Recently, I came across a posting at www.conceptart.org via an email from Jason Manley. A user had put out a request - a creative challenge to see some interpretations of his beloved character, the Divine Nibru. What followed was some impressive responses from various artists, including none other than Wesley Burt, Justin "Coro" Kaufman, and Andrew Jones, to name a few. It was epic. My week at work had been unbelievably busy so I wasn't sure if I would have the time or energy to work on my version before the thread lost momentum but I couldn't get this character out of my head and I would check back often to see so many great follow-up posts. The weekend rolled around and I finally found some time to work on it so I decided to contribute a version of my own. I noticed that most people posted theirs in greyscale and I decided to do the same even though it's an area in which I'm a little weak especially when working from imagination. Although I felt it wasn't complete, I just wanted to get it posted. I learned a lot and, taking a step back, have a better idea of my shortcomings in this area and what I need to improve on. This was an excellent exercise in being given an assignment that both restricted and challenged my creativity and, most importantly, it was a lot of fun!
For any beginning artists these challenges are great in showing ourselves our limitations and pushing beyond them or figuring something out to achieve the creative objective. In a real working project you would have an art director to give you feedback and opportunity to make improvements. In the meantime, communities such as ConceptArt have thriving memberships that do fill that role while we are still learning.