4) Tell us the 3 best pieces of advice you've ever gotten.
The most memorable advice I ever got was from a stranger, an art professor I encountered on a flight from Newark to SFO, after I got my heart broken in New York City (it could have never worked). This conversation became inspiration for a very short 24 hour comic. As far as it being good advice, I suspect it is, but have yet to take any of it (now all my former excuses sound very lame).
1) Take an anatomy class where you have to dissect a cadaver.
He could tell from my figure drawings that I had a sketchy knowledge of the finer points of human anatomy, and an advanced class would be just the ticket to clear that up. One of the things that attracted me to illustration was the discipline of combining research with art, and conversely, its fascinating how a drawing can expose what the artist doesn't know. Drawing can be so vulnerable, its something that is visible, that people can judge.
2) Spend more than 20 minutes on a drawing.
I came from the TV generation, and 20 minutes can be an eternity. Perseverance has always been a challenge for me, something I struggled with since I was very young. I have found as I get older, that it is easier to get involved in the subtleties of a project. Its easy to glance at something, and be complacent about one's understanding of it whereas its much harder to set that laziness aside and look, and so much more rewarding. I have found that the more I look, the more I see. At the figure drawing sessions I attend, the longest pose is 20 minutes, if I wanted something longer, I'd have to hire a model myself. I am sure it would be worth it.
3) Whatever he did to you, its not worth crying over.
Tears come easily to me. I am a woman, I have my hormones and my perpetually broken heart. I appreciated this advice because he was gently pointing out that there is so much more going on for me to attend to.
The thing that was amazing about this conversation, was that in a relatively short amount of time he was able encourage me and point out my strengths, and at the same time, give me carefully considered, constructive advice for improving my weakness, all without being patronizing or condescending. He was a blessing, and he certainly made the trip worth taking.
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