Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×

:iconandantonius: More from Andantonius


Featured in Collections

journals by animatorjourneyman

Writings by CrypticMachine

Words Advice and Inspiration by SaigoNakisage


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
June 9, 2013
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
5,385 (5 today)
Favourites
133 (who?)
Comments
76
×
So this has been on my mind a bit lately and I was just struck with the sudden urge to write about it. It's a bit long so I've broken it in to three parts, but if you're a beginning artist I would recommend reading through it, it might just get you aimed in the right direction. :)

This started a couple days ago when I was trolling facebook and someone had posted some artwork, and one of the comments was something along the lines of "Nice! What tutorial did you use for this?" which prompted an immediate and violent facedesk on my part. I hear things like this all the time and would like to help dispel some myths about learning art; so after 9 years of drawing and 3 years of hardcore education and study, here's what I've learned about how to get better at art:


WISDOM NUMBER ONE! Getting better demands consistent, hard work. That's it. That's the magical secret that great artists never seem to get to in their tutorials; it's that one pivotal thing that makes the difference between us and our heroes when we're using the same brushes and layer modes as they are. Having good tools helps, having education helps, having good peers and a mentor for advice helps, good tutorials help, good books help, good gnomon DVDs and classes and reading inspirational blogs helps... but all of that is multiplied by your own hard work and no matter how big the number is, if you multiply it by zero the results will be zero. The person who has all the best resources in the world and puts in half effort will pale in comparison to the person who doesn't always know what to do but does everything with complete dedication.

The reason I say this is because I think the #1 thing that holds beginning and intermediate artists back is that they spend all their time constantly searching for something that just isn't there. No one ever got wealthy by finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, and no one ever got good at art because they finally found the right brush, the right technique, the right program, the right video tutorial. There are a lot of great artists out there, a lot have gone to art school, a lot of them haven't, but the one thing that they ALL have in common is this: they have a shelf of filled-up sketchbooks, a closet full of painted-on canvases, and a hard drive full of psds. You know what else that have in common? Is that 80% of those sketchbooks, canvases and psds are really, really bad. But because they got all those terrible drawings out of their own brain and safely locked away between front and back covers, they are now free to create all the things they've been dreaming of all these years. Not that art is now easy for them or they never make bad drawings, but they've learned how to push through that and find the great drawing a few steps ahead.

Now comes the preachy part, which is that if you too want to get on the road to becoming a great artist, you (and me too!) will have to stop procrastinating, stop trying to find the perfect tutorial, and start filling your own sketchbooks, painting on your own canvases, and crowding up your own hard drive. Great artists are the artists who draw all the time; it's about that simple, so if this is a goal you want to achieve, start setting aside time every single day to study and draw; you'll be amazed at how much progress you can make in a month.

Click here for part two!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconfisharto:
Fisharto Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I actually did this like, for example set myself a challenge to draw 1,000 gestures (inspired by you) and boy...the progression I meant from day 1 to day 15 is tremendous. Like I'm starting to see the motion now, compare to how I used to draw gestures. And fun fact, I have a stockpile of bad drawings as well XD> The only thing is, I do not post them on deviantart, but mainly on forums such as sycra, cubebrush etc. In hopes of inspiring aspiring artists near the future, when I continuously improve upon my abilities to draw.  (Time to read part 2)
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, doing 1,000 gestures is a heck of a challenge, but it's worth it! :D
Reply
:iconoceli:
Oceli Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I've been doing art for only 2 1/2 years now and I'm in my final high school year. I really want to do art as a career and have already planned for a gap year. Every time I come to DA and see artists like Danluvisi or Yuumei wen quin yan, I get scared and question whether I will ever be good enough for the illustration industry.
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I wouldn't be discouraged, you've got plenty of time to work on mastering the craft, you can be as good as you want to be, it's all about how much hard work you put in. If you really love doing it, the process of improving is really all that matters, and if you focus on that process it's inevitable that one day you'll get jobs from it. :)
Reply
:iconplainash:
PlainAsh Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013
I wowed over all the beautiful artworks and not only got inspired but also this doubt crept into my mind, that I will never be good enough. I've seen the sketches of all the great artists but still I'm scared. That stupid idea sometimes keep me from drawing straight. It's not like I'm going to give up drawing. In time like these, I'm seriously in need of this kind of motivation and push. I've read your epic trilogy of super precious advices and I just want to say thank you! That's the push I need.  I'm going to sketch, study and draw, and just enjoy it. Yep. Cheers! :floating:
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Glad you found it helpful; we all go through those stages so it's just a matter of pushing past and not being afraid of failure. :)
Reply
:iconlou2209:
lou2209 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
my computer is so full of psds, pngs, jpegs and video games, it's a bit of a problem
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
lol, that's a good problem to have!
Reply
:icon16electronichearts:
16electronichearts Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I totally agree, but I've been drawing every day of my life since I could hold a pencil, and I still suck. Badly. :(
Reply
:iconjesseacosta:
JesseAcosta Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Drawing every single day doesn't mean you are drawing new and different things every day that advance your skills. Someone could drive his card in and out of his driveway for thirty years, but he still won't know how to drive on the freeway without getting out of his comfort zone of the driveway.
Reply
:icon16electronichearts:
16electronichearts Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I don't necessarily think THAT is true. I just think I can't draw as good as some people because I'm still just a kid, and all the really good artists seem to be older then 15. Also, I'm mainly a Sonic artist and I only started drawing Sonic 2 years ago, so I still have a lot to learn. Thanks for the advice, though. :D
Anyway,I'm doing some things right in my art, now, I just think that drawing over time will let me see what things I was getting wrong, and help me fix them.
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I would suggest reading Part 3 of this series if you feel like that's the case. I don't for a second believe that you're genetically disadvantaged in terms of mastering art, you just need to refocus your energy a little bit. :)
Reply
:icon16electronichearts:
16electronichearts Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I kinda agree. I just think that since I'm still only a kid, I'll improve over time, and also I think I'm doing most things correctly, I just need to figure out what I've got wrong over time.
Anyway, I don't think I'm completely crappy. I'm pretty good at art for my age, so I guess for now, I'm doing the best I possibly can.
Thanks, though. :-)
Reply
:iconhunting-wolf:
Hunting-wolf Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013
I love this journal, thank you for sharing it! Things like this can't be said too often :) I'm trying to stop procrastinating and stop making excuses so that I can start to improve. Drawing every day is definitely becoming a goal of mine :) Again, thank you!
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers! I couldn't agree more, glad to hear you're inspired! Keep drawing and improving! :D
Reply
:iconwla91:
wla91 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, this is golden :)
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers! :)
Reply
:iconmadelly:
madelly Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
As much as I agree with this, what if you aren't drawing "right" in the first place? Not trying to make excuses, but drawing the same wrong thing over and over again is not going to be for your benefit, if you know what I mean. It's just going to reinforce that wrong idea and be really hard to fix later. And this is a really common problem if you have no idea what you are doing, as is the case with me and a lot of beginners. Maybe more experience could counteract that to some degree, but practice in this way could be harming you and you wouldn't even know it.
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I absolutely agree; and I discuss that issue in part 3 of this series.

The only reason I don't talk about it here is because as the old adage goes, "You can't steer a car that isn't moving."
So in my mind the first goal is to just get people drawing, and THEN it's time to start putting time and energy in to drawing the correct things. :)
Reply
:iconmadelly:
madelly Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree. It's definitely best just to start first, get your hands wet, so to speak, then get correcting things, like you said. I just read part 3, and it sounds about right. Those strategies looked like a good way to counteract the whole error repeat thing. I probably should have read that before commenting too. xD
Reply
:iconrebeccannoying:
Rebeccannoying Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
"... they have a shelf of filled-up sketchbooks, a closet full of painted-on canvases, and a hard drive full of psds. You know what else that have in common? Is that 80% of those sketchbooks, canvases and psds are really, really bad"

Half of one of my bookshelves is taken up with 15 or so sketchbooks (I've kept every one I ever filled), there's a space behind one of my dressers in my closet overflowing with paintings that will never see the light of day, and my PSDS file is over 37 gigs. I'm definitely not to the great artist point yet, but man that hit the nail right on the head! Maybe that means I'm going in the right direction? :D

I'll admit though, I love browsing through artisan craft tutorials. I like researching the living daylights out of things before I begin them, and I like seeing how other [more experienced] artists approach similar problems. It may also save me a material wasting mistake or two. :)
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Right on, that's the way to do it! Keep drawing like you do and seek out the best information so you can draw purposefully and you'll find yourself making progress in leaps and bounds! :)
Reply
:iconrebeccannoying:
Rebeccannoying Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Finding the right direction to focus on can be a bit tricky, but once you hit the right track, things can move pretty fast :) I believe you linked to an anatomy study thing in another journal (I think that was you, anyway) and for some reason that really resonated with me. It's really kick started my anatomy practices :)
Reply
:icongalphath:
galphath Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Student General Artist
I am multiplying by zero right now :/
And here i am making zero progress... let's change that!

Thank you for the slap :)
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers! I hope you start getting some multipliers going soon. :D
Reply
:icongalphath:
galphath Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Student General Artist
You can bet it ;)
I started to at least draw one thing everyday, even if is on a napkin because long work hours.
Reply
:iconvitaessesum:
Vitaessesum Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can only agree with all the points here.

I'm a rather modest artist, so I won't say that I'm good or whatever and often leave that up to other people.

But good or not, I can definitely tell that I have improved over time by just looking at my past drawings and work, especially those back when I was a kid.

I guess the number one piece of advice is to just knuckle down and draw, to hell with whether it'll look good but there is no harm in putting effort into one's pieces.
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Absolutely, if you put your nose to the grindstone and crank out some drawings, you're bound to start figuring things out. And don't worry about comparing yourself to other artists; there's so many factors involved in becoming a good artist that it's almost useless to compare your experience with others', unless you're simply trying to figure out what they did to get good so you can do the same thing. But either way, there's no reason to feel bad about your own work. Do your best and put effort in to making your best better, that's all anyone can ask of you. :)
Reply
:iconvitaessesum:
Vitaessesum Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The old saying holds true; practice makes perfect.
Reply
:iconsparksflystudios:
SparksflyStudios Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks. I really needed to read this. On to part two...
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers! :)
Reply
:iconsummer-wolf27:
summer-wolf27 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
This is pretty much why I made myself an art challenge and came back to dA. :D Sometimes finding the motivation to work is a little difficult, but my goal is one thing a day if I have the time for it. And until I can find work again, I will have plenty of time on my hands.
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Definitely, getting yourself in to a motivating environment helps a lot. Best of luck with your artmaking! :)
Reply
:iconmabusthedark:
MabusTheDark Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is fantastic advice, thank you so much!
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers! :)
Reply
:iconviridrain:
ViridRain Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013   Digital Artist
Wow. This is what i needed to read at this time ! Thanks !! :3
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers, glad it was helpful! :)
Reply
:iconconnynordlund:
ConnyNordlund Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm coming to the point where I'm not quite sure where I'm going to store all these sketchbooks...
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That's the best position to be in.

I think James Gurney sets his old paintings on fire when he runs out of room. xP
Reply
:iconconnynordlund:
ConnyNordlund Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I could never do that!
Reply
:iconvelsen:
velsen Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Great.. just great...
very inspiring words
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers! :)
Reply
:iconguardiandragon1:
GuardianDragon1 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I find this is true for all crafts, whether it be drawing, painting, writing, or something completely non-art related. The end results will always come down to how much good old fashioned hard work went into it at the beginning. Well said Andan, well said!
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, it definitely transcends a lot more than art. No matter what it is, practice may not make perfect, but it makes better. xP
Reply
:iconjodeonslow:
JodeOnslow Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Every artist has one hundred thousand bad drawings in them. And the sooner they get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone"
Reply
:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Amen to that.
Reply
:iconviridrain:
ViridRain Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013   Digital Artist
I like this outlook !! =)
I'd better think of it the next time i will struggle to sketch ! :S
thanks
Reply
:iconjodeonslow:
JodeOnslow Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
damn word processors (accidentally pressed shift and enter without thinking).
Anyway great post man. It's funny that this epiphany of needing to draw every day in order to improve came to me a few months back now and it's a great comfort to me to see someone else echo the exact same message.
Reply
:iconenricocamerra:
enricocamerra Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Student General Artist
Well said man, I totally agree!
Reply
Add a Comment: