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Submitted on
June 26, 2013


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Improve Faster - by Mitch @ Pencil Kings

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 26, 2013, 12:35 PM
I got an email from Pencil Kings and I thought I'd share it with you all! All credits go to the talented and inspirational Mitch of Pencil Kings!

Wouldn't it be nice if we could achieve the goals that we are working towards more quickly? 

The world is speeding up all around us, and thankfully we're able to speed up as well and get more of what we want in less time.  Here's some tips that will help you become the artist that you want to be more quickly.


Don't make mistakes - gain experience...

When you are learning if you think too critically of your work it may cause your brain some discomfort. The brain likes to succeed so when you don't quite get the results that you were aiming for, with the wrong attitude it can cause you some distress.  Instead of looking at these attempts as 'failures,' you should see them always as opportunities to grow and gain experience. 

The problem with looking at a work as a 'failure' is that it won't be too long until you have trained your brain into thinking that you are not good at drawing, and this will make it even harder to stay dedicated to it long enough to see the really great results and feel the enjoyment of being an artist.

To put it simply - keep focused on the positive and enjoy the process...


Spend time on your weaknesses

As your skills develop you may find yourself falling into the trap of only drawing what you are good at.  This again applies to your brain wanting to feel successful and good, but to really push and grow; you need to keep focused on those things that you are weak at.

Are you great at drawing men, but not so great at women?  Spend at least 50% of your time drawing and studying the female form.

Are you great at drawing faces and heads, but not bodies?  Learn about the proportions of the body and study anatomy.

Have trouble with hands?  Start incorporating interesting poses into your characters so that you are forced to draw the hands.

It won't take long before your list of weaknesses gets shorter and shorter and you've not only grown your skills in the weak areas, but also become a much better all-around artist in the meantime. 


Push yourself to work quickly

This applies especially if you want to get paid for being an artist.  You don't need to work at a hectic pace all of the time, but you should push yourself occasionally to see how much you can get done in less time.  If it takes you an hour to complete a drawing of the face, try completing a drawing in ten minutes.  Give yourself a time limit and try to finish your work.

By forcing yourself to work quickly you're going to be forced to make quicker decisions about your art and also train your hands to develop new techniques that will allow you to get more done in less time.

Working quickly is also great while you are learning because you will be gaining more experience in less time, and thus your skills are going to develop that much quickly. 

The other benefit if working quickly is that the more you do it, the more you will start to see your 'normal' pace begin to naturally speed up.  The goal isn't to have your normal pace be the same as your speed pace, but as you begin experimenting with working faster you'll find yourself working quicker overall without even thinking about it.

Get help

Having the right teacher can go a long way in helping your skills develop quickly.  Instead of spending months trying to figure something out, they can show you their techniques in a few minutes.  Sometimes you can find this information for free like with this free course on drawing the human face... but other times you are going to need to pay to receive the best information. 

Try to learn from the best teachers that you can find that are doing artwork that you are interested in learning about.  At Pencil Kings we try and handle the hard part of finding excellent teachers so you can just learn from the best without wondering who is a good teacher and where to find them.  


Set aside a time every day to work on your goals

This advice applies to any goal that you are trying to achieve, but it's worth mentioning again because it's so important.  If you're not working on something there is no way that it can become complete.

I personally live by the motto that "Each day you're not working on your goal, is another day you have to wait to experience the success and rewards of that goal."

So do yourself a favor and fully commit to those things that you want for yourself and don't be afraid of putting in the time and effort to reach those goals!

(By the way.. I love this site! Only $10 a month and you gain access to many inspirational instructional videos!)

Skin by SimplySilent
Skin by SimplySilent (modified by NaomiRomero)
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str4yk1tt3n Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
Very good. 
NaomiRomero Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thank you! :D
labetenwar Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Well, even if I think that most of the advices here are motivationnals I have two things to say. First of all "The world is speeding up all around us, and thankfully we're able to speed up as well and get more of what we want in less time." this is exactly why things are going so wrong today. Life is not a goddam race. Besides, I wonder why he says that, since a few lines after he say "enjoy the process". To me it sounds like a complete contradiction. I wish we could live in a world where people could learn to be patient again, take the time they need, enjoy life, and not racing or competing against who know who!!

Second: "Each day you're not working on your goal, is another day you have to wait to experience the success and rewards of that goal." This is probably one of the most depressing motto I have ever heard. It's like you are punishing yourself for a day off. I don't know hanging out with friends don't help me to be better at drawing, but it feel so good to take breaks and care about people. I could give many other exemples of how to use your time without necessarly having your goal in mind.
NaomiRomero Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Also, if you can't work on art every day, then start! Because that is what being a freelancer or somebody in the industry is all about.. drawing every day, every moment, to improve and keep a 'drawing journal' of things around you.
NaomiRomero Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I know a girl who worked nonstop for four years and now she is recognized by the industry, she got into the best art college in the country (if not the world), and is extremely talented for being so young. The hardwork pays off. For me, I've been working hard since April and developed an entirely new style and outlook on character design. If I had worked every day or at least studied my weaknesses and did more life drawings (just a page of people on the bus after work?) I would be much better off than I am right now.

It's all about hard work and training your brain to expect hard work every day.

I always bring my sketchbook everywhere, even when I go out to eat, lol!
labetenwar Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I just think we should be carefull not becoming drawing machines!
labetenwar Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I know :) I'm aware of that. Dunno, maybe I just said that because I'm frustrated and old, lol, or just because I'm an idealistic dreamer. But for sure, the more time is passing the less I feel attracted by the "industry". Don't take me wrong, I have a lot of respect and admiration for yourself and your friend. I just don't like how the whole industry system work.

I myself draw daily :) no matter what, I try to do a least one hour of doodle effort per day. But, please, for your own sake you shouldn't think like "if I did this or that". What really matter is what you are today, being recognized by the industrie won't give you more value (once again I don't say that to offend your friend). I just feel like that in the name of success we forgot what it is to be humans, and artists. No matter how much we love it, drawing is not everything (and not only because we need to feed our drawing with different experiences), and neither is a successfull carrier in the industry. I maybe just don't have the same expectation from succes. Maybe after all succes is just about being happy :)
NaomiRomero Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I think the last line is more of a 'do not procrastinate' line rather than punishment. Instead of just sitting around, why not draw? I try to 'make time' by doodling at work or after classes or even after a tough shift.

I think this entry is more geared towards people who want to improve quickly. If you want to do it at your own pace, then a lot of these points don't apply.
H-appysorry Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
thank you so much for bringing this up i relaly appreciate it whenever i get the time i'd like to go through teh classes for sure.
NaomiRomero Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
You are so welcome! Artists need to motivate each other more!
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