I’m struggling to figure out why I’m do so much drawing yet I don’t feel I’m improving…

There are days as an artist where nothing goes right and everything you put down on paper or canvas just really sucks. Then there are days when everything is so simple, you’re in the zone, all your brush strokes and marks of charcoal are magnificent. Maybe not totally magnificent, but at the top of your game.

Right now I’m thinking of the plateaus written about by George Leonard, in his book Mastery. I think I’m on one of those plateaus where I need to just stick with the drawing and soon I’ll have a jump of inspiration of skill. It sucks right now but I just have to keep moving forward. One percent better every day as Brian Johnson says.

While I’m at it, if you’re struggling with motivation I highly recommend, Mastery by George Leonard and definitely Brian Johnson’s Optimize website.

Fundamentals: Struggling
Fundamentals: Struggling
Fundamentals: Struggling
Fundamentals: Struggling
Fundamentals: Struggling


  • Session: 1945
  • Work: 1421
  • Width: 18"
  • Height: 24"
  • Medium: Charcoal
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 1
  • Creative Time:



One Response

  1. Plateaus happen with every skill or program. In fitness, I have found plateaus mean going back to kindergarten and figuring out simple methods to work on based off your established skills. I don’t think you aren’t improving. At this point, perhaps you are improving at a much slower pace than before. But I also don’t think experimenting is the wrong thing. By trying new things, we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and find new ways to express ourselves.
    Don’t worry, either, this too shall pass. Keep doing great work!

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Chris Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."