I’ve noticed that many artists out there struggle with their initial art pieces not being good enough, feeling embarrassed about it, and giving up on their creative pursuits. But here’s a little secret that I’m going to share with you today: your first art piece will most likely suck, and that’s absolutely okay!
In fact, it’s essential to suck at your first attempt because you learn from your mistakes. As you get better, you’ll be able to hide your mistakes, but you will still make them. Art takes time, repetition, and practice, and you can’t expect to become a master at it on your first try. Nobody else should expect that of you either. It’s vital to clock in the hours and cement the fundamentals to become great at art.
Don’t strive for perfectionism because it can hinder progress. Completing something, even if it’s not perfect, is more important than having something unfinished. The masters of art that we all look up to weren’t good when they first started, so why should you be? You will only get better if you practice, and every artist you admire will tell you the same thing.
Investing time in the fundamentals and getting them right is crucial to becoming a great artist. It’s only by doing lots and lots of art that you’ll get better at making art. As you keep practising, art will become something that pours out of your ears, and you’ll only get better by doing more and more.
Every artist that makes an income from their art, whether it’s fine art, concept art, illustration, 3D graphic design, motion design, animation, or any other artistic field used commercially today, sucked when they first started. I know I did! My first drawings were terrible, and I cringe when I look back at them today. But I also know that I did the best I could at that time, and that’s all that matters.
It’s important to keep in mind that the work you do now is the best you can do at this stage, and that’s amazing! You will grow, evolve, and get better, and the work you do in the future will surpass your current level. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel your work isn’t good enough. If you don’t cringe when you look back at your old work, it means you haven’t grown. The only way to get better is to practice and put in the hours.
So, keep creating and don’t give up. Spend those late nights and early mornings putting in the hours, and it will pay off in the end. And if it doesn’t, you’ll have a lot of bad art to laugh at and reminisce over. Just remember, if it’s not funny, it’s just tragic! And on that note, I’ll leave you with this quote by Ira Glass, “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years, you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this.”