Quite often, young artists such as myself struggle to produce artworks. All around us we see a universe of fellow artists who we deem as superior. There is also that fear of messing up, of making mistakes, and of not being "as good as other people". Although this is not a technical blog post that shows how to improve a technical skill, it discusses the mentality of being an artist which is just as critical. Here is how I manage to find motivation for drawing.
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Step 1: Focus on Your Improvements
I want you to say this and say it proudly: What I learn in the process is more important than the final piece. When a piece does not turn out the way you wanted it to, reflect upon the skills that you've learned while producing it instead of accepting defeat. And don't you dare say "I've learned nothing".
Clearly, and unfortunately, this optimistic viewpoint doesn't always work out (especially when the final piece is extra important). Point is, you are teaching yourself there is no shame in failure and that your efforts are never wasted.
One can learn a lot even from their "bad" art. The examples I've provided are pieces that I'm not particularly proud of (some of them I want to bury in a coffin of shame) but they have helped me learn new and valuable skills.
Step 2: Create Art With a Purpose
A completely blank piece of paper stares at you with its empty eyes. We've all been there. The next time you find yourself wondering "What should I draw?", ask these questions instead:
- What skill do I want to improve on?
- How can I improve on that skill?
- Why do I want to work on the piece?
When you produce art with a purpose, you terminate the angst of not knowing what to draw. Additionally, this will help you with the process of focusing on your improvements as well. It is much more difficult to analyze what you've learned when you mindlessly create without aim. Try setting goals for yourself as you paint or draw or sculpt etc. Moreover, by following the questions I've provided above, you will be able to consistently make focused artworks. Why must we be consistent?
Step 3: Create As Often As You Can
Confidence comes with practice. How can you create fearlessly when you don't create at all? Keep a sketchbook handy. I used to carry this tiny pocket notebook to make rough sketches in whenever inspiration strikes. And by rough sketches, I mean rough. Just take a look at that messy skyline and you'll see.
Push yourself to draw something, even if it is just a scribble or a doodle. This trick really helped me to boost my confidence level. I've become familiar with my "bad" sketches and thus, I cease to criticize myself for not being able to sculpt a masterpiece out of my scribbly messes.
Step 4: Celebrate Pieces You Are Proud Of
Pat yourself on the back! You did well :)
Make time to mentally reward yourself for the art pieces that aren't too shabby. Be proud of them! There is no need to drag your self-esteem down by constantly shaming the "screw up" works. You are worth it and you deserve to create art fearlessly. Go conquer your artistic ambitions.