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advise for an aspiring artist

September 2, 2020

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

When Emily reached out to me about writing an article I immediately said yes, even though I had no idea what I should write about. Some time later, it is now the end of August and for some of us fall is fast approaching, bringing with it long nights, rainy days, and lots of cosy time inside. For me it also brings a lot of inspiration and with being in the house more I finally find the time to pick up a pencil again.

So I decided to write an article for everyone who has alwaysbeen interested in drawing but doesn’t know where to start or just has a little time on their hands to try something new. I am by no means a great or professional artist but over the last two years I’ve been drawing and painting rather consistently and picked up a few things that I hope will help you along on your artistic journey.

making time

With all things that you want to pursue, making the time to actually sit down and draw is key. I can spend hours brainstorming ideas, making a pinterest board with references and looking at other artists I admire. And while all of these are by no means unnecessary endeavours the most important thing to see your drawings improve is to start drawing.

don’t strive for perfectionism

This brings us to the next point: When you start drawing it will most likely not look like what you imagined, whether that finished work was in your mind or something you were trying to replicate. And that’s totally okay. Rather than trying to achieve exactly what you wanted something to look like, try to focus on the new things you learned while you were drawing and apply them the next time you draw.

do not get discouraged

This goes hand in hand with the other points. Don’t let no progress or little inspiration discourage you. Being able to transfer something from your mind onto paper requires above all things a lot of practice and practice takes time. 

draw from life

The best way for me to draw and learn while I draw is to draw from life. This way you learn how something looks in reality and not flat on a photograph. Have a sketchbook with you wherever you go and sketch your favourite people, bookcases in the library, the person sitting opposite you in the café, architectural structures that catch your eye. Or when you are at home capture the way the sunlight falls through the window or the way your pet is dozing next to the fireplace. 


You really don’t need anything besides paper and a pencil to start drawing. Of course there are so many amazing art materials out there and I love saving up to buy a new shade of watercolour or that beautiful sketchbook I saw in the store. But making art, especially when starting out really requires very little. Especially when I don’t have much time in the day to draw I just use my sketchbook, some pencils and ink. For starting I recommend a good HB pencil and paper that is a bit on the thicker side. 


Inspiration doesn’t always come easy. As I already mentioned I love to make pinterest boards for drawings I have in mind or get inspired by my favorite artists (both contemporary ones on Instagram or your favourite renaissance painter). If you just don’t know what to draw try sketching what’s right in front of you or join an art challenge (now that October is drawing nearer everyone is getting ready for Inktober).

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make use of the resources available

There is also a ton of free practice and learning material available to help you learn to draw. From guides on tumblr, to hour long tutorials on youtube. Check out books with paintings from your favourite artists from your local library or see if they have books on figure drawing.

Finally: Just have fun. Drawing has been such a lovely way for myself to find calm in stressful times, have something small to look forward to and enjoying the process of making something myself with only pen and paper. 

I really hope this little guide has been helpful to some of you and will maybe make it a little bit easier to fill that sketchbook you started years ago but never made it past the second page. Happy creating to all of you!

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the entire credit of this post and its photos go to Wenke Röschmann aka. pagesofelysan

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