Tag: artists

How to Recognize an Art Student

How to Recognize an Art Student

I’m absolutely ecstatic to present to my citizens this finished, colored piece done in watercolor pencils! Other than my Pencil Princess profile picture, I haven’t ever finished coloring a drawing with watercolor pencils, so I’m very happy with how this one turned out.

Ever wondered how to tell art students apart from “ordinary” people? Now you can with this easy trick: is their non-dominant arm weak and noodley while their dominant arm is super buff and muscular from hours of drawing? If the answer is yes, then you have found yourself an art student.

The reason for this strange phenomenon observed in “art kids” is due to the fact that the non-dominant arm’s only primary function is delivering caffeinated beverages to the mouth if the other arm is busy, while the dominant arm is responsible for many activities (including drawing, painting, browsing memes, etc.)

Below is a depiction of a common art student, wearing a shirt that reads “ANIMU KWEEN” (translation: anime queen). Observe the difference between the non-dominant and dominant arms:

How to Recognize an Art Student

To make others aware of this easy trick (or simply to remind yourself), you can purchase this diagram on a variety of products via Pencil-Princess on RedBubble. The default product is a sticker, but it is also available on products such as hardcover journals and studio pouches.

In other news, the “ANIMU KWEEN” design on the shirt of this art student is available if you, too, want to be the anime queen. If more information is recorded on this strange art student phenomenon, rest assured that you will be informed immediately! PenPrin out.

Tips for Online Artists

Tips for Online Artists

I may be new to art blogging, but I have picked up a few tips by observing other artists and looking back at my own experiences with online art. Today, I wanted to write something that could be helpful to others who are considering becoming art bloggers, or maybe already have an art blog. I tried to think about mistakes I have made as well as other things I have struggled with as an artist. Let me know if these tips are helpful, or if I have missed anything important!

Inspiration is okay. Copying isn’t.

If someone has an art style you enjoy, it’s okay to take a few things from it. I like LavenderTowne’s way of drawing cute creatures, I like the way artists from Steven Universe draw faces and bodies, and I adapted my way of drawing hands from cartoons like Adventure Time. Looking at the way others draw helps me figure out my own way to draw. I would say that even tracing drawings is alright at first, as long as you don’t claim that traced artwork is original and belongs to you.

The one thing that isn’t okay (in my opinion) is taking characters and story elements from other artists. A year or two ago, I actually did this. The Crayon Queen (CQ) has a character named Fresh (the second character in the linked post), and I enjoyed role-playing with my friends as him. However, I wanted to move on to creating original stories with the character, and making them available for others to see. Instead of making a fancomic or fanfiction, I decided to instead make my own “original character” that looked different from Fresh… but acted exactly like him.

Here is a picture of CQ’s Fresh (the human version, at least).

Fresh - Human
Find the original image here.

Here is a picture of my “original character,” Domi.

OC - Domi - Original

Hmm… impossible floating eyebrows? Check. One missing tooth? Check, although it looks like Fresh did more than Domi to take care of it. Eyes covered? Again, check. Fingerless gloves? Check, please. They even have the same green capris, although Domi’s are admittedly a more disgusting shade of dark puce. Sure, it’s okay to be inspired by someone else when you’re creating a character. But if your main goal is to alter someone else’s creation just enough so that you can call it your own? That’s hecka un-fresh, dawg.

Don’t expect to be able to mimic advanced art styles right away.

I used to (and still do) really enjoy the aesthetics of manga and anime. In my head, that clearly meant I should be able to draw it, too, even though I had no real understanding of anatomy or joints or anything. This resulted in a lot of art that could be labeled “cringe-worthy,” including the above illustration of Domi the Fresh clone.

When I started watching LavenderTowne, it really began to sink in that I didn’t have to draw anime to be taken seriously, and a simpler art style did not mean a “worse” art style. At this point, I actually began growing and improving as an artist and developing the style I draw in now. I started making my own rules instead of trying to mimic the works of other people. Now I actually feel good when I finish a piece of art instead of lamenting the fact that it didn’t turn out the way I saw it in my head.

The point that I’m trying to make is that it’s okay to start simple if you’re a beginner artist. I draw characters with stick arms, but they still look better than the ones I drew with what I thought were “anime” arms, IMO.

Don’t tell yourself that you’re not “good enough.”

I struggled with this for the longest time. I told myself that my worth came from the amount of followers I had, which was never enough. I wondered why I couldn’t be as talented as the artists I looked up to. I would cry if I made a tiny mistake in the outline or coloring of a sketch I liked. I thought that if I didn’t post a piece of art on my Google+ profile every single day, I was a failure.

Thankfully, I’ve grown out of that. I’ve broken out of the thinking that I need likes and shares to be a good artist. I understand that my drawings don’t have to look like another person’s drawings to be worth anything. I try to embrace my mistakes instead of hating them and myself. Above all, I’ve realized that art should be a fun activity and not a chore.

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of holding yourself to ridiculously high standards, it’s very hard to break out of it, but I believe it’s one of the most important things for you to do as an artist of any kind.

Have a schedule, and do your best to stick to it.

Edit: This tip is mostly aimed at artists who want to gain a following, do commissions, or be a professional. I’m still in school and I have work that I need to focus on, so I don’t have much of an update schedule anymore.

Whether your art blog is just miscellaneous doodles and posts or you host your own online comic, having a schedule is the key to any kind of success. You will have a lot more followers if people know that you are going to post consistently. Haley Mewsome updates Unfamiliar on Tuesdays and Fridays, and has almost 35,000 readers. CQ updates Gloomverse on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and has over 50,000 followers. You get the point. This might just be me, but I’m always very disappointed when I find a story or comic with no update schedule. I’ll never know when to expect a new page, and I won’t know how long I’ll be kept waiting. That takes away a lot of the incentive to subscribe or continue reading.

Personally, my goal is to post something every day. Even if it’s not a finished picture, or it’s just some Mii characters I made on my DS, my goal is to have something posted on my WordPress every day at 8:00 AM EST. Many people think that it’s okay to just post or update whenever you’re “inspired” enough, but that leads to a lot of procrastination and excuses. When you don’t have a schedule, it’s easy to keep telling yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow” and “Today I can watch TV instead.” With a schedule, you ensure that there’s a reason for you to keep making art whenever you can, and a reason for people to follow your blog.

That being said, don’t strain yourself to have something “amazing” posted. If you’re tired or have a lot going on, it’s okay to post a picture that you drew a long time ago or write a short journal to let your followers know what’s going on. Even a five- or ten-minute doodle is enough. You need to take care of yourself more than you need to post, but if you want to be a consistent art blogger, you need to post more than you need to play video games all day.

Don’t lie about who you are.

This applies to life in general, but I personally see a lot of it in the art community. You don’t have to dye your hair to attract a certain kind of person. You don’t have to change or hide your sexuality or gender to fit in. You don’t have to act like you hate yourself to get love and sympathy. No one should feel like they need to pretend to be somebody they aren’t!

In addition, I see a lot of people online and in person who fish for compliments using self-deprecating humor. Saying things like “I’m the worst” or “I’m a terrible artist” so that anyone with a heart feels obligated to reply, “No, you’re not!” I didn’t consciously intend to solicit sympathy and praise from others, but I often used to make jokes about self-hate because the people around me did it so much. Don’t pretend to hate yourself, because there are people out there with serious problems like depression and self-harm. Joking about these things makes it difficult to tell who’s in truly in emotional pain and who’s just trying to get attention.

In other words (TL;DR), be yourself! Changing or concealing the person you truly are just to get the approval of others won’t do any good for you or anyone else.

Take care of yourself.

Art may seem like the most important thing in life, but it is not more important than:

  • Eating,
  • Drinking,
  • Sleeping,
  • Taking care of a pet,
  • Friends,
  • Family,
  • Or your health.

Many artists work to the point of hurting themselves and, sometimes, the people around them. Some neglect their health and draw constantly, and one day they find out that they have carpal tunnel syndrome and they need to quit making art for months. I haven’t ever done anything this serious, but when I’m working on art in the summer, I tend to forget about meals and then I have no energy. It’s been said over and over again, but tending to your own personal needs as well as the needs of your friends, family, and pets is more important than cranking out ten pages of a comic every week.

TwistedDisastersArts, an art channel I’m subscribed to on YouTube, has a video that talks about this. You can watch her video Michie’s Artist Pet Peeves | Michie Rambles, or just skip to 15:10 where she talks about your needs being more important than art. (Warning: She does use a few curse words.)

My belief is that these six things are some of the most important things to keep in mind as an online artist. Again, if I have left out some very important points, or if you have any other feedback, let me know in the comments! I hope that this article could be helpful to some. As always, many thanks to my loyal Citizens. Have a great day!