Okay so some people on Tumblr have asked me for art advice and thought I'd put my answers down here too for anyone interested in reading what I had to say about the subject.
Just gonna say, I am still very inexperienced with many things and obviously, heheh, have a LOT
to improve on and learn but even so, I feel this stuff is important to say. Feel free to add to anything I left out and such. We can all share our input and such to this subject.
So HERE WE GO
*cracks knuckles* Acknowledge Your Strengths & Weaknesses
I find it is important that every artist recognizes this. What are you good at when it comes to your work? What do you need to improve on?
Say, if you have trouble with a certain technique or drawing a specific thing, then practice
. Practice hard and practice smart. Can't draw cats? THEN DRAW CATS FOR A WHOLE WEEK
. Can't draw buildings or people? The same thing applies to them. Work on that specific thing for a while and trust me, you'll be better than when you first started. Challenge Yourself - Try New Things
Always strive to try new things! Never stop learning and keep a child's curiosity and flexibility towards the new. Art is all trial & error.
Making mistakes is GOOD!
They are how we learn and grow so don't be afraid to get your feet wet in new territory.
Broaden your horizons and keep an open mind. Style - Be Your OWN Artist
This goes off of the above point of trying new things. Style is a nebulous word - don't take it too seriously or get bent over it.
Yes, it is OKAY
to 'copy' or 'emulate' another that you admire, are fond of, and are influenced by. It's how most of us start off. Trying others styles is good exercise and will help with your journey of finding what works for you. But it is important to eventually move on
from that copy stage and find who you
are as an artist. Otherwise you stagnate and don't improve or could be remembered for 'drawing like that one dude' and that's no good.
Art is self-expression. The world has enough of that
artist doing their
thing. The world needs more of you
thing. You never know what resonates with people… Collaborate!
While you are on that journey of self-discovery and artistic identity, don't get too caught up to pass up working with others. Don't go it alone, basically.
Meet fellow artists and make friends! Collaborate on projects, practice and learn together. Others can become not only friends, but mentors and teachers. Create super cool things that you couldn't do on your own! Mix things up a little.
Take Criticism GRACEFULLY
You can always stand for improvement. Another pair of eyes will do you some great good. Others can see things in our work that we can't.
Mind you though, there are two types of criticism -- Constructive criticism and Brutal Criticism.
Constructive criticism is what you want. Anyone telling you how you can improve is a welcoming factor for you. Don't just ask friends or family for input on how to make things better. If they spot a mistake in your work, don't take it personally. Remember, they are just trying to help. Try harder next time and continue improving.
Realize that there are haters out there. You can't please everyone. Don't waste your time trying to. It's pointless. So don't off and fall into obscurity just because someone doesn't like your work. But be aware of the difference between helpful advice than advice where the person is just basically telling you 'it's wrong'.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Heheh I am bad with this one. You all know it but seriously, I know we all get in those moods or periods of artistic doubt. Especially when viewing another person's work:
'Oh this person is better than me.'
'Oh this person is YOUNGER and better than me.'
'Oh this person is more productive, more popular, and better liked than me.'
Yada yada SHUT UP AND STOP.
Don't spend time dwelling on petty comparisons and putting yourself down. We are all different. We all grow and create at different rates. You are no better or worse than any one other. Go at your own pace and you'll get to where you wanna go in time.
Life is not meant to be lived in competition.
Push on Through - When Things Get Tough
Even if what you are currently working on is eating you up or sucking your life energy, walk that extra mile to complete it. Sometimes pushing through rough patches can help you come out for the better.
Don't wait for inspiration to strike. You'll get a better idea of what you're trying to do if you muddle around first. Also, don't be afraid to start from scratch again! Fresh starts can be your golden ticket or just what you needed. Take A Break
Feeling stressed out? Working too hard that you can't think of something? Take a break. Do something else you enjoy or something that relaxes you. Take your mind elsewhere for musings. Then come back when you feel refreshed and tackle whatever you were working on with renewed vigor! HAVE FUN WITH IT
Draw what you want whenever you want. Draw what you have to when you want to gain something tangible from it. Flip flop a concept or idea on it's head just for kicks and to play around. Don't get too serious about this that you start to forget the reason why you chose this. Why you do it. Besides, having fun will help you create better, more energetic work. Lastly...
These answers apply to any kind of art. Not just drawing/painting/illustration. Writing, dancing, cooking, singing, animating, sculpting, etc. WHATEVER! That is the beauty of art. It is anything and everything. It's all around us. You can take inspiration from anywhere.
Practice and work hard. I never liked the saying, 'practice makes perfect
'. Why? Because 'perfection' DOESN'T EXIST. Nobody can do anything perfect. It can't be achieved so don't kill yourself over things because it isn't 'perfect'. I like to say, 'practice makes better
. The more you do something, the better you'll get.
If you're feeling lost - and yes, this WILL happen... a lot - just remember that you aren't alone and that we are all there with you in this crazy artist lifestyle.
If creating is what you love, if it makes you happy, then do it. Don't pay attention to nay sayers. Because doing what you love, is NEVER
a waste of time.
Do your thing and believe in yourself and your abilities. Keep doing your thing because there is only one you and stay true to who you are says awesome dog UvU