How to quickly improve your work by asking for feedback

When I first started my Animation Course, I was afraid of what other people might say about the things I made. It intimidated me to show my drawings then, and even now I feel awkward about it.

I didn’t know the difference between constructive criticism and someone bashing my work, or comments by people with no artistic background saying stupid stuff.

After a while, I realized feedback and constructive criticism were not what I thought; they are just comments on how to improve my work, which relieved my fears. Because of that realization, when I got my first job, it never bothered me to have my animation or clean-ups scrutinized and commented on.

Also, when you work in a studio, you are part of a team and other people before you have done amazing work already. I found it comforting and inspiring to be in a big group of creative minds.

 

Last month, I finished my second cartoon. I watched it over and over, and something wasn’t right. I didn’t know what it was, but I wanted to improve it.

So I did the most uncomfortable thing: I asked for feedback and used it to change my work.

 

I’ll show you the feedback I got and a comparison between the first and the second versions of the cartoon.

First, I’ll go through all the revisions I made in the cartoon, the reasons behind the changes, and why they work better.

 

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The Making of “Wall of Death”

My friend was recently in a mosh pit with the other metal heads at a music festival, totally enjoying her favourite band, when she suddenly realized she was by herself. The crowd was split in half, but everybody was still enjoying the band. A bit warily, she stayed to listen and enjoy the song.

Then, the singer started a countdown.

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A genius way to learn fast for great art

Do you get ideas, start planning, and then keep on planning to the point where you create a monster project that would take you a year and a full crew to finish? Or do you overthink things to the point that you end up staring at a blank page?

 

I have binders full of ideas that are mostly unfinished because I let them become monster projects. To change that, now I’m creating very short projects that (should) take less than a week to finish.

 

 

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Learning a skill can be hard. Really small projects can make it easier.

 

Do you just pickup your Wacom tablet, open up some program and just go make a masterpiece? Or do you spend a bit of time planing your project out?

 

It doesn’t matter if the project is an epic 2 hour movie or a 3 seconds animation: you need a plan.  It can be very complex and detailed or just a quick sketch, but you need a place to start.

 

Here’s how a recent project of mine went:

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How I’m getting back my drawing skills, and why it’s going to benefit you

 

I’ve always been OK at drawing—or at least I’ve been good enough to get paid for my skills. I worked for five years doing 2D Animation and digital illustrations.

But I never mastered drawing the way I wanted to, and I could see my lack of mastery in every project I was hired to do. I felt I had to put in way more effort than I should have for the years of training I had, and I never drew at my full potential.

I could draw characters in simple poses, but as soon the poses got more complex, with perspective and foreshortening, I would struggle. If the characters were more realistic, it would take me forever to draw a simple pose.

Have you imagined what it would be like if you didn’t struggle with drawing?

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