November 13, 2018


"Ugh! I hate my art! It sucks!" - How many times have you thought that in the last week? And beyond the frustration, how does that make you feel? Do you see this feeling going away once you start improving? You're about to learn why you need to embrace that your art sucks and why you're lucky that it does!

Hate your art - Why you need to embrace the fact that your art sucks - PaintingDreamscapes

See, hating your art is pretty common in the art-verse. Especially in the beginning when you have high hopes and unachievable expectations.

You focus so much on where you want to be and how you're not yet there, that you forget to enjoy what you already have.

"My art sucks. Whatever should I be enjoying about this?!"

I used to feel the same way years ago when my art was sooo bad. I couldn't wait to get better. I was desperate to be at the level I longed for. To be praised for my art skills.

But now that I am, I look back and long for those days when I was still a newbie. And I know most of you will too.

That's why today I want to show why you need to embrace the fact that your art sucks and why it's actually a good thing!

Hate your art - On my way to loving my art printable journal - painting dreamscapes

Your art sucks because you're experimenting and trying new things!

Don't get it wrong, though. This doesn't mean you need to stop experimenting. On the contrary. It means that you're experimenting with something you're not skilled at.

You're trying your hand at something new. You're saying "buh-bye" to your comfort zone and diving into tall grass without your favourite pokemon.

You're venturing into new territories and you're obviously not going to be good from the get go! Nobody's born knowing everything.

Anything you want to master in life takes time and effort. And when you try new things, you'll suck at it.

But, practice and some feathers blowing up in your face when you say the magic words wrong later, you'll be good!

If your art sucks, it's because you're trying to develop new skills and new techniques.

Which brings us to the next point...

Why becoming good can be a trap you don't know how to escape from

Earlier in the post, I mentioned how I used to dream of the day I would finally be awesome when I was still a newbie.

But now that I'm good, I look back and miss the days when I was still learning and messing up.

Every so often, when procrastination kicks in and suddenly cleaning the fans of my custom-made PC feels like an exciting and almost irresistible task, I take a trip down memory lane instead.

In this case, memory lane = my old art on deviantART.

I go through my old artworks and as I look at them I'm overcome with a sense of longing and melancholy.

These old artworks full of ridiculous anatomy, wonky expressions, weird coloring and compositions so messy they make you wonder how many long island iced teas I must have had to come up with that.

Yes, those artworks. 

This one in particular always comes to mind because I wouldn't be brave enough to draw this now.

final fantasy viii squall and rinoa dressed up as griever and ultimecia - art by rydi1689

Why would you miss that?!

That's a good question! And, I didn't know the answer up until a few days ago when another artist told me how insecure they felt about their art.

And I realized, I feel more insecure about my art now than I did 8 years ago. 

Isn't that crazy?

So, I dug deeper into that realization and I found out why I felt insecure and why I longed for the old days when my art sucked (big time).

I was free to draw shitty things.

I could draw anything my heart desired and if it looked wonky, so be it!

But, now? I play it safe. I'm too scared of stepping out of my comfort zone. Of trying new things and making something that sucks in the name of progress.

I'm trapped by my own skills and I don't know how to break free.

So I long for the good ol' days where I could draw anything I wanted, not caring what it would look like. Or worrying that people would think my skills are worsening if I experiment with new techniques and fail.

But, when you're so worried about making the perfect artwork, the life it used to have vanishes. And your art begins to look stiff and plain. High-quality, but lifeless.

It lacks the spark of creativity that comes when you don't care about it being perfect. You care about having fun and testing your boundaries. That's when the best art happens!

Hate your art - On my way to loving my art printable journal - painting dreamscapes

Why you should embrace the fact that your art sucks

Enjoy this time because it will come to an end. Your efforts WILL pay off. You WILL improve.

You're becoming the artist you've always wanted to be, one drawing at a time.

And, soon enough, you'll stop venturing into the unknown. You'll stop going out of your comfort zone.

You'll decide to focus on what you're good at. Secretly fearing trying something you're not good at and feeling like a fraud.

And you'll be trapped by your skills too.

Enjoy the freedom that being a growing artist gives you. Have fun. Draw all the crazy things. Try all the ridiculous poses. Paint with all the colors of the wind. 

And, maybe you don't need to embrace the fact that your art sucks. 

embrace the adventure and fun that comes with developing a new skill

Remember the fun. The excitement of trying something new. The boost of confidence when you see your efforts paying off.

Remember all that and kick your comfort zone to the curb. Only then will you be free from the trap of being good and you'll actually become better than you could've ever imagined.

Related: What to do when you hate your art and how to love it instead.

Over to you - Do you see your art differently now?

Do you ever feel like your art sucks? Or you hate your art but you're not sure why because everyone around you says it's good? I hope this post inspires you to embrace your art, regardless of its quality!

Are you remembering to have fun while you draw? Or has it become a chore on top of your already packed to-do list?

What can you do now to make drawing fun again? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

I'm Lucía and I help creative people embrace their passion for art and empower them to become the artists they always wanted to be. I work with growing artists to help them unleash their potential, improve their skills and protect their art.

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  1. Hi Lucia

    I have had experiences just as you described and I had days where i look at my art and go "what the hell is going on?"

    But i now accept this… its the big stepping stone (for me) in improving what i can't do and trying out something new.

    Watercolour was my worst, still not my greatest medium but i know i can be able to enjoy looking at what i can do with it and go afterwards "not too bad"

    Thanks for the post! 😁

    1. Hey Jade! Thank you for sharing your experience with me! I resonate with that too, I’ve had instances where I wanted to violently flip my desk and give up on drawing altogether because everything looked horrible (and I’m talking recently, not when I was still learning the ropes). Thinking that I know I have the skills to draw the thing and it’s still looking wonky and I can’t figure out why. But then I also have moments where I go through my gallery and see pieces and I go “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE *I* DREW THIS!!!” and I’m baffled by the absolute masterpiece I made (and how I can barely recall ever drawing it to begin with lol). I like your stepping stone analogy, it’s definitely true and a great mindset to move forward with 🙂

      PS. Yeah, I’m amazed at people who can make gorgeous watercolor pieces. I think it’s one of the hardest mediums for me too. But it’s a skill and you can master it if you set your mind to it! 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and talent. As I read what you wrote, I could definitely relate. I’m not a great artist but I try. My dream has always been to become one. One time I decided that I didn’t care if my paintings were good or not. Heck, I could always paint over them or throw them away. I wasn’t going to sell them. Well with that mindset of freedom, I actually painted some very good scenes. I hold myself back and I have to reflect on that day to stop my own criticism.

    1. Thank you, Cherita! That’s actually such a great way to look at it to not hold yourself back! Releasing yourself from the need to be good or perfect is so powerful 🙂 Keep doing your best!!

    1. Hey Rachel! Thank you for sharing that, it must have taken a lot of courage to open up about how your art makes you feel.

      I don't know what's causing you to feel this way, but you're not alone.

      Your art is a living, breathing thing and your relationship with it will change over time. I find that the way we feel about our art is often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves.

      Even when the rest of the world says our art is amazing and the best thing since sliced bread, if deep down we feel unworthy, we'll find a way to see our art as crap and everyone's compliments as lies.

      Sometimes it's true that our art "sucks" and it just means we're in the beginning of our journey and we need to improve more. The first cheesecake I baked tasted like feet, yuck! So I kept practising until I got it right! Now everyone fights each other to eat the last slice!

      If you're unhappy with your art, keep practising and look inside of yourself to find the real reason why you feel this way. Only then will your feelings change.

      I have another article going over what to do when you hate your art and how to love it instead if you want to dig deeper:

      Sending you all of my support, I know you'll be able to find a way to enjoy your art <3

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