Hi, I'm just another artist who started at zero like all of you. These are just the things I wish I knew before. Feel free to share this journal around if you think that someone needs help on this subject. This journal is dedicated to new artists or just aspiring artists that are not feeling motivated. Or probably any other artists that wants to improve, really.
We've all been there. Have you ever had these thoughts on the back of your mind?
"I'm not popular. My art is not popular."
"I'm not improving."
"My work is still shit compared to ___"
"I want to draw but I don't have time."
"I suck at drawing ___"
"I have an artblock."
"I want to improve, like, really fast."
"I can't fully draw what I already pictured in my head"
"I don't have my own style"1) If they tell you that you can't draw, work twice as hard and prove them wrong.Remember that those who told you that are not always right. Who says you can't draw? It is their own opinion and their standard. Well, don't draw to meet the world's standard. Draw because you want to draw. Draw what you want to draw. If they tell you that you can't draw even if you try, that's bullshit. Through effort, there will be result. All that matters is just how much effort you put into it.
2) Stop comparing your work with other people.
You see these idols on Pixiv, DA, or other websites that draws so beautifully that it looks effortless and just fucking amazing. Now you start comparing yourself with them. You started noticing these flaws. How to draw so amazingly like them? How do they even do color that good? Wow, even their sketch is better than my whole piece. Now flush away those thoughts from your mind. Let me tell you, they also started like you. If they're drawing digitally, I'm sure they also take time to adjust and improve. We don't just touch the tablet for the first time and use all the tools like a total pro. Your work is your work, theirs is theirs. You can idolize them, but you can also improve and try hard to be better. Believe me, nothing is really impossible if you set your mind to it. Your work is fucking amazing, you just have to try harder and takes more time. Don't underestimate yourself!3) No matter that they say, you don't have to stay or be within the lines.You don't have to draw what people draw. You don't need to draw mainstream stuffs just so people can look at your work. Draw, and make them appreciate your art just the way it is. What's wrong with drawing your original characters? Nothing. Draw what you want and someone, somewhere, somewhat will appreciate your work. You just need to find that someone.4) Art is 10% talent and 90% work.Not all of us are born with the talent. I personally have to admit that I have the ability to catch on things fast and have an undeniable spirit to improve, but that does not mean that I do not work for it. I don't draw like how I am right now immediately after I start. My works from last year are shitty, I'm not even going to lie about it. But I got through it. Not all of us are born with talent. We just have to work for it. Work, work, and work harder. Draw, draw, and draw so that you can exceed that limit or boundary.5) When you're stuck on trying to draw something, chain yourself to do it.Can't draw hands, feet, or anatomy? Instead of hiding your imperfections, fix it. I know it's easy being said than done, but really. Last year I told myself that I can't draw guys. I was so focused on drawing girls that I eventually gave up on the thought of being able to draw males. But here I am, this year, drawing males with open sixpacks and muscles. What the fuck happened? I chained myself to do it. Hate drawing anatomy because you're not good at it? Don't hate it, embrace it. Work to fix it. Don't coward away.6) You can't finish something you don't start.If you don't practice, nothing is going to magically happen. You can't gain skills overnight. You can't improve on a blank canvas.7) If you want to improve, you'll make time for it.
Even just 10 minutes in a day is enough. If you can't draw the whole page of your sketchbook, just half is okay. A long journey begins with small steps. Instead of playing internet or browsing for 12 hours straight (like me LOL), why not just take 5 minutes out of it to draw? Time is there for you, you just don't use it wisely. Are you sure that you can't spend 10 minutes out of 24 hours (1440 minutes) -> 0.00694444444% a day to draw?
8) If you're tired, take timed breaks.
Let's say you did made some time to draw, but you're freaking tired. I suggest you take a rest or a break. Drawing for 2 hours straight without stretching or doing proper health routine is not the best thing. Take a break once in a while. Get fresh air or just visualize what you're going to draw next.
9) If you don't know how to do it, try doing what you can and learn.
This point is related to number 5. In order to improve, you have to try. You can't finish anything without trying. Remember that failure is not the end. Everyone starts with failure and proceeds.
10) Be patient with your work. Good works needs patience.
If you don't see your work improve, it's probably because you don't try hard enough. I'm sure all of us want to improve. Who doesn't? But improvement does not come in just a night, a day, a few days, a few months. I personally took a year to finally develop a style that I like.
11) You don't lose. Either you win or you learn.Stay strong. Tell yourself that you can't give up. Failure is the key to success. Either you'll be a person that broke down and lose or you could be the person that fails but is willing to try again and win. Your choice.
12) Create something every single day even if you think that it's shit.
Like I said before, practice most on the things you don't usually do. Take risk! Creativity comes from taking risks and the will to overcome it. Try drawing more anatomy if you suck at it. Even if it looks like shit in the beginning, you will begin to improve as time goes.13) What you create does not have to be perfect.
If you're a perfectionist like me, this is a very important point. Your work does not have to perfect. Don't draw on your sketchbook for the purpose of showing it around to everyone so they can praise you. Your sketchbook does not have to be filled with super neat and nicely done work. You can draw doodles and stupid sketches here and there if you like it that way. Stick figures as the base or even just a random tree beside a potrait. Do it. Have fun. It does not have to be perfect.
14) Don't think about making art. Just get it done.
15) Don't be afraid to fail.
16) Learn to trust your own talent.
17) You don't have to meet everyone's standards.
18) Do not self-doubt yourself.
You can do this! I'm with you guys and will always be. I'm also learning, just like you guys. Let's do this and take risk together.
19) It's okay to idolize someone's style.
I personally have some favorite artists that I really, really, really love. To tell the truth, when I first started, I copied their style and went along with it. As time goes on, I began tweaking it and at the end, I got my own style. You don't need to stress yourself to be unique. Just draw how you want to.
20) Tutorials don't exist only as a feast to your eyes.Yeah, you saw so many tutorials around the internet. They're useful. Well, they look useful. If that's what you thought, then start changing the way you see these tutorials. Practice these tutorials instead of just reading them. Reading tutorials and advice may help you but it's even more helpful if you put them unto work. Use those tutorials, read them, understand them, work on them.21) Learn from the experienced artist.
Before that, you might need to read their FAQ before asking them some questions because FAQs exist for a reason. Like I said, you can idolize an artist and look up to them. But you can also learn from them. What tools do they use? How often do they draw? What did they do to improve? How do they ___? Feel free to explore, but be sure not to over-do it to the point of annoying them. Learn from them. They have experiences. If they're kind enough, they might even give you tips. Over this year, I've gotten many notes from my watchers asking about my brush settings, how to paint/color in one layer, how to ____, and all of those stuffs. And I'm willing to answer them, because I'll do anything if it could help someone. I'm personally not annoyed at all by these questions, it makes me feel honored to even be asked about these stuffs. I'm happy that my work is appreciated and I think all the other artists also would be happy if their works are appreciated.
22) Why wait for improvement when you can start now?
Yes I did said that improvement takes a lot of time and that you have to wait patiently for it. But that does not mean that you could just wait and do nothing. Improvement does not come by itself if you don't take initiative. If you keep drawing the same things over and over again without trying to improve for the better, then you're like waiting for Haru (from free!) to hate swimming. Not gonna happen, dude. It needs effort. And that effort...............you can start now. Why wait for later when you can start now?23) Be proud of your work. Don't just notice the flaws.
See your work. If you think it's lacking, find out what it's lacking and fix it. Remember that noticing your flaws means that you have moved to another level. You can see things that you don't normally see. Flaws? Why not? Just try again.Because like what they said; "no pain, no gain." You can't finish what you haven't started.24) A ladder.If you read until this point and you still feel hopeless, start thinking about these whole shiz as a ladder. What do you use ladder for? To reach the top, higher and higher. Do you just flew right to the top? No. You have to start from the floor, your feet is in the ground. You're starting from there. Still not good enough, still so lacking in skills or motivation. You're still in the ground. Now what do you do? Don't sulk there. Move that damn feet, climb one step at a time. Chances are if you hurry and do 3 steps at a time, you could slip off and fell. But really, move that hand, start your ladder. The ladder does not stop anywhere. It goes on and on, and all you have to do it see it to the end.
"A good artist is someone who is inventing, experimenting, trying, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, getting up, and having fun."
Lastly, thank you for those who read it until the end. I hope this journal is able to help somehow! If you have a personal opinion and so on, please be sure to comment below!
I love, love, love
reading comments from you guys. If you want to contact me personally, I am available on LINE (chrishtj) and tumblr
. I want to know what you guys think. I want to help, at least someone. Just know that I love you guys, and I'm here with you in this journey.
What are you waiting for?
Go take your first step!
Quickly, grab your pen and paper or your tablet and laptop or whatever that you use to draw! Just draw, don't think about anything. Don't think about how fucked up it would look like, just draw. And look back at it. See those flaws? Yes, you can fix them! You're just starting. Your journey is starting. Everyday and every steps, it's a new page. Before you regret it, take your first step!
You can rant on me if you want to, I'll listen and surely we can fix this if we try. We're all in this together.
I added some quotes to motivate you guys! "The grass is not always greener on the other side. The grass is greener when you water it."
"When you see someone who does things flawlessly, it's often because they have spent many hours practicing."
"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good."
"There is no big success without big sacrifice."
"Everything big starts small. Start now."