Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

I Work Hard. Therefore, I'm a Loser.

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 6, 2013, 10:56 PM

I didn't sit idly all day, twiddling my fingers, wishing work came to me.

I didn't loathe at myself wishing that I could "draw feet" when working on a piece at the spot where I have to draw feet on the picture.

I didn't go to further schooling to let someone hand me a piece of paper on their own terms and timeframe telling me if I'm "capable of art" or not.

I took things into my own hands.

A couple of common phrases to make to artists who are (of the person who believes that they're) "inexplicably too good" that annoy me are:
  • "Ugh, I really wish I had your talent. Why are you so good!?"
  • "You're so lucky. I wish I could do what you do".
  • "I could never pull this off the way you pull it off."

Now, I understand that there are certain levels of aptitudes and paces that different people learn by, so don't get the idea of this entry wrong. But, really, let me make an illustration here:

I used to play basketball religiously growing up. Now I don't anymore. Every once in a while, my homies hit me up to see if I want to play a few games. And you know what? I SUCK AT IT. Not scared as a reasonably tall, young black man to admit that. Now every time I look at players in the NBA like Kobe Bryant, I'm like "This bastard, he's just too good". But I know why he's good. His training regimen is ridiculous. He's most likely always in the gym, shooting balls in holes, stepping up his game. Matter of fact, that's a fact. A quote from this article stated:

"Hey, let's talk about that time Kobe Bryant decided to work out at 4 a.m. and spend the next 7 hours in the gym before practice with USA Basketball."

Now I can't get all upset at myself and pity myself wondering why he's so good, or, why can't I be at the gym at 4:00 AM and practice before practice, nor do I ask myself how; the answer is simple as it is. He constantly works towards it. 

You think hard work won't pay off? You're totally wrong, and that's a fact, not my opinion. The question that is commonly asked "Is it even worth it?" Equivalent exchange, homie. You will always harvest something from what you've planted. If you work hard in anything, SOMETHING will pay off. May not be exactly what you expect to be paid off, but there's ALWAYS something. I've had a few guys approach me, I give them the pep talk, and they're on fiyah. Ready and rearing to go. They churn out about 5-10 pieces consecutively, and then wait.

WHAT THE #@&% are you waiting for!?

That's easily one of my biggest pet peeves. The mindset they have is basically, "let's do these pictures and then see if I get any pageviews or new hits for leads on jobs or street cred". No no no no no. This is something I had to teach myself: You don't draw to gain, you draw to lose. 

"Wha? That doesn't even make sense!!"

Think about it.

What are you really gaining when you finish a piece of art? I mean, there are gains, but that happens with any piece of art and artist. There are always gains. But that's not (or shouldn't be, rather) your sole purpose. You draw to lose. You draw to lose those inaccuracies with that rib cage. You draw to lose the staleness and rigidness and loosen up. You draw to lose yourself in a world where you control every facet of it. You draw to lose the negative emotions you may be in a roller-coaster ride of to acquire tranquility.

The gains come regardless. You can draw a crappy picture of Sonic the Hedgehog, you'll gain a look or two, or even a few likes and comments on it. You can draw a horrible-looking, stick-framed female with huge boobs and a butt, and you'll even gain something as well (even unwanted gain).

I don't post art and then worry about how many people are going to go crazy over it, I could honestly care less. I'm here to go crazy (negative and positively) over it, and that's the only person I need to do so.

Stop worrying about gaining so much. Focus on losing. In this industry and society, everything is a competition, and no one wants to be the loser. NO ONE. It's not understood that the ideal way to be in life is to be a loser. It's the more self-effacing route to take, especially in art.

I've read some articles from like, artists and industry vets who made it, and the thing I always hear is: "Look, I'm living testimony that hard work pays off" all while telling people who wish to be in their place "put the video games in their place, focus on your art, work toward your goals, keep learning". It even took me a while to see it, and though I wouldn't consider myself as someone "who've made it", I'm starting to see the formula.

That's my little thoughtful rant for this evening. 

TL;DR Ver.: Stop being a pansy and just draw. 

  • Listening to: Bravely Default: Flying Fairy OST
  • Playing: Resident Evil 4 HD/Fire Emblem Awakening
Add a Comment:
AzureVirgo Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
This is great and you're absolutely right.

Can apply this thinking to writing and be up there with New York Times Bestsellers.

I know this was an old post for you but, I found it very inspiring.
TracyWong Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
This is great. And you're absolutely right. 

It drives me batty when people say "Wow, I wish I could color like you. You're so lucky." - when LUCK has nothing to do with it. I've worked my butt off over the past 3 years or so studying and practicing. This past year even more so, I usually put in 8+ hours a day in photoshop practicing and learning. So to hear stuff about how "lucky" I am makes me laugh. It's not luck, it's hard Work! I still have a looooong way to go, but I know I'll get there, because I'm dedicated to putting in the countless hours of work to get there. 

....And like you, I do it to be a loser. lol To lose the shaky lines and brush strokes, the iffy anatomy, the "off" color picks, the flat rendering, the inconsistent lighting, etc etc. every day that I study and practice I lose a little more of the bad - and that makes me happy to be a loser. :D 

This was an awesome read, Robaato. Thank you. I know it's an old post but it is still inspiring! :)
aWay-with-knives Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Student General Artist
I think you used to play basketball a-religiously, and this mis-perception shades your vocabulary.

But, that said, I like how you recognise the need to not appreciate art as a commodity. I appreciate that the advice you gave, is so hueman. "Parabola" came on my shuffle just came on my stereo. And my chicken water is boiling. This body holding me.
AngelPony99 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with you!This motivates me so much :')
Thank you,just thank you,this learn me not to give up.I'll practice everyday. ♥♥♥
QuvrSouluosrvuQ Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
fishy-blue Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Hi, I featured this journal in an interview for
I hope you don't mind
KhalilK Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013
Whenever I'm in an artistic funk, I read this and it reminds me to not quit. Thanks Mr. Robaato, for this much needed kick in the ass.
Teremiao Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I LOVE your journals about this topic. I mean it. :)
Zinogre92 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you sir this is just what i needed..... thank you
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just wanted to say: you're totally right with this.
KhalilK Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
You have no idea how inspiring this was for me. You are the f-in man.
Afrodisium Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Amen, Reverend. Amen.
lupamaxima Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks dude. I'm going to stop dreaming about being better and work at being better. And do a ton of losing.
avirextin Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I really needed this.

I'm still studying anatomy (by myself with medical books and other artist's reference) when I should just be drawing.

I have competitions I said I'd join, but I'm too scared to join them because I'm not good enough yet.

I really do need to get drawing and do stuff. Thanks, man.
Shotgunpoopie Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
You got a way with words, dude.
MatiasSoto Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Of course you're right, the only way I can conceivable say something like that is as a joke. Still, it amazes me sometimes how fast some people improve, like seeing astonishing work from 17 year old kids here on DA, it blows my mind how much the have learnt at such a young age, but of course just complaining and sulking doesn't change anything.
CometX-ing Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
You my friend are so right and that probably the most helpful thing I have heard or read on this site. And thank you for having so many good points because if I had not read this I would not be inspired to perfect my artistry, I would just be sitting on my lazy ass playing video games. So again thank you.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
Shoeborn Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Student General Artist
I deal SO MUCH with people asking me how I'm "so good", or saying "they could never draw this good"...and I always tell them PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE but they STILL see it as some innate "gift". Lately I've been working on trying to focus on how I've improved instead of what I'm not doing. I do hope for people to see my work and actually SAY something about it, but I probably still fit into that crowd of wanting to be recognized. At any rate, it is so refreshing for someone else to say this; awesomely truthful. Losers are the overall winners.
LittleDaughter Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Straight up :D I love what you said here. It's just soo...true. I've tried to tell people this same thing in the past but end up feeling a bit like a hypocrite. Here I am telling someone all they have to do is get serious about it and I still have yet to get serious myself. I dunno, I guess I feel frustrated when people say they could never do something, I mean what is the point in saying you can't? They way I see it, either you do, or you don't. Meh...but to be honest, I want to encourage others, and I guess the only way to do that is to get serious myself. :D

Thank you for saying this, it is genuine and true, two things I really truly love. :la:
EnderCaeks Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I may not know who you are, but what I do know is that you make a great point.
Sciger Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amen, brother.

I've been drawing ever since I was 12 and I rarely care what others think about my art and my style. Yes, I do go to some other artists for opinion or possibly help if I can't get something to look right but if someone hates my art, I really don't care. I've had one person outright tell me my art was terrible but it's his opinion.

I draw because I love to. Not because I want to be the best.
Masbot Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I suck at drawing. I'm a better writer, but I draw pretty often, too--little people with pitiful circles for hand and a smiley face on the round head.
And you know what?
I love to do it.
Sciger Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
And that's why you should draw - 'cause you love it, no matter what the skill is. c: I still don't find myself that 'good' but I don't care that much. I'm happy if I notice improvements over time but it isn't everything.

As for writing, well. |D I haven't written in a long time. Ever since I stopped roleplaying, it kinda fizzled out on me.
toxxicduck Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Sir, you are an inspiration.
Lacroa Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I agree wit this so much.
Chamira Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
This reminds me of something my art teacher said once to our class "There is no talent, noone has talent, theres only practice."
At that moment my eyes grew all large and sparkly and i knew that THIS was the GOSPEL TRUTH.
ahah now that i look back it is pretty obvious.
XxStarlight1235xX Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

This journal is so fantastic I can't even.
kuraikitsune13 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This, dear Sir, is a very inspirational journal.

But I'm pretty sure many people have told you that. :iconmingplz:

I fully agree with you btw! :iconthumbsupplz:
Kajikitty Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Really well said! And that was extremely inspiring :D.~
Xhoplesslovex Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
how do you put the backgrounds? ._. curious,cuz im trying to put a background onto mine..
strawberrynekos Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
They're journal skins. But I think that only premium members can actually use them.
Xhoplesslovex Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
TimberlakeLaneEC Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This journal entry is beautiful and inspiring. well said bro.
Pietroschek Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"The only thing which makes a loser is that the loser accepts others' prejudices as his or her personal value or fate."

Thanks for the insightful text!
weaserpuff Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this shit is so real and i need to listen to it. it's like i know how much work it takes, and i haven't been exercising my artistic muscle the way i should be. i've gotten rusty as hell.

time to draw again, thanks for the realness as always! you're a mentor from afar for me. :)
Atani1 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very well said :) Great motivation! & I agree; I'd wear that shirt. lol
NecromanticNate Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Student Filmographer
Great stab. I suppose it is the difference between letting your talent define you or allowing you to define your talent. Great job, spot on strike and good luck sticking with it.
Trikucian Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Wow dude, I totally feel you there. People get stuck on whether their thing is good, instead of just finishing it. There's a lot of reasons to scrap a pieces, but you shouldn't stop because you think someone is better. There are always people better! And the thing is, art is very much in the eye of the beholder. It only really has value to the person looking at it and whether or not they decide it has value. For example, my dad hates anime/ manga, so he thinks nothing of Berserk, whereas I love it and think it's an ageless piece of art. Then he goes and buys abstract art from some fancy gallery in Vancouver. I don't get abstract oil paintings, he does, therefore he's the one buying it. But I digress, that's a little off topic. The only way anyone is going to bet better and know their style, whether it's mangaka or abstract oil painting, and everything outside and in between, is if they practice. I'm going to pull a cliche and say "practice makes perfect". It's all muscle memory man.
Desgar Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Extremely well put. :thumbsup: And the tl;dr line should be on a shirt. I know I'LL buy one!
MyFantasiWorld Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013   General Artist
I've drawn as long as I can remember, and sure, I have thought once or twice that by drawing it might get me somewhere to having a great life under thousands of dollars and so on. However, I mostly considered this to be the last idea in my mind when I found the passion to draw just for the sake of enjoying it, and so on.

Despite it just being a hobby, it helps me get through a day. Not by the face of a dollar every time someone buys off a commission from me, but because I enjoy creating and learning about things as far as artwork is concerned.

In short, drawing is my passion, not the winning card I expect to have to make money out of.
Kitan777 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think your words just inspired maybe draw again.
merimask Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I wish there was a "like" button for DevArt. :) Well said.
Bansini Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
There is a +Fav Button!
I wholeheartedly agree. :)
Bella-Anima Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You sit, are spot on.
SpookyChick1013 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for saying this. It's been said before, but it needs to be said and said and said some more until it gets through to people. I sucked with traditional media a couple of months back. I still suck, only not as bad, because I've improved and learned some things, by asking someone who knew the techniques I needed and then practising once they taught me. It's going to take time and practice before I reach the level I want to be at, but I will get there if I keep moving forward.
So, thanks, it's nice to be reminded of this stuff.
Crown-Heart Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Seriously needed to read this tonight :D. Awesome inspirational post.
derpychan14 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amen brother. I completly agree with you.
Star--Stuff Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Student General Artist
I never thought of it that way.. Wow. I never expected to wander upon this gem of wisdom, but this actually said something other than praise. As nice as it is, it doesn't help. Critiques, too, but still not as much as this.
I appreciate this.
Thinac Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
wishing you could do better pushes you farther loathing yourself shows you know what needs fixed
Add a Comment:

:iconrobaato: More from Robaato

Featured in Collections

Journals by HallowGazer

Journals by wolf912

Journal Et News by JamieMDavies

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
June 6, 2013


42,886 (1 today)
413 (who?)