Tbh whenever you post about anti cringe culture I feel better. I'm glad that there are people against it. Whenever I was first writing, my mother said "You need to work on something original, not cats and dragons" which has brought me down for a really long time. Thank you for supporting younger artists where usually there is no support to be found.
Honestly I went through a long period of time thinking nothing I did was good enough. I’ve always been drawing, and I was told by parents and a couple friends that I was good, but it got to the point in middle school where things tapered off for a while. My cousin, who I used to write letters to back and forth with exchanging drawings we did of ponies, grew exponentially as an artist, and I kind of… stopped. I tried to pick it back up as a sophomore in high school with a friend teaching me, but she got aggravated when my style mimicked hers—which isn’t fair, because when you’re learning from someone you adapt to their style briefly before developing your own. But I quit again. I doodled every once in a while, but compared to what I saw online it just wasn’t enough. Not for me.
It got to the point where, if I was ever at my grandparents’ and drawing, my grandma would say “oh, you draw like your cousin? You know your cousin draws. She’s going to school for an art degree she’s a great artist.” It was always about how I supposedly took up drawing, but my cousin had started it. Well, yeah, because she was older, but I’ve always been drawing.
So I stopped again, for years.
Finally, getting back into warriors, I decided to just go for it. I ended up seeing a lot of posts encouraging using references, which I had previously thought was not okay. I began taking note of different art styles, and told myself and accepted how everyone has a different style and should be proud of it—you don’t want your art to look someone else’s, your style is unique and wonderful, and if you don’t like something about it you can always figure out how to tweak it more to your liking. I saw a small tutorial/example Climb did once about diversity in cat face shapes, and I was like “what the hell, that’s not even that complicated”, and realized that just because I’m not on her level (or any of those other fricken amazing fan artists out there) doesn’t mean I can’t draw and can’t improve and find my own fantastic way of creating art.
All those things people tell you about being happy with your art and not comparing yourself? It’s so true. And if you want to draw cats and dragons just do it. You can’t let yourself listen to critics—you just have to draw and draw and draw. Take advice from other artists, use references, and keep drawing.
Cringe culture is disgusting and discouraging. If I want to draw cats with bangs, I’m gonna do it. If I don’t want to, I won’t. But hell, if someone else wants to, then they should. It’s creative to personify animals. Not everything has to be realistic. Not everything has to be Perfect with a capital P.
In my mind, “cringe art” doesn’t exist. I’m sick of people judging artists who are young and/or inexperienced. Everyone starts somewhere. The key is just to start and keep going. Even if you do pause and have setbacks, you can and should get back into it.
The worth of your art is not determined by others. It’s determined by you. Be kind to yourself and encourage yourself. I believe in you and everyone out there. Everyone deserves kindness and encouragement.