A common disappointment we all seem to face is thinking that we are not good enough or improving fast enough. This feeling comes and goes, but when it does come, it can really make an artist feel down. It can be a triggered thought or just come about suddenly. Occasionally, this happens to me when I look at much better artists' work. I tend to analyze myself against them and wonder if I work hard enough to get better or if I will ever match the artist, then it all starts... But having gone through this pattern countless times I set up reassuring thoughts that I can use like insurance.
3 Remedial Tactics:
1. Look at your own progress: When feeling down about your own work, I suggest taking a step back and looking at how far you have come! This can be done by simply flipping through sketchbooks or through your gallery. Maybe it is your attitude and confidence that has improved. I use to dislike drawing anything without loads of lineart to separate every plain, now I work with or without lineart, at my leisure(I am extremely glad that I have moved past that). Here is an example of how I use to sketch figures right after I first learned anatomy in 2009. Below it is some sketches I did in the last few weeks. I have more knowledge of the figure's mass, but my seasoning helped me create more interesting presentations:
2. Look at other artists' progress: The reason I think this is a good idea is because some fantastic artists seem to be perceived as never drawing like the average joe but having always drawn very well. But when I look at their past work it shows me that at some point in their progression, they were at the same level of quality that I am at now. Styles may be different, but each one needs to be refined to get better. I believe that if we work hard enough, we can stand next to our idols. Here is an excellent example of long-term progression:
art by Stanley Lau(Artgerm) of http://www.artgerm.deviantart.com
3. Swim in the positives: Something that I love so much is that there is ALWAYS work to do and ALWAYS potential improvement. At no point will we ever reach the maximum level, something can be improved. Some may perceive this as depressing, but I think it is wonderful that the teeth of accomplishment can always sink deeper. We have the freedom to go as far as we will.
This is a very common feeling, but check out these determined artists who committed to improvement:
art by Alexandria Lomuntad(akirakirai) of http://www.akirakirai.deviantart.com
art by Kurunya of http://www.kurunya.deviantart.com