Secrets, Tips & Tricks to Finding Your Voice as an Artist | Marie-Noëlle Wurm | Skillshare

Secrets, Tips & Tricks to Finding Your Voice as an Artist

Marie-Noëlle Wurm, Artist, illustrator, stargazer

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14 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:26
    • 2. My story & the issue with talent

      2:00
    • 3. Using what you know

      0:36
    • 4. What you need for the class

      1:47
    • 5. Secret #1 — Relearning how to see

      3:44
    • 6. Secret #2 — Inner pressure & the 10000 hour rule

      3:14
    • 7. Secret #3 — The Everything Book

      5:10
    • 8. Exercise part 1 & Demo — Collecting inspiration

      1:38
    • 9. Exercise part 2 — Visual brainstorm

      2:33
    • 10. Demo visual brainstorm

      2:50
    • 11. Exercise part 3 - Finalized drawing

      2:52
    • 12. Demo finalized drawing

      3:17
    • 13. The takeaway

      0:53
    • 14. (One more little secret) Paradoxical truths

      6:48
31 students are watching this class

About This Class

Whether you're someone who has been drawing for years, or whether you just started drawing, we are all familiar with the feeling of fear. Of doubt. Of not knowing how to move forward. Of being scared that the result will be terrible. Of what that says about us. Of what that says about who you are as a creative person, and that maybe you're not as creative or unique as you thought. But you are.

In this class, I'll share with you secrets, tips and tricks to help you find your voice as an artist and keep the negative self-talk at bay, including one of the most important tools I use, something I call "the Everything book". Together, we'll do a 3-step exercise to see how you can move from inspiration to finalized drawings — how to use what you know and do on a daily basis as the starting point for fun and enriching drawings. 

Negative self-talk is so common and yet so destructive, because it sets up all these barriers within ourselves, building up walls before we've even walked onto the path ahead. The classes I teach focus on overcoming these inner hurdles and exploring the full potential of your inner creativity, which is a limitless pool of ideas and colors and lines and shapes. I want to teach you the same secrets, tips and tricks that have allowed me to unleash my creativity, so that you can learn to unleash yours. Like everything, it's a process, a step-by-step of moving forward, and then moving back, successes and setbacks. Those parts that we don't like, the failures and fear and self-doubt are actually indications that you are GOING SOMEWHERE and THAT is already a huge success. :)

If you want to check out some of my other classes, they're over here: 

Abstract Watercolor Painting: Explore Through Freeform & Planned Process ( selected as a Staff Pick!)

Improve Your Ink Work: Brush Pen Adventures Through Lines & Textures ( selected as a Staff Pick!)

Fearless Art Jumpstart: A 14-Day Drawing Challenge to Unlock Your Creative Self

Drawing Plants & Leaves: Grow Your Unique Style Through a Visual Library 

Unleash Your Creativity: Draw Without Fear in 5 Simple Exercises

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hey. Welcome to my second sculpture class. I made another Skillshare class back in September, ''Unleash your creativity: Drawing without fear in five simple exercises''. This second class is going to be kind of a follow-up on that one, but you don't need to have done that one in order to do this one. You can either start with this one or that one, whatever order you want, but they definitely complement each other. One of the biggest issues when you're drawing and you're interested in developing your drawing skills, is the battle with self-doubt and the critical part of ourselves that says that what you do is not good enough, there's no way that I could ever do the things that I aspire to do. Whether you're a complete beginner or somebody who likes drawing but wants to bring it further, if you've always considered that you have no talent or if you're of the belief that you've gotten to the level that you can't get any further, or even a professional illustrator who feels like they have some sort of a creative block, this class is for you. It's meant to open the doors that are already there within you, but then you maybe just don't know how to unlock. I'm going to, in this class, be trying to give you little tips and tricks and tools in your toolbox so that you can open these doors that are already there, that will really help push your drawing practice forward and help you find your voice. Without further ado, welcome to my class. I hope you enjoyed the exercises. Let me know if you have any sort of questions. I love talking about art and creativity. It's something that I'm really passionate about, so feel free to reach out. I also have Facebook, Instagram. I also have a Patreon account where you can support the work that I do and get behind the scenes photos and videos into my process and some projects that I'm working on. I wish you all the best on your creative journey. Congratulations on taking this journey because it's worth it. 2. My story & the issue with talent: So I'm an artist and an illustrator, and I've been doing this for about six years now and there's one thing that many people maybe don't know about a lot of artists and a lot of illustrators, is that even if you're a professional in the field, there will be a lot of moments where you get plagued with self-doubt. I battled it immensely, especially in the beginning. There was actually a few years where I didn't even draw at all because the self-doubt was so overwhelming and I thought, oh well, I'm not talented, so there's no way that I could ever do the things that I aspire to do. Luckily along the way I met this amazing teacher, my mentor, Sandrine Godin in Quebec and she really helped me free up all these walls that I had built up for myself. We all build these walls. We build these walls unconsciously without meaning to and because we often talk about drawing as being connected to an innate talent in comparison to biking, which we consider as a skill or reading, those things are considered something you don't know how to do, but you'll eventually learn if you work at it. Whereas it's funny because music and even more so art, the visual arts, that's considered talent and if you have it, then you have it, and if you don't, then you don't. I kind of want break with that narrative because I'm living proof that you can start out with absolutely no talent but if you're interested in it, if you're passionate and if you work at it, you can go somewhere. Some of the tools that I'm going to give you in this class, hopefully will help you break down those hurdles and re-inspire confidence in yourself. Work on practicing the idea that you can get better at it. It's just a matter of finding the right tools and spending time. 3. Using what you know: One of the things that I really want us to focus on in this class is, I want to teach you not only little secrets and tips to help you along the way, but also show you concretely how you can use the things that you know, the things that you love and know and see on a daily basis, of those can be starting points for finding your feet and voice. We're going to explore that together, I'm going to demo it for you, and I can't wait to see what you're going to do with it. I'll see you soon. 4. What you need for the class: What do you going to need for this class? Nothing very complicated, just like in my other [inaudible] class all you need is some basic drawing tools, and something to draw on. I recommend having a sketchbook, but if you can't afford it or you don't have one lying around, any paper will do as long as you have enough of it to complete all the exercises. The important thing, and I'm going to restate this even though I said it already in the previous class, is that you want to take a sketch book and materials that still make you feel okay with picking them up and drawing. Because I know that sometimes if you get like a super beautiful sketchbook, or super beautiful pen, and they cost a lot, and they just look super professional sometimes that can trigger the internal fear but I have no idea what I'm doing. If that happens to you, if you're somebody who might have that tendency like I did when I started out, then doesn't matter. Gets some ugly little sketch book, just even a note book with lines, the smallest of things that will allow you to feel free to start drawing. That's the most important. In all my classes, I'm going to say it, and I'm going to say it again. The most important thing is to actually draw, because you can listen to all the classes in the world, if you're not applying them, you will not be learning from it as much. You might learned some stuff and it's true, there's part of learning that is more on an intellectual level. But if we're talking about drawing, at some point, you have to draw, so go ahead and do it. 5. Secret #1 — Relearning how to see: The first little secret or tip that I want to give you, is the necessity to re-learn how to see. Drawing as a form of communication, rather than using words we're using images, and if we're communicating using images, then it means that we need to also develop a certain vocabulary. In order to develop your artistic skills and to find your voice as an artist, you need to be making sure that you're developing your visual communication. The first step in developing that is actually learning how to look better. Why is that important? When we're walking around all day, especially in this age, the digital age where there's YouTube, and Netflix and movies and all these visual entertainment forms we can somehow end up taking for granted our visual sense. We take for granted all these things that we're seeing on a daily basis and we miss out on the possibility of activating our eyesight. For example, when you're in your day-to-day life, sometimes you might happen to see let's say a tree and you'll be like, "Wow isn't that beautiful." Then you'll move on literally like five seconds later because your mind is already wrapped up in, what's the next thing that you're going to do? What do you have to accomplish on your to-do list? What time do you need to get to work? All these sort of things they're trying to get in the way of slowing down and actually activating our eyesight more precisely and more fully. For a few days when you're going about your daily life, I'd like to invite you to take a little bit of time to actually look at what's around you as you're walking or commuting or hanging out somewhere. Take the time to actually observe in detail what is around you. Find things that you think are beautiful. It could be a certain texture, certain color, the way light falls, movement of a child, your cat that you think is super cute or building that you might see and think, "Wow, those lines are really interesting." I want you to try to isolate what it is that you find beautiful. What is it that you see in these objects that makes you think, "Wow, this is really interesting." When you're doing that, you're actually training yourself to look at the world in a new way. The more that you learn to slow down and re-learn how to look at things. The more you're going to be able to expand your visual vocabulary and inject it into your art work. The other thing is it also gives you information about what specific things you actually like. Are you interested in patterns, chaotic shapes, geometry, light colored shadow? There's a wealth of different things to choose from. The takeaway here is you need to learn to look more and to look better. The amazing thing with this is it also ends up reconnecting you to the present moment, which is something that we sometimes talk about but, I can't underline how important that is, especially when you're drawing because that's also one of the issues with the self critical part of ourselves. It's actually pulling us out of the present moment. If you're already engaging yourself in trying to observe what you're doing at the moment, rather than have inner dialogue about what is the next thing that I have to do or judge yourself in a negative way, ask yourself questions. Why do I find this beautiful? Why do I find this ugly? It doesn't even need to take very long. It's literally just training yourself to snap into your eyesight. That's the first tip that I have to give you. If you feel like sharing in the project section what you've discovered when you activate your eyesight, feel free, I'd love to hear what you think. 6. Secret #2 — Inner pressure & the 10000 hour rule: The second secret that can be super helpful and I have been talking about this in between the lines, is the idea of practicing. The more you practice a skill, the better you will get at it and I know we've heard this so many times, but it's because it's so true. When I was a teenager, I didn't really draw very often at all, barely. I did it when I was a kid. Like a lot of people, when you're a kid, you end up drawing without having any issue. Then as you start becoming a teenager, then you start becoming more self-critical. I'm not actually that good at this. You hear other people say, he's really talented, she's really talented and you do not might hear those things. You figure, well, I'm just not going to do that. That was my case. My creativity expressed itself in many other ways through my clothes on the walls of my room, which I would spend hours decorating. But I still loved the visual arts, there was this website that I'd go to, those with all these Illustrators and I would spend hours going over their beautiful images, wondering if one day I could really get to that level and believing that I couldn't, still since I liked it every once in awhile I would end up drawing. Maybe let's say once a year, twice a year. The thing is if you're only drawing once or twice a year or let's say even five or six times. The amount of pressure that you put on yourself. If drawing is something that you likely inspire to, is inversely proportional to the amount of times that you're going to do it. [ NOISE ]. If you make one drawing in a year, the pressure is going to be insane. You're going to be like, this is my drawing. You guys look like I have my tools. I have my Canvas from my paper. I'm going to do this. But I'm actually terrified and I'm either not going to do it or I'm not going to enjoy any of it or I'm going to do it and then I'm going to hate myself for doing it. What that says though, imagine the opposite. Imagine you do 500 drawings a year. How much pressure do you think you'll have on one of those 500 drawings? It's only one of 500. If it screws up, does it really matter? I won't fail. Next one. That's the idea behind this notion of practicing. The more you do it, the more you are going to alleviate that inner pressure, and the more you're going to learn. I don't know if you've heard of the 10,000-hour rule. If you spend 10,000 hours doing a specific thing, that's what will make you a master of that thing and that tells you how many hours you need to work on something before you get good at. I don't know if that number is legitimately correct, but it's that idea. The more you do it, the easier it will get, the better you'll get. As long as it doesn't become a chore. You don't want it to be a chore, you want it to be fun. Keep it fun, keep it light, and do it as much as you can. [MUSIC ] 7. Secret #3 — The Everything Book: We've talked about re-learning how to see, and we've talked about practicing. There's something else that I haven't mentioned yet, which I think is also instrumental in terms of finding your voice as an artist. That means finding who you are as an artist or if you want it in the more technical term, finding your style. I like the idea of finding your voice better because drawing is like music, like photography, like other visual art. It's an expression of the self. One of the main issues when you're starting out or even later on, you might not know exactly what your style is, who you are as an artist. What is it that can help you determine that? There are a lot of different things. But the thing that I would say is the most important, is finding what you are interested in. Finding what makes you specifically you. What makes us ourselves is not only personality and our history, but it's also what inspires us and what fascinates us and it's so particular to each single person. I'm not going to be fascinated by the same things that you are, and that's what makes us really unique. Because we all have this very subjective personal vision of the world and of the things around us and your voice lies in that specificity. How do you develop that? One way of doing it is obviously try to find inspiration wherever you can. It can be books, movies, music, science, sports, food, people, basically all the things. All the things can be a source of inspiration. But what clarifies that is having what I call an everything book. Here is one example of an everything book. This is my little everything book. I have big everything books and I have small everything books. The distinction between an everything book and what we usually call a sketchbook, is that in an everything book, you don't necessarily just need sketches in it, you can put any and all sorts of different things in it. If you want to find out what it is that makes your specificity, this can be a super great tool because it can be like a collection, like a collection of things that help define you. It can also include other things that are less fun like schedule, to do list, calendars, reminders. But all that is also part of the process because all those things are part of your life and part of what defines you. If you're interested in developing your voice, getting to know what makes your specificity, you might want to use the exercises in this class as the starting point for an everything book. If you started with my previous class, then that can be your everything book. For example, I'll have mixes of different things, brainstorm session, finished drawing, quotes, dreams that are also super personal to each one of us and that can be super-helpful. A mix of words and texts. Also, if you want to be working on something more technical then you can have whole pages where you're working on different things like anatomy or even just lines for example in that one. Here I was working on different animals. But some adults will even use a drawing and then start writing other things around it, tracking my Instagram progression, more sketches. You can do some topography. It can be messy, it can be clean, it can be any mix of different things that you might find inspiring. Just to give you an example of some of the quotes that I collect in my everything book. This one says, "We never tell the story whole because a life isn't a story; it's a whole Milky Way of events and we're forever picking out constellations from it to fit who and where we are." That's a quote from an author that I really like called Rebecca Solnit who I really love and I actually draw a lot of inspiration from my drawings from some of the things that she says in her books, which I find are visually really interesting as well. The important thing with this is that just like a sketchbook, you shouldn't be afraid of failing, of sketching, of making mistakes. It's a place where you can play and have fun, but also create your personal collection of what is meaningful and inspirational to you. In doing that, the more you train yourself with collecting all these different things that inspire you, the more that's going to help you figure out your voice as an artist and inject it into your artwork. Make your own everything book. It's not a requirement, but let me just say that it's an amazing tool that can really help you figure out what your style is and get to know more about yourself, which helps you figure out what your voice is. Try it out. I'd love to know how you feel about it and what it triggers, what you learn about yourself. The more that you know yourself, the more you're drawings are going to reflect that authenticity, and that's beautiful. 8. Exercise part 1 & Demo — Collecting inspiration : Enough of me blathering. Now it's time for you to get to work. Well, us because technically I'm going to also be doing this with you. The first exercise that I'd like you to do, is to start up you own everything. The way that we're going to start it is going to be very simple. I'm going to ask you to just open it up, the page that you want, and start creating a list. It can be a bullet point list, it can be a more detailed list, whatever suits you. I want you to write down a number of things that inspire you, what are things or subjects even that get you going, make you feel excited, and in awe, you want to know more about or you want to see more. It can be books, podcasts, movies, directors, bands, specific people. Write why exactly those things inspire you. What are the things that get you excited on that subject? What's important about this list is that it needs to legitimately be something that you're interested in. I don't need it to be anything visual. I don't need it to be art related. It is literally anything. Anything that makes you excited and interested. Write down that list, and then in that next step of the exercise, we're going to be pushing it towards the artistic realm, and you'll see what I mean by that. 9. Exercise part 2 — Visual brainstorm : Once you've finished your list, I want you now to take a look at your list and try to look at how or what are the visual elements that can come into play that might be connected to that subject. Let me give you one example. One thing that I've been reading about more recently has to do with network theory. I'm not going to go into that too much, but it's about how you bunch of different people who are connected to each other with different likes. If one person changes, then it can influence the people that are connected to that person. I don't know if you need to know that. It's a very theoretical, scientific concept, seemingly unrelated to art work but when you actually go and look at the science that is behind that, you see that there are all these images that are connected to it. There are little tiny circles connected with lines. The bottom line is that literally anything can become a starting point for drawing. Often I'll think of ideas, there will be things that I've been reading that will inspire me and I'll try to find the visual form of making that concept clear. Not necessarily trying to explain to people what the idea is. If you look at the drawing, you might not know that I was actually thinking about network theory in the beginning when I was making it. The point is, these ideas, these thoughts can be triggers to lead you on the path of finding a visual voice. Look at the different subjects that you wrote down, or the different directors or whatever it is that you wrote down and try to do these little tiny sketches of visual ways of evoking bad idea, play around with that, brainstorm. This is going to be a brainstorming phase. Try a variety of them, not just one. You might find that you'll be able to find things for several subjects but not for all of them. If you want to go ahead and challenge yourself even more by trying to find one or two or three for each one of these subjects, go ahead. Be my guest that's awesome, you don't need two. The minimum is choose three subjects. I want you to go ahead and do these little thumbnail drawings that can evoke visual forms of these subjects or things that inspire you. From there, we're going on to the third part of the exercise. 10. Demo visual brainstorm: Here's my little brainstorm session with the little thumbnails, as you can see I've a mix of different things, I have some that are more literal like birds and swift. So I've sketched Tengu bird and some feathers, and then I also wrote the journey itself here. So this one is a little bit more related to that, sort of the journey that birds take when they migrate. So that's a more literal kind of subject, as is this one natural textures, wood, and concrete, and this is sand actually and then I have other subjects that are a little bit more abstract. So for example self-care, where I was thinking in this only idea of being centered around yourself and then radiating outward from that and then this is just taking care of your feet because people including me don't take care of their feet enough and they need love. So that was that one, and then we have this one for example, which is a little bit more abstract about the network theory and how we can influence each other, so this is more similar to images related to network theory that I've seen, and then these two are sort abstract kind of representations of the domino effect, or how we can permeate each other in a sense. This is an author that I really love called Rebecca Solnit. Her work has really inspired a lot of my art work, so here what I chose to do is, for example, this one relates to sort of the structure of one of her books called The Faraway Nearby, where the chapters are kind of a mirror image to each other, and you can see it actually at the beginning of the book. So that I thought was maybe an interesting representation of that, and then in the beginning of her book, it's dedicated to the mothers and the wolves, so I made a quick sketch of a wolf there. So as you can see there's a lot of different ways that you can interpret these different ideas, you can stay more literal and then you can just kind of expand on those and go into more of an abstract realm and just try to represent kind of what you mean. If you can share your thumbnails and kind of tell us what you were thinking about for some of the thumbnails in the project section that would be awesome, I'd love to know at least so please share. Now I'm going to move to the third part of the exercise where I'm going to take some of these and then make a finalized drawing with them. I wrote my list initially and then added this thumbnails little by little, but you can also do it in a list form, and then have your thumbnails on the second page, whatever you want to do. Exactly just play around with it, have fun,that's the point. 11. Exercise part 3 - Finalized drawing: Okay, so what we've been doing there, we went from a written form to a slightly more brainstorm visual form, and now I want us to go into the phase of trying to get a finalized drawing in. All of these things are experiments, so relieve that pressure off yourself. If it doesn't work the first time, maybe do a second one, do a third if you're feeling inspired and if not then that's fine too. Share with us what you learned in your drawing, whether it's a success or whether it's a failure. There's always something important there to be noticed, go ahead and share it with us. How are we going to proceed for this third part of the exercise, the final drawing? What I want you to do is I want you to look at your brainstorming ideas, these little visual nuggets that you found, and I want you to choose one of them as the starting point for a drawing. The drawing can be figurative, the drawing can be abstract, it can be a blend of the two. Whatever you're most comfortable with, or on the other hand, whatever challenges you a tiny bit without going into the zone where you're not going to actually continue the drawing because it terrifies you too much, keep that in mind. Take one, or two or, three of these thumbnails and start drawing. You can copy the thumbnail that you made or you can vary it, you can change it a little bit, and this time we're going to go full-blown out page for this single drawing explore it, vary it, maybe even as you're drawing, maybe you'll take inspiration from another little thumbnail that you thought was actually not very interesting or it could go into a completely different zone. Have fun with it, that's the most important thing. Choose whatever tool it is that you want, whether you want to stay in black and white or in color. The most important thing here is just that you see that there is this process. There is a process that can go from finding your sources of inspiration, finding a way to visually interpret them, and then from there use that as a starting point for the artwork that you're going to make. I hope you enjoy the exercise and I can't wait to see what you have to show me, it's always super fun to see what people do because, I find that I always get surprised as a teacher. I'll give out an exercise and my students will bring them everywhere and anywhere and that's awesome, I love it so please go ahead and share it in the project section. I will be commenting on it, if I don't get to it right away, don't worry be patient with me, I will get to it eventually. But I love seeing your work so please share. Thanks for being a part of the community and I'll see you in the exercise. 12. Demo finalized drawing: I'm sorry because I realized almost at the end of my drawing that the time-lapse actually didn't work, so you didn't actually get to see the process of me building this, which is a shame, but you know what that's going to give me the chance to do second one and show you a different on. But just so you get ideas, so for example here I was thinking about the birds in particular and the swift's, so I used actually reference photo for this, which you can see here, which is a photo that I took of one swift, but there's a second one in the background, that I took care of last month. If you're using references, it's always better to use your own photos, or if you're using somebody else's photos then to modify it so that you don't have any copyright issue. But yes, so I started out first with this little guy, and then I started going into these lines that I would then connect to each other, that are very softly connected, which I was taking inspiration from this one, and then these lines actually initially looked more like these textures, or almost like the wood texts crews and the mix of these two. Then I brought it somewhere else, so that's what's nice about it too, is that these are all just a little indications of things to spark your creativity, and then from there you can really go wherever it is that you feel free to go. Why don't I show you a second one just to give you another example, and so you can actually see the process from start to finish, here's my second one. As you can feel went for something way more abstract than the first, I just wanted to show you the variety of things that you can do, whether you're doing something a little bit more figurative or something completely abstract. As you can see as I'm building it, I'm taking inspiration from my little brainstorm for concretes, which in itself is already a little bit abstracted because what I was looking at is I have a concrete pot, and if you look at it in detail, you do see these little dots and lines, but obviously if you looked at my little drawing here, it doesn't look like concrete, but that's not the point, it's just, what is visually, what do I find visually interesting in that. I'm adding domino line that I had over here, and I'm actually drawing over what I initially did. Right now with the char, and it doesn't matter that I'm covering what I started with. There's nothing sacred in your drawing. If you do something, it doesn't mean that you're not allowed to cover it up, and sometimes I've had drawings where you won't even see what I started out with, it would just be hidden under the layers, but the point is like everything is a springboard to something else, so if you feel like adding color, if you feel like covering a section of your drawing that you already did, go ahead, take that risk, plunge into it and see where it brings you. It always brings you to interesting places that you wouldn't necessarily have gone to before. I hope you enjoy the exercise and I can't wait to see what you share in the project section. 13. The takeaway: Basically in this exercise, I showed you cut out version of what it is that I do on a daily basis with my drawing practice. It's one of the ways that I find that I'm able to constantly renew the series that I'm doing. Push myself out of my comfort zone and continue to have fun exploring different avenues. That's a really good tool to have in your toolbox to realize that everything that you see on a daily basis, everything that inspires you, every new thing, or person, or subject can be a starting point for fun drive. Please share in the project section. I'Il comment on it if I don't right away, don't worry about it. I'll get to it eventually. I think that also we can bounce off each other and inspire each other by showing all the different possibilities that you come up with. Yeah, let's do this. 14. (One more little secret) Paradoxical truths: There are a few things that I think are important to note here. I've often talked about in my previous class but also in this class, the idea that being self-critical is not necessarily a good thing because it can create barriers for yourself. It can block you from actually drawing, from getting out your pens and your paper, and doing what it is that you want to be doing. That is absolutely true. However, there is slight little thing that I think that is interesting to keep in mind. I don't remember who it was exactly, but there's a quote from some writer or some author. I found who the quote is from, it's from a guy called Ira Glass who hosts a podcast called This American Life, if you're familiar with that. I love podcasts. If you like podcasts, listen to Radiolab, Invisibilia, This American Life, Serial. There's tons of them, S- Town, you name it. They're awesome ones. Anyway, so he wrote, and I'm going to read the whole thing to you. It's a little bit long, but bear with me. "Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer, and your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. If you're just starting out or you're still in this phase, you got to know it's normal. The most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. It's going to take a while. It's normal to take a while, you've just got to fight your way through it." Basically, one of the things that he's saying is that there's a usefulness to this critical voice, and what it brings to light is the gap that exists between what it is that you imagine being able to do, and what it is that you're actually doing, where you are, and where you'd like to get to, and that's not a bad thing. That is something that I think is still important to keep in mind, but not in the sense of, "This doesn't correspond at all to what I was envisioning and I don't think I'm ever going to get there, so why even bother trying?" That's the negative part. That's the part that I'm trying to deconstruct in these classes. But there is something interesting in that tension, is that that tension is what can help you push forward, continue to strive to do better. That is actually a good thing because that desire to become better is the thing that is going to make you progress. If you're satisfied by what you're doing, good for you. There's a lot of people who aren't even able to get to that, so congratulations if that's the case. But if you find that you can't get rid of this notion of "I'm not good enough", it just doesn't match what you'd like to do, and it's so incessant, but you're still able to do stuff, you don't let it overpower you to the point where you're unable to do anything but you still here it nagging in the background, then what that means is that it's a signal that there's some area of your drawing that still needs work. Try to identify, what is it? Are you frustrated by technique, realism, composition, or are you not quite sure? The most important thing is just figuring out, "Okay, this is telling me something. This is a message that is driving me to action." I think that's one of the main takeaways of all the classes that I give, is that all these thoughts that we have on a continuous basis, whether the positive or negative, they're all messages. If we just learn to listen to them carefully enough and with compassion and love, we'll realize that we already have a wealth of things to learn from ourselves, and that the things that we think we're not capable of doing, actually, we're telling ourselves that we are. It's just hidden behind those messages. Obviously that can apply to a lot of things in life. A lot of you don't know me, but personally, I've gone through a lot of rough patches. It was really hard for me for a lot of years. I'm not going to get into the details of that, but what I am going to say is, there's one thing that I learned, even that negative self-talk deserves love. It deserves acknowledgments. There's a reason why that part of you is speaking, and it's speaking because it's the part of you that's afraid, the part that needs comforting, the part that needs you, the adult you to tell it "You know what, it's okay. I'm going to help you. I'm going to be there for you." The message, it might seem really dark, and negative, and icky, and you don't want to look at it, but all of these little tidbits are actually little golden nuggets wrapped in coal, and we just need to find a way to scratch the surface of that coal in order to reveal the nugget that's within it. That might sound really idealistic, but on a personal level, what I can say is that it's something that's helped me immensely in my life, and has brought me to be who I am today and the artist that I am today. It's helped me find my voice, so maybe it's something that will help you find your voice, especially if you battle with self-doubt and not knowing where you're at. Keep in mind the thing that Ira Glass was saying in his quotes, that if you're still self-critical, then it just says that you need to spend a little bit more time doing the things that you love doing. Then the other part, that even if you do hear that voice, give it love, give it compassion, and find the golden nugget that's behind it. If you're interested in developing your artistic voice, keep at it. I know you can do it. Too serious. My God. Let's take a load off, because you finished this class. I'm being silly. I hope to see you soon on whatever platform it is that you prefer, whether it's Skillshare, or Facebook, or Instagram, or Patreon, or Twitter or Etsy, or wherever else it is. I'm on all of them, so come find me. I'll see you soon.