Training alone is hard.
Training alone is depressing, because you are always triple-doubting every step you make.
Why being part of an art community is important
For the longest time, I had to practice art by myself. There was no art school near where I lived, and the internet was not exactly bustling with art communities back then (to be fair, there were a couple, but getting constructive feedback was hard, and forums did not allow for easy communication).
You might find a book or a video tutorial, but you never know if you are applying what you see correctly. While self-critiquing is fundamental to your growth, knowing that someone else can give you feedback, support you, and keep you accountable, makes it much easier to stick to the good fight of learning art.
Let’s then break down some of the reasons why finding an art community can be a real blessing in your art journey:
1- Early feedback
Together with deliberate practice, the other key component of improvement is feedback. In order to improve as fast as possible, you want to fail, and you want to fail quickly, so that you can course correct and move on to the next weakness to address. Posting your work to a good community will allow you to get the input you need to chip away those nasty issues that have been plaguing your art.
Sometimes you just have a bad day. Everyone does. Maybe you are considering giving up? If you can share your concerns, fears and doubts with like-minded people that are on the same journey, it feels less of a burden. Yes, doing art is hard, and if you train alone long enough you might start thinking you haven’t got the “talent” to do it. Talk to your peers, and you will see everyone is on the same boat.
Accountability is something we are really not much familiar with anymore in this day and age of the internet, where everyone says anything and everything from behind a keyboard. That’s why intentionally making yourself accountable is incredibly valuable.
If you are one of those people who struggle to keep consistent, being held accountable is a great way to boost your motivation for a particular task. Want to improve your head drawing? Draw some every day. Announce in your community that you will be posting at least 10 head drawings per day. You might not be able to do it every single time, but the simple fact of knowing someone can publicly shame you for not keeping your word could be enough to do at least half of that. Better than 0, and better than giving up!
4- Sense of belonging
If you feel lost and literally have nobody to show your art to, a community is the perfect place to find recognition. It’s better than random social media where people don’t even know you, because a good community fosters the relationships of its members, and the tighter the relationships, the more each member feels appreciated.
For this reason, when choosing a community, aim for small to medium size, where you can easily get to know and connect with the various members, and make yourself known too.
On top of that, most art communities run regular challenges! That might be just what you need when you really don’t know what to draw.
In the end, whether or not you will improve your art always depends on you, but having someone that supports you can sometimes make the difference.
If you don’t have any community yet, consider checking out our discord!
Want more? Here are some ideas to get you started
– Rogue Arcanist
– Moonlit Sentinel
– Sky Duelist
– Shadowfire Elemental
– Luminous Drakespider
– Crystaline Behemoth
– Whispers Grove
– Crystal Cascades
– Echoing Tunnels
Artist of the week
Former Blizzard and Riot, Trent is not only a great artist, but also an awesome teacher. He is mostly known for his youtube channel, where he posts art tips and tricks, as well as insights from the industry, having worked on titles like Summoners Rift, WoW and Diablo.