Hello friends! Happy Monday! I want to quickly preface this post with a little clarification. I’m not saying your drawings suck, you’re saying your drawings suck. So before anyone starts throwing tomatoes at me, let’s get into what I mean by this (trust me, there’s a point I’m going to make, haha!)
So first, I chose the title of this post very carefully. I didn’t call it Why You Think Your Drawings Suck, I simply called it Why Your Drawings Suck. And if you’re reading it, then you’ve clicked on the title because maybe…just maybe…you agree? (Either that or you came to say some choice phrases to me!) So let’s think about this for a minute. You came to this post to find out why your drawings suck, and probably to find tips on how to improve them. In doing this, you’re admitting that you believe your drawings do, in fact, suck.
I chose the work “suck” on purpose too. I didn’t say your drawing are “not where you want them to be” or “need more refining”, I said they suck. I said this because it’s what we tell ourselves when we’re looking at an artwork we’re disappointed in. We don’t tell ourselves, “this isn’t quite where I want my drawing skills to be”. We say, “crap, this drawing sucks!“. The little voices in our heads can be harsh.
It’s that little nagging voice that we have to get over if we’re going to improve our work. That little voice that is constantly telling us we’re not good enough, we’ll never get to the skill level we want, we’ll never make art that has a wow-factor to it, and even…our drawing sucks.
It was that little voice that made you come read this blog post today.
Because, in some way, you agree with it.
But I’m here to tell you that that’s not necessarily a bad thing! The fact that you feel this way means that you’re capable of being better. That you know you can do better. I could go on about how to do this, but there’s a quote by Ira Glass that I feel sums up everything I’d want to say, so I want to share that with you:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
This obviously pertains to writing, but it’s true for any creative work. And when I heard this quote for the first time, I was something I really needed to hear at the time. So I hope sharing this quote helps you out, too.
So the answer to why your drawings suck? Because your skills simply haven’t yet caught up to your taste. So keep making art, and one day it will, and you’ll be more satisfied with your work.
I’m still struggling with shutting the doubting voice in my head up, and I think most artists still struggle with it from time to time, even the super amazing ones. So know that it’s normal and as long as you don’t give up, it’ll start getting quieter and quieter.
Leave a comment below if this quote speaks to you as much as it does to me, and till next time, keep creating!