I rarely write journal entries on here, as you can see my last entry was New Years of last year. But, there has been something that has really gotten to me as of lately and I want to express my opinions on the matter. I've found some artists on here, (not name dropping because I don't need that drama), that are completely content and complacent with being OK at their craft. And because of it, they don't or just barely improve over years of making art; and these are professionals. My words of advice, being a professional artist, don't be complacent!
As someone who enjoys drawing any second I have a chance to, outside of work, gym, and social life, I have trouble fathoming how someone who claims to be so passionate about art can just… slack. Cause that's what it is, it's certainly not passion! That doesn't mean you HAVE to draw any second you have free time. But definitely means you should always want to improve. If you don't explore your limits how will you ever know what you are capable of?
If anyone has watched me over the years, you've probably noticed style changes. That's because I am constantly looking at the work of artists that inspire me to get better. I'm never 100% content with my work. Once I'm finished, I want to work on making my next piece better. The year of 2014, I really explored painting in photoshop. Specifically in portraits (lot of my art doesn't make it on here). 5 years ago, I never thought I could've achieved that style. Cause I've tried and failed in the past. But don't let failure dictate what you can't do, but what you can do eventually with time! Time and patience is so key to achieving goals, whether it be art, weight loss, music, crafting… skills in general! Practice will really pay off! If you don't like how you draw hands, spend a week focusing on hands! If backgrounds are still difficult for you, pull up google images and find some scenery pictures you like and just draw them. They don't have to look perfect, no one has to see these practice pieces if you don't want them to. But over time, that hand you used to hide behind your character's back in awkward poses, won't be so scary to draw. And then you can really work on poses you were afraid of before because of limitations you put on yourself! Overtime you'll really start to see your art grow!Excuses I've heard from artists on here that have encouraged me to write this post are...
"I have to keep a consistent style for my comic, so I can't branch off into new styles."
^^ So much wrong with this excuse. Keep your comic that style if you want to, but nothing is stopping you outside of work to test your limits. I work 5 days a week 9-6 in a particular style and yet have found time to do my own work at home. It's actually improved my work flow at work because of it.
"I don't have time to try new things. I work too much!"
^^ Well I'm sorry you lost your passion. If you really are a professional, there are plenty of passionate people who will take your dream job because passion and lack of passion shows. (Sometimes work can be overwhelming and other things can creep up in life. Obviously those times in life are excusable. But typical day to day life as an artist… not so much.)
"I have a style, so I don't need life studies."
^^I've been guilty of this… and I don't care how long you've been drawing… you NEED to do life studies if you want to excel as a character artist. Anatomy issues can ruin a piece. Your style will only shine more if you have the basics! I'm still working on that myself. Also watch as your poses become more believable!
"Once you found an art process you are comfortable with, stick with it…forever."
^^I want to smack anyone who says this crap. It's crap. You need to push your limits time to time to discover a better way of approaching your art. Be it style of inking, coloring, drawing, animating… I was floored to hear a professional saying he's content using the paint bucket tool to color his illustrations in… over 10 + years of being a professional. The excuse is to save time, which any professional knows over time you'll only get faster. So why not start now? And his lack of growth shows. Photoshop is such a powerful tool, it's sad when a professional uses it like a beginner and is content.
As you can see I'm a bit passionate about this subject. Art is my life as it is for so many other artists out there. We all fall into these pitfalls, but you are so much better than that! You will only get better at art with practice. I'm still learning new techniques I haven't really figured out yet, but that's why I love the internet! So many great tutorials!
Never stay content because that won't get you anywhere.