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Submitted on
July 9, 2008


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Advice how to become a good artist

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 9, 2008, 1:52 PM
  • Listening to: George Gershwin
  • Reading: Discworld - Night Watch
  • Watching: Inland Empire

Tibet by jonnymorris


(sorry for mistakes, i wrote this on a mac... :D ... with headache)

No.... I don't explain here how you can get more experience in drawing skills or getting an own style. I talk how you become a good artist in your mind. That means, when is an artist a great artist outside of the paper. Charakter- and thoughtwise. What you become at the end is your way.

And this is my opinion. You must not agree and I hope you do not.

1. Try to get a sense for quality and asthetics first. Get a work ethic/discipline.

2. Fame or popularity creates no good artist and is no indicator for good art.
Ignore the internet or ass kissers.

3. Arrogance is no tool to make your art better.

4. Intolerance against other mediums makes you stiff and hollow. Love all sorts of art and try to find the quality and the garbage in them.

5. Don't copy a famous style to get the fame for yourself. Copy a style just to leanr for further development. Getting attention with this work is rubbish.

6. Don't try to develop your actor skills...try to develop your art.
The work is the star...not the artist.

7. Accept that art blocks are a part of your development. Art blocks show that you ARE in the art progress.

8. Never stick with one style. Be always in development. The way is the goal.

9. Social contact is more important than a drawing.

10. Don't follow trends. Create trends.

11. Stay to yourself/style and don't try to fit into the homestyle of a company.
Try to be flexible and understand everything. Learn photgraphy and you will learn technics to improve your drawing skills.

12. Stay away from computers in your learn progress or as much as possible. Try to focus on traditional stuff. Many will disagree, but a computer is lifeless and you will not learn that art is dirty and funny when you do it by yourself, you will only learn how to avoid mistakes with 'alt+z' and you close your 'mind'.

13. What inspires you should always be around you.  

14. Stress and fear are not necassary when you draw. You will not lose anything when you make a mistake...just a piece of paper...but you get experience.

15. Try to top yourself as much as possible.

16. Be your own biggest critic.

17. Stay away from friends opinions. They will never really say the truth, because they don't wanna hurt you or have no knowledge in the work you do.
Find a professional and talk with him.

18. Nobody will help you getting better in your skills. You must work on yourself alone.

19. Don't see in one drawing your 'goal of the week'...see in 100 pieces your goal.

20. Time is NOT your enemy in private work.

21. Ignore money. Money makes your art not good.

22. Schmorgurken taste delicious.

23. Envy is a good tool to force yourself to get better. (not the bad version of envy...)

24. A famous artist still makes mistakes or produces shit. Tell him what you think. He is still a human and must shit in a toilet like you.

25. Anime is not a good starter style. You learn a communistic art style. You learn something nearly everyone can reproduce too. No individuality or less.

26. Don't force yourself in drawing something. It's visible in your drawing, when you drew something you dislike.

27. The sketch is the most important part in a drawing. Make your decisions here. Be dirty, free, whatever.

28. Outlines (when wanted) are not only there to make your work easier. Outlines are the part of a drawing that makes your character alive.

29. Less is NOT always better.

30. Don't care what people think of your art, while you are working on a piece. Finish your piece AND THEN care what people think.

31. Sex is not an indicator for good art. Just for attention. Use it as a tool not as the topic, you understand?

32. Everyone can draw. Some have just less interest or skill than you. Or are misguided by wrong paragons.

33. Great coloring cannot hide form and anatomy mistakes.

34. Marvel, Disney,DC,etc. are not the best out there. Just the most succsessful.

35. The mass eats everything. That does not mean you can produce shit.
As an artist you should have standards.

36. Hollywood movies and kids TV misguided your goals.

37. Don't accept anything as art. Be sceptical.

38. Art schools are senseless. The social contact and technic there is only good.
The teachers just want to make little clones. Use schools to learn what you think is really necassary and avoid teachers with own opinions. Marks are unimportant.

39. Your parents will never understand.

40. Find a payed job. Find one where you DON'T care what you do. And NOT art related!

41. Price dumping destroys your and others market.

42. You will never be 100% satisfied.

43. Experiment all the time.

44. Fanart is not bad.

45. Fanfiction is bad.

46. Art is fun.

47. It's never too late.

48. Don't fear the work.

49. You are not an artist when you just 'think' or 'wish'  you are one. Running around and telling people how awesome you are, gives you maybe some fame or work, but never the respect from the professionals. You get quick out of the company when they notice you just blew hot air.

50. Cartoons are art.

51. Other artists will always tell you, that your art is bad and theirs is good.
Don't use this statement as an excuse for your bad fanfictions and horrible drawings. This statement is the most dangerous in the list. Half of the 'artists' try to find holes to excuse their lazyness and this one, is one of the best they will use.

52. When you steal elements from different styles and mix it in a 'new' you do 'chimera' art. Not good or orginal... just a different way to steal.

53. Comparison is the worst think you can do. But finding a goal is the best.

54. Search undiscovered art styles to get a bigger variation of works in your mind. You can decide better what's quality and what's not. maybe you find new inspiration.

55. America is not the only country on earth.

56. Be polite and humble.

57. Find your own philosophy in art.

58. You are not great when you have a mac. You are just a misguided snob.

59. 'White space is the best background' is the worst design choice excuse.

60. Drawing in realisitc style is the hardest but also the most boring art style.

61. It's not easy to draw in cartoon or abstract style. Don't look down to it while you are a realistic drawer. I noticed that many 'realistic' drawer are not able to draw cartoony. Same with Cartoonist in realllife drawings. Respect each other.

62. We don't want drama, we want art.

63. An intelligent joke makes the art not better.

64. A good drawing makes the bad joke not better.

65. Waiting for the big goal gets quicker when you work to it.

66. Video games are time suckers. Avoid them or try to find the best out of the best.

67. Movies are also good comic teachers.

68. Nobody is perfect in everything.

69. Typography and layout is more important than you think. Learn also in these parts.
You will improve a lot also in your drawings.

70. Don't get the cute/chibi flu.

71. Music can interrupt you work. Try to find fitting music.

72. Concentration is IMPORTANT.

73. Coffee is not always the best friend.

74. Women don't draw better than men.

75. Men don't draw better than women.

76. Prizes or awards are just for your ego.

77. A political message is not important  and makes no good art. You just get attention by elitists.

78. Internet is NO 'serious business'.

79. You don't need hundred tools to get better in art. Stick with one tool and then go to the other tool. learn step by step. Some artists never changed their tools in their lifetime. Al Hirschfeld used his nib pen till his death.

80. Photos and drawings don't work always together.

81. Art needs time.

82. A day without a drawing is a lost day. (the Charlie Chaplin quote was changed here)

When you find a mistake you can keep it :D


Stamp by ThemrockEstampilla by Zorgia:thumb66852281:



1. :iconmakotomizuhara: Fayla and Layen - 50 % finished (sketched but not inked)
2. :iconmakotomizuhara: His His Mana Pristresses - Will be finished later becasue it's a huge commission and i still felt not like i could handle it. Will do it after i finished the other slots.

1. Hieros for :iconzimeta:
2. Character for :iconemperial:


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Mohegan567 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Student Filmographer
The only part that I don't get is why fanfiction is bad. DA is a place for my fanart and sometimes fanfiction. But why is the art part good and the fiction part bad?
InsaneXSeraph Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
You know..this has really helped open up my mind for drawing, its been almost a year since I've actually been active at all on DA.

This list is incredibly inspiring! Thank you so much for posting it; you've made this sleepless chap feel more "capable".
WhitestAsian Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Student Filmographer
AH! If number 63 is true, then there is no future for me XD. I kid. I like how you say, Women do not draw better than men. Men do not draw better than women. Basically means gender is irrelevant.
EdwinArt Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009
I find this list of advices very informative, and so I'll like to congratulate and praise you for passing your experiences to us all.

There are some comments I'll like to make, but first I'll need a little more clarification of the followings:
45. Fanfiction is bad.
62. We don't want drama, we want art.
63. An intelligent joke makes the art not better. (So you don't need to make art better when you have a good joke?)
73. Coffee is not always the best friend. (Coffee will make you more nervous, right?)
82. A day without a drawing is a lost day. (What is the original quote?)

OK, well, about "70. Don't get the cute/chibi flu.", it's quite true how they are easy to draw, and I personally think that because of that, I decided that I will not do it because I feel it didn't suit the way I draw.

"79. You don't need hundred tools to get better in art. Stick with one tool and then go to the other tool. learn step by step. Some artists never changed their tools in their lifetime." Drawing with pencils is the easiest way to go, and I had been doing it often, so I wouldn't be surprised if everyone else would use pencils too. Personally I think that more resources (drawing methods) will be great for some new ideas on how to make use of it to draw something. Is that the right way of a good artist?

Once again, I appreciate your wisdom.
Themrock Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
45. In fanfictions (also in fanart) you don't really try to push your own stuff. You just 'waste' good ideas on characters who are already there and/or you use their fame.
There are good fanfics and fabart. But at least in fanart you can goof off and get better experience with tools and art, while in written form you don't get deeper into a characterization.
People go mad here, because they don't understand it.

62. Artists nowaday think that the drawing or artwork is less important. The show in front of it or the idea is more important, which is dangerous. It's more important to make the audience uncomfortable than staing on their level.

63. That's the mistake. A good joke is good, or a good story. But don't forget the freakin' art. It needs the same importance and control.
A comic is still a GRAFIC novel and not a book. People read it becasue they also like the visual candy.

73. Matters what a person you are. I would test it slow. I drink a lot coffee, but I tested how it affects my art and my hand control. And before that I made sure I can draw at first.

82. Charlie Chaplin: 'A day without a smile is a lost day'.

79. People think when they have bought hundred tools they are autoomatically an artist. That's wrong. A dirty pencil is as mighty as a computer with Photoshop.
It's up to you what you do. The power comes from the person.
WhitestAsian Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Student Filmographer
ZOMG I LOVE COFFEE!!! I'm hyper sensitive to caffeine so I can't have more than like a cup before looking like I'm having a seizure XD but zomg coffee coffee coffee!!!
tancho-koi Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
5. Don't copy a famous style to get the fame for yourself. Copy a style just to leanr for further development. Getting attention with this work is rubbish.
That is so right! I tried to do that before and the only thing that it was giving me was very unestethic drawings!
RedEye89 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2008  Student Digital Artist
Wow. Part of me says that you just exposed the artist I'll never be.

This is good advice, yet I barely follow any of them.

Either that, or I misuse the knowledge and end up making things worse for myself.

And I also get the feeling that I've been mislead. By my teachers. All those classes for nothing? All I've been doing is wasting my time?

Also, none of my art seems original. Just fragments of others.

Well, I know what I'll never be.

P.S. In my recent journals, I said to myself that I have doubts on being a cartoonist, and I was right.
ODraconianDevil Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008
Mostly I agree, though some of it's a bit pretentious.
donaldsart Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2008
I could argue against at least a third of your list, but a fabulous journal entry non the less. I would be inclined to print out & keep - I enjoyed reading it.

My fav points
13, 27

For point 30 I think one should just not care what people think -PERIOD, though for some this will not help their growth if they are really crap or are genuinly needing feedback.
But it is in our nature to strive for approval. Much of art is about ego - it is hard to deny it.
Any artist that does is not being completely humble - spot the irony in that.

Anyway, well done, I might just link this in my next journal
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