One of the things I’ve always heard is, “Wow, you’re such a great artist,” but in reality, I personally believe I suck. However, regardless of where my level is, if you want to produce quality work, you need to put in the time to do these drawings.
The drawing above took me about three hours to finish (including coloring). When in the process of drawing, I have to be very observant, and take my time to do the work.
It’s the same with illustration;
This above drawing I took from Google Street View, and traced over it using Adobe Illustrator; this took about three days in total (breaks in between).
It’s really tiring to just sit through a computer (or observing a drawing) for three hours straight. It requires a lot of self-discipline; I know because when I need to take a break, the feeling is like burnt out when I do drawings like these. Your brain and eyes, as well as your hands just want to go to bed and take a nap.
Scott Young wrote an impressive article about self-discipline here: if you want to create an impressive work, you need to push yourself.
Thus, I believe that the process of drawing or illustration can be a lost art because our society is constantly trying to aim to do things that are not too painful. Sitting in front of a tree and drawing it for three hours can be painful.
However, I believe anybody can learn how to draw or illustrate. It takes a shift of values, meaning you have to acknowledge to yourself that it will take time and a heavy amount of discipline to continue; this takes practice: for example, draw only at least 15 minutes at a time, 3o minutes, etc. spread it out throughout a week, and practice everyday.