I think one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned over the years as a self-taught artist/hack/penciler/doodler is that it requires maintenance.
If you don’t use it, you WILL lose it.
When I was younger, I was under the delusion that it was an inherent talent that I could always command at the wave of a pencil or brush.
Man, was I FUCKING WRONG!
There was a time in my life where I got heavily into film making and photography and had all but abandoned the idea of becoming a comic book/manga artist. And so other than the occasional sketch or whipping out some thumbnails for storyboarding, I let my drawing skills languish.
Languish they did for almost 10 years.
When I recently decided to pick up the pencil again a few years ago… I discovered to my horror that I had regressed.
I was considerably better back in my twenties and thirties. It was so discouraging, that I considered just chucking it all and just quitting.
Then I stopped throwing a pity party for myself and started the road back.
It was and still is a humbling experience. However I am showing some progress and that alone is encouragement enough for me to persevere.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will be a student of the craft of drawing and painting for the rest of my days. And I am also beginning to see flaws in my drawings from the old days and take inspiration from the fact that my younger, arrogant self wouldn’t have had the humility (earned through humiliation) to really start working on my flaws.
I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something charming to me about drawings on office stationery.
Anyways, I’m keeping at it and I hope you stick to whatever you love as well.