Art is sometimes a funny thing. Sometimes it’s easy and fun, and you can’t believe how good it looks. Other times, though, your art feels like garbage—and maybe even looks like garbage too. If you’re lucky, it’ll be only one or two things in your whole project that are bad (like if the background is off in an otherwise great painting). But if you’re not lucky (or just unlucky), this happened to me recently:

I had worked for weeks on my first attempt at a digital portrait of my friend’s dog and was so proud of how it looked when I finished! Then when I showed her what I’d done…she burst out laughing at me. Thankfully she didn’t say any mean things about my work (thank goodness), but she did point out several problems with the piece that made me feel pretty bummed out about myself:

So now what? Well fortunately there are some ways to fix bad art so that it doesn’t look so bad anymore! Today we’ll go over ten of them 🙂 Broad and anecdotal descriptions of how a storyboard artist is likely to pitch their work to a client for both film and tv storyboard.

Take a break.

The best time to take a break is when you are frustrated or feeling stuck, but there are other times as well. If you’re bored, take a break. If you feel overwhelmed and want to give up on the piece before it’s even started, take a break. It’s also important to step away from your work when making progress might make it harder for you to see what isn’t working in your art. Take some time off from the piece so that if anything needs tweaking or changing later on down the road, it won’t be hard for you to spot where changes need to be made.

Work on something else.

If you’re stuck, it’s time to work on something else. You need a break from the piece in question so that your brain can recover from whatever mental block is preventing you from moving forward.

Sometimes this means switching mediums or genres completely, but often it just means doing something else for a little while before coming back to it. Be sure not to abandon the project altogether or else all of your hard work will be lost!

If nothing else helps and you still feel like there’s no way out, try starting over with a new blank canvas or page and see what happens when everything starts fresh with no expectations attached.

Pretend you’re starting over.

Pretend you’re starting over.

The first thing to do when you find yourself stuck is to reset your mindset. Pretend that the piece in front of you is a new project and ask yourself, “What can I do now?” Don’t worry about what went wrong or why it didn’t work out from the beginning—focus on what can be done now. Ask yourself: Is there anything else I can try? What other tools or materials might help me get back on track? How would someone else approach this problem? If a friend were in my position, how would they suggest I solve it?

Think in terms of “not yet.”

While it can be tempting to see your art as a finished product and move on, remember that it’s always a work in progress. You don’t have to like everything about your work—in fact, it’s often better if you don’t! But taking the time to think of ways you could have improved it will help you grow as an artist. When I’m stuck on something, I like to ask my friends or coworkers for feedback on what they think would make the piece better.

Go back to basics.

One of the most important things you can do to improve your art is go back to the basics. This is not just a good idea—it’s a necessity. If you want to make better art, you have to get back in touch with what made your first efforts good in the first place.

When it comes down to it, there are only so many ways that an artist can express himself or herself visually, so if something isn’t working for you now and has never worked before (and maybe even not when you were starting out), then it may be time for a little bit of re-education on some basic principles that are fundamental tools in creating artwork: perspective (this includes foreshortening), anatomy (how the human body works), balance and harmony within composition and color theory (the way colors work together). All these things will help bring your work closer into alignment with what people will respond positively too.

Remember what’s working so far.

In order to fix bad art, it’s important to recognize what you have done well so far. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and question whether or not your work is any good, but it’s best for you and your project if you remember that some things are actually working. By focusing on the positive aspects of your project, it will be easier for you to identify where changes need to be made or additions need to be made in order for everything else about your art process to improve.

Make progress, not perfection.

One of the most common problems with art is getting stuck on a particular project. We get so fixated on perfection that we never actually finish anything. This makes it seem like our work will never be good enough, because there are always things that can be improved upon.

This is how you end up with an unfinished novel or half-finished painting sitting in your closet for years, until it’s eventually donated to Goodwill. Instead of doing this, you should make progress and not worry about mistakes along the way—but also make sure you’re learning from them! You’ll still have plenty of time to revisit your work later and make changes if you need to, but don’t let yourself get stuck in an endless cycle where nothing gets done ever again.

Focus on one thing at a time.

Fixing bad art is a process. It can take you weeks, months or years to get to where you want to be. Here are a few things that I’ve learned along the way:

  • Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t try to fix everything at once. If your art looks too simple, don’t worry about adding detail just yet; if it looks too complicated for no reason, don’t add more lines just yet; if it looks stiff and awkward in some places but not others, don’t focus on that now—focus on fixing all of those problems together later! The key here is patience and consistency over time!
  • Don’t worry about what other people think when they look at your work (even if they’re forced into doing so). If something makes sense visually then there shouldn’t be any reason why others would disagree with its inclusion in the final piece—and even if they do disagree then who cares? You’re doing this for yourself first and foremost – not them 🙂

Start small, but start!

When you’re working on a project and it doesn’t come out how you want, don’t be discouraged. This happens to everyone! The key is to start small and get that bad art out of your system.

If you want to learn how to draw better, start with something simple—like a stick figure or just a circle. While it might seem like baby steps aren’t going anywhere, they are actually very important if you want to master the art form. You should also have a clear goal in mind when starting any piece of work—a goal that can be achieved within one step or set number of steps (i.e., draw three circles before moving on). Finally, make sure that what your end result looks like isn’t too far off from where I started (which often leads me down an endless rabbit hole).

Put your inner critic in a box and throw it away.

In order to fix bad art, you need to deal with the critical voice in your head. The inner critic is a part of us that is always looking for ways to make us feel bad about ourselves. It’s a good thing if it helps you improve, but when it gets in the way, it can be a problem.

When artists get stuck trying to finish a piece of work or perfecting their craft, they often find themselves paralyzed by negative thoughts that tell them they aren’t good enough or smart enough or creative enough. These thoughts are usually coming from the inner critic; an internalized voice that tells us all sorts of things about our own abilities and character—and none of those things are particularly encouraging!

Even when you think your art is bad, there are ways to get it back on track!

Even when you think your art is bad, there are ways to get it back on track!

  • Take a break. Sometimes, just walking away from the work for a little while can give you new perspective to see where things went wrong. If possible, try working on something else before you come back to the project in question. You may find that the answer was right under your nose all along!
  • Reboot from scratch. Sometimes our eyes play tricks on us—what seems like a smudge of paint can be actually an entire part of a painting missing its true meaning if we only look at it differently (and sometimes even just differently enough). Starting over with fresh eyes can help identify these discrepancies and correct them so they don’t ruin your whole piece!


Art is a personal experience, and the best way to improve is by listening to your inner voice. If you’re feeling stuck, take a break from your current project and work on something else for a while. Maybe it’s time for an art class or workshop? Find out how to improve your art.

10 Ways To Fix Bad Art