I recently had a lot of thoughts regarding creating art, and the progress I’ve been making, or if I have had any at all. Why I do what I do, and at the end of it all, what do I get out of art? And then I took a look at my past works and I’ve indeed come a long way from how I think about, and treat art compared to the art I do today.
But the main question is have I improved?
In order to know if you have improved your art or not, you need to ask yourself this question; what do you wish to achieve with your art? Take a moment and think about that answer.
I’ve always had problems answering that question, and what comes out always ends up being a vague “something like anime/realistic portraits/graffiti etc.” or “something like ‘insert artist name’’s work.” But I’ve always felt that the answer wasn’t exactly right. In fact, a lot of times, it was totally wrong.
The answer to that question should not be a sentence formed by words, even if your mind automatically tries to describe it in a way that you can verbally speak or write out. It should be an image that forms in your mind. And in your mind, that image should look like a masterpiece.
We then spend our time doing art, going in that direction right? Trying to achieve that masterpiece in our mind. But tracing from a reference in your head is harder than it seems. So I learnt to see traits in other artist’s works which I like that are similar to what I want to achieve, such as line works, or colors, hair etc. and learn from those, which I will tweak, so it looks more like the image in my mind. There are also a lot of artists that simply trace without tweaking as a form of study, which if it works, it works.
After awhile, the image in your mind will change and evolve to something else. For me, I was very interested in vector based art works just two years ago wildchildeyesore.tumblr.com/, which became the digital painting that I love doing today. This masterpiece in my mind will probably keep changing, and evolving as time passes and as I see more of the world.
So the question again, how do you improve your art?
Well, if you know what you want to achieve, and can see the masterpiece in your mind. You work towards that masterpiece, in whatever way you know how to - imitating, tracing, tutorials, free hand sketches, etc. Because at the end of the day, your hand is trying to trace what your mind is showing you. And when you know you are nearer to what you wanted to achieve, you have already improved from before, and should aim towards the image in your mind now…