Draw Because You Love It
I struggle with self-worth as an artist, and find it difficult to see my art as anything other than garbage when compared to the countless amounts of art that I see out there. I'm not that good of an artist, but I like making comics. In fact, I'm currently working on a comic that I love doing, but every day, despite me working hard on it in my free time, I still feel inadequate and will never feel happy about myself. So I guess my question would be how I should approach my views on myself as an artist in the future.
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Artistic types--whether they are painters, musicians, writers, or whatever--are often very self-critical. This is because the work they do is put out into the public sphere, making it vulnerable to criticism from the outside. Since many of us seek validation from others, criticism can hurt, and then we forget why we created the art in the first place.
Why do you create art? Why do you work on a comic book? Because, as you said yourself, you love to do it.
You should draw and color because you love it, not because you want others to approve of you. This is only important at all if you are aiming to sell your artwork. That's when you do commissions and such, drawing or painting things that other people want to see.
As for the quality of your art, practice makes perfect. The more you draw, the better you will become. Work on your technique, perhaps take art classes (in a classroom or virtually), seek out advice from other artists, but most of all practice, practice, practice. Just like practicing a musical instrument, the more you draw and study technique and theory, the better you will be.
To answer your final query, stop comparing yourself to others and stop seeking validation from others. The only person you really need to please is yourself. You are not put on Earth to get the approval of other people. Oh, and remember, some of the greatest, most brilliant artists ever born were criticized and even ostracized by the public. Public taste does not equal good taste, necessarily. In fact, public taste is often bad, dull, and insipid.
Be an artist because you love it. Draw your comic book because it makes you happy.
An Artsy Onlooker
5/11/2020 12:49:25 pm
It's also worth noting that sometimes comparung yourself to others can be aproached in a healthy way. There is a reason artists like art, and that's because we saw other people's work and decided to make our own! There's an old trick about taking favorite aspects from your favorite pieces of art and mixing them together to make your own style. Not copying, but using something you love to make something new. When I look at other artists who have better work than I do, I look good and hard at what they're doing and try to do that myself. I watch speedpaints on youtube and try to determine the techniques used by the artist to get where they are. The internet is a very usefull tool for improvement. Also, draw things you like. Figure drawing or drawing a bunch of hands and feet is usefull technical practice (and it truly benifits you to read instrictional books sucha as Andrew Loomis), but really growing as an artist is done when you just draw a lot in general, so you might as well stick to drawing things you like. Every artist is unique and brings something different to the table. If you keep creating, people will notice. Especially if you have a fast turnover. But it IS a slippery slope. Papa Bear is right. It's not healthy to seek validation from a bunch of faceless strangers. When an artist puts their work out there it can be for different reasons. Hobbyists do it for personal satisfaction and to gage their growth over time. Career artists post their work online for networking purposes and use their online portfolios to get jobs. And self employed artists post their work online so potential buyers will be tempted to commission the artist. Think about your true reasons for posting your work online. If they are only for clout (fame) then you need to rethink your priorities!
5/12/2020 08:15:30 am
Oh, absolutely! Artists learn from other artists. I've actually noted this in other, similar letters, and should have put it in this one, as well. Thank you for the additional comment!
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