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What is some encouraging art advice you'd give to struggling artists?

chocovelvetcake

Your local cake lover ~ ♡
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- Every artist improves at their own pace. Some artists improve faster than others. It doesn't make you any less of an artist if you're not improving as fast as other artists around you. It's okay to improve at your own time, as there is no finish line when it comes to art improvement.


- Using references isn't cheating. If anything, using references for your art could help expand your visual library, not to mention improve your art skills faster. Also, tracing is totally fine, just as long as you don't use it for scummy purposes cough cough art theft cough cough.


- When it comes to starting to learn how to make art, age doesn't really matter much. Some of the most famous artists in history didn't start to make art/take art seriously until they were older. Take Vincent van Gogh for example. He didn't start doing art until he was 27 years old, which may be considered "late" to some people.

At the end of the day, art is supposed to be fun! Happy drawing! :bulbaWave:
 
Here's the thing I always hear people think: that drawing is an innate talent. Sometimes it is, but that could be the case with anything. As with anything though, it can also be learned.

I do not believe I am innately talented with art myself. Not at all. Where skill comes from is persistence, perseverance, and determination. Yes, this is cliched. "Practice and work hard and you'll get it!" But that is simplifying my message. What I am saying is that drawing is NOT just an innate talent preserved for special people - it is a skill you can hone.

You don't have to practice all the time. What's important is having the drive, the desire, to do so. If you want to learn, I believe you must enjoy some part of the process rather than just the result itself. If you don't enjoy the process at all, you'll never want to practice. Not to say that every moment has to be filled with joy though. As with any learning process, you will hit a lot of frustrating bumps and blocks in the road. If you do so, just take a bit of a break and then when you return, maybe try working on a different piece for a while and come back to the thing you were stuck on later.

So in summary:
  • Art isn't just an innate talent. It is a skill that can be improved through practice.
  • Try to enjoy the process of drawing itself, rather than just the result. This will motivate you to practice more.
  • If you get stuck on something or reach art block, take a break for a bit and then try a different piece later.

And an additional tip:
- You don't have to be a professional, be motivated to make money, etc. Often, people see you draw and say you should put it for sale or something. I believe that this actually works to discourage some people rather than encourage them. Drawing is an ability innate to humans. ANYONE can do it, even if they aren't skilled. Think of it like writing. Many people write and don't make money off of it. Art is no different. If you want to draw because you find it fun, just do it! Don't have an end goal in mind, don't think about having to get super good and selling prints. Just because you don't make money off of something, doesn't mean it isn't valuable or worth it. For many people, hobbies define them more than what they do for a living. They aren't merely things on the side - they are the things we do when we are unshackled from responsibilities and able to pursue joy to its fullest. You're still as much of a real artist even if you never become a professional.
 
- You don't have to be a professional, be motivated to make money, etc. Often, people see you draw and say you should put it for sale or something. I believe that this actually works to discourage some people rather than encourage them. [...] Just because you don't make money off of something, doesn't mean it isn't valuable or worth it. For many people, hobbies define them more than what they do for a living. They aren't merely things on the side - they are the things we do when we are unshackled from responsibilities and able to pursue joy to its fullest. You're still as much of a real artist even if you never become a professional.
Thank you for this, genuinely! I always get so frustrated when family members tell me I should sell my art ("since you're so good at it, you might as well make some money off it, right?"). For me personally, art is something I do only for myself because I enjoy it, and I don't like the idea of doing it to make money, but I do get discouraged sometimes by the idea that I can't be a "real" artist if I don't make it my career. I appreciate your take, it's reassuring to know that art as a hobby isn't less valid than art as a profession.
 
Here is my tip of the day!

Being an artist means never truly being satisfied with your work, this is just how we function. You will always see the errors in your work, but take it in stride, this means you know what to improve on next time. Despite knowing this, always remember to try and have a healthy relationship with your art, always look for things that you did well in a piece, instead of seeing what you drew as "bad entirely" look for parts in an overall piece you personally believe you excelled at. Hold onto that feeling so you can have a little confidence in yourself as you improve!
 
Just try to have fun with your art whenever possible! It's a hobby, it's supposed to be fun, while yes you can earn from it or become a professional, it's still a passion that you do for fun!

Take breaks whenever you need to. You need energy to create afterall, you aren't a machine who can endlessly pump out art!

It's ok if you aren't the best at art, all that matters is that you're trying your best at it!
-related to above point. DON'T SHITTALK YOUR OWN ART CONSTANTLY. This doesn't make you seem humble, nor will it help. If you keep up with it, people will genuinely believe you and think your art IS shit. Have some damn confidence in yourselves goddammit! (it's annoying btw)
 
Do: Look at artstyles you like, find what makes you like them so much and try incorporating it into your own art
Don't: Be upset because "I'll never be able to draw like that because they're so much better than me"
Do: Be proud of the things you draw and learn to see your art as good because it's yours
Don't: Look at other people's art and think your art is bad in comparison
 
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