Practice Makes Perfect…




The 10 year progress charts many Japanese artists have lately taken to creating demonstrate perfectly the adage that “practice makes perfect” – and provide more than a little encouragement for aspiring artists to hang in there and keep practicing, as mastery may be as much a matter of perseverance as of talent:


Some of the artists featured clearly started their charts at a high level of skill, but even here modest improvements are evident, along with some quite interesting changes in style.

Others have risen from crude doodlers to popular artists in the same period, though elsewhere certain notable cautionary tales abound as well.

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    Avatar of i like pandas
    Comment by i like pandas
    09:29 10/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    For those budding artists out there losing hope, don't forget that the most of those progress charts are actually very slow and not representative at all most artists.

    If you actually study anatomy and draw from life, you'll be just as good, and likely better, than 90% of the above artists in much less than half that time.

    The key is to draw from life before you venture into any sort of stylization territory. By building the foundation of proper anatomy, your future art will look great and not end up on Sankaku Complex in a "QUALITY" ART post.

    And persistence of course! :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:09 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That only works if you're truly motivated into drawing lifelike anatomycal art. If not then your motivation will run out extremely fast.

    You could even say a big part of why these artists became so good is because of the artists they admired. Wether the path to anatomycal perfection is more bumpy if you go by that road, if it's the one that you truly love, it's the one that will drive you the furthest.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:43 07/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, drawing any kind of human or animal figures, realistic or not, kowing the anatomy helps you to understand how the bones and tendons go along with hand gestures, facial expressions, etc... And thus enable you to make your own style while still look "good".

    Seriously, studying anatomy doesn't mean you have to become a doctor, just buy a simple anatomy book, read it and practice. You'll soon see the difference in your drawings.

    Avatar of makkun
    Comment by makkun
    11:40 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thank you. You just motivate me.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Herp a derp, says the retard who surely can't even draw. Go fuck off and pretend to know what you're talking about elsewhere.

    Avatar of multiverse
    Comment by multiverse
    09:13 10/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    My drawings like a crap right now, but seeing this motivates me :3

    Avatar of Bear
    Comment by Bear
    09:18 10/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Then you have to practice about 10 years.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:50 10/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    look at pic 49...he was good from the start lol
    and rofl at pic 11

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    13:06 10/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Real effort.
    This is a nice change indeed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:23 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    A decade of my life... thats a quite a sacrifice.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:08 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    No. 51 Evolution of Kemomimi

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:36 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Just like watching a caterpillar morphing into a beautiful butterfly... and fap fapf fap fap :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:24 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    From trash to quality work. Hardwork really pays off. It feels better after seeing this.

    Avatar of DearTraveler
    Comment by DearTraveler
    04:51 12/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    Avatar of Heigen
    Comment by Heigen
    17:14 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If I end up with no work after studies I think I might pick up drawing. :O

    Avatar of Cestralisk
    Comment by Cestralisk
    12:15 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I imagine a lot of those artists had other responsibilities to take care of…unless they are NEETs or Hikikomori. If you dedicate a good portion of each day to learning how to draw then just replace the 10 years with 10 months.

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by tyciol
    20:25 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yeah it GMH

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:12 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Those who just watched the Ah(Oh) My Goddess anime from 2005 or later should look at volume one of the manga. Has more of an impact for me compared to these images. It'd be interesting if Oda gets a bump like this, but I'll gladly ignore it since it'll probably ruin his work pace. Toriyama is sort of like Nishimata, but it hardly matters if you're printing moola.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:37 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    What's the deal with No.37? It looked good from beginning to end?!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:16 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    1st pic... 2006 snapshot.... upper right corner......................................................


    Comment by Anonymous
    11:29 21/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Awesome article. Sankaku, you've made my day!

    However... It seems some of the charts are for teh LOLs... ^^;;

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:45 26/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    My two-years-old second son managed to build his first lego robot today. So it means he would be able to make the prototype of RX-78 in ten years, no?

    Avatar of Kitsunemimi6
    Comment by Kitsunemimi6
    14:11 13/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I actually could do something like this but I haven't got 10 drawings from 10 different years & no one would probably ever want to see them anyway so...

    But no, these are some talented artists, too bad a decade is far too much of ones life to put into simply getting better at drawing, but is definitely worth it if 1 should decide to do such a thing, this reminds me, I should really get to drawing that Kitsunemimi I planned to draw a month or so ago...

    Avatar of Kitsunemimi6
    Comment by Kitsunemimi6
    14:12 13/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I actually could do something like this but I haven't got 10 drawings from 10 different years & no one would probably ever want to see them anyway so...

    But no, these are some talented artists, too bad a decade is far too much of ones life to put into simply getting better at drawing, but is definitely worth it if 1 should decide to do such a thing, this reminds me, I should really get to drawing that Kitsunemimi I planned to draw a month or so ago...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:16 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    too much pratice for too much perfect

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:18 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Hand drawn style != Computer drawn style

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:50 14/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then so be it.

    Avatar of TheBeast
    Comment by TheBeast
    09:49 10/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    my drawing skills are pretty good, but since i'm color blind they will never get good in color. i still color oceans purple and grass orange sometimes. lol. manga will have to be the way for me.

    Avatar of multiverse
    Comment by multiverse
    09:54 10/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Apparently I also have partial color blind for blue and cyan, which actually not bothers me much, above all I still prefer monochrome and detailed art

    Avatar of KafukaChanDesu
    Comment by KafukaChanDesu
    10:46 10/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I think ZUN needs to be on here :3

    Avatar of Misakite
    Comment by Misakite
    22:36 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I want to see Tony Taka's and Ishikei's progress charts.

    Avatar of Renzo
    Comment by Renzo
    10:27 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's nice to have this change once in a while

    Avatar of awesome
    Comment by awesome
    09:58 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    don't forget, ahego = win

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:56 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think a lot of these are from artists in their twenties, so the worst of their drawings are during child/teenage development.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:04 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not too true. From about 10 years old onwards, inexperience has practically no correlation with age.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    18:41 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I kind of had the same level of mid-speed progression of artistic skill as well. Though I kind of started on a higher note since gradeschool since I was the only kid mixing colors before many other kids.

    And man, even though I have some confidence in my skills, I am TERRIFIED of born-naturals. You can tell some of the artists just had a ton of potential starting out of the gate. Maybe even scarier, those who improved drastically just astounds me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:01 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That is a load of bull. Your art reflects how much you devote yourself to it. Everyone has the same initial potential. It's all about how much time and effort you're willing to invest into your craft. Of course, influences matter a whole lot too. But I believe there's no such thing as talent or born-naturals.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:12 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It could be someone inclined to art as one is to music or are simply quick learners.
    Take this story for an example:
    In my freshman year i drew almost as in seventh grade (bad but still better than). Worse I was a repeater due to illness. I hateed how my art looked. So near the end of the school year I noticed no change as i drew almost every day. Before summer vacation, I sat in a classroom with a stack of paper in front of me and drew. When I finished my drawing of my first charcter (My Mary Sue at the momment) I noticed the change in the eyes, the detail in clothing, and the body proportions were better (but still needed work)
    I knew a crtic and his friend. The critic made me feel bad as he would compare his talent to my hard work. His friend also had the critic on his case. The friend and I practiced and helped eachother and got better. The critic though talented felt he no longer needed to improve and quit.
    Long story short: talent exists, but you need to practice no matter how far you are of others.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:49 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    This kid's natural talent for drawing is likely the ability to really _see_ things as they are instead of how the brain perceives them to be.

    I'm gonna go ahead and guess that this kid's good drawings are portaits, still lifes, aka drawings from life. And, if some of them aren't, he's likely using heavy reference.

    Part of what it means to become a competent artist is to develop an "artist's eye" and "see things as how they really are". It's difficult to put into words, but I'll try.

    For example, two people are given the task of drawing a stack of CD's. One is a beginning artist and the other is advanced.

    The beginning artist would likely draw the stack of CDs one by one, meticulously lining the edges of each CD. As a result, you get a stiff and awkward tower of CDs that probably looks more like a badly drawn building.

    The advanced artist, on the other hand, would recognize the shapes and forms from the stack of CDs, picking out clusters of organic shapes to put on paper. He'd take into account negative space surrounding the stack of CDs and by the end of his drawing session, he'll have an accurate rendition of the stack of CDs that would have feeling/thought and thus be interesting to look at.

    The kid is obviously in the 2nd camp.

    However, what most of the people here on this comments section want is to draw from imagination, draw with little reference, caricature (as anime/manga simplifies and exaggerates anatomy) and that is a whole different battlefield and I'm sure that 'naturally-talented' kid you talk about would have a difficult time with that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:46 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That's not true, I'm pretty sure a natural talent for drawing exists. I've known a kid of around 12yo that could draw really beautiful portraits, even though he didn't especially train or practice for it.

    Though of course, people like that are in the vast minority.
    But yes, talent is only one thing. Real drawing prodigies are probably rare, and most of us that want to acquire some decent drawing skills will have to rely on practicing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:25 15/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks like practising my crappy drawing skills might actually pay off some time in the future :D

    And THEN I will create my own Kuroneko... :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of makkun
    Comment by makkun
    11:39 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wish my progress was like this. But instead of getting better, it gotten worse....

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:26 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    PIC NUMBER 11 MAN! He/she draws better than me from the start

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:41 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, this is nice!

    This article really encourages me to practice more!

    Thanks SanCom!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:04 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    i wonder how the beginner (manga) artists lived through 10 years without good salary.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:57 11/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You have things mixed up. First you draw till your craft is good enough to be published, then you try to make a living out of it. Not the other way around.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:16 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Human potential is limitless, it's beautiful to see learning displayed so perfectly.

    Avatar of TK-Chan
    Comment by TK-Chan
    09:13 10/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    11 is very adorable.

    Avatar of Yurie
    Comment by Yurie
    09:14 10/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    It was easily the best one. Made me laugh. :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:26 10/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Draws better than me by far. T_T

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