fkwkskfkd I never send things to the blogs I follow like this but I kinda need help with a lot of things but what if I want to give up on art? I love drawing but,,,, nothing looks good I'm just getting worse and worse and idk what to do I have no inspiration and nothing comes out as planned dkkfkdkskfnfnakxkfk
Ahh, I’m so glad you reached out! Honestly I seriously love giving advice so I’d be happy to help you out. Every single creator has doubts, even famous illustrators and artists, so I’d be happy to share what I and others have done to help ourselves out.
Firstly, remember that practice is key. When you’re in an art block or frustrated with art, break the mold and do something that’s a bit different. What I tend to do is draw flowers from reference pictures or go outside and draw a tree or something. Other times, I’ll do thumbnail sketches of compositions like these.
You could do a still life, sketch only the part of a body you’re comfortable with, or do gesture drawings (which intentionally don’t look great). Heck you can even trace art, color someone’s line art, or things like that (obviously don’t share without artist’s permission though)! Looking at art tutorials can be a great source of inspiration too.
Once you’re a bit more like “okay, I like this even when it doesn’t look great!” then you can start practicing the weaknesses you see in your art. For me, for instance, I tend to go with more stagnant poses and I’m not very good at drawing mouths and intense facial expressions. So I started googling references and just sketching them. When you treat it like a study, there’s less pressure for it to be perfect. You’ll notice some will look better than others but, when you walk away and then have to draw that part again, you’ll notice that it comes to you easier.
Now, here’s the most important thing to remember when you feel like you’re getting worse. You’re not actually getting worse, you’re becoming more in tune with your art and noticing things you want to improve more. This is progress!! Awesome super fantastic progress! It only seems like you’re getting worse because you’re noticing the areas you want to improve more. So, all you have to do is start practicing those areas.
While you’re doing this, celebrate how much more aware of the awkward anatomy and compositional errors and weird things you are. This is the best guide towards becoming a better artist–to be critical of your own work. But, to make sure you don’t knock yourself down with self-criticism, remember to be compassionate and honor what that teaching voice is sharing with you. Work together to become a better artist, to learn and grow.
Lastly, remember that all of your favorite artists started somewhere and gosh did we start somewhere horrible lol. We all doubted our work (I still get frustrated sometimes!) and felt like we’d never be on par with our favorite artists. But we kept working–both on improving our artistic confidence and skills.
So long as you keep trying, you’ll make it to where you want to be. That’s the only thing you need.
For bonuses (lol) let me show you some of my old art compared to my newer stuff so you can see how bad I used to be (and most of these art was after about 5 years of study anyways!!).
That piece is from seven years ago, so it took me seven years of doing art most days of the week to get to this sort of work:
Now here’s a super old watercolor (from late 2011). It’s muddied and the composition is poor and it’s generally not a good piece looking back.
About six years later, though, this old watercolor was transformed into pieces like this!
How I got here was practice. I kept trying. I notice what I wanted to work on, what parts about my art bugged me, and I studied them. Slowly but surely I improved. And you, lovely anon, you will too.