Journal time!! I apologize for the length of this post, but I think it's important for artists, especially newer artists, to consider. Hopefully it will be of some use to you in your artistic journey.
SO... ConceptArt has been sending out emails to promo their study programs with little snippets of advice, some of them are good but one of them that came the other day really irks me. The first thing on their list is, "Study with a sense of urgency"
Now... this is my opinion, but I've heard similar sentiments from many other artists and creators who I would consider, "successful" in their field. And, in my opinion, "Study with a sense of urgency" is the absolute worst advice anyone could give to a beginner.
Yes, you need to work hard. The arts are a competitive field, and you need to push yourself if you want to climb the ladder. BUT in all of your hard work beware of mind sets like:
-"If I don't get good fast my dream job will disappear."
-"When this artist was my age they were still twice as good as I am now, what's wrong with me?"
-"If I'm not drawing for 16 hours a day then I'm doomed to failure."
-"I've been drawing for years now, why is this still difficult?"
All of these are a sure fire way to kill your passion for art and drive yourself mad. I would know, I spent a lot of time trapped in them. There's an old adage that's corny and cliche but it's true: the journey is the destination. And as soon as you learn to appreciate that, you will be happy with your work. As a counterpoint to the above mind sets:
-If your dream job disappears, who cares? There are other jobs. There's pleasure to be had in all kinds of work, don't deny yourself happiness until you, "make it" with X company.
-Age doesn't matter, and you can't compare your journey with others. You just can't, it's too complex. You have no idea what situations lead to someone else's success, and you will never replicate it. So just do your own thing, the only thing that matters is that you're better now than you were yesterday.
-Quality over quantity. Drawing for 16 hours a day isn't healthy; you need to spend time on other things to refresh your brain. A few hours a day of high quality study time will always be better than bashing your head against a wall for 12 hours straight.
-Don't, "should" all over yourself. Graduated last year? That doesn't mean you, "should" be or have anything. The universe owes you nothing, so don't be disappointed when things don't go as you planned. Instead, work hard now so that when a good opportunity presents itself you're prepared for it.
In conclusion, urgency is (usually) an imaginary construct, assuming that there is extremely limited time / opportunity to achieve your dreams. This is a lie. There's plenty of work to be had, plenty of time to improve, plenty of opportunities to experiment, and plenty of joy and fulfillment to be had where you are right this second. Live in the moment, appreciate what you have, and enjoy the journey as you work for bigger and better.