Have a goal in mind—and I don't mean the be-all and end-all of goals. Set something for yourself to work toward that will force you into giving it your all and keep you on track—once you reach that point, it'll be time for you to set a new one. Continue doing this over and over and over again. Your potential is endless. Even the great masters of old and those alive today recognize that they will never reach complete mastery. There is always room to improve. Get used to it and learn to love the grind. There is so much enjoyment to gain from learning something new and pushing yourself to grow.
No matter what, keep playing around. You might be unhappy with where you or your skills are at in this particular moment, but trust me, if you continue to push yourself and put in quality effort and time, only good will come of it.
As creatives, it's easy to get discouraged—and how could we not with so many amazing artists out there posting amazing work ALL THE TIME. It's important to push yourself, though. And not by others' standards necessarily, but, instead, by your own standards. And with that being said, there is nothing wrong with making goals based on the skill-level of others. Just be aware that you (probably) won't reach that quality overnight. It takes countless hours of intense work, which will only help you to appreciate achieving those goals all the more.
Natural, God given talent will only get you so far. It is essential that you put in many, grueling hours of work in order to achieve what you desire.
Many people think that they can simply get by with the skills they already have, refusing to take the time to improve upon those skills. Traversing through art school, I have seen this far too often. While it may work for some people, to some degree, this is not the way to go.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "you get what you pay for"? Same rules apply. You will gain the amount of skill, experience, and, ultimately, client work that directly correlates to the amount of time you spend leveling up. It's not a coincidence. It's not an accident. Work hard, and you will be rewarded.
Once you feel satisfied with a piece, take a step back, and remove it from your thoughts. After several hours, or even days, of separation, return to it and begin your revisions.
It's so easy to get caught up in your work and become jaded by it, unknowingly glancing over major mistakes and missing great opportunities for improvement. As artists, we need to realize when enough is enough. Take a break every once in a while. Your work will improve exponentially as a result.
We all know the mirror or flip-canvas-horizontal trick (If not, I'll surely cover that in another post). This is just another version of that. It allows you to see your image in a whole new light, as though you have a second, fresh pair of eyes reviewing your piece.
Trust me, I have spent many days working unto the wee hours of the morning only to get frustrated at myself because I can't figure out why I can't get the darn image to work. It's not until the next day, with rested eyes and a refurbished mind, that I'm able to clearly see every single stupid mistake that I made the night before. It's not worth the headache. Save yourself some time, frustration, and energy, and step away for a moment or two.
Don't allow your lack of experience to direct you away from attempting to use new mediums.
Let's face it, whether you're a professional or not, when you try working with a medium you are unaccustomed to using, you usually aren't very good. That's part of life. Whatever you do, though, don't let this discourage you. If everyone did, art wouldn't exist, and that would suck. Play around, try new things, make some really bad art, and, most importantly, have fun. If you do all of these things and devote yourself, you'll create some pretty cool stuff.
Trust yourself to turn what you perceive as "crap" into something worth raving about.
When we start a new piece, we all often get the feeling that "this sucks, nothing can go right, I should just quit," and a lot of the time, we allow that feeling to overwhelm us and take over our imaginative spirit. We desperately need to rid our lives of this horrid nature. Overcoming roadblocks such as this will only help push us as artists and drastically improve our creative output. It's when we believe in our ability to create and innovate that we end up with something awesome.
Don't confuse your inexperience with a lack of ability.
Far too often do I witness individuals, which includes myself, begin working on some sort of project, using some sort of medium or technique they have never worked with before, and they give up before they ever really begin. Why do this to yourself? Very few people are actually good at something when they first start out. When you place unrealistic standards on yourself right out of the gate, you can confuse your lack of experience with an inability to do what you were expecting of yourself. This is a dream-killer. Don't let this happen to you. Be patient. Be persistent. And push yourself.
The idea of Weekly Wisdom for Artists is something I have had in mind for a while now. As I grow as an artist, I find myself looking to other artists and working professionals for advice and ideas about what to do and what not to do. It's important to me to keep these things in the back of my mind as I work and go about my day-to-day routine.
While my career is yet in its infancy, there are certain things that I have caught on to, and I hope that by sharing them, someone else will benefit...Also, by forcing myself to come up with something to post each and every week, it will help me to learn and grow as well.
So, I hope you, whoever you are, will take something away from and enjoy this series of jibber jabbering, and I hope to keep it going for quite a while.
Thanks for any and all support, and I hope you come back next week for the first official post! :]
Let me tell you something. Marvel's new Netflix series, Daredevil, is fantastic. If you haven't already seen it, then I suggest that you take one last look at this piece of fan art, clear your schedule, make some popcorn, and settle in for a long day of binge-watching. Trust me, you won't regret it.
And don't worry, I won't judge you too harshly. ;]