These are personal experiences I have had from being a self taught artist and is written down here for you to help promote a healthy mentality of developing and strengthening your skills.
Where should I start as a beginner?
When first starting out, build yourself into the habit of creating daily. This could be anywhere from doing 1 minute of doodling to a couple of hours of creation. With materials / mediums, start with anything you have, even if it’s something used or passed on to you. As you’re getting into the mindset of creating and you know what you like to use to create, then you can think about upgrading your tools as you need to over time. In addition to this, it doesn’t hurt to go over your art fundamentals and foundations. This includes: shapes (2d & 3d), contour lines (thickness and thin), light & shadow, values, textures, perspective, distance and more. Last but not least, set short term realistic goals to keep yourself encouraged. Depending on what your goals are will define the paths you need to take next. If you don’t know something, think critically. Research and cross reference your research as you go.
How do I continue to develop and get better with my art?
A way to keep improving is this: with every new piece you want to create, have a look at your last one. Take note of what you liked, now take note of what you didn’t like. Of the things you didn’t like, make it your goal to improve on that with your new piece.
How can I stop myself from comparing myself to others?
In my experience, if I find myself comparing it usually means there’s a skillset of mine that I feel I need to develop. Whenever I catch myself doing this, instead of thinking negatively about it, I try to think instead, “Wow! This is amazing, now how can I go about levelling up my skill in < blank >.” This could mean I need to develop my skills with perspective and dynamics, shading, color theory, anything.
Everyone has different levels of experience. What matters is your own personal improvement over time.
I’ve never used a tablet before, and the concept of looking up from where I’m drawing is difficult. Is there any way to make this process easier to grasp?
Learning to look at a monitor while your hand is drawing on your tablet can be a challenge. I recommend an exercise called blind contour drawing which will help strengthen hand / eye co-ordination.
I need some words of wisdom, my spark of inspiration as an artist is dimming.
When you have 20 minutes of spare time, watch this video from Neil Gaiman. This has saved me time and again as an artist and as a human being.
Where do you get inspiration from?
From pure enjoyment of LIFE. Taking breaks to do my favorite things, whatever is relaxing in the moment helps me to stop tunnel visioning and open my mind to new ideas and concepts. Do whatever is best for you to relax, enjoy yourself, have fun, and a whole new world will open to you of ideas and inspirations.