Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Instead of Coming Up with a Title I am Going to Walk My Dog*

Well, would you look at that...

I have some commentors! I am sure it is overflow from Deviant Art but this means since I know people are watching now I have to watch what I say.

Ok, so I'm not actually going to do that. It would take more effort than I am willing to put into this. Now... for today: What should I talk about? I got it!

Super Street Fighter IV has been on my mind A LOT lately. Why? Well, because it just came out, because it's a new installment in one of my favorite series, because my friends are playing, because I have been enjoying the fan art I have done for it, because... the list is very long. But the main thing I have been thinking about in regards to ess ess eff for is how I will never be super good at it.

In an average day you don't have the opportunity to directly compare yourself to someone else. You may do it in regards to looks, fashion, or charisma, perhaps, but that is all subjective. It's not like people walk around with a number on their chest that can be measured against other people's... chest number (chumber?). In Street Fighter, there is. Or at least there is a constant measurement: You either kick someone's ass or get your ass kicked. Right there, for all to see, your entire worth with respect to the game.

I'm not bad at the game. I've been playing the series for most of my life so I am bound to have a natural ability for it. But some of these guys? Holy shit! Have you ever had a dream where you are trying to save someone and as you run towards them you aren't going anywhere, you yell but make no sound, and your friends turn into screaming Monchichi dolls? Ok, that last one may be specific to me, but the other stuff... surely you've experienced it. That's what I feel like when playing SSFIV against some of these people. I could have shortened that explanation by just saying "I feel retarded."

This all makes me realize how little time there is in life to get really good at multiple things (after typing that sentence I got distracted by WWTDD for like 20 minutes. What the hell is wrong with me?). Most of us struggle with getting confidence in one thing (like having a strong attention span!). For me, I think art is my one thing. I'm not, to use SFIV terms, in-de-structable when it comes to art, but when I sit down to a blank page I have confidence that I can do something interesting. I used to feel that way about Street Fighter. So, what would be the art equivalent of an ass beating? What would have to happen to an artist to make the next time they sit down to a blank sheet of tree skin a stressful situation?

Critique of the honest and blunt variety has a good chance at cutting the confidence of an artist in half. But in reality, the best artists understand the value of an honest critique and this would be viewed as informational and not detrimental. If an artist saw someone out-do them in a specific skill or subject matter is pretty similar to a versus situation in a fighting game. Since the perspective of the artist is all that matters, subjectivity is moot and this could very easily be seen as a loss in a win/loss manner. But again, if the artist is skilled in self-improvement, this loss may just be viewed as another learning opportunity. However, since a gamer could technically take the high-road and say "he really kicked my ass... Live and learn!" I am going to take the self-improvement aspect out of the picture.

We now have our set up: A spiteful artist that is pissed off and demoralized by another artist's ability to do something better. The next time this artist sits down to draw he/she will over think the anatomy, composition, maybe even the style of their sketch. At least in SSFIV your self-doubt lasts only a couple minutes. A drawing/painting can go on for hours. Imagine second guessing everything you do for 5 hours. That's not healthy for the ol' gray matter and takes a long time to shake. So, should I just take these losses as a learning opportunity? Or am I more like the casual artist that just wants to draw for fun but all the Shoto-clones won't let me? Does that metaphor work?

When it comes to Street Fighter I don't think I'll ever be on the level of Daigo Umehara but at least I am better than Ryan Hall (hahaha... eat it, nerd!). And I may not be the best artist but at least I am closer to a Sam Nielson than, say, a Ryan Hall (HA! Double-burn!). Then again... it's a lot easier to be blinded by an inflated sense of accomplishment in art than SSFIV. I think I just reduced my own confidence.

I'm gonna go draw fan art of Harry Potter as Ryu to get it back.*

Quick mention: Lost is back tonight. I will finally have a restful night again.

Peace and Carrots,


*Not a euphemism
**Never in a million years

1 comment:

Anton said...

Well played sir, well played.