Another journal in the inspirational art advice series.
Previous: "Don't Let Anyone Make you Feel Bad About your Art"
I've had this discussion one-on-one with some of you, so, for those of you, this will be a repeat, but I thought it would be important to post this for everyone else as well.
When doing art, we know what we want something to look like. When it doesn't turn out the way we want it to, it's easy to fall into the trap of feeling discouraged. But don't!!
First, if it gives you some consolation, know the fact that everyone screws up sometimes, even professionals
. People just tend to not show their screw-ups, so it's easy to make the false assumption that everything they do is wonderful and they never mess up. Just because you didn't see it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Mistakes and product the artist doesn't like happen to everyone at all levels. It's completely normal! Change your outlook about mistakes.
When we draw something that doesn't come out how we intended it, keeping these two things in mind will help you move forward:
Expanding on #1:
- Every time something doesn't come out "right," we get one step closer to getting to the point where it does come out just the way we want it (perhaps even better!). We just need to keep trying and not give up.
- Laugh at your own mistakes. You don't have to show them to others if you don't want to, but YOU can laugh at your own screw-ups. It will help you not feel bad about them.
I know people say it so much that it's almost become a cliche, but it's true: practicing is necessary to get to where you want to be. Art is like a sport: you're not going to become a goal-scoring machine without having first spent time standing in front of the goal shooting balls at it during training, and then doing it while moving and with other players in the way (add obstacles/change scenarios). When I used to go to Dragon*Con, I would see people sitting on the floor or wherever with their sketchbooks drawing all the time; then the people in the artists' alley were always drawing while at their table. Expanding on #2:
Earlier this year, I was telling someone about about this story, which I'll share with all of you here now. Last year I wanted to learn how to draw panthers, so I drew a few. My first looked like that big brown bear that you used to get in all the movies; I forget his name. So I LOLed at it and took a look at my bear cosplaying as a wannabe-panther and tried to figure out why it looked like a bear instead of a panther - aha! the lower jaw was too long. I made it shorter. Now it looked like a cute shiba-inu instead. I drew a bow on it and some blush; had another laugh. I looked at my shiba-inu cosplaying a hello-kitty panther and tried to find out what made it look like a shiba-inu instead of a panther. The jaw was STILL too short. I left my shiba-inu/hello-kitty because it was funny and drew another one, this time with an even shorter lower jaw. Still not right. Made the lower jaw thicker from gum to chin. Repeat, repeat, repeat drawing more panthers until I got one I liked. Then I drew it again. Then I drew it from another angle.
So, when you have something you don't like, 1) don't be harsh on yourself, laugh at it instead; 2) look closely to see exactly what about it seems "off," then you can work on those bits; and 3) once you get it right, try again, and again.
Last, but very important: don't drown in your mistakes, always stop and appreciate what you did RIGHT!
There is plenty of good stuff, but, in general, we, as humans tend to overlook it and focus on the negative things. Don't. While it's important to learn from our mistakes, it's also important to recognize our successes so we can build on them
. Do not neglect your strengths!
I think that's enough for this particular topic today; anything else and I'd be going off on a tangent.
So remember: Don't be too harsh on yourselves and enjoy the process
of what you're doing!Note:
I've added an index of these journals in a little custom widget on my profile page for easy reference. It's below the journal right there with the inspirational phrases, above the comments area.