When I started taking drawing and painting seriously, I was like any rookie : lost in the torrent of information Internet freely provides on the subject. I needed to make order from chaos but without solid experience, I took a lot of wrong turns. The biggest of them was to succumb to the injunction of drawing everyday.

I had been told so many times that drawing everyday is the way to become good at drawing that I just started to do it and stopped thinking about what it meant. If you only draw everyday without any conscious process of organized growth, you may eventually get better but it will be a long and extremely frustrating path. In this particular case, the only thing that will make you grow is statistics. If you draw all the time, you multiply the chances to stumble upon breakthroughs that will make you a better artist. But leaving that process to chance is not a winning bet.

You need to take control of your progress : Don’t just make 100 hundred drawings. Set a goal. A tangible and easy to evaluate goal like ‘learning how to draw the hand right every time’, for example. Then instead of grabbing your pen, think thoroughly about everything that is needed to reach that goal. Drawing hands everyday is not a satisfying answer. In order to draw hands, you need to learn the anatomy of the hand. You need to study how other artists do it. You need to read books about hands, ask other artists for advice etc. All of those things are actually needed to be the best hand drawer artist in the world.

I also learned that failure is not just something that happen often until you’re good at something. Failing is a part of the process and you should consciously use it as such. Once you’ve failed, do not throw away your paper, do not start another drawing and do not watch Netflix. EVALUATE what you just did in regards to the goal you previously set. Are you there yet ? How far are you from your goal ? What needs to be fixed ? What do you need in order to fix it ? Find one small problem to solve about your drawing  and forget about all the their imperfections. Just do the drawing again with only that problem in mind. It will be much faster to solve a small problem than get the whole drawing right. Now repeat the process until you get it right. Only then, can you take a second to feel good about yourself and start setting another goal.

The key is to focus on tangible, attainable goals and never giving up.

The reality is you’ll make progress much faster if you focus on learning one thing at a time and not give up. Making one hundred random drawings while drawing different things every time will split your focus on too many subjects at a time and you’ll grow with the speed of a slug.

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