One thing I constantly run into and what I’ve talked about with people over and over again when talking about learning to draw, is use of time.
Time is always limited because there are so many things we all have to do (if nothing else, we all need to sleep). The thing just is we can usually choose what we do after all the ‘must do-things’ have been done. That is our free time we can use on what we want.
So, next time when you want to draw, draw. If you choose to play, play, but don’t complain later you didn’t have time for drawing. You did, you just chose to do something else instead. Having hobbies is extremely important and it is important to enjoy what we do. Constantly doing something what makes you regret later isn’t very clever.
To become good at something takes practice and practice takes time. Some need less time than others, but everyone has to take their time. Regretting later is waste of energy. When you want to play, play. When you want to draw, draw. If you feel life running, go for a run. Enjoy it when you do it and later too. Don’t ruin something what you enjoyed doing by thinking you should have done something else instead.
And: do not compare yourself to those who took the time for learning to draw. They are not any better or worse as human beings than you are, they just chose differently.
You can either do the thing or not do the thing. It is your decision.
There was this girl in my college that was INCREDIBLE at drawing. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every time critique-day came around there was a huge disproportion between the quality of her work and the rest of the class. Other students, and even the *teacher* would joke that she made us all ‘look bad’ – but let’s face it, even if they were ‘joking comments’, there was alway this bite of resentment. People were jealous of her.
This was a girl who very obviously had spent nearly all of her free time in her younger years drawing. You could tell because she was always doodling during class lectures. You could tell because she was amazing. And you could tell because this girl, well, she didn’t really have any friends. Really. She hung out with perhaps one or two people – but more than anything this girl just wanted to be on her own and draw draw draw. Doing anything else didn’t seem to matter to her.
Back then I realized that if becoming that good at art meant dropping my other hobbies, it wasn’t worth it – not for me personally at least. It paid off for this girl in the sense that her skills were amazing. And obviously it was worth it to her. Sometimes that is what it takes for people to get ‘amazing’. You don’t grow as an artist if you don’t practice. BUT, if you don’t spend all your waking hours drawing, that’s not a terrible thing. It’s not stunting you just because you want to keep a social life or practice other hobbies you enjoy. Most people can’t be how like this girl was. Most people do not want to be. It’s all about balance.
What Myrrde is saying is so important. I get so exasperated when people try telling me they “never” have time to draw. Yes they do, they just chose to spend that time doing other things, and there’s no shame in that. Sometimes when I have a day off coming up, I’ll have ambitions to spend it drawing. And sometimes that works out. But other days I’m just not feeling it, so I will hang out with people, or spend the day playing Fallout, and there is no use in me feeling BAD for opting over something else other than drawing. Does that mean that ultimately my overall progression in drawing will be slower? Yeah, sure. But you know what? It’s not a race. I don’t have deadlines for ‘getting good.’ No one should. That’s not how this stuff works.