So I got this super nice note from Lying-With-The-Roses asking me if I have any advice for artists, and so I decided to post a journal with some tips and stuff. And I hope it will help ^^ Also be sure to check out her gallery! —-> lying-with-the-roses.deviantar…
1. First and foremost, never ever ever give up on your art. Seriously. Even if you think you stink, you will improve if you practice like crazy. Trust me. When I was little I used to be so jealous of my friends when they drew. I always felt this urge to draw like them. And so I practiced and practiced and couldn’t stop. I had to get better. Jealousy isn’t good, but I think it was the overwhelming desire to draw well that pushed me to keep drawing. Even now I’m learning new things every day, but my artwork looks waaay better than it used to look when I was thirteen. So never think your artwork isn’t going to improve. If you quit, your artwork won’t improve. But if you keep going and keep drawing, there will be improvement. You’re not going to become a Rembrandt or Bouguereau overnight, so just be patient. These things take time. I’ve been drawing for eight years and I still have a lot to learn.
2. References are your friend. Mirrors are your friend. If you’re not sure how to draw something, look it up! Our generation is awesome because we have the Internet. People back in the day had to go to the library and look at books and encyclopedias to find what they wanted. But all we young folks have to do is lay back in chairs with a bag of M&M’s and gather up thousands of photos in a couple of clicks. And anyone who tells you that using references is “cheating”, run away. Run as fast as you can to safety. Because that is just ridiculously ridiculous. So please, use references. As the great John Lasseter said, “So much believability comes from what’s actually there”. For the film Finding Nemo, the production team seriously took scuba diving lessons and explored the ocean. No joke. And they ended up making one of the most famous animated films of all time. References are good. Now, tracing… ugh I really can’t give any advice on that. I think it’s kinda cheating because you’re just copying something without really learning anything. You can get so much more out of just using your eyes instead of a transparent piece of paper. But that is up to you; if you find that tracing helps you learn more, then go for it!
3. Don’t conform to what people like. Do what you like. I made this mistake myself. I wanted people to like my art and so I drew lots of anime and fanart because those are two things that people really seem to like. But my intentions were wrong; I drew what other people liked and not what I like. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. Some people might not have your taste but art isn’t about making everyone happy. It’s about making yourself happy and proud of your work. It’s about the enjoyment you have when drawing. So don’t conform to just drawing fanart and anime just because everyone else likes looking at the stuff (unless you like it too). Draw something that you would like to look at!
4. Stalk artists. Okay, not literally, but you know what I mean. Surround yourself with artists until you can’t breathe. I can’t even list all of the artists I’ve been inspired by. Study their art and see what makes it so awesome. Also, don’t be afraid to copy their styles just for practice, to learn their techniques and stuff (just make sure to credit them if you post that stuff online. Thieves are bad). Deviantart is a utopia of great artists, so just browse around and inspire yourself! You will learn so much more and much faster if you do that.
Of course, there’s so much more I could say, but I thought that these four things were really important ones. If I find anything more to say I'll add them to this journal (^-^)
Never be discouraged about your art; I can’t tell you how many times I felt like giving up, especially when I was younger. But I realized that drawing is what I love to do and so I just kept practicing and trying different styles and mediums. Vincent Van Gogh said, “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” And remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect” artist - even the greatest of artists are still improving their art!
Now stop reading this and start drawing!!!