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June 9, 2013
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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!
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: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)
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: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
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: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.
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: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. :)
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: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:
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: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. :)
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: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
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:iconandantonius:
Andantonius Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
lol, that's a good problem to have!
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: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. :(
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: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.
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