Why Your Art Teacher Hates your Anime Art


There’s a lot of people who have stories about art teachers who hate anime and the students feel like their art is bad and they get sad, they feel humiliated, and the question becomes: “Why does my teacher hate me? And my art? And my style? Shouldn’t my teacher be encouraging me to make whatever I want to make?” Well they kind of are and give me one minute to try and convince you why: at the core of art education there is to be “fundamentals of art” and what does that mean? Some kind of rule set for making art? You’re gonna force me to draw, like, Greek sculptures or something? I can never draw anime again? No. At the core it means this; that if you want to make good art, it takes being able to understand things like: perspective, rendering, color theory, etc. And what does all of these things have in common? Well, all of these things have a basis in reality. But then maybe you don’t want to draw big, muscular men and paintings of fruit. Maybe you want to draw something stylized, or something anime, and that’s fine, that’s even great! You have something you wanna draw – that’s better than most people already, but there is something that all great artists have in common, and it’s an understanding of reality. These things are stylized, and what does that word mean? Well, it means taking something from reality and trying to depict it in a non-realistic way, but all good stylization is based on a good understanding of what it is trying to emulate. These artists spend a long time trying to study how these things work in real life and because of that they are able to draw on that knowledge, to simplify, or exaggerate, those things. However, instead when a lot of beginners draw anime, they see it as a quick way to get good at art: “…Hey! I don’t need to learn to draw faces, I can just draw these symbols!” But instead it comes out looking all weird; there’s just something wrong about it. That’s when a lot of teachers will say: “Hey, I don’t think you should be drawing anime.” And it’s very straight to the point, and maybe even the teachers don’t understand why they think anime is bad. But here’s what a good art teacher would say: “I don’t think you should be drawing anime, because I think you are using it as a crutch. Currently you are at a level where you don’t really understand the anatomy of real faces, but if you did; your work would improve as a result.” I am not forbidding you from drawing anime, but I am telling you this because I would want to see you improve and this is how you would be able to make good anime in the future, because otherwise you might just draw a thousand bad anime drawings until you in the future come to this conclusion yourself.” But that conversation doesn’t happen, so instead you get the quick exchange of: “Hey, don’t draw anime.” And in response: “This is my style!” Now you could learn to draw by drawing anime over and over again, and get better by doing that, but now that you know all of this, why would you? You could be improving 10x faster and all these artists you look up to, well, this is how they learned how to do it. They weren’t born with these skills, they practiced. Not all critique is valid, but if you are faced with critique, and your response is: “It’s my style!” Then you could very well just be discrediting someone trying to help you. And, as a result you end up repeating yourself over and over instead of improving with each drawing. It can be tough, and it can feel really hard learning something new, and that’s kind of why you have to do it, because you don’t want to end up feeling like you’re in a comfort zone because that’s when you are not learning. So basically, what I’m saying is: Learning art education won’t prevent you from being able to draw anime. You can adapt, take advantage of the situation and learn about art education. Blend “learning reality” with “learning anime”. That’s when you can say: “Okay, what do I need to study next to get better at drawing anime?” So, hey! Suddenly drawing all those muscular dudes and painting all that fruit. Who knew it? But it kinda seems like you are getting better at other things now, and as a result: Whadda ya know? Good anime! People say: “The teachers should be encouraging the kids to draw whatever they want.” And weirdly enough, because we did all these assignments, now all the things we want to draw come a lot easier to them. I’m not saying all art teachers are amazing and fantastic. I’ve heard plenty of stories about unreasonable art teachers. And sometimes they’re stupid, sometimes if you did listen to them you’d spend years doing nothing but finger-painting. But sometimes, things can roll down to misunderstandings, and sometimes it’s personal taste blended in with critique. But what can also happen is that when you’re in school, you’re a kid, and maybe you just want to draw these things; you don’t even care about art fundamentals; you just want to have fun! But this is not fun and relaxing drawing time. This is a school assignment! You’re doing an assignment for your school. And as a kid you will find all of this stuff boring. You don’t wanna sit and draw naked people and fruit. Along with that, kids find it very hard to separate critique from hate. Because you have a lot of personal attachment to your drawings, and might even feel like your entire being depends on how you are able to draw these characters you came up with. So let me be clear: this is not a response to personal experiences that someone has had, and this is not an assessment of someone, or their experiences. Because there will always be bad art teachers somewhere! What you do in art class is never going to matter as much as what you do outside of art class. In the end, everything relies on you! Improvement, learning, doing whatever you want, everything important that is taught in art You can find all of it in books! And if you can’t find it in school, then go online! And you know what? Here are some great places to start!

100 Replies to “Why Your Art Teacher Hates your Anime Art”

  1. Before this video I had 100 subscribers and around 50-100 views per video, didn't expect this to blow up so much. Had I known I would've put more effort into the second half of the video.
    Nonetheless, thank you everyone for the great response!

  2. I agree with this video. HOWEVER.

    The problem is that many art teachers do not express their issues with anime drawings in a constructive way. I've always loved drawing cartoons, so obviously I drew cartoons all the time in art class. Instead of art teachers encouraging me to develop my own style, or explaining how learning their methods can improve my overall skills, they just told me that they didn't like cartoons. They told me to draw things a certain way instead, without explaining why it's beneficial other than "it looks better." So of course, the lack of real constructive criticism and advice just made me see it as an attack on my "style."

    I understand now why art teachers/professors are like this, but they need to explain their reasoning better instead of just "your anime art is bad, do something else." The fact that a video like this needs to be made to explain why art teachers are like this, I think helps prove my point.

  3. What art teachers say: you have to learn realism first before other art styles. You have to find your own art style.
    What attention seeking artists hear: Don't draw anime. Don't draw ever.

  4. My teacher appreciates my art…since none in my class can "properly draw" idk how to say it like they are not interested in art

  5. ok bcs kids are getting to far with the anime stuff, 1. nobody said anime didny have many styles it does but most of them arent correct when it comes to anatomy. They're very flat in most cases because it's animation and animation is more simplified for the sake of not killing the animators. 2. drawing anime/manga doesn't rly teach you stuff like perspective and 4shortening, you have to learn to potray stuff in space or it'll look all weird and just not good.
    3. Also if you realllyyy wanna become a manga/anime artist you're gonna have to learn to draw more than humans. that includes objects, clothes, furniture, buildings, environment, machinery which all reqiures perspective and some basic art knowledge. So ya know myb dont take it too personally when someone says you shouldn't draw anime. your teacher doesn't hate you they're saying it bcs they mean well and then want you to improve they just dont know how to explain it well especially if youre in elementary/middleschool.

  6. They're teachers. They should be able to give you criticism without making you feel like you don't want to create anymore. Criticism that damages an artist's creativity and drive has fundamentally failed.
    Also, my art teacher told me at the start of the year not to draw dragons, fantasy, anime, anthro, etc on a portfolio cover that was supposed to represent my own interests, history, and style at the time. Which was like 90% of my hobbies and such so. (She also refused to call me by my full name instead of a nickname I hated, regardless of how many times I asked, pulled me aside to berate me because "you can catch more flies with honey" when I insisted she call me by my actual name, and once refused to get me a bandaid when I cut my finger open cutting glass for her, telling me to suck it up) Some teachers just… are not good teachers.

  7. I showed my teacher my drawings today and she asked why all of my stuffs are anime, so I showed her my RD Jr. drawing (not in anime style) but she aaid it's anime. Is she high?

  8. Then funny thing is that I've always drawn realistic since very young, and when ive tried anime drawing i sucked at it.

  9. Here's some tips on making your OWN ACTUALLY style. (This is what works for me) so I've been watching alot of cartoon shows… anime…semi realistic ..3d.. 2d.. etc..

    When I look at how they draw things and I find face features that I really like I try to draw it but just a lil bit different. I for example saw a cartoon character and I loved the eyes. Cute round… liked the idea of it but it was kind of weird.. so I drew it my way of their drawing. I find more stuff to.. for example I'm bad at drawing anime noses which was the only thing I drew until I thought about trying another style. I draw the nose upturned but I'm still practising on the nose sooo yea. And the lips to… always a small thin line for the lips. I didn't like that so I tried to draw the lips kind of like in DC characters. Full realistic but not alot of details. For the hair I always used to draw 1 piece of strand at a time which was awful XD draw the hair base of how it's form is gonna be and then adding some hair strands at the END . Also learned how to highlight from where the light comes from and not just random places around the hair ..(well if that's ur style do it) And hands and foots …I saw MY brother draw them and he was so good I kinda copied him on that XD although I can't seem to really draw them 🙁 . And thats how i learned my style. Althought i like to draw in different styles every time just cuz i dont want to be set on on one specific style . I Watch alot of tutorials …But practise ya know….And remember drawing should be something u enjoy doing. I'm sure if u put your heart into something is when it comes out the greatest 🙂 hope it helped? :v

  10. 팩트로 뼈가 바스러졌습니다.. 기본기는 애니뿐만 아니라 디자인도 포함이죠ㅜㅜㅜ 노잼이지만 디자이너가 되기 이전 배워야할 기본중에 기본인 전공과제를 어린애처럼 떼쓰면서 (쌍욕하면서) 했네요

  11. My art style is odd. I do watch anime but my art style is a bit Lifelikeish and a little cartoony. Then sometimes its just plain ole cartoony.

  12. When I was 20, I was so tired of manga, all of it looked so alike, and decided to go with my own style, something more realistic, more me, I'm 36 now.

  13. Unfortunately I only ever hear about teachers telling students in the worst way not to draw anime, which happened to me as well and it's extremely discouraging. I remember her giving a speech to the class for half an hour about how it was horrible and how no one should be drawing it, and as a kid in class who was known for drawing it, it caused other kids to look at me and say "you're doing something bad!" It was extremely humiliating and I can only hope they get better at leading kids to the art fundamentals.

  14. I completely agree. I started drawing anime, because that was what I saw on TV. When I grew old I tried to stop drawing like that. Don't get me wrong. I love anime, but I think it cannot express what I really want to express. Maybe someone else can, but I can't. So it has been so hard for me to find my own style because I was comfortable learning all the advanced technics drawing anime faces, but now that I have learned advanced technics, I can't shake the anime off. And that drives me crazy sometimes.

  15. Honestly I think it would just be better if these kind of people just phrased their words better. "I think your art would improve from some anatomy/perspective practice," rather then "Anime is hindering your drawings from looking realistic."

  16. In my high school I had an art teacher who told me that she doesn't like the anime style because "eyes are too big", not because anatomy proportions aren't correct.

    In my life I've met two friends who have never accepted my help from their art mistakes, now they're not my friends anymore, they think I'm wrong but I'm not.
    I don't help anyone anymore, because I know it's useless and I just leave everyone alone with their mistakes.
    After all, they're wrong, not me.

  17. Alot of the points you mention here are not actually true at all, the reason why art teachers hate when you draw anime is because it's hard enough to be a successful artist as it is, but the fact is, there isnt an industry for anime at all, so you wont become successful. Anime is based off of old american art styles like Betty boop that depict the aforementioned stylization of making realistic unrealistic, and that's the point of manga or anime drawings, in fact, most manga focus on a balance of both if you study it. Hirohiko araki had a whole book on it where he goes through his trials as a mangaka

  18. My art teacher is pretty awesome. I have a very realistic art style, but what makes my style a style and not plane realism is my way of shading and drawing. The way my art looks is like a bunch of scribbles that turn into something that looks real, and I like it. My art teacher thinks it’s really cool too, so during some assignments when we do realism, he lets me use my style because he knows I can do realism and make it look real, since I already have a good understanding of shades. In fact, he gives me advice on how to improve my style, while still keeping it as my style. It’s really helped me and I love my art so much more now

    Edit: he doesn’t like drawing realism btw. He draws western style cartoons, and they look so awesome

  19. I’m in 10th grade and my art teacher says she likes my anime art. Should I keep doing it alongside my regular art study…?

  20. Teachers aren't supposed to hate their art, even if its bad or they dislike it. Its all about the effort the students give to the art

  21. I know that when someone is learning how to draw, it needs to follow the rules, like, learn how to draw the body, face, muscles, etc in real life. This is becouse you can't break the rules of draw if you dont know the rules.

  22. "You can't draw anime in my class, but I can make an exception for you.

    Be at least like Naoki Urasawa's. You thought I don't know anime, didn't you?
    So, don't bring me Captain Tsubasa, Clamp, and all those Loli-Moe-Bijin crap.

    You can do all those after you pass my class. And that is the level of Naoki Urasawa's MONSTER!"

  23. The terrible drawing at 1:46 are from a terrible how to draw manga book. My parents got it for me for Christmas and I looked through it once and then burned it in a camp fire.

  24. Just remembered that spongebob episode where you draw a face and erase the details. Didn't know it had a deeper meaning than just that.

  25. Personally I find drawing fruit 20 times more cliche than anime. It's such an old stereotype of artists and art teachers to do and actually going into an art class every year and having that very assignment at least twice (usually fruits, but different objects would also be used) per class gets repetitive, boring, and I never (no matter if we were painting, drawing, using some type of oil crayon things, etc.) learned anything from them except how to shade objects.

    I also don't enjoy drawing real people, especially classmates. I never understood why we had to draw self portraits, draw eachother, or focus so closely on realism in general. I can draw animals, plushies, eyes, toys, and objects relatively well (depending on what it is). When it came to drawing real people I remember everyone in every art class I've ever had groaning or simply frowning the moment a teacher mentioned it (especially with self portraits).

    I understand these are my experience and thoughts, but at the same time I stopped learning anything new about art in 8th grade (when I was about 13)… at least in art classes.

  26. Um dia, minha prof de artes tava falando sobre proporção e tals, e eu tava estudando isso tbm pra quando eu desenhar. Ent, eu mostrei um desenho pra ela, e ela disse q n era proporcional

  27. Lmao, my art teacher doesn’t mind anime or manga art, once we were drawing expressions and there was a manga expressions option.

  28. I honestly think you could still draw in a sort of anime style while learning, just turn it down. A lot for realistic art isn't even that different from well made anime art, like for instance JoJo's style art is in general much more focused on anatomy. As long as your not focusing on chibi when learning you can still apply anime styling to your art while still learning the proper methods.

  29. "You don't want to end feeling like you're in the comfort zone, because that's when you're not learning"
    I like that sentence

  30. Do I suck balls at drawing? Yes.

    Will I never step foot in an art school or take an art class? Yes.

    Will I still watch this video? Hell to the yes.

  31. I'm tired of people calling my art anime art. Like tf nk. Its more of a cartoony style. Theres nothing wrong with anime styles tho, but i dont have one. I have a cartoony one

  32. My art teacher doesn't mind if we draw anime. Anime style is my art style and she doesn't mind whenever I draw anime. So idk why other art teachers don't like it

  33. This is outrageous how dare they hate anime just cos anime has sharp chins big eyes and it doesn’t look realistic

  34. Some people say:Lean the rules before you break them.
    I agree with it because if you really want to get good at drawing then you must learn how to do it.
    But if drawing is just your hobby,it’s fine if you don’t learn how to draw realism.
    And I know some people say:THIS IS MY STYLE ART HAS NO RULES.
    Sure,you do have a point because art is a very abstract thing.but like I said,if you want to get good at art and become a professional artist and get into art school then you must learn everything,from sketching to abstract art.

    Learn to walk before you can run

    Follow the rules before you change them

    LEARN THE RULES BEFORE YOU BREAK THEM

    you won’t get through art school if you just draw that one thing,that’s just the journey.
    A lot of online artists that went to art school shared their journeys with their viewers on their channels,art school isn’t just about getting better at one thing,it’s about trying to create other things and find what you like and discover yourself more,AND IMPROVEMENTS.
    And also,I can guarantee you that a lot of anime artist did the same thing too.

  35. I 100% agree with you,the problem comes when people judge you before even knowing if you're willing to get better or not,I've had people,not teachers,thankfully,tell me to stop drawing anime because "I'm wasting my talent" and after a bit tell me "Hey,you have really nice anatomy!",it's because I practice a lot of anatomy,be with muscular men or animu tiddies,it doesn't matter to me,anything that helps is welcome,yet people feel like they have the right to complain because I draw anime.It's my choice,you don't have to like it,the door is right there.Anyway,that was my rambling

  36. as an artist who draws in the anime style frequently, i’m glad you brought this up. i believe you should put style aside when learning the fundamentals of art. i don’t take any art classes at the moment, but plan to and will never let this style prevent me from improving

  37. They're just frightened of teenagers with big tits and all the clichés. Add that to that generation's "oh no, a Playboy magazine, ey, you pervert" mentality and voila. The hatred is born 😀
    Not to forget that some art teachers hate anime but love 2d kids shows or one of the buzzwords of last year aka "CalArts".

    Just do what you want and do what you like. It is true though, that if you're applying to places like art schools with such portfolio checks, you'd want to make sure you have only your best of works.

    "Best" of works, not "proud of". 😀 Did that mistake many times ten years back.

  38. There's no reason to only hate anime though.
    They should tell you the same about overall animations,western cartoon,etc,because any style can mess up with your fundamentals.

    One more thing, studying the fundamentals based on reality , doesn't mean that you have to stop drawing anime outside of the regular training.

    There's a lot of awesome artists like Kentaro Miura and Katsuhiro Otomo that learned the fundamentals,but also developed their styles by copying and analysing artists they liked,studying beyond the basic fundamentals.
    Which is why they are so good and also very unique.

  39. I just recently picked drawing back up for the first time in years. I'm very rusty. But I definitely have always thought that 80% of anime drawers that you'll meet on a day to day are using it as a crutch. And as you say, if they worked on building a good foundation, they would be better at anime. I feel like that's most people who wanna draw today.

    I actually love anime as a medium, but there's a big difference between the art of sailor fucking moon, afro samurai, and cowboy bepop. The latter two being more interesting stylistically and not looking like it was drawn by a 10th grader, yet I'll take it are less popular with the "anime is my style" crowd.

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