Embracing Imperfect Illustrations

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Many artists, especially when starting out, feel that the more realistically they can illustrate something, the better they are at art. In art classes, we are taught to draw things as close to the real deal as possible. While this philosophy can provide us with a great foundation, it doesn’t really prepare us for art in the real world. Art teachers aren’t to blame for this misconception. This is what they were taught too.

I believe that moving away from this dogma is what takes artists from good to great. Creating great art is about refining your own unique style, not recreating a photograph. That’s what cameras are for.

Look at the work of the most successful artists in the world - their art is extremely imperfect, and that’s what makes it look like “them.” Their artwork is not a replica of how the rest of us view something, but their interpretation of it. Do you think Starry Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh would be famous if he painted the sky realistically? No way!

There is such beauty in raw brush strokes, ink blots, and eraser marks. It’s a joy to see colors that don’t exist in nature used to draw a landscape. These are the things that make art so interesting. 

I challenge you to redefine what “good” art means to you. It shouldn’t be about how complicated or realistic your drawing is, but about how imperfect it is. The most important thing is that feels imperfectly “you.” People want to experience your interpretation of the world through art - not the world as they see it. They already know how they see things. Show everyone how you see things.

This post is an excerpt from my ebook “Illustrious,” which will be re-released later this year.


Nicole CicakComment