Artist Therapy 6: What do I even draw?

Artist Therapy is a series of posts exploring problems we artists have making, getting ready to make, and sharing our art. It is inspired by Havi Brooks’s Blogging Therapy articles.

Previously on Artist Therapy:
1.) Introductory Ideas
2.) I totally suck at art.
3.) I’ll never be good enough.
4.) I don’t have time for art.
5.) It’s too late for me to start.

Today’s Artist Therapy:
Now that you’ve worked through a few roadblocks to doing art, the question is… what do you make?

Myself, I had always been making some sort of art, but I drew a lot more when I found anime in middle school. I drew fanart and judged my abilities by how closely I copied the original artwork.

My goal in doing fanart was to replicate images I liked and perhaps to connect to the characters by re-creating them. I also liked to design characters that I wrote about in fan-fiction.

However, if your goals are different, copying may not be the best choice. Copying others’ work definitely impedes the road to having your own style.

Rather, try copying from real life. Drawing still lifes is kinda boring for me, but it could work for you. Just get some visually-interesting objects, arrange them in a not-boring way, and start sketching.

In a similar vein, Nature has a bounty of interesting shapes and beautiful colors from which to draw, paint, and be inspired. You could make art of landscapes, animals, bugs, plants (including trees – trees are awesome), etc. Making art in Nature, while fun, might not be do-able for you, so drawing from photos is a good alternative. (If you want to make money from your art, it’s best that you take the reference photos yourself.)

Instead of drawing “from” things, you could just doodle. Draw a shape and then draw other shapes coming out of it – you’ll end up with a cool design.

Whatever inspires you, whatever you like, whatever is important in your life or just pops into your head – that’s what you’ll end up drawing.

What’s more important than “what do I draw” is “I’m am drawing!” Because once you start, I guarantee that your problem will be too many things to draw. I highly recommend keeping a list so you don’t forget your ideas.

One last thought: the internet. It’s a big place, full of inspiration and images you can use for reference. The internet is your inspiration savior!



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