Ok this was something I thought about making for a while so I think I want to throw my 2 cents into this. I sometimes here this the most when I am streaming but lately I been hearing this by chance while vending. I especially caught this at Everfree Northwest in May but know what....I want to make something about this. You may be one of those people that say "oh man you are so good...I wish I could art like XXX artist" or even "I can't art for ____".
Let me tell you right now that's a horrific attitude to have. Let's dive into this....cause know what I started off from nothing, no art schooling....just...thin air if you will. I can relate to you I feel like cause I started from the ground up. I am not saying my art will be the most amazing stuff ever but if I started from bare bones to this....I KNOW you can art too.
#1. So first off you say you can't art or have no talent whatsoever. That's completely garbage to say. Know what I will take a Bob Ross quote right now to purify that mindset. "Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross
Personally I was one of those people back in 2010 that never would have given 2 cents about that quote but know what.....he's right. Everyone has talent....it's a matter of just doing it and practicing. I been seeing so many people in the fandom say that they can't art and have such a defeatist attitude it's discouraging. Know what I sometimes say to them "How do you know you can't do it? It's just a matter of doing it" I only wish people could just sit down a little to an entire Bob Ross painting and just listen to that man talk. He's so encouraging and honestly......he was the person that even go me interested and encouraged me enough to tell myself "you can do it....I may not be great overnight but I will get there". That's a good mindset to have cause trying to be amazing overnight is impossible but taking it step-by-step over time like a month lets say and being persistent is the key....you'll see just how much you can improve in that one month.
#2. That bring me to my next thing....practice. Ok god knows how many of you hear this from artists and stuff but know what it's true. Now I will go into a little more detail than saying "just practice". No...let me give you a more interesting take on it from my perspective. Practicing on art is definitely a must but it's something I see people not handle the right way.
When people start a sketch or whatever for the first time they pretty much just say "this is so bad" or they will even compare it to some amazing artist and then they give up. I never understood that cause guess what....you DID something....you just showed on that ONE art piece that yes you CAN in fact do art. It's not gonna be anything like XXX artist but why should it be or need to be.
You should be proud of that art piece you just made and be your own judge and not compare it to someone that has had years and years more experience. Feel proud of your work and know what....do another sketch. Even if you use that same sketch as a reference....try it again. You'll actually notice that that 2nd sketch looks better than the 1st one cause you have the muscle memory and also you know what to fix even if it's not the entire picture....anything small as a fix is still something to be proud of cause however small of an accomplishment that is....know you just got one step better cause you LEARNED SOMETHING.
You made a correction and stuck with the re-sketch enough and did it. See you have talent...it just takes time and just getting the feel. It's not something you can overnight but it will come...trust me it will come.
#3. Following Tutorials to an extent...and mean bare extent. Here's something that can be quite tricky cause I think people don't use tutorials the right way. If you are just starting out and you see artists doing tutorials or you want to follow along....that may not always be the best thing. Tutorials in a sense to me if you are just starting out can be very tricky cause the artist that is making the tutorial is in a sense teaching how they do their specific style and that was stuff they picked up over time. So many times I see new artists in streams and stuff try and follow a very detailed tutorial but then have a very defeatist attitude and give up half-way cause it was too hard.
Well....unfortunately that is likely to happen cause remember you are just starting out and the tutorial is basically how that particular artist does their own work which may seem to be great to follow but again that is still very advanced. Also you are not familiar with the tools...again this stuff that you'll learn with time so trying to pick it up at once is too overwhelming. Let's try my method...a much more easier one and how I think you can have immediate success and positive vibes.
Here's how I started out and how I tell people to start too....this method I think works the best. 1st....get a screenshot from the show and start on paper. i recommend starting on paper than digitally cause it is much easier. Try and replicate that pony as best as you can...I HIGHLY recommend a stand pose to start. Those are the easiest ones and with enough confidence and practice then you can do something more complex. After you make that standing pose....either immediately after or even the next day if you feel like it.....do it again but this time pick another pony. You can do another screenshot to follow along and reference to look up and down on as you are sketching it.
There's nothing wrong starting out like this. If you do a couple more like that....look at your latest one compared to you original standing pose.....you WILL see improvement. Trust me I used the show itself to get poses and stuff numerous times on some pics for the first couple months but that is normal. Be ok with that cause after some confidence you will be able to say "screw referencing the show....I want to make this on my own now" You WILL get to that point at some time....it just will take 1-2 months but trust me......there's nothing better than following the show and stuff to help you learn. Tutorials are good but using the show which is much simple and easier to do you can build you own style.....wait style....
#4. So you want to develop you own style huh? Well again this ties in what I mentioned before how tutorials aren't always the best.....the way the artist is using the tutorial may seem helpful in a way but again it's them showing off THEIR method of doing stuff and that may not be always the best thing for you....the up and coming artist. This is why I say use and practice on the show style until you feel comfortable with it enough. This is what I did and others have followed me on this and this is much easier cause you can always branch off it. You may get to a point after a month or 2 of following the show style than there may be an easier method for you to make eyes or you may want to try ponies without the lineart they have in the show and tweak it up with a thinner lineart....I do that on my DBZ ponies.
A style for an artist is something YOU should do....everyone has their own including me. I do the eyes and other stuff differently than the show. But again a style....It takes time to figure out what works for you but you'll get it. You 100% will develop you own style. Don't feel discouraged if you can't pick up your own style immediately after a month or so....there's no rush. Since when is art something to rush....you will find your own style and everyone....everyone in the fandom has their own style even if it's minor.
5. I'll wrap up all this on this point....keep going. Trust me on this...the more you sketch and STRIVE to get better is when you will improve. DON'T SAY YOUR ART SUCKS.....that is when you give up. Screw comparing your art to me or others....judge it vs yourself...know that YOU will always improve on what you do. Like I mentioned before....if you did 6 sketches in a row of standing ponies....hell if you do the mane 6 why not. When you compare the last pony you did you will notice just how much you got better. Why be pissed off and say "I still can't art" or "it looks bad". Bullshit...be PROUD of your art. You just SHOWED YOURSELF you can art and that attitude "I can't art" is moot. You did 6 ponies and they were your OWN creation our of your mind. So what if you had a screenshot to guide you.....you STILL DID IT.
The key I tell people on my art panels is to keep going. If you stop for a day or so you could get yourself rusty and persistence is the key for the first month or 2. It's going to be hard and very grind on you. You will have good and bad days on your art where you're sketching and pics aren't working or struggling. Don't stop and be discourage....hell I've had a lot of bad days on my comics and pics working on them but know what...I kept going cause I am still learning and know what they turned out good enough at the end where I was still proud of it. Be proud of what you art. The key like I said is keep sketching as much as you can your first 1-2 months and DON'T have the attitude that "this isn't working out".
Well no S*** you are just starting out but remember.....in your mind you KNOW you can do better and you WILL get to that point where that issue you are having now on a piece will be much easier the more you keep at art down the road.
So that's where I will leave this for now. Look I know I am not a good artist compared to many others in the fandom...I know that.
But I tell people if you can do stuff better than me....than do it.
That's good cause there's nothing wrong with that. If my goal and stuff in the fandom is to help people thinking "yes I can do better than Toxic-Mario cause know I'm a better artist"....well that's ok.
Remember the thing you should remember is this.....do the art cause you love it. Hell people absolutely hate my Derpy/Spitfire series these days and that's ok. However that doesn't mean I need to stop the series....I love making the series and you as an up and coming artist should have the attitude for liking what you are making. Instead of feeling like crap on your first couple sketches....just know if you keep at it....you'll be looking back on those sketches a couple weeks later and saying "wow I did this a couple weeks ago? I am better now".
So fandom artists that say that can't art.....get a piece of paper, grab a screenshot, try and replicate it by looking at and guess what....you just did a piece of art. With that in your mind and that "I can't art" attitude completely moot now.....keep going....and keep arting if you can everyday if you can even if it's minor like a pony head. You'll see results. If someone like me who was in your exact position 5 years ago can start art then I know you can. If I can do art....then I know you can too.