Effective Advice for The Self-Taught Artist - DTC #2

Effective Advice for The Self-Taught Artist – DTC #2

how's it going everyone I hope you're all doing good welcome to episode 2 of drawn to create the recently created podcast where I draw and talk and yeah that's all there really is to it but today we're going to get into some stuff I've put down some notes some things that I want to talk about with you today and following on from the last discussion we had in episode 1 I kind of ended that episode early because I didn't want to get into anything that would require me to talk for another 30 minutes and I think that's what I'm going to be doing today I think the subject that I ended on last time was well I think I was getting into things about self discipline as a self-taught artist and yeah so I kind of just want to dedicate this episode this entire episode to talking about the pursue of learning how to draw when you can only rely on yourself you are your own boss your own teacher and there's a lot of pressure and stuff that comes along with that and so that's what I kind of want to get into today I've put down some notes in air I've tried to put down these notes in a in a linear fashion so I can just work through them and they are ordered in a way which is almost like a guide and of course this is just my personal opinion this is my own approach and I'm talking very much from my own experience and a lot of this is stuff that I have learned from reading books from listening to podcasts and I've sort of picked up on a few things and tried to take the information and apply it to my own life and there I'll pass on all of this stuff that I have learned to you and maybe it can help you out because that's what it's all about we're trying to help each other you know learning how to draw is no easy task and I don't think we'll get too much into any of the practical stuff like talking about the actual process of drawing I'm going to re-enter this discussion more towards um the things that you need to consider and be aware of if you are going to attempt to learn how to draw yourself and so these are kind of like the things that I wish I'd have known when I first started but luckily I know them now and I can pass them on to you so let me take a look at these notes which I have put down and these just consists of key words just to get these things in my head so that I can think about them obviously it's impractical for me to script the entire podcast out but I'll do my best to articulate what I'm trying to say and get the point across it might be a bit all over the place sometimes you know sometimes go off on tangents but hopefully it should all relate back to the air the primary subject of this discussion so the first word that I have down here is clarity and so what I mean by this and the reason why I put this first is because it's about being clear with yourself and understanding what it is that you want what your intentions are and if I was to apply this to drawing an example would be for instance if you have a look at your drawings and you realize that the perspective is off and you you need to improve at perspective then that is a starting point okay you are aware of that that is your intention you want to get better at perspective and from then on you can start to plan and work towards that okay so first of all it's really understanding and being very clear with your intentions and what it is that you are going to be working towards and so this can apply to everything it doesn't have to just be learning how to draw and you know it's like super obvious literally just what do you want and you know even though it is really obvious it's something that you don't really consider sometimes I mean a personal example from my own experience is when I was at university studying architecture and I was uploading YouTube videos I would sometimes just found myself uploading videos for the sake of it obviously I know that now but back then I was just of uploading because I was trying to put out videos every week and I maybe didn't put as much thought into it because I was also occupied with the architecture work as well but I was just putting up these videos every week and I had no real sense of direction our end goal you know I wasn't thinking long term and that's something really important that stat ties back into this discussion of clarity is them if you understand what it is that you want and you can I've imagined that long-term then you can work now towards that and you have an end goal and it gives you direction and you can structure things around that and make sure that everything you do is directed towards that end goal so you know where you are going you know what you need to do to get there and then you are able to manage everything you do more efficiently you are able to structure that the process and the things you do day to day and in relevance to this end goal and what it is that you want to go of it you finally know why you are doing something and then there's a purpose to your actions and what that does is it stops you from being lost with direction and it stops you from questioning everything you are doing you're not just taking it as it comes you're finally judging everything based on the end goal and how valuable something is in consideration of that and so just that simple idea of clarity and knowing what it is that you want to achieve it has really helped me a lot an example is with the actual content that I'm creating on YouTube now as well and there's always my own drawing process and how I'm improving with my drawing abilities but in terms of the content I mean this is something which I've really taken into consideration recently and that's why I've created something like this podcast because I really wanted to develop more of a relationship with you as an audience and be able to sort of put myself into the content a bit more and be a bit more personal with it and you know so I'm not just this this sauce for educational tutorials you know I don't just want people to come to this channel to learn how to draw even though that's perfectly fine but I'd also like them to be able to come to this channel for me as well as a as a as a character behind the content you know there's someone behind that content that's being produced and hope that that person has something valuable to say and so that's why I've created this podcast because it's a it's an outlet for discussion and it's also a good way to present the artwork which I have been creating I discussed all of the reasonings behind this podcast in the first episode but this is just a way for me to sort of tie it back into that discussion that we are having and a lot of these these what are now reasonings for this podcast would have initially been issues you know I realized that I wasn't really putting a lot of myself into the channel and that was an issue and so then from being aware of that I was able to work how how I could resolve that and then that led me to coming up with all kinds of ideas eventually leading to the creation of this kind of content and that in itself that whole process and just knowing being very direct with your intentions and what it is that you want and you know how to get there it's really important and it can apply to anything especially when it comes to learning a skill like drawing so that's the first thing and I don't just want to go through all of these things and talk about them in in sections I want this just to be a general open discussion where I am sharing information with you stuff that has helped me and I'm just browsing these notes that I have put down one that I have noticed which ties back into what we was just talking about is time management and this is a good one I mean there's a lot to talk about around this subject and there's loads of stuff out there on the internet in books that you can learn from and it really does all of this stuff aims to maximize your air efficiency when it comes to how you use your time that's what it really comes down to and so as an artist especially a self-taught artist it's really important to structure your days so that you are maximizing that time that you have to draw maybe it's not a lot of time and that's more reason why you want to maximize that small amount of time to make sure that you are making as much progress as possible and you know it's common for people to work a job and then come home and then draw em and you know they don't have the opportunity to spend all of their time throughout the day drawing because they need to support themselves and so they need to make the most out of that small amount of time that they have to actually spend drawing or working on their creative endeavors and it all depends on their intentions I suppose maybe someone just cease drawing or creating things as a hobby on the side and it's something that they'd like to get better at but they're not really intending on building a full career out of it well then maybe you do want to build a career out of it maybe that's what they really love to do and that they just have to work maybe a part-time job to support themselves and support what they are doing on the side and it's a process of building this up and working alongside it and hopefully one day it's all going to happen and and hopefully it'll take off and they'll finally be able to live their dream of doing what they love to do full-time that would be nice but all of it depends on how they use that time that they have and so time management is very important because because if you figure out a way to be super efficient you might get done what you divisional II get done in a week in a few days and so then you are improving twice as fast and that's why it's really key to create some kind of structure and plan your days in advance and there's a lot of stuff that can help you maximize your time but then there's also the things that do the opposite and they stop you from doing what you need to do also known as procrastination it's a little bitch I mean it gets all of us and you know even if someone says it doesn't it still does it just comes in many forms and it sneaks up on you and it stops you from doing what you need to get done and you know I'm the exception it sometimes affects me especially right the problem with creating YouTube videos is obviously it's a place where I publish a lot of my work and then it's also a place where everyone else publishes their work and so sometimes I found myself just watching YouTube videos just pointless that's of no real benefit well unless I'm watching a tutorial but even then I'm usually not learning anything I'm just watching that and then giving myself a little excuse that I'm learning something when in reality I'm just killing time and that is a procrastination in its finest form actually it can be really bad it can destroy people to the point where they can't even start project I'll get anything done because there's this sort of invisible barrier this heddle that they struggle to get over and even I have experienced it that bad where you just cannot even start I found that sometimes if you just really force yourself to get started with something then it's not so bad you sort of build momentum but it's that process of starting something and you know it's weird creatively it just it's a killer and you know it reminds me of a book that I read called the war of art by Steven Pressfield it's a really good book I recommend it he is a writer and you know he talks about essentially procrastination but he calls it resistance and he talks about this thing called resistance which stops us doing what we need to do and it was a few years ago since I read that but I do remember it having an impact on me just in the way that I sort of acknowledged it from then on you know this this idea of resistance sometimes he can really sense when it's affecting you and sometimes he gets the better of you but a lot of the time you have to literally go to wall with it and that's why it's a cool name for that book war of art because you know as an artist you know what you need to do and it's a lot of the time especially I think he talked about in the book like he talked about if something is of big importance the more important it is for you to do the more resistance you will have towards it and you have to sort of battle through that and get that done and there's different things that you can do and that helps you get through there so I definitely recommend reading that book it's very interesting he did a few other ones as well and I think he did a book called turning pro I haven't actually read that one bar should do but I think he just builds on what he covered in the first one and he gives you some you know practical advice on how to actually combat resistance and get done what needs to be done and actually that reminds me in terms of books and stuff I have recently got onto this website called Keep Calm and I don't know if you know already but in the description of these videos I usually list all of the equipment and resources that I use and then I have links to the Amazon page and it's like an associate program so if you buy something using that link then I get a small percentage of that product that you purchased and so it's a good way to support the channel but yeah this new website it's pretty cool because it's like one big associate link but it lets you manage and order everything in categories so on there I have a category dedicated to educational books like the books that I used when I was learning how to draw and if you go on there then you can browse all of them books I have a section for inspirational books like the one that I was just talking about a lot of books like that which also talked about procrastination and stuff and then of course I have all of the equipment and the supplies that I use all of that stuff is ordered in its own category as well and so it's pretty good if you want to have a look then I'll put a link in the description go have a browse have a look at this stuff that I use and if you want to buy something go ahead and buy something use the link and then you know I'll get a little 1% back or I don't know how much percentage you get back but it helps nonetheless and yeah going back to what we was discussing in terms of procrastination I actually forgot the point that I started on originally I think a time management that was it well actually this reminds me I've recently read a book called eat that frog and it's kind of a funny name but in terms of time management I think it's probably one of the best books I've have read em and the name has a reason behind it but I think the person who wrote that book was called Brian Tracy and eat that frog it pretty much means what what that means is if you have a list of tasks right and and it tells you to order them in terms of importance so always put the most important task to the top and then the next day get that task done right away and do not start anything else until you get that one done like just direct focus get that thing done and then move on and they gradually work through the list and it's a it's quite a good book because it gives you some simple steps that you can apply to your own working processes and it does talk a lot about procrastination and how you can combat that by just planning in advance and that's really important that's what I am I kind of want to talk about that a bit because that's what I've been doing a lot recently I mean before on the night I usually write down the stuff that I want to get done the next day the videos that I need to do stuff like editing recording the audio and script in some of the tutorials or planning out the tutorials all of that takes quite a bit of time and so I usually try and create a list and order them in terms of importance and then just work through them from morning to tonight or whenever and then I also try and make some room for drawing in there because drawing is important I mean without drawing they've been a channel the binner have been a purpose behind me making any of these videos right mmm but yeah drawing is important I don't know I'm going with this I just like saying that drawing is important everyone should draw everyone should draw actually because then it probably you know that that maybe have a different perspective on life but anyways let's go back to this list I was talking about time management and it really does come down just to planning in advance and then being disciplined to be able to work through that list in order and you know you can use all of the techniques that were presented in in some of those books that I listed to combat procrastination one of the things that I do is just try and get started or if there's a really overwhelming task you know this is what that eat that frog book I talked about as well if there's a task that is so big and it's like pretty much made up of all these small tasks and if you look at it overall it looks quite overwhelming in that you know the bigger the task is the mob procrastination and resistance you are going to have towards it but you need to sort of approach it step by step so you sort of break it down into small tasks and then you just forget about all the rest just focus on one task at a time and then if you just do one bit at a time eventually you'll step back and you'll realize that you've pretty much got all of that done and yeah that's how you sort of approach a big task like especially am one of the the anatomy tutorials which are used to do they used to be very time-consuming I used to take like a week to do them and I will return to the Anatomy stuff after I have finished the perspective stuff but yeah especially just the presentation of them videos like I used to draw all of the the illustrations and stuff out by hand which I enjoyed doing anyways because I like the aesthetic in the way that those videos were presented and but it just took a really long time especially when it comes to like Anatomy stuff because you have to be quite accurate and exact and so I was a bit of a perfectionist with a lot of stuff like that and a lot of the videos that I make I'm a bit of a perfectionist with em and it's pretty bad you know it doesn't really work in my favor a lot of the time I mean sometimes it does because it makes me question a lot of things but a lot of the time it creates a lot of self-doubt as well and but that's the whole of a discussion for another episode but I'm just having a look at my notes again and one of the things that I've got down here is learning to draw so let's get into that a bit and I said I wasn't going to actually talk about any practical techniques and stuff because that's not what this episode is about but in terms of like approaching drawing and learning there's a lot to that and again that is probably going to be for another episode but and it sort of does tie back into all of the stuff that I have previously talked about because all of the stuff that I have talked about can be applied to learning how to draw so am one of the things that I am really benefiting from at the minute is project-based learning now what that means is sort of like the videos that you see on the channel pretty much the the drawing footage that you see on-screen in these episodes these are all pretty much complete illustrations right I mean there's nerve they're not really just single individual sketches of things for instance if you was going to learn Anatomy you might draw a few schools or you may draw you know the human figure and do one little study whereas with this we these projects that I'm working on attempting to create a fully completed illustration and so maybe it's this world that I am drawing and then in this environment with all of these buildings I have some characters as well and that is my task I have an idea in my head of this scene that I want to draw and then I have the task of trying to draw it so through this process of creating a full illustration I need to consider the perspective that I'm going to use and plan that out I need to figure out how to scale the figures in this scene how to scale the actual an entire scene that I'm creating you know where to position the characters the composition which I actually need to practice a bit and and you know just all stuff like that that you need to consider within this one task this one project and it's a lot I think it's a lot more it's just more beneficial then doing individual studies like I normally try and come up with a concept for a drawing which sounds pretty good and then I just try and execute it as well as possible and you know I really don't care about anything such as like the story behind the image or how the characters are interacting with each other and stuff like that because I'm not really focused on that at this point I'm all about you know the technicalities of it and trying to create a scene that's accurate and so and more and more or less just drawing for the sake of drawing rather than trying to add an express something or tell a story but nonetheless you can create a project like him like a comic maybe but you could sort of break the comic down into individual illustrations that's pretty much what comic is anyway is between the different panels but I mean you could approach this in a way where you know you want to try and tell a story and so you come up with all these different images that can tell this story and then you have the task of trying to draw each one of them and each one of them gives you a different challenge like maybe in the first panel you have a close-up view of a character and you need to learn how to draw the this this figure and then maybe another one sort of pans out a bit and then you have the environments with the character in that setting and then you have to put the character in perspective and then you are tasked with all of these different things and then it really doesn't matter how well you tell the story in that obviously if that was your intention then it does but usually if you're learning then try and create a project something like that that you can also just reflect back on because as you are improving and as you are looking back at your old drawings you should hopefully see see a bit of difference I mean how used to not draw from my imagination at all I was always just a slave to reference and I still do use reference I think having the image that I'm drawing in this video because I haven't actually edited this audio yet but I think the drawing that I'm going to use for this video is the one where the soldier is in the room it's on in one point perspective and as the robot behind him I did use a reference for that soldier and all of the rest was pretty much based on my imagination and the the air the robot behind them I hope I'm using that drawing for this episode now I think I will be but and then the one previously in the last episode all of that was drawn from imagination and that was me just trying to challenge myself to be able to depend on my own imagination and not rely on reference images but again it all depends on your intention there's not one way to do something and if you throw yourself in that deep end and train challenge yourself then you will naturally learn and try and overcome that problem because drawing is like that drawing is a series of problems that you have to solve and I can't tell you how many times I must have just been staring at a drawing to see if I could work out what was wrong with the the perspective because I knew something was wrong but I couldn't just pinpoint it and that was just a lack of a lack of knowledge just being able to you know I wasn't able to correctly pinpoint that because I didn't really know what I was looking for and I couldn't recognize the mistake whereas if you sure like a professional they'd be able to point it out straight away and of course there's still going to be errors in in my work and that's that's the whole purpose of it I mean I want to be able to make these mistakes now so that I can learn from them and hopefully correct them in the next one and in the next one and you know it kind of leads to this next word that I have put down here on these notes that says self analysis and is this is pretty important because you know you're gonna have to analyze your own work especially if you are self-taught you are probably not going to be getting much feedback from professionals obviously if you have some kind of mentor then that's great then you can always just show them your work and see what they say but realistically you are probably going to have to depend on your own sort of perception of your work you are going to have to judge it based on what you know which is difficult because if you are learning then you likely were know a lot to be able to actually judge the work and give yourself some practical feedback and but the more you learn the more you will be able to judge yourself correctly and then reflect on where you went wrong and how you could improve next time and I think all of that just comes with time if you are drawing repeatedly and drawing a lot and also a mess in yourself in the subject of drawing and I mean like listening to podcasts listening reading books and learning from from all of these different sources then you will gain a better understanding of what is right and what is wrong and you will be able to you know use that knowledge that you have to be able to criticize your own work and and make adjustments and get better at it and you never really listen stop drifting into this whole idea behind looking at over artists work because that can be a good source of inspiration looking at over artists work it can give you like more of an understanding of what is possible and it's almost like a target that you can aim for again it's going back to what I discussed at the beginning of this episode it gives you a goal like you could say this is the artist this is the work that he produces and I'd love to be able to get at least close to that skill level or that level where I can actually create something and that looks like that and you know that's that's aim it should be motivating because the artist has probably for the entire process of landing that you are currently in to be able to eventually do something like that and he probably started in the exact same position as you you know not knowing a lot and then having to go through the process of learning and all of the frustrations that come with it and so you should take comfort in the fact that it's possible and you will be able to get there if you work hard and what it shouldn't do is it shouldn't discourage you I mean another artists work is none of your business in a sense and because you need to stay in your own lane and focus on your own tasks and keep focusing towards your own progress as an artist and you shouldn't compare your work with anyone elses and I'm saying all of this as if some kind of exception but I'm really not like honestly I used to compare my work with other artists a lot and it really didn't do anything for me all it did was create self-doubt and I mean sometimes it would motivate me in a weird way to get better but if it did then it wasn't a good source of motivation in anywhere like it wasn't sustainable and you know there's that saying um only compare yourself with the person who you was yesterday well try and apply that to your artwork as well obviously when it comes to out work you can't exactly compare a drawing with a drawing that you did yesterday because there's probably not going to be that much progress made but try and compare yourself in a year's time or something and then look back and see the progress you've made hopefully you will and I don't know maybe a years even too long maybe six months if you're a machine but yea just train only compare your work with the previous work which you have done and that's probably the most healthiest way to actually analyze your yourself and your own performance and yeah we're coming up to about 30 minutes now I've talked about quite a few things in this episode but there is still some stuff that I'd like to maybe build on if there's anything that I discussed in this episode that you'd like me to talk a bit more about then be sure to let me know in the comments and give your own suggestions as well a lot of you seemed to enjoy the previous episode there was some good feedback and I enjoy making these as well so I'll aim to do one of these every week every Sunday at the same time so be sure to drop in and listen to me talk a lot of nonsense and do some drawing or maybe you're just listening to these which is fine consume them as you will and yeah I have another perspective drawing tutorial this week making progress with that series and I'm looking forward to expanding on all of that good stuff so damn I also just follow something that I wanted to talk about but I don't know let's save it for the next one I'll put it down on the notepad that I have but yeah I hope you enjoyed this and can take something away from it and I will see you in the next one

26 thoughts on “Effective Advice for The Self-Taught Artist – DTC #2

  1. Thank you for caring enough to attempt to assist the rest of us in improvement. It is truly appreciated. Great videos.

  2. is it just me or is that object above his left shoulder look like the front of a consular class cruiser from star wars?

  3. I am sixteen minutes in and so far everything you've said in procrastination is spot on. I like this premise, I'm looking forward for more content.

  4. loveing this podcast series so far Dan. It has been helping me slowly getting back into drawing myself n i much apprecaite it. Keep up the great work. πŸ™‚ Can't wait for the next one.

  5. Amazing video and great drawing, I have learned a lot from these 2 videos, keep up the good work. I am really happy that this series will be coming back every week. Greetings from Belgium!

  6. Great video! Do you have any tips for finishing a long and difficult project because I seem to have trouble with that.
    God bless!

  7. This is wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to add this to your channel. I look forward to more. Also, I noticed some of the techniques you have taught being used in your drawing. I was pretty excited that I noticed and that I actually learned something.

  8. " Art speaks where words are unable to explain "γ€ˆ(β€’Λ‡β€ΏΛ‡β€’)-β†’
    And just like you talk about anything, your way of wacking out tells us everything πŸ’―πŸ’¨

  9. Great podcast saved it to my favourite list, the thing you said about long term goals is really great. It's keeps one on track so they can push themselves for further improvement instead of settling down at some point.
    Looking forward to more podcast but like you said don't upload them just for the sake of it.
    Also, please make podcast playlist on the channel hehe

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