As I scrolled through Twitter this morning, I was reminded yet again that I am no where near the level I want to be as an artist. With every scroll I am frustrated with how other artists make it look so easy. I then head over to Instagram where I have notifications from aspiring artists wishing they could draw like me. I can't help but question why. I'm rubbish.
My problem is, instead of heading to my desk to start working, I procrastinate and tell myself I will never be good enough, so why even bother...
The truth is as artists we are constantly aspiring to be as good as someone else. The artists I look up to, somehow find flaws in the work that I see as perfection. It is because of this, artists will never ever be good enough. We will always want to better ourselves and improve.
It's like an art teacher once said to me, 'we never really finish a painting, we just learn when to put the brush down'. There is no finish line in the race to becoming an artist. So just take your time and enjoy the run.
Here are a few of my tips for seeing improvement:
1. Every year I draw the same character and compare.
For the past few years now I have decided to draw one of my favourite characters, Pocahontas. I then line all the drawings up and analyse how I have improved since the last drawing. My aim is to have 20 or 30 of these drawings of the years to see how I have progressed! Here we have years 2013, 2014 and 2016. That reminds me I need to go and draw this years....
2. Dont be afraid to challenge yourself!
Just because I draw the same character every year doesn't mean I shouldn't be challenging myself. To get better as an artist you must be constantly experimenting. For me, my problem was drawing hands and eyes, and trust me I still struggle with it! Can you see how Pocahontas had arms that stopped at the wrists in the first picture. Then in the second I hid her hands behind her back. Oh and also they BOTH have their eyes shut? Do you know why?
I WAS AFRAID OF FAILING!
By the 3rd picture I made sure she had eyes and hands. This year I might even do a close up of her hands as a challenge.
3. Dont feel guilty for not drawing.
I was always made to feel that if I was a true artist I would wake up and HAVE to draw because I was so passionate about it. The truth is, sometimes I would rather curl up and watch tv. That doesn't make me any less of an artist. Im going to do a whole other post about this but for now just tell yourself to chill. If you dont want to draw, dont. Just promise you won't give up... go back to your desk in a few days and carry on.
So don't worry that you aren't good enough. Stop comparing yourself to others who may have been doing this a lot longer than you. Just focus on improving and learning and soon you will look back and be amazed how far you have come.
I think I might go and practice drawing some hands...