I wish there were an easier way to tell you this, but there isn’t. So here goes.
You need to work on your art more.
Is that something that you’ve told yourself before? Have you done anything about it? Well, you should, better yet, you need to. If you don’t, you’re only going to get worse. I am telling you this with sincerity and encouragement and hope. I do have hope for you and all of us artists to one day be satisfied with our level of artwork, to stop comparing ourselves to other artists, to finally master that medium that has always intimidated us, to see which path of art we are supposed to take and conquer the struggles that are part of being an artist.
I don’t think it matters how long you have worked at it, you will always want to be better. You chose art or maybe it chose you, depends on how you look at it. Never the less you are with this ability in your mind and in your heart. So now its time to do something about it.
I am an advocate for practicing everyday at art. You have to. It’s vital to exercise your brain and hand to work together to turn a piece of blank paper or canvas, into something that literally expresses emotion. You can not get better without practice. Everyday does not need to be a masterpiece. No. Way. If that is in your mind, throw it out now. I am telling you that you need to draw everyday. Even if it’s a simple circle.
You think that’s crazy but let me ask you this-how perfect can you draw a free handed circle within the first 5 tries? What about 15 tries? See where I am going with this? Something as simple as being able to freehand an even circle, sets you up higher than you were before.
Next point, you know those artists that you envy and adore their work and kind of want to go that path they took, follow them (on social media only, please do not stalk a person) and practice what they draw. You can not steal their work in any way and get a way with it. You may think, ‘oh they probably won’t notice and it’ll be fine’, and you may be right. THEY won’t notice, but their thousands of followers will and out of those thousands of people, I guarantee, 10% of them do nothing but look at other artists artwork and will definitely wave that red flag when they see plagiarism in any way. I have seen it so many times. So what I am telling you is to practice the way they do, not to copy their exact work.
If the artist you admire draws a lot of botanical pictures, you start drawing that. Do they draw people a certain way that stands out? Figure out why it stands out and then find a way to make yours stand out too. Can they shade a car drawing so well that it leaves a metallic finish even though it was done in pen or pencil? Well get out that blending stump and start practicing that too.
It’s a challenge to really devote yourself to one thing everyday. Internally you may feel that you really want to and physically it just doesn’t happen. That is the time to find a way to get the discipline you need for yourself to pick up that pencil or paintbrush and start getting to work. Easier said than done, believe me I know and I have personally been there.
I took so long off of my artwork a few years ago that when I came back, I felt that every artist in the world just showed up on the internet to tell me I had gotten worse. Everything I drew felt amateur. How could that be? Haven’t I drawn detailed pictures since I was young? Wasn’t I in the gifted art class? Wasn’t I accepted for an art scholarship? So why, all of a sudden am I so terrible and ‘uninspired’?
It wasn’t all of sudden and it was all my fault. Being good at a skill takes work. Real hard work. I expected to put out the works of a genius after I had put in the effort of a sloth. I was discouraged and embarrassed. It took a long time of me telling myself, yes you are still good and yes you will keep moving forward. I also had (still have) the support of my husband, family, and friends. For that, I am grateful and hopeful that you, also, have the support you need. If you don’t, then you have it from me.
If you really want this then go practice. If the first picture isn’t what you want, call it a sketch, figure out where it went wrong and fix it. Make your shading better, make your color palette beautiful and perfect that free handed circle.
None of us really know why we chose this path, but we did and we are loving every step of it. So good luck to you and always move forward.
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