This is my first post in this category, so I thought I would give a little introduction.
I desperately want to improve my artwork. I want to rival the artists whom I look up to, with the ultimate goal of completely illustrating my own webcomic (and making it look awesome).
This desire is what inspired me to create this website. Artprompts.org started out as a personal tool, one that was only for myself to force me to draw things out of my comfort zone. I soon realized that it would be a cool thing to share though, and it blossomed from there. Unfortunately, this meant that I threw all of my spare time into making a website for like-minded people to use, instead of actually drawing!
A new, lofty goal!
I made a post in The #1 most important tip to getting better at drawing where I write about the “10,000 hours rule.” Basically, there is no such thing as “natural talent.” Just like being an athlete, becoming a good artist takes a lot of deliberate practice. That’s it. Now, 10,000 hours is supposed to be the minimum amount of hours to become an expert at something, as in one of the best in the world. That is a lot of time. If you were to practice at something for three hours a day, it would still take nine years to get to that “expert” skill level.
That being said, I am starting a 5,000 hours goal. Why? Because I’m not starting from the ground up because I have a bit of a foundation. Plus I don’t necessarily want to become a world-class “expert”, I just want to be good. Good enough to look at a drawing and not totally hate it.
I made a page to track my goal, and that fancy sucker has a bar graph.
What I strive to achieve
Now take a look at this following image grid. This is just a tiny selection of some of my favorite images from my favorite artists, artists who I look up to and want to emulate. The characters are beautifully stylized, the colors are vibrant, and the environments are wonderfully done and well-lit.
My skill level now
Erm… here is the skill level I am starting out with. I’m not terrible, but I can’t say that I’m any good either. Not compared to my idols. And I am certainly not so great with coloring… I have a lot of work to do : )
Like I mentioned above, I originally started this website as a tool only for myself, but it has grown into something much more than that. Now I want to bring resources and information to those who have similar goals and aspirations as myself. That being said, I challenge everyone to create their own 5,000 hour challenge, because after all…
Yes, lots of work to do. I am determined to hit that 5,000 hours goal, though. Feel free to follow along, and please share with me if you are doing a similar challenge! I’ll keep posts that are related to my person work in their own category called “My Work”, and I’ll try to update that weekly as well as update my hour tracker and bar graph!
I am a new writer and I love your practice philosophy. I am working on becoming a better writer. Amazing Website! Fantastic Job!
Thank you! I do believe that it is the only way to become really great at something. I write in my spare time too, have you ever read “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King? It is really great and informative!
If you start drawing/ recreating simpler characters or settings that you can draw at your skill level and make your way up I think you can reach your goal a lot easier than drawing things based on a painting that is more advanced than what you’re doing now.
The incredible gallery of images in this post isn’t necessarily what I am going to be basing my drawings off from. They are just an example of the quality I strive to achieve. You’re right though, I have to work my way up!
So neat to run into this, I’ve been doing a similar thing based around the 10k hour rule as well. I have it set up on a spreadsheet with an algorithm so that for every 100 hours I ‘level up’. I use an add-on called ‘Maniac Timer’ to keep track since most of the time I am working digitally.
Good luck with your challenge (also this is a really cool website, thanks for setting it up)!
I’m glad you’re doing one too! Do you post your work anywhere online? Once I get a decent amount done I will start scanning and sharing; I’m pretty slow with my studies still so it takes me a while to get enough decent content for a sketchdump.
I use a spreadsheet too! Nothing fancy, just a row per date with hours done and an area to note what I was doing. Then I have it calculate how far along I am in the 10k hour challenge (currently at .002%… *cries*). How far along are you?
I use Toggle.com (free and cool!) to track time if I’m at my computer, and my phone’s stopwatch for when I’m lounging on the couch : )
Yeah I do! I keep my tumblr most updated.
I have a deviantART as well but I only post finish stuff there so it’s not updated often.
I’m not as far as I would like either, I started keeping track May 24th and I only have around 70 hours ( .71% I think?). I’m slowly trying to get back in the habit of drawing a lot, I have a weekly goal and I’ve just been kicking it up by an hour every so often. It’s tough! Keeping track of time has been a lot more motivating though.
I’ve never heard of Toggle before, I’ll have to check it out!
Oh crap, I meant that I started April 24th haha. Sorry!
This is too awesome. I love the idea of tracking. Any tips on how those of us less tech savvy might do something like this? The very thought of coming up with an algorithm in Excel makes my brain shut down. Thanks in advance! 🙂
I’m going to make a google spreadsheet and share it with whoever wants it! Look for it in the future : )
So I came across this when I was looking for art prompts, and I must say, I am quite inspired. As a young artist, I don’t have much experience, but hopefully by the end of this challenge I’ll be better.
This is a great idea! I try to do something similar using Time on Mac, but I’m terrible at remembering to turn it on. One of my goals this year is to be more consistent in my art habits, so I think I’ll try it out again!
I’ve been wanting to start this challenge myself. I have no problem with timing myself, thogh I have been looking everywhere for an online progress bar, or a desktop gadget/widget to download where it would calculate my progress via percentage etc. such as on this website.
I think I should make a “5000 hours” spreadsheet/chart in google docs and share it with whoever could use it. Thanks for the great idea!
So what happened? There’s less than 25 hours logged since 2015.
Forgetfulness! Thank you for reminding me to update this page.
Thanks for cotubirtning. It’s helped me understand the issues.
Ok, but everything that you label as “not very good” is still 1000% better than any piece in my sketchbook. Just remember, even if you think your work is bad, know that mine is worse.
This made me chuckle. I feel this way when comparing myself to my favorite artists, too!
I know this is an old post, but I only found your website now and I hope you’re still doing this challenge. ^_^ This idea is inspiring – like many, I’ve capped out at a level that isn’t where I want to be but is as good as I can do without committing the many hours to improve my art.
I’ve been saying for the last year how I want to learn to paint, to work with color better, etc, but not making any headway when between work and family it seems like there’s never any time. This idea – 5k hours, keeping track, watching the bar go up… I really want to try this, and I’m dropping this comment both to thank you for making this website (the prompts are great!) and to commit myself to this idea. So thank you! For the site, for the inspiration, and I hope your art is going well.
Just a question. First of all, I love this challenge, but when was the last time you updated the goal bar? I find it weird that you started this 2 years ago and have only reached 27 hours. I started my own tracking and I got to 32 hours in 3 weeks. So I’m just wondering if you still update it, or what? Not trying to sound like a troll, but I’m invested to see your progress.
What do you mean by ”level up”?
This looks very awesome! And wow, your 3rd annivesary for the start of this art challenge is coming up soon! ^-^
I draw 24/7, well almost every day and i do traditional art, lol haven’t got the time or money to get a drawing tablet just yet.
Keep up the great work!! =D
(PS: i also upload all my work onto deviantart, well most of what i have done since i joined deviantart which was in late last year i think and im still active on there x3)
Happy 3rd Anniversary for the start of this art challenge!!! ^-^
Your claim that there is no such thing as natural talent is an idea I keep seeing in the tutorials and articles I read online. Honestly, I just don’t see that as true. As a child, I was drawing as soon as they put the crayons in my hand. I was always the best artist in my classes, and my teachers would say, “You’re very talented.” As a little kid, I hadn’t practiced or put any thought into it. I had never made goals or had ambitions to become an artist. I was never in love with an idea in my head. I just naturally drew pictures without a moment’s forethought. I know there is such a thing as natural talent. A person with natural talent who works exactly as hard as someone who has none will win every time. It’s a fact of life that I really wish people would stop denying. There are people with natural ability in all areas of life, the genius mathematician or physicist for example. Certainly not everyone can be as brilliant as Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawkings.
I know a person who is so talented at dance that it’s obvious to everyone in her dance school, me included. She is and always has been the person with a natural gift for dancing. I’ve watched nice normal people who have formed a fervent wish to become a dancer, who have been trying for an equal amount of years as my friend. They could never rival her no matter how hard they worked. As long as my dancer friend works hard to improve herself, she will win every time over the rest. She has the right body, the gift of perfect rhythm, the knack for picking up dance steps with amazing speed, and the musicality that so moves her that she can’t help but become one with the music. These attributes make up the array of natural abilities known as a talent for dance. There are such arrays in all of the arts. Why do people keep denying this? We are not all created equal in such an unequal area of life as the arts. Most people with talent know it. However, when everyone around them denies it, it’s discouraging. I suppose it’s natural for teachers to want to encourage everyone equally. That’s fine, but to deny the few in order to encourage the masses is destructive to those who might have the potential to become great.
It feels like I’m being told that I don’t exist when I keep seeing it said over and over that there’s no such thing as natural talent.
I have to work hard and practice just as much as everyone else, not because I’m untalented, but because art is a extremely difficult.
I haven’t seen a post in here in around a year and a half, but I wanna say that I’m taking an art class and it’s pretty hard to find inspiration on what to draw. I think this website is a work of art itself in the sense that it helps others so much. I think I’m going to try to do a big hour goal challenge with art as I want to get better, and I can’t wait until the user gallery comes out. Also, I want to see your drawing progress, it’s a great idea. Thanks!
I appreciate it! I need to update the challenge section, big time 🙂
Are you okay with people joining in as long as they reference you? I just started my Blog this week and I’m ready for my first challenge!!!!