THE WILBUR EFFECT (aka, why you should never give up on drawing ever)
Hey everybody! Jessica here, once again starting a text post with a wonky, odd title. But it serves a purpose this time, honest!
So recently, I’ve seen a lot of people getting really discouraged about their art, both online and in real life. On an unrelated note, I’ve also gotten a couple of requests to post some of my old art to show my progress. So I decided I’d blend the two.
And to make things even more interesting, I’m not just going to pull out some old piece that’s semi-presentable but still flawed. No, I’m going to show you guys the oldest, most embarrassing, first-thing-I’d-ever-drawn-on-a-tablet-before disgrace:
…This is Wilbur. Whom my old roommate has since nicknamed “Urineface.”
I drew this originally in 2012 with literally no clue what I was doing. As you can see, I got so frustrated with the piece that I never actually finished it—the lines were stiff, the colors were unnatural, and that poor kid’s hair is so jagged it’s about to gouge his eyes out.
As I cringe behind my computer with shame, I realize that one thing’s for sure: He came from a frustrated, embarrassed, and still-learning artist. At the time, all of my best friends were astonishing visual artists, and, well, I was…kinda not. There were so many times during this period where I just wanted to give up, to stop drawing. Heck, there were times when I’d actually cry myself to sleep over the fact that I’d never be a good artist. I’m sure some of you have been in the same boat, and here’s what I have to say to you:
DON’T! YOU DARE! GIVE UP!
Need more proof? Alright, embarrassing drawing number
two. You guys are killing me here.
These were some characters from an animated film I wrote in 2012. I am…not sure why the guys are giants compared to the girl, nor why half the sketch lines look like these people got electrocuted. Also, everybody’s face seems…really stretched? Their mouths are kind of melting off of their chins, that doesn’t sound safe.
I revisited the film for a college project in
I’d like to think these three look a little better.
Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. “2012?
Alright, buddy, it’s 2016 now, of course you’re going to improve in like, 4
years—who wants to wait that long?”
But rest assured, while improvement doesn’t come
overnight, it doesn’t always take four years, too!
In all honesty, I know that creating art can feel really hopeless and discouraging at times. We find ourselves comparing our work to other people’s, feeling obligated to work at a rapid-fire pace, or just plain giving up for whatever reason. But I’m here to tell you that you can do this, no matter how inexperienced you feel. Even if you’re just picking up that tablet pen for the very first time: do not be afraid to keep going.
I’m far from perfect as an artist, and I still have a lot to learn. Maybe four years down the road I’ll be looking back at my 2016 art and having a cringe-fest. But that would just prove that I’d improved, and that things could only move forward from there!
Art is tricky, okay? Nobody expects you to
master it in one night, or one month, or even one year. But that doesn’t mean you won’t reach it
someday! Save a bunch of tutorials for
reference. Watch speedpaints. Try the occasional drawing challenge. Even if
you don’t get it right, at least you’re learning what to do and what not to
do! And in time, you’ll be looking back
and going, “Wow…my younger self would be so astonished right now.” That,
my friend, is a magnificent feeling.
So, to end this behemoth of a post, I decided to redraw Wilbur again…for old times’ sake. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that time made things a whole lot better. In the end, all you have to do is be patient:
It really does pay off.