Sunday, August 6, 2017

Practicing daily to improve!?

To implement art in your daily schedule can be quite tough. Especially if, like me, you are working full time - and that not as a professional artist!

There are advice out there, that it's of course possible to improve in your own art, if you just spend 5 to 10 minutes on it each day. But I find that kind of debatable. Any time spend on art is better than none. But in these few minutes, what can you really do? You make basic and quick sketches, or start with an idea, just to leave it to continue for the next day. And on the next day, your very idea might be different again! It might be enough to build up a daily habit, and gradually the time might increase, or actually decrease, depending on the daily life schedules. 

Unfortunately, there is no definite saying on how much time someone takes to improve in drawing - or painting. It depends on the dedication, skill, knowledge, practice and passion that already lies behind it. Also on the way you practice,  the mediums you use, your goals and probably much more. 

All I can say is that, for me, it usually goes that way:
 I get an idea, sit down and make a rough sketch or think about it in my mind for a long time on how it should look like. Then, I have a few evenings where I make a drawing, and eventually decide what kind of medium to use, whether ink, colored pencils, watercolors... and then it takes as long as it does to finish it - usually also over the course of several evenings, or on a weekend. All in all, my artworks have about 10-12 hrs of work for each, made within 1-2 weeks. 
And yet, I see again and again, that I should take more time for it, that I should use more references, need more skills with the colors, and should be drawing more in general! For example, always keeping an sketch book with me on the go. And no doubt many people have these thoughts in mind too - after all, we could always do more and better and improve even more! (Oh, the perfectionism kicks in and will never leave...ever...)

Maybe instead of asking 'How much do I have to draw/ paint daily to improve?' it is more important to ask 'How much can I draw/paint and still have fun with what I am doing?' When you are not enjoying what you do, obviously you will not improve so easily. If art is a hobby, it surely shouldn't become a chore where you think 'Ah, I want to become that good as well, I have to sit down everyday now to paint for 3 hours'. While for some this might actually work, when the passion for art is just too big, for others it is just fine to draw whenever they feel like it, for how long they feel like it. And even for professional artists, surely it is much easier if its not a daily chore but something to be enjoyed and something you WANT to do the whole day! 

In the end, it is sometimes hard for us to accept that there are always better and worse artists (whether professional or not), artists who spend more time for an artwork, or less. Since we usually tend to compare ourselves to others, this is often a point where the wants to improve are rising up in the first place. And it can be difficult to stop criticizing our own artwork. But what matters is that seeing others artworks motivates you to keep going and to practice, but in a way and schedule you yourself enjoy! You have to draw your own shoes, not those of someone else.

2002 or so...


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