AuthorTopic: Winning at pixel art  (Read 9976 times)

Offline cels

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #10 on: March 24, 2015, 08:42:32 pm
Sure, I do have the view I am advocating.
I can't give zero fucks about others, but as I said you should give "less" fucks.
Giving less fucks simply results in yourself being happier and only if you are happy you can work on.
Hah, I love that you make the distinction and start a discussion of semantics about 'zero fuck's vs 'less fucks', like we're discussing different schools of thought in ancient chinese philosophy. "I am CELS, Apprentice of the Zero Fucks Given".

Sorry, I just found it mildly amusing. No disrespect. And I do get what you mean :)

The best help I ever got on the topic you brought up came in form of a book by Ayn Rand, called "The Fountainhead". Maybe you should just read that one, at least I'd recommend it to you.
Reading Ayn Rand is a bit of an uphill struggle for me. She seems to advocate the polar opposite of what I believe, and while it is important to read books that conflict with and challenge your views, it's a bit more effort. I read Anthem, which I really liked. I read half of Atlas Shrugged, which I found interesting, though a bit heavy handed. Ultimately I gave up on that book when the main character...
... suddenly discovered a forgotten car engine which didn't run on fuel, or something to that effect. Just out of nowhere, they discover the greatest invention in the history of Mankind in an abandoned factory. A classroom example of 'deus ex machina', an inconceivably unlikely discovery just for the sake of moving the plot along.
Anyway, I have a bad habit of giving up halfway through on books. So I guess I'll have to finish that one, and then check out the famous Fountainhead.

And then finish War & Peace and the Brothers Karamazov, hopefully collecting some massive street cred some day in the future.

Isn't the Fountainhead pretty similar to Atlas Shrugged though, when it comes to the general message and moral of the story?

Black and white/winning losing thinking isn't sustainable and you can find so much pleasure in the process as well as the final product. Why trash 90% of the journey?
This part really spoke to me, and is probably something that I need to consider. Pixel art is often a race to the finish line for me, as I'm just so eager to get to the final product. I need a bit more Zen, I think.

Thanks a lot for sharing your story!  Very insightful. And for the record, Louis CK is the man. Definitely my favourite comedian as well. As an artist, one of the most inspiring things about him is the story of how he failed for years and years and then found the bravery to just throw all his old material away and start fresh. That takes a lot of courage. Desperation too, sure. But a lot of courage. :)

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #11 on: March 24, 2015, 09:11:36 pm
Atlas shrugged didn't really work for me either. Some parts were ok to me.
I also wouldn't recommend that book, except if one is looking for satirical entertainment.

Imo the Fountainhead has much better characters which you can understand and relate to a lot easier.
It's also more about understanding, than about pegging characters as something, which atlas shrugged does a lot.
I don't think it's necessary to agree with the autor, but it gives worthwhile perspectives to explore.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2015, 09:18:27 pm by Cyangmou »
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Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #12 on: March 24, 2015, 10:00:39 pm
Deep shit.
It's a good step to want to talk about this sort of stuff with others.

Competition
------------------------
I LOVE competition.
But I don't think I'd call myself competitive.
It's a completely natural feeling to want to play, win, lose, compare, break down, style, progress, experiment, etc.
Instead of ignoring or accepting your emotions, learn to redirect them into something productive.

Find multiple ways to blow off competitive steam.

Play games.
Video and physical.
Try new ones.
Last year I learned Pool and Tekken Tag 2.
This year I learned Racquetball and MTG.
Next year I'll learn ________.

Find people you can turn into competitive friends.
Challenge them over and over and over. ---> at games, art, whatever
Overtime you'll find that you aren't really competing with each other.
Wins and losses won't matter.
You're just doing something together that you both like, getting better at it, bouncing ideas back and forth, etc.
But still having the underlying feeling and satisfaction of competition.

Once you have a lot of practice with that, going out and competing with random people is stress free and fun.

Winning and Losing
------------------------
There's definitely  something to be said about being:
- REALLY happy to win.
- REALLY not happy to lose.

This is a symptom of being extremely focused on the result of each game.
Rather than the exhilaration of play and accumulated experience.

Winning feels great.
But losing doesn't suck at all actually.
It's good for you.

Learn to open up a dialog no matter what side you end up on.

If you win:
Explain the thoughts you had at each step, or critical steps, of the game to the loser.
Think about how to play differently or re iterate on the same strategy you used for next time.
Point out strengths and weaknesses of each player and the plays they made.
Ask them why they lost.

If you lose:
Explain the thoughts you had at each step, or critical steps, of the game to the winner.
Think about how to play differently or re iterate on the same strategy you used for next time.
Point out strengths and weaknesses of each player and the plays they made.
Ask them why they won.

Career
------------
It's definitely a competition to grab up jobs.
Make money.
Be on a cool project.
Excite people with your art.
Sell a lot of copies.

Multiple people compete for a single position.
And even within a team, members continue to compete with each other.

Some of it is good competition.
Some of it is bad competition.
But pretty much all of it is healthy.

Exercise
---------------
Take a walk.
Join a gym.
Do basic yoga.
Practice a sport alone.

Learn the quiet, peace, and challenges of isolation.
It will make you appreciate the time you spend interacting with others much more.

Attempt to balance the rest of your life.
And then it will be easier to place importance on each part of it.

Art
----------------------------
Exactly what jengy touched on.
Learn to love the process.
Get your kicks out of every line, stroke, color, tool, frame, etc.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Joe

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #13 on: March 24, 2015, 10:22:32 pm
External motivation vs. internal. The people who go years without public recognition are either working towards a completely different goal, or are much more realistic in their patience. There are so many good ideas, so much impressive art being shared nowadays that it's going to take a very long time before any one person can break out and distinguish themselves.

It's a choice to make recognition matter to you. Recognition feels good to everyone; it's human to want to be appreciated. But making that the core motivator... I doubt that's a path toward great art, and I question how long such motivation could last. All top achievers in every conceivable field are thinking on a whole different level. It isn't really a competition so much as an endless journey.

Winning implies completion, and I don't see any worthwhile endeavor as something that can be completed. That's a consequence of perfection not existing in reality—you'll never achieve it, so there's room for endless improvement—bound only by lifespan. Each piece you complete isn't a 'win' or 'loss,' it's a step—forward or backward—on an endless journey.

You can't realistically compete with anyone... this isn't a game. Everyone is at different levels, and there's so many subskills... at a certain level it gets hard to say who is better than whom. To me it's more like, all the artists I admire: what are their philosophies, how can I integrate them into my own? To further my own art. Best case scenario we both have something to learn from each other. It's an honor to further someone else's art.

Offline Probo

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #14 on: March 24, 2015, 11:48:09 pm
Youve got to try and wean yourself off the kudos addiction to get a healthier attitude towards 'winning'. kudos should be a occasional by-product of an endeavour, not the main goal.

Offline Ai

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #15 on: March 25, 2015, 03:44:21 am
Great quote. As for competitiveness being shitty and anti-social behavior, it's a very tricky subject for me. Coming from sports, I think competitiveness is absolutely vital to certain activities. There's a great Confucius quote about competition. He says "Gentlemen do not compete. You may say that in archery they do so, but before climbing the stairs to the archery hall, they bow and defer to each other". I read this quote as saying "A good person does not try to compete with others in doing good deeds. In activities such as archery however,  it is alright to be competitive, as long as you maintain the mindset of a good person and don't lose focus of what is important. (i.e. benevolence)"

I think I can agree. It needs more unpacking... Like, competing with others can definitely inspire people to achieve more. But if you start thinking 'I have to win', your behaviour will probably go downhill. It's more healthy to say 'I have to improve', and in that regard it is better to always find someone who is better than you, so you can go 'getting closer.. closer...' . Once you actually get to the -top-, it seems pretty clearly depicted by history that the next step is to fall apart / go downhill (because your motivation has gotten lost, there is no-one to inspire improvement in you.)

@ PPD: Everything you say about competition I'll stand behind. Like I mention above, there are those obsessed with winning, though, and I think it's best to keep them out of any competitions you're responsible for, for both of your sanity.

Quote
Winning feels great.
But losing doesn't suck at all actually.
It's good for you.
+1

Now if we could just turn it into a haiku :)

@ Joe: great point about patience. Having realistic expectations of yourself -- expecting yourself to work hard towards a clear goal, but being modest in how quickly you expect it to progress -- is a great asset to enable you to steadily progress. It requires a certain detachment from the modern tendency towards racing around everywhere trying to do everything, just not buying into that meme complex.

I also feel like you expressed what I was saying about each artist's work having their own individual quality scale better than I did. Quantifying qualia seems dubious, and then comparing those quantizations seems like it might become entirely disconnected from reality.

@ Probo: I find minimizing internet usage to be helpful there. Apparently kudos-tracking is in the top 3 in terms of time spent on the internet. It wouldn't be inaccurate to categorize that itself as an addiction -- IRL, we cannot accumulate thanks with such a frequency, no matter how focused on helping others we are.

@jengy: That speaks to my own issues -- I'm not competitive so much as perfectionistic, I want to take aim at something and achieve it exactly, which is still a type of black and white thinking. Personally I use CBT regular at a weekly mental health group.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 10:48:47 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline cels

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #16 on: March 25, 2015, 10:02:17 am
I don't have time to reply now, but I'm really happy with the amount of thought you guys have put into your replies. Much appreciated, truly.

I would just like to clarify though, this thread wasn't intended primarily for people to help me personally and give me personal advice. First and foremost, I  just wanted to invite people to share their own outlook on art in general or pixel art specifically in terms of motivation and competitiveness (or lack thereof). In other words, where are you at, right now?

Of course, I did start this thread to reflect on my own mentality, but I'm also genuinely interested to hear about other pixel artists and learn your views and attitudes.

Offline Kasumi

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #17 on: March 25, 2015, 03:32:40 pm
The game I've been working on turns 6 this month. (Yikes.) Good luck finding any real info about it online. (It includes pixel art which I don't really post anywhere either, so relevant enough to this thread.) My view mostly reflects 32's. I rarely share work, and am more puzzled than disappointed when a piece I really like that I made gets less recognition than one I don't care for as much.

There's a lot of cool stuff I've made that I haven't posted anywhere. Including the best painting I've ever done, any recent paintings, a couple of 240 frame study animations. For me, the piece's life ends when I put down my pen, and not when it stops getting favorites or recognition. So comments (or lack thereof) about a finished thing, don't sway me much. I'm already on the next thing. Something I share things because I'm like, "Other people might enjoy this." But if they don't I generally don't lose a lot of sleep.

Make no mistake, I'd love to be Kim Jung Gi, or whoever my favorite pixel artist is (feels weird to name some, lots post here)... And sometimes seeing "better" art does depress me. (Mainly because now I'm doing more programming than art, and so I'm not even closing the gap.) But I'd honestly be very happy being a skilled artist no one has heard of. The guy you run into at the bar and can bust out beautiful napkin drawings, but doesn't even have a website. In fact, that's where I am now, except not good at all. Most of the drawing I do is in restaurants because they're the only places I can't really work on my game. And hearing about your art from random people in person (or having people trying to pretend they're not watching you draw) is a different more intimate feeling than randomguy999 saying, "Cool." Even still comments are rare, and it's not why do it. I try to progress in art to satisfy me, and how much recognition I have gotten for a piece changes nothing about how I feel on my own progress.

I'd say I'm not trying to "beat" people, but I'm certainly trying to reach them. But only in what I perceive as their skill, and not their recognition.

Before I'm called on it by the Illuminati in the know  ;), my game as a full package is a little different. I do very much want that to successful, but that's more a function of how much of my life I've spent on it. If it totally bombs, in that case I may not really make another one. But I'll still think it's a good game. Just that... yo... 6 years and counting. A lot of paintings/animation/pixel art could have gotten made, and that's simply a more satisfying process than programming. So programming's the thing I need something back for the time I spent.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 03:34:20 pm by Kasumi »
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES

Offline Helm

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #18 on: March 25, 2015, 04:50:21 pm
Personally my internal metric of achievement is not whether people seem to like my artwork but whether I believe I have put out something in the culture that has inspired people or helped them. The distinction seems thin but the way to verify it is to not count gestures like 'upvotes' and 'likes' but instead personal correspondence from strangers that tell you they've been positively impacted by something you've done in a significant way. Every few years I check my life with this metric to see if I'm on a good road, but I don't say that it's a number that always has to increase, just that it has to be at least there. If I've not made anything useful in such a fashion for a long time, then there's something going wrong.

I hop from writing to music to visual arts randomly, but the way I check whether I'm making a positive impact on the outside world is still the same: The private kindness of strangers.

All that said, I don't think there's any merit to try to advise anybody that they should try to be 'more like this' and not like how they are, as I didn't make any conscious choice to be wired this way.

Offline Friend

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Re: Winning at pixel art

Reply #19 on: March 25, 2015, 06:33:14 pm
I hop from writing to music to visual arts randomly, but the way I check whether I'm making a positive impact on the outside world is still the same: The private kindness of strangers.

this is how i think it should be and seems the most natural.  i mean, if we go back a little more than a decade ago before the world of likes and statuses, what else would have inspired an artist to continue, or even to create? money or fame does not inspire what i would consider an artist.  i think this new world has messed up some things, such as skewing how we view self worth based on number of llikes etc. 

i actually wanted to ask Helm and anyone else a question in this post... I also enjoy bouncing between music comp and writing (though I haven't mustered enough energy to become proficient in visual art), and I was wondering if there were any forums for music or writing similar to PJ or pixelation.  I'm talking a niche community.  What I think is so special about pj and pixelation is that everyone pretty much knows each other, so it is much much better for improving and learning.