Monday, December 31, 2012

New Beginnings - New Years Advice

With the new year coming up, it's a great time for goal setting. The reason is that the calendar resets and provides us with a mental "refresh" period. Honestly, you can change your life any time, any day. But the new year allows our brain to cooperate with our mental need to change. Which is why it's the perfect time to set goals.

Here's the problem. 98% of people give up or back out on their goals by the end of February. That's a fact. So when the new year comes up again they say "Ok, NOW I'm serious.". But statistics say the same thing will happen again. Why?

Here's why. Setting goals is not enough. You need to take it a step further. Goals are the fun and easy part to set. From there you need to really analyze it and figure out an action plan. What exactly you need to do to achieve those goals. You need to be really honest with yourself and don't fluff it up because that's just self-sabotage. If you want to hit a certain goal in 2013, YOU CAN. No matter how big. But the bigger the goal, the harder the action plan. So just be honest with yourself.

Action plans are still not enough though. I could set hardcore action plans all day. Will I do them? Who knows. It comes down to this one word; BEHAVIORS.

"For things to change, you have to change." -Jim Rohn

There's no way around this. At all. If you don't change, your 2012 will be exactly the same as your 2013. Don't believe me? Look at anyone who's ever won the lottery. Obviously they're still the same person. They just have more money now. In about a year, that money is usually gone. Look at millionaires though. You take their money away, and they'll get it back in a month. Most of them. Why? They're millionaires in their mind. They have the habits of millionaires. Behaviors are important.

This is hard to swallow for some people to swallow. They don't think they need to change. Yet I can show you how their 2013 will be exactly like their 2012. Which they might be content with. I believe in always moving forward. Always taking it up to another level. I don't care what level you're at, once you stop growing, you start dying.

If your goal is to be a better artist, but you put the exact same amount of time and effort into your art as you did last year, you might improve a little. But most likely not. Behaviors need to change. Habits. If you wanna be a better artist in 2013 you need to draw MORE than you did last year. But that's not enough. You need to think different. Act different. Step out of your comfort zone more. You need to change. If you're inspired by Jim Lee and wanna draw like Jim Lee, but aren't drawing nearly as much as he does, you're going to have a bad time.

You may not know the kind of behaviors and habits you need to have to do the actions you need to hit the goals that you want. Here's a tip. Find someone who has what you want. And do what they do. Simple? Maybe. Depends on what they're doing. Someone who is having success that you want, was not born that way. I guarantee it. They were once worse than you, hard to believe sometimes right? So if you do what they do, you will get what they have. It's simple. If your favorite artist is studying 20 hours a week on top of work on top of family time, etc. then do that.

Stop searching for instant gratification! It doesn't exist. I was guilty of it and most newbies are. "Well maybe if I get that pencil I can draw like them" "Maybe if I get that DVD I'll be instantly better". No. Now, I won't say don't do those things. Because you don't know what you don't know. You might try a new pencil and it might work better for you than the one you used to use. Who knows. But don't expect improvement without insane, ridiculous, hard work. If you're not doing so, follow *Ricky-Martinez. He embodies this concept. He's at the grind every day. He doesn't make excuses. He finds a way. No matter what, he finds a way. And he pulls himself out of his comfort zone CONSTANTLY. And boom, out of nowhere he's improving. It's not magic, nor is it rocket science. His behaviors and habits changed, and therefore he improved.

1. Set your goals
2. Create an honest action plan
3. Set a list of behaviors and habits you'll need to embody to perform those actions NO MATTER WHAT
4. Start forcing yourself to change habits (bad habits die hard).
5. Perform the actions you need to hit your goals.
6. Hit your goals.

"A goal is a dream with a deadline." -Napoleon Hill

You can make 2013 different. You can make it better. You can literally change your life in 2013. The ONLY thing stopping you from doing that is you. No one else. Nothing else. Just you. So if you don't hit your goals and if you didn't last year, it's because of you. Plain and simple. Hard to swallow? I'd rather give real advice than sugar-coat it. You can blame people, your job, make excuses, whatever. But it was none of that and will be none of that. It's you. So decide to make change. Commit. Do whatever it takes. I believe in you. Feel free to ask me for anything. And have a wonderful New Year everyone!

-Chris Shehan

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Digital Painting Basics

For the past few months I've been teaching 6th and 7th graders the art of digital painting. That's the age I gained a serious interest in doing art for a living, so it was an opportunity I had to take up. If one or two of these kids pursues art as a living, that'd be awesome. I told them I'd share their most recent pieces here, so here they are.