Pros and Cons of Studying Multiple Disciplines – Draftsmen S1E07
Pros and Cons of Studying Multiple Disciplines – Draftsmen S1E07

Marshall: Good afternoon Stan. Stan: What’s up Marshall? Marshall: We’re here to do the Draftsmen podcast,
you and me… Stan: Together, we’re in this together Marshall. Marshall: You look like you’re bursting with
youthful energy. Stan: What’s wrong with the way I look? Marshall: I mean, no, I made you – I was complimenting
you, I wasn’t saying it wasn’t great. Criticizing just so we’re bursting with youthful energy. Stan: That was sarcasm, that’s definitely sarcasm. Marshall: No, I really meant it to – yeah
I did, I meant it and then it’s like OK. Stan: You did. What the hell, what’s your problem. Marshall: Why don’t we just get started. Stan: Unfortunately I can’t say the same about
you. Marshall: oooohh it hurts. oh oh Stan: Welcome everybody to the Draftsmen Podcast. Marshall: Here we are. Stan: I am Stan Prokopenko, I’m an artist
and a teacher. You can find my stuff on Marshall: I’m Marshall Vandruff, I am an art
instructor and I draw and you can find my stuff on Stan: I love that website name… Marshallart. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: I’m surprised you got that even though
it’s spelt like the a name Marshall, but yeah. Marshall: Pioneer days of the Internet. Stan: Oh yeah, I was lucky, I got – I got
stanprokopenko, I got stanislavprokopenko, I got Prokopenko. I got my last name as a
.com. Marshall: That’s wonderful. Stan: Yeah. Marshall: And your given name in it’s full
length is Stanislav? Stan: Yeah. Marshall: Okay. Stan: I even got my misspellings; I got stanpropenko. Marshall: Did you really – Stan: Because everyone spells it like that,
Propenko. Marshall, what are we talking about today? Marshall: We have a question that was given
to me, “what are your thoughts regarding practicing multiple disciplines? I’m really concerned,
I’m spreading myself and my resources; time, money, energy too thin and threatening my
chances of any success which is elusive enough”. Wow, that last part about threatening my chances
of any success which is elusive enough maybe a statement about the person who wrote this
question saying not sure I’m gonna make it anyway and that would be a whole other thing.
The thing they’re focused on are about “spreading myself too thin, being practicing multiple
disciplines”. I know you have things to say about it. Stan: Absolutely, I have a long story I want
to tell. Marshall: I want to hear, let’s – let’s start
with it. Stan: You want me to start that? Marshall: Let’s go right with it, yeah. Stan: Okay, well first I’m gonna start by
just giving a short version that I don’t think you’re gonna spread yourself thin, you’re getting
very comfortable. Marshall: Okay, if it’s okay. Stan: I don’t think it’s a bad thing to spread
yourself – not to spread yourself too thin but to practice multiple disciplines, I think
it’s a good thing. I encourage cross-training because you can learn things from other disciplines
that you can apply to your discipline. It actually kind of goes back to adopting your
parents, right? Marshall: Yes, it’s related. Stan: You can do things in your discipline
differently because you know how things are done in another discipline; you can kind of
bring them in sometimes, creatively. It worked for me. Marshall: I’m interested, yeah, I want to
hear how you did it. Stan: Okay, so when I was a little kid, my
cousin and I… I’ve mentioned, he’s the dick that called… Marshall: Yeah, Tom. Stan: Yeah Tom, you remember that one episode? Marshall: for the rest of my life,
yeah. Stan: That fake voicemail? Marshall: Yeah. Stan: What a jerk! Marshall: But he also did your shirt… Stan: Well, not my shirt. Sean: But he did his own shirt. Marshall: He made that sound better, so that
makes up for – Stan: He did make our intro song. Marshall: Tom is a great guy. Stan: He’s a great guy, I love that guy, he’s
my cousin. Anyway, as kids, we would make movies together. We would reenact existing
movies, so we were basically – and this was in VHS times, right? When the camera you have
to – its tape, there’s no digital editing. Do you remember that when in order to edit
anything, you have to connect the camera to the TV and the VCR and if you want to like
clip something, you have to press record, press play on the camera, record it, press
pause and then skip over to the next clip that you want to record, press record, play
– Marshall: And you still get a glitch. Stan: Oh absolutely, there’s always like a
little – like a few frames of that – Marshall: Yeah. Stan: Yeah. So we used to reenact, we reenacted
the entire Home Alone movie. Home Alone: Lost in New York part two. Marshall: That’s impressive. Stan: The whole thing. What we would do is
we would play the movie on the TV, so the sound was the actual movie and then we would
just like lip-sync and we would act it out and then we would edit it all together. It
was so stupid too because we – there was no continuity in the characters, sometimes I
would – I would play – what’s his name? The main character. Marshall: Macaulay Culkin’s character? Stan: Yeah… Marshall: I can’t remember what his name was. Stan: Whatever his name was. Sometimes I would
play him, sometimes he would play him. We were just – I was just all over the place,
but we were like – we were being creative, we were making movies, we’re thinking about
that form of art, right? Marshall: How old? Stan: 9 or maybe 10. So that was my first
kind of creative thing where I was like really into it and we would do it for several years
we did this. We did The Mask, not the whole movie but just clips of it, just to be funny
and we made our own stuff. Marshall: It’s a nine year old filmmaker. Stan: Yeah, then my dad got me into coding.
He bought me a visual basics book. This was a very very basic coding language. Marshall: How old are we talking about here
now? Stan: This is now like ten eleven. So, I spent
like full summer just learning how to code as a little kid and I loved – I made several
games. It was some kind of game show that I made but it was all about my family because
all the questions were about my family but I – I designed all the visuals for the game.
It was like a real game. Marshall: And you did this via coding. Stan: Visual basics code, yeah, so you’d play
that – by also – I had – I made several games, but anyway, I learned how to code, I really
liked it, I was focused on that. Then, when I was like 13, I got really into oil painting
because my parents friend, they helped him come to America and he taught me about painting
for a summer and I just – from then on actually I’ve been drawing and painting. Then in
high school, I got really into animation and then all four semester – all four years I
took animation every single semester, I think I talked – did I talked about this? Marshall: You did mention it that the teacher
who expose you to Vilppu stuff and that kind of thing. Stan: That might have been an episode that
we cut. Marshall: Okay, yeah, but I didn’t know, yeah
– Stan: That’s reminding me of last episode. Marshall: I didn’t know you were – you got
into animation and that he was the one who kind of introduced you. Stan: Yeah Nataha Lightfoot, he was a
really good teacher at my high school, built everyone a light table, exposed us to Glenn
Vilppu, played us his VHS tapes in class. Yeah, so he got me in to animation – I took
animation every single semester in high school, I thought I wanted to be an animator. I even
– I said summer I applied to Cal arts I didn’t get in, and so I ended up going to Watts Atelier.
At Watts Atelier, I got back to drawing and painting, but while I was at Watts, I got
really into web design and web development and kind of um, starting my own businesses.
These are all very different things that I’m focused on and spending a lot of time and
energy on exploring and learning. Web development, I got hired to develop many websites for people. Marshall: You were doing a freelance then. Stan: Yeah, I was doing freelance web design,
web development like HTML, coding them, designing them, here’s your website. They weren’t that
great but you know – Marshall: But you did it? Stan: Yeah yeah. So I learned how to do business
and at Watts then after that, I started teaching. So that’s another thing, I started learning
how to teach. Long story so long – Marshall: That’s like seven or eight – is
it seven different disciplines that you’ve mentioned there? Stan: Something like that. Yeah. Yeah, so
the teaching thing was the last thing and then I started Proko. Do you see where I’m
going with this? Marshall: I see where it’s going. I definitely
see the convergence jelling. Stan: It’s all of those together.
Every single one of those elements put together into one. Marshall: I root for you for having done the
thing. That was seven or eight disciplines that now come together so that your business
allows you to do those many. Yeah, that’s the best story about convergence and also
knowing just a little bit about it and being part of Proko now, it’s great to hear. That’s
like one of those things that at the beginning of a romantic comedy, you say those two will
never get together and then at the end they get together. Stan: That’s great, I love that,
yeah. Marshall: Well, that is an argument for multiple
disciplines. Stan: Yeah, it is. I mean, I am afraid though
that I’m wrong. I mean, it just doesn’t work for me and then for other people, they just
really need to figure out one thing and focus, you know? Marshall: I don’t think that, but I do have
a comment about it because – well, I was gonna figure out – two ways we can go, one is I
can chime in and agree because I do, I think the multiple disciplines can be really valuable.
But we need to at least play devil’s secretary or whatever it is – Stan: Advocate. Marshall: Devil’s advocate. Sean: Devil’s lawyer. Stan: Okay – Marshall: Or at least – where we do at least
what’s the argument against. Stan: Against it… Well, the question kind
of covered that. Marshall: That you have limited time and energy. Stan: Yeah, you do all of them poorly. Marshall: Yes, if you – if that’s what’s happening,
if they are robbing from each other, but I want to tell you something about William Blake
who was a writer, some people say he’s England’s second or third greatest poet and he was a
picture maker. A lot of people didn’t like him as a picture maker but some people really
do like William Blake’s images, but he was doing both of these things and he felt that
they were robbing energy from each other and he gave one up so that he could focus on the
other and found that the other was suffering from not having had the dynamic of bouncing
between the two. David Bowie I’m told did something similar; he would write songs and
paint pictures and when he was having trouble with a song, he would paint a picture and
when he was having trouble with a picture, he’d go back to the song. So he had two things
to bounce between. So it’s like what we talked about with the curriculum thing and balancing
your calendar. These multiple disciplines can be spokes in a wheel and that wheel would
get rolling and each one of them props it up, and they all have something in common,
they’re all creative, even coding is creative, business is certain creative. So, they are
all things when you’re learning to make decisions. Stan: Yeah, I mean, I mentioned all those
things because they were creative disciplines. There’s a bunch of other stuff I did that
weren’t you know… Marshall: I guess the way you’d find out whether
you’re going to be better by not having multiple disciplines is to do what William Blake did,
cut one of them out, see what happens. Do it deliberately, do it where you’re looking
at it for a month or two to see how your energy changes. I always had trouble with this because
I wanted to write and I wanted to draw and I wanted to do graphic novels and I wanted
to make videos but it was too hard because we were even before the VHS time, trying to
shoot stuff on film was really tough and just all sorts of other things that I started to
– I had lunch with a teacher, at Fullerton College many years ago who was an older guy
and he said the thing he regretted is that he tried to be this and that and an artist
and a teacher and a father and all these other things, he said “if I’d have just chosen one
thing, I would have done better”. And I thought, ugh ugh, that’s what’s gonna happen with me.
So, you can – you can look at it and say “I want to do this one thing and if it’s like
what Norman Rockwell did”. Norman Rockwell was one thing right? He was an illustrator,
but Norman Rockwell’s life was so varied because he would be alone in the studio to paint,
he would also be sociable with people because he’d take pictures of them, he also wrote
in his autobiography “My Adventures as an Illustrator” he was also one of the teachers
in that great course, so he did a little teaching but it was all focused on making his hundreds
and hundreds of images that had variety within the process. So, there are multiple disciplines.
To be a good illustrator, you’ve got to be good with your models and maybe learn some
photography and marketing and all the other things. Everything’s multiple – what could
there be that isn’t a multiple discipline? Stan: It depends on how you – what you define
as a discipline. I do want to point out, I don’t know if this is a factor or not but
I didn’t do those things at the same time. So I wasn’t spreading myself thin because
I was doing all these – trying to fit them all in my schedule on the same day. I did
them one at a time. Marshall: And you did them through your childhood
and adolescence. Stan: Yes, I did them within my childhood. Marshall: So they’re your experiments to see
which one you want to do? Stan: Yes. Now, I am focused. Marshall: Yeah and in your focus like Norman
Rockwell, you can make films, direct animations, right? Stan: Right, I guess so. Marshall: You could code if you wanted to,
you’re in front of the camera, you’ve got all these things going on. Stan: Yeah, but I still – I still attempt
to spread myself too thin. Sean: Successfully spread yourself too thin. Stan: Shut up Sean, what do you
mean? Sean: Yeah, we’ve got anatomy, we got painting,
we got basics Stan: Oh, too many classes at once. Yeah,
we’re not talking about – that’s the same discipline though, that’s the same project.
But yeah, no, I know too many. I’m also doing like AI and I’m building a social network. Marshall: I think they’ll converge again,
I think that this is all – Stan: No they will, they’re all connected
to Proko. Marshall: They are. Stan: There’s this thing that I want to build. Marshall: Sorry we’re not giving you a lot
of help except to say multiple disciplines, good, but watch out for something. Watch out
that is – Stan: Cross-training. Marshall: Pardon. Stan: I want to use the word cross-training
because you know, like in sports, they do that all the time. Like you go swimming in
order to get – gain strength or something or whatever, I don’t know. Marshall: That sports psychologist Eddie O’Connor
talked about how that when you specialize in a sport to young, you only develop the
muscles for that sport, whereas if you’re taking several different sports, you’re going
to be – you’re gonna be more balanced. And there are also some people, like Shel Silverstein
who was a songwriter, had a band, a music performer, he did some hit songs. He was a
children’s book writer and a children’s book illustrator, he was an actor, right? There
we’ve got enough to say that is multiple disciplines and he did all these things, a great cartoonist.
He did all of these things and he did all of them well and I don’t know how they overlapped
and they must have overlapped some. So you could just say look, I want to do several
things and I want to see how well I can do them. Another person like Norman Rockwell
say I’m gonna be an illustrator. Stan: But we don’t know that. Like, what did
he do in his childhood? Maybe he experimented early in his life. Because when did he become
like a successful illustrator? How old was he? Do you know his history? Marshall: No, Norman Rockwell’s history is
really simple; he went to the Art Students League, he got his first commissions, he started
working for The Saturday Evening Post as probably one of the youngest illustrators they must
have ever hired, he had the audacity to go in there and try to get him to hire him, they
hired him and then he did – all through his life he was an illustrator. So he got – he
got aimed right to it. Stan: Alright. Well, I mean obviously that
it’s both ends of the – Marshall: Yeah, how do we wrap this up? Stan: I wanna hear your side though. Like
did you have a bunch of things you did as a kid? Marshall: Oh yeah yeah, but they were mainly
– I knew from the time I was a kid I wanted to go into the arts because we had a – Stan: How old? When you made that decision. Marshall: I’m gonna guess I was about eight
or nine, but see – Stan: That was like what? 200 – 300 years
ago Marshall: Yeah yeah – no, I was born in 58.
Let’s be objective about this – Stan: 58? Marshall: 58. Stan: Not 19, just 58? Marshall: 1958. Stan: You were born in the year 58. Marshall: I was part of the baby boom. It
was before Twilight Zone came to – it as a year before Twilight someone came to TV. I’ve
got it all worked out by popular culture. Gilligan’s Island was yet to happen and Dr.
Seuss books were – Stan: You were eight? Marshall: I was about eight or nine but now
here’s the thing, I had a crisis because our babysitter’s Bob and Wanda Duncan wrote television
shows, they wrote Lost in Space and Time Tunnel and U.S. Steel Hour and we’d see their name
on the TV and we’d cheer when we see their name and they made a lot of money writting
for TV shows, living in Anaheim and I thought I want to do that because I didn’t know do
I want to be a cop, do I want to be a teacher, what do I want to be and they could – they
could write a story about all sorts of characters; about a rock star, about a person who travels
in time and I remember when we were having to do laps on the basketball court and I was
thinking “I don’t think I’m gonna be an athlete” but while we were doing hot laps on this hot
asphalt, I was thinking “if I be a TV writer, I can beat all sorts of things in imagination”. Stan: Writing, you’re great at writing, right? Marshall: I love the process, I love the process.
I’m not known as a writer now but I love to sit down and take an hour or two into a train
of thought – Stan: But that is a discipline that you really
gave a lot of focus to it, isn’t it? Marshall: I decided to become an illustrator
only because there was a major in advertising illustration at the junior college that I
could major in and when you were – there was no writing major as such, there was an English
major and so that’s how it happened. But I wanted to be a writer or a picture maker and
I wanted to get them both together and do what the Mad Magazine artists did where you
do writing and pictures. Stan: Weren’t you on the radio for a while? Marshall: I did do radio stuff with my friend
Nigel. We did recording, we used to write and record our voices and that kind of thing. Stan: So it wasn’t a professional like radio
show? Marshall: No we – no, but we did do some radio
commercials that we got paid for and Nigel and I used to – we attempted – we attempted
comedy. I interviewed Santa Claus, you probably don’t know that I interviewed Santa Claus.
I did a full series of Santa Claus interviews with Nigel as Santa Claus. Yeah, maybe – maybe
you’ll find out about those someday. I’ll get Nigel’s permission to see if we can let
you know what I did when I was younger. Loved comedy albums, loved radio and so figured
you know, radio Wow, it’s just something about late at night when the lights are off and
you have somebody telling you a story or the different kind of music can come through there. Stan: I didn’t know that – late at night,
lights are off, that’s somebody – Marshall: You’re getting predictable Stan: Whispering in your ear – Sean: To tell your story. Stan: Yeah, come on. That was going
somehere else. Well that came back though. Marshall: Yeah, it did, it came back I guess
doing stuff with Proko, yeah, it’s sort of like doing radio, yeah. Stan: And you’re a lot better than me at it
because you – you’ve practiced it. Marshall: Well, we’ll see. What next? Stan: It’s time for an ad. Marshall: Yeah. The other night I dreamed
that Stanley Kubrick was your uncle and I sat down and talked with him for a while.
He was very amiable and he forgave you for not paying any attention to his movies. But
I’ve always thought – Stan: he’s great. He forgave me. Marshall: Yeah yeah yeah, he was your uncle.
What’s next? Stan: Marshall, we’re gonna get a voicemail. Marshall: Oh I’m eager. Stan: I should remember the number. Marshall: ♪ You can sing that number, everyone
will be pleased to hear Stan sing… To hear Stan sing. Let us hear, it is 1-858-609-9453
that is the number ♪. That is terrible though because nobody’s gonna remember it when it’s
written like that. Stan: Yeah, you have to split it up into three
three four. Marshall: Well, I did the best I could, this
was my first time singing a telephone number to the world. Stan: Just in case that was confusing, again
it’s 858-609-9453. Marshall: Let’s go. Stan: Sean, play the voice mail. Sean: This is from Marshall. Stan: What! Voicemail: Hey Stan and Marshall, huge fan.
My thing is actually digital art and I’ve watched your video about how to hold a pencil
and I was curious how much of that you find transfuse over to digital art and I’ve actually
seen your video holding a stylus and you had your glove on and all that stuff but I didn’t
get a teacher – the way you’re holding your stylus. So, I’d like to know how much of holding
a pencil transfers over to holding a digital stylus. Anyways, huge fun, thank for your
time. Stan: So, that was you? Marshall: That was not me. Stan: From – Sean: So long ago. Stan: A different Marshall. Marshall: But it was for you. Stan: Yes. Did you not hear it? Marshall: Yeah, I heard enough of it. Stan: Okay, the question was does the video
I made about holding a pencil and I’m assuming he’s talking about the overhand grip, because
I also talked about the tripod grip which is what usually hold the stylus. That grip
does not carry over to a stylus, at least not yet in the way a styluses are made. Marshall: Styli. Stan: Styli. Yeah, right now – no, it doesn’t
transfer over. You usually hold it in the tripod grip, like the way you hold a pencil
when you’re doing little details and stuff. But, the way you move your arm does transfer
over, you still want to use your shoulder and your elbow and sometimes your wrist, almost
never your fingers. Yeah, because whether you’re holding it overhand or a tripod grip,
like it doesn’t – it doesn’t matter, you’re still moving your arm the same way. So, I
think that was also in that video right? Was moving your arm correctly, you know – Marshall: Yeah. Stan: So, there are two elements to that. Marshall: And the bigger motion is the more
important thing ultimately. Stan: Yeah, you usually – you wanna – especially
in the beginning you want to start with the more of a gestural thing, bigger shapes, bigger
lines then once you start shading and getting little details, you can flip it over to a
tripod grip, it’s not illegal, you could use the tripod grip for what it’s best at doing,
best at using it for. Marshall: But it should be illegal for some
people. Who did this? Who said – Stan: Marshall, it is you. It is you. Marshall: Oh, it was someone else named Marshall? Sean: Yes. Stan: Did you just get that? Marshall: Marshall, I did get it but I forgot
it. Okay, yes, I’ve only met a few Marshals in my life, what a pleasure. I think this
about the tripod grip and the – all that; I only ever used the tripod grip and I regret
it because when I see people make beautiful lines – we had this conversation once in one
of those crits on the joints for the anatomy course. You remember? Stan: Yeah. Marshall: Where you gave me a C for my line
quality and I had to try to riggle out of it because Stan: I’m such a dick Marshall: Illustrators that do preliminary
work often don’t care about their line quality. When you look at William Blake’s work, it’s
just awful line quality, the stuff that he did before he did the finish painting. And
so, that gave me permission, okay, and I started – a number of years ago I got really sensitive
to how awkward my line quality was, so that I’m determined that I’m going to get past
this and get some good line quality but it is so hard to unlearn those habits that are
itchy-scratchy as one inker called it, make it out of a lot of small ones and to get the
movement of arm. You even told me once “why don’t you just make the line with your whole
arm instead of your finger” and I thought “why don’t I?” oh that’s why, it’s no control
at all. Stan: Yeah, well yeah, if you’ve been writing
with your wrists and fingers your whole life Marshall: My whole life. Stan: Your arm hasn’t been trained to move
in those very subtle precise ways. Marshall: That’s why that thing in the fundamentals
of learn line and learn to carve a line and learn to make it go thin to thick and learn
to make it – you know, Kimon Nicolaides who I will always refer to, even though that book
is so flawed, The Natural Way to Draw, those exercises – Stan: We should do an episode on that. Marshall: We should do an episode on that. Stan: You have very strong opinions. Marshall: I do but you know, an old guy – Stan: Oh, wait, sorry I’m thinking of the
drawing on the right side of the brain. Marshall: No, that’s a – yeah, that’s a whole
other thing from Kimon Nicolaides, you couldn’t get anything to be more different. Stan: But you have strong opinions about The
Right Side of The Brain book. Marshall: Yes, I do, I have strong opinions
about it, but we’ll save them for another time. Kimon Nicolaides makes you do something
like 750 hours or something like that (future Marshall here to make a correction that the
total number of hours of Nicolaides exercises is not 750, its 375. Every time you hear 750,
it’s half that, 375) of exercises that are gonna yield nothing worth looking at – Marshall: And so what most people will do
– it’s gesture drawing. He’s the one who – Stan: What do you mean, that’s very useful. Marshall: He coined the term gesture as far
as I know for the English language by putting it in that book. He was teaching at the Art
Students League at the same time Bridgman was. Stan: But how’s that not useful? Marshall: Well, here’s the thing, you do hours
of gesture drawing and your family’s not going to be impressed. You do hours of these studies
where – the watercolor study where you press harder or you press lighter depending on whether
something’s closer to you or further away. It’s like you end up with these pages of messiness
but his point is these are experiences not product. These are things that are teaching
you to be sensitive to whether something’s coming towards you, going away from you, he
has you do blind contours for hours. Really valuable stuff but most people don’t go through
it and I try – I used it for 75 hours. I got about 75 hours into it in my late 20s early
30s to try to overcome the stiffness and carefulness and it did help me overcome it. I could at
least get past stiffness and carefulness even if the lines – Stan: Sounds good. Sean: I did half the book and I was really
bored by the time I got – Stan: Okay, so that’s the problem is that
these are useful exercises but there’s no play involved at all and like halfway through
you’re just – you’re so – you’re like you regret and even starting because it’s not
as enjoyable as you wanted it to be. Marshall: I didn’t regret it but let’s put
it in context; he’s doing this at the Art Students League and people are also taking
Bridgman’s classes and other people classes at the same time, but he is teaching you with
this closed fist, there is only one right way to learn to draw and it is a perfectly
natural way, it has nothing to do with artifice and technique. He’s got a quote at the beginning
of the thing and it’s “you submit to what I tell you to do for this 700 plus hours and
then you will be an artist”. And I think it can rub against some people but I got so much
value out of it and I see so much value in it, as flawed as the book is – Stan: So you’re promoting it? I thought you
were bashing it. Marshall: No no but – but people do bash it
and we were gonna do a class, I was gonna put together a class online for this but the
host said “you know, I don’t know that people are gonna commit to this”. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: But do you know of any students that
did the whole 750 hours? Marshall: No, I don’t. Stan: Oh, no one actually does that. Marshall: I don’t but I do know that a lot
of artists who came out of the Art Students League like Norman Rockwell and like Robert
Beverly Hill and others came out with a command of how – of them – Stan: So they went through that, they did
the 750 hours. Marshall: They went through that stuff, yeah. Stan: So those – okay. Marshall: It’s classic training and I would,
even at my age, I would still take a year to say “I’m gonna do all of these exercises
so that at the end of the year I’m gonna have even – I’m gonna have more command than i’ve
ever had at being able to sit down and draw like Daumier would draw. Stan: Do any of these really successful artists
give him credit for it? Do they ever say “man, I’m really good because of that, because I
did those 750 hours”? Marshall: I don’t know of examples, I know
that Rockwell gave Bridgman a lot of credit. Stan: I know, I hear a lot of Bridgman but
– so they were at the same school? Marshall: Yeah, they were the same school
at the same time. In fact Nicolaides said that you know, he even mentions that Bridgman
is your teacher for this stuff and I’m your teacher for this stuff. Stan: Okay so no one really that you know
of. Maybe – can you guys if you know the answer to that. Marshall: If you know, yeah, let us know but
I do know that Nicolaides had a good reputation as a trainer of artists. Nicolaides died before
the book was finished, which means students put it together and the examples are just
awful and the book has got all sorts of problems and if you can look past the flaws – an old
artist told me – when I was beginning to teach, he said “you know the more the years go by,
the more I see how Nicolaides got the core of what is really important which is not just
Anatomy and perspective”. The thing Nicolaides, we’re gonna try to boil the whole book down
to it, it is empathy with the characters you are creating. Empathy with the weight, with
the feeling, with the forces inside that world, empathy with that so that you are living it
the way a storyteller lives inside the skin and feelings of a character. And then you
use Anatomy and perspective and shading and all that to bring something out of it but
you can – all that Anatomy and perspective and shading is useless, it’s empty if you
don’t have something that you’re living inside that story with to get the emotions and weight
really, forces. What would be like to be that model. So it’s ethereal, it’s hard to grasp
and I think a lot of people when they criticize it, they just throw it away and say “this
is too much for me”, but I don’t feel that way. It completely confused me when I was
exposed to it in my 20s, in my 30s I started to see value with it and now I’m kind of wishing
I could go back spend a year on Nikolaides. Maybe we should make the offer that if we
can get 20 or 30 people who will commit to it, you’ll have a teacher who’ll carry along
with you. You probably don’t want to do it, do you? Stan: No, I can’t. Marshall: You’re too busy, you’re professional. Stan: If I were to do that I would have to
done that 10 years ago. Sean: Cancel the basics course. Stan: Yeah. I mean, I did that with other
exercises. I did gesture drawing and I did figure drawing, lands and stuff where hundreds
and hundreds of hours. So I did similar practice Marshall: Yeah, that’s right, you did. Stan: It’s not whatever Nikolaides – Marshall: You got enough training to do what
you’re doing and what you want to do. Stan: Okay – Marshall: What was the question? Sean: Marshall was asking about how you hold
a pencil. Stan: Yeah, digital vs traditional – no
it’s just the transfer over, the way to – no, it doesn’t, the grip doesn’t but the shoulder
movement does, that was my answer. Sean: Or cut out everything in between. Stan: No… That’s useful. Marshall: Yeah, I thought that would
and I wanted to give my sermon about Nicolaides. Stan: I’m actually really curious, I have
the book, I’ve never read it. Marshall: It’s not worth reading, he tells
you not to read it, you’re not allowed to read it, that’s one of the rules he makes
at the beginning, “you do not read this book, you do the exercises, then you move to the
next exercise”, you don’t look ahead in a mathematics book to read it, you do the problems.
Stan: Well, whatever. In order to do the exercise don’t you have to read the exercise?
Marshall: You read the exercises. He’s the one who started the book with that quote from
Da Vinci that, “The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance.” And it’s
like this book is going to be a dose of performance. You’re going to exercise not theorize.
Stan: All right. Marshall: Who goes first? Oh, hey Stan, what’s
your thing? Stan: My thing?
Marshall: Your thing? Stan: Or my thang?
Marshall: What’s your thang? Stan: Marshall, what’s your thong?
Sean: I can see you are picking up. Stan: Yeah, put that back up.
Marshall: You know, I’ve worn sandals for years and we used to call them in the ’60s,
we called them thongs. And then I found out you’re not allowed to call your sandals, ‘thongs’,
because it means something else. Stan: Well it does. It’s the same thing. It’s
like, it’s either in your butt crack or in between your toes.
Marshall: It’s a thong for your toes, yeah. Stan: Yeah. How do we get on these
topics? Marshall: You make it happen.
Stan: Yes, I do. Marshall: Okay. What your thang Stan?
Stan: My thing is I just got a standing desk. Marshall: A standing desk.
Stan: Yes, sir. Marshall: So, this is to get past sitting
too much. Stan: Yeah.
Marshall: Tell us more. Stan: I haven’t used the it yet.
I just got it and I built it. And I haven’t transferred my stuff to it yet.
Sean: But it can hold his entire weight as we saw.
Stan: Okay, yeah I sat on it and then I pushed the button. It’s electric, so, it goes up
and down. Marshall: Have you done work standing up as
opposed to sitting down? Stan: I have, yeah. I mean, you can make your
own standing desk by just putting a box on your desk and put your laptop on the box.
Yeah, it’s really hard. It’s really difficult. Oh, well, right now I’d probably be able to
do it way easier because I’ve been walking a lot more. But, like ask me two years ago,
when I would literally for like eight years straight I would just sit all day, and it
caused back problems. And those back problems caused me to not exercise as much because
every time I went to the gym my back would be so sore. I couldn’t walk because I had
such a weak back and core from sitting so much. It’s like a snowball.
Marshall: Yes. The worse it gets, the worse it gets.
Stan: And so, now that I’ve been walking a lot, I think my feet are stronger, my back
is stronger and I think I could stand a lot longer.
Marshall: Well, I think you’re in for a treat because some people choose – Walter Murch says
he never sits when he edits a film. He said, “It’s like being a gunslinger. You don’t sit
down to be a gunslinger.”, because you got to make choices while he’s standing on his
feet. I have a student this past semester, Tiffany, who told the class about how she
did some of her work standing and inspired me. I’ve done it for a few years where I’ll
just, this evening I’m going to stand to do this work. And I feel like it brings up an
energy because you’re physically up for it and so your your whole thing just sort of
livens up. Stan: Do you paint?
Marshall: No, I don’t paint. Stan: Yeah, that’s what I thought. Okay. I
just want to know your opinion about painting sitting or standing? Because, you know, more
easels are made for standing but I know a lot of people sit. And I sat for a long time
for painting in the studio. When I got plein air painting I stand.
Marshall: I watched Justin Sweet do a painting in front of a group of students where he would
step back and hold still then he’d suddenly lurch forward and do something and it was
if he was trying to catch a trout in a stream. By reaching in there, it’s like I see it there
and now I’m going to catch it while I’ve got it. And it looked like swordplay too.
Stan: That’s cool. Marshall: So, yeah, there is something about
posture that I think makes a difference. Okay, let me tell you my thing which I didn’t plan
on saying this but this is the thing. Stan: What’s the thing?
Marshall: This has been my thing for years. I walk. I don’t walk as much now as I have
but I go in periods of a few years where I’ll walk many, many, many miles because when I’m
working in front of the computer, I get sick of the artificial light and I’m sitting. So,
I go out and when I lived in Laguna Niguel for 21 years, you could take a quarter of
a mile walk or you could take a three or four mile walk depending on which circuit you went
on and it was always green. So, I just found that, that was the way that if I had a problem
that I was working on, I’d go for a walk and I’d come back and I’d be full of ideas and
ready to go again. And I found out that Bob Hope was a walker.
Stan: Yeah, a lot of successful people are walkers.
Marshall: Steve Jobs was a walker. William Blake was a walker. There’s many people who
that’s what their ritual is, is to walk. There’s something that’s so natural about it. I love
it. And also, it’s been a huge part of my social life. People say, “Let’s get together
for dinner. Let’s get together for coffee. I’ll have lunch with you.” And my response
is just starting to turn into, “No. I’m not going do that. But, if we want to get together
for a walk, let’s go for a walk and that way we get the conversation going.”
Stan: Yeah. That’s how we met. Marshall: That’s right we walked.
Stan: But we didn’t meet walking. Marshall: We walked for nine weeks didn’t
we? Stan: Yeah.
Marshall: Yeah, around the lake sometimes too, didn’t we?
Stan: Yeah, holding hands. Marshall: You remember it more vividly than
I do. Stan: Maybe that was just part of my dream.
Marshall: Well, at least you’re dreaming in the right direction. Okay. I congratulate
you for that. Stan: Yeah, I was teaching a blizzard workshop
it was in your area. And I would come there to beat traffic or come a little earlier and
then meet with you for a walk and then go teach.
Marshall: Yeah. But I hope, I mean, I hope that I will be able to walk for as long as
I live because it is really a good thing. I discovered it in my 20s and started to see
that you got so much consolidation going on there. You getting your exercise. You’re getting
your variety of response. You’re getting to know your territory.
Stan: Do you know if it’s okay to eat while walking?
Marshall: I don’t. Stan: You don’t know?
Marshall: No. No. I don’t know whether it’s okay but I know that I have no inclination
to eat while I’m walking. Stan: Okay. I eat breakfast while walking
as well. Remember, I think last episode, I said I schedule my meetings while walking?
Marshall: Yeah. Stan: I also eat. So, I triple tasks. I eat
my breakfast, I’m in my meeting and I’m walking. Marshall: Yeah.
Stan: Yeah. Efficiency baby. Marshall: Good boy. But, uh, yeah, too much
consolidation though. That’s one of the things that Yoga was about, is that, instead of multitasking
and listening to a lecture while you’re exercising which means you’re getting your mind off your
body, Yoga was to get your mind on your body while you’re exercising and get in touch with
it but. And you know there’s mindful walking. Do you know about that?
Stan: Where you’re thinking about every step? Marshall: Yes.
Stan: Wait, seriously? Marshall: Where you pay attention to the rhythm
of your step. You think about your steps. You think about what’s in front. You actually
paying attention in the moment. Stan: Are you paying attention to yourself,
to your body or to just your environment? Marshall: It can be both and either.
Stan: Okay. Marshall: But I don’t do that that much. I’ve
done it a few times. But, no really, my walking for me is a way to get things moving so that
I’m living very much in my head. Stan: Yes. I agree.
Marshall: Well, that’s my thing. Stan: That’s your thing. I love your thing.
Marshall: Yeah, well, great. So, we’ve done another podcast here and, uh.
Stan: God! Why does it have to be awkward? Marshall: Because it’s a shift of energy.
Is this right? Am I saying this too soon? Should I say we’re wrapping up the podcast
here? Stan: Let’s wrap it up Marshall.
Marshall: Let’s wrap up the podcast. Thank you for being here with us.
Stan: Tell them what do. Marshall: You mean, uh, the?
Stan: I’ve said it like seven times. Marshall: I don’t feel comfortable asking
people to give five-star ratings. Stan: Come on Marshall.
Marshall: I know you feel comfortable doing that. I do not feel comfortable.
Stan: Do you want them? Marshall: Give a sincere rating of what you
thinking of the podcast. Stan: Of five stars.
Marshall: It’s like advertising. Give us a sincere rating of five stars.
Stan: What’s the comment on YouTube? Marshall: Tell us about how multiple disciplines
have depleted your energy or augmented each other, supplemented.
Stan: Yeah. Which disciplines have come together synergized in a way that you didn’t think
would happen and then you just like, “Wow! They came together and they made a baby.”
All right guys, call us, leave a voicemail. Marshall: Yeah.
Stan: Bye. Marshall: Thanks.

100 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Studying Multiple Disciplines – Draftsmen S1E07”

  1. Proko says:

    How have multiple disciplines hurt or helped you with your art?

  2. Sir Ducklord says:


  3. Sydney says:

    Thank you for the episode! I would do the 375 hours if there was a dedicated group doing it together.

  4. Bob Lob says:

    When are we going to get the 1 hour roast session between Marshall and Stan?

  5. Jonathan Zegarra says:

    I gave this podcast episode 5 stars

  6. Rick Croucher says:

    I would love to hear a podcast on Nicolaides. Please give us a program on this.

  7. Japeto9 says:

    Multi-Discipline has undoubtedly helped me. It was my initial interest in weight lifting and jiu-jitsu before drawing that taught me about the movements and limitations of limbs and muscles connections. Which is why I think the anatomical studies don't seem daunting to me. A prior discipline has cemented an anchor point to work off of!

  8. CashWiley says:

    Things that seem so obvious after you hear someone else say them.

    I've been a musician for 35 years now, an artist for 3. I've really cut back dramatically on my time playing music due to my art studies. It seems every time I get in an art rut, I mope around for a while and eventually end up playing some music. Hearing the Blake/Bowie story, I see that I've been missing the obvious here! I need to set up all my music stuff and use it as a foil to my art studies.

    When I get frustrated I can't get something right on the easel, just pick up a guitar and play for a few hours! Remind myself what hours, days, years of study can lead to, and relax…all with the same simple mechanism. Nice!

  9. Ben McCrea says:

    I have a longer comment, but here's the summary: the newly released "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World" by David Epstein thoroughly addresses the topic of working in multiple disciplines, and concludes that having a breadth of knowledge is a vastly under-appreciated strength in the modern world. It is a FANTASTIC (potentially life-changing) book — I've already bought it for a couple of friends, and will be gifting it to a few more!

    Comments in regard to specific topics in this podcast:

    – Stan cites pursuing many different disciplines over the course of his life. However, as he notes, he didn't pursue them all at the same time. He focused on one or two, then moved on. This is in keeping w/ Epstein's recommendation that we conduct personal "experiments" — immersing ourselves in one activity, seeing how it fits for us, then moving on to something else that looks like it might fit us better. When we focus on something, it changes the way we see the world, and we really learn what it feels like to "do the thing". If we don't focus for a period of time, if we keep waffling and not really trying something on for size, we'll never know how well it fits us.

    – Marshall talks about how the studies produced by following Nicolaides' book would not be impressive to show to family and friends, but that the exercises are still worthwhile in the long run. This idea is captured in Chapter 4 of "Range", where Epstein makes the strong case that classes where we are able to achieve perfect grades — grades that impress our family — are often not classes where we learn much. Conversely, classes where we struggle, where it is difficult to demonstrate mastery, are often-times the crucible for durable learning and future success.

    I imagine the same could be said of art classes where in one class, you are struggling to "feel" the gesture of a figure and capture it on your paper, producing week after week of messy drawings, versus a class where you draw from photographs using a grid, simply reproducing tones like a copy machine. All of your family and friends will ooo and ahh about the "photorealistic" drawing — but what did you really learn in that class?

    – there are MANY other aspects of having a breadth of knowledge covered in the book. I highly recommend it!

  10. Syr3 says:

    I am into game-making. So knowing about illustration, animation, game theory, writing and basic sound design have served me a lot over the years. However, I can clearly see that my illustration skills, which is an activity that gives me a lot of joy, had their development stiffled because of multitasking. I regret it a little, but I know that, in order to fulfill my dream of making awesome games, mainly as an creative director, all those skills are much needed.

  11. Jordan B says:

    The key will Stan's story is he did them all separately! I think the original question is asking whether or not its a good thing to do multiple disciplines at a given time.

    Im currently trying to juggle 4 things, not necessarily disciplines or skills, but 4 large scale projects or jobs and It is extremely difficult to keep up with them all! If I want to say Im doing all of these things I need to actually be doing those things on a regular basis, and honestly Im not. I do 2 regularly, but even the second project gets pushed to the side because I hit a paralysis of trying to figure out what to do. And even if I figure it out it seems like nothing is done because theres a hundred other things that weren't done.

  12. David Kelly says:

    Did Stan say he did pole vault? Cool.

  13. Fubear says:

    It is fascinating to see two different personality types interacting. Marshall I would classify as the beta, but that sounds insulting and I dont mean it that way, because Marshall brings a ton of value , but seems a bit submissive, While Proko is alpha, which is weird as hell just typing, because Proko does not exactly remind one of a navy seal, but he is definitely of a type that wants to define his reality on his terms, While Marshall seems to observe his reality and play inside those bounds. Perhaps this is just my personal definition of beta and alpha, whatever.

    Just saying, these podcasts have been very interesting on multiple levels.

  14. Thomas Devenish says:

    So now I'm VERY interested to hear what you have to say about Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain because, for me, as someone who practices art as part of a larger discipline, it was the book that made it possible for me to understand why I could never draw things properly (lacking the initial steps of taking what I see and turning it into an image, seeing negative spaces, understanding the tricks of perspective etc.) and why I would, for example, draw certain things the same every time like eyes (using symbols etc rather than drawing what's there). The exercises in it helped me force my brain to see things the right way and I wouldn't be able to do any of it any well without it.

    HOWEVER, now that I have better trained eyes, I don't need to go through the rigour of how they lay out the process for doing everything and I'm open to trying other methods and techniques, but let's say, for me, it pushed the art door open just enough that I could jam a metaphorical doorstop in there and get going which I had been unable to do for my entire life. I would not be able to see things the right way without that book, but it's not my bible.

    As for today's question, as an Independent Games Developer (or at least, in the process of becoming one) I have a whole raft of different skills I've had to learn and each one of them (Programming, writing, game design, music, 2d and 3d character and environment art and animation etc.) has informed the others in some way so I'm all for it, but I think tackling them one at a time is the best way to build it up.

    TL;DR: Left Side of the Brain Book helped me actually develop an artistic eye which I had never had and helped me break a lot of problematic habits, but I don't hold it up as perfect or anything and would be interested in what you have to say about it.

  15. MarathonInfinityHalo says:

    If you guys need 30 students for the experiment, you can count on me! I did 30 hours a couple of years ago, like Marshall, as I get older I see more value in that book.

  16. Alexandre says:

    I'm studying art and programming. Fun times. I have the impression my brain would punch me if it could.

    But my main objective is to make games with my art, so programming will help a lot. It is very interesting, despite me being an artist foremost.

  17. Leonardo Rodrigues says:

    I have a question:
    Where do i start? I mean, i am starting to learn how to draw by my own and i don't know where to start( like perspective, gesture, anatomy ).


  18. WAZ videos says:

    Hear me, o youtube algorithm, promote this video for it is good 🔮✨

  19. FancyDesigns says:

    do you know that moment when two people are such good friends they insult each other. Marshall and Stan are past it.

  20. Sara Villarreal says:

    Really like this format. Easy to listen to while I work.

  21. Carolyn's Art Adventures says:

    I think that pursuing multiple disciplines will broaden you, and this will feed into creative pursuits. Just focusing on one thing will make you really good technically, but probably not feed into your creativity.

  22. Basil Esposito says:

    Kim Jung Gi read and did Nicolaides when he was younger supposedly

  23. füther Yahya says:

    I think of the kissing scene in the mask I’m sure Stan did it with his gf

  24. füther Yahya says:

    John Buscema was as a boxer

  25. dagoelius says:

    Many great artists were also talented musicians in their own right. Both taking years of time, discipline and practice. Both benefit from each other's development.

  26. Izak van Langevelde says:

    Do not get me starting on Nicolaides. I worked myself through Nicolaides close to two times, once on myself, and once in art school, so that's close to Marshalls 750 hours quote. I got next to nothing out of it. A number of observations. First, have you ever seen a competent drawing by Kimon Nicolaides? Second, the book is bad, with occult formulations and seemingly random illustrations that do not illustrate the concepts introduced; Nicolaides cannot help it, the book was compiled by his students after his untimely death. Third, there is some value in the concepts described, but you need a competent teacher to get these explained to you; there are not many people around I trust to teach from Nicolaides. Fourth, the book is not for beginners, make sure you have an okay eye-hand coordination and basic knowledge of the proportions of the human body, at least. Fifth, anything valuable from this almost one-century old book has been incorporated in the well-known manuals of our days, more to the point, with better presentation, more accessible. Sixth, think twice before you pick up Nicolaides. Seventh, don't!

  27. gAmegirl62 says:

    Just found your channel and I think it's great…. very informative 😁

  28. gAmegirl62 says:

    I my fav medium is pen and ink but I also paint w/acrylics, watercolors, oils. I do DIY projects for my cats, make guilts crochet, and paint miniatures for my DnD games, and enjoy creative writing…. I don't drive so walking/ public transportation have always been my way of travel and I also find it relaxing and great for invigorating my ideals…so cool that others have discovered it as well

  29. Vonzaku says:

    Drawing and digital sculpting the human head and figure has helped one another. Sculpting has me pay more attention to details of anatomy which has improved my drawings and drawing has made me pay attention to proportions and measurements which helped me ease into digital sculpting.

  30. 3Rton says:

    man Marshall keeps bringing up all these old new masters/teachers that I have to look and start studying.

  31. Karbon Tanto says:

    Art is just engineering minus all the math. You can learn aesthetics to make it subconsciously appealing, engineering to make it believable, and history to make it relevant.

  32. Sarah Santana says:

    In 40 minutes I get exposed and thrown in to so many interesting direction. Like I could follow a year of Nicolaides after hearing your podcast. I love the funny and silly way you express admiration for each other, your stories. I even love to read the comments
    I never thought anything would get me out of the couch watching the Kardashians and repeating the same episodes for times a week. I find extreme value in every thing you guys share.

  33. Klissia Angeles says:

    Proko I am not in art school but would love advice on what would be a great book to purchase for drawing fundamentals? Please help

  34. NxTlVL says:

    so i am 3d character artist in my first 2 years in 3d i learned everything from animationriggingvfxmodelingtexturerendering i was lost i thought i am wasting my time in that time but after 2 years i deside to be character artist and i am still in my journey to be pro artist i see it now it's wasn't a waste of time i learned animation and line of action and other things helped me to do or to dig deep into figure dynamic sculpting easily and for vfx i can make cloth sim to my character same as rig at least i know the basic of them that could help me later so yes Studying Multiple Disciplines will make u better artist but now i am learning other things from photography to film making i know these things will help me to make better character imo

  35. pepsea_scroll says:

    I really want to hear about Marshalls thoughts on on those two books he mentioned right side and the other one with like wise has a name

  36. Tatiane Hardt says:

    I feel like Marshall is so experienced and intuitive and he comes up with topics that Proko is not comfortable with, then Proko finds a way to make a joke about them as a defense mechanism. I think that maybe Proko has so much to learn from Marshall, especially about not being so focused on technique and more open to different ways of thinking. And, I'm not a specialist, but I don't think that eating while walking is good for you digestion, but Google is there to answer that for us.

  37. Kasia Jabłońska says:

    I'm a Polish student and at first I was in high school on mathematic and physics profile, and after 6 months I changed it to an art school and now I have to work at maths, physics (those two on my own) , history of art, polish and English for my final exams and I also spend much time drawing and painting plus I do some music. I constantly have that thought that maybe I do to much and if I want to be an artist I shouldn't put so much effort in science even if I really like it. What do you think about doing so much of completely different things?

  38. Robert Alexander says:

    The book Range by David Epstein is pretty relevant to this topic.

  39. Martin Vestergaard Portraits says:

    Ok we did not hear about Stans favorite icecreams when he was 7 and 11 and 15 years old ….

  40. Saionjisan says:

    #ChallengeAccepted o.o/ Im here! And I want to accept Marshal's challenge to make all the Nicolaides excercises and get my teacher to help me through xD hahaha I really need a good teacher I could almost do anything

  41. gnazlis says:

    The David Bowie example covers this topic for me. When difficulties come you should push through instead of having an escape.

  42. Siebrand Verhulst says:

    I've been doing multiple disciplines for a long time, and I alsof have had some great benefits from them, but also cons. I've been drawing, doing animation, playing and composing music from a young age. After many years doing them seperately I decided to combine them and make a short animated movie with my own music. It was a great experience to do that and I learned a lot from it. But now I must make a study choice, animation or conservatoire, and it's really difficult to choose.

  43. Fine Art-Tips says:

    Great episode guys! Marshall, if you ever do the Nikolaides exercises experiment, I´m in for it! (I´m a bit like you, a professional artist with the youth years behind… but with so much drive to draw better and better. I´m in for working out the time for the 373 hrs of drills (and maybe we can train our hand to hold the pencil properly in the process!). When do we start? hehe

  44. Joe Ludwig says:

    Thank you both so much for making me feel a whole lot LESS crazy. I thought I was alone in being interested in drastically different areas.

  45. danielle kriner says:

    This issue has plagued me for years and I've come to the conclusion that trying new mediums and disciplines can only help me. I'm pretty traditional and love to draw and paint in oil, mostly portraits, but I dabble in water color and gouache and have become pretty skilled in all of them. Most recently, at the age of 45, I bought an iPad Pro and have been illustrating in Procreate. I NEVER wanted to do digital art, but I absolutely love it!

  46. Aldersons says:

    both your banter is just the best

  47. Jeanette Paak says:

    I’m trying to teach myself how to draw. Should I do teach myself all the basic fundamentals of drawing all at one? Or should I stick to one fundamental skill like perspective for 3 months, then learn anatomy for 3 months?

    I’m get anxious sometimes if I stick to just one thing. It’s overwhelming to think about what to focus on because there’s so much to learn. I feel like I’m too late on even trying sometimes. If anybody has advice please do share. I’m dying over here!

  48. Fantom Limb says:

    I really love this question! Something thats run through my mind on a weekly basis

  49. Fantom Limb says:

    Sometimes someone who steps into another field from the one they are in, puts a new perspective on it that catches the eye of others.

  50. Sabian Pugh says:

    Wow I am currently a programmer who would like more time to draw. I didnt know Stan was one too. I find that my algorithmic approach to drawing helps me improve quickly and analyze mistakes, but i fear that my brain will become too logic oriented and I will lose that natural creative intuition.. and I actually pole vaulted too!!!

  51. Diane Myers says:

    5 stars!

  52. EchoJK says:

    i'd commit to sumth like that

  53. MrSilva960 says:

    I like to paint in Watercolor, in Dry Pastel and Oil Painting. I love what I do, keep me always in action during 365 days (during all year) almost ! As a self-taught painter !

  54. BakiWho says:

    life is about obtaining skills and in the skilltree of life there are plenty. even taking a step or breathing is a skill and they all lift each other up more or less. so just learn and stack your attributes.

  55. Kristy Whalen says:

    I am a polymath: ART (sketching in charcoal, painting in pastels, watercolors and oils) and COMPUTER PROGRAMMING (Python, JavaScript/HTML/CSS)

  56. Ludovico Serra says:

    Regarding the grip of the pen… I've found a way to use the overhand grip using a stylus (if it's a stylus with tilt recognition). I put my little finger under the stylus and put the thumb near the nib, not near near the nib more like near the curve that the stylus have near the nib…. practically speaking you're using the little finger as a lever to put the stylus on the right angle to be perceived by the monitor… I hope I've made myself clear. XD

  57. Goob Diaries says:

    I've been drawing and painting, learning guitar, writing (recently), and practicing multiple foreign languages. All within the last three years or so. It's been weird because I really never felt artistic growing up. But learning about delebritate practice has been so amazingly helpful for really sitting down and focusing on one thing at a time. There is a book called Effortless Mastery that's basically about learning to meditate while you work so you're able to fully focus and use authenticity to improve and work towards becoming a master in whatever filed your studying (thought the book is specifically about music, it really applies to everything). Its been a bit hectic and I'm learning balance, but I've found alot of ideas from one discipline blend into another. Language requires consistency, drawing requires patience, guitar requires imagination and passion, and writing/painting (for myself) require an understanding of my own suffering. Studying philosophy and spirituality in my spare time really help my understanding of why I want to do these things and how they bring value and purpose to my life. I'm fine with 10 years of studying, I'm only 24 so I will become master in my arts and music over time! Overcoming something new each day man.
    Edit: also I would totally love to buy "The Natural way to draw" book and spend a year on it, no doubtttt

  58. playinthroulife says:

    [Long one] YES YES YES ! As I stated in previous podcast comment I'm so happy that someone like you guys mentions mr. Nicolaides book.

    I'm in my early 30's and I'm currently studying the book.

    This is my 2nd book related to learning to draw, 1st that I went through was "Drawing on the right side of the brain" by B.Edwards.

    I'm not really aware of its flaws but what I'm really greateful for is that it convinced/showed me after 20 years of thoughts like "hell if I can't draw any good then I can't draw at all" that I was wrong.

    Interesting thing is that Kimon Nicolaides book was actually first that I found about, but I was turned off by the seriousness of the exercises. I need to say that my level of skill at that time was that of kindergarten kids, that is the time when I have stopped to draw and had my urges to draw ever since, so one didn't had to do much to scare me off.
    I've decided that I`ll go back to K.Nicolaides book after studying B.Edwards.

    So I did…

    At first I was scared then I was terrified then I felt happines as Marshall was describing K.Nicolaides book, as it seemed like a bash at first and what comes after is a glorious promotion of the book.

    I feel I can't give justice to that book, I'm simply happy that it got into my hands.

    My level of experience in the field is seriously small, yet those are my personal feelings, feelings of a student, an amateur.

    I'm mesmerized with outcomes of each exercise, I really do enjoy looking at them, from gesture through form to drapery, and I actually have someone who wants to hang few of them on the wall, and another one told me that some were truly beautiful ( madness…. crazy are they ? )

    That gives me a ton of strength to persist and pushes me forward in honing the skill.

    Now I'm at the mid section of the book, and I can't recommend it enough.

    My journey with learning to draw could have been more fruitful if I only spent more time on training, I try to do my best in that regard, and instead falling into regrets, I look forward to do better next day.

    There is too much I want to say, I hope that mumbling haven't bored you to dead 🙂

    In short, I LOVE IT, buy that book and study it.

    One of the better decisions in my life.

    Cheers o/

  59. MosaicSplash says:

    I love listening to this! Also I am definitely in interdisciplinary artist and sometimes I think "man if I only did one thing I would be much better at drawing" but the truth is I use all of my skills for my work! I draw and I sew so it turned into I will make drawings and print them on fabric to turn them into accessories! I also think it is simply a great skill to be able to sew. I also have some some animation and video editing skills and I feel like knowing all of those things is very helpful to me

  60. rosewater says:

    When I 12, I started piano, and I think that really helped develop my hand-eye coordination. I went to a theatre school and then i did ballet and have done it for 1 year. To me, all the other disciplines fuel my art discipline, which is the greatest.

  61. Carolina J. says:

    This was really helpful!! I am a young artist and I have yet to learn about many of the fundamentals of art and etc but your podcasts are awesome

  62. n says:

    Now thrilled for an episode on Kimon Nicolaïdes.

  63. Nycro says:

    A decent coder, geat artist and teacher.

  64. Shane Hall says:

    In response to what Marshall was saying about doing drills for the sake of the experience rather than the product: I’m an apprentice tattoo artist so having control of my medium is absolutely crucial. My mentor had me go out and buy a gridded notebook and trace the lines in the notebook and draw the alphabet in script with a big pen stuck to the end of an old clunky, heavy tattoo machine. I did that for like 3 weeks strait 8 hours a day. Then I started to draw and my lines were intentional, clean and I move thru pieces quicker. Those 3 weeks sucked but it was really only 3 weeks and it has made the subsequent 9 months of drawing and tattooing WAY easier.

  65. Ponlin says:

    Caller at 21:21 kinda sound like Sycra 😛

  66. Gerald Ballesteros says:


  67. Alex Zuber says:

    Marshall's voice should be on every fucking movie that involves a wise old man

  68. Brad Van Geest says:

    Great stuff touching on the downfalls of sitting all day and how it can affect your health and the power of walking. I'd love it if you could expand a little more on that topic for all of us out there with bad backs due to this occupation.

  69. John Guy says:

    I did the 375 hours of The Natural Way to draw. It helped a lot but it's also very limited. I also had no teacher to give me feedback so I learned some things wrong from the book that I had to unlearn later. Overall, I would still recommend it, but not exclusively.

  70. Q Tu says:

    The idea of talking about those books is so exciting! please make a more detailed episode taking about them!!!

  71. Read ABook says:


  72. John Ercek says:

    I would love to see whole episodes devoted to niccolaides and the drawing on the right side of the brain books.

  73. Matobako Sempe says:

    Please, please, do the episode about Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Rightside of the brain. I read the book at art school and thought it was great, would love to hear your thoughts about it.

  74. Pj Lewis says:

    The older I get the more pleasure I find in concentrating on what I'm doing, noticing each nuance of all aspects of the moment.

  75. R M says:

    I don't need to hear about Stan's primary schools. It just makes me angry, jealous, and exhausted. Animation classes in high school? Really? The best my district could muster was a losing soccer coach making loser pencil sketches at his desk while students screwed around with tempera paints on rocks for half a year of our lives. I'm convinced I would've accomplished more not going to school at all. I once had to get school t-shirts printed at a graphic design shop where I met a Brazilian guy who was already a self taught illustrator whom I could've started working for if my school counselor hadn't convinced me to get into college on a high scores scholarship, which was pointless since any real content was missing from almost every class I've ever taken and they've demanded far more time than necessary for the information involved.

  76. Aleah Dodson says:

    I say why the hell not do multiple disciplines I you want to! If that’s what you’re interested in and that’s makes you happy try it! If you think it’s too much go away from it if you miss it go back to it it’s your life to do what you want with and taking a break from art won’t stop your improvements in it once you return you’ll only stop improving at it if you never do it again

  77. Sk shahria says:

    can you do a video on working for kimon nicolaides

  78. Sk shahria says:

    how to use that book kimon nicolaides

  79. Holy Diver says:

    Don't know if this counts as learning several disciplines, but im trying to practice and learn about drawing while studying my career.
    PD: Marshall looks good on black shirts.

  80. Jay says:

    I would genuinely pay Marshall to record a custom song for my answering machine tbh

  81. PLP. Anika says:

    Creative outlets are like reading, people will always tell you to expand your knowledge through them and people will always tell you to try new types. Some people don’t like to read more than one book at a time, some people are always reading two, some people think the more the merrier, and the same goes for artistic and creative outlets.

    At this point in time I am a sculptor, a landscape designer, a landscape painter, a modern art painter, an architectural designer (for fun, I’m only a teen), a collage artist (studied off of Tiko Kerr), a huge Proko fan!, a face and body drawer, a sewer, a knitter, a face painter, and a character designer. None of these things except knitting and painting small cards as a child has ever made me money so far, but I’m still a kid anyway.

    If there is something that you aren’t passionate about at the moment feel free to drop it, maybe this isn’t the time for that yet. If there is something that doesn’t give you joy (remembering that joy and happiness are two very different things), feel free to drop it. Hell, if there’s part of you that wants to drop something and it’s not because of what people think of you…. FEEL FREE TO DROP IT. Why? Because you ARE free!

    Through my experience as long as you give yourself time to experience the things in life that give you motivation and inspiration to do creative things, your work will not suffer, and neither will your happiness.

  82. Marc Anthony Amoroso says:

    love these guys–village elders of the fine arts. Proko is a gentleman and a scholar.

  83. Marc Anthony Amoroso says:

    "What could there be that isn't a multiple-discipline?" Koan for the western monkey mind.

  84. Rupoe says:

    Proko every episode:

    "Marshall's old"

    ha -_-

  85. Chris U. says:

    Marshall's lived long enough to prop his feet anywhere he wants, I reckon. I can't wait to get old.

  86. JR G says:

    You do not have enough lifetime to master everything you want too, You need to narrow your focus to become really great at one thing.

  87. Olivier Vasquez says:

    Proko -everything you were interested in, or (practiced silently)
    led to this seamless Youtube transition.

    Mastery takes patience & practice. I salute you.

  88. MCLAfilm says:

    Proko, Thanks for another great episode. Marshall mentioned Walter Murch the film editor, but you should really look at Walter Murch the father of the film editor (they have different middle names so not quite a Jr and Sr.). But every time he is mentioned I keep hoping you guys will talk about the father's painting.

  89. Paul Morehead says:

    After years of sitting during animation, sketching and computer work I got my Ashtanga Yoga TTC and it completely revolutionized my approach to drawing. I was more conscious of my posture, my breath capacity increased and I noticed any time I was hunching or putting excess pressure on my lower back and neck. Now I still sit which I work, but take frequent breaks to stretch, and do Yoga as often as possible for realignment and deepening body awareness.

  90. Preussisch0Blau says:

    Your discussions of walking made me think of a lecture all about walking from Wes Cecil:

  91. H3lianthus says:

    I enjoyed hearing about the proko's diverse road of career and learning. However i was listening yesterday to the opposite experience by Adam Duff on his LUICIDPIXUL channel. Video about. "Dealing with no job" he uploaded it just yesterday and how he had fallen in a loop hole where every time he'd change jobs he would be learning new doscipines and how it exhausted him and drew him away fom his original passion. I highly recommend watching that to anyone intetested in the topic and balance of it. I like hearing about both of these sides.

  92. Lilly Schwartz says:

    What really made me quit every time with the Nikolaides book – I tried three times I think – was all that figure drawing. I have very little interest in drawing humans, so that was just a whole bunch of eating my greens and no fun. Also, the people I know who’ve done the whole schedule and nothing else actually came out of it with a somewhat too loose style for my taste. Took them a few years to clean up that mess, because the class wasn’t really meant to be taken on its own and would have been counterbalanced with more tight studies in other courses as you say in the podcast. Now it finally makes more sense to me. I’ve been working my way through the gesture drawing portion and it’s actually just 70h of the whole schedule, not too much in comparison, I’m sure Stan has done way more. I’ve done about half now and it has already helped quite a bit, but I’m doing the second half with animals, because it was getting far too monotonous.

  93. Philipp Plx says:

    "What could there be that couldnt be multiple disciplines?" A "traditional" wage slave job

  94. Ignacio .Corva says:

    I studied Illustration and Musical Composition.

    Visual arts helped me think of music in a very concrete and spatial manner.
    And in return, music taught me to think of drawing and painting very abstractly.

    Physical activtiy is also a must. I was also following a very sedentary routine and started experimenting pain in my back, shoulders and hips.
    I started a workshop on argentinian folk dances. It helped me get back in motion and taught me a lot about movement and rythmic perception. Having understood and connected with that backbone of music, it also helped me grasp the importance of good visual fundamentals.

    So if you have an open mind and are willing to put in the effort to make the connections, it is a never ending feedback loop.

  95. Marcus Aurelius says:

    I am a university student studying computing science. I'm getting close to finishing my degree, but many years of learning computing science theory has tired me out a bit. I like to build things with technology and code, but the math and theory of computing science is difficult. I really like drawing, but anxious thoughts about not being good at it kept me from pursuing it earlier. But recently I reached a breaking point where I realized that I absolutely must have drawing in my life. So now I wake up early to draw and then code during the day. Both drawing and coding are very demanding skills, so it's difficult to do both. But I've found that taking drawing seriously has been very rewarding for me so far because I'm finally giving attention to the large artistic portion of my identity. For many years I was neglecting the pencil. I thought STEM and art could not coexist. I was afraid that drawing wouldn't be worthwhile because I wasn't committed to it 110% since high school. But it's so, so much better to not be torn between these two parts of me anymore. It's a kind of existential hell that maybe other people can relate to. I am a computer scientist. And I am an artist.

    Thanks for the show, guys. Every new episode gives me courage to forge ahead. Much love from Hugh. (No, my real name is not Marcus Aurelius.)

  96. Lex says:

    Why don't people like Blake's paintings? I'm only just now realizing that liking Blake's (visual) art is a hot take, and I'm fascinated.

  97. Sergio Navarro says:

    Is interesting the part of walking , and a great advice, i live some years in non occidental countries and i realize that people dont "go out to dinner/coffe/movies" they "go for a walk" . More strange for me the classical romantic date is just a 2 hours walk and talk. Is so healty but sadly enough most of the western cities are not build for walking

  98. Proko says:

    Season 2 will begin on April 7 and on it’s own YouTube channel… Be sure to subscribe!

  99. Betina Lundkær Jensen says:

    I'm 48 , took up drawing and painting again in the spring of 2018, started learning to play the bass in 2015 (didn't really practise much in 2017) and I'm currently studying to become a teacher! I love doing multiple disciplines because I can move between them, when I get stock or demotivated (for a moment). And at one point these disciplines could melt together and become something that I would make a living from. Your Podcast is gold ❤️

  100. Paul Russo says:

    This is the most perfect podcast for me. Please never stop making Draftsmen episodes! Where can I Patreon?✌️

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