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3 Tips When You’re Frustrated Learning Digital Art

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I love digital art. Heck, that’s a big reason why this blog even exists. I fell in love with Procreate, became obsessed with learning everything about it, and here we are. 

But, this doesn’t mean that I’ve never gotten frustrated with the process. Learning a new skill is rewarding, but it can be challenging too.

So, before you throw your Apple Pencil out the window, try out some of these tips for when you’re frustrating learning digital art. These are tips I’ve used myself while learning Procreate, and still use whenever I find myself overwhelmed and needing a reset with my art.

These tips will revolve around Procreate, but they can be applied to other digital drawing apps as well. What can I say, I love Procreate.

1. Take a Project-Based Class

I remember when I first sat down with Procreate many years ago now. I didn’t have a plan. Nope, I figured that if I stared at my blank screen long enough, I would eventually absorb all of the knowledge I needed to become a Procreate pro.

Not surprisingly, I was sadly mistaken. It took me a while to get to where I am now with my Procreate skills, which makes sense given the complexity of the program.

So, how did I go from staring blankly at my screen to finally learning the ropes? Project-based learning. I signed up for a Skillshare membership and actually learned the skills I needed to complete a project from start to finish. 

These classes are awesome because they’ll take you from start to finish with a project. Along the way, you’ll learn and use the skills you need to know to make that project come alive.

If you’re finding yourself frustrated with learning Procreate, ask yourself if you actually have a solid plan for doing so. Or, are you just bopping around through the settings with the hopes of picking up some skills through osmosis?

If you answered “yes” to that question, I bet that some of your frustration could be alleviated by making a solid plan for learning Procreate.

Work through my large collection of Procreate articles. 

Sign up for a membership with Skillshare and complete a class.

Whatever you do, make a plan. Don’t wander around the app aimlessly because this is a surefire way to end up frustrated.

2. Learn One Skill at a Time

When learning a program like Procreate, it can be overwhelming because multiple skills are needed in order to complete a project. Brushes, layers, blend modes, drawing guides – any number of things can come into play depending on the art you’re creating.

If you’re getting frustrated from learning all of these skills at once, take a step back. Focus on one skill at a time. 

I know, this likely won’t result in a masterpiece, but that’s not the point. The point is to learn the ins and outs of a skill so that you can use it confidently down the road for your future masterpieces.

Learning the foundational skills isn’t always as fun as letting your imagination run wild with an art piece, but it’s SO important.

Knowing these foundational skills can go a long way in reducing frustration because you won’t find yourself hitting speed bumps every few minutes while creating your art.

If you feel like your foundational Procreate skills may be lacking, spend some time each day focusing on this. Simply make a list of all of the skills you feel rusty on. Then, you can go through my Procreate tutorials or other resources to learn each of those skills, one by one. 

When I first learned Procreate myself, it wasn’t until I focused on these foundational skills that my learning and skill really started to bloom.

3. Take a Break

Learning a new skill can be inherently frustrating, challenging, and exhausting. 

Even if you’ve realized that you need some project-based learning and focus on foundational Procreate skills, take it easy and take a break. It doesn’t need to happen all at once. In fact, taking things too quickly is a great way to end up frustrated. 

I imagine that you want to foster a lifelong love for Procreate, not a lifelong resentment. This means that you need to be mindful with how you’re approaching your relationship to the app and the learning process in general.

Make a plan for learning Procreate, ensuring that your pace helps you reconnect with your excitement for Procreate instead of the frustration. 

And, when you’re feeling like you need a break, take one. 

Even now, there are times when I go a few weeks without opening my iPad. These breaks help me come back to my artwork in a refreshed and excited place. 

Learning Procreate, or any other digital art platforms, is a big undertaking. Yes, it’s fun and exciting, and full of potential. But, it can also be frustrating. Learning a new skill is often a mix of these emotions. 

If you’ve been on the frustrated end of learning Procreate, I hope these tips have helped you reconnect with the excitement of improving your digital art skills!

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