Practice and Persistence Pay Off In Illustration

A good artist spends a lot of time looking at art. Observation can teach you what works and what doesn’t without having to spend time attempting things yourself. However, if you’re anything like me, looking at the amazing art others have done can really be discouraging. While there are days that it inspires you to work harder, there are equally many days that a little voice in the back of your head tells you that you’ll never be that good.

Let me tell you a little secret: Even the amazing artists you look up to feel that way.

The biggest difference between them and us? Time. Practice. All those long hours spent making art. You may have heard Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. That means a lot of sketching, a lot of painting, a lot of observing, a lot of illustrating. And as time goes on, all that work turns into improvement. Ask anyone; they’ll tell you that they’ve improved greatly since they started.

Now that you’ve decided you need to improve your craft, you may be asking what sort of things will help most. The number one answer I hear from professionals is not that you need classes or great materials. It’s that you need to be accountable. Make sure that you feel a responsibility to continue working. Create a blog. Get an account with an art site. Share your art with friends. Decide to enter contests like this one! Setting deadlines for yourself will make it easier to accomplish your goals and allow you to see that improvement sooner.