My beef with classical art schools started many, many moons ago. Having been primarily self-taught and with a natural inclination to drawing, I entered art school with a fair amount of confidence. I knew I didn’t know everything, and I was far from perfect. But what I was able to do, I was pretty proud of and I was also eager for what they could teach me. What I wasn’t prepared for was the attitude of classicism.

It didn’t take long for instructor after instructor to tell me that #1, what I was doing wasn’t creating art. They said I…

Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s not only pointless and a huge waste of time, but it’s also one of the best forms of self-sabotage. It can stop you from any progress in trying to reach your goals. It can prevent you from becoming the best version of you possible.

Why do we do it?

Comparing yourself to others can lead to crippling self-doubt. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Image ID: 43705151 Copyright: Ion Chiosea)

According to Psychology Today, up to 10% of our thoughts can be occupied by comparing ourselves to others as a way of measuring ourselves to the way others look, do, act, etc. We do it to take stock and to see how we’re measuring up…

For many artists even thinking about how to start a sketchbook can be a huge source of anxiety. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Image ID: 31733833 Copyright: Antonio Guillem)

It shouldn’t be so nerve wracking, but for some reason, even contemplating how to start a sketchbook often grips many artists with uncertainty. Similar to the terror of the blank canvas, making that first mark in a new sketchbook can grip us with anxiety. Perhaps it’s a reluctance to mar a pristine surface as strong as the desire to create on it? Maybe it’s a fear of screwing up. It could be anything. …

Step Back to See Things Clearly

Do you step back from your drawings regularly? As artists there are countless times when our drawings are just a little off. Many times, it’s something subtle and we might not be able to pinpoint the problem right away. Here are several tips that might help, and they all require that you step back.

It’s part of the routine of drawing. We are naturally up close and personal with our artwork, sometimes hovering just inches above the surface of our paper. We do this for hours on end. Optometrists have long suggested that we give our eyes a break every…

Is It Worth the Trouble?

Let’s start off by taking a look at what the copyright infringement definition actually covers. According to Wikipedia’s definition, “Copyright infringement (colloquially referred to as piracy) is the unlawful use of works protected by copyright law without permission for a usage where such permission is required, thereby infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works. The copyright holder is typically the work’s creator, or a publisher or other business to whom copyright has been assigned. …

Creative block is similar to writer’s block, but it affects artists. And just like writer’s block, it can be super frustrating to the point where it just shuts down our work altogether. In a nutshell, Merriam-Webster defines writer’s block this way, “the problem of not being able to think of something to write about or not being able to finish writing a story, poem, etc.” or “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” It’s often inexplicable. It’s always stressful and frustrating.

Creative block can happen to all of us and when it does, it can be extremely frustrating. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Image ID: 121093411 Copyright: vejaa)

My number one cause is usually the anxiety I feel at the start of a…

Winston Churchill stated that “perfection is the enemy of progress.” Perfection is something many artists get tangled up in. Striving for it and hating everything that they create because it isn’t perfect. Some get so trapped by it that they stop creating all together due to the self-deprecating thoughts and hateful emotions surrounding that elusive goal.

Your constant drive for perfectionism can prevent you from even trying and ultimately stop all progress. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Image ID: 47013353 Copyright: STUDIO GRAND WEB)

Some of us are worse than others. I also have a thing with perfectionism. My style is photo-realism. It has to look like a photograph. There is inherently a good deal of perfection, or the idea of it, in that style. However, I do…

When one considers how to start drawing, it can seem completely overwhelming and intimidating. It’s strange when you consider that as very young children, we all drew without hesitation or fear. Much like walking or learning to speak, there was no fear about making mistakes or falling down. It wasn’t until we became aware of peer pressure or the opinions of others that most of us stopped drawing.

Most kids stop drawing not long after this, stopping all drawing skills in their tracks. (Photo Credit: Myra Naito Art Credit: Myra Naito, 1st grade)

This arrested development in terms of drawing, is exactly why when you attempt to draw as an adult, it looks like a child drew it. …

Almost every artist I know has gone through bouts of insecurity. The ‘I’m not good enough mentality’. It can be a crippling fear, an insidious monster that burrows deep within the psyche. I know I’ve certainly gone through it and still do more times than I’d care to admit. But how does one get past the ‘not good enough’ stage? Do we ever? An actor with stage fright who refuses to get on stage doesn’t get very much work. Likewise the artist who is afraid to show his work doesn’t either. …

Reputable private art schools are exceptional at what they do…teach art at the highest level. They do however, come with an astronomical price tag. Current tuition for a degree from private art schools matches the price tag for medical school. This leaves the potential student with some serious things to consider.

Private and even state art schools can bury students under heavy student loans. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Image ID: 40765837 Copyright: Narongrit Suebnunta)

First of all, do you really need an art degree?

For some professions, like teaching K-12 or at a college level, you do need a degree. But for most jobs that require you to actually create artwork, most companies want to see your portfolio, not your degree. In other words, they want to see your work. What can you…

Myra Naito

Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at mnatiodesigns.com/blog/ or follow me @mnaito_fineart .

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