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How to feel good about your Art

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 5:57 AM
We've all had those moments as an artist where we just can't seem to like what we're doing, where nothing seems sufficient and everybody else seems to draw so much better than ourselves.There's a few simple things you can do to avoid feeling like that or that you can remind yourself of should you already be right in the middle of this mess.

  • Draw for yourself, not an audience!

     The first and probably most important point, especially for any artist on here who in one way or the other seeks feedback and recognition from their fellow deviants. You should never forget that your art is after all YOUR art, so it should be a means to express yourself, relax yourself, be proud of yourself etc and not anyone else. Never let yourself be pressured to do anything you don't want simply because your watchers might demand it or do anything for the sole purpose of getting more attention. It might make you happy in the beginning but loosing track of what art actually means to you and the things you really like to express with it will come back to you in the end.
(The only exception to this might be people who do art for a living. ;) )

  • Find your own pace

     It can be easy to rush yourself, to feel like you should be 100 times better with every drawing you do but that is simply not possible. Take it slow, especially if you're still young. You got your whole life ahead of you to improve. Do things step by step, not everything at once. Pick out those areas you know you want to improve at and concentrate on them instead of the whole thing or you'll feel overwhelmed and discouraged easily. No one can be a pro from one day to the next. Everybody advances with a different pace, you can't expect to get exactly the same results as someone else in the same time span. Which brings us to the next point.

  • Don't compare! Analyze!

     This is probably one of the main things that makes a lot of artists feel bad about what they do. They constantly compare themselves and their art to others. Funnily enough we always compare ourselves to those who are better, often way better than ourselves, never to those who are behind us in skill and experience. And it can get more than frustrating to see how good others are while you feel that you are still miles from that stage.
     Yet there will always, and I repeat ALWAYS be someone better, more skilled, more experienced, more famous etc than you. Not even necessarily because they really excel you but simply because you perceive it like that. Why is that? Because an artist is their own worst critic. That's right, you yourself will always be the one seeing the most mistakes and errors in your art, things that an outsider might never notice unless you point it out to them.
     That in itself is a good thing because it keeps the will to improve alive but the thing you need to avoid is to keep comparing your works to those of higher skill and seeing it as blows to your own art. See it as a chance to improve! Look at works of artists you admire and analyze them! Dissect them bit by bit and see what they do different to yourself, how you can apply what you see to your own techniques.

  • Learn how to deal with critique

     It sounds so obvious but it can be harder than you think. In particular here on dA where you will sometimes be confronted with feedback you didn't actually ask for. And even more so some of the critiques you will get might not be as friendly as you'd like them to be. They might point out faults that you can't quite comprehend or mark things as flawed that you were actually really proud of.
     Don't let those things get to you, don't let them discourage you! Once again you should see it as an opportunity to improve. I won't say that you can't become a pro all by yourself but you have a much better chance if you take advice and tips from others. Don't be too proud to accept their help. And should you ever feel that any feedback is highly unfair, then simply dismiss it instead of obsessing about it. It takes some strength of will to do so but if you let all those negative comments gnaw on yourself it will slowly eat up your drive to continue at all.

And last but not least:

HAVE FUN WITH WHAT YOU'RE DOING! :)

  • Mood: Content
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  • Reading: The Hobbit
  • Watching: Boston Legal
  • Playing: Morrowind
  • Drinking: lemonade
Skin by Ikue (modified by ValaSedai)
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:iconsixxam-22:
SIXXAM-22 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist
It's funny, I've been told my portrait drawings look like actual portraits, but I still end up nitpicking tiny details and selling myself short.
Reply
:icontamiii-chan:
tamiii-chan Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i have been my own worst critic lately and this has helped me a bit on that. i keep comparing my art to others which gives me the less and less desire to draw since i see it as 'i can never draw like that" and "how do they make it look so easy" its never good to tell yourself you cant do that so i greatly appreciate this highly :)
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad this could help you a little. :)
Never give up, okay?^^
Reply
:icontamiii-chan:
tamiii-chan Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'll try ^ ^ thanks again for help!
Reply
:iconxxhalofirexx:
xXHalofireXx Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
It appears true to me now about the whole "you're your biggest critic" thing. I never really completely like what i draw, since i do in fact look for mistakes that i missed. You know, like "i forgot to color this part," or, "that needs to be more pointy." Something like that. I know this is 2 years old but whatever. Thanks.
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My pleasure. :)
Reply
:iconcelestialrainicorn:
CelestialRainicorn Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I usually have trouble feeling good about my art unless someone is there to hold my hand....I'm horrible on my own and generally cannot draw at all really because I don't know what to do.


And your right about comparing myself to others.....I think it's natural people want to compare themselves to others because of several reasons, to learn and be inspired, to be boastful about it (bragging rights) but if you're the envious type like me you'll just get discouraged and any motivation is ripped into shreds.
Reply
:iconsilverstuddedblue:
SilverStuddedBlue Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Thank-you so much for this!

Somehow I can't be happy unless I know I'm creating something GOOD. But every time I attempt a drawing it always seems to end in disaster.

Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I think we all feel like that sometimes but it helps to get a bit of distance from arting then. :)
Reply
:iconjinxkatty7:
jinxkatty7 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maybe that's my problem lately. I have a FB page but since I got shared by some big pages I got swamped in requests. I'm a big pushover sometimes and I don't want to be mean so really I've been spending all my time on requests instead of doing what I really want to do. I just don't even know how to tell them. :P
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Saying no can be tough but you really gotta be firm sometimes and just do it. :)
Reply
:iconjinxkatty7:
jinxkatty7 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, it just gets extremely frustrating when people on FB don't listen and keep requesting when I have it said in my short description that I'm not taking requests and I've even made two posts about it. :|
Reply
:iconsyolel-o3:
syolel-o3 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this! Seriously :<
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My pleasure. ^^
Reply
:iconbunnyvoid:
BunnyVoid Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
mehh i hope this helps my friend...
it is written concisely and specifically but still... mehh T.T
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope it helps them too. :)
Reply
:icondeideiblueeyez:
deideiblueeyez Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wish I would've read this 3 years ago before I went into a spiralling depression! :pissedoff: .. Nah, it's cool man... I'm just starting to be nicer to myself... I mean, I upload things I draw, but that doesn't mean I expect people to think it's good.. :/
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's never too late to change one's attitude about one's own art. :D
Reply
:iconnarukachan:
narukachan Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for posting this!
A friend of mine has just been offered an amazing art job, where her whole future is now sorted and I'm very happy for her but very jealous too! Even though she has the job, she said 'nothing will change' and she is still drawing what she does, even though she's now very popular.
I want to get into the design industry, I'm at University working hard for it but I feel that I sometimes put too much thought into advertising what I'm drawing, who will see it and that it's important that other people see my work.
Drawing has always made me happy and with that simple answer I got into University, my Lecturer accepted me because of that one answer. But I find myself being greedy sometimes and thinking too much that people might not like my drawings. I draw my own sketches and Im happy, but for publishing I want them to be noticed, but seeking attention doesn't mean you'll get it.
AH sorry that was sooo confusing haha, my mind wants to explode =0=
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't apologize, I loved reading it. :D
And I am very glad my words could help you! Just keep that one line you said yourself in mind; have fun and see that art makes you happy and you'll be fine. :nod:
Reply
:iconnarukachan:
narukachan Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconwerewolf-z:
werewolf-z Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That makes me feel better.. alot... since i am experiencing it lot of time... and end up fed up and gave up... but i get up again... and stumble again... perhaps i been takin thing too fast ... i tryin to b someone else that im not... perhaps that y... and i found the solution... take it slowly like training in gym XD... never used steroid!... it boost for awhile but in the end... it get me back.. XD (that how im tellin my self) XD. And after reading this.. u make me confident about the counter i found for this problem... and it the same way as u say.. XD.. again THANKS! hahahahaha
*tryin to put icon but donno how to used it* hahaha
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad you find it useful. :D
Reply
:iconchocoleesy:
chocoleesy Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I've really been struggling with this lately. It's so EPICLLY AMAZING that someone made a tutorial for it!! I love you for this!! :D
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha you're very welcome. :D
Reply
:iconeveypie:
Eveypie Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This really helped I do tend to look at others and try to recreate what they.. I also rush and get discouraged when I can't draw something in one setting but I shall try to slow down and take it easy... thanks :)
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you're welcome :)
Reply
:iconeveypie:
Eveypie Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D
Reply
:iconsjham61:
sjham61 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you so much~~ :iconyesyoucanplz:
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
my pleasure^^
Reply
:iconwill-work-hard:
Will-work-hard Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012
that you so much, i have actually been struggling with that quite a lot recently
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you're welcome :)
Reply
:iconstickyleaf:
StickyLeaf Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so true. Even though I'm very aware of some of these advice, it can't helped that I always sulk at how awesome other artists are :). Either way, I'm trying best to improve. Thank you for spelling this out for us.
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome :)
Reply
:iconcazamelia:
Cazamelia Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thankyou for this :heart:
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconkatharinakuebler:
KatharinaKuebler Featured By Owner May 18, 2012
This is so true, thanks for writing this! :love:
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner May 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem ^^
Reply
:icondeceptibonk:
DeceptiBonk Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
will read this a bit later.... *faves*
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
^^
Reply
:iconarthemis-pink:
Arthemis-Pink Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"Draw for yourself, not audience" and "Don't COmpare! analyze" struck me. :)
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:)
Reply
:iconfireflerabbit5:
FirefleRabbit5 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I feel much better reading this! :D

I still have LOTS of art in my head, but I have other things to do, which are tedious to my art-related routine...

If only I can take some time to do this one by one....
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
maybe you can find the time to just draw for half an hour each day? Then you can get stuff done little by little without stress. :)
Reply
:iconfireflerabbit5:
FirefleRabbit5 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
lol, that's what I'm doing right now after school :XD:

I sometimes get a little lazy, though!
Reply
:iconjnredmon:
JNRedmon Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012
This is extremely helpful. You bring up something really important here: drawing for yourself. I personally can attest to how important this is - I have been doing nothing but draw for other people for months, and I have almost totally lost my drive, energy, and imagination. I wish I could say it more eloquently, but there really isn't a nice way to say it: it really, really sucks. It never really hit me why my stuff has been massively going downhill lately, but I think I've finally figured it out. (sorry, I know this isn't important)
This has really helped me put things in perspective - thank you so much for posting this.
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you're very welcome. :)
And it really is the most important point, I have experienced it a lot myself too.
Reply
:iconsplitninja:
SplitNinja Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Good advice.:D
Reply
:iconvalasedai:
ValaSedai Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:)
Reply
:icondrybonesreborn:
DryBonesReborn Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well said. Sometimes after practicing for like years... you wonder if you will be better. Progress can be so hard to see by yourself others can notice.
Reply
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