Saturday, August 21, 2010

Creating habits

I haven't had a chance to post in a while because I've been busy at work. I got the chance to fly up to our northern studio, PDI, and work for a bit. There are some really talented board artist up there. But, I wanted to post something, so here goes.

Creating habits: If you want to learn how to do something, you have to create a habit. If you want to write, draw, paint, play the guitar, etc, it's not enough to decide that you want to practice. You have to create some sort of daily habit where you do it every single day. My daily habit is doing studies. Every morning before I start working, I pull out a dvd, usually animated, and do some studies. I also pull some books off my shelf at night, if I'm watching tv, and draw from those. That's my daily study habit. I don't really even think about it, I just like doing it every day. In fact, I can't draw out of my head if I don't warm up first by doing some studies. It's like I have to relearn how to draw every morning. It takes me at least an hour just to warm up. And the cool part is, you never stop learning. One day you practice hands, one day you practice poses, one day you practice, acting, composition, storyboarding, etc. You can never run out of stuff to learn.


  1. posts like these are reason enough for every person who likes to draw, to have this blog in their book marks.

  2. The hard part is to begin. Then, as its name states, it just becomes a habit... Thank you !

  3. This is some great advice that i should probably listen to!

  4. Thanks for this. I needed it (and it was way better than the fortune cookie got in a restaurant today!)

  5. Weird: I used to have this habit, too. I would take out a DVD of Ren and Stimpy and just draw expression after expression. I think I might just get back to doing warm-ups and studies before I draw.

    Thanks for the awesome advice, Rad! Your blog is super-helpful.

  6. and just like that... I've made a firm resolution.
    much appreciated, Mr. Rad.

  7. Excellent advice!
    I try my best..I still get stressed over deadlines and emails rushing me though haha!
    I'll try to make it into a "habit" like you said

  8. Brilliant post.

    This is exactly the sort of inspiration I need.

    I used to think that "practice" was something the pros didn't have to do, because they had already achieved a level of awesomeness.

    I thought it was only amateurs and hacks that needed to practice.

    Boy was I wrong.

    Based on posts like these: Turns out all the awesome artists practice more than just about anyone.

    Thanks for the inspiration

  9. Rad,

    Do you have specific things you do on certain days? like monday, hands, tuesday portraits, or just whatever you feel like drawing as long as you draw?

  10. Thanks everyone, glad you liked the post.

    gcastro: I practice whatever I was having a hard time with the day before. And there is always something I'm having a hard time with.

  11. I LOVE these type of posts. Instead of going for "be discipline" and "work harder," your daily life activities "breakdown" gives me something to relate to--gives me an inspiration and a courage. Thanks!

  12. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle

    A friend of mine sent this to me last week, in an unrelated email, but funnily enough the same message.

  13. Yes, I find when i am in the daily habit of doing studies as well, it really makes my drawings so much stronger.

  14. Thanks for the reminder. I've fallen out of this as well.

  15. A good tip and reminder. Thanks!

  16. I just stumbled across your blog and I am going to agree. I need to start making a habit of drawing every day. You have given me some good ideas on how to practice and I will try and incorporate that into my daily routine.

  17. I have found the best way to form a habit that sticks is to set yourself the challenge of doing it every day for 30 days.

    You can keep track of this for free on sites like

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