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How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Art?

How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Art?

September 19, 2021

By Rachel Blythe

Are getting frustrated with your progress in art? Do you just want things to move forward a little quicker?

We’ve all been there.  We’ve all been stuck and wanted to move forward.

Stick around for our best advice on improving your art skills just that little bit quicker.

Unfortunately, the question, “how long does it take to get good at art?” is a bit like asking “how long is a piece of string?”

There is no concrete answer to how it will take anyone to get “good” at art because:

1. Everyone advances at different paces
2. Art is subjective and there is no being “good” at art, really
3. Your improvement depends on a large range of variables

Sometimes we want answers to questions like this because we want an easy fix for our difficulties. Feeling like you’re struggling with your art or like you can’t improve no matter what you do, is never a fun experience. We’ve all been there, and we know exactly what it’s like.

Sometimes we want to ask people how long it took them to get “good” at art because we want to be where they are right now, and we want to skip all the uncomfortable steps we are going through.

But don’t forget that all these people we think are “good” at art and that we admire all had these uncomfortable stages too.

They didn’t skip them and, maybe unfortunately so, neither can you.

Getting “good” at art takes time, and there’s no way around that.

It takes experience, time to hone your skills, and overall time spent creating art.

But don’t take this as a negative thing.

Don’t let it put you off.

Definitely don’t stop reading past this point because this feels like disappointing news.

There is a lot to be said for working on something for a long time and perfecting your craft. There is a lot of worth in sticking with something, seeing it through, and reaping the rewards down the line.

Art is, of course, first and foremost a creative outlet and a creative work. But it does require discipline and patience. Becoming an artist is to practice art on a regular and consistent basis. It is improving month by month, year by year.

Sometimes we worry so much about outcomes that we forget about the beauty and importance of the journey it takes to get there.

There is no “get rich quick” scheme with art, and nor there should be.

No great thing comes too quickly.

Art is a great lesson in patience.

And a great lesson in discipline.

If you’re starting your journey into the practice of art, or you have hit a sticking point somewhere along the road, we do have some practical tips and advice for you to keep yourself consistently improving.

There are no cheat codes and no “hacks” here.

Only solid things that you can put into practice and use to improve your craft long-term.

Remember to hang in there and remember that anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Without much further ado, here are those aforementioned tips to improve your art just a little bit more quickly:

1. Put in Daily Practice

The only way to get better at anything is to put in consistent, daily practice.

If you want to improve your art skills, you need to be creating art every day.

It doesn’t have to be “good” art every day and, in fact, you don’t need to focus on it being “good” at all.

Just focus on putting your practice in every day.

Draw or paint or create anything that springs to your mind and do it over and over again.

The more you draw or paint the same thing the more easily you will figure out where things are going right and where they are going wrong.

You can start to catch your own bad habits in the act and work to rectify them.

When you practice every day, you can also try out a bunch of different art styles and types. You can use some basic trial and error to figure out what you like the most, what you like the best, and where your strengths lie.

You can’t really get into something and know every intricacy of it by doing it once or twice a month. You have to get down into it and keep at it.

You can really find yourself and your artistic strengths when you practice every single day.

It doesn’t have to be hours and hours of practice every day, as long as it is something. If you can only squeeze in 3o mins of practice while you catch your morning train, that’s ok.

For once, this is quantity over quality.

2. Push Yourself Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Something that will help you practically and tangibly improve your art skills is pushing yourself outside of your current comfort zone.

If you only create one type of art and use a certain type of artistic tool, you might be keeping yourself flatlined in the same position of progress.

In order to develop and grow as an artist, you need to try all sorts of different things.

This will help you figure out what exactly you are best at and you might even find a new niche that suits you better than anything you’ve tried so far.

It is much more fun to practice regularly and consistently, too, if you mix up what you are practising. If you do the same things every day you might find yourself getting bored and fed up, and this will persuade you to stop doing it.

In fact, a big reason that you might feel “stuck” in your art progression is that you are quite simply bored of the art you are creating.

When something doesn’t interest us and light the fires of motivation under us, we are less likely to give that thing our best, and it is less likely to be of good quality.

Keep yourself interested and motivated by spicing things up every now and again.

Try all different forms and genres of art and try things you aren’t comfortable with yet.

You’ll be truly surprised at the improvement you can make in things you never would have dreamed of trying if you just try them.

3. Learn from Those Around You, Don’t Compare

Comparing yourself to other artists is the best way to kill your own art.

Comparison doesn’t inspire, it destroys.

Improve your art skills by engaging in social media and online communities in the right way but kill them by engaging the wrong way.

The right way to engage in such things is to gain all the inspiration and insight you can from other artists without comparing your progress to theirs.

Engage in any classes, daily prompts and challenges, or discussions that you can find online. Get to know other artists and get to know what helps them create art.

Gain education and motivation from others.

But don’t compare yourself to them.

Got that?

The worst thing we can do for ourselves is to compare ourselves to other people and set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and our art.

To be “good” at what we do and to be truly our own self, that has to stand alone.

Online communities are amazing when you use them in a self-aware and healthy way.

There are incredible artists out there, professional and amateur alike. And we can learn a lot from them, their attitude and their technique.

But always remember that there is only one you and your progress can only ever be measured in relation to itself.

Compare yourself to who you were 6 months or a year ago, but never to anyone else.

Some Final Words…

If you clicked on this blog to find an answer to the question, “how long does it take to get good at drawing?” I can only apologise if you are disappointed.

Because there is no answer to this.

Creating art and being skilled at doing so is not a linear process and it is not something that can be easily measured.

It would be like trying to use a ruler on a constantly moving and fluid object.

Ever tried to measure the length of the tide?

Yeah, you just can’t do it.

So, instead of worrying about “when” you will finally be “good” at art, try and turn your focus instead to your current progress and what you can control with that individual journey.

The three things you can try to improve the journey in art that you are having are to practice daily, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and use online communities to your advantage.

You can’t hurry up your journey to reach the destination because, in fact, there is no destination.

There is only the journey, and you cannot skip that part.

Practice patience, diligence and consistency, and you will know what it is to truly be an artist.