You’ve been following beginner lessons because you feel you are a beginner. Here’s a secret about art lessons you need to be aware of. A lot of what you see online is taught by artists who themselves are truly just beginners. They will call something “advanced” because it takes more time, not because it requires more skill or pushes you to improve.  Now I’m not bashing beginner-level teachers, I even have some lessons for beginners myself to get you started.  I’m glad for anyone who gets you to pick up that pencil or paintbrush for the first time. But you need to ask yourself, do you want to stay a beginner or do you want to actually improve?

Let me explain this another way. When we learn to play music most of us learn something like “Mary had a little lamb” first. It takes little to master this song. Right away our version of “Mary had a little lamb” sounds just as good as the teachers. We feel like we are winning at music! And we are, this is a great start!! You SHOULD be proud of yourself!!  This is the equivalent of beginner art lessons. Right away your work is as good as the teachers so you feel like this is the appropriate skill level for you.

But what if you wanted to eventually learn to play Vivaldi or Bach? You’re not going to get there by playing “Mary had a little lamb” and other beginner songs over and over again. Yes, we start with those but we don’t STAY with those. Very quickly we need to start trying something harder.

When we start trying Vivaldi and other more challenging music, it’s not going to sound so good at first compared to the teacher.  This is normal and a part of the process when it comes to growth. We start by playing the song slowly, hitting a lot of wrong notes, but we KNOW we’re on the path to a higher skill level. THAT’S HOW YOU GET BETTER! You HAVE to CHALLENGE yourself! You HAVE to play (or in the case of art paint/draw) something ugly to become amazing!

While learning Vivaldi it may not sound exactly like a master, but it’s going to be far better than your perfect rendition of “Mary had a little lamb“. Don’t limit yourself to forever being a beginner because you feel it’s the appropriate skill level.

If you stick with beginner lessons you will forever be at a beginner skill level.