Chuc mung nam moi! That’s Vietnamese for “Happy New Year”, even though this post probably won’t be posted exactly on Lunar New Year. I am Vietnamese, so lunar new year is a huge part of my culture. My family comes together, and we eat delicious food like banh chung (Vietnamese sticky rice cake), and play fun games. After dinner, we do “li xi”, where the children wish adults a happy new year (in Vietnamese), and the children get red envelopes with money in them. In joy of this celebration, I drew a picture of two characters, Noiz & Koujaku, from one of my favorite anime, DRAMAtical Murder. This piece took about five hours. I really loved drawing it, because I’ve never drawn these types of clothes before, and it was a great, new experience for me. Isn’t it ironic that I’m drawing Japanese outfits when I’m Vietnamese? In general, there are a lot of things I want to fix about this drawing. I was running low on time, so I couldn’t add as many highlights as I wanted to, and I didn’t have time to change the line color, so the line art looks really harsh. I also want to fix Koujaku’s nose. Enough, with my self-critiquing. Even though I know I’m not an expert at drawing, I wanted to share some tips for young artists, like me, who are just starting out.
- Don’t compare yourself to others! A big reason why people don’t even want to try drawing is because they think “Oh, I’ll never be as good as…” So what? Even if you think you won’t be as good as them, you should still try. You should set yourself to your own standards, and even if it isn’t that good, be confident. Be confident in your abilities, and tell yourself “I will get better, I will get better”. My old art was really, really bad, but I kept improving because I believed in myself.
- Find inspiration. A lack of inspiration really stinks when you want to draw. Instead of sitting down and waiting for it to come to you, go look for it! Some ways you can look for inspiration include looking at nature, exchanging ideas, getting your own art critiqued, or, my personal favorite, thinking about your favorite characters in funny scenarios. After getting inspiration, drawing should come easier.
- Learn the basics. Go watch some YouTube videos about anatomy. Read tutorials on color theory. This part of drawing isn’t fun, but it is a fundamental of learning to draw. You should learn a broad range of art information as well. I, sadly, did not do that. My weak points are definitely drawing animals and architecture. When I started out, I only focused on drawing people. This is why you should start out learning many things.
- Practice! Practice! Practice!!!!!! I know every artist tells you this, but it is true!! The only way to get better is by practicing. Like sports and school, practicing your skills is so incredibly crucial. I am so impatient, and I even explained how frustrating I was in my last post. However, as I also said in my last post, improvement comes over time, so you have to learn some discipline and work hard. Right now, I’m still practicing to get better.
I really do hope you liked this post and try to use the tips I gave. I would love for more young people to discover the fun of drawing! Thank you so much for reading through this long, boring thing. Bye bye for now! Try to save some time for drawing in your agenda this lunar year.
Hannah, 9th grade