Saturday, November 28, 2015

Inspiration not Embarrassment

-By Lauren Panepinto

Happy Thanksgiving, for those of you who celebrate, and for all of us: Remember you don't need (and shouldn't wait for) a holiday to list all the things you're grateful for.

One thing we should all look back and be thankful for is: Ourselves. For the work we have put into our art, for the practice, for the blood and sweat and tears and pencil shavings and eraser dust inhaled directly into our lungs. For the eyestrain and frustration. I think as artists we all focus on what we haven't done yet, or have yet to achieve. I think that's an important attitude to keep us going and improving - but every once in a while let's look back and celebrate what we have accomplished. It's also helpful to remember that just like we look upwards to artists who have mastery above ours for inspiration - we are also inspirational to someone struggling behind us on the same ladder.

Kelley McMorris

And now there's a great tumblr, started by Kelley McMorris, called Anyone Can Improve At Drawing and it's not only a great place to celebrate your success, it's also already being shared around the internet and social media as an inspiration for others. I always wanted to do a "childhood art" group post on Muddy Colors but this is so much better. So Submit Now and inspire all of us. I'd love to see this tumblr flooded with professional artists' past and current work.

Ilse Gort

Some artists are embarrassed to show their earlier work, and don't want to admit that they have worked through stages and had struggles. I think everyone wants to look like the one for whom art has always come easily, the Natural. I think it is way more honorable, and more inspiring to admit the work you've put in. All 2,000 or 5,000 or 10,000+ hours.
Jenn Tran 

Rebecca Flaum

Joie Brown

It's a little hard for me to compare old and new design projects in the same way, but I'll just leave this here, and I'll totally go scan some childhood art next time I'm at my parent's house.


  1. This is such a great way to encourage artists of every experience level. Progress is always possible! Thanks for posting Lauren.

  2. I LOVE seeing people's progress! :D There's nothing more inspiring than discovering even the most dauntingly brilliant artists started out just the same as everyone else!

    Totally already following this, and seeing what I can scrape up to submit...

  3. Thanks for posting these! I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to show these to my high school students as they are about to begin their self-portraits. I think it's important for them to see that people don't just start out amazing. It takes a lot of time and practice.

  4. Oh wow- you did the first parasitology book cover! I love that series dearly.

    1. I've done all Mira Grant's covers, they're some of my favorite to work on...