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March 24, 2011
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When people ask me to draw someone...

People on here, Facebook, etc often ask me to draw a certain celebrity for them, because they really like that person. If it’s someone I have been planning and wanting to draw, but have yet to draw, I will consider it BUT ONLY IF I can find an great reference photo of that person. If I don’t like the celebrity, there is no way I’m drawing them, and it is usually for their core beliefs, although I have made exceptions in the past. If I’ve never heard of the person or do NOT feel “inspired” to draw them, I also cannot bring myself to draw them either, as I will not enjoy it, or do my best work.

Here are the reasons why...I invest between 7 and 10 hours of my life into each drawing, and it’s always my “free time”. First of all, I have NEVER run out of inspiring people I want to draw myself. In fact, at any given time, I have several dozen photos saved of the people I want to draw next. Why would I want to draw someone I don’t know, when I always have so many photos that I’m dying to draw? I don’t think folks realize that an artist needs to be inspired by their subject to do their best work, but also in order to enjoy the process. I can tell you that the act of merely drawing is not enjoyable for me. In order to get pleasure from drawing, it MUST be a fantastic reference photo FIRST, and secondly, I have to at least admire the subject. When I have BOTH a great reference photo AND an inspiring subject, I can do my best work, and it is pure bliss for me. If I have neither, it’s a painful JOB, and the whole time I’m drawing, I am wishing I could be drawing someone I really do want to draw. I’ve experienced this only a few times with commission work. In fact, now when I do commission work, I MUST find a way to be inspired, or it will be a dreadful process, even if the photo meets my requirements. See my Commission Guideline for what I mean regarding reference photos tinyurl.com/HireRick

By the time I get finished with a drawing, no matter if it’s my favorite actor, I am tired of drawing that particular drawing. You can only imagine if I was forced to draw someone I could care less about, how laborious it would be?

So, I made this document to share with people who constantly ask me to draw a certain person. Hopefully this explains it so that they understand, and don’t have hurt feelings?

~ Your Pencil Buddy ~
Rick
www.DrPencil.com
  • Mood: Joy
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
  • Drinking: Monster
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:iconinkbtangerines:
InkBTangerines Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  New member
I just don't like it when people even request for me to draw them something, you see, I am very insecure and I don't know if they'll throw the art out later. Like, why even ask for it in the first place? (In RL)
Reply
:icontatyanaclark:
TatyanaClark Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013
<font><font class="">Я вас понимаю) Вдохновение очень важную вещь для художника) Например, я вообще не хотел бы обратить женщин, я люблю мужчин, и я вдохновлен их изображений), я могу нарисовать портрет моей подругой на ее день рождения, но это не будет приятно, и Поэтому я не уверен, что это будет хороший портрет.Usually актеры имеют отличные сталкивается для фотографий, Они вдохновляют роли и в образах, которые присутствуют на экране.Anyway, люди, которые мы любим и которыми мы восхищаемся очень легко нарисовать)</font></font>
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:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, people we like are more enjoyable to draw, but I am FIRST inspired by a GREAT PHOTO over anything else! :D
Reply
:icondreerose:
dreerose Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I must say I have never been asked to do a request other than a commission, but even that gets dull if you have no interest in the subject. I am the same as you I have at least 50 ref ready for my next draw & I can't wait to get on it! Thanx Rick for all your handy tips etc - they have been most helpful to me
Reply
:iconbeckhanson:
beckhanson Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
i'm so glad to see someone else post something in response to annoying requests. it seems whenever i meet someone new and they discover that i am a pencil artist, the FIRST thing they say is, "hey man, you should totally draw my dead dog!" or "duuuuude, you should totally draw my next tattoo!! i'm thinking a full back piece. i get the friend discount, right???" it drives me crazy, especially because they have no intention of paying me to do this. but i really don't want to spend my time drawing these things anyway. and i'm definitely not a tattoo artist. i could draw a realistic portrait on paper, but it's up to the TATTOO artist to make it not look completely jacked up when it's on their skin. and i'm definitely not going to spend my free time trying to figure out how you want your silly wolf howling at the moon tattoo to look.
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
haha yes, I cannot stand it! Recently had a guy I have not seen in 30 years facebook me to do his tattoo design? When I DO take commission work, I make them give me a good photo and send them here for how to pick a photo [link]
Then here for guidelines! HA! [link]
These may help you? :D:D
Reply
:iconctrlannadel:
CTRLANNADEL Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2011
You are so right, couldn't have said it better. You get this special feeling of excitement and eagerness to draw someone, with some people, often you're not exactly sure why. It's a spontaneous, organic thing, and you can't choose who or what it happens with. People who ask artists to do portraits of them, or people they like, don't usually understand that.
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I wish they did! :D:D
Reply
:iconmickeythesaviour:
MickeyTheSaviour Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
True thing... inspiration is needed to do the best work. Other wise it's all a waste and keep the inspiration for future works also stuck..

PS: would you mind if I re-used this? [not as my own ;) ]
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:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
sure :D
Reply
:iconsid45ultra9292:
Sid45ultra9292 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
garsh i completely agree, i've even found that money can't motivate me to draw someone i don't want to. Hell, i've gone for weeks without drawing anybody for lack of inspiration or enthusiasm.
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Try looking at other drawings on here, or google.com/images for great photos?
Reply
:iconsid45ultra9292:
Sid45ultra9292 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i usually use google. i have more pics of celebs i wanna draw then my friends!!! =D=D=D
Reply
:iconelocinimages:
ElocinImages Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I am completely feeling you with this journal :). If I have no desire to draw someone/something then it's virtually impossible to draw. You have to love it to do it!
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yepper!! :D:D
Reply
:iconbrianv948:
brianv948 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great thoughts Rick. I really do agree and can relate. I get requests to draw people all the time (I can only imagine how much you get as great as you are at staying prominent and active [I mean that in the best way]) and if it's not right, it never gets done. I have had to learn to find inspiration and utilize professional discipline on commissions. I am rarely inspired by them, but like the $$! The only thing I would add is, after staring at a person for 20 hours, I begin to get a connection with them and it adds to the flavor of the drawing. If it's someone I don't particularly care for, I have no desire to connect with them and it will impact the drawing (if that make sense).
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yeah how bout it Brian! If they only knew how hard I work at getting inspired, just to drag my ass off the sofa at night and sit up straight in a chair ha...:D:D You know that drawing of the 3 sisters I just did? The FKN Post office LOST IT so far!! I insured it for the amount, so I will get paid, but they gonna be OUT 1 drawing cuz I aint doing them again lol :D:D
Reply
:iconbrianv948:
brianv948 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aw, that kills me cause I thought that was one of your very best ever! Geez that sucks, but I don't blame you. Usually when I am done with a drawing I don't ever want to look at that reference again, let alone draw the thing again!!

Dude, are trying to be funny? You seem like sparky always pumping out all these drawings, makes me feel inadequate and bad about myself! :stupidme: :rofl:
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I told her, for me to even consider doing it again, it would have to be
1) A new photo
2) About 1" smaller all around ( I blew the est time to draw by 10 hours) 20% larger takes 50% more time. I charged her $330 and thought it would take me about 15 hours (5 hours each) and took me 25!! That doesn't count emails, layout time, printing ref photos, texting, calls, pencils, paper, time to shoot WIP photos, etc ha! Was even going to make a slide show movie with Windows Movie Maker set to my son's song. I think it worked out to $10 per hour? NOT worth it, esp considering I COULD have been drawing what REALLY inspired me?

No I was serious. I have the TIME to turn out 3 times as much, but I get lazy. It's always about having all 3 of these.
1) Time
2) Inspiration
3) Energy
:D:D
Reply
:iconbrianv948:
brianv948 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, I feel a little better knowing you're human after all! LOL!
Reply
:iconpzychostock:
PzychoStock Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Professional Photographer
Great answer to however has asked you in the past... Inspiration is the only thing that moves an artist, they should know that by now being here in Da! I hope you don't get many request after this journal! :D
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hehe well it's mostly from people who are NOT on DA. Facebook, friends etc ha! :D:D
Reply
:iconblacknimproud:
blacknimproud Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I only drew Justin to get more comments, but it didnt work. lol

I'll have to draw him again and complete my experiment. Rick, I do agree. People I wish to draw and very much love (their interesting facial structures) created the inspiration I need to spend time on them. Beauty is one thing, but personality brings them to life. That sticks with me most. So I cut down my portrait lists recently cuz a lot of the people I was gonna draw just didn't inspire me anymore. haha Good entry!
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yup...totally!! :D:D
Reply
:icon7ink3r3lla:
7ink3r3lla Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I totally see where your coming from :nod: and I agree also :aww:
Reply
:iconblessyo4:
blessyo4 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
My classmate asked me to draw his friend.... IT WAS TORTURE... :iconcryforeverplz:
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
LOL YUP!! :D:D
Reply
:iconhoernchen610:
hoernchen610 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can relate to every word you say! Even though I don't do commissions but when people propose that I shall draw this or that I keep saying that there are so many drawings I would love to draw, but don't have the time for!
And the reference photo is really so important! I often find amazing references with a too low resolution... Really nasty:D But tineye really helps sometime!
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I use Google images and then the filtering options, starting with only high res pics :D
Reply
:iconhoernchen610:
hoernchen610 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, that's great as well
Reply
:iconbonbon95:
BonBon95 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have to agree with every word you wrote!!! :)
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
totally :D:D
Reply
:iconanoop4334:
anoop4334 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011
one day when i will be doing commission works as you
, i will copy paste this journal to my account :D
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol sure thing!
Reply
:iconanoop4334:
anoop4334 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011
:)
Reply
:iconphoenixgr:
PhoenixGR Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
but what if that said person has an interesting face to sketch

you dont have to find inspiration always in what they do in real life, but how their face looks and how you feel when you try to sketch them.

thats how feel when i drew portraits anyway, (havent done many, cos they are too hard tbh)
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
well, then they better have an interesting reference photo to go with it, or forget it lol
Reply
:iconphoenixgr:
PhoenixGR Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
yea exacly ;)
Reply
:iconroren001:
roren001 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011
If you're looking for an interesting face to draw try Pat Morita aka Mr.Miyagi [link]

On a similar note. I saw the new Karate Kid, it seemed to lack the heart of the original. Have you seen it?
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, I didn't like the new movie :(
Reply
:iconlloveandsqualor:
lloveandsqualor Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I got asked to draw Justin Bieber today :L haha.
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol no thx!!
Reply
:iconblessyo4:
blessyo4 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
that sucks.. I mean, Jstin Bieber?!??! :|
Reply
:iconlloveandsqualor:
lloveandsqualor Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
haha i know, i can hardly say he's top of my list of people to draw. Like Rick i get too many requests, couldn't possibly draw everyone, so dont take requests...especially when its Bieber xD
Reply
:iconblessyo4:
blessyo4 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
LOl, i COULD'VE torn the ref. photo into pieces... :lol:
Reply
:iconmode88101:
Mode88101 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011
Precisely! So many times at school I get "Oh my gosh you're such a good artist draw me something!" How vague and uninspiring>< I can't put energy into something if it doesn't speak to me in one way or another. I totally agree with you.
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hehe :D:D
Reply
:iconlostreveries:
Lostreveries Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011
Makes sense. I do like your reasoning. (:
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks :D:D
Reply
:iconleighann-2468:
leighann-2468 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011
i feel the EXACT same way!!
Reply
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