hi chira! sorry to bother you but i've come back to art after many many years and while i was never great to begin with i'm now completely overwhelmed by how i can't seem to draw anything at all... i can't even get past basic scribblings because of this. i don't know where to start with what i need to learn and i feel like i won't ever be able to show anyone anything i draw... you're always so confident in your art so do you have any advice on where to start or how to not hate what i draw?
I’m not confident in my art skill, really. I’m constantly surprised people have such nice things to say on it. I’m constantly fighting against how plain and drab my drawings look. I’m constantly trying to look at my art and not see a sum of flaws. I’m constantly judging myself for all the ways I should be better and I’m not, and how much I struggle with how a lack of achieving the progress I want is interpreted by my head as weakness.
And unfortunately that comes with the territory and never really goes away. I don’t know any artist, no matter how skilled, that doesn’t struggle with crippling self-doubt.
If you’re looking for confidence, I hate to say it, that’s something I think very few achieve — if it can be achieved at all. Learning and improving your skill and method is a continuously humbling experience, and part of that lesson is to not mistake “humbling” with “self-hatred.”
The trick to that is to find confidence in literally everything else about art. Why does anyone create or do art at all? Expression. Fun. Play. A purpose. A message. Connection. Communication. Those are all things you can and should feel confident about, otherwise there’s no point to doing art.
That may sound simple but it’s actually very hard, because there’s an important life lesson in achieving that. And it’s a life lesson you’re going to have to re-affirm every minute of every day. And that’s the one every story has been teaching us from the beginning: believing in yourself and what you do, and persevering when all you want to do is break your pencil in half and give up.
Simply put: Don’t make art to be good at it. Make art to be proud of yourself for.
Nintendo’s running a great set-up with the Zelda series where people laud them for having great story but like 90% of that story is completely a product of fan speculation. All they have to do is sprinkle some bread crumbs like “oh look here’s a familiar pattern from a dungeon in an old game on a wall over here” or “Look this guy has a hat like that other guy in that other game” and the fans invent all the possible narratives themselves and congratulate Nintendo for them, it’s great.
There’s almost like a formula for exactly how loose you can play it with your story to get maximum consumer involvement. Like, if something is a solid story that ties up all the loose ends people consume it, enjoy it, and put it back on the shelf. But if it’s just riddled with plot holes and unanswered questions that’s when the audience gets maximum engaged and move into your world to unpack and explain these mystery boxes littering the landscape.
It’s like… I have friends who love the prequels way more than the original Star Wars Trilogy and when we were like “what? How?” the way they justified it made me realize the prequel trilogy, while being terrible stories, are kind of like someone walked up and dumped out a Star Wars D&D set on the table and gave them tons of inspiration for fanfiction and OCs and extensive RPs that the solid, self-contained linear hero’s journey path of the original trilogy didn’t. Same thing with Harry Potter, it didn’t take the foothold it has in society because Harry’s such a likeable guy, it’s people trying to sort out and speculate on all the rules of Wizard society and imagine what it would be like it they or their original characters were fixtures in the universe, it’s people putting Harry to the side and wrapping themselves up in the world around him that created that lasting impression on people.
I think a lot of people have trouble understanding transgender issues because they try to see themselves as trans, but come at it from the wrong direction. i.e. a cis woman tries to understand transness by going, “what if I felt like/wanted to be a man” when she should be approaching it as “what if I, a woman, was so easily mistaken for a man that I had to pretend to be one”,
And I think this is something to keep in mind and to explain away when trying to get these matters across to people who’re new to the idea.
today is bi visibility day. as such, bisexual people will be completely visible for the next 24 hours. this is a bad day to engage in bank heists, ghost impersonations, covert operations for vague yet menacing government agencies, and other common bisexual hobbies that rely upon our powers of invisibility.