One of my biggest pet peeves is people saying, “Aw man, I could never draw like that. I have no artistic ability.” Yeah, that drives me bonkers. It sounds mean, but this is why: I hate it when people put themselves down, especially when they say they could never do something like drawing. Now, I love drawing. I know that not everyone is an art major like me. I know that other people have other talents.
But there is a difference between “talent” and “skill”.
You are born with talents. I am a firm believer that everyone has a special combination of talents, and that no one is talentless. Some people are gifted with the ability to keep moving for a long time, like at a soccer practice. Other people have an eye for seeing things in different ways and coming up with ideas for creative projects, like in an art studio.
Skill is something you have to develop. While I have been doing art for a long time, I don’t feel that I was necessarily talented when I took art classes at age 6. Now, I was pretty creative, but I wasn’t an art prodigy. It wasn’t until 6th grade that I started to really work on developing drawing and painting skills, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop refining those skills I’ve picked up.
But I’m not just gonna throw a pencil at you and tell you to start drawing. Here are some tips on how to get better at art:
You can’t not practice. You have to keep working. I have filled about 12 sketchbooks in the past 4 years with drawings and doodles and scribbles. If you want to get better at drawing hands, start drawing them. Over and over again.
This is really hard for me, because I always think I’m right. You have to learn to take critiques from people who are observing your work, especially from people who have been at it longer that you have. I got feedback from a girl named Amanda who I thought was crazy amazing in my Drawing class last spring and I was over the moon that she cared enough to tell me how I could improve. Push the pride aside and learn!
This is the most important step. 99% of people who start working at art don’t become artistic geniuses over night. It could take years for you to get really good at anything involving art, and that’s okay! You learn from others and yourself how to make things look awesome, and it can build other life skills like patience, dedication and persistence.
These three things can be applied to anything you do in life. Whether it’s sports, theater, school or even in your relationships, you aren’t born knowing everything. Anything worth doing takes work, but in the end, it really can be worth your while! I tried sports when I was younger, and I didn’t stick with them. I realized that I wasn’t the best suit for athletics, but I still enjoy being active and pretending that I’m sporty. I do believe that if I had stuck with sports and had practiced at them, I could have been pretty good, but I didn’t want to put in the effort. Now, I’m not saying that I wish I was a soccer star. I’m very happy with what I’m doing with my life. But I do know that it is an example in my life where I chose to not put in the effort to get better. Same with any relationship. I have to practice listening to people. I have to take criticism when I screw up and upset someone. I have to put in the time to build a friendship, and it takes time to do that. Whether it’s with a sibling, a boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend or an adult, relationships of all kinds take work, and a lot of people don’t get that.
All of the art through out this post are pieces I’ve done over the past year. I’m very thankful that I’ve had teachers and fellow students who have encouraged me to keep working and practicing at art. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m working on it 🙂 So before you decide that you’re never going to try something, like art, give it a second thought. Who knows? You might find a new hobby, or a hidden passion.
Until next time,