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I would love for you to welcome my neice to my blog today! WOOT WOOT! 🙂 Nicole writes over at Inkwyrm about book reviews and writing. I think she does a fantastic job at both. Anyways, she’s looking at selling some of her art work (as a gal’s gotta make a living right?) and I thought, how nice it would be if I could support her efforts! To that end…. Here’s Nicole.
Hello everyone! My name is Nicole K., and Annette asked me to be a guest blogger for today’s post to talk a bit about what I do, so here I am!
I am an artist and writer in Alberta, Canada, and I’ve been doing art all my life. Starting around eight, I began to take my art more seriously. Ever since then I’ve been doing it steadily. I currently do a range of art styles, with my background mostly being pencil and leaning toward realism. My usual is style based off of anime and manga, mostly using ink and alcohol-based markers, with a few other mediums thrown in.
Aside from a stint of lessons when in elementary school (a short stint), and the public school art classes, I am an entirely self-taught artist. Every art skill I have because I sought out the information myself, whether it be through people I knew who were better artists than me, looking up tips online, or through stubborn experimentation.
Today I want to talk about that, and give five tips on teaching yourself art.
Tip #1: The internet is your best friend
You can find just about anything on the internet, and art tips and skills are no exception. Using the powers of google and YouTube have saved me MANY times as I’ve struggled through a piece, from looking for references to looking for ways to keep watercolour paper from wrinkling. Not sure about how to use an art supply? Look it up. Want to know how to do a different type of texture? Look it up.
The internet is your best friend, and there’s no shame in using it.
Tip #2: IT’S OK TO COPY
Speaking of the internet, references are one of the BEST things you could ever use. I’ve heard from people time and again ‘I’m not an artist, I can only copy’, but I say NO to that. Where copying someone’s art and calling it your own is one of the worst things an artist can do, it’s perfectly fine to copy a piece for practice. During my high school years, where I developed most of my current style, all my time was spent copying other people’s work. It’s how I learned proportion, expressions, body language, linework, and SO MANY other things that I apply to every piece I do now.
Don’t know what something looks like? Find a reference online and draw it. Then draw it again from a different reference. The more you copy, the more you understand what you’re drawing, and the better you can do when trying to draw it from memory.
Tip #3: Mistakes are OK
Make mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes, it means you aren’t learning. Mess up, see what went wrong, and use that knowledge for future improvement. Try new things, and don’t be afraid of messing it up. That’s what sketchbooks and scrap papers are for.
Tip #4: Learn to take advice
Understanding that there is always something that can be improved upon is a huge part of learning. You don’t have to follow every piece of advice you get, and you don’t have to listen to every criticism you get. Be willing to listen if somebody points out an issue with your art. Having a critical eye for your own work can be hard when it’s a picture you’re really proud of. Remember that most people who give honest advice aren’t out to get you, they just want to give you a hand and help you improve.
Again, you don’t have to follow all advice you get, and some advice won’t be good, but hear them out anyway. You never know what you might learn.
Tip #5: NEVER tell yourself that you will never be good enough or have no ability.
A couple years ago, I taught an art class at a kid’s summer camp that my church held, and this was the first thing I told my students.
There are few things I hate hearing more than “I’ll never be that good”, or “I’ll never be able to do it”, or “my art sucks and I hate it.”
Guess what? ALL ARTISTS HAVE FELT THAT WAY BEFORE.
Your favourite artist? They’ve felt that. The most successful artists? They’ve felt that.
ALL OF THEM HAVE FELT LIKE THEY CAN’T DO IT.
But you know what they did? They refused to give up. They looked at their art, and instead of saying “I’ll never be able to do it”, they said “I can’t do it yet, but someday I will”.
DON’T. GIVE. UP.
Getting down on your art does nothing. We all have good days and bad days for art, but what matters is getting past the bad days and pushing onward, moving forward even when it’s hard. If you have to, leave a piece for a while and come back with fresh eyes. Relax. Art is supposed to be fun, so have fun with it and stay positive. We’re all in this together.
If you are trying to teach yourself art I hope these five tips gave you ideas or a hand up. If you like what you’ve read and seen here, you can find me on my instagram where I post most of my art (@inkwyrm), my facebook page Inkwyrm Art, or check out my own blog Inkwyrm, where I post book reviews and talk about writing.
Thanks Annette for having me as a guest! I hope you all have a wonderful day!
Me adding this information. My neice is selling Commission pieces of art. She’s not selling stuff she’s already done (it’s too dear to her heart) BUT if you have something you’d like her to do (like dragons! or your favourite game character or whatever).. give her a shout via her facebook account or her Instagram (above) and she’ll be happy to work with you.
The pricing is $50 for an original and custom 5×7 piece, of any character you like. This includes drawings of yourself or loved ones. Larger pictures and more characters are available at a higher price.