In our age of rampant consumerism, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you could only achieve great things only with the best equipment available.

There are two unfortunate side effects to this mentality:

  1. People who can’t get those equipment are discouraged from even trying out that field, and
  2. People who can get those equipment think they’re a lot better than they actually are.

But the reality is you don’t need to shell out tons of cash to be good at what you want to do. Ask any expert from any field, from the arts, to scientific fields, to sports, and they will all tell you one thing: focus on the basics.

Here’s what Freddie Wong (maker of famous After Effects heavy videos like Flower Warfare and Time Crisis) has to say about this:

The same sentiments can be found on the legendary “newbie artist talks about how Photoshop and getting a pen tablet will improve his skill in a forum filled with industry professionals” Insect Battle thread at ConceptArt:

thanks for all the feedback… It has been good to get some constructive critisim. Ive been redrawing the fight scene so that they are more engaged/detailed I will post this in the sketches forum when I have worked on it further..

Im well aware that Im at the bottom of a big ladder.. this is only my 4th attempt at rendering lineart… so be nice,

There’s definitely more to be learnt… Also, the quality will improve once I can get hold of a tablet!!!


get the FUCK away from photoshop

NO TABLET FOR YOU, seriously you are damaging yourself with photoshop. STAY AWAY FROM IT. get a pencil and some newsprint, the cheapest crappiesnt stuff you can find, the backs of envelopes, napkins anything. GET AWAY FROM DIGITAL, render stuff with a pencil. PENCIL goddamit, PS is only hurting you. Why dont you listen. Some of the people that have replied to your threads are some o the biggest pros in the industry ok, they know what there talking about and obviously know alot more then you. Ask em and they will tell you to go with a pencil and paper. Dont buy a tablet, get a scanner then start drawing by hand. To be really honest you dont have the faintest clue what your doing, and these people are trying to help you, LISTEN TO THEM!!

Dont try and render line art in photoshop, when you cant even do the line art. Learn to do the lines first. The learn about Value and Light. ANATOMY IS A MUST. Then practice your pencil rendering. Then start teaching yourself stuff about colour, get some traditional paints and see what happens when you mix them, see how they react, look at the old masters, once you got that down along with everything else ken mentioned. THEN AND ONLY THEN START GOING DIGITAL.

So what does this have to do with software development? Well, I hear the same stuff over and over from aspiring developers:

  • I want to learn programming, but I’ll just wait until college to start.
  • I want to earn money from making software, but I’ll just wait until I get a job so I could get the training and hardware to make profitable software.
  • I want to learn how to do Ruby on Rails, but I’ll just wait until I get a MacBook because everyone in the industry uses a Mac for development.

People need to stop having this mentality. This is the 21st century — you can get a lot of stuff (legally) for cheaper or even for free. Tutorials like Think Python are available and accessible even to high school level students. There are free virtualization software and allows you to run Linux on whatever OS you’re using to give you an “industry-level” software development platform.

I learned how to program BASIC in 4th grade with only a programming book, pen, paper, and a bit of imagination (long story, don’t ask). Aspiring developers have no excuse not to learn programming basics, considering that they already have a functional, object oriented, dynamic scripting language in the browser they use for checking Facebook.

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One Response to I’ll do it once I get [insert awesome hardware/software here]!

  1. Jerome says:

    Very nice post! I admit I have that kind of mentality because my resources are really limited. But after reading this post, I feel greatly encouraged. Thank you.

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