Amateur Art Project: Learning to Sketch & the Beauty of Trying New Things

Lately, I have been learning that you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. For the longest time, I had avoided venturing towards new hobbies and interests because I would compare myself to others, without bothering to consider the dedication element, and feel that I wasn’t good enough nor would I ever become good at the thing, so why waste my effort? Isn’t that just a giant pile of bullshit?

It’s such a negative and pessimistic way of looking at life; an outlook that has been brewed in a pot of fear, insecurities, and a bit of arrogance. If we, as humans, truly stopped ourselves from trying new things out of this ridiculous notion of “never being good enough” or “failing” then there is so much in this world that would never have came to be. One of those is art.

Art is something that I have always wanted to try out, ever since I was a little kid. But I had an art teacher who was extremely peculiar about lines and shapes and not making mistakes at all. Art isn’t about perfection, at least not in the traditional sense. Art is subjective to the individual creating it/viewing it. What is a masterpiece to one observer can be a piece of shit to another person. Are either of them wrong? Nope. Yet, because of this teacher, as well as some pretentious asshole mates I had in grade school, for the longest time I believed that if I couldn’t do it beautifully on my first try then it wasn’t meant to be. Being Asian didn’t help in that regard either.

Culturally, my parents, mostly my mum, expected perfection from me in everything that I did. Getting straight A’s was a mandatory part of my childhood. Having an uncommonly high IQ meant that I didn’t any excuses for performing less than what was expected of me. This spilled over onto everything that I did, whether it was under the tutelage of my parental expectations or not. Take that and couple it with what I was told about being an artist, I shelved my interest in art and that’s where it would lay in the dust for the next decade and a half. (This isn’t true for all Asians, as everyone is different with different families. I’m only speaking from personal experience with my family and my Asian friends’ families; we were such great friends because we could relate so hardcore to this stuff.)

Then something extraordinary happened. I began an affair with apathy. I will say that while apathy has been a colossal motherfucking pain in my arse, there are a couple of benefits to it: it forced me to resort to things outside of my comfort zone in order to fight it and it taught me that expectations placed upon us by other people can get bent because they are nothing but harmful and toxic.

Since my typical hobbies weren’t enough to bring me out of apathy, I sat down and made a list of everything I wanted to try but felt too inadequate to even try. Art was on the top of that list. I went out, bought a sketchpad, some art pencils, and then sat down and began to teach myself how to sketch.

I wanted to share my newbie sketches with you all today. To some people, these may be very good and to others it will be beginner as fuck. To me, it’s a start. It’s a middle-finger to being afraid and, while I feel my work is quite amateurish, I also feel it’s profound in a personal way and a work in progress towards something great, just like all pursuits in life should be. Just remember, it’s all relative to you! No one else matters.


My first sketch. It’s an apple.


Eyelashes are difficult to draw.


I struggled with this one a lot, but instead of scrapping it, I finished it.


This was my first time using different pencils for shading. Also, ignore the wrong year. I’m still not in the 2019 mindset.


When I couldn’t decide on what to sketch that night, Sir Besty randomly chose an ear for me to try out.


I really like how flowers look in artwork, so I tried a calla lily. I’ll admit that I’m not super happy with it, but it’s a first step. Looked better without the colour.


Thanks for checking out the start of my artistic ventures. If you’d like to see my progress as I dabble more and more with this newfound interest, please let me know in the comments. Additionally, if you find yourself struggling to find motivation for something that you’ve always been sweet on trying out, let this post inspire you and put your fears to rest. Much love to you, fam. ✌🏾

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13 thoughts on “Amateur Art Project: Learning to Sketch & the Beauty of Trying New Things

  1. Your art is great!! I’m so proud of your journey – getting past negative thinking and attitudes to continuously improving yourself! 😀 Can’t wait to see more. 😀

  2. Love this post, thank you so much for sharing your journey and reasons to finally sit down and start art. You being willing to try this new venture and share it is amazing!

    • I looked up some beginner sketch stuff on Pinterest and tried with what didn’t look too difficult. I had fun with the banana. It was fun trying to get the shading bit down. 🙂

  3. These sketches look great and even more so for a beginner. Kudos for trying something new! I hope you keep at it and share some more of your work 🙂

  4. Aww, these actually look nice! It’s never too late to do art, anyway, and I’m happy for you that you got the courage to start something new! 🙂

  5. I loved this post. I can really relate to pretty much everything you said minus the asian part lol. It’s very hard to get over these mental hurdles but when you do, you can produce something great. You showed that today!

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