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About Traditional Art / Hobbyist Premium Member Meks InthavongFemale/United States Recent Activity
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Confessions of Obsessions

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 26, 2014, 1:12 AM
Gallery | Watch Me | Note Me | Facebook

I have not submitted a new journal entry since June-- I'm just really horrible about keeping my monthly journal habit because it's obviously not a habit. Though most times I don't think anyone is reading anyway so it is always the absolute last thing I think about when I log in to dA and it's usually me saying, "Fuck it-- do it later." Then all of the sudden, it's months later.

I don't really have anything new or exciting in my life ever happening-- I'm pretty much a hermit with loud thoughts. Most of them are kept to myself-- I can assure you that it's best for everyone. Though it's 12:00 midnight and I did something really dumb and took a 6 hour nap after work today. Hm... I'm not sure I'll even be sleeping tonight considering I have to get up for work at 5:00 am. I'm just going to post a few of my thoughts on art and what it means to me, then I'll be on my merry way before revisiting my journal again a few months later.

I used to think it was crazy that so many people do not have hobbies. I consider art as my hobby. I enjoy what I do, but not enough to want to make it a career. I have so many hobbies-- way more than the time I have allotted each day. I am also bombarded with questions such as, "How do you have the time?" The answer is simple-- I don't have the time, but unlike many people, I'm willing to make time. I make time for my arts and crafts by sacrificing something else and it's usually sleep or chores. So instead of picking up all the scattered toys and random mess around the house-- I'm going to draw today! Instead of going to bed at 9:00 pm to get 8 hours of sleep-- I'm going to bed at 1:00 am so I can get a few hours into my drawing. I think if I didn't make time for my hobbies, I would literally go bananas. I wouldn't know how to cope with my life if it weren't for art. I seriously do not know how I even coped before I had art. What was I even doing? I don't think I even remember existing before art came into my life.

So the more I questioned other people's lack of hobbies, the more I realized that I'm the one who is abnormal. It's actually abnormal to be so passionate and so obsessive about things. I have a very obsessive personality while adding over-achieving into that equation. People who do not have any hobbies are either(this is just my observation) living a healthier life having the ability to juggle better or they're usually very miserable. The miserable ones, I advise you to find a hobby. So if I were given the choice between a normal balanced life or continue my abnormal obsessions, I will always fold to my obsessions. They may be my demons, but they let me exist. I would rather be extraordinary than blend in with the norm any given day.

I also want to talk about the stigma of pretentiousness in the art community. I have seen it, felt it, experienced it, and I don't really care for it. It's this aroma of liking-the-smell-of-their-own-farts whenever I encounter people in my local art community. Maybe I'm just not that serious about being an artist as others, but lighten the hell up. Sure, you have talent. Having talent does not excuse poor attitude. I have said this over and over again-- art is a luxury. Yes, you have talent, but your talent is a luxury. We do not need art to survive as a species. We can afford to live without art. Keep that in mind and humble down a notch or 12.

It may be a very general term, but I do consider myself an artist. I don't care how people want to define the word artist, but I do art. therefore I'm an artist. And I've had this discussion here on dA before about how others perceive and treat artists from the outside looking in. How people treat artwork as a novelty. Honestly, how are you expecting people to treat your artwork? I can't expect Joe Shmoe to feel exactly how I feel about my work. It is a novelty because it serves no other purpose for anyone else. My artwork is an expression of my ideals and emotions-- only I know my inner thoughts and feelings. They are not the ones slaving away 20 hours into a piece of paper with some charcoal smudges. No, they are not. I do not expect any more than a reaction of either liking or disliking the piece. This is why others think we're so pretentious!

Lastly, I want to talk about cheating vs technique. I've had quite a few discussions over the years about some techniques being considered cheating. For me, I consider cheating as cutting corners or purposely misleading. So there is that fine line between cheating vs technique when it comes to drawing. So I'm going to list a few things and explain how I feel about them.

- Tracing. I really don't think this one is cheating unless you've lied about it when you really did trace. Tracing was how I learned proportions as a beginner. I thought I was doing great until I traced my first face. Holy shit... my proportions were so damn off, all this time I've been drawing aliens. As I got better and more comfortable with faces, I leaned away from this technique. I have also heard other artists that are open about tracing said that they want their work to be so perfect and so precise to their reference that they would trace. I can completely understand that because I am guilty of being a perfectionist. So my verdict on tracing: technique.

- Reference photos. Obviously I use reference photos for my portraits. Sometimes I'll use reference photos for my illustrations if I just can't quite get it right. I always try not to use them with my personal work and for most of them I did not. I think that's why my illustrations are just not up to par with my portrait drawings. And that's okay. They are 2 very different skill sets and both require different approaches. I was chewed out once about drawing from reference photos from my Behance gallery. He said I was, "Wasting talent." My art, my terms. Whether I was wasting talent or not, I have free range on how I want to express myself with my creativity. My many hours spent with reference photos are a prerequisite to enhancing my illustrative skills. My verdict on using reference photos: technique.

- Photoshop (or similar software) enhancements on traditional artwork. I do use Photoshop very often and I love it. I have used Photoshop to try to manipulate my sucky scanned drawings to look as close to the real drawing as possible. I have never used Photoshop to make my drawings look better. I would prefer that my drawings look more appealing in person than in my web gallery. I think anyone who uses digital enhancements to make their drawings look better should label their work at least mixed media, if not digital. I have seen some graphite drawings where shadows look really black when I know for a fact that graphite never looks black. It's okay to try to fix the bugs to look closer to the original, but not okay to make it look better than the real drawing itself. My verdict on Photoshop for traditional artwork: cheating.

I think that's all I have for tonight. I better quit while I'm not-so-far behind. Everything I have said above is my opinion and I'm just as entitled to my own opinion as you are entitled to yours. I'm not trying offend anyone or specific people-- don't kid yourself with such high importance. I'm just expressing how I feel on certain subjects. If you care to share your views, I am always happy to hear them. Take care everyone!

-- Meks

Skin by SpookyLoop
  • Mood: Questionable
  • Listening to: Worlds Apart - Silverstein
  • Watching: The Thick Of It
  • Playing: Name That Emoji


Meks Inthavong
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
United States
My name is Meks. I'm a borderline psychopath and a major closet-geek-space-cadet. Self taught and self driven artist.

Residence: California

Interests: Astronomy, quantum physics, art, music, the list goes on..

Favorite artists: Bob Ross, Da Vinci, Sheila Wolk, MC Escher, Caravaggio, Stephen Gammell, just to name a few. Huge, hugeee hard-on for chiaroscuro-style artwork in all media.

Style of art: Traditional media and handmade

Like my page on Facebook at

Visit my FAQ page on charcoal:…


Add a Comment:
pesterhugo Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the fav of 'Flores' Graphite Drawing! ;)
'Flores' Graphite Drawing by pesterhugo
(1 Reply)
Nomad55 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday Meks!! I hope you had a wonderful day :) :iconbirthdaycakeplz: :icondancingmilkplz:
(1 Reply)
GabrielleCarlson Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday! Hope you are having a wonderful day! :cake:
(1 Reply)
Moreno-A88 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy birthday!
(1 Reply)
keithmore2000 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday Meks, have a wonderful day. Nod Have your cake and eat it too 
(1 Reply)
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