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The importance of practice

By September 11, 2014 workflow No Comments

In my last post I talked about ‘why you need a sketchbook’¬†and how to fill those things up.

Today I’m zooming in on a specific point; Practice!

A few years ago I always started a drawing on a beautiful sheet of paper, drawing away like a madman and trying to put down a beautiful piece of art.
I had an image in mind and tried to draw it down in the cleanest way possible.
After the pencil part I would switch to inking… only to realize half-way the inking part that this image was not what I expected it to be.

It almost always looked like a piece of cr*p to me.
Something that pulled motivation to a low point and too away the joy of creating.

So I decided to do things different from then on.

I changed my workflow completely by sticking to the following things:

  1. every line you draw is a step closer to perfection.
    Not a single artist was ‘great’ at what he did on day one. Always keep this in mind.
  2. start in your sketchbook.
    Making a lot of sketches helps you to build a catalogue of possible finished pieces.
    I guarantee that you’ll come across that ‘This is the one’ sketch between those scribbles.
  3. Draw every single day.
    Even when you don’t have any inspiration, try and draw something every single day. (see point 1)
  4. Make mistakes.
    It’s ok to screw up
  5. Do not compare to other artists, only compare to yourself.
    There is always someone better than you. Take this as a blessing as it helps to build the motivation to keep getting better.
    But do only compare to your own work. Noticing growth in your own work is the best motivator to hang on to what you love.
  6. Play.
    Here’s another clich√© one: ‘always have fun’… but take it seriously too. Your practice time is your playtime. Try out new tools, color combinations, styles, poses, etc… Go wild! You are your own client, and the briefing is simple: Make ‘something’.

Change is not always visible right away, but after a few months you will look back at your own work and notice how you’ve grown.
I got back at the drawing bord 2 and a half years ago and when I look back I’m glad I stuck to it.
To illustrate this I’ll show you some sketches from an old sketchbook, compared to my latest one.
(so ashamed when I see these old drawings, yet, I’m glad I made them to get to the point where I am now).

practice2 practice1

art by Devid Dekegelart by Devid Dekegel

I hope this post will help you to grow as an artist. Feel free to elaborate on my Facebook page, the comment section below, or send my a mail if you want to talk over it privately.

Now go and Make stuff!