TL:DR- when is imitation not the ultimate form of flattery?

(Answering this publicly because I’ve had similar asks before and it’s something I might as well cover for everyone. As for you zilliah, you don’t have to show me the work in question and I’m not mad at all- this is something that happens to every artist who experiments, and every artist should experiment.)

If you’re feeling uncomfortable with your work, then that’s a sign that you should take a step back and evaluate it; stop. Look. Think. What it is about it that is making you feel that way?

Learning new styles is very good for you artistically, but it isn’t the same as copying styles- of course, that is how you learn about new styles, in the beginning, but it’s crucial to move forwards from simple imitation and go on to use it as inspiration. Pick up the traits from different methods that you like and smush them together to make something new. Find something else you like, do it again. ‘The best artists steal’ doesn’t mean copyright infringement or being lazy pays off, it means you have to steal knowledge and convert it into something original. You have to steal intelligently. Do so, and you can commit the perfect crime- you can become an inspiration yourself.

Never post something that worries you. Sometimes it’s tempting to, simply because you’ve drawn it, but hold back, look at it, look for what worries you; there will be a reason for it. Do not be lazy. Do not ignore that uncomfortable feeling. Do not pass it off as you being silly. Trust your instincts. Find the reason. Learn.

If you feel as if you’ve become stuck in a rut or can’t get away from a style, try going in a completely different direction; do some more drawings in a totally different technique or a new medium, go back to your ‘old’ style, see what you’ve learned that you can apply, find your groove.

Basically, if you feel like something looks too much like someone else’s work, then it isn’t your work. I don’t mean that in the sense that they will hunt you down and skin you for copying them, I mean that it will not feel right for you, and will never feel right until you figure out what the problem is. Nobody is going to force you to, the challenge is to overcome the inclination to let it be because hopefully nobody will notice. Don’t give in to apathy; you’re better than that, prove it.

Don’t limit yourself to one style, but don’t copy- learn. Kick your butt back into drawing pictures that feel like your own work so you can shove it in people’s faces and say OI. LOOK AT WHAT I DID. I DID THIS.

Righto, carry on then.

  1. cameoapparition reblogged this from modmad
  2. zilliah reblogged this from modmad and added:
    Thank you, this really does help. c:
  3. wheeljak reblogged this from modmad
  4. caffeinescribbles reblogged this from modmad and added:
    ^ This
  5. demoni reblogged this from modmad
  6. modmad posted this
A collective of miscellany and mirth. Also sometimes I draw stuff.

view archive


Art and stuff


Ask me anything