Last night on Twitter, one of the people I follow got super-discouraged about drawing and doing comics. Well, everyone, knock it off and here's why:
Don't be discouraged by the works of other artists. I know that it's really easy to be! Usually it is because you are comparing your abilities to someone who has likely had many more years of practice and learning than you have. Of course that's going to be discouraging! Use their art and technique as inspiration for your own work! Feed off of it like a cicada on a tree root; learn and grow from their work and improve yourself!
Don't stop drawing. It's easy to say 'welp, eff this noise' when you find someone who draws better than you; but that's just not how to do things. If you stop after you get discouraged, you'll never practice and then you'll never improve and you'll always be at the same skill level. Don't say "I'll never be able to draw like that". Instead, say "I'll learn how to draw like that"! Then you go do it.
Don't worry about school. Going to art school would be great; you're surrounded by people working towards the same goal you are; and you have hundreds of years of individual experience and reference at your fingertips all day long if you just ask! But the sad truth is, most people can't afford to go to art school. I'd love to quit my job and go to art school full time for at least two years. I don't have that choice, and some of you might not either. But that's okay because you don't need school to get better at art! You just need some paper, a pencil, a working hand and at least one eye! Draw everything! Draw constantly! It is literally impossible to not improve at drawing if you do it all the time! Heck, chances are you're using the internet right now. Look up tutorials on how to draw things! There's probably like, 4 tutorials that will show you how to draw that thing you really want to draw right now if you just look!
Realize getting better will not happen overnight. It just won't; like any other skill, drawing takes a while to improve at. You will have small breakthroughs here and there, and those are nice to have! But it's even better to improve and not know it! Imagine how surprised you will be when you look back after six months or a year at what you did and think 'wow that's crap'! It's a very good feeling to have, because at that point you can see where you're improving, and it will help you continue to improve!
Never get satisfied with your work. Always say "I can do better than this". Drawing requires constant improvement, and this is a good thing. It means you will always keep getting better and better the more that you work at it; and there's always something that you can draw better. If you become complacent with your work, it will become uninteresting and you won't improve. Always aim to be a better artist than you are!
I don't want you to draw as good as me. I want you to draw better than me. Way better than me. I want that to be your #1 art goal (except replace "me" with your favorite artist. How presumptuous of me!) If you work towards this goal, you will always have a reason to draw (other than "It's fun, and it's what I really want to do" of course)!
Lastly, Draw for yourself. Unless you have a job where someone tell you what to draw (lucky!!) draw for your own satisfaction. If you're not drawing for yourself, what are you drawing for?
Please do not become discouraged and never give up! Continue to create and add your art to the world, no matter what you use!