners to start practicing the 12 principles of animation.