So today on stream I had a lot of people who were interested in art, but didn't know how to start, and every time they did they felt flustered it didn't come out right. They immediately tell me "I'm an adult, but I draw like a child!"
Well of course you are, you never started as a kid! That's like us not learning how to read or write. So why not start as we did as kids?
Guys, lemme tell you something. When I first started making art as a kid, I use to pause the TV screen and draw the cartoons from the TV. Same with my Pokemon and Digimon cards. I would still try to draw my own things from my mind, but learning I didn't know where to go or how to do it, so I would try to imitate what I saw.
IT IS SOMETIMES OKAY TO DO THIS... WITHIN REASON.
Now that we have the internet and things spread like wild fire, there's something you guys should know about imitating art and artists you like.
1.) Make sure it is okay with the artist that you do this. Tell them it is a learning experience ONLY FOR YOU. Some artists are okay with it, others are not. Not at all.
2.) Try not to post it online unless you really need to. If you do, MAKE SURE YOU GIVE CREDIT AND SHOW THE ORIGINAL PIECE THAT YOU COPIED FROM. LINK TO IT. Again, tell people that you are BRAND new to art and trying to figure out how it works. "Hello. I made this looking at [X] picture. I am very new to art. Are my line strokes ok? What should I do next? Thank you again [PERSON] for letting me draw off of your original drawing. This was a good learning experience to get started. I found out that I like my mechanical pencil most, and learned what eraser I like too. I found out I can make line art kind of like this, too, by erasing certain details away." ETC...
3.) ALWAYS GIVE CREDIT. ALWAYS MAKE SURE IT'S OKAY. ALWAYS COMPLY WITH THE ORIGINAL ARTIST(S) AND NEVER EVER TRY TO PASS IT OFF AS YOUR OWN. People will catch on to you, and it's a horrible, horrible way to get in trouble.
4.) DON'T TRACE. Tracing, I feel, gets you no where. Look at what you are to imitate and try to draw that on your own. Get comfortable with your materials; Such as your tablet pen or your pencils. These things take time, so don't fret! Learning your materials is the FIRST thing to drawing. Getting comfortable on how to make them and replaying back what you see gives you an idea of what you are going to expect later out of yourself. You start to see where others put shades, make line strokes, etc. TRACING WILL NOT DO THIS FOR YOU. You will not look to pick out these items, usually. You will auto pilot and follow the lines. When you have to imitate what you see, your brain starts trying to connect the dots... why is this line here? what does it do?
5.) Give yourself time. This is just a way to get use to your medium so you feel comfortable to take the next step. You don't have to focus on proportions right now, since those proportions are already laid out for you. So are the compositions. This is solely to get you thinking about what that artist did, and how they obtained it.
I am not saying to do this always. Nor am I saying its the only way to learn. I am telling you MY experience on it, and as a kid, what I did. We ALL start somewhere and many of us learn by imitation before molding it into our own skills and learning how to process from there.
Make sure that once you feel you have a minimal understanding from this, and you want to continue art, that you learn the real basics. Proportions. Drawing from life. Perspective. Realism. Cartoons. Maybe even some animations. How to break objects down to their minimal bits so you can plot a drawing or make proportions correctly. Color theory. ETC.
Imitation helps us in the beginning to understand what you are doing. Just like learning how to cook, or better, learning how to write. Something as simple as cutting meat or writing our names, we see, we learn, we take it in and then learn how to process it ourselves. Properly. By ourselves.
Be kind, give credit, and don't be a butt. It's okay to start with baby steps, just make sure you don't pass yourself as someone you are not. BE YOU. BE RESPECTFUL TO OTHER ARTISTS FEELINGS. Not everyone is okay with it, and that's okay that they aren't.