Daily Deviation
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Your Drawing Attitude

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By Achiru-et-al   |   Watch
Published: January 13, 2010
© 2010 - 2020 Achiru-et-al
Your (optional) homework:

In your comment, tell what part(s) of the lesson speak to you. Can you elaborate any one point with examples? Write about a personal experience relating to how you approach drawing; if you ever felt disheartened or incredibly inspired, or if you disagree with me.

EDIT: I forgot to walk the talk. So here's a personal story of mine:

I've usually gotten a lot of encouragement in the form of praise (the simple "that's good!" compliments) as a child when it came to drawing; the teachers that complained about my doodling habit tend to ignore me after they found it didn't affect my grades.

Nevertheless, when it came to "art" class, teachers did not like anime or cartoons, since it was a "lower" art. So I ignored their criticisms, though it did hurt. I wasn't bad at realism or other styles, but it just wasn't my preference. After some time though, I noticed my drive to improve this style had naturally led me to reconsider other styles; learning to draw well proportioned objects, compose elements on a canvas, juxtaposing colors, among other things, was common to all art (even in caricature or surreal art). So my realism improved without actually working on it. Go with the flow, and draw what you like.

There are times when I look at the work of others and long to be able to create the same, but then I remembered if I reproduced the exact same thing (or style), that would not be interesting. There must be something I can learn or take away from this as inspiration, that I can use to better my own skill. There are no shortcuts; the process (and practice) they took to produce that work of art is the same hard determination and persistence I must walk forward with.

I remember this best from the time an ignorant boy teased me by ripping up the doujinshi page I was working on. I think was about fifteen or so, and we were at a summer ping pong club (I carried paper around and drew everywhere at this point). It was an original drawing I hadn't finished nor saved a digital copy of. I did not have the skill to piece it back together in Photoshop, so to speak, and taping it back together was a grotesque idea. It would never be the same.

I watched in shock, rage, fear and despair as my hard work fell to the ground in pieces; I was really attached to my work at the time. He probably didn't think twice about it. I did not think it was possible to redraw the page, since I did not have the skill to recreate a past idea in the same manner. My drawing was different each time I tried to draw the same thing. So I moped about for a couple months.

After a long breather, I attempted to continue drawing the page again. I found that this new page, which looked nothing like the old one, was actually better than if the one before had never been destroyed. My paneling improved, the choice of angle, shot and perspective improved. I improved during my break, as I was working on other pieces.

I got a sense then, that it didn't matter if my work was stolen, sold, copied or destroyed, because the real value of my work resided within me, and so long as I wasn't destroyed, I could always create something new, and this something new would be better than the work I did before. This was something art thieves could never take. This is the creativity that gets people hired. Suddenly the world was a freer place, and I could see how boundless the opportunities for exploration were.
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Comments2091
anonymous's avatar
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seionara's avatar
seionaraHobbyist General Artist
Most importantly, make eye contact.
While I don't think this was your intention, this could be taken to mean that not all criticism is necessarily applicable to all situations, since, while that may be a good tip for most people there are people that can't process speech and look you in the eyes at the same time, that find it painful or that can't really compose a good sentence when looking someone in the eyes, in which case it'd be incredibly contraproductive.

(Hard to find an example, maybe someone being told their art could stand being a bit softer as it'd look more realistic then...when the artist is trying out a more stylized and blocky style.)
SushiDragonTamer's avatar
SushiDragonTamerHobbyist General Artist
I absolutely love this! It's very comprehensive yet also fun to read, and inspiring. I personally am struggling to draw parts of the body (arms) and this really helps with artistic motivation :)
JBaulmont's avatar
JBaulmont General Artist
I got a sense then, that it didn't matter if my work was stolen, sold, copied or destroyed, because the real value of my work resided within me, and so long as I wasn't destroyed, I could always create something new, and this something new would be better than the work I did before. This was something art thieves could never take. This is the creativity that gets people hired. Suddenly the world was a freer place, and I could see how boundless the opportunities for exploration were.

Strong.
Also love the last words of your comic :) That's always my advice about art:
Draw what you enjoy
KOLiddyfinnMomento's avatar
KOLiddyfinnMomentoHobbyist Traditional Artist
I draw for fun. Ive strived to improve, and it payed off. I agree: don't pyt yourself down.
SententiaSaga's avatar
This is well done, it's what I would think when am doing my own comic, chin up and continue doing what you love. Even if you don't get much views cause your starting out, it's ok, cause things will get better. And that's what am doing, fantastic work there! :D
chiahuitang's avatar
chiahuitang Digital Artist
wow! these are practical philosophy course!! I especially like your suggest about mindfulness and asking yourself the behind meaning of criticism and praise. this really encourage me to engage in community and show my works! thanks!
byrch's avatar
byrchHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for having this tutorial/advice guide up.
RoyalADK's avatar
RoyalADKHobbyist General Artist
! This is really good. This teaches a really good lesson to not just artists, but composers and gamers. This really gave a bout of confidence, especially in hearing that even the pros get nervous too
OtakuWithCats's avatar
I love this so much! I can relate in many ways. I'm a beginner for any sort of art, and have been really embarrassed to show people, only these past few months have I really begun delving deeper into drawing, and I've slowly (but surely!) started to show people. Seeing this just makes me want to go and draw more, thank you!
Achiru-et-al's avatar
You're welcome! :hug: I'm glad you found it inspiring!
Villusje's avatar
VillusjeHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for this I've always been in and out for drawing mostly out of embarrassment but u have a point to me they look good soon others might see that too so thanks and I'll go back to my old ways of drawing.
uttol's avatar
uttolHobbyist Traditional Artist
woah! this is so motivating :D 
I've been drawing for almost a year , I still feel like my drawings are not very good, but I actually never shared any of them online, so when I read this post I understood that it doesn't really matter if my drawings suck  ( because this is not a race, everyone will eventually get there somehow)
and it doesn't matter if someone doesn't like my drawings , what truly matters i loving my  own drawings because they are what I've created with all my effort and time!
So thanks for this post , and sorry for commenting so late :P
Achiru-et-al's avatar
You're very welcome! :hug:
AmyNChan's avatar
AmyNChanHobbyist General Artist
Holy spizcake...  This is really stinkin' good.  
AmyNChan's avatar
AmyNChanHobbyist General Artist
No prob~!  *^_^*
saina-chan's avatar
saina-chanHobbyist Traditional Artist
I really like this "tutorial: (if it can be called it?). It's this kind of little, handbook of "how give and receive critique" (shame it isn't a school's subject, I saw too often people flip the table, if what other had to say wasn't "OMG it's so great!").

If you don't mind I've a question- what should do a person who is drawing for quite a long time (with over 4 months break currently, thanks you university), and is noticing how awful she is and how worse she got? As seriously, I'm looking at my old works and I'm wondering how on Earth I was able to draw that thing. Lately I'm hearing that "this, this, this, and that is wrong" as critique from friends .
And please, just no "draw more", I was drawing day, after day poses from photos, at least 10 a day for half a year. The outcome was I was nothing better/ I was feeling I got worse actually.
At the same time seeing all old pals who hadn't been drawing for months/years taking up pen and being light years ahead of me/ got better when even thought they hadn't been practicing is a bit...sad. No, don't get me wrong! I'm really happy they're better, that everybody is getting better, that everybody is better than me...I just wish I could get better as well.
I'm looking, I'm studying, I'm drawing. I'm tired.
Achiru-et-al's avatar
Thank you for sharing!

Here's a radical idea: Stop drawing.

Your mind and body need a break. I sometimes go for over a month without drawing. Everyone takes breaks differently, but you gotta schedule it in there and find your rhythm. Maybe only draw for an hour a day. Three hours a day. Or draw for a week, rest a week. Or draw for a month and rest a month. It's like sleep. People need enough quality sleep to function again the next day. Skip too many nights and your body, mind and energy will suffer from the marathon of being awake. Your arm and your creativity will suffer without enough of a break. I learned this the hard way too. I've been there, wondering why everybody is better than me, why my improvement was falling behind. I pushed myself to my limit and then fought not to accept the fact. I thought I could continue my exponential growth forever. I couldn't. It's inhuman.

Here's what I did: I took up sewing. I went hiking, signed up for dance lessons. Deliberately do things that were new and/or had nothing to do with drawing. I wrote fanfiction. I composed poetry. I bought clothes I always wanted to try and took selfies and posed as a model. Then I started collecting clothing and materials for cosplay. Whatever else that seemed even mildly interesting not related to drawing, I acted on.

Ignore all those artists you perceive to be better than you. If you catch yourself thinking about it, say STOP out loud. Choose to change your focus. Go teach a younger person how to draw, a kid, a cousin, sibling, nephew. To a younger artist, your work is incredible in their eyes already. Soak that in. Have fun.

Your passion will come back one day if it was nurtured with love from the beginning. You will find your visual voice again. You will be hit with an urge or an idea or some form of inspiration. But don't go looking for it. Do something else, let it find you on its own time.

You'll be amazed at how incredible and confident you are when you're operating at your peak vitality, not when tired and burnt out.
saina-chan's avatar
saina-chanHobbyist Traditional Artist
Not counting some swirls or childish looking flowers (draw circle for centre and ovals for petals) at side of my university notes- I hadn't draw any full picture for 6 months, 4 months since I stopped drawing at least 3 times a week those poses (university). My break is quite long currently, and in contras to normal people, who come back after break and are better, I'm not.
(I could joke about sleep, while for last month I'm sleeping for 3-4/5 hours a day and I'm feeling well...but will be dead after exams)
I admit, it's interesting point of view, as when I usually asking those people better than me (friends included) what should I do to finally not hear "this, this, this, and THAT is wrong, bad and why are you even trying?" is "draw even more/ work harder/ I was drawing a lot, you for sure didn't try as hard".
I started to notice, that as even today I tried to draw, over idea that I just wrote down (first in few months)...I started to feel scared of drawing. Idiotic, isn't it?

Distraction of that kind might not really work, but will try maybe it;ll be what is needed, but during autumn- exams, and running with papers first. And learning for country-wide exam in September.

I'm just scared that if I put pencil aside, once I'll have that "creativity blast", I'll be even further behind peoples. I always needed to push myself to the edge, to be sure everything is, and will be good enough and perfect as it should be.

Thank you for your advices, will remember them and use them once after my exams are over :).
silverfan118's avatar
This was a really nice and fun tutorial that really got me wanting to draw! The drawings you provide with the tutorial really make it more exiting and eye grabbing! Thanks for making this, it's really awesome! Bunny Emoji-30 (I'm cute) [V2]  
anonymous's avatar
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