Just from personal experience.
1: Never try to draw on an empty stomach. You’ll make mistakes and be uncomfortable. (But don’t stuff yourself till you’re sick either.)
2: If you have to go to the bathroom, go. A full bladder or otherwise does serious damage to the attention and patience spans. Plus it gives you time to stretch your legs.
3: Before you ink it, leave it alone. Come back later (a few hours, a day?) and check for major anatomy mistakes. Work on something else while you’re waiting.
4: Stay hydrated! The brain and fine motor skills work better when properly circulated.
5: Do not have an excessive amount of sugar before sitting down to work. You’ll get jittery and impatient. Same goes for immense amounts of caffeine.
6: If you’re stuck, take a break to stand and stretch. Walk around the room. But don’t THINK of it as a break. Just take time to really focus on your body. Loosen it up, get a goooood long stretch and some deep breaths. (but don’t pass out!) It’ll jolt the mind awake and let you really relax a moment.
7: Keep. All. Your. Old. Art. I don’t care what it is. Keep it. Date it if it’s in your computer folders. Make a suitcase filled with it. (I personally have ALL my old art in a thick work folder.)
8: Keep your sketchbooks together, used and unused. If there’s a good sale on sketchbooks, get two or three! You won’t regret it later. There’s no such thing as too many. (I currently have about ten spankin’ new sketchbooks and I know I’ll need/use every single one of them.)
9: Date your sketchbooks. Put a start and finish date on them.
10: I’m afraid I don’t practice this one: date your drawings. You’ll be happy about it later. You don’t need to SIGN every drawing, but do date them. At least date pages.
11: ART BLOCK HAPPENS. Art block is pretty much a CONSTANT state of mind for artists. You’re never out of art block totally. But sometimes you get bursts of inspiration that make it feel like you’re out. So instead of feeling like you’re ill if you suddenly have artblock, remind yourself that this happens all the time, and you get out of it eventually, every time. c:>
12: If you’re REALLY stuck on some bad art block, do what I do.
Draw a brain barf. This is where you take a blank sheet of paper, and you just LET your hand be random. Draw whatever comes to mind, as it comes to mind. in the middle of drawing a hippo in a top hat but you think of a jolly rancher riding a unicycle? Switch immediately.
Let your brain just vomit all over the page. You’ll be surprised what comes up and what art block this can get you out of. It’s gotten me out of it various times.
13: Take advice from more experienced artists. But do NOT take everything as Gospel. Some people are just wrong.
14: HAND SHYNESS/ ART ENVY/ SELF CONSCIOUSNESS/ AND SKILL IMPATIENCE WILL EAT YOU ALIVE
like a Titan. Do not let yourself get shy after looking at ‘better art’, do not let yourself think your art is worthless or your skills are worthless, and do not let yourself get frustrated that you cannot be at a higher skill level RIGHT NOW. Your brain will try to do this. All the time. Keep yourself in check. If you keep going at it, and keep working, you will get better. This is why you keep your old art. Look at it to remind you how far you’ve come.
15: Draw what you like. This is so important. (This does not apply for exploitative art. :l That’s just wrong. So long as you’re not targeting someone harmfully, I guess you’re fine.)
But don’t let people’s preferences dictate what you can and can’t draw. Draw whatever the heck you like. Accept that no matter WHAT there will be someone out there that hates it. Always. This is just a fact of life. But don’t let it get you down. I would have stopped being an artist at day one if I had.
16: You never. Stop. Learning. Ever. You will be old and grey and still be learning new things. That’s okay. That’s the nature of art. Even the ‘pros’ don’t know everything.
I hope these help someone out there
#7–tell me WHY! (Sure, I enjoy looking through my old sketchbooks…BUT DUDE, I HAVE SO MANY).