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2009-03-12 19:47:41 by Andy-Parker

There is something about tutorials on how to draw/animate/flash that really annoys me. I'm of the belief that animation, even in flash, is a form of art. And in art there is no right or wrong way to do things. So when someone has a tutorial, or a help book, or anything else, that 'teaches' them how to animate or draw, its really just teaching them how to copy someone else's work.

As a person who has never used a tutorial in my life, and never hopes to, the amount of stuff like this out there and the amount of people using it really cuts me deep. How can someone be expected to produce something original or entertaining if everyone is essentially following the same set of instructions.

Just like when we all learned to write, we strived to get our letters looking like the letters at the top of the page. Similarly a person doing a tutorial will strive to get his or her work looking like that in the example. Now I'm not saying that every person who has learned to draw/animate/flash produces the same work as everyone else who has. Just as everybody has different handwriting despite the fact that we all write the same letters.

But can you imagine the variation and creativity of people's handwriting if they had been told to work it out for themselves, with no examples to go from? The limits are endless.

The same thing applies to artistic things. When you follow a guide book on things such as these, you aren't developing your style, you are taking someone else's.

So I beg all of you, please, learn by doing. Try things out. Mess things up. Submit a thousand flashes that people hate and then finally get that one that people love, that is truly your own. You will be better for it.

Note: I know some smart ass is going to point out the fact that making up a new alphabet for every person would be an inefficient writing system, but that is not the point, and you know it.


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2009-03-12 20:03:22

okay nvm delete my other comment i figured it out.

yes we did all write striving to make it look like the letters at the top of the screen, but eventually over time we all formed it to make it our own style.

if we all had learned to draw from a book like the one's you're talking about we would all start off the same but then eventually form our own style from it.


2009-03-12 20:50:01

What the f...


2009-03-12 21:01:05

It so annoys me when I'm on a tutorial of how to do an explosions or something, and it's basically:

Draw a frame that looks like this.
Now do one that looks like this.
Now do one that looks like this.
And carry on.

Andy-Parker responds:

this is the sort of tutorial i had most closely in mind when i was making this post.


2009-03-12 21:08:25

Art is creative, yes, but there is a correct and incorrect way to imitate nature, which is what most real art teaching aims to do. Reinventing the wheel still makes a wheel, even though you taught yourself, and it's much faster to just learn from someone else.

That said, I think your problem is with teaching formulas (which is what handwriting is), which I would agree with. If someone says "you draw humans by making these lines here, now do it until it looks exactly like mine" is teaching a formula and that's just as useless as figuring it out yourself. However, learing concepts like color theory and figure drawing basics like weight and mass from a teacher isn't going to stifle creative development in any way.

Sorry if I sound confrontational, but I'm in art school right now and I'm paying people to teach me how to glue paper together. It's the biggest waste of time, and it's because people are afraid of stifling this precious and frail originality and creativity that they believe everyone possess. Yet since I'm dramatically undereducated in how to actually draw the human figure and mix colors of paint together, my creativity is stifled because I'm not satisfied with abstract splatting and gobbing of paint. The ideas you laid out here have destroyed art education over the past century, and because I realized that too late I've just had to accept that I'm paying for a piece of paper and I can start actually learning art once I leave college and enroll in a real art school that, funny enough, isn't endorsed by the government with a degree program.

Really, your ideas are an attack on art itself, and they have already destroyed the so called "fine art" due to a lunatic fringe that was accepted into the mainstream at the turn of the century. Please abandon those ideas. Knowledge of the methods that have been used before you will not hurt your creativity.

Andy-Parker responds:

i think we both agree that a line has to be drawn somewhere. it's just where you draw the line that we are a bit hazy on. you make a lot of valid points though. i've taken them all on board.


2009-03-12 21:28:29

Good man! :D


2009-03-12 21:50:13

I've never taken any tutorials either. I feel more accomplished and proud of what I've taught myself.


2009-03-12 22:25:43

we all gotta start somewhere


2009-03-12 22:33:58

I would agree and disagree, I believe that tutorials have a way of reproducing styles, but somethings you can't figure things out by yourself. For the life of me I can not figure out how to draw a shoe. I look at pictures and everything. I have yet to look at a tutorial for that, but if I did I am sure there would be things I would and wouldn't do.
I guess it would have to deal with the person reading the tutorial. How they work. Some people do things by the book and take a tutorial to heart, while others may take it as a suggestion, or something along those lines.