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10 Things I learned from Painting Every Day

    1. Keep Going

    Sometimes you don't know how a painting is going to look until it's finished. In fact, every time I start a painting, when it just looked like a few paint strokes, I think "I have no idea how I'm going to pull this off." But little by little, it comes together. Every single time, it's looked at least OK by the end. Something I never would be able to see if I quit early just because I don't like how it's looking in the beginning.

    2. No Such Thing as Painter's Block

    Seth Godin has written a lot about how no one gets talker's block. No one is suddenly unable to make words come out of their mouth. What we are really afraid of is bad writing, bad painting, fill in the blank. So now, I just paint. Even if it's just for an hour. Even if 30 min. Put something down. Sooner or later, a good one comes out.

    3. You'll Get Better

    Painting is great because you can easily see your progress. You can just put two paintings side by side and see if you improved. With writing, it's not so easy. But it's the same thing. Some make the mistake of saying they're not a painter or they're not a writer because they're not that good. But really, you just haven't tried hard enough. People quit too early. Once you show me 1000 bad paintings, then you can say you're not a painter.

    4. Consitency

    Just like the one before, you can clearly see when you've not been practicing. If I don't paint for a week, the next painting I make isn't going to be as good. You have to keep at your craft consistency like building a muscle.

    5. Stop Learning

    I don't mean learning new things. What I mean is, so many of us take a million courses, buy a million books, and keep learning and learning before we actually just do. I've been guilty of this. Sometimes, you just have to put the book down and start working on your craft.

    6. Fill In the Blanks

    For the longest time, I was obsessed with realism. Trying to get my drawing or painting be as realistic as possible. The people who can do that are extremely talented and can do some amazing things. But I personally, I realized that if I wanted something to look exactly like a thing, I might as well just be taking a picture. Instead, I leave details out and let the viewer fill in the blanks with their minds. I find they can connect more with the art that way.

    7. All Artists Are Liars

    Similar to the above, the best artists change things to help the story they're trying to write. For the longest time, I would paint a landscape exactly how I saw it, detail or not. I learned that you have to identify what you want to emphasize in the painting. And then change the surroundings to help support that. You're not beholden to your references.

    8. What's Brush Do You Use?

    When I first started to digital paint, I would look at all these amazing artists and think, "If I could ONLY know what digital brush they are using, I would be GREAT." Their brushes with the beautiful textures were the key to unlocking whatever door was keeping me from where I was to where they were. One time, an artist I loved was selling their brushes they use. I was so excited. FINALLY, I said. I was disappointed. I realized it's not the brush at all. Sad.

    9. Overnight Success

    Early on, I would get jealous of the artists who would get so much engagement from their painting posts. Then, I'd scroll down their social media feed and realize they'd been posting for years. Overnight success very rarely is overnight. Put in the work. Drip by drip.

    10. What's The Story?

    One of the mistakes a lot of artists early on make is just painting to paint. One day, you paint a tree. The next day you paint a sky. Which is great for building your skill, but so what? What are you trying to say? What's the story? People will like your tree painting, but if you're not trying to connect with them, if you're not trying to say something, they're just going to keep scrolling.
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