Practise Makes Progress – Part 2

Hopefully Practise Makes Progress – Part 1 has given you a real view of what progress can look like. Seeing that others struggle just like you can be reaffirming.

This post is all about tips to get your progress on the move.

Invest Time

The most important thing you can do is set aside time to practise and hone your skills. Some people set aside specific time to work. Others work on the go by keeping sketch pads on them.

As a mother, the advice I give about this is to do it now. Right now. You never know when you’ll have more responsibilities that will keep more of your time occupied.

Follow Good Example

Follow the artists and illustrators that you admire. Surround yourself with examples  that are going to keep you pushing to the next level.

I personally fill my social media feeds with artists that I admire. That way when I’m feeding that instagram addiction, I’m also taking a moment to note style choices I like, neat layouts, and concept solutions.

You can also sign up for newsletters! I look forward to newsletters from Alex Mathers at Red Lemon Club which are very much directed at the business side of the creative industry.

Join a Community

And when you do, participate! There are so many communities out there between helpful question forums and submission sites.

A group on Facebook, Daily SpitPaint was suggested to me by a professional I admire. It has exceptional participants and is a great place to practise digital illustration. I should follow my own advice and participate more regularly.

Illustration Friday takes all mediums on a weekly topic. It is really easy to submit your work and scroll through others to see how they solved the topic of the week.

Goolge is your friend. Find a community that works for you.


It’s something you can do when you aren’t even working directly on your pieces. Absorb some knowledge while you commute, take a bath, or go for a walk.

There is a completed series that showcases a variety of resources and advice from professionals called Escape From Illustration Island by Thomas James.

Youtube is home to great talks as well. Will Terry is one of my favourite as he gives real advice that is applicable.


Formal education is extremely helpful. It pairs you with professionals and a community and keeps you accountable. Of course there are other educational avenues for self teaching and further education after post secondary.

You can find free tutorials online. Again google is your friend.

If you like learning from demos, youtube has many speed paints to watch.

Skillshare is a learning community for creators. Anyone can take an online class, watch video lessons, create projects, and even teach a class themselves.” These classes are available to access at any time. If it looks like a place for you, enjoy this free month of membership on me. They also have Student discounts and scholarships.

The Society of Visual Storytelling looks like a place with great classes. I’m looking forward to trying this out in the future. It includes both live and recorded classes.

Make Goals

Creating attainable goals will help you move forward.

One of my peers is currently doing a 365 day project. Each day she completes an illustration. I’ve seen many artist do these in varying sizes, with themes, etc. Don’t make a goal like this if you can’t commit the time. You will end up feeling disappointed. Instead pick a time and/or quantity that is attainable but is also pushing you a little.

I’ve currently set deadlines for pieces I want finished by summers end. I have also set out to pick up my 712 More Things To Draw book for more posts to my instagram. These are just some examples.

That Comfort Zone

Push out of your comfort zone on a regular basis. This might include sharing your work in a community that is more advanced then you, taking on client work that makes you a little nervous, or trying something new.

Blogging is out of my comfort zone. Sharing work I know is bad in Part 1 was out of my comfort zone. I hope it and these tips inspire you to keep on it.

Be seeing you.

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