Being a Successful Artist

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    Steven Kent

    In the “Being a Successful Artist” video, Matt talks about creating a balance between practice drawings and “creating a finished body of work,” or drawing what you like. Drawing what I like is something which I have struggled with for my entire art career (three years), and I feel like I’ve “practiced” the fun right out of me. Whenever I ask myself what I want to draw, or what I like, I draw a blank, telling myself that I don’t like anything. I don’t like nothing, but I tell myself this to avoid the trouble of drawing something I like poorly and not doing justice to it, which is really immature and incorrect, and, blah, blah, blah. I have the motivation. I have created a lot of finished works based on things I like, a small comic, even, but they didn’t turn out good, and I felt so badly about them that I didn’t want to do them again. I draw daily, but I feel like I can’t get myself to draw a finished, non-practice, piece for myself more often than once every two weeks, and I know I could be doing it every other day if I just had a better attitude. I am taking actions in my personal life to remove the pit in my stomach I get when I get like this, but my appointment is in two weeks, and I don’t want to be useless until then. What advice do you have for this? I do like to draw, I get great fulfillment from it, and I do it a lot, and I’ve been depressed for a very long time, and a lot of the time I can work through it, but lately I’ve felt very anxious.

    Arjun Khode

    Hi Steven, if you could do anything you want or draw like anybody you liked, what would you do with that power? You should be doing that. Honestly being depressed is no one’s fault, it’s the state of chemicals in one’s brain that mostly causes that. However until they stabilize, you need to find something to get through that phase. These are the ebbs and flows of the life of an artist. My suggestion would be to sharpen a skill of your choice and if it does not give you pleasure, treat it with discipline and persist. What you could do to start with is imagine the future you looking back and being proud of this skill you were so glad you invested in. The potential is infinite. Put things into perspective. It’s like riding a motorcycle and banking on a turn, you just have to look that way and the bike automatically leans that way. Start with one push up, one stroke, 1 minute, 1 sentence, and build it up. There’s a certain special reward that kicks in at one point when you start seeing slight results.

    You could start documenting your journey towards the day you reach somewhere positive. Start writing a diary, or recording your voice or Instagram stories, an entire Instagram channel, perhaps. It will inspire others and you could spark a community of many others like us, who feel there’s nowhere to go but the truth is, there always is. What would you like to build man?


    Hi Steven,

    Listen to tonight’s podcast. It will be posted later this afternoon.


    Steven Kent


    I didn’t expect such practical advice, thanks. I’ll continue the lessons in the future, and, I think that when my technique improves, I’ll have the confidence to dive into my desired subject matter. Thanks!

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