Sunday, September 18, 2011

Do Not Fear Your Goals

When you dream big, its easy to become intimidated by what you really want. You try to talk yourself out of these goals, brushing them off as impossible or too far fetched for you to achieve. It may be difficult to achieve, it may require a great deal of sacrifice and pain to achieve, your dignity and pride may get trampled on in the process, but it is not impossible unless you have already decided that it's impossible. YOU get to make that choice.

Because this choice is in your hands, it can be overwhelming. Should you fail, you have noone to blame but yourself. A lot of artists have grand visions of where they should be at a certain time, and become paralyzed, unable to do anything. Even a step in the wrong direction is still a step, and it's better than standing still. Another problem is that artists tend to compare themselves to other artists. You should only compare you to you. Your progress can't be measured on a graph or with a ruler, it can only be measured against what you have done in the past, and what you're doing to improve in the future.

The artists we admire, be it illustration, comics, painting or print, have all gotten where they are by taking chances. They refused to stand still and moved forward, backward, left and right, they stood out from the herd and satisfied the masses. If you wish to emulate their success, you need to take chances too. Risk failure. In every failure is an opportunity for growth.

You need to decide what you REALLY want. Do you want to obsess over Pokemon every time a new game comes out, losing weeks of your life to your DS? Do you want to draw fanart for the rest of your life, constantly trying to predict what's popular? Do you want to rely on commissions, other people's characters, for your bread and butter, and when that fails, you're begging on Reddit for compassion and spare change? Or do you want to buckle down, improve your craft, take risks that make you gasp, and maybe end up winning in the end?

I'd rather live by my own terms, fail drawing my own art, and have a little pride.