During my second semester of foundation at Pratt institute I had a very interesting drawing teacher named Douglas Wirls. One my last day of class, where we had our final review he told me something that will stick with me forever. Professor Wirls said to me:
“It is your responsibility as an artist to care about your own work. It is a responsibility you have to your work, that you MUST care about it and seek to improve it, because no one else is ever going to care about it as much as you. No one else is as personally engaged in it as you are, so if you give up, that is entirely on you. No one is going to stop you one way or another, it is all on you. It is YOUR responsibility.”
It made me think, and although it has only been less than a year since he said this to me I have often reminded myself and taken solace in it. Perhaps during the early years of learning, this reminder is most valuable.
It can be an incredibly frustrating path to improve your artistic skillset. Sometimes the pencil just does not put down the marks you image and at times you may look at your work and feel it is all hopeless and never improving, but if you want to get better the only way is practicing. There is no shortcut.
You owe it to your work to keep going and improve.
Have you gotten any advice that made a big difference to you in your career? If so, please drop a comment. I’d love to hear it!