Finding Your Artistic Strengths

Some time ago, I drew comics and decided to self-publish. I spent a few months drawing short comics and then had them printed.

The thing I discovered was that it didn’t suit my environment. Suddenly I had boxes of comics in my apartment, and I didn’t quite have the room for it. A house with a garage would have been better. And I didn’t like the hassle of having to send them off.

A lot later, I had started to try tutorial posts for artists on Instagram when I suddenly realized I had quite a few books on how to draw. These books contain a lot of knowledge, exercises, and such that I could use for inspiration.

When you decide what you want to do, sometimes you start by listing what you are good at to figure out what you should start doing. But what I learned from these two experiences was that it was a good idea to turn that around: given a specific activity, do I have natural advantages?

I did not have particular advantages for self-publishing books: easy access to cheap printing or storage, for example.

But when it came to making art tutorials, it turned out I had a bookshelf or two filled with relevant information to take inspiration from and the skills to design and program a website and make carousels for Instagram, for example. You are reading this as a result.

Had I done it the other way around, I would never have listed the books on my bookshelves as one of my advantages. I would probably have listed my educational background, the location where I live, or the fact that I can program.

When figuring out what to do, it is helpful to do a thought experiment and imagine doing it. Do you have special abilities or access to resources that make it particularly easy for you to pursue that direction?

My Favorite Drawing Exercises

Today, as a game, make a list of the things that you might want to do.

Do you want to self-publish books? Or create paintings, write novels, create a YouTube channel, become an illustrator or cartoonist, or a teacher? What resources and skills do you naturally have access to that would help you further in that direction? Do you have time, money, space in your house, or access to people in a relevant industry? Do you have things in your possession, like books or tools, that could help you?

My Favorite Drawing Exercises

If you feel like drawing, then check out my favorite drawing exercises!

Do these exercises

form studies to warm up, slow down, get into the right meditative state, and improve your draftsmanship skills.

Do these form studies

form studies to help you improve creating underdrawings, place things in space, practice doing perspective by sight.

Practice drawing from memory to fill your visual bank, ability to memorize, ability to visualize, ability to draw what you see in your imagination and your ability to see what is wrong with your drawings.

If you find it hard to create or maintain a creative habit, you can find some habit-related tips here.

Check out these pleasing, calm, art-related (mostly) podcasts to listen to while drawing. They have been automatically prepared for you to automatically binge-listen to so that you can start drawing.

Lastly, also make sure you have fun in your sketchbook after the hard practice! Here is one guide that can help you jog your creativity.

creativity exercise

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