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April 8, 2022

Book notes on Steal like an artist (part 8/12)

 Chapter 8: Be nice. The world is a small town

  • Make friends and ignore enemies
    • For the love of god, don’t engage haters! If you get a rude comment, don’t give them the satisfaction of acknowledging it. You win by ignoring them.
  • If you talk about someone online, they will find out eventually. Just be nice
  • You can judge a person’s character by the company they keep. I.e. you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with
    • Who are your friends IRL and online? What do you talk about when you’re together? Do you focus on fun and productive activities, or do you gossip and bring others down?
  • Follow the best people online
    • Better, smarter, more successful than you
    • People doing something interesting
    • Pay attention to what these people are doing and talking about
  • Find the most talented person in the room, and if it’s not you, go stand next to them. Hang out with them and try to be helpful
    • I wish I could hang out with Erin Hanson and watch her work. At the very least, maybe someday I can visit California and see her gallery, or even meet her. Now that would be awesome.
    • Fantasy: What if I could go back in time to meet Louis Wain and learn more about his creative works. That would be so awesome! 
  • Quit picking fights on Twitter and go make something. Channel your anger into your work if needed.
    • Quit Twitter altogether! The less time I spend on social media the better. It’s such a toilet fire these days it’s not even worth going online anymore.
  • Complain about the way other people do XYZ by making your own XYZ.
    • I hate that generic main character design they use in every anime. They all look. EXACTLY. THE. SAME.
    • When characters are shown in a flashback and they look literally exactly the same but with child’s proportions. I want to know more about what the character was like back then.
    • Lazy gender bending art. You're essentially drawing a different character with a different name. Do more than changing their chest and hair length. Please
    • Queerbaiting in stories. I’m tired of getting my hopes up only for the writers to chicken out by saying, “Just kidding they’re straight, you’re stupid for reading too much into this!” A recent show I loved, Our Flag Means Death, is one giant middle finger to big-time offenders like Supernatural and Sherlock.
  • Write fan letters to artists you admire
    • This is a good creative exercise. It could be literally any artist, ever. I’ll write a letter to Louis Wain. That would be fun.
    • What other artists would I want to write to?
      • Erin Hanson
      • Yuu Watase
      • Mia Ikumi (RIP)
  • The best way to get approval is to not need it. Don’t seek external validation
    • This is way easier said than done. External validation is a human need that’s hardwired into our brains since prehistoric times since it was necessary for survival. But it is possible to find some degree of validation within yourself. It’s a slow process of resilience and self-growth.
    • You have little to no control over how people will react to your work
    • Keep a text file filled with external praise for times you’re feeling discouraged
      • This reminds me of Tiger & Bunny season 2 x 13 when Magical Cat opened up the good luck pouch she received from Dragon Kid. It wasn’t a magical macguffin but a handwritten letter encouraging her. I thought that was very sweet and it demonstrated how empowering it can be when someone else believes in you.
    • But don’t rely on it all the time. Can be effective in a pinch.
  • Modern art = “I could make that!” + “Yeah, but you didn’t!”
    • It’s worth noting that many people have attempted to imitate Jackson Pollock’s famous splatter paintings, but you can always tell which ones are actually his. Abstract art is more nuanced than people think.
    • My Kid Could Paint That: turns out they can’t. Dad was doing all the work.

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