Dear SkepticArcher, Never stop drawing sexy alien babes C: ~random internet guy. Your Art is amazing, any advice you wanna give to an student currently attempting to earn an art degree?
The biggest bit of advice I can give anyone: be emphatic about it.
If you’ve already taken the step of working toward a degree, you’ve got the first bit taken care of.
I think the biggest problem I see among young artists is just sort of expecting there to be some quick-and-easy solution to getting better, but when it comes down to it, it is essentially all a /lot/ of practice.
It’s something you have to take on with all the enthusiasm of digging up details about your favorite fandom - so it really helps if, in general, you just love making art. If you don’t feel like you can bring yourself to be drawing at least a little doodle or sketch every day, it’s probably time to change career paths.
All of us get frustrated with our work sometimes, and at times that’s incredibly difficult to move past, but it’s important to be ruthless and critical in pushing forward.
Examine bits of your own work, the work of others, figure out things you like about each piece and things you don’t, and find ways to work past them.
A lot of improving is going to be based around studies - draw a lot of whatever you have the most trouble with. If you’re ass at drawing hands, draw a page or five of nothing but hands. Look at diagrams of muscles, bones, everything that works to make things the shape they are. If you have trouble with stiff art or dynamic poses, watch videos of gymnastics competitions or action films - something that lets you observe how the body moves.
Above all, DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT.
This is where the vast majority of your knowledge will come from.
Every piece you work on should be an adventure in something new, whether it be subject matter or technique, or simply honing a method you’ve been working on.
I run across a lot of people who ask pretty simple questions about art, and most of them can be solved via a little experimentation or problem solving on their part. It seems like sometimes people are still sort of worried about what is “allowed” or “right” in art techniques - but the great thing is that there’s no one way that is 100% right. Pull out a ridiculous color palette. Crazy poses. Whatever you like.
You can learn from how someone else works, but until you’re able to take it and make sense of it and do it your own way - in a way that makes sense to how you think and work, it’s going to be hard to make it stick.
Pretty much the only thing I will remain unmoving on as a necessity for anyone wishing to improve their art is life studies. Of people, animals, objects - whatever you want to be drawing. Look at how it appears in real life, andlearn how it works. And THEN you can worry about twisting it into whatever style suits your fancy.
Learn what styles are based on before you try to mimic them.
WHEW OKAY SKEPTIC RAMBLES ABOUT ART VOLUME 1.
PS: I wish you all the luck with your art degree! And also hope that art continues to be a thing you are interested in and enjoy. :> <3
I always try to help people coming to me for art advice; if you’ve ever asked me for some advice or a critique, you know I’ve given it. I try very hard to be helpful to people coming to me, because I know I really appreciated any help I got when I was younger in getting better. Hell, I still appreciate that when I get a really skilled person giving me some honest-to-god feedback!
What I don’t like is when people invent a million reasons why my advice specifically does not apply to them and their situation. Nothing is more frustrating than that. I could understand if I was trying to give some feedback that actually did not apply to them or didn’t take their art in the direction they wanted to go, though! That’s fine, sometimes I get remarks about how I should work that I don’t agree with. Everyone does.
It’s just really frustrating to explain why life studies are vital. I know, I’ve been on the other side; when I was 12 I had no interest in drawing people. I just wanted to draw cute Pokemon or animals or whatever was on my mind at the time. I was not concerned with how I could render people really. I did want to get better with pencil techniques and colors and whatnot though, but I had no interest in people at the time. I feel like some people never grow out of this, and then… then they get into furry art or anime art.
Don’t get me wrong, like half of my commissioners get their furry/anime character drawn. I don’t care, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with it. Where the problem lies, however, is when art is held lower in importance than the thing being represented. If it’s really important that you work in an anime style, or draw a furry, rather than make a good piece of art… well, can you see where I’m going with this?
It’s extremely important to do life studies, to draw people from life, to have a good photo collection of people to reference from, to have a mirror you sit in front of and draw from, to take pictures of people in poses you want to learn about… I mean if you really can’t go out and join a nude model drawing class, then use a mirror. Get a big life-sized one. Get a little handheld mirror for faces. GET ANY MIRROR. Or a camera. You don’t even need a mirror to draw your hands and feet. Find a friend. Find SOMEONE.
As it turns out, I always have people arguing with that step. A million reasons are formed for why they cannot (read: do not) want to do this step. As it turns out, art takes them a really long time, too. Do you know why? You struggle with things you don’t know how to do. If a mediocre drawing takes 12 hours, it’s because you didn’t really understand what you were drawing… so of course it will take so long! You’re trying to think about something you just do not know how to represent, so a lot of fudging the details makes for a drawing that takes ages and doesn’t look very good.
That’s usually when I give up trying to help a person. If they cannot understand the importance of actually drawing people, they’re still stuck in this mindset where it’s important to them that they draw this LION MAN/NARUTO over actually understanding how to simplify and stylize something.
Please understand where styles come from. Anime/furry whatever isn’t bad. There are a lot of skilled artists who can draw that type of stuff and make it look amazing. But, you have to understand: it came from stylizing what exists in real life. If you’re drawing based off of things you like, you’re making a caricature of a style. Your drawings will look very amateurish and uninformed, because it’s a copy of a copy of real life. You have to go straight to the source and simplify it for how YOU understand it. You can’t understand how noses actually look and when to put the lines down to represent that if you don’t even understand form and all you have to reference is Ken Sugimori’s drawing of Misty. We all know his noses are not exactly realistic, but he has a reason for drawing them like that. How can you begin to understand his line placement if you haven’t drawn real noses yourself? How can you draw a cat person if you’ve drawn neither any real cats nor any real people? Well, you can draw it crappily, that’s how.
I don’t want to rag on anyone in particular, I just want to rant a little because I ran into someone who asked for help and then refused every instance of advice I gave him. This has happened more frequently than normal lately, which is no good.
Don’t claim life studies don’t help. That just means you’re not trying hard enough. Don’t say ‘well I’m just weird like that,’ because that means you’re purposely setting your limits to not let experimentation even be an option.
It’s like anything else. You don’t get good at things just because you want to be; you get good at them via critical thinking and study and experimenting and trying really damn hard for a really long time. I don’t like people asking me for quick methods to get good. There is none. At all. Ever. I would know; I’m super impatient, so if a quick method existed I’d be all over that shit. There’s no way to speed this up except to draw more and keep drawing. It requires a ton of effort, no lie! So does ANYTHING ELSE skill-based! I didn’t just decide to be any good at drawing, I do it every single day for many hours!
In short: I absolutely cannot help you if you cannot help yourself. Go work hard, learn how to draw things from life, and then stylize the fuck out of it if you want. Don’t ask me for help if you don’t want to learn the rules before breaking them.
Hi! I've been meaning to do this for ages, but I'm just so damn shy that I never manage to even get to the ask page to begin with.
I just want you to know that you inspire me /so/ much. Sooo so so much. And seeing your art and streams come up really fill me with glee and brighten my day.
I hope this doesn't sound creepy, because I mean it in the least creepy way possible! But, yeah. Thank you, Skep. <3
You guys I seriously could not ask for better fans.
That word is still weird to me.
Of course I’ve always wanted to be a BOSS ARTIST and draw for a living, but when choosing this career path I never really stopped to imagine I might actually have people sending me amazingly kind messages and telling me that yes, “you are my favorite artist”. Or that I inspire them, or that seeing my work has made them decide to take up art in a more serious way, and improve.
It seems ridiculous to me sometimes, because I still see such a crazy amount of things that need improving in my own work - and because I’ve only started to really push myself to improve as much as possible within the last year and a half, even if I’ve been drawing for most of my life.
So I just want to say thank you. I adore each and every one of you who take the time to tell me what you think of my work - whether your opinion on it be good or bad, or you just want to offer a little critique.
The support I have received means more to me than I can really express, and as mindboggling as it is to think that the things I draw can make someone’s day a little better, that is a major force behind what drives me to keep improving.
I hate to open commissions when I still owe a few from the old batch but I am sort of in desperate need of some cash right now and seeing how I’m finally home for about a week I’m thinking of strong arming my way through all of them before I leave for China. JUST LEAVE A MESSAGE IN MY ASKBOX OR MAIL ME AT
Uh I think I’ll let everyone name their own price but
I’ll do stuff like this:
Like euh simple black whites with one colour for like $15 a pop?
And euh flat colours for like 20$?
And like cleaned up simple stuff for like $30?
And shit I’ll do straight up full on fashion illustrations for like 45$ (er or more depending on complexity)
I don’t know just look through my gallery and pick a style you want me to draw in and I’ll do it for you. Oh and I can do like head shots and stuff for like 5-10$ no prob.
Oh and illustrator stuff I can do that too. Maybe like 30$ for the big stuff I don’t knoooowww.
Help a brutha out.
Hot damn lady I would be all over this if I had any idea what, specifically, I wanted to see from you artwise.