The more time I spend practicing digital art, the more I realize I have NO CLUE what I'm doing. I don't mean the software . . . I'm actually getting more comfortable with Gimp . . .but I mean with the ART ITSELF.
So, I've been drawing and painting my whole life - literally. Since I was able to hold a pencil or crayon, I've been drawing. I've NEVER considered myself an artist. In fact, I'd tell people that no, I'm not an artist, I'm just good at rendering.
People seemed to love my realistic pencil drawings and always asked why don't you go to school for art? My response? I don't like art classes because I want to draw what I want to draw.
I did take a few art classes when I first started college and I hated them. I hated the drawing and painting exercises, I hated when we had to do something abstract. I hated my 3D sculpting class (and my instructor hated me).
Looking back, I wish I hadn't been so narrow minded. All I wanted to draw or paint was realistic animals. And my view of art back then was that if it wasn't a realistic painting, I didn't consider it art. Which is horrible and immature. And I kick myself over it now.
Rather than taking the different painting challenges to expand my skill set, I constantly struggled to make whatever the project was into some realistic type painting - most of which failed horribly. I lost confidence in my abilities, grew frustrated, and stopped art all together. I would sketch every once in a while, and that was all.
Over the years, as I matured, my view of art has expanded exponentially. Yes, I still like realistic paintings and such, but also cartoon, anime, abstract, fantasy, sculpture, tattoo . . .you name it, I probably actually like it and RESPECT it as being art.
I wish I had realized this when I was taking my art classes. I could have learned so much. Because what I struggle with now, I could have had help and guidance with (mainly composition, color theory, lighting . . .).
I've only been seriously drawing and painting again over the past 2-3 months, after almost 10 years of doing nothing. And I struggle. I can only hope that with practice I'll learn the things I could have mastered years ago.