5 November 2017 at 19:25:11 MST
I've been talking to quite a lot of people lately about art and it sort of gets on my nerves when they get discouraged about their own self worth or they start doubting themselves when they see my progress or whatever. I compared these two drawings to a few people and they either think I'm gifted or that I have certain advantages in my life that they don't have. I get the feeling that most people believe that some people are just naturally good at stuff. That couldn't be farther from the truth.
Understand that building any skill requires consistent dedication over a long period of time. I promise you your talents will grow if you stick to that formula.
Let me ask you this; how many times have you had a great idea, jumped into it right away, realized it was a bit harder than you thought it would be, then you gave up because you realized it wasn't worth it? It's normal to have high expectations and it's normal to want to build your skills quickly. We live in a society where everything seems so instant and so fast and everything is at our feet, so if we can't grab artistic talent at our feet and we have to get up and chase after it, we get discouraged because it's not something we are used to. Don't be discouraged by your high expectations.
Please take a look at this chart: https://i.imgur.com/eQS6hh6.png talent isn't compounded, it's stacked. You'll have up's and down's throughout building not just artistic skill but any skill in life. You can't expect to draw a good drawing one day and then never draw a bad drawing after that. Even if people see improvement as shown in the realistic chart, as soon as they reach their 'down' it's discouraging because they focus on the moment instead of the future. They focus on what it feels like to be angry during their 'down' time instead of focusing on the end goal. They think that being frustrated at themselves means they aren't cut out for it but don't you realize that you're frustrated because it means you believe you're capable of doing better? As long as you're frustrated with your artistic ability, GOOD. It means you care. If you weren't frustrated or didn't feel anything when something came out bad, then there wouldn't be much of a point in developing your skill since it wouldn't mean something to you.
The secret is CONSISTENT PRACTICE OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. Drawing consistently and following a protocol is better than drawing on-off. In fact, I'd rather you didn't draw at all instead of doing it on-off. Doing random shit will give you random results. Doing things consistently will give you consistent results. "Uhh.. but, isn't it better to draw a little bit instead of not drawing at all?" No, it isn't. If you draw on-off then you're just honestly wasting your time. As I said, you only get a little bit better each day, the improvement is so small that you can't possibly detect it. So if you draw on-off and only when you feel like it, your improvement will be negligible.
EXCUSE: "Yeah but I've been drawing for 10 years and I haven't gotten so good as fast as you have, Vrabo"
That's because I follow a consistent protocol while you were most likely drawing whenever you felt like.
EXCUSE: "Yeah but I don't have the motivation to draw every day, I only draw when I'm motivated!"
How do you expect to make a living off of your art if you draw only when you feel like it? Do you think that I draw only when I'm motivated? I don't have any more motivation to draw than you do, I promise you. Drawing while motivated is the least important time to draw. Drawing while you don't feel like it is the most important time to draw. Why? Because everything you do builds habits, and your habits control your destiny. It's important to develop habits that benefit you and your art and destroy the habits that don't benefit you. Please understand that once you begin to quit, it becomes easier to quit. Quitting can become a habit! If you draw when you're pumped up and motivated, then you're training yourself to depend on that. But motivation is a PASSING MOOD. You cannot possibly hope to see results if you base your skill development on a freaking passing mood.
Let's say you don't feel like drawing at all but you do it anyway. The next time you won't feel like drawing it'll be easier to do it again and it'll actually become harder for you not to draw. If you draw when you don't feel like it then you're training yourself to no longer rely on motivation, you'll be able to draw on demand, you'll train yourself not to depend on your emotional state. You should never, ever, EVER depend on your emotional state if you wish to achieve something worthwhile.
Motivation is a good way to get you on your feet, but discipline will keep you running. Even as you're reading this right now, odds are my words have inspired and motivated you and you feel dumb for putting off drawing and you're ready to start drawing again. But do you honestly think this excitement will last forever? Do you not think that your excitement will pass in a few days and you'll go back to putting off drawing again?
EXCUSE: "Yeah I just don't feel like I'm inspired. I want to be super good at drawing but I just can't get myself to do the work."
Surround yourself with artists that you admire, study their drawings, watch their streams, remember that your favorite artists are people who were in the same position you are right now, they felt the exact same funk that you've experienced. Know that they powered through it. They started out no different than you. When you think of it like that then that must mean that you have the potential to draw just as well as your favorite artists. It might sound to you like just a distant dream but once you take consistent action towards it you'll look back and your current way of thinking will seem just as distant.
EXCUSE: "Yeah but it's hard! Why can't it be easy?"
Be happy that it's hard! Fall in love with the difficulty. That's what makes it special! If it was easy then everyone would be doing it and it would no longer have great value. If you're willing to endure the frustrating difficulties of drawing and never having it come out the way you want it, you're already years ahead of most people because most people aren't willing to put in any sort of meaningful effort. If you're willing to do that then you've set yourself apart from everyone else, your goal and commitment becomes valuable even if you suck at it initially. Anything that's worth doing is worth doing poorly at first.
When you were a baby and you saw everyone around you walk, you became inspired by them so you decided to do the same. What happened when you set out to achieve that goal? You fell and started crying. But then you got up and did it again and again and again until you learned to stand on your feet. Then you had to learn to balance on one leg while moving the other leg in front of you and you fell on your ass and you started crying again. But even as a baby you were relentless and because of your dedication, walking is now automatic for you. You don't have to think about it. Where has that relentless skill gone? Your situation is no different from that day but your attitude certainly changed. Right now you're seeing everyone around you draw but you're not setting the goal to draw. When your goals fall apart and your go-to response is to give up, then you're literally no better than a baby. Don't wish it was easy, wish you were better.
EXCUSE: "It sucks that it takes so long to get good. Right now I'm 20 but I hate to think it'll take me till 25 to get decent"
Here's the kicker; You're going to be 25 anyway. You're going to reach the age of 25 REGARDLESS OF YOU DRAWING OR NOT so you might as well start TODAY. Imagine if you don't draw and you turn 25, what'll you say then? "It sucks that I have to wait till I turn 30 to get decent"?? If you started when you were 15, you wouldn't be complaining about this today.
EXCUSE: "Yeah but all these artists have all these advantages I don't have! They have expensive tablets and powerful PCs and I don't have any of that!"
Make the most out of everything you can with everything you've got. Don't sit around and complain about how other people have it easier than you because that isn't going to improve your circumstances. If you have a shitty tablet and a low-end pc, USE IT. Make the most out of it, milk it for everything it's worth and don't let your circumstances stop you from achieving your goal. If other people have it easier than you then that means you have to AT LEAST work as hard as them and it doesn't mean you get to use it as an excuse to not put any work into your drawings at all.
EXCUSE: "I have school or work! I don't have enough time to draw because I have to focus on homework or I'm too tired after work. Surely you understand that, Vrabo?"
Unless you're keeping a detailed log where you track how you spend every hour of every day, I won't believe you. Can you answer how many hours you spend in school or work? How many hours do you spend on sleep? What about in-between? What do you do with every single hour of every single day of every single week that makes you so confident to be able to make such an enormous statement? If your mother was hospitalized, you would suddenly find all the time in the would to visit her. It's not that you don't have time, your priorities are simply bullshit. If you want something bad enough then find out what the price is and then pay it. Maybe the price is you don't get to go to as many movies as you'd like, maybe you don't get to play all the video games that you want, or go out to party with friends or whatever. If the price is worth developing your skills, then pay it and pay it up-front. OR DON'T. Either do it or don't. But don't complain if you choose not to do it because no one cares. Nobody cares but you. People are much more concerned with what they'll have for lunch today than your life falling apart. No matter how many excuses you make for not being a good artist, none of them are going to help your circumstances. Sure, making up excuses and justifying your lack of progress might make you feel better about your inadequacies, but no matter how many times you complain or justify yourself you'll still have those inadequacies unless you take action.
If you want to be a good artist bad enough, you'll find a way. If you don't want to be a good artist bad enough, you'll find an excuse.