When I was a teenager learning to play guitar, one of the ways I kept myself interested was by constantly incorporating something new to learn. There was always a balance of mastering my strengths (growing vertically) and adding challenges (growing horizontally). There was something about the guitar that always felt comfortable to me. I was never intimidated by things I couldn't play, because I knew I was working my towards them, and one day I would eventually arrive there.
I have tried the same approach with drawing, but gave up on new things if I didn't grasp it quickly. My problem has been one that many other artist struggle with. The road to mastery is never short or easy, but in our minds we imagine it to be so. Probably because our heroes make it look so easy.
I think I know why I've had more patience with music than pencil and paper. I'm better at music and the learning curve for me there is shorter, and there is always another challenge waiting to be met. But I can't seem to draw a good human figure for shit. There has been improvement over the last 23 years, but sometimes It's like not being able to get over a barrier no matter how hard you try. There's no moving forward, and I lose interest in trying.
Instead of looking at that barrier, becoming frustrated and giving up because I am unsatisfied with my work, I have recently embraced my mediocre-at-best drawing skills, and challenged myself to get over that wall. The way I'm doing this is by doing a lot of drawing and not worrying about how bad it is. I'm doing the best I can, learning from each one, but if it turns out worse than I expected, I don't worry about it. I just move onto the next one. I'm drawing on paper and with a Wacom tablet too. There's not much difference between the two, but I've always enjoyed the feel of pencil and paper. To actually touch what you're working with feels more rewarding, but stylistically, I love the digital look.
The fuel for this fire has been the most exciting thing. I'm doing posters. Posters based on global issues, world events, and politics. Generally, just things that are more important than corporate logos and sports team uniforms. I guess I'm following the footsteps of some of my favorite street artists in that way like Banksy and Sheppard Fairey. I also have a list of my favorite movies and songs that I want to do a poster design for. All the song posters are going to be done on paper and colored with soft pastels.
Even if I don't get any better at drawing after all this, at least I will have created something. Which is always better than creating nothing.