Be patient, progress can´t be forced to happen over night!
You want to be a great artist? Welcome to the club! Now lets take a look on how that works.
Talent - Whats that?!
Talent, a word with many meanings. For me personally it means to be able to learn certain things faster. Talent doesn´t mean you can draw or built everything without training and learning. You´ll just be faster in learning the skills then an untalented person who would have to exercise maybe twice as long as you.
People say I got talent. But I invested over 10 years of exercise and training in my art, it was hard work.
Expectations - To high?
You draw for a year now and joined dA some months ago and still you´re unnoticed?
It may be depressing, but thats normal. Every artist starts as a beginner. Its like a game, you start on level 1. No matter what game, you´ll have to play to increase your level.
It's normal for beginners work to look not as good as the work of professionals. As a matter of that fact, it gets less views.
It´s important to understand that this is the normal way, you don´t have to feel offended by that.
Don´t set your hopes too high in the first years! It will destroy more than do good!
You should always keep track of your progress, compare your work to works from your idols or favourite artists to see if you reached your goal - Sometimes you´ll make progress without even recognizing it!
The progress - Invisible while happening
You say you don´t make enough progress in your art? You don´t increase your skills fast enough? Well, how fast do you think it's happening?
Progress is a mean thing, because you can´t observe it while its happening. You can only watch back, make a summary and compare old and new - then you´ll see a progress, I´m very sure.
To show you what I´m talking about:
I searched together good examples of my works since I´m 14, that was 2004. You´ll see now 1-3 pictures I drew in a certain year and I hope you can see what I mean.
So, let's see how progress works:
2004 - I got my first Copics
Isn´t that cute? Urgh... Thats one of the very first colored pictures I could find.
Most of them...I trashed. Well... Let's see a more complicated lineart from -
Yeux, look at his thin neck Well, this is the first picture EVER I drew wings...
Back then I was very very proud of it, and got really sad when no one gave a comment. Now I can see why...
2006 - Some improvements
One of the rare pictures from 2006/2007, because I nearly gave up art back then.
I was so frustrated with my skills and the missing feedback, I nearly didn´t draw at all.
Nevertheless I seemed to have made some important steps in that year.
2007 - Year of the detail
In 2007 I got the detail madness. I tried to include as much details as I could. Additionally I started to exercise shading with a ballpoint pen. It was one of the years with the biggest progress relating to my outlines.
No matter my personal view on my progress, barely 2 people gave me a comment for all works from 2007, that were about 45 pictures like the one on the top.
2008 - Coloration is a bitch
2008 - A year of tears. My Copic collection increased, my skills didn´t. Cried many nights...
But I learned important basics, for example how to draw hair and rough shading.
No comments recieved in 2008....
2009 - Fasting Forward
After my depressions over my lousy colorations I started to make more art in 2009, it really helped me. Backgrounds still looked unclean, stripes everywhere...
Still no comments on my work....oh wait one on Bahamut!
2010 - More coloration improvements
Out of nowhere my skills raised beyond my wildest dreams! I didn´t even recognize it, but my colorations and shadings got really better. Maybe because I drew over 150 pieces in 2009...
Finally some feedback on my old homepage, about 2 comments per picture >.<
2011 - Breaking Limits
I can colorate stuff! It was a good year with a lot of progress, oh yes. My human faces still needed some adjustment, but I finally managed to handle my Copics.
Still no changes with feedback or comments, was really depressed and decided to leave Animexx.com and move my gallery to dA.
2012 - People recognized me the first time
Yes, its October 2012 and I finally got a deviantArt account! This was the first time my works got feedback. Before those days I got barely 1 comment on my stuff!!!!!!!
I thought I´m just a bad artist for the whole time, but in reality I just needed time to raise my skills and to stand out of the grey masses. Looking back it is a miracle I didn´t quit art...
2013 - Wow!
What happenend 2013?! You guys! Thousands of kindest comments, hundrets of watchers and so many great people with hearts of gold!
To be honest: The hard work definately was worth it! So many words of encouragement in so little time, it makes up all the pain in my early days as artist.
Now you got a complete overlook on my personal process as an artist.
You see, I worked hard, received no feedback for years and produced about 3000 works until now. Still getting better, still finding mistakes in my technique and still breaking borders.
NEVER GIVE UP!!!
You draw for a year now, don´t received a comment, or people gave you mean comments and you want to quit art because of it? Don´t do that!!! To master an art takes time, often even a lifetime. Its just idiotic to want it happen over night. Its impossible! No matter how much talent you got, you´ll need years of hard training, you´ll have to be strong and be patient with yourself.
The motive - Wolves everywhere!
You love wolves, like we all do! They are great creatures with a wonderfull personality.
So are cats and dragons. I love them too.
You only draw wolves? Or cats or dragons?: Of course, because you love them!
Thats understandable, but unproductive for your progress as an artist.
If you will only draw the same kind of motive your art will become flat and you´ll miss to learn different skills. You may be able to draw the perfect paw, but being unable to draw a hand.
Also: How many canine/feline/dragon artists are there? Couple of millions I guess. And every day they get more. Its only a mathematically issue, of course not many people see your wolf-picture, the possibility for that happening is maybe 1:10000000.
Its a matter of redundancy! If there are already 200 wolf-OCs with black fur and wings, maybe a scar in the face, why drawing another one? Practice, yes, but the chance to get popular with it is very small.
Diversity will bring you forward!
As a beginner its is really important to draw as random as possible! Draw humans, cats, horses, trees, floor, plants, houses, dragons, items - everything you can find.
I drew fanarts of movies and games I really loved, trying to copy the style of those original artists. So I learned how to draw in many different styles, from manga to realistic to chibi.
Of course I´ve my favourite motives too, but I´m always eager to draw things I never tried, just to see if I can^^
The media - A tablet is everything!
No. Copics won´t make you a professional artist either. Only because your tablet is a Wacom it won´t make you a professional artist. It feels hard to be that honest, but I think its needed.
Many beginners think a certain medium will make them appear more professional.
I say this to warn you, because I made this mistake when I bought my first Copic-markers.
I felt so special, so professional - and sucked at coloration. My first Copic coloration was so ugly I broke out into tears!
After all, I could have better started with colored pencils, they are cheaper and the art made with them can be so gorgeous, if you put time and work into it.
When I finally understand that it will take much training to be a professional, and that it is not a matter of the media, a big weight was lift from my shoulders.
You want proof? For example look at s great gallery, she´s a digital artist who only works with the regular mouse to draw!
Important thing is to follow your passion and being critical with your own works.
If you don´t like how one picture turned out, just draw it again! If you think you can´t draw a specific motive - just try it out!
Help and Support - Where? How?
Important: Ask for constructive critique! Charming comments like "awesome!" are always nice, but they won´t help you to increase your skills!
Ask what you could do better, if the perspective is okay or something along these lines.
People will be encouraged to be more honest about mentioning your mistakes.
See, most people hesitate to give critique because they don´t want to hurt you. They don´t want to point out your mistakes - but that's what you need to hear!
Of course its not really enjoyable to hear those critiques, but they´ll give you a new perspective on your art and to recognize little mistakes you didn´t see before.
Also there are plenty of great groups providing you with community love, tutorials, stocks, references even constructive critique and plenty of tips and tricks!