Arting Everyday: Insights from 730 Days of Making Stuff

Editor’s note: We have removed the original guest article by Will Fortanbary.

While we felt that Will’s article was a source of inspiration for many people considering “everyday” projects, we later learned that many of Will’s everydays were uncredited recreations of other people’s work.

In the course of becoming a better artist, it can be very instructive to mimic the work of others. It’s common practice in art and design schools around the world.

In your private sketchbook, there’s no need to constantly credit your sources. But on the internet, there’s really no excuse for not doing so.

Motionographer strives to be a place for artistic excellence and unassailable ethics. While we’re conflicted about it, we feel that removing the article is the right thing to do.

Thank you for your time and your continued support of Motionographer and its amazing community.

We are leaving the existing comments but closing the discussion thread. Thanks to all who contributed. 

 

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About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer and F5. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.

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  • Hats off to you Will! I would love to build up the steam to do something like this. I don’t know if it was all meant to be a kind of Beeple fan exercise or not and if it was (which there’s nothing wrong with) then disregard this, but I would say that my only criticism is that it is all way too much like what Beeple has done. For instance, exercise 719 is an exterior desert scene with a sculpture and a single tiny person which is exactly what Beeple always does. You’ve also recommended the same book that he recommends in his talk… The War of Art. Also, you refer to your stuff as stupid and crappy which is what he always does. I get it, I think it just shows how inspiring Beeple has been with his everydays. You’re definitely not the only one. I’ve seen a number of people who are doing “dailies” that look very Beeple-esque. Not to say that you haven’t done some cool stuff. I’m a fan of what you’re doing, I was just imagining how much cool stuff you’d have on your hands if all that time and work were aimed at a more original goal.

    • MikroKuts

      I get what you’re saying and don’t necessarily disagree in part. I also think it’s a completely unnecessary comment to make, and one that could be made about nearly every designer/animator I’ve seen. The examples you’ve given hardly make him a copy cat. You’ve chosen one image out of 730. Should we go through and pick any style that someone else has tried before and say it’s copying. We could do that to everyone I know, including you and I. Everydays are meant to help one learn and grow and part of that is trying things that others have tried too. If every one of his images happened to be like that, you’d have something there. However, if someone has the focus/dedication to make new art 730 days in a row, I’m not going to criticize them if a few are clearly inspired by the work of others.

      The book he mentions is brought up in art podcasts all over the place. I’ve heard Ash Thorp talk about it a bunch too. Is he copying Beeple because he’s read the same book too? It’s a good book and one that’s clearly helped a lot of people.

      Finally, talking about one’s art as stupid or crappy is hardly something that only Beeple does. Most artists that I know think they suck and have impostor syndrome.

      Is Will clearly inspired by Beeple? Probably, but 1/730 of his everydays being similar hardly makes him unoriginal. Nor does it warrant such a passive aggressive comment wearing the disguise of a compliment.

      • So everything that I said was sincere. Especially the compliments and the part about how I understand why he has done what he has done. I said that because we all do work influenced by others and that definitely includes myself. There are also more positive things that I could have said. For instance, there are a lot of dailies that he has done that do look original. I didn’t include that and maybe I should have, but I was trying to avoid writing a book long post. You’re right about what you said about The War of Art and self-hating etc., but when you put them all together the similarities to Beeple are just there. Anyways I’ve just seen a number of people doing dailies that all look very similar to Beeple’s stuff so I just imagined how much cooler it would be if it were original and thats it. Trying to be constructive by giving a solution. I’m not just saying something sucks or somebody’s ripping something off cause that’s not what I think.

      • Will Fortanbary

        Thanks for the kind words dude!
        ya totally inspired by beeple – it’s tough to come up with 100% original content everyday. I need to get outside and hike more ;)

      • Teun

        Looks like Will does indeed not only copy Beeple.

        https://twitter.com/kavan_magsoodi/status/748568076359069696

      • Teun

        There’s a discussion on Twitter that showcases some other works Will has copied without credit. I think that should be added to this conversation.

        • Lena Lee

          I just saw the controversy about this on twitter. Even though this is just an exercise to raise his design skill set, it has become more public now because of Motionographer. A lot of people would agree that design is the hardest part of being a motion designer and so the designer’s work is important. We all take inspiration, but if it is too similar then at that point I do agree that it’s good to give a nod to the original creator.

    • Will Fortanbary

      Hey man! Thanks for the kind words – and ya I was totally inspired by beeple! I was also inspired by these super talented folks.

      https://www.instagram.com/hoodass/?hl=en
      https://www.instagram.com/rawandrendered/
      https://www.instagram.com/greyscalegorilla/
      https://www.instagram.com/shittyrenders/
      https://www.instagram.com/aspenexcel/
      https://www.instagram.com/wonderfall/?hl=en

      So much great talent out there!

      • Thanks for the links I’ll follow em all!

  • Huge congrats to you for your dedication! This is a very inspiring post especially when comparing your first animations to your latest work. Thank you for the great write-up!

    • Will Fortanbary

      Thanks Isabella! Hopefully it will push and encourage folks to get better bit by bit everyday.

  • Lena Lee

    Amazing dedication. I do wish it was a little bit more different from beeple.

  • Oddernod

    Besides studios that inspired you, please credit the individual artists that were worked on top of — artists like Kavan Masgoodi & Ege Soyeur have had their art directly redrawn and their efforts taken credit for.

    There’s a fine line between inspiration and appropriation.