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Learning Art as an Adult

Learning any form of art as an adult can be quite challenging.

In fact, picking up any kind of hobby when you’re in your twenties (or forties, or sixties) can engage an inflated sense of self doubt—especially when witnessing people half your age reach Bob Ross-level results (rest in peace you beautiful genius).

Especially as adults, it’s mentally and emotionally challenging to begin something from square one. More specifically, it’s difficult to admit to being genuinely bad at something when starting out.

Young people make mistakes—it’s inherent.

Adults on the other hand, are supposed to have everything together. We have unlocked the secrets to succeeding in school and work (or at least being exceptionally average), that being genuinely bad at something has become a foreign concept—it’s frustrating, disheartening, and it’s unfortunately enough to make so many people quit before they see the slightest improvement in their work.

I’ve been there, and even after 2+ years of practicing art (note that I’m currently 22 years old), I still stumble into this mindset on occasion; however, allow me to provide an alternate perspective:

Experiencing growth and improvement should not be reserved for those who are 12 years old and younger.

Picking up a new skill late in the game can be a great way to break away from a mundane schedule. The joy of knowing that you’ve traveled steps further from where you have started is exhilaratingand a feeling that can be much deeply appreciated when you’re in your adult years since it’s simply less common to come across.

I have a coworker who creates music. He picked this hobby up relatively late as well, and mentioned something along the lines of:

When starting something new, you’re going to be bad up until a certain point. It’s those who manage to pass the first roadblock of self-doubt—and do so with a smile—that end up succeeding. So many people quit before they see improvement; but if you can still enjoy the process of learning something that you’re not yet good at, then you know that you’ve already made it.

These words truly resonated with me. For once someone understood what was on my mind and was able to put these thoughts into a coherent and quote-worthy statement.

Yes, learning art late in the game is quite the challenge;

but, as with any other kind of hobby, if you stick to it you will improve. There’s honestly no other way to go about it. The more time and energy you set aside to learn your craft, the more you’ll experience growth. That’s it. No secret sauce, no get-rich-quick scheme—improvement is rooted in practice.

I wish I had more to say about this, but there really aren’t any secrets to unlock.

What I can do is open up this space for you to share your journey—every win, and every frustration—because I openly and wholeheartedly understand where you are coming from.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope that you can find some point of relation in these words.


I’m incredibly happy with how much my art has transformed over the years 🙂

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