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Professionals Are Made, Not Born

I have a confession to make. Just over a year ago, I knew NOTHING about digital art. I had always dabbled in painting, drawing, etc. but always using mediums that I could feel. Stuff I had to go to the art store to buy. Real canvases that took up space on my wall. Brushes that would get dry and old if I didn't wash them out properly. Paint that would get muddy if I mixed too many colors together.

And then, one day, I was introduced to the world of digital art.

All of the problems common to the world of fine art seemingly evaporated, but digital art brought with it a slew of new things to learn. I had always admired my friends' digital artwork but I had no idea the intricacies of the programs used to make it. Layers, brush settings, masks, even animations. It was a lot to wrap my head around at once, and I spent a lot of time being really frustrated with myself or with the programs I was using.

That learning curve was harsh and long but I had to get used to being patient with myself. I had to step back from the daunting challenge of becoming a professional digital artist and be content with tackling one step at a time. So there I went for the next few months, watching tutorial after tutorial, pressing the "undo" button more times than I could count, and slowly but surely I developed something I could sort of call my own style.

I made a lot of REALLY BAD looking art at first, but every here and there I'd finish something, step back, and actually be a little proud of it. Over the months, those proud moments got a more and more frequent and it was really exciting! It felt good to be able to express what I wanted to express through this completely new medium.

So, while I'm still far from being a professional and while I still make a lot of stuff I'm not proud of, I wanted to write this to tell you to keep trying. Keep working at that new hobby or skill. Break it down into smaller pieces and use your mental energy to get excited about the end result rather than being hard on yourself. Before you know it, you'll get to that point where you have something to sit back and be proud of. And it'll make you really happy because you weren't just handed this skill. It's something you worked for.

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