Ahhhh, I’m honored that you think my art is versatile, but I’ve honestly avoided answering this ask for some time because I do not feel that way about my own work. I often worry about reusing poses, drawing creatures in profile too much, and my blog title is “Things Facing Left’ for a very good reason ahahaha;
The more I think about it, however, perhaps my discomfort in my own lack of versatility can let me tell you what I’ve been trying to strive for to break the uniform, mundane look I feel that my art has achieved—
The first step to improving your artwork is first realizing that it can be better. Your artwork is never bad, but it can always get better. It doesn’t matter how inexperienced you are— your work is still never bad. It doesn’t matter how talented you are— your work is never good enough to no longer improve.
It can be difficult progressing with your artwork when you feel stuck, but the knowledge of your need to improve is what will ultimately lead your artistic endeavors forward. You need to love your artwork enough to keep going— but dislike it enough to be comfortable with critiques and open to improving.
The next step to improving is active practice. The more you draw, the better you get. Drawing is a skill that needs to be worked upon. It might take years, and it might frustrate you when you don’t see immediate improvement after long hours of work, but there will come a time when you look back on a piece you used to feel pride in and realize that your current work is much better.
And the best step to improving mundane work? Actively forcing yourself out of your comfort zone.
I personally am not comfortable with drawing people. I grew up drawing animals and did not start drawing people until late in my junior year of high school (about 4-5 years ago.) Whenever I draw a person, they feel too stiff, and the anatomy and lack of fur frustrates me because I am far too used to drawing animals. Sometimes I get so frustrated with drawing people that I turn them into fauns to avoid drawing human legs below the knee.
But how am I ever going to get better at humans if I always avoid them? The simple answer is that I won’t. To get better at drawing something you’re not good at or not used to, you just need to buckle down and draw it anyway. You might not like what you produce at first— heck, you might not like it for quite some time— but practicing will slowly lead you to a place of comfort.
The same can be said with small things like drawing wings that are different from the wings you usually do. If you usually draw hawk wings, branch out and try the slender wings of an albatross, using references where necessary. You might not like how they look when you draw them at first, but the practice and discomfort will be worth taking a step towards better versatility with your work. In time, you’ll learn the anatomy of both subjects better. With the same method, there will come a time where, after having practiced both more fluently, you will be able to distinguish the legs of a wolf and a goat with ease.
On a closing note, I also want to say that the artists you admire likely suffer from the same insecurities and frustrations that you do. We’re our own worst critics and there’s always going to be someone who gives you art envy out the wazzoo. There’s no use in lusting after someone else’s talent when you can cultivate your own, however. You are a unique, individual artist and no one— absolutely no one— can produce the art that you do.