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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!
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ThomJam Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Needed this today (I know it's old). I've been taking drawing more seriously lately and working on all those aspects that terrify me to work on (faces, anatomy, gesture, and someday painting!!!). Doing my best to practice everyday though.
ZelpherFayt Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015
thank you :)
triangulor Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yay! I know this is old but I like it :) Gosh sometimes I get shocked at how much constant encouragement I need, I hope other artists are the same because it feels like every few months I feel like giving up:P But thanks was nice to hear, especially the thing about art school I was just thinking that today. Like it feels like all the best artists go to art school but I think its more like the people who really like art go to art school rather than the people who go to art school get good. But anyways today I was really feeling that so it was nice to hear someone affirm that I don't need to go (not that I could afford to anyway). I like your art too btw very punchy and fun:) Yay :)
NPavusa Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why do you have to be so awesome and just go so awesomely about how one should do their work? Now you are on the breakthrough of convincing me to continue drawing. But I still keep torturing myself with my own deficiencies. :pills:
I'll just add this to my favourites so I can remind myself of certain things when I feel down.

Thank you for this great article! :)
Brittay-the-bookworm Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I was really feeling down about my drawing and such but you help made me feel better! ^w^ thank you again~
GhostNinjaART Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014  Student General Artist
:3 thank you!!! This really helped me a lot

Altermentality Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YES. I had read this way back when I started watching you, but I was checking out your page again today, and this is just what I needed right now.

Your words are so inspiring, and I wish every artist had this spirit of encouraging others and wanting to see them succeed. A lot of people do, but some people are too caught up in themselves to care.

You are awesome! Even though I have no clue where my future's going, and it drives me crazy, I know that improving in art is one thing I can look forward to for the rest of my life!
dragonaur Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist
I decided early on NOT to study art in school as a means towards a career. I went into computers. More job opportunities for the likes of me! ^_^

But I still draw. Its an obsession. So even when I'm discouraged, I keep drawing! >_<
jbwarner86 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
Excellent journal! Your point about school really rings true to me. I took art classes for about two years, and ever since I earned my associate's degree, just about every other sentence out of my parents' mouths has been "So when are you going back to college?" I've been under a lot of pressure to go get a Bachelor's, but the fact of the matter is I'm just making enough to pay my rent and my bills right now; there's no way for me to take on another two years of school. But as long as I keep studying art on my own, it doesn't really bother me much. :)
DarkPoinko Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's the spirit!
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Submitted on
October 5, 2012


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