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July 2, 2014
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''DON'T SCRAP THAT!''

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 2, 2014, 3:44 AM


Two of the best pieces of advice I ever got considering art and drawings came from the very same person: A graphic designer who often stopped by at the comicshop. We spent a lot of time chatting about techniques and most of my knowledge about fibonacci and golden ratio I have because of him. :D

As for the points of advice:

One was that I should just take my time with my drawings and paintings. If I don't have a deadline, there is no need to finish it within a fixed timeframe. And I can work on it as long as I want, till it's finished. Or till I get bored with it. And never finish it and start something new. It's not like I'm bound in any way, right?

The second tip was to never shy back from starting from scratch. Whatever the reason might be. Just because I have just spent hours on that one detailed bit does not mean that the final image will look great if I build it around my initial hours of work. It can. But it does not have to.

So, I often I scrap drafts, paint over a painting or start from scratch. Just keeping everything because someone might like it and never risking anything, because it could ruin the existing parts? This is crippling for an artist and makes it very hard to try new things.  

If you're scared to mess up:
I tend to mess up a lot. I just never upload the failures, which makes it seem like I don't make mistakes normally. But I do. I often have start again, copying the whole lineart AGAIN via light table (which is... boring as hell d: ), because coloring try number one looks horrible. Or because I realized halfway through the coloring that the focus is off. Or because I was simply not patient enough and now the whole thing looks horrible. Or because I noticed a very stupid mistake and can't really live with leaving it in the drawing and I have to redraw even the draft!

It happens. But each time it happens, I do learn something from it.

So, go wild. Risk a drawing. Risk a whole bunch of drawings! Never show them to anybody because you can. And if you show them to people, don't shy back from scrapping them anyway. Because this kind of courage gives you the chance to learn and be better artist than you were just yesterday.

A few hours of work are a small price to pay for progress, if you ask me. :) No matter how good your drawing is right now, the next drawing can be even better.

And if you're not drawing yourself, keep this in mind when you try to convince an artist to not scrap a drawing. ;) (I'm especially looking at those people who charge the trash bin whenever they come to my place ;) ).

  • Listening to: Bravely Default Concerto
  • Drinking: Coffee
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:iconjexatunes:
jexatunes Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  New member Hobbyist
I really love your advise (I probably spelled that wrong Im sorry) and your art is awesome I favrited this I really like it!
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much. :) Though if it comes to scrapping drawings, everybody has to decide for themselves how far they wish to go. :D No worries about spelling, btw. As long as I understand what you're writing, it's ok. And when I have no idea, I can still ask, right?
Reply
:iconjexatunes:
jexatunes Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  New member Hobbyist
yah like if your just scribbling and trying to think of something to draw :3
Reply
:icondr-aim:
Dr-Aim Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014  Student General Artist
they say the only difference between the amateur and the master is that the master failed more times than the amateur even tried, after all !
it was really good advice, but there's also the trap of redoing over and over again...
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Who said you have to redo it? :D But yes, that is another point people will need to keep in mind. It can easily be that a drawing simply can't be done right now. So, move to the next. Which... is a lot easier said than done for sure. ^^
Reply
:icondr-aim:
Dr-Aim Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014  Student General Artist
yup. I have some classmates who lost sleep over a drawing they kept redrawing over and over again without getting where they wanted to do at the time, and now they're laughing their ass off at these attempts.
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ok, THAT is not really ideal. xD
Reply
:iconmintybreeze:
mintybreeze Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I'm +faving  this. 
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks. :3
Reply
:iconback-off-i-bite:
Back-Off-I-Bite Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Student General Artist
I've been told something similar before once. I try taking that kind of advise too because I could use all the advise I can get. I'm always too scared to do any coloring with my pictures because I'm scared I'll screw it up. Most of the time I use materials that make it hard to redo over and over again, so basically all my art looks like a giant uncolored scrapbook. I scrap a lot of my stuff just so I don't clutter up my gallery too much. I sketch and stuff all the time, but I find repetition tedious and boring. :shrug: 
Reply
:iconthe-purring-teapot:
The-Purring-Teapot Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Student General Artist
These are great advices!

Und genau die Art von Tipps, die ich gerade gebraucht habe :D

Vor einer weile, lass es ein Jahr sein, hab ich mich nicht mal richtig getraut irgendwas neues auszuprobieren oder überhaupt etwas zu zeichnen, wenn ich mir nicht 1000% sicher war, weil ich angst davor hatte, zu versagen.
Eine unglaublich irrationale Angst und eines Tages viel mir endlich auf: Skizzen müssen nicht "richtig" sein. Sie dienen lediglich dazu, Ideen festzuhalten.
Seitdem war ich ein kleines bisschen mutiger, war aber noch nicht bei dem befreienden Punkt angelangt, an dem du scheinbar schon bist.
Aber dieses Journal..... hat interessanter Weise ganz schön viel gebracht! 
Und es hat mir gerade geholfen, meine Kreative-Motivation und Kreative-Innere-Ruhe wieder zu bringen.... in letzter Zeit saß ich so oft vor meinem Skizzenbuch und dachte "ich will was zeichnen aber wenn ich jetzt was anfange wird das eh scheiße" und habe letztendlich nichts gezeichnet sondern grumpig versucht meine Zeit anderweitig rum zu kriegen.
Aber jetzt.... jetzt ist's wieder besser xD

LG
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Es ist tatsächlich etwas, was man den Zeichnern eigentlich nie sagt. :) Es wird einfach immer erwartet, dass man alles super hinkriegt und niemand wagt es noch, mal rumzukribbeln und das dann in den Abfall zu schmeissen. Oder ins Papier. Dabei wäre es wirklich wichtig! :D
Reply
:iconriverreed:
RiverReed Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist
Honestly the hardest part of creating ANYTHING is recognizing that fatal flaw and having the strength to undo hours of work.
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It takes a bit of practice to find the ballance between the right amount of work and realizing when it's going into the wrong direction. But I wouldn't say you undo the work completely. After all, you had the chance to see how you can make the progress easier. :D At least I do that, whenever I have to redraw something.
Reply
:iconelenxji:
elenxji Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm total shit at scrapping. I scrap sketches i think look horrible, but if i've made a nice body or face that i still see some flaws in i just can't get myself to scrap it :c It's like.. "If i actually drew something reletively nice, why in the world would i scrap it?! I MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO DRAW LIKE THIS AGAIN OH MA GAWD!" So.. Scrapping is not something i can do easily xD

I'm sorry about mentioning it tho :c Forgive me?
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries, I'm not saying you should scrap everything. XD I'm just saying that you need the courage to try things out, knowing fully well that you might mess up. :)

And no worries, there is nothing to forgive. You're not the only one who wants to see every scrap I draw. :D
Reply
:iconelenxji:
elenxji Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
But it's so harrrrrrrd to scrap anything! I can scrap BAD things, but i can't scrap decent things with mistakes! I mean.. It's decent! MAYBE I'LL NEVER MAKE ANYTHING AS DECENT AGAIN?! O_____O *Dramatic*

Good. Good. I just.. I love scraps :c
Reply
:iconicewingmoontigress:
Icewingmoontigress Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know how you feel. Parts of what I draw I love, other parts I don't, so I never get rid of the drawing. Or I have drawn 6 different things on the same page and hate one but like the others. Ugh.
Reply
:iconelenxji:
elenxji Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Precisely! xD Like if you have this nice piece of paper that you use as a sketch dumb and one of those drawings are just terrible, but the rest are decent. How can one make oneself throw it out?! There are pretty things on that paper! D:

While i think Dra is completely correct, it's.. Still hard :C
Reply
:iconicewingmoontigress:
Icewingmoontigress Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah. I have way too much difficulty tossing drafts. Not having a light table to copy the good parts sucks too!
Reply
:iconxxtsumorixx:
xXTsumoriXx Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! Thanks a ton! :) I have had those moments when I was younger where I just couldn't draw something and I gave up on the whole drawing. I'm still a little like that today, but I will definitely keep this in mind when I'm about to scrap something. :)
Reply
:iconi-am-the-wanderer:
I-am-the-wanderer Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
Very true stuff. :nod: 
Reply
:iconxygowenxy:
xyGowenxy Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dankeschön. TwT Wahre Worte.. !!
Reply
:icondelta-why:
delta-why Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
This is really good advice! Especially about risking drawings. the first try of drawing something sometimes doesn't turn out as well as the second try. as someone who gets easily frustrated when my drawing attempts fail, it is a very important thing to keep in mind that starting over is sometimes the better choice.
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Exactly. ^^
Though... it is always a bit frustrating when something does not work out in the first go. :D I often don't try again for a while.
Reply
:iconthegreatmc:
TheGreatMC Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
"  The second tip was to never shy back from starting from scratch.



While this was voiced in the context of design as a whole, I've been introduced to the guideline which argued that some ideas will inevitably require much more work and frustration to flesh out into a visibly minor product than ideas with good potential will require to bring about good results. Ability to recognize when the road NEEDS a reset to a starting point can only arise through a lot of work with those 'bad' roads, though.  

This advice had an unpleasant tone to it at first, but very soon I found out that I managed to create better results in shorter time just through being capable of dumping an unadvantageous path.
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I dislike the idea greatly at first too. It sounded - to me - like he told me to give up on something I had put a lot of work into. But while you have to "give up" the work you had put into something, it can actually save quite a few hours of future work. Before I heard that advice, I often tried to save a lost cause, slaving sometimes days over something I could not let go. And I only rescued such drawings very rarely. Starting again normally made it a lot easier than the first round, giving me the chance to finish a lot faster.

But yes, there is a ballance to be found first. :D You can't just go and give up whenever you feel like you're stuck. Some things just require a lot of work to be good in the end.
Reply
:iconcatzilla:
catzilla Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I personally have sketchbooks filled with finished drawings, partially formed ideas and sketches that I will flip through a couple of years (or more) after I've filled it, just to give the drawings a fresh eye. I often forget what I've drawn and it's fun to flip through my personal archives and go "Oh! This! Why didn't I do more with this?" and I'll start new work based on old work! Or, midway through a painting, if I do not like it, it goes in the "finish sometime in the future" drawer. I can't always finish if my hearts not in it, but I can work on it later. I also have the "ripped in quarters, redraw us please." drawer.
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is an interesting technique too. :D
Reply
:iconlorien077:
Lorien077 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
Its good advice!  I have lots of stuff that never sees the light of day.  XD
Gotta say though, reading your journal I'm glad I do the line-art digitally, then print it out to color.  I've restarted several coloring projects 2 or 3 times, I'd go mad tracing that much.  How often do you have to start colors over?
Reply
:icondrachenmagier:
drachenmagier Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Including the drawings that never even see the tumblr account? I would say around every second personal drawing. The more I try out, the more I scrap later. :D Commissions have a lower scrapping-ratio, mostly because I rarely have commissioners that ask for new things. So, I guess for the commissions I have to redo one in 10. Approximately.
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