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Author Topic: Why I Use MS Paint  (Read 3322 times)

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Offline legomaestro

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Why I Use MS Paint
« on: November 19, 2019, 09:12:35 AM »
Why I use MS Paint

This is why I use MS Paint, and these are my thoughts about the whole habit.


1. Jumping In and Mental Stamina

I'm a master procrastinator.

There is a crucial 60 seconds between deciding to do a task and jumping into it that determines everything. The last few years have not been fun in the motivation department, with unreliable bursts of inspiration followed by huge slumps in the will to draw.

The only saving grace is that I love doing regimens on the side, so that I don't lose out on productivity (And I dare say it's been quite effective. I'll write on that).

What's really helped me in those slow months is MS Paint and its bare bones, No-nonsense interface. I've drawn countless, countless things with MS Paint because I don't feel mentally tasked at all.

Yes, even that scratchy ugly pencil tool works to my advantage, because I see images in the scribbles, I feel like I'm exploring the canvas and have no distractions from a myriad of tools and from the huge burden of expectation.

Mental Stamina is what I call the ability to sit down and do 'deep work.' And while I'm working on improving that and have good sessions, it runs out at crucial times when I want to jump into drawing. MS Paint has helped with that.



2. It makes me not care about feedback - Negative or Positive

The less I feel invested in the praise/curse of other viewers, the more likely I'm able to make art.

It's the quintessential answer to a lot of my hangups whether it be in writing, drawing or music: If I objectively realize that I am producing sub-par work (or at least work that could look better in other software) then I need not feel guilty if it doesn't turn out great, and I need not feel pressured if people find something good in what I've drawn.

Hell, I've gotten scathing remarks for my MS Paint drawings that would've ended my motivation if I'd been 'seriously' drawing with a high end software.

It helps me filter out positive and negative feedback and just jump in and draw. I was successful in this by being able to make 8 chapters for SLG, two for Digital Dragons because between flow and not truly caring I was able to make stuff uninhibited. Same with my music: I just sit down and play my four chords and it's such a relaxing feeling.


3. Beating The Epic Artist

There is also another aspect of the feedback thing that is truly hard to express.

I have a strange grudge against a phantom 'Epic Artist' that seems to always have time to come along and observe my every move and has always been criticizing me with holier-than-thou advice and a sly side-smile that says:

"I'm better than this fool, and he's doing nothing. He could be doing X Y Z but even if I tell him... Sigh... Lego Lego... This guy... I swear. Ah well, it can't be helped. Leave him be."

I see that guy and when it gets too much, when I feel stagnated by that criticism and inability to move I just sort of... let go.

I let go of the expectation to please them. I let go of the competition. I just do.

And I do it in a sort of rage and excitement. A vindictive 'Oh YEAH?! Then how about THIS."

I've had some great personal spiritual victories by doing that. When I noticed, "Hey. I might've drawn something bad, but now that I look back I have this bunch of drawings, these ideas and concepts I've actually executed, and that idol, that Epic Artist hasn't even done anything lately (even if he'd destroy me if he did), so I win."

It's like winning a race against Usain Bolt because Usain Bolt is too busy playing video games. If he gets off the couch it's game over no matter how far the track you are, but until then the reality is that small victory. And it's sweet while it lasts.


4. Flow

A lot of my reasons for using MS Paint come from an emotional side, but say what you want, there is an intuition to the program that deserves objective praise.

I can churn out ideas like nobodys' business. I can't believe how good it is at being able to just get straight to the point, to just DO. And of course, and of course... What if you get back to those unfinished projects later? If I master working up my super sketchier stuff, then MS Paint isn't even a barrier to my art but a great companion. (Still, I'm definitely using Photoshop more as I write this.)

Sometimes when I see the videos I made I realize how objectively true it is. There's no pen pressure standing in my way, no fiddling - I just draw and explore shapes. Pen to canvas.  When I watch the videos I get this alien feeling as if it was someone else drawing and I even feel jealous of that person who's using MS Paint (Me.).


Caveats

1. OK, you win, MS Paint isn't exactly the best

This is an age old argument: Do you need to use a ballpoint pen or a pencil? Why learn music with your feet when you have hands? What's the point of learning perspective and the finer fundamentals of art when you can get 3d generated backgrounds - heck when you can pay for them? Why take a car when you can take a bike without any forseeable consequences in terms of deadlines? Why be efficient at all when you can complete the same tasks anyway? IS there a need to save time, to make things easier?

I've been the Champion of Impracticality. I love the idea of working with harder tools, with playing with bad sounding guitars and restricting myself to get that Goku Gravity Chamber feeling of beating hard odds. Some part of me will always be like that.

 But my answer?

If you can do it faster, do it faster. If it can go easier, go for that.

The reason I refused to 'just use a better software' had a lot to do with my personally justified feelings about the matter, but it also had to do with A Distinct Unwillingness To Learn From Another Human. Unless it's a lecturer at a university, or a neutral Youtube video that isn't directly talking to me, or some great book written and published by someone, I lost my ability to take feedback from fellow humans, and fellow artists. Like a fool.

I've learnt my language through University and School and Teachers and Youtube and Books yes, but I've learnt even more from colleagues, friends, peers, from children. Their advice and pointers are every bit as valuable as someone who's trained in the field. Heck, I'm more in contact with 'fellow humans' than not, by virtue of the Internet.

I used to be good at being humble and accepting that advice, but as far as MS Paint was concerned that was a no-go. Absolute nuh-uh.

I think I might've overlooked some pretty simple important tips. I think that even if I didn't pay attention to them, I could've at least tried to draw ONE drawing according to the advice (And by the logic of my own arguments about Flow and simplicity, I should've been able to do that without any cost, correct?)

So yeah. MS Paint is not the optimal software to get into drawing. Digital software has advanced to well, one does absolutely miss out on some great features that can make your drawing life even better.

2. Double Caveat.


I reserve the right to still double down and screw around with MS Paint, because I've got one last reason I use MS Paint: It encourages people.

I experimented with the idea in another facebook group with a couple of friends who were wallowing and barely posting anything. For a group that was made for 'a drawing a day' I felt frustrated because not only was nobody posting: Not even I was.

So I draw a stick figure Goku powering up in MS Paint and that was that.

They laughed that didn't work quite yet, but then I started drawing comics, storyboards.

You see, even if it doesn't look 3 dimensional or pristine I was still able to convey images and ideas, and I think that is something that people forget no matter what skill level (and believe you me there are beasts in the group that I joined) That art communicates ideas. That even if that finger looks like a balloon right now if your characters' name is Fred and he likes to collect antique sofas you have a story to tell.  That so long as it's readable you can depict how aliens come up from the ground in massive drills to invade an unsuspecting city.

Idea and Inspiration first - then the rest.

Or something like that.




I'm not sure if any of this made sense, but it's felt great to finally write it out. Take whatever cents you can, leave the rest. Or call me out and let's talk. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers.



Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Why I Use MS Paint
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 03:11:14 PM »
Lot's of points here, I'm probably gonna give a more in depth response when I'm awake more haha but I will simply say this:
If it works for you, then that's all that matters. It doesn't matter if it doesn't work for other people. They can have their opinions about it and they can keep them. And you can have your opinions and keep them too.

For several years I have held the theory that there are not only many roads that lead to good art, but almost any road that leads anywhere leads to good art as long as you follow down it long enough.
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Offline cometsan

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Re: Why I Use MS Paint
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 08:53:53 PM »
oh i thot

it's cuz u have six microscopic dongs

and u nid six baes to look handsom and ffeel gud.

i geddit

u like biggger things
to feel good about your sizes.


saem hiir

Offline Coach Fro

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Re: Why I Use MS Paint
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2019, 09:30:21 PM »
*Rises from the grave*

This was something that I really needed to read. Thank you Lego, for being relatable as always.

*Dies again*
Messatsu...



Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Why I Use MS Paint
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 10:03:17 AM »
Quote
There is a crucial 60 seconds between deciding to do a task and jumping into it that determines everything.
Indeed. In fact, my mum has a saying, to just have a look at whatever job needs doing. and often we actually do the job once we have looked at it because we've already revved up that part of the brain.
I have a slightly different slant - to only work on it for 5 minutes, because I can easily afford to spare 5 minutes, even if it's a complete waste of time. But once you start, you often do more.
I think the law on momentum applies here - that to switch to a different train of thought requires effort, but once in that train of thought, its easier to stay there.
Incidentally a similar phrase you might be looking for is "Context Switching", which I found a while back.

I can totally relate to the mental stamina issue. I now switch quickly between different types of study (still in evaluation) and each time I almost say "just one more face and I'll switch", and so I often end up doing an extra 5 minutes on each theme before I actually move on.

Quote
The less I feel invested in the praise/curse of other viewers, the more likely I'm able to make art.
That's kinda similar to "I can't work when people are watching". I suffer from both. In my case I cope by only uploading 5% of what I create, so I can always upload my best work and hide my worst, until much later when I'm uninvested in it and post the whole lot. So when I'm drawing and I hit a difficult drawing or one that makes me want to quit, I say "this is a sacrificial piece, a stepping stone and nothing more, and I shall never show it to the world". And then I worry less :P

Your MSPaint comics were sriously awersome though, because you actually made them.
I suffer from criticism from myself and the feeling that I have to work "professionally" which is why I have these expanded detailled workflows. I learn to deal with myself by working with what I can do, and amplifying it, not what I can't.

Quote
A vindictive 'Oh YEAH?! Then how about THIS."
I can't say I have felt the phantom epic artist hovering over my shoulder, but I can relate to the feeling of suddenly throwing your hands up and dropping styles to something massively scribbly or crazy.

Quote
I can churn out ideas like nobodys' business.
Well, there's no disputing that for sure XD

When I started digital art I used my android tablet, and I liked the pen pressure feel of the default brush in whatever app I used, and got used to it. When I switched to GIMP years ago, I played around for hours to get the exact feel just right, and I only ever use that brush for all of my line art and sketching. So in that respect, I don't like playing with settings either, but I've got the settings I like, so I always use them.

Quote
If you can do it faster, do it faster. If it can go easier, go for that.
Well I mostly agree with that. My entire being the last 4 or so years has been dedicated to improving my workflow efficiency and speed. I'm more accuracy focused now as I'm fast enough for now.

Sometimes to make something easier it requires a little more effort and investment at first, for example I have to program my little apps that help with stuff. It takes several hours perhaps, but once created, on every single use it saves maybe 30 seconds or a minute more. And that's not just time saved, but mental energy saved as well, which I can spend on the more important drawing stuff.

I also don't like taking much advice, and I can confidently say the zany winding path of art I have taken is mine and mine alone, but with friendly pointers along the way :P

Quote
Idea and Inspiration first - then the rest.
I'm sort of the opposite way around - skill first and then inspiration. But it has bitten me in that all my drawings are awfully similar and I've been frustrated by the lack of creativity in them, especially lately. So I've been moving into the same thought of having a good idea, and then working on it to improve it to a solid thing.

Nice bunch of pointers and thinking. Very relatable too.
I think one's personality has a huge impact on how they learn art, or anything, and how they develop and in which direction, so one truely has to know oneself in order to progress in the best way.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 10:05:33 AM by suuper-san »
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