A "Kill your Darlings" variant.

So...I was raised in a home that valued and practically required discussion and strong viewpoints.  It wasn't enough to believe something strongly, you had to be able to back it up, at a moment's notice, to anyone.  

This has followed me into my professional career, and I find that I have a slightly different response to a lot of things than others I see around me.  One of my biggest is how I react to my heroes.  

We have the term "Hero Worship" and "Cult of Personality" for a reason.  It seems like people really want to agree with those they look up to.  Sometimes, it is from a lack of self-esteem, sometimes it's a fear of being outcast if you have a different opinion, sometimes it's from a lack of self-analysis.

I LOVE it when I disagree with my heroes and I can point out why.  It is a trait that I think every artist should cultivate.

You don't want to be your hero, you want them to help you be the best YOU that is possible....and that means that you are going to have points where you don't agree.  Explore those points!  That's how you find out who you are as an artist, and stop being merely a copy of someone you look up to.

The exploration is the most important part....simply disagreeing runs the risk of being driven by fear, or lack of knowledge, or philosophical points.

I'll give you a personal example.  This week, Chris Oatley posted a quote from Hans Bacher saying that 2D animation is inherently better than 3D because 3D tries to copy reality while 2D interprets it.  Now, Chris loves his 2D, and that's great....but the quote didn't sit right with me.  I don't think that the impressionists are better than the incredible realists that came before them.  You can't say a Sargent is better than a Bernini sculpture, just that they are different.

I have no problem at all with Chris for posting that, or that he feels that way....but I disagree, and I can give you a host of reasons why.  Those reasons help shape *ME*.  They help me acknowledge that while teachers can take you part of the way to where you need to be, you have to think for yourself, you have to strive to be better than your instructors at the things that are meaningful to you.

Sometimes, you are going to be DEAD wrong.  Years ago, I had a discussion with Jaime Jones about digital vs traditional art that I have done a complete 180 switch on my position since then.  It happens.  Hell, for all I know, I may come back to Chris in 5 years and say, "Dude, you were completely right!"  I'd like to keep that option open to me, because I want to explore wherever my art takes me.  Right now though, I think that dismissing 3D as "worse" or "less designed" than 2D completely misses the point...and that will impact the kind of work I make, and the kind of things I try to share.

Good teachers will welcome intelligent, authentic questioning of what they have to say.  Arguing for the sake of hearing yourself talk is bad, but a good teacher knows when you are struggling to find your own way...and speaking as someone who has taught, I find that incredibly inspiring in myself.  

A GREAT teacher will help you explore your own POV and help you find where it leads.  They know that playing Devil's Advocate to their own position might help them grow themselves.

I hope you can be the best you that you can be....even if you disagree with me :)

Thanks for reading!