Many kids wish to become architects because they love drawing – was that your case? I know sometimes doing something professionally might take the joy out of it, but I hope this hasn’t and won’t happen to you. Drawing is my hobby but I’ve faced quite a few challenges – lack of inspiration, lack of the skills I thought I had, lack of creativity and even lack of motivation. Therefore, throughout the years I’ve read many articles, watched many videos and asked for advice on how to improve. I’ll share with you some tips that helped me!
Forget the pencil and eraser.
It’s so tempting to reach out for that rubber whenever your line gets too wavy or you draw the second eye very much unlike the first one. Most artists are perfectionists, but the best ones aren’t. We have to learn to stand by our mistakes and own them. Learn to enjoy a finished drawing more than a perfect one. If you’re like me, you leave a sketch the moment it’s not perfect anymore and you just start a new one but that’s not the way to success. Draw directly in ink again and again until you actually forget what it’s like to have the option of correcting anything and THEN take out that pencil. This helps your confidence and your creativity as if something doesn’t go as you planned you have to adjust accordingly.
Draw the same thing a couple of times.
This sounds silly but it’s not. When I was younger, I wanted to be a graphic novel (a.k.a. comics) artist and now I follow a ton of Disney and Pixar animators. However, even if I draw something I’m really proud of, I can’t quite get it right the second time around and much less trying to show it from different angles or in other poses. That’s the challenge now, isn’t it? Although as a professional architect you probably don’t have that problem as you have to see things 3-dimensionally but still. So do a quick sketch of something, then do a more detailed drawing of it and then copy that as quickly as possible. That’s like when we learn writing as kids by writing every letter a couple dozen times… Basically, our hand muscles learn the same way the body does in sports! Fascinating, right?!
Carry a notebook around and finish a drawing a day.
Why are professional artists so much better than those of us that just do it for fun? Yes, having studied it definitely plays a role but the main difference is simple and fixable: they do it more. The rest of us can only spare a few minutes daily to scribble something but fortunately, that is actually enough. Don’t wait for the opportunity to sit down at a desk and concentrate and create a masterpiece because who knows when that’ll be… Just carry around a small sketchbook and draw in it while you’re on the bus, in a waiting room, on your lunch break or before going to bed. It can be a small flower, an architectural design or a character concept – just finish it to the point where you like it. They say “Practice makes perfect” and whoever “they” are, they’re not wrong.
There’s no shame in drawing from reference.
I’m still learning this one. I like showing my drawings so I hate the idea of showing something that’s not 100% my idea, style, and feel. But I can feel it holding me back as that is limiting me to drawing only the things I like in the style I’m good at. So step outside your comfort zone! In Instagram search #art, scroll down and randomly pick one and redraw it. Nobody is forcing us to upload it later, claiming it’s ours – always reference photos, drawing or any other posts you use even as inspiration or like me, just keep it in your notebook to learn from it. Get your hand accustomed to new movements, lines and flow by learning from someone that’s got that down.
Push yourself but don’t force yourself.
I hate coloring my sketches. I love coloring in general – I have those super cool stress-relieving coloring books for adults, but I just don’t like coloring my own stuff! And yet I look around and everyone seems to love colors so I almost always give in and decide to color my pretty line drawing. I end up hating it and throwing it away altogether. It’s just not my thing and it’s not just that I’m not really good at it – I really prefer my art as outlines. So although I believe it’s beneficial for me to practice my color and shadow techniques, I probably won’t continue trying anymore. As an artist, you don’t have to be good at everything and enjoy everything. Learn what works for you and what you’re fine with not working for you. (Also, I am giving digital drawing a try and still not sure how I feel about it so that explains the picture above.)
Try drawing everything once.
Everything you draw will teach you something even if you plan on never drawing that again. Do you want to learn to make super straight lines for drawing buildings freehand? Why not try drawing a bouquet of flowers to practice control over your strokes? Do you like drawing cartoons? Try doing a realistic portrait of your sibling. Having a favorite subject and style of drawing is awesome but wouldn’t it be cool to know you’ve tried everything out. Look around and sketch the first thing you see. Practice making patterns, draw circles, try faces – don’t limit yourself.
I hope this was helpful! Please show us if it did by tagging @architect-us on Instagram the next time you post a masterpiece! Thanks!