Hey wanna hear an Art Thing that I am Passionate About??
No matter how inexperienced you are as an artist, even if you can barely draw a stick figure, you aren't a bad artist. The only thing that can ever make you a -bad- artist is a shitty attitude towards other artists.
The other day I overheard a college age art student telling his classmate about how "hands are so hard to draw, I knew this girl in high school who could draw perfect hands, I hated her so much," and while that may seem like an innocuous comment to some, it made my blood boil.
It reminded me of my sophomore year of high school, when I was surrounded by a group of kids who were jealous of my art and would take every opportunity they could to tear me down and make it as unenjoyable for me as possible. They'd nitpick every detail, accentuate every flaw, call my fanart "cringy," say "Stop," "I hate you," and "Oh come on!" whenever they'd see my art, and more. I can't look at any of the drawings I did during that period because instead of remembering how much fun I had while drawing them, I'm just reminded of everything they said and how much it hurt me.
I'm generally willing to help out artists who are struggling with something, but once I find out you let your jealousy dictate how you treat other artists? You've lost any amount of respect I might've ever had for you.
But let me be clear, you aren't a terrible person if you get jealous of other artists! Jealousy, like any other emotion, is totally natural. I'll admit that I get feelings of inadequacy when I see artists my age who are just as if not more experienced than me, and it's something I'm trying to work on. It's how you deal with those feelings that defines you.
Emotions are powerful things, and they need to be channeled in the right direction. You can turn your feelings into motivation to improve your own craft- look at more experienced artists as a source of inspiration instead of a source of discouragement. Think about what you like about their art and how you can incorporate that to improve your own. Remember that you are always improving, and someday you'll be able to do the things you wish you could do.
No skill and no person is an unreachable peak of perfection.
Art positivity is something that's very important to me, and I don't tolerate any sort of toxicity in the people I associate with.
Making fun of artists less experienced than you.
Being spiteful towards artists more experienced than you.
Even consistently talking down on your own art creates an environment of negativity that helps no one.
So if you catch yourself exhibiting any of those traits, even if it's something as simple as muttering "I hate them" when you see a cool illustration, you should take a moment to rethink your mentality surrounding art.
Just as there will always be artists less experienced than you, there will always be artists who are more experienced than you, and there will always be things you can improve on. All we can do is strive to improve, and that applies to everyone, even the artists you idealize. The sooner you can come to terms with that and realize that we're all just growing together, the sooner your art will flourish.
As my friend Liz put it, "You're never gonna be the best of the best, but if you're improving and helping other people out, does that even matter?"
In this house we love and support our fellow artists. You can learn so much from your peers if you just open yourself up to them.