The recent ask about improving got me thinking, so I thought I’d share this with you guys.
Now, I’m gonna start with a very cliche thing, but improvement does take a long, long time. I was told by a teacher that if you notice improvement within a few days/weeks, that means you’re still sucking hard, haha. Because when you’re at a really really low skill level, it’s much easier to improve, but once you’re decent, it takes way longer to improve, and the journey gets harder.
Here’s a good Pokemon analogy: When you’re playing Pokemon in the beginning, it probably takes you a few minutes to level up from 5 to 6, but after you beat the Elite Four, leveling up from 55 to 56 takes goddamn forever. This is exactly how art works. Your skill in art is like your Pokemon. Once you’re at a decent enough level, it takes goddamn forever for you to level up. The difference here is that in Pokemon you’re capped at lvl 100. In art, there is no ending; you keep leveling up, and it gets harder and longer everytime. The ending is when you die.
Although, that said, if you’re noticing no improvement in months, then it’s either one of two things: 1) you’re already at a decent enough skill level that it’s going to take longer to notice improvement, or 2) you’re not practicing enough.
And while we’re on this subject, let me emphasize once again how important it is to step out of your comfort zone and try doing things you’re always afraid of, or is always bad at. Even if you won’t end up mastering that particular skill, there is something to learn there that you can apply to the stuff you’re already comfortable with, that will make it better.
Here’s another Pokemon analogy: If you’re on lvl 55 trying to hit 56, will you go back to Route 1 and beat up lvl 2 Rattatas (or Bidoofs)? Or will you go to Victory road and tackle Pokemons that are around your lvl? Unless you’re a complete grinding masochist (or EV training, but that’s another long story), you would definitely pick the latter. The higher level Pokemons are harder to beat, yes, but you level up faster because they give you more EXP! This is the same in art! Tackling things that you’re not comfortable with can only help you level up faster, because they give you a lot of EXP. Sure, you might lose the battle, but you still keep that experience you gained from tackling that higher level pokemon. And after recuperating, you can try again and eventually you will win, and you will level up faster than committing a massacre on Rattatas.
You cannot believe all the wisdom you obtain from playing Pokemon.