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Cartoon character having fun drawing

Why Making Drawing Fun Is More Important Than Improving

Learn to inject fun back into drawing before you desire to quit.

Drawing is hard! There are no shortcuts to learning how to draw, and for the most part, you take the journey alone. That doesn’t mean we have to make it a grueling and toxic process.

If you turn something you love into something you hate, you’re not going to do it anymore. Find a way to keep drawing fun and enjoy the process of drawing more than the outcome.


Inspire confidence through small wins

As a beginner artist I was bold and ambitious. I set extreme goals, viewed myself surpassing my mentors, and fantasized about them in awe of my progress. I took dozens of classes and went to multiple art schools to rise to the challenge. At some point I realized, the reason I was jumping all over the place was because I was trying to figure out how to have fun with art again.


The longer it takes for you to accomplish your big goals, the more it feels like you’ve failed. Focus in on the process and give yourself a small habit you can accomplish, repeatedly.


Draw for one hour every Monday. It won’t take long for you to feel confident and empowered by your consistent practice.


Follow your interests

In the summer of 2012, I attended a course with Peter Han, called Vis Com (Visual Communication). The techniques I learned with him skyrocketed my drawing skills to new levels and made me enjoy the process of drawing from life.


Every week we drew a new subject and every subject brought us to a new location. We studied plants at the Arboretum, animals at the Zoo, and insects with a personal collection right in our very own classroom. Our assignment each week was to not only draw the subject of the week, but to create something unique based on that subject. After the car museum, I designed a robot with a chest that looked like the large grill of a classic car. Another week, at the airplane museum, I created a steampunk tobacco pipe.


During the insect week, I decided to design a shoe. I don’t know if it’s because I have an aversion to insects or I just wanted to make my life more difficult, but for some reason I chose something boring. And instead of turning back and choosing something else, I doubled down and pushed through. I found myself hating that assignment and came very close to losing motivation and continuing with the next part of the class.


Thankfully, the allure of seeing animals at the Zoo the next week was enough to revitalize my energy.


Drawing isn’t fun anymore when you force yourself to learn things you aren’t interested in. One simple drawing tip for beginners; draw things you like.


Express yourself

If you’re going to draw things you like, fall in love with something so much that you need a medium other than words to express it. You can find any number of incredible young artists on twitter who consistently draw their favorite characters. They fall so head over heels for a unique world and its characters that talking about it isn’t enough. They’re compelled to draw them.


Drawing is a way for you to explore worlds. Imagine your favorite anime and take two characters from that world. Now, put them in a situation that you’ve never seen.


I like imagining the crew of One Piece. I see Luffy, Zoro,and Sanji fighting on the Going Merry to see who’s strongest, only for Usopp to come out as the hidden winner when they all knock each other out.


Find your tribe

The more you draw what you love, the more people you’ll find that you can connect with.


It’s a tragedy when you’re interested in something that no one around you finds appealing. I spent the entirety of my time in high school hiding the fact that I liked anime and manga because it was something other people looked down on. When I went to art school, it was hard to find someone who didn’t like it.


Finding your tribe allows you to feel accepted and supported by those around you. You can confidently enjoy drawing the things you love.


Remove toxic barriers

This is the opposite of finding your tribe. Remove anyone who tears you down and tells you the things you enjoy are stupid.


There are people who would hunt me down and destroy me if I tell them, I don’t enjoy Studio Ghibli movies. It doesn’t mean everyone who loves Studio Ghibli becomes my enemy, it just means the toxic people who choose to tear me down for it are better left outside my circle of friends.


Don’t lie to pander to an audience. Be true to yourself and find people who enjoy the things you like.


When drawing is boring, challenge yourself

You can suck the fun out of something simply because you don’t feel challenged.


There’s a reason why you don’t play your video games on easy mode – you like when the experience is challenging. Earning experience to progress through the game is exciting. You battle through tougher and tougher enemies, get better, and learn new skills.


Flying through easy mode will dull your enjoyment. Your growth and wins will feel empty and lifeless. If you’re faced with boredom when things are easy, turn up the difficulty.

Visualize your success

Living out your success looks great on social media but what are you supposed to do until you get there? It’s easy to look at the success of others and wish for that same glory – to suddenly have the same skills and influence.


One simple way we can experience our future victory and help bring it into existence is visualization. Visualize yourself becoming a master, working at your favorite studio, and having your characters show up on the big screen. Just be careful not to focus only on the end goal. You already know that can lead to disappointment.


Visualize yourself enjoying the process of drawing to continue to improve your art.



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