Hello!! First off, your art is so beautiful. Secondly, I wanted to ask you if you could give me some advice on how to improve as an artist. Lately, I just feel like I’m unable to draw anything more than a sketch, and it’s hard for me to draw lineart and to usually even just make my coloring look right. I also want to try and draw more original things, but I can never really think of any cool characters or just original things to do. Is there anyway you could help me? ;u;
I’ve been thinking for awhile for how to answer this, simply because there’s such a wide variety of ways to improve and I don’t have an example of your work in front of me to give you an exact critique. As a result, most of my suggestions are going to be general purpose!
You’re having trouble finishing work. I know how that is! From what you say this seems to be a recent artistic malaise than something that’s a long-term suffering, so I’m going to guess this is simply artistic block. In terms of having a block, I think something very important to remember is that there is positive and negative stresses that you put on yourself, or is put on you from various sources. What these are differ from person to person, but a positive stress might be urging yourself to do better, or just a deadline - things that help you move forward, and give you a sense of urgency. Likewise, a negative stress is something that creates a mental wall in front of you. Things like comparing your work or another person’s, or convincing yourself you’re not good enough. I know I sometimes get into an overload where after looking at so many other artists’ work, and wanting to try SO many new things, nothing works and nothing turns out right, and I end up frustrated and miserable.
My point is, try to locate whether you’re putting unrealistic standards on yourself. This doesn’t mean “don’t have standards,” it means “understand what you’re doing and don’t be critical on yourself to the point that it becomes a detriment instead of a motivation.”
That said, sometimes things just come out shitty. And you know what? That’s okay. You may not be satisfied with the finished product, but sometimes that happens. Sometimes it’s more important to just finish something and move on, take note of what to do better the next time, and take to the next project than worrying about something being “right.” Sometimes you have to just get the bad, disappointing work out of your system. Sometimes you just need to loosen up and draw a whole bunch of REALLY DUMB, LOOSE SHIT to relax yourself enough to be successful. Case in point:
They’re going to be shit.
The point is to loosen you up and relax you, to make you stop worrying so much and to just focus on your art, your strengths and weaknesses, and nothing else. Going out of your way to compare yourself to others and putting yourself down is a destructive process and energy that could be better used powering through a drawing.
In terms of original things, shit anon, I’m a fanartist. I love original things, but I admit they’re a lot more energy than just drawing a ready-made IP! That said, I think it’s always useful to use references and inspiration at hand to help you think of new ideas. In convenient bullet format, my suggestions are:
Draw what you know, draw what you love: you’ll be more likely to enjoy drawing if you draw things that you actually enjoy drawing. This doesn’t mean sequester yourself off to ONLY drawing things you enjoy, but thinking about things in terms of what you enjoy vs. what you think is a chore can be beneficial. Find ways to make what you do applicable towards your interests.
Start a morgue: “morgue” here meaning a collection of references and inspirations. It could be something as simple as an inspiration tumblr where you exclusively reblog things to use for future reference. A lot of artists, including myself, keep these! They’re useful and a good place to go to browse through your collection when you don’t know what direction to take something.
Use those references: there’s no shame in looking at other things when drawing. It helps you understand what you’re drawing better.
Seek to understand rather than rejecting ideas or projects. If you’re feeling frustrated, ask yourself why. Locate the source of the problem and deal with it from there.
BONUS TUTORIAL: I wrote this a couple months ago, it’s a giant tl;dr about how I changed how I see/use color.
I’m sorry I can’t offer anything more, anon! Artistic block hits lots of people for lots of reasons, and it’s hard to offer aid without knowing exactly what the person’s problem is. However, everything I’ve mentioned does tend to help me.
I'd like to say something to the Never anon. When I first starting drawing, you could say I was terrible. I had my own knock-off anime style, with out any knowledge of human anatomy or shading. But I loved to draw. So I kept drawing. But the whole time I'd look at other people's art and feel like mine is terrible. But because I loved what I was doing, I became determined to get better, to one day look at my art and then theirs, and be on that same level. Make it your inspiration, your motivation
i might as well just give up drawing in general, because i'm never gonna be as good as you... i wish i was a better artist.. .you are so amazing it's like you dont ever have to use references to even try to draw correctly it just happens for you... and i'll never be that way...
First off. I’m going to be blunt.
I am really sick of hearing this.
If you enjoy something - do it. You’ll get better. You’re not going to start off great, and it takes a LOT of work to get anywhere you’re happy with. Please do not think I have not put years of study into getting where I am. Do not think this of any artist you admire, or anyone with unrelated skills you admire. It’s not talent. It’s a product of hard work and lots of study.
Also do not assume that any artist you admire never uses references. It’s probably not true. Using references is the best way to learn what you’re doing. While I don’t tend to use a single reference for the whole of any picture, I am constantly looking at anatomy books that show a lot of musculature and skeletal structure, and frequently googling things if I am having particular trouble with a limb or angle.
Studying things and picking them apart to learn how they work is the best thing you can possibly do to improve your work.
Try to learn from people whose work you admire, instead of letting it put you off art altogether.
There will always be people better than you. There will always be people better than me. I am by no means the pinnacle, or anywhere near it. I don’t really think anyone is.
And if they are? How damn boring. The moment art stops becoming a constant changing learning experience is the moment I want no part of it.
I really love this short article because it talks about something all us artists struggle with; comparing yourself and your work to others. These are all valid and valuable points, but the one I ALWAYS say to people is number three, just in different words. It says “rather compare and despair, admire and inspire.” YES. There is no need to get down on yourself for what others have accomplished. You cannot help how you feel, but you can use your feelings to better yourself instead of digging the grave of your artistic ego. Use those emotions to fuel yourself on your journey as an artist.
Hey. When I was drawing, I was really fucking retarded and held my tablet pen in a harmful way. I've got pain up my hand and arm, can't write, draw, or play piano, and am waiting to go to the doctor to see what it is. I guess the question is, has this kind of thing ever happened to you? If so (or if you know anyways) do you know any ways to tackle the problem? Any general advice on dealing with tablets in a way that isn't unhealthy? Does tablet size matter? (Thanks.)
A lot of times if you draw (or do anything with repetitive motions like that) for a really long time it can stress your muscles/tendons pretty significantly, and a lot of that pain won’t necessarily be in your hand (I tend to get a lot of my drawing-pain way up in my shoulders, and only occasionally in my wrist on a heavy day of 12-14 hours). You can do a lot of things to help it while working - try adjusting the angle your tablet is at while drawing (flat on your desk or on your lap or whatever). Basically make everything as comfortable as possible. You might also want to look into getting a wrist brace if it becomes a frequent issue (and you’ll probably want one for recovery times anyhow, if it continues to be a problem).
If you’re drawing for a while, be sure to take breaks to let your muscles do something different for some time.
If it feels like your muscles/tendons are inflamed from the stress at all, you’re likely dealing with tendonitis you might want to try low dose ibuprofen or something similar, ice your wrist, and keep it immobile until it starts feeling better.
A larger tablet CAN help but that’s not necessarily your problem. I personally ended up buying a large tablet after a while since I work for 6-8 hours in a row, at least, every day, and confining your wrist/arm to a lot of tiny movements can kind of suck after a while. I know big tablets aren’t really within everyone’s budget, but I’d say it’s a worthwhile investment if you plan to do a ton of drawing for long periods of time.
This is mostly just really general advice from my own experiences, but I hope this helps you out a little!