As I write this I’m working through Sebastian Lague’s excellent Blender Character Creation: Texturing tutorial before heading over to spend a lovely Christmas day with family.

I’m about twenty minutes into this session and already feeling very overwhelmed. I just gave up with carefully unwrapping and texturing my model and instead threw some random colors onto it.

Colorful Cowboy I call him the Colorful Cowboy

Failures like this have been common in my first few weeks of getting my feet wet in concept drawing, modeling, texturing, rigging and animating.

This time around I caught myself in the act of becoming frustrated, so I thought I’d use the opportunity to explore why I’m finding art so overwhelming.

No end in sight

In most areas of programming, subjectivity is almost entirely absent from your end result. There are defined constraints for your success condition.

Write a function that counts the amount of whitespace in a file.

Write an endpoint that responds with ‘hello world’

Get all of the cell phone numbers from this list of comma separated values

The goal post is always in front of you. Performance and maintainability aside, you know that once you’ve grabbed those cell phone numbers you have fully accomplished your task.

With art it’s been a bit different. My task has been, more or less, “make this look good”. This is very subjective and doesn’t give me the comfort and security of knowing exactly how far away I am from completion.

When things get tough in programming I’m thinking “this is hard but if I can just figure this out I will meet my defined goal!”

When things get tough in Blender I think “this is hard but I mean whatever this looks good enough anyway.”

And this isn’t an excuse for being bad. This is just how my mind works right now. I’ll hopefully evolve and learn some new tricks as I gain more exposure and experience. Maybe I’ll develop a quality bar that I can hold in my head and use to measure my work. Maybe I’ll learn to set artistic goals and constraints to give myself more structure and support as I work. I don’t yet know.

What I do know is that right now my brain feels like mush, so I’m off.

Happy Holidays,