Sorry for the very length post and possibly bad spelling.
….every now and then I STILL get intimidated by other artists. I know that age doesn’t matter because you never get to see the behind the scenes of how MUCH work the artist did to get where they are plus sometimes talent plays a part but mostly it’s about the strength of an artists passion, pride and determination that earns them the skills they achieve.
For 6yrs I got some pretty harsh flaming from a certain online community that will remain unnamed and no it wasn’t deviantart, a smaller community. To this day, I still feel inadequate and unworthy as an artist to post my work with other artists. I prefer to be a loner and post to somewhere like a blog and honestly, I find it a bit of a shame. I’m like a hermit type of artist. Too shy.
Many friends have been and are still saying what a shame that is, how I should share it regardless and I can’t for the life of me work out why until recently. I’m blind to my own progress and skill. I’m doing it because I enjoy it. Every now and then I get so frustrated and I some how convince myself that I haven’t improved and ever since I met another two fellow wonderful and equally shy artists, I’ve changed that negative thinking into something more positive because I do not want to let them down. These two amazing people have been my strength since I met them, but my best friend became the heart of my art. She keeps me breathing.
So now, when I get these silly thoughts, I post the oldest works up against my current works and I can’t believe my eyes. After that I can FINALLY see what my friends and fellow artists are talking about. In the last three years I finally learnt to not allow my frustration blind side me. Frustration and depression in particular is usually what causes such a huge blind spot in your artistic progress. Eventually, if you don’t take action like taking a break from working, having a nice day out or something as simple as eating (artists: we’re known for not having a good grasp of time), then it will turn into a wall. Not just any wall but a mental wall that will force your skills to remain at the one level.
The first sign of said wall is where you constantly say and tell yourself:
- I can’t do it
- It’s to hard
- Tomorrow, I’ll do it tomorrow because…
- I can get by without learning that…
Regardless of the type of art, everyone can learn something from one another. And if you’re not very good yet just remember, we all had to start somewhere! Even the talented didn’t start off absolutely amazing at first. I’ve been drawing from the second I cold hold a pencil. 2yrs old drawn every single day of my life literally, trying to get better and always saying, “I’m going to be an artist”. By 10 I could draw as good as the high schoolers, by 13-16 I could draw as good as the people in Uni. Now I’m 22 turning 23 late this year, self taught, learned from other artists, young and old and only have a high school certificate in art which isn’t say much other than congrats you passed >___> And guess what? Last year as sick as I was, I self published my first book. I sold a small amount but I honestly did NOT think it would sell and as pathetic as it sounds to others, that right there has been my life goal since I started drawing. I achieved it and want to make and do more with my art. I try to draw at least once a day even if it’s a crappy sketch of just an eye or lips. I often draw up to 100+ artworks a week not counting sketches and concept art! (another reason I do digital only, I can’t afford that much paper lol).
If anything this has spurred me on. I’ve sold art which didn’t happen from saying “I can’t” it happened from saying “I can if I try” which turned into “I have to try at least once” which then turned into “I must try! I know I can if I do my best” and always putting in my absolute 100%, sick or not and so far I’ve had a rather surprising success rate with art commissions because of effort and making sure it’s to the exact needs of the buyer not just here you go thanks for the cash which I see way to often.
It really is true what they say about the power of positive thinking and if you say you can’t then you can’t especially when you don’t even try! How do you know you can’t unless you try?
Doing nothing and not trying creates nothing. Attempting creates a starting point and a starting point is all you need to get better, the rest is trying to stay positive which is a lot harder than it sounds.
So for everyone that has ever asked me how did I get so good even though I think they’re crazy for being impressed because there’s so many others much more talented than I am out there, all I can say is, hard work, 99% practise, practise every single day no matter what even if it’s a 20 second sketch on a receipt, 100% effort and motivation driven by passion and an indescribable urge to create.
BUT that is me personally. Every artist will tell you it’s all about practise blah blah. I’m telling you that you need a love and desire for it, you need a love for practising and creating but more importantly you need to not restrict yourself to a genre/type of art regardless of your preferences or type of artist you are.
You can learn something important from every area and everyone at every skill level, beginner or pro, someone else will always have a different or new approach that you can learn from and enjoy.
Realism taught me how to shade everything, now there is nothing I can’t colour confidently, be it cartoon or abstract. Abstract taught me that ignoring colour rules and drawing rules and all art boundaries can bring about unique designs that can’t be born from thinking inside a box all the time. Surrealism and semi-realism taught me to relax, not everything has to be 100% perfect, it just has to be enjoyed and loved.
Thinking about all of that, basically every now and then I need a good mental slap. I don’t suck as bad as I think I do at art and neither do most of the artists I know. Most of them are incredible yet all of them including myself fall into the same mental trap. We want to improve faster than we can handle and get upset a little to quick and then easily forget everything we achieved leading up to it. In fact I believe everyone is good even the less skilled than others, I believe that it’s not less skilled they’re merely learning to walk and soon they will be running. It’s only a matter of time and patience before any of us will get to where we want to be.
That’s why I support everyone I follow in an unbiased manner. I leave my art behind and support them regardless of age or skill level. The only artists I do not support are ones that plagerise for a quick buck and tracers/eyeballers that claim it’s their original work. That I detest having had my art also stolen and even my style and having to re-invent myself a number of times.
Anyway, I’ve blathered on so much that I can’t for the life of me remember my ending point…