Art Blog
Advice for Aspiring/Struggling Artists

saltyconch:

So, for some reason I came across that “artist confessions” site and read some stuff that inspired me to write this.

***

Yep, art is hard. Sometimes it’s a lot harder for some people than it is for others, but here’s the thing: We’re all born with the ability to create art, but its up to YOU to cultivate that ability throughout your life.


Now I get that not everyone has the same opportunities to learn this stuff or have access to tools and resources to help them, but by golly, if you have internet access/library access, a pencil, and a piece of paper, you can get better.


So here’s some tough love tips:

  1. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER ARTISTS:

    I know you’ve heard this one, but do you listen?

    Seriously, stop that shit. I used to do it too back in the day and it was demotivating, depressing, and just childish. Focus on gaining inspiration from artists that you admire and use that positive energy to draw something. Try to mimic their technique or study their style a bit.

    It’s just not fair for you to compare yourself to someone whose been honing their art skills for 20+ years. Some of you probably haven’t even been alive that long so just stop it, stop it now!

  2. YOU Are Your Own Worst Enemy:

    Yeah, I’m talking about 'you'. That inner asshole inside you who berates everything you create and tells you to burn things and weep in the corner unproductively.

    Stop beating yourself up every time you draw something and it doesn’t come out quite right. Instead of making yourself depressed and moping around, try to analyze why you think something looks wrong and then actively work towards fixing it for the next picture you draw.

    For example, say the angle of the face you drew looks off, maybe its because you don’t quite understand the structure of the human head. We have addressed the problem, now go look up some anatomy tutorials or just pictures of people’s faces and draw them A LOT!

  3. Age Doesn’t Matter:

    Sure, it helps to start honing your art skills at an earlier age, but honestly it doesn’t matter when you start. All that matters is that you keep at it as long as it makes you happy. The moment you give up is the moment you stop improving at all.

    Artists should constantly be learning, no matter how old they are.

  4. Don’t Expect Big Things Right Away:

    Oh boo hoo, you’re not getting 20+ comments and hundreds of favs on every image you post? So what, that’s it? No insta fame of some kind so you’re done?

    Maybe art isn’t really what you should be doing then because you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. If you have to force yourself to make art and it feels like a heavy burden then it’s probably not for you.


    However, if it makes you excited when you complete an image, then be happy that you finished something. Every image, no matter how shitty it looks, is progress. EVERY SINGLE ONE. So what if thousands of people don’t see it? It might suck not to get recognized, but give yourself a little pat on the back for a personal achievement. If you keep at it, one day you’ll build a small fan base and get those comments and favs and whatever. But here is the thing, you gotta keep going. Like with anything in life, you will get no where if you don’t keep trying.

    My point is, stop letting negative stuff keep you from doing what you enjoy.

  5. Just F*cking Do It:

    Stop with the excuses, jealousy, and whining. You wanna get good at drawing? Then sit your ass down and friggen DO IT. Whining doesn’t make you a better artist, constant drawing and studying does.

HEY, HEY! You know what the biggest message I keep repeating in all of these so called run of the mill tips I’m spewing out?

KEEP F*CKIN DRAWING!

Seriously, there is no secret to getting good at drawing, there is no one magical way to do it. It takes time, lots and lots of time.

You just have to do it, FOR LIFE. That’s it.

***

*TL;DR - SUCK IT UP AND F*CKING DRAW!!!*

(Now everyone’s gonna be all, “Kumi you’re so mean!”)

-Kumi out!

solar-citrus:

I’ve received a lot of letters from artists asking to check out their artwork and their blog, and I’ve noticed that a lot of them openly write unhealthy amounts of negative comments about their artwork, it was super depressing, honestly.  :(
Confidence plays a very very important role as an artist, it’s what helps us learn and grow without the constant feeling of doubt and jealousy!  You are a unique individual who must go down your own unique path, and as scary as it sounds, you can’t rely on others to hold your hand all the way through.  You are the only one who can get yourself to where you need to go, and beating up your artwork is not the way!  Trust yourself and your abilities to make a change, and you can do anything!!

Love your art, love yourself!

jaramo:

heyo!
don’t worry, your english turned out fine, dude.

as a foreword of warning,
it is best that you don’t use this post as a standalone tutorial, 
instead, try to use it as a study aid to help you make sense of real-life references.
(same applies for any decent “art tutorial” out there, really. :p)

bolded numbers correspond to the numbers on this post’s pictures.

Read More

Dear Endling, I've been a huge fan since I saw your comics on Snafu. I'm struggling, and have been for awhile. Art is my passion, but I don't have the right education to pursue a career in it. I've been unable to find my style, and have been stuck for a year. Do you have any advice on where I can read/study to improve my skills to eventually, find my own style?

endling:

  This is a question I’ve been asked a lot, but to be honest it never really gets that much easier to answer. Every artist being an individual, it’s tough to find catch-alls that work for everyone, you know what I  mean? And hell, truth be told, I’m still trying to figure this stuff out for myself. :]

  Let me get this first bit out of the way, the bit nobody wants to hear: “Practice, practice, practice.” It’s the biggest, stinkiest old chestnut in the book, the one you’ve probably heard a million times before, but unfortunately, it is the most rock solid, time-tested advice any artist can swear by. Even when you feel down and out, even when things don’t look like they should. You keep on drawing, because art has a funny way of growing with you, even if you’re not aware of it. 

 But try different things. Some personal suggestions:

- Draw from life. Do figure studies. Your art will only go as far as the strong foundation you’ve built on. It can be arduous, but it is worth it. There is no way around this, much as many folks find this the token ‘boring’ advice.

- Look up light and color theory online. Nowadays there is a ridiculous amount of information on this subject on the internet. You could probably cobble together a near full education on the subject just from all the different people who have guides, examples, even youtube videos on the matter. It’s really amazing. There are tons of people out there trying to help young artists get on their feet, and they aren’t charging a thin dime. Take advantage of it. :]

- Warm up before you draw! Draw scribbles, cubes, shapes with some zing to them. Drawing can be a workout! So like any workout, warm up! Don’t dive right in and injure yourself. :] It’s a good way to stave off feeling discouraged because things  didn’t turn out looking brilliant right off the bat. 

- Try emulating a variety of other artists’ work. (With their consent if you’re posting it somewhere of course.) Sometimes when drawing in someone else’s style your own little mannerisms and stylistic influences tend to pop up in the result. This is more a fun exercise though, certainly not something to fall back on as a means to improve. You don’t want to end up relying on the same artistic ‘shortcuts’ your chosen artists employ in their own work without a firm understanding of the basics yourself.

- Draw quickly, loosely, even carelessly. Less thought, more winging it. Fly by the seat of them pants. Have fun letting go! At least, for a practice run at first. While ‘style’ is at best a nebulous concept, I’ve always found that if you draw speedily, you tend to put emphasis in certain areas, sort of feel your hand moving a particular way? If you don’t let too much thought get in the way, you can sometimes see the raw tendencies you have underneath the art. 

- Animation! Regarding stuff to read to improve your skills, there is no shortage of books available in places like Barnes & Noble. Entire sections on art. I recommend, personally, books on animation techniques. I was originally an animation major in college, and I think any artist can benefit greatly by studying it thoroughly. 

- Draw for yourself, not for the internet. This is a more fairly recent issue I’ve been seeing with some people, but there are folks out there who get a little too attached to the reception (or lack thereof) they receive for posting their work online, or worse still, seem to only draw with the specific intent of putting things online. While it’s all well and good to share your work with other people, please please please do not forget that you are drawing for yourself. You don’t have to post everything you make. Allow yourself plenty of time to make plenty of terrible drawings. Fall flat on your face. You can share the stuff you’d like, but you don’t have to feel compelled to share everything you do.

- Art blocks and burn out will happen. Don’t sweat ‘being stuck’ so much. Don’t rush getting OUT of it either. Art blocks are kind of a way of telling you you’re running on empty in one way or another. I’ve gotten asked quite often what I do to get over an art block. The answer is really simple: wait. Haha. But you find things to do that get you feeling charged up again. I like listening to music and playing games. Games are what got me into art in the first place, so it’s kind of a back-and-forth process for me. But what I’m trying to say here is, art and your life are pretty much connected in every way. If your art just doesn’t want to come out easily on the page, maybe you should find something else to do that you enjoy. Refill, recharge, re-energize, but NOT just to get over an art block. Your daily life might be more attached to your work than you realize. Which brings me to my next point..

- Don’t look so hard for ‘your style’. You need to grow as much as your artwork. As I said before, style is kind of a strange subject. To most people style is simply ‘how your art looks’, what sets it apart from other folks. But if you ask me, style is whatever ignites your passion to create in the first place. Style can be influenced by other art, sure, but it can also be influenced by music, games, sports, books, your background, the things you enjoy, just the person you are from the ground up. Style comes from pouring yourself into your work. And you know what? You need to grow just as much as your artwork. If you put a piece of yourself into your art, it will undoubtedly be unique, because you’re a unique person yourself. Find something you want to say and let it come out through your art.

And yes, that’s about the floweriest answer I’ve ever given on the subject of style. I guess when it comes to the subject of art I can be a sappy sap. But DAMMIT I BELIEVE IN YOU. And anyone else reading this that might have been feeling the same way! And I really appreciate the question! Hell, I’m honored, and hope in any way at all I can help, because art is a beautiful thing to have in your life, and I wish you the absolute best of luck with it. 

Now DRAW. DRAAAAAAAAAW, I SAY! 

couldhavebeenking:

There is no number five.

Helpful links

Seven Hidden Patterns of Successful Storyboards

Perspective in Storytelling

Guide to Panel Variation

Comic Lettering

Wally Wood’s 22 Panel Tips

Camera Angels Tutorial

The most important tip I could ever give towards drawing/creating good comics is to read comics. Good, bad, mediocre, read them all and learn from them.

Webcomics I love :: Nimona | Monsieur Charlatan | Hemlock | Prague Race | Lost Nightmare

susans-art-blog:

here is my apple jack re-draw. the bottom one was from LAST YEAR!!

LAST YEAR!!! so here’s something i want to say for all you artists out there that doesn’t have confidence. 

you guys CAN be GREAT ARTISTS. all you need to do is put a lot of your time and effort in doing it! you will not get it right away but here’s the fastest way to get better (that i know lol)

KEEP DRAWING!!! DRAW EVERYDAY. DRAW DIFFERENT THINGS. EXPAND YOUR CREATIVITY BY DRAWING DIFFERENT THINGS!!

i challenge myself to try a lot of facial expressions and try not to make a lot of my poses all ways the same.

try all you can in your power to spice things up. EXPERIMENT!! 

IT’S OK IF IT DOESN’T COME OUT TO YOUR LIKING.

you can find the things you don’t like and CHANGE it. DON’T SULK OVER IT. make a difference by improving. LEARN

IMPROVE !

o-8:

Here’s the second half of the Fanime commissions~

1.) Marie vs. Dan.

2.) Bullet from BlazBlooo

3.) Ayla - Bad Idea’s character. More of his stuf f here! http://badideasbadideas.tumblr.com/tagged/art

4.) Ameterasu and Dante on a pizza date I guess!?!? XD/ This gijiinka of Ammy is from the commissioner, Shunao: http://shunao.tumblr.com/

5.) Valentine in some sort of lewd pose owo;

6.) Adult Naoto ( I still prefer younger Naoto personally, but this was still fun to draw. Had to inject hat in there >XD; )

kada-bura:

All my color palette posts put together! I’ve included a few I didn’t get around to publicly answering the asks for~