The Good Drawings and the Bad Drawings Are Always in You

There’s a very popular trope that gets thrown around all the time—without qualification—that

you, a prospective artist, have 10,000 bad drawings in you, and until you get them out, you won’t be good.

But I’m here to tell you that you can always make a bad drawing. Or song. Or film.

It isn’t that artists are just good one day, after climbing the mountain of practice and forever rolling greatness down its slopes. You get to a place where you’re used to how it feels to be in flow, how your muscles work in concert to get things composed in a pleasing (or at least intentionally specific) way, and you know better when to stop.

But you can always, and will occasionally, make a crummy drawing. That’s perfectly fine, you can always make another. No one has to see the bad one.

This matters to know, because if you make a lame piece of work, and you think you’re past such stumbles, you’ll get discouraged and depressed, and it’ll be harder to make the next thing. Don’t worry about getting past your bad drawings. Just keep making things at all, and they’ll be few.