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Messages - Suuper-san

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General Discussion / Re: The limit of improving an idea?
« on: August 01, 2020, 06:59:31 AM »
When is a work of art finished?
I think this is a good point to keep in mind.

While I dont intend to ever go as philosophical as you described there regarding gender or the action of standing, I have been getting into the heads of my characters more, like "where are they going", "what are they doing", "why are they smiling", and often finding the answer has enabled me to add more details into the scene to support the motion or action, or to change the action/pose/character to suit a more believable scene.

Talking into account your intended audience, if you have one, is quite important I definitely agree. Especially for writing a manga, you are expecting to have readers that are trying to understand your story, perhaps more than people just glancing at your illustrations.

But if you don't show that, then people won't see it.
I think that's especially true of illustrations as opposed to stories/manga, where you can add a lot of details about a character, an illustration is a single snapshot so it has to convey everything that you want it it, in one go.

I think as you say the fact that there is no correct answer, and everyones answer will differ, really highlights that you need to have a style as an artist, which is more than just the lines you use, but the entire concepts that you create and the reasons for it.

I didn't quite realise how philosophical my question was when I wrote it, but perhaps that's why I was struggling to find an answer, because it's not a logical true/false answer, it's more emotions and morals and all sorts.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« on: August 01, 2020, 04:20:42 AM »
thanks for the comment Ryan! always good to get some criticism on my crazy ideas.

With these drawings you've been allowing yourself to draw at a level lower than what you're capable of. Because in the end you're treating each drawing as a rep to get through rather than something that deserves a serious effort from your problem solving ability.
Yeah. I get you on that. I have no excuse :/
My general aim with the low level sketches is to create fundamentally better concepts, inaccurate as they are, but to break away from the "standing girl doing nothing" character, without the stress of trying to work with proportions/3dness at the same time (the higher my focus on form, the more generic my concepts become). All these sketches as you know will get processed at a higher level when I resolve them, at which point there will be more problem solving and working properly with forms.
As for the "reps", I'm also trying to build up my stamina for working with my WIPs, as even my manga page processing will feel very similar to what I do normally I want to make sure that I can trudge through it on even my worst feeling days.

I wonder if you are not being as thoughtful as you should be when it comes to what things look like, what is their 3-dimensional structure, and how you should go about drawing them.
At the moment, that's totally what it looks like, and that's part of the gamble I'm making, long term. But these sketches will get resolved and so I'll hit that form issue later on.

not waste your time building something somebody else already made.
I have a love hate relationship with this phrase. As a one-man-army style person I don't like to rely too heavily on other peoples stuff, but I also recognise that it is absolutely necessary. I mean, I'm using an art program that someone else programmed, with brushes that someone else made. It's the same as buying your own paintbrushes instead of making them yourself.
But some things I don't agree with, such as assets. It's just fundamentally disagrees with my own ambition as an artist. My semi goal is to create a set of my own assets, like textures and stuff, which I can use.
Using assets feels like I'm collaborating with other people to get my art done, and I'd like to avoid that at all costs, it's a pride thing again. Like putting trees in the background of a scene, or a computer on a desk. It might be a generic object that no-one looks at, but if I lacked the skill to create it from scratch, then that's my lack of ability as an artist that's the problem. That's how I see it.

Partly the problem is that I want to be a good artist above becoming a professional artist. If I were only aiming at professional, I would be doing commissions already and making money off them, and using every tool in my disposal to make my life easier. But I primarily want to be an excellent artist, who can create the things they need themselves. So a self-sufficient artist I suppose you might call that, maybe.

I'm the kind of person that would want to learn how to make their own paintbrushes and ink if I were doing it traditionally, so it's not even a digital issue, I just very much like working from scratch as much as possible. I am definitely aware that it makes it harder, and I may possibly regret it at some point, but it's the path I've chosen.

It will take you hundreds of hours to implement these features in GIMP
I will definitely take a look at Clip Studio Paint, but until I'm actually on the edge of producing manga regularly, I don't think I will actually benefit from many of those features you described. I'm still just figuring out how to draw stuff normally.

General Discussion / Re: The limit of improving an idea?
« on: August 01, 2020, 03:58:02 AM »
whatever goals you set for yourself to judge your own work by are also arbitrary
Yeah, definitely :D such are humans :P

But this assumes that the artist is actually able to competently draw hands in the first place
Yeah that's something I want to be careful of, not to skip details because I can't draw them, but because I choose not to. So you almost have to have a higher skill level than what you work at, to "cut corners"

Music / Re: The Manimal's Music
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:36:21 PM »
No worries :P I don't comment too much on your music so when I do I try and make it worthwhile :P
Yeah I listened to RHYTHM EMOTION too it was more ballady with it's tone, not a modern anime song as they are now.
I hope to someday write my own lyrics and/or music. Starting from poems isn't a bad idea methinks.
Your melody was totally catchy though I keep finding myself whistling it haha

Music / Re: The Manimal's Music
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:04:18 PM »
anime songs have so much detail in the instrumentals, I just didn't know what to do though.
I totally get you on that, both muscially and artwise. Before posting I listened to a couple of my favourite anime songs to see what the music was like, and it's just a blur of stuff, I couldn't tell anything that was going on at all :P
Adding details in art is a similar thing - you can see it in other peoples work but you just can't figure out how to add it to your own.
I can't sing hardly at all :P
I record myself occasionally to see if I've gotten any better and, typically, I haven't :P
keep it up :)

maybe have you tried copying a favourite song (not necessarily all of it) as much as you can , and then compare the results to see how it differs? It's very useful with art and I wonder if that can translate to music.
learning to analyse music is probably very useful in this regard, both just researching what instruments/settings/notes an artist used, but also training your ear to recognise it yourself.

A phrase that I have when analysing  artists is "Why didn't I think of that?", trying to figure out my own thoughts(or lack thereof) and finding what thoughts I "should have had" to lead to that artwork that I really like. So not just casually kicking yourself "why didn't I think of that", but really "actually what is the reason why didn't I think of it?"

General Discussion / Re: The limit of improving an idea?
« on: July 31, 2020, 01:53:06 PM »

quite the philosophical can of worms
That's pretty much what I started to realise when I started thinking about it in detail, it just got more and more cloudy.

“create art that is something that you want but can’t find.”
That's pretty close to my general goal, just doing "whatever I want".
Because if you just want to make sketchy art, then sketchy art is the end goal of your skill, doing a more accurate piece would be considered a failure in that instance, despite it being "better"

if you aren’t careful and try to pursue some nebulous, abstract idea of what is the “absolute best” in all cases then you will likely find yourself being pulled apart in all directions and unable to make any meaningful progress.
This is very close to the thought that led to creating this topic, I have many favourite artists, all who have refined their style to a certain point, all with very different styles, but I like them all. I couldn't decide which is a better style, but they are all very good. I do try and have a varied style so I found myself trying to develop my styles and improve it in every direction, which kind of left me back where I started.
"Absolute best" is one of those phrases that sounds good but fundamentally doesn't exist, especially if you start to include multiple opinions.

less reached a limit and more reached a zenith
That makes more sense, as otherwise a limit implies that you can get higher.

I definitely think fundamentally it is quite a personal choice as to what is better or what makes an improvement, as a minimalist would certainly choose a non-complex piece as being better, whereas I prefer much more cluttered and detailed pieces.

So if you are the judge of your work, then you are also the judge of what makes it better, not someone elses arbitrary scale.
I remember one artist saying on YouTube, it doesnt matter if the hands aren't perfect, no-one's going to look at them, so you can frequently use more generic poses. And they're not wrong at all. But that doesn't mean that I agree with it :P

set your own goals.
Yup definitely sounds like the right answer to me :P


I sort of imagined this graph in my head when I was writing the previous post. Because there logically has to be some sort of limit. I'm glad you said the same thing because I wasn't at all sure :P

Also what comes to mind is the 80:20 rule, 80% of the work is done in 20% of the time.

A piece of art is done once you can admit to yourself that it is good enough.
I definitely hit that point with the image in the top post. There were a lot of things that I could have improved that were very small, but the time trade-off just wasn't worth it. And it likely would have looped, finding more things to improve at the end of it.
Since I'm working quite carefully with quality control recently I'm not surprised it's related to the query I had.
so "good enough" is also synonymous with "not worth improving further" (for whatever reason, typically time/money)

Music / Re: The Manimal's Music
« on: July 31, 2020, 01:33:10 PM »
I like it!
I'm not great with music reviews so I'll just spill my thoughts
-Melody was nice overall, a couple of places I didn't agree with, like the "You’ll climb" line, I expected it go up rather than down (the line felt more spoken than sung as well, this happened on a few words)
-Really nice lyrics and definitely anime vibes going on there. You couldn't tell this from anime lyrics, seriously.
-I cant quite explain it but both your and guest vocals felt like you were uncomfortable singing this genre, like they sort of occasionally had country (?) music sounding to them occasionally. I can't explain it. Not all the time, though. Like dropping the "g" off "-ing" words and saying "-in" (Beyond the weepin' Sunlight is sweepin') So it came across more casual than I expect an anime song.
-Music felt a little empty sometimes especially during non lyric sections, like it was missing an additional instrument like a bass, long notes or something. I don't know music so I don't know. I think there was a lot of bass that could have been there, maybe.
-I dont know if the guest was singing out of native accent but thats sort of what it felt like. Or just an interesting voice, I dont know :P wasn't bad to listen to at all, that's just how it felt.

It sounds like a lot of criticism but really I liked it :P

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Hati's Inventory
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:45:16 AM »
yep, definitely a dark comic haha
still, nicely done and easy to follow without any text.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: MK's gallery
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:44:31 AM »
lovely bunch of work there!!!
can definitely see your style forming together over the years.
I think the colour fanarts I like the most :P

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Writing Log
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:08:32 AM »
did another 30 minutes in the last 2 weeks. I need to work on writing some dialog/narration, to try and make some manga pages.

General Discussion / The limit of improving an idea?
« on: July 31, 2020, 01:49:39 AM »
I'll try and not ramble :P

Lately I have been trying to improve my ideas more consistently, and I suddenly struck an interesting issue, and I'd love to get other's insights on it.

Basically I'm wondering, is there a limit to how far you can improve a sketch/illustration/idea?

I see this as several categories:
-Improving the quality/accuracy
-Improving the idea

I think that most people would agree that a more accurate piece is better than a sketchy half finished piece, like the ones below.

But what exactly makes an idea on its own better than others?
The illustration above is just a standing girl , so it could certainly be improved with a background, or an action rather than just standing still. But then what can be improved after that? and after that?

And when comparing artworks, what makes you say "this one is better than that one"?
Is that not essentially personal taste?

So in other words, is the limit on improving an idea - your own sense of what a good idea should be in the first place?
i.e. if you like sketches then you are more likely to prefer a sketch to a more complete artwork, and if you like cute girls you are more likely to prefer a slightly inaccurate bad proportioned cute girl to a really accurate armoured old guy?
.....But I think even if you preferred one piece to the other, your view of which one was "better" would change if you were asked which one was more "skilled", which one was more "detailled" etc.

There are lots of things you can do to improve an idea:
-add more details
-add colour
-add patterns instead of plain colours
-add unique details
-improve proportions

So the question is, when producing an idea - is there a limit to how far you can improve it. Once you have done all the above, is there a point where an illustration or idea can't be improved anymore?

Is this essentially what an artists style or personal preference is?

Although a little outside the scope of this topic, the same question can be applied to a story/plot
what makes a better story?

is continuous improvement possible or will one always reach a plateau?

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« on: July 31, 2020, 01:28:26 AM »
@Coryn will definitely keep you guys posted on the story. It'll probably be a couple of months before anything solid is made, we have a chapter 1 script, but I dont have a manga page quality set up yet - I need to make some test pages to know what's continuously achievable. Dont want to have too high a quality and then not be able to finish it :P

@NO1SEY yeah I'm constantly reviewing where I can speed up work and reduce quality, but yes as you say you need to control the speed for the quality/complexity of your artwork and specific details. It's a huge work in progress :P

@MK thanks! I find copying things helps to get used to drawing them, and then you find you start to sketch them more naturally. It takes time :P

End of month report

As always, there's a lot I want tot talk about but I dont want to ramble endlessly, so I'll try and be brief.
This month proved to be an expensive test of what's achievable for me. I wasn't able to get as high production as I had hoped, but still averaged about 4 hours a day.

I produced a large amount of original sketches, more than I would normally produce, but overall, my output dropped.
I put this down to several reasons:
-Copying is easier than sketching original stuff - so it's easier to spend longer doing it. I did less copying this month and so my stamina took a hit trying to keep drawing from my head.
-It's been like 6 months of lockdown now and basically, my sense of urgency in art is starting to wane. I just can't keep it up anymore. That being said, the moment I noticed this and the previous point, I managed to boost my output again, so I think it's just trying to constantly evaluate my progress that's important to keep me going.

So I will be doing more copying again, it dropped to nearly 0 this month but I think my inspiration ran dry as I wasn't putting ideas back into my head, or learning how to draw things better at all by copying, so it gradually got harder and harder to draw.

I have decided that at least for a couple of months, I'm going to take a gamble in my art and work a lot more at the concept and sketch phase. I've always done that anyway, but this time really taking a look at how to improve my initial ideas and the early development phases so that my WIPs are all much higher quality. Instead of generating 100 sketches, and 20 are good, I want to generate 50 sketches, and 30 are good. I'm working towards consistency of quality now, and basically a higher efficiency, so that my time is better spent. I like having a high output but not at the cost of producing 80% bad/generic ideas.

I'm pretty sure that, like previously, my higher quality end will just magically improve without effort because everything is linked together.

Here is my full page of text prompted sketches that I did recently.

I have about 10 different sketch pages like this one, but each has a different type of prompt or style that I'm working with. I'm hoping to see  which ones produce the better ideas more consistently and then work on just these pages in the future.

This is my favourite sketch page but it produces the most generic ideas unfortunately. (Because it's a comfort zone sketch page)

Having a text prompt on the image itself (I remove it when I save the image so it's not there now) really helps for using it as a prompt and creating a more unique piece that's more creative than just a character standing there. So I'm glad I got that working out for me. I also have 2 new concept ideas that I had hoped to finish and show, but they're still half way through because of my laziness, so hopefully next time I can show them off.

For 2 weeks I worked with a daily schedule for different areas of art - it worked quite well but I think it was quite draining overall. I'm going back to my messy do-whatever approach because that seems to work just as well really.

I think doing so much daily drawing has lead to each depressive episode and hyper excited episode being much closer together because my schedule is basically compacting several months of work into one, each month. So I'm hoping it's just me learning at a faster rate. But I can't help feeling that I'm not where I should be. But I'm basically enjoying it so alls well I guess :P

I have noticed more recently a lot more tiredness from drawing - I think that's related to tiredness overall and just being fed up of being in lockdown so much. I'm still not working so I dont really have a schedule. I get out the house occasionally, go for walks, exercise indoors and so on, but it's not great where every day is the same. I would rather have alternate days of work and days of art than just days of art at the moment - I think it would help me to stay focused better and actually be more productive.

I'm trying to learn from other artists and from photo reference to improve my range of ideas and quality of sketching, but it's taking it's time.

I'm hoping August will be better but considering how good I felt about July and how that went, I can't say I'm confident anything amazing will happen. I need to pick up the pace and sense of urgency about it otherwise nothing great will happen. I think I need to be super productive to get that next level ability now.
I suppose the main problem is just self-regulation - I get distracted easily and can't focus too well sometimes, especially when it's a brain intensive task like creating new sketches. So I'm trying to learn to focus harder and for longer periods of time (not like hours, drawing for more than 15 minutes without getting distracted haha)

See you all later.

Comics and other Gallery / Re: Miscellaneous Arts and Sketchbook
« on: July 31, 2020, 12:56:56 AM »
There'll be tough times for sure, I've been having it rough a lot lately as well. It's only because I have so much free time that I'm barely holding it together with productivity.
But good to see you're cracking forward. The 10000 project is nearly finished!

Double layering was a bit of a misnomer. I meant 'double lining'. I've noticed how lines are not singular regardless of the context. I noticed it especially on the pipes haha.
Ahhh you mean how like there are always parallel lines on stuff, like on the edges of clothing and so on? It certainly adds a level of realism and it's an easy "cheat" for getting more details :P

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Legomaestro's Art Box
« on: July 31, 2020, 12:54:14 AM »
nice bunch of sketches and good to see you around again :D
curious how the scratchy lines look softer when the image is shrunk...I'm actually working on a similar thought in my quality control for my sketches.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: July 31, 2020, 12:50:05 AM »
great justifications I think, and good to see some more details about the mechanics, and nice game graphics!

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