ramblings in between

the art + life of sharon samples

Bad Art Is Good Art: Always Room for Improvement


Reposted from tumblr.

This idea was originated by ivorylungs.

The purpose of this meme is to encourage younger artists to continue to improve. But it can also work for older folks like me. ;)

To be honest, I never thought about giving up on art. Doing art was something that was just a part of my life, and my parents encouraged my talent, never discouraged it. But it wasn’t until I got to my junior year of high school, when I was considering what career path to pursue in college, that I had to make the decision on whether or not to pursue art as an actual profession.

So drawing has never really been a chore for me. However, as I progressed in developing my artistic talent, there were many moments of frustration, of things not turning out exactly as I pictured, and that’s still something with which a struggle to this day.


August 1996—Spring 1997: I was about 14 years old when I got “serious” about my art. The piece on the right is something I drew of my characters Adriana and Amber, referencing the poses from catalogs. Sometime between then and the next year, I discovered art on the internet and I began reading comic books. This led to me to learn how to stylize my art.

After high school, I went to college, earned a BFA in Graphic Design with a minor in Photography. I had to take a butt-load of art and art history classes. I didn’t take any illustration classes, but I did take figure drawing (LOVED IT) and perceptual drawing classes.

So, if when people ask me if I have formal art training, the answer is “yes,” but I was drawing long before that. Drawing is a talent, but it’s also a skill that needs to be developed and cultivated. The only way to get better at it is to do it.


April 2008—January 2013: I started doing fan art around late 2007. The drawing on the right is the first drawing I can remember doing of people kissing. I was really happy with how it came out. My style was continuing to evolve as I was learning how to draw characters based on real actors. There’s a specificity to the features that’s a challenge to execute just right in order to get the right likeness of the character. And that’s the main reason I continue to do fan art.


February 2013—December 2013: Now, I recently did a drawing of an Olicity forehead kiss. I found another similar piece of my OC’s Tony and Neera (I so need to do a current version of them), dated February 2006. I was really proud of the first drawing at the time, but it was still lacking something. The most successful thing was my linework and the hair texture, but everything else is…lacking.


December 2012—October 2013: These two pieces were done a mere 10 months apart. The one on the right is my first drawing of William Darcy and Lizzie Bennet from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The drawing on the right is the most recent illustration of the characters.

I’m cringing as I think how wonky everything looks in the first drawing. At the same time, after drawing them a dozen or so more times, produced the last one, which is probably one of the best pieces of fan art I’ve done. Period.

So, if you do a bit of math, I’m…not that young. There are times when I would wonder if I had reached the pinnacle of my craft, but then I discover some new technique or see the art of my peers, and it makes me want to try something new. Keep drawing and creating. As long as you have that desire to push yourself, you will make great things.

One more thing I want to stress is that if don’t know how to draw everything from memory. I rely heavily on references for that very purpose. If you don’t know how to draw a kiss, or how someone’s hand looks doing the thing, find a picture of something approximate so you can get it right. My go-to resources areGetty Images and deviantART. Other times I will either take screencaps from movies or find them online.

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