I can't emphasize the importance of stretching enough. In a road race you know the race won't go well if you start to cramp up or if your muscles start hurting. When you take that extra time to prepare it makes all the difference in how you run the race.

Prepare To Create Your Best Work.
Creating art is not any different than a sport in this respect. Without the right tools you may never make the best art you could. Not everyone is right for that tool. But then there is the comfort level with that tool or process. You have to use it to be good at it.

Stretching Is Learning.
That tool and process is ink and inking. I have practiced it for more than 10 years. It obviously did not come naturally. My initial understanding of inking was with a ball point pen. Some of the stretching that had to be done was to figure out what the tool was used for. I had to figure out which tools work best for different kinds of looks. I have to practice using that skill every chance I get. As I stretch myself I learn more potential and learn more of what I don't know about it.

Take at least 15 minutes a day before you start your serious project to stretch your ability. With inking I start with blue line pencil drawings of all different kinds of objects, people, different lighting situations, and compositions. Then, I practice all the different techniques and styles I like. Some pieces come out exquisitely, most do not. Think of skills that you want to learn and for it. I know you will improve if you just stretch!

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