I just felt like giving a little motivational speech, based on some questions and feedback I've gotten from young, aspiring artists.
Some of you say you look at my art and get inspired, and I just love hearing that because that's just what I want; to be able to inspire! It also inspires be back, because I know very well how it's like to work your butt off and not feeling you're getting anywhere. And I can relate when some of you say you actually lose all motivation when you see my work (or others' work, of course), because you feel you could never reach that same "level". I was there too, I've felt just like you guys! I have also had the nagging feeling that my art might not be good enough, but those thoughts are all stupid. Yeah, they are. I'll be rude enough to say that right now.
Art can be very frustrating in your "growth period", if I can call it that. And while being your own worst critic can help you grow, it can also tear you down and destroy everything called 'motivation'. So be careful; don't criticize yourself too much or be too hard on yourself.
Be brave enough to tell yourself instead that, you are talented.
Yes, you are. Stop saying you're not!
I believe that talent isn't just something you're born with and then you're instantly better than anyone else. Even naturals have to work hard, or they'll never get to the next level!
And if some of you think that I was always at the level in art that I'm at now, think again. When I was 13, I tried drawing Sonic. I'd never really drawn him before, but I was determined I was gonna make him look perfectly right at the first attempt.
And it did; because I traced a printed out picture... but when I was gonna draw him on my own, no tracing, it didn't even look remotely correct. And it frustrated me so, because I'd been satisfied with my art for the previous 13 years, and now I had finally reached a point where I found something I couldn't draw. This was a tough time for me, art wise, and at the same time I was using the internet a lot and discovered other people's art for the first time. I saw other artist drawing Sonic art like they were SEGA-employees, and I said to myself: "I'm gonna be that good one day." That was my goal, my motivation. Instead of giving up and saying 'I could never be as good as them' I instead told myself I could. I just admitted it would take a lot of hard work and practice. And it did! It did take a whole lot of hard work, and I was frustrated a lot of times, but I got better. Slowly but surely, I got better, until one day where I realized I'd reached my goal. I had become as good as the artist I wanted to be as good as, but what was even better was that I had developed my own style at the same time.
This brings me to the subject of "style".
You do have your own style.
Everyone has! It's right there: In you! In everything you draw, there's something about that drawing that's uniquely yours.
And the more your talent grows, the stronger your style will be.
Also, a brief advice:
Don't try to mimic other people's styles, because while fan art and being able to copy other people's styles is very popular on DeviantART, what is really
inspiring and cool is to see people rockin' their own unique drawing style!
When I was done with my Sonic obsession, I started wanting to draw my own things. I grew up with watching anthropomorphic characters on TV or in movies. And I decided I wanted to draw anthro. I also decided, since I couldn't find many anthro artists back then, that I wanted to do this entirely on my own. I'd figure out how to draw them using nothing but my own imagination.
That made me have to learn anatomy in both animals and humans and find a way to combine them in a way that I personally would like.
I think the biggest step for me in art was when I realized I didn't care what others thought about the way I drew. When I realized, I wanted to draw my own stuff, my own creations and my own style.
I started believing I could...! And that was a huge step.
And it's something that still keeps me going.
The thought that with time, I can do anything I set my mind to in art.
And what I want to say with all this is;
You can, too!
You can do anything you set your mind to! You can draw whatEVER you want to! And if you can't draw that today, then keep working and you'll get there eventually.
Because you WILL get there eventually.
Just set your mind to it. Tell yourself that you can do this! Just work hard and don't give yourself deadlines. Like, don't tell yourself that you'll be able to draw something you've never drawn before within a week. Never give yourself deadlines like that, because IF you don't make it, you'll just disappoint yourself, which you shouldn't ever do on purpose.
So, say to yourself "one day I'll make it" instead of "tomorrow I'll make it" or "within a year I'll make it". Just keep saying "one day", because when that day comes, you'll be so proud. No matter how long it took you to reach your goal, you'll be so proud. And if you're someone who, like I was, never ever allowed yourself to be proud of something you made, then that's the time to just put all that negative stuff behind you and start being proud of what you do.
Because you have all right to be proud of something you made!
Bragging and being cocky about it isn't what I mean. By pride I mean that you can look at your work, and tell yourself in a way that makes you truly believe it, and makes you smile while you say that; "yes, I did a good job on this".
You CAN do anything you set your mind to!
Give yourself goals, something you want to achieve, and never give up on those goals. And even if they might sound unrealistic at the time, don't ever give up. If your goal is something you really, really want to achieve, you will achieve it eventually.
example: My biggest goal was to be a published cartoonist. It seemed so unrealistic at the time, but I never gave up. I never ever gave up. Instead it became my number one dream in life, to have my own work published, and guess what; I've almost made it. I've had some short story comics published in magazines in my own country, and things are seemingly just headed the right way. So I'm on my way to achieving my goal.
And you will achieve your goal too.
It doesn't have to be a big goal, it can be many many small goals, small things you want to achieve - which is actually really smart, having lots of little goals, because you'll achieve them faster and get that good feeling of pride more often.
But having a dream to follow, and to hold on to, that's a precious thing. That's very important, even.
No matter what your dream is, stick to it, follow that dream and never give up on it.
You will get there one day!
I believe you can, and you should too.