There’s quite a bit that can be crammed into 8 years. Truth be told, a lot of my learning and growth as an artist has happened within the last 900 days. I made a commitment to my art, myself, and my business to make a new drawing every day. I made rules for myself that were a challenge to keep. I learned quite a few things, not only furthering my skills, but also furthering my confidence in myself. One of the greatest things I learned was how to gauge my progress: by comparing my art to myself, and only myself.
It’s tempting to look at the work of my peers and get depressed, some even make comics about it.
There are so many incredible artists out there, and social media puts their work in front of you daily. It’s easy to find, and even easier to mentally punish yourself for not ‘being as good as Thus and So’. Beating up on yourself is easy. It feels like you’re taking action when you’re really only putting more shackles on already burdened purpose. I fell into that trap a lot and it resulted in years of very slow progress, of webcomics that were started and never finished because I didn’t think I knew how to.
Then one day something changed. It wasn’t in a snap of lightening or anything grand. It was a slow boil that finally crested and spilled over the edge.
I decided to take action and work on these things that I kept punishing myself for. I made a mental list, and picked one item to start on (which happened to be focusing on composition). I also started my personal habit of one new drawing/illustration per day. That was the greatest decision I could have made for myself as an artist. That and adopting a singular focus on what I was comparing myself to (me and my previous work).