Artist's Killers - Part 1 [EN]
Fears and phobias
What stops you from being a successful artist? It seems easy to sit down, draw, improve your skills, and then everything will come with experience. But, according to my personal observations, not all people are able to pass this way, even if they are enrolled in courses or special institutions. The high cost of the tools and teachers also don't guarantee that you will become the new Hollywood illustrator.
And you know what? Nobody and nothing will ever guarantee your own success. It is trite, insulting, but all depends on us: our way of thinking, inner peace, upbringing, temperament, and a bunch of other factors. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, EVERYTHING affects how successful we can become. It is enough for some people to get into the popular studio, while others become gurus spending their lives under lock and key.
Fears of beginners
When beginners see a great picture with lots of details, usually, they can't repeat the level, and if they try, it turns out to be mediocre. This is normal. Many artists are afraid of doing something that far exceeds their skills. Some of them are so scared that they are unable to try something new and unusual. So to speak, to get out of the comfort zone. Some artists fear criticism and nagging. Others categorically refuse to draw something that they do worst. Perfectionists, for example, are terribly obsessed with details, improving every pixel in their works. Such artists will always find imperfections.
Each case requires separate consideration but, oftentimes, the problem is in their way of thinking. I emphasize that word, since it is one of the main sources of troubles.
When I was a beginner, I paid too much attention to details and believed that it was necessary to reach the level of hyper-realism. I thought a perfect work was indistinguishable from a photograph. And the problem was in my lack of confidence. For me, the coolest style was realism, and I simply didn't consider others. They were perceived as alien, sometimes too simple. This was one of my mistakes. Since I had been a perfectionist, I was often fond of details, greatly overloading the general and wasting a lot of time on them. I thought that I couldn't show anyone my work without this. This was the biggest misconception.
The artist can't be afraid of the task, but he/she will give up not knowing how to complete it. If we take a difficult project, we can work on it for a long time. It will be good if we finish it in a few days, weeks or months. It happens so that the finale comes in a few years. We can continue working on the project, improving it from time to time. Though, probably, another artist in our place would finish it much earlier. It usually happens with more experienced artists. Based on this, my personal recommendation is that you shouldn't try to jump over your head if you are unsure about your own abilities. Brush up your knowledge, find mentors, provide yourself with a guarantee that you will be able to reach the set goal. Otherwise, it risks resulting in a protracted idea, which actually happened to me.
Here are a few of the problems and fears of beginners at the first steps of their career:
- 1) Uncertainty regarding the accuracy of what we do.
- 2) Lack of confidence in what the work should be like in the end. Also, I would like to add here the lack of vision of the final result (and this is important).
- 3) Fear of doing something wrong and fear of condemnation.
- 4) Fear to take on something that turns out bad or something we have never done.
- 5) Fear of time or lack of patience. As is known, training is a long and sometimes very difficult process. We want to become professionals very fast and we aren't ready to accept the fact that we have to spend more than one year for this.
- 6) Perfectionism is the fear of the slightest omission and inaccuracy. In this case, beginners often try to do their best in every project. The lower level of a masterpiece isn't acceptable. The slightest criticism may not be perceived well.
- 7) Dependence on the opinion of others. Here we should add the dependency on site-based ratings (number of likes, comments, subscribers, etc.). They can make us slaves of website systems.
- 8) Lack of goals. Some beginners don't know why they draw and learn this. Some of them draw without looking at their friends, family or successful artists.
- 9) Another thing is when beginners start drawing to become famous and rich. It is sad, but they do not stay on track for a long time and quickly give up. Such goals are not enough to become a true master. One needs love for one is doing. Otherwise, we will suffer from chronic fatigue, burnout and all other things that make a person unhappy. Art is not a business but, primarily, an expression of a soul.
In fact, there are much more points, but I mentioned the most common ones.
If you are a beginner, remember a few things:
- 1) Ideal is a myth. There are no perfect works. Similarly, there is no perfect style or rules in drawing. Yes, there are certain laws that must be followed, but they all are aimed at making the perception of our drawings clear, interesting and enjoyable for others. The study of colour, light, composition, anatomy, perspective and other things is necessary for these purposes. The artist conveys the visual idea, thought, story, or mood by means of graphics. The writer uses words and sentences for the same purpose. The same is true in respect of the work from the category of masterpieces. Initially, they aren't like this. The title "masterpiece" is awarded by the society. These are simply works that many people like a lot. It is the society that makes them classics.
- 2) Painting is a skill. I repeated, repeat and will repeat this idea. Absolutely anyone can learn how to draw. The only difference is that it will take different periods of time to master it. It's as if you are learning a foreign language. The more often you practice the faster you achieve certain results. Just like learning the language, one can't master drawing in 100%. There is no limit of improvement. You can only reach the level that you are comfortable with and work in it on a regular basis. But even this level will never be your limit. You will evolve constantly. There is also a possible degradation, so be careful.
- 3) There are no "correct" ways to draw. Art is generally an inexact science. I'm not talking about using the exact laws of perspective or light. Actually, the pattern can be anything, even simple scribbles of a child or abstraction of colours. It is important what they convey and contain. Art has to be something accurate.
- 4) Different teachers, artists, mentors and even ordinary people will always have different opinions regarding what the work should be like. We all have different visions. You should have your own. Otherwise, you will depend on others. Learn and adopt the experience of others, but always think on your own.
- 5) Making mistakes is normal. You may not realize this now, but it's true. They are part of our development. Today we can be messy in our works, and tomorrow we can create something worthy of the general public. People often fear the outside, unasked criticism and, therefore, tend to make their works as perfect as possible. In their understanding, the same anatomy can only be "perfect". The fear of nagging is so great that they may not undertake to draw something they aren't certain about. This can hinder their artistic development and career as a whole.
Going back in my thoughts, I would like to add the following:
- 1) Don't be afraid of complicated illustrations. First, explore the process, how these are generally created and what you need for this. It only seems so scary and unattainable. Always start with something small and simple. Practice, gradually complicating your works. You will develop your understanding and change the way of thinking. Sooner or later you will reach this "impossible" goal and it will cease to seem so. Most importantly, do not give up.
- 2) Large-scale scenes require large-scale thinking. You will have to adjust, to realize what is important and what is secondary, whether it's a city or a space battle. Planning and composition are important here. Details play a complementary role.
- 3) Be mentally prepared for failure. Even in my practice, not all pictures come out worthy of showing online. It is very important to enjoy the process, even if the result is not that great. Any such experience makes you stronger. Constantly making fantastic illustrations is impossible, since a man is not a machine. Do not reproach and not blame yourself. Even simple sketches develop the motility of your hands; and the better they are trained, the more accurately you draw. So, even if you spent a lot of time on the poor illustration, you still made a huge contribution to your development.