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.
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.
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.