I remember years and years ago in high school taking on an assignment using charcoal. I figured because I had been drawing comics and cartoons, that this was simply another progression that would come naturally. Well to my dismay, not only did my charcoal look like something a 5 year old totally trampled on, my experience was horrible, and I stayed away from charcoal medium for years. Even though I knew that it would expand my versatility as an artist, something I really wanted to do, I avoided it like the plague. So now fast forward 15 years later, and I'm back living in my hometown. I took a beginner's art class at the local junior college. Even though I was far advanced than most in my class, I always believed that getting a refresher on the basics would be a good thing for me, and put my artwork on another level.
But can you believe it, the final project of the class was to do a full charcoal portrait of a non-family member. I was dreading it! But one thing about me, is that if I have do do something and really have no choice, I decided to buckle down and learn and get it done. Well, six weeks later, and over 30 hours of hard work, I completed my very first full 100% charcoal piece. I couldn't have been more prouder of myself! Everyone around me marveled and loved the art portrait I had done.
So what is the lesson of this story!? Well it is this. Whether we are starting out in something, in this case art, we need to have the humility to learn the basics, and start from zero and go up from there. You can't get worse than knowing nothing... So plant your feet and be willing to learn. Be patient and you will be amazed at what you are capable of doing. Never assume that if you are at a certain level of skill that you can't learn and get better. Again, you will be surprised at what you don't know. Even if it's from learning to hold a pencil correctly, be humble about it, and learn it. Don't say nothing, not even to yourself. Just learn it.
The keys to learning anything in life is this...
If you remember those four things, you will be able to learn and should you choose to, master anything your heart desires! I hope this helps you artists out today! Get to drawing, and I will talk to you all again soon!
- Ian W.