How NOT to be an anime artist

Don’t get me wrong. Being an anime artist can be fun and pretty rewarding when you get to admire your own creations. Anime is awesome and so many people, young and old, have become interested in learning how to draw anime. But if you can’t seem to figure out why your art is nowhere where you would like for it to be in comparison to your idol’s work, you might be following these steps very well. And in that case STOP.

Step 1: Watch TOO much anime.

This is a big one as it’s the first step to being an unsuccessful anime artist. Watching anime is a great form of entertainment and inspiration, but really, you can’t watch it and become a master through thought alone. Hoping and dreaming of becoming an anime artist without taking any action is fruitless.

Invest in a quality sketchbook and pencils and actually designate some time each day to draw. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. An artist needs to have that time with the paper to focus in on their craft.

You’ve probably heard that it takes “10,000 hours” to become a master at something. If you spend too much time watching anime and not enough time actually drawing, it’ll take that much longer to become skilled.

Step 2: Copy and ONLY draw anime characters.

It may seem counter intuitive, but only drawing anime characters limits what you can learn and understand about drawing in general. Yes, tracing and copying characters is actually a good way to start learning how to draw anime. That’s how I started and I recommend newbie artists start this way too, but the end goal eventually is to reach the point where you can draw originally from your own mind.

Building a character from scratch is more complicated than eyeballing and sketching Kakashi from Naruto. Once you’ve learned a lot about what goes into anime drawing, you can start to draw upon that knowledge to create your own works of art. But what some newbie artists might not realize is that drawing more realistic subjects, such as the human body, gives you a wider range and a more well-rounded knowledge source to tap into. So learn to draw from life, learn perspective drawing, draw cars, draw animals, draw everything learn human musculature

Step 3: Compare yourself to others and give up.

It’s quite possibly the best thing to do to keep yourself from becoming a better artist. It’s something that I’ve struggled with for many years, so I will give you the honest and straight truth about how to overcome it:
Know that the other artists who you admire work to get to that point. Yeah, there may be some rare artists who are the exception to the rule, but most art is not effortless, so you need to put in the time, build your knowledge base more

If you are jealous of an artist’s level of skill, that could just be a sign that you need pay more attention to your own goals as an artist. If underneath it all, your goals are to improve in your abilities, a reminder of that may come in the form of jealousy when you view others work. Honestly, when you put more time into achieving your own goals, you feel these feelings less when in the presence of another person’s work.

Remember also that their art level is NOT a reflection of YOU, and possibly, if the artist found out that their art made you quit, they might be saddened by that because that’s not the reason they created the piece in the first place.

If you feel that their art is a reflection of how much you suck, this is a sign that 1) you don’t value yourself and what you do enough and 2) you forgot the true meaning of what it is that you do. Art is self-expression, you are expressing yourself through 2D (or 3D) mediums. A reason as to why you practice drawing is so that you can get better at either expressing yourself in a way that is understandable to others and/or in a way that can convey something similar to what you see in your own mind.

What you see if their form of expression and a combination of the knowledge they have built their work upon. And when you think about it, anime is a form of expression too, from a collective group of people at a studio.

You can draw inspiration from expression, find the things that you like about the work and incorporate (not copy) some of that into your own work, in your own way. (Almost every artist does this, even the ones you may admire.)

One last thing, DON’T QUIT. Especially for that reason. If drawing anime art or any art for that matter is a form of expression that you enjoy, then don’t stop. No one but you can take away your expression.


That’s how NOT to be an anime artist, for those who don’t want to be! I’ll have more tips and advice appearing later on in this blog, so be sure to follow me and not miss a beat!

Thanks for adding a little anime “spice” to your life~

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