the weird and the ugly must come before the beautiful

Getting started is one of the hardest things to do.

You’re looking down at that huge empty space and you’re hesitant.

My advice? Just do it (and yes, like Nike). A blank piece of paper shouldn’t be your biggest intimidation because that piece of paper is incapable of judging you. Let’s be real, you’re what’s judging you. You are and always will be your biggest critic. Stop being hard on yourself and let those creative juices flow. Step one…

  1. Warm up on a separate piece of paper. Get your hand used to striking that empty white space. Go ahead, draw whatever you want, even if it’s just gibberish scribbles.
  2. Play with different mediums. I suggest using a pen so you can prevent yourself from erasing the same line over and over again. Art isn’t about being a perfectionist. Art is meant to be evolved.
  3. Train your brain to be inspired by anything and everything. Don’t fret if you are unable to draw from imagination, just draw from reference. Draw a picture of a loved one or even your favorite celebrity.
  4. Expect to work in steps. My drawings typically start with a light outline to figure out the proportions. Then I start coloring in the value. I color in the dark values first then work my way to the lighter values. The keyword here is baby steps. Then at the very last step, you can start going in on the details. Then my favorite part begins to happen, everything starts to come together and you see your drawing come to life.
  5. Take breaks between steps to have a fresh set of eyes. Look at your drawing from far way or in different angles (even upside down).
  6. Practice, practice, practice! I know it’s hard to draw as much as you would like but if it is a true passion, find time. While you’re watching Netflix, draw the characters and that can turn into a challenging warm up because they aren’t going to pose for you. It could be a private gesture drawing class.
  7. Get a sketchbook and try to draw at least once a day even though it’s something fast and small. Sketchbooks are essential to have because you’re going to want to look back and appreciate how much you’ve grown.

I know you want only masterpieces but the weird and the ugly must come before the beautiful. A great set of artists to learn from are Johanna Tagada and Camila León. Their style of drawing is the very essence of what I’m trying to say here, be spontaneous, sporadic and bizarre.

Just let go. After time and practice, I guarantee you and your work will get better.

— Johanna Tagada’s Portfolio — Camila León’s Portfolio —