My brother, who successfully became a professional concept artist and now an art director at a big games studio, is often asked ‘what’s the secret to becoming a successful artist’. His answer boiled down to ‘lock yourself in a room for years practising 8-12 hours a day and you might become good enough’. Ouch!
Now, that intensity is needed if you want to start a career as a professional, but even if you are a hobbyist looking to slowly learn to draw life beautifully, staying disciplined with practice time is important. You mind find you struggle to set aside time to practise on a regular basis. It’s strange because life drawing is fun and you always think ‘that was great I should do that more’ after a drawing session. It’s just like doing exercise or seeing beloved friends.
I’ve always been doubtful about New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because by the third week of January I can’t even say what my resolutions were, let alone say that I’ve achieved one. However, I read this statistic recently –
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
So maybe this resolution thing really can work. My problem has always been that the person making the resolution is different to the person I am later in the year. At New Year’s I want to immerse myself in the wonderful things the world has to offer – drawing being one of them – and prioritise the things that, long term, are important like family and health. On a random Tuesday in February, I am tired from work, looking for some energy in the form of chocolate and relaxation in the form of an action/comedy film.
To make a successful resolution, apparently it’s best to take baby steps and be specific. So rather than ‘I will draw way more than I do now’, a more effective resolution would be ‘I will carry a sketchbook with me at all times and draw whenever it’s convenient’. A resolution with a clear goal would be ‘At the end of 2014 I will compare the drawings I did at the end of 2013, and I will be surprised’. I am going to go with that last resolution, because I would really love it if that happened and it’s something really fun to aim for.
For tips on how to stay disciplined with drawing practise, have a look at this article: Keeping your drawing muscles fit. If you would like to learn how to accelerate your drawing improvement with easy to follow online lessons, check out our online course:
Is drawing more something you want to do in 2014? Or perhaps you feel that something as wonderful as drawing doesn’t need anything as boring as ‘resolutions’ attached to it. If you would like to share your resolution, to ‘make it explicit’ so that you’re ‘ten times more likely to achieve it’ then please let us know in the comments below, in the forum or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a wonderful New Year and we are looking forward to another great year of creating articles, videos, podcasts, adding to our online course and finding more classes for you in 2014!