Hehe, quite a title, eh?
Actually, this really isn’t much of a revelatory post, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about that’s really important, but often overlooked.
First, no thumbnail today. Why? Because while I do have a new drawing up, it isn’t here.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I want to keep this site PG-13, or at most OT-16 for those of you familiar with that Graphic Novel rating system. So, while I only use nudity for the sake of art, and I DO NOT do porn, I still choose to post and nude works in my DeviantArt gallery, where in order to view mature work you must sign-in and verify you are of appropriate age to view the works.
Anyway, the secret to Art. At risk of sounding like I’m preaching tautology, I must say that the secret is to Practice. I don’t think practice gets it’s due in many circles. As humans, while we are all born with varying natural talents, and we are capable of deepening our understanding of something intellectually, we are ultimately adaptive beings that get better at things according to what we do.
Doing art is the key to getting better. There are a number of things that can enhance the benefits of practice, but it’s probably better for most beginning artists to think of these things like this: while something that isn’t practice may help you get better at art, it’s only because it helps you get more out of the practice. It doesn’t have nearly as much effectiveness on its own.
Now, here’s where I can volunteer a little bit more than just tautology. Some people practice regularly without getting better, and they think they just suck. This is probably NOT true. There are usually two things going on there–either you’ve hit a plateau, and what your learning is under the surface, where it will randomly explode into a burst of insight when it gathers enough mass… Or you aren’t focusing enough. The best way to do better when you’re making art is to focus on doing art.
It’s really easy to do one of two mistakes when it comes to focusing like this. The first mistake is more obvious, but we still miss it–Focus on art, and try to minimize interruptions. What most people don’t realize is humans aren’t capable of true multitasking–we can only switch back and forth between rapidly and alternately. When we get interrupted in a task, the longer we were interrupted, the longer it takes to get started back up again on what we were doing. If you keep letting yourself get distracted, you’ll spend a lot more time where your brain is trying to switch tasks instead of actually doing art. You don’t want to waste time on starting and stopping–you want to spend your time on doing.
The second thing people do sometimes is that they are trying to focus on their mood, or posture, or a number of things that aren’t exactly art but they were told would help them with their art. This may be helpful sometimes, but watch out–if you’re spending more time focusing on these side things than actually making art, then you could be setting yourself up to stall out.
So, if you want to get better at art, make art! And when you’re making art, if you want to do better, focus on making art!
That should be number one. If you want to work with tutorials or whatever else that helps you, then of course enjoy that process. But number one should be making art, and the other things should come second.
All images, writing, characters, artwork and related indicia are (c) Earl Isbell
Feel free to leave a comment, browse the galleries, or contact me if you wanna buy a print, commission me, or just drop me a line. Just navigate using the links at the top ^^.
Like this post, tweet it, or subscribe! It’s fun!