Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

You’re probably well acquainted with the old proverb “practice makes perfect.” And while I don’t fully believe that perfection is attainable, because the very notion of perfection is somewhat subjective, getting better at anything requires both time and effort. I’m going be very blunt here; if you want to improve your artistic skill you need to actually practice.

My heart goes out to everyone here who is struggling to improve so don’t feel that I’m purposely singling you out here. However throughout my time on dA (and in real life) I’ve met artists begging for advice on how to quickly improve and sadly when I tell them to begin practicing the excuse is always ‘well, I don’t really have the time for that.’

 

And I ain’t got time for yo attitude.

:bulletred: You do have the time

Inb4 “you don’t know my life!!!1one1!!” Listen here young padawon, everyone is busy, everyone has responsibilities, everyone has non art related stuff to deal with everyday. You’re not special because you’re swamped with different things than I. Here’s a little secret: if something is important you will make time for it. 

Referencing Star Wars and Star Trek in the same paragraph ftw.

:bulletred: You are in charge of your success

There comes a certain point where you can no longer blame lack of time, lack of inspiration, other people, etc. for why you aren’t getting where you want to with your artwork. This advice applies for any goal; it’s not unique to artists.

High fives for everyone!

:bulletred: Art block, art schmlock

We’ve all been there. A stifling of inspiration, creative juices, this that and the other. An art block is not a sufficient excuse to stop making art if you’re trying to improve. If I am in the block mode, rather than try to sit there and ‘come up’ with something to draw, I’ll do a still life. I’ll practice mixing colors. I’ll do thumbnail sketches from people watching. Sitting there glowering because I can’t think of anything to draw on my own is not only unproductive, but also depressing.

Kick that art block right in the fayse.

:bulletred: You don’t need fancy materials

That’s one of the oldest excuses in the book. You want to paint but don’t have top grade oils? Train yourself on the $1 pan of kiddie watercolors from the drug store. Want to sculpt but have no clay? Make homemade playdough from water, flour, and salt. Want to draw, but you have no paper? Doodle on junk mail, envelopes, and napkins. Want to do digital art, but alas Photoshop is too expensive? GIMP, Paint.net, hell even MS Paint are there for a reason dude!  Before I got a graphics tablet I did digital painting with my laptop track pad and fingers. You’re apt to be even more creative with a lesser amount of materials.

There are no limits to your creativity!

 

:heart:Xadrea 

Don't limit yourself with excuses when it comes to improving your art :) 
Add a Comment:
 
:iconninjassinwolf:
ninjassinwolf Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
"You’re apt to be even more creative with a lesser amount of materials." I will agree to this fully. i use to have very little and wanted more. now i have a lot and i feel like i dont know what to do with anything. lol i use to use gimp 24/7 and make different things, now i have PS and i havent even touched it in 3 months.... 

any more info youre willing to share?

Cause i mean, these ARE my excuses, so i kinda need to be told multiple times lol. such as 'i have no time' and the 'i dont know what to draw' ones. those always get me. i need to be told that no one else has time ether, and to just doodle.... 
Reply
:iconn0ha:
N0ha Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very inspiring ... dividing the topic with pictures behind every single piece makes it interesting and helps to continue the reading :D
Reply
:iconminakie:
Minakie Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't really have an art block, I actually have a lot of ideas. The problem is that shortly after I start working on one is as if my will to finish it drains away and I end up not finishing it and sometimes not even getting started at all. I know part of it has to do with my ADHD characteristics, but I used to be able to mostly have it under control and beat my own procrastination. Thing is a lot has been going on in my life at once lately and it feels as if right now I don't have that will to fight against myself.
And I guess I could try to force myself to finish something, but I know by experience that the ending result would be lacking quality. All I can do right now is wait for my life to get back on track. I still have been trying to do some art either way. Like chopping it into smaller tasks. Sometimes it helps, but not always.
Reply
:iconcarnival-28:
Carnival-28 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Same thing happened to me. There are a few things that work for me with this problem. Try doodling. Going in with the "I am doing work" mentality is not going to accomplish squat most of the time. It rarely works for me. I draw because I want to get better, or because I wanna know how something works. Common things that hindered me was my fear of "drawing wrong", Trying to "work" and getting intimidated over other's work. Don't think of quality. Just scribble down ideas and things you'll like. Keep that up for a couple of minutes or so, and you'll build up your desire for drawing. Inertia, and stuff. The primary rule here, is to make sure you have fun, and keep in that mindset of "I'm having fun with the power of art!". You can also try getting inspired by works you find, or force yourself into a collaborative effort with someone who will make you do it. Oh, and I feel the idea of life drawing helps me if I have the mentallity of "This is improving my flaws as an artist."

Also, stay positive. I'm no Rembrandt, but I can get down what I see. Don't think "I'm not that good." Think I'm not that bad. Any artist will always see their work as far worse than it actually is. Keep that in mind.

Hope I helped. If not, ask me a question. 
Reply
:iconpleasantlyescaping:
PleasantlyEscaping Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014
You're so right about digital art stuff. I used to draw on a laptop mousepad(it wasn't even my laptop, it was issued by my middle school). Today I draw on a tablet with my finger(it's not an art tablet, it's issued my high school) and even sometimes draw using a mouse because I got my own laptop. And I've actually managed to improve with all that! :lol:
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Artist ingenuity at it's best! Best of luck as you continue to improve!
Reply
:iconczeladnik09:
CzeladniK09 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I really need to stamp those yellow sticky papers all around with motivational quotes and built a good routine to get My work done :XD:

Thank You for sharing the lecture !
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Those are actually really effective :D I had a professor who would walk around shouting "NO LAZY" (:XD: she was taiwanese) so I printed off a poster of the 'no' symbol with "NO LAZY" laid over it for me and my studio mate's studio space:lol: it was super effective
Reply
:iconczeladnik09:
CzeladniK09 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
"NO LAZY", Haha :XD: I wish I could hear that !

That reminds Me about the Motivational posters from Markiplier's let's play Bunker 16 :XD:
I will make a affirmation and chant it every morning, speaking of affirmations... thats another clever technique worth trying.

Verily, information IS power !
Reply
:iconkrazykitty11:
KrazyKitty11 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Student General Artist
THIS. Also, the references, oh lawdy the references! :D
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
:highfive: :D
Reply
:iconhabib9513:
Habib9513 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014
this is reallyX3 encouraging me. (touched) thank you  :)
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
:heart: I'm glad to help:hug:
Reply
:iconworldwar-tori:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014   General Artist
I LOVE this! I was just writing something similar the other day and well - I wandered off :lol: great article!
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Great minds think alike :XD: Thanks!
Reply
:iconworldwar-tori:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014   General Artist
No problem :)
Reply
:iconvladimirsangel:
vladimirsangel Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh my lord, so true. I will also add, this is so not a malaise limited to new or young artists. I've been drawing for over 20 years, and I still find myself getting stuck in a rut of non-improvement. Especially when I start comparing myself to other people whose art I feel surpasses mine by miles. 

So my mantra is: stop comparing, pick up your art-making thing and do the stuff your gut tells you you were born with! :floating:

I also find it's key to make sure you're caring about the right things the right amounts. Sure, it's important to care about your art enough to want to improve it, but if you care so much that every time a piece isn't perfect you burst into tears, that's destructive caring. BAD caring. No cookie. :cookie:

Art doesn't have to be perfect. Especially when it's improving :)

[Wow. I wrote an essay. I'm so sorry :blush: ]
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
No need to be sorry, you're so right! maintaining motivation is especially hard when you're in the stages of improving :nod: and even worse when everything you make looks terrible :XD: You're also right about the making sure that you care about the right things! I think that's where critique can be especially helpful because it's hard to see things objectively since we're so very attached to our work ^ ^
Reply
:iconfifi-kawaii:
fifi-kawaii Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is so right :) 
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
:) 
Reply
:iconinuyashaayane14:
InuyashaAyane14 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That was beautifully timed. I almost gave up on my drawing. :)
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
:highfive: 
Reply
:iconmisskokamon:
MissKokamon Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Professional
Yes.
Reply
:icon1234ingrids:
1234ingrids Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014
lol ty
Reply
:iconsaltytowel:
saltytowel Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Drawing with the laptop's track pad is just badass *removes hat in respect*
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
:giggle: thanks XD desperate times call for desperate measures mang. 
Reply
:iconcarressa:
Carressa Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Do you draw with a tract pad to? :) 
Reply
:iconsaltytowel:
saltytowel Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Nope and never did! Did draw with a mouse for a few months though :)
Reply
:iconcarressa:
Carressa Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Ahh okay just wondering. I sometimes draw digitally with my tract pad it's hard man. I drew this a while back with a tract pad. carressa.deviantart.com/art/Cl…
Reply
:iconsaltytowel:
saltytowel Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
And to you too, a hat tip!
Looks soft and nice, I hope you got a real tablet by now :)
Reply
:iconcrazyfandomslut:
CrazyFandomSlut Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Student General Artist
this is really helpful 

i once used the track pad on my  old laptop to draw and killed my left click button 
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
My click buttons on my old laptop are definitely loose because of the drawing I did with it :giggle: and there's a very dark circle on the trackpad where my finger ran over it a lot too lol
Reply
:iconcrazyfandomslut:
CrazyFandomSlut Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student General Artist
sounds about right
Reply
:iconricardocarmine:
RicardoCarmine Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
everyone has time, lol even i can draw a bit during my work breaks. what yall need is proper motivation 
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
even just 5 minutes of doodling can make a difference :) 
Reply
:iconricardocarmine:
RicardoCarmine Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ikr, just grab a small notebook, put it in your pocket and draw when nothings happening, ex: waiting for the bus/train..

theres so many ways
Reply
:iconneoslashott:
NeoSlashott Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I drew using MS-Paint all time and I felt comfortable and improved drawing anything with it...   I sometimes don't do photoshop while drawing.

My Drawing-Babysteps using harvard graphics, Printshop, and MS-Paint.  < these drawing programs are ones I'm grown with.
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I think as long as you find something that works for you and it helps you then it's good medicine :D
Reply
:iconsaikyoryuuougi:
saikyoryuuougi Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014
I'd imagine that such excuses and obstacles to practicing aren't even thought of when art is your vice in life. I fit that build... If art has become your crack, the very idea of stopping is unconscionable. I have a firm belief that I'm a talentless hack, but that doesn't prevent anything; I still draw every single day for hours on end and read books to learn new things. The belief doesn't influence the desire...
Just going by what is written here, it seems like one of the messages is practice alone will create quality, but if you are using techniques that get in the way of creating what you want (I won't call it "wrong techniques" because it may get people uppity), then advice, also known as constructive criticism, or education become necessary. Books are excellent tools for giving you introductions and elements for practice and the variation to specific concepts is vast, so finding lessons specific to your needs is possible.
Constructive criticism is often viewed as "hating on" or people trying to conform you to their standards of art, but that's a load of crap. There is a well of information to be found in well thought out criticisms. Humility is a virtue often compromised in art, and thinking that you don't need to listen to people just because they have a dissenting opinion stifles growth, sans people just being asses for the sake of being one.
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh certainly, practice is not the only way to improve the quality of your work :D Persistence in anything however, will yield results (and over time those are usually good ones ^ ^) I agree that criticism, an objective eye, and complete honesty is a huge HUGE help in advancing your work (I have a few blogs and tutorials about critiques, pity parties, and all the like...actually I think I'll start linking them in the footers of the new blogs to help more peeps out. Thanks for jogging my memory!) I agree, there are more than a few total assholes in the artworld, those who cannot be 'told' anything :XD: Especially since contemporary art is all encompassing (I love love contemporary art, but the pretentiousness of it is just bleh) 
Reply
:iconli-ten:
Li-ten Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing article. Happy that you incorporated fifa :D
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
:D you're welcome!
Reply
:iconsircassie:
SirCassie Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is the best journal post ever:P
I always hate when people bitch about not having time and automatically assume that I have no responsibilities or a job just because I find time to paint. Im always busy too but I always find time to draw. I even bought a mini sketch pad I keep in my purse for when I even just have 5 minutes.
You are absolutely right, you'll make time if it's something you love to do. 
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Even small bits of time can really help when you want to improve! And I approve of the sketchbook in the purse, it's a great way to jot down even a quick idea that may spark into your mind during the day after you see something inspiring!
Reply
:iconfrostednipps:
FrostedNipps Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Student Artist
Great Article. Clap 
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
:heart:
Reply
:iconsovereigncomics:
SoveReignComics Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This makes a lot of sense and has some insightful knowledge in it. What helped me was doing a sketch a day, and while I had a busy schedule at work, I would draw during my lunch break. Not only did it help in skill but it also helped with speed which was something I was lacking. When I hit my Artists block, like you mentioned happens to everyone, I drew one of my characters in a way that I hadn't before...never drew a nude, thought I'd give it a shot and BLAM, artist block broken...Hell I have a cintiq and manga studio (started out digitally with MS Paint, GIMP and a Mouse) and I still use my sketch pad, lol. Pencil and paper ftw. Thanks for the knowledge hopefully it gets to some people in a positive way.
Reply
:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Yep, breaking out of the norm is one great way to burst out of the block box! It sounds super daunting at first, but it's also really great for learning and getting those creative juices to flow more freely :) 
Reply
:iconsovereigncomics:
SoveReignComics Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You are absolutely right about that!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconxadrea: More from Xadrea


Featured in Collections

Journals about art by CrypticMachine

Journals by Akimiri

Tutorials etc by Daghrgenzeen


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
July 24, 2014
Submitted with
Sta.sh Writer
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
5,384 (1 today)
Favourites
303 (who?)
Comments
161
×