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"Just practice" - Giving better advice

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Nov. 20, 2020

I remember when I was younger and looking to improve my skills, I was often met with “Just practice,”. Although the intentions behind the adage were well meaning, that did not help me improve. As I’ve gotten older, I found myself at times, usually when I was tired myself, replying with the same two words that I was often told when I was seeking to extend my artistic skills.

Just practice.

When a person asks the question, “How do I improve?” what they’re asking is “Where do I focus my attention?” “What can I practice?” Giving extended feedback to every person, particularly if this is a question that is asked of you on a regular basis, can be exhausting. For me, I tuck away channels, books, resources or websites that I have found helpful. What is important is that the new creator is pointed in a direction, even if it’s just a start.

I tell them what I focused on, colour theory, panel layouts, story structure and pacing, how to draw hands, how to improve my workflow. If you turn inwards and express what it was that you struggled with and where you found the answers, you’ll have not only helped the budding creator focus their energies, but demonstrated how to give a better answer than simply,

“Just practice.”

How do you respond when people ask you about how you learnt to draw? Have you ever had someone say “Just practice”? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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L.C.Stein at 10:06PM, Nov. 20, 2020

I agree with Avart, it's good to get a good handle on the basics. I have drawn off and on for a while, but I often need to revisit these things. I also recommend using a reference or looking at other art you want to emulate. If someone gives me a specific example of their work and asks "how can I improve" it is easier to provide specific feedback

hushicho at 3:26PM, Nov. 20, 2020

I think a lot of the time, when people ask what they can do, it's difficult to give them better advice than just to practice. It's really up to the individual creator to identify and pursue the things that they need to work on, and no one else can really be expected to know that. I can suggest specifics only about specific topics, like if someone came to me and asked "how can I learn to draw hot guys better?", which would give me a specific area to concentrate on. Holistically, I think the best thing to do is to just keep doing, improving and developing, and perhaps most of all, don't be harsh on yourself. Give yourself credit and appreciate what you accomplish.

Banes at 3:25PM, Nov. 20, 2020

I'm not sure if anyone's ever asked me how I learned to draw. Someone must have! Though they're more likely to ask "Did you learn to draw?" or maybe "when Will you learn to draw?"

Banes at 3:24PM, Nov. 20, 2020

For a time I would give advice pretty impulsively, even if I only slightly knew what I was talking about. I try to hold back that impulse now, particularly with drawing - I'd refer them to this post I think. It makes a lot of sense!

Avart at 11:56AM, Nov. 20, 2020

Obviously practicing is the best advice, but for me, studying shapes, perspective, light sources, anatomy, physics, color theory, etc. is necessary. Either you make realistic drawings or cartoons, knowing the rules is important so you can break them and make your own unique style. Proportions is also a must, I spent a good amount of time adjusting my character's bodys so they could look better.

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