Some advice

what
Here’s an update on that drawing.

Now for the long part:
With it being the new year and all, I wanted to impart some words about being an artist on the Internet. Actually, most of these can be applied to just life in general!

-Take figure drawing.
If you’re serious about learning how to draw, take a class. It’s a completely different experience than just trying to learn on your own.

-It’s not a popularity contest.
Don’t be chasing after those tumblr notes or deviantART view counts on purpose. There are terrible artists that are popular because they brown-nose or draw taboo; don’t feel like you have to follow suit. It’s OK to be not popular! I’m not very popular, and I live an alright life.

-Jealousy is a poisonous thing.
Don’t bitch and moan about artists with more skill/popularity. The more you compare yourself to others, you dig a deeper hole of depression.

-But rivalries can help.
Having a peer to “compete” and work with is a good way to motivate each other.

-Don’t be complacent.
-There are those who have grown all too comfortable with themselves; they eventually become stale or even regress. You should be always evolving and changing as an artist, even if it means drawing outside your comfort zone (gasp!).

-Improvement will not always be apparent.
This is a big one. Most people will notice large leaps in their skill within the first 2-3 years of “taking art seriously” and plateauing off as they get better.
It’s the period after that where it may not feel like you’re improving. As long as you don’t fall into your usual tropes (see above comment) and keep on grinding, you’ll get better. Even if you can draw slightly faster than before, that will count for something.
Everyone levels up at a different pace. Don’t be discouraged when you see someone else grow faster than you; you’re allowed to take your time.

-Think critically.
Critique your own work. Don’t just simply think “this looks wrong”. Think about the “why” and how you can fix it.

-You can always draw it again.
Can’t fix something even though you’ve spent hours on it? Erase it! You drew it once before, you can always draw it again. Don’t be so married to your strokes.

-Don’t be overly defensive.
If someone is trying to give you criticism, don’t be snooty and give excuses. Listen to it, and think about why they’re saying it.

-You’re drawing for yourself first.
You shouldn’t have to feel pressured to draw anything for anyone. It’s OK if you’re just taking small requests for fun, but don’t let it dominate your priorities.

-Don’t bother with solicitors asking for free art.
If someone is asking you to provide art for his “game” or “manga” in development, but doesn’t talk money, ignore it. More than likely will it result in trouble and disappointment for both parties.

-Know what you’re getting into when before drawing porn/fetishes.
You WILL be labeled differently if you start drawing smut, and it may not be always favorable. It’s something that’s difficult to bury later, especially if you’re thinking about going professional.

-Don’t draw smut only to increase view count.
Seriously, that’s a dumb reason.

-Respect your commissioner.
Don’t publicly shame or talk shit about the people that commission you. An exception would be if you were being underpaid (why would you accept it in the first place?) or if they were being extremely unreasonable. These are people that paid you money for your service; be professional about it. If the drawing was meant to be private, keep it private.

-Don’t leave your commissioner hanging.
Understand your work schedule and plan accordingly. If you can’t finish something, give notice. Don’t be a scumbag and vanish without a word or lie about it. Shit like this does not fly in industry.

-Don’t be a creeper towards girls.
I see this way too much. Don’t act like a fucking creep and fawn incessantly at girls. Just because someone has a vagina and can draw kawaii anime art, it doesn’t mean you can act weird.

-Don’t encourage creepers.
I see this way too much, too. Don’t beg to be pandered. It’s one thing to act cute; it’s another to constantly ham it up and beg for attention (you don’t have to be a girl to do this, too).

-You make your own time.
Don’t give a shitty excuse to yourself about why you’re not drawing. “Because I have no time” is a terrible one. Stop wasting time on Twitter and tumblr. I cut browsing and anime time from my life for drawing. I had a full-time job and took classes while still making time to draw for my daily blog.

-Set realistic goals.
I’ve seen a lot of people out there who do a “sketch-a-day” thing and quit in less than a month (humblebrag). You’ll only discourage yourself if you can’t keep your own goals, so start small.

-Be drama-free.
Don’t hold grudges. Don’t start grudges. Know when to walk away.

-If you truly love what you do, then you will be a better artist.
You are your own incentive to grow.

About EU03

I like horns.
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13 Responses to Some advice

  1. animoose says:

    A caveat on the popularity/jealousy:

    Don’t compare your numbers with others, but strive to improve against yourself. Expect more from yourself each year. Be hungry to improve!

  2. Anonymity says:

    Welp I caved so many times when I keep comparing myself to others or unable to draw a certain angle or anatomy….

    Thanks for the advice :)

  3. anonymous says:

    Kinda disliking the two “creeper” points on the list. Not all guys are creepers, and those two points just add a needless layer of discomfort when approaching female artists.

  4. lazer 22 says:

    Always appreciated what advice you gave during the streams and this is the mother load! Guess I’ll take this to heart but only cuse popura is in the image (you did that on purpose didnt you?) But in all seriousness thanks for making the streams fun even tho I did a lot of what you listed here (the negative things) during them. Hope to see the final product of your collage and wish you well this year man!

  5. Pete says:

    I am a muscle artist … female muscle… I realised very early on that i would never make a living with my art, so I dont try. I draw because that is what I love to do. Over the years, even I have seen an improvement in my work. I use PaintShop Pro to colour stuff and I have my work displayed in various places around the net… A tumblr which I started only a few weeks ago… A Deviant ART account and a couple Yahoo groups… I havent done much recently.

    Your advice is good and shows that you have been around the art side of the internet for a while

    Respect to you
    Best wishes
    Pete

  6. JackPot says:

    Words of wisdom. Thank you :)

  7. Red Frost says:

    I’ve always wondered how more established/professional artists handled drawing porn/fetish art (if they did so in the past or continue to do so). Is this something you’d be able to touch on a little more? I’ve considered the idea for a number of years and I would love to hear about it from someone who knows a lot more about the art community than me.

  8. Drew says:

    Hands down your best article yet!
    Especially “improvement not being apparent” that opened my eyes. Good stuff and deep!

    Cheers! (Your art is looking more refined also, I can tell since I came back after a good 6 months) =P

  9. alan says:

    I realized a few of the points you made with your advice during periods when I would try then quit drawing then come back again. It took awhile and I am still learning that the grind to get better and the feeling of impatience one gets from wanting results is like an endless battle. I’d like to say I appreciate your work and candid observations/advice for people who aspire to be at your level. Thank you.

  10. Reblogged this on Winter Erotica and commented:
    This advice is intended for those who draw, but I firmly believe it fits for everyone who is creative. This has gotten me thinking much harder about how I write and how I view my work ethic.

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