the journey of a hobby artist
the bad, the ugly, and the utterly repulsive

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May 2022

stop complaining (05/11/2022)

Author's Note: This is an excerpt from a personal journal entry (from May 6th), so it's a bit more rough and blunt, but I thought it would be good to share.

I realized the futility of constantly complaining about your artistic ability. Like, it just occurred to me that the things I've been complaining now, in the way I've been complaining about them, have been happening since I started.

A prime example: figures. Figures look too stiff, wrong anatomy, etc. It's something I've been lamenting about for the longest time, But then I realized that when have I not lamented about it? And has that ever added to me improving? I don't think so.

In time, my figures still improved, and maybe for a short period I thought they were pretty good... until they weren't. And then I'd start complaining about it. This hate cycle just keeps going and going, and I don't think it has added anything to my art.

The thing that improves my art is actually analyzing and drawing, not complaining. I mean, it's easy to figure out why this is the case: complain, but don't draw, or analyze. Just complain. See how far that'll take you in art. Exactly: it won't take you anywhere. Now draw, and analyze, without complaint. Where does that take you? Well, you improve, of course. Now why are you doing both?

Complaint doesn't mean you're battling incompetency, you're just complaining. To battle incompetency is to actually work. There's a difference between not being satisfied and complaining. To not be satisfied is to strive to be better. To complain is being upset that you're not better already. Both are concerned with the present, but complaint leads to nothing. If anything, you can do everything without having to complain about it. I'm putting more work in burdening myself emotionally than actually doing the work.

What does this mean for my art? Well, just work on your work. If it looks bad, analyze, and then do it again. If it looks bad again, analyze, and do it again. It looks good? Analyze, and do it again. The analysis is important, because you're trying to see what you're doing and what needs to be fixed. That's called course correction. To course-correct means that you're not satisfied with the current direction and you take the necessary actions to change it. To complain means that you're upset that you're going in the wrong direction, but being upset isn't action. You're just upset.

Enough with this whining and lamenting over not being "good enough" or whatever. If you're not good enough, then just work, with determination and grit. You're at least attempting to solve your incompentency in that case. Complaint leads to nothing, because it's not work. It may lead you to work, but you can skip that middle man and just work if you know you need work.

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