I hate when I bring myself back into not drawing and it's happening again.
I can't manage to keep myself motivated. I'm too far from where I want to be and too impatient to improve. I find the studies boring. I feel ridiculous I'm still trying and I'm still failing at the basics.
The world has passed me by with new better people doing things way beyond my imagination, nevermind skill. I feel I don't belong anymore and might as well distract myself with something else, so I decide to quit. But then I miss drawing because it was all I could do and I try to re-start and catch up. Then I feel bad and the cycle repeats.
This has been going for ages now. I'm tired of this cycle. Why can't I either quit or continue but make a decision and stick to it?
Maybe you're not drawing what you really want, just what you think you should. Just put the odd study in there. It might take longer, but you'll have more fun along the way.
I often have the same trouble.
Motivation comes through inspiration.
Look at the sketchooks, pro artists at the top of the page, whatever.
Find something you would like to draw/sketch.
GET OFF THE COMPUTER!!!
Most important step! If you don't stop replying saying
"Oh this week's C.O.W is awesome, this week I'll do a monster with..."
then you'll never get it done.
Inspiration > Motivation > Do it!
Hope I've helped.
If you find studies and the like boring, then you may as well accept that art is just an interesting past time for you. Take the pressure to improve off yourself and just enjoy it for a creative past time. Or find another way to focus the creative desire into something you won't create so much pressure on you. Many people enjoy painting miniatures, or crafts, or whatever. There are a lot of fun ways to channel yourself that don't require such a high degree of mastery to enjoy.
I totally agree with Black Spot: It sounds like you've been trying too hard to achieve the 'pro' aspect of drawing instead of viewing it as an enjoyable, personal activity you can cultivate at your own pace.
You don't have to draw Da Vinci studies all day in order to be 'worthy' of drawing. Perhaps you are pursuing styles and subjects that don't fulfill you and don't really fit your interests?
Ask yourself this: Do you ever feel like drawing something totally silly, inane and utterly useless, just for the sheer pleasure of playing with colours, textures and subjects your own way? If the answer is no, then maybe you don't like drawing that much after all and need to find your call. However, if the answer is yes but you put these impulses aside in favor of more serious, technical studies, then that might be part of the problem. Even silly doodles drawn on a whim without purpose or method are valuable. They help you find your own style, ideas and, most importantly, they're fun.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, especially when drawing
Leonor. Your sketchbook is awesome. I know, i've seen it. Maybe move away from figure studies for a while. Do something that cheers you up. Start working more in photoshop/painter w/e and throw some colour around. Read a book you enjoy, gain some inspiration. We all go through this i'm sure. I know I have and I know I will again. We have to work through these times. But please dont give up, I visit your SB to push me when I need it C'mon
I hope you dont mind me saying but you made a very similar topic not long ago.
I didnt read everything in that one but i felt that people did give some good advice and some even asked questions.
Now this doesnt piss me off or anything really, i just think its too bad you didnt feel the need to answer those people and even erased the post to now make this one.
This said, i wish you the best of luck with your problem. I checked your studies and i'll chime in with those who think it would be a shame if you had to definitely quit.
I spent this afternoon sucking at painting, like failing really hard.
I went next door, flipped the telly on and what should show up but an hour long documentary on Rembrandt, many close ups. Thanks SkyTV, just what I needed to see...
At this point my ego was a whimpering incontinent puppy in the corner covered in it's own poop.
Y'know what though? I'm getting up tomorrow and painting all day because I really want to. Yes, compared to Rembrandt I absolutely suck, but so do 99.9988899% of people who ever owned a brush. It's OK to not be as good as the dead Dutch guy.
Also, Leonor, maybe stop doing studies and start just painting whatever you want to paint.
Last edited by Flake; June 17th, 2009 at 09:31 AM.
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, everyone.
I always I regret posting these things that's why I erased the other post a while ago. I don't draw spontaneously anymore because I don't like what it comes out.
hi leonor ,
i was thinking the same you did, never happy with what came out of my drawings, they never had that "polished pro look" (i m complete noob so ofc they can t look like that ) . i started doing studies from loomis and bridgman and i did them like i had a chore to do. sometimes i was thinking that i m in the wrong carieer and leave everything and just dedicate myself to drawing and going to art school.
then i realized something: i was showing somebody how i draw a human face and trying to explain why things are done this way, and why we draw that line there and so on. And at the end the drawing that came out of it was one of my best ever. So, i was just pushing myself way to much and forgot to enjoy.
in better words, what i m trying to say is : don t take it so seriously ! it s not a job and it s not a race try soing something funny
for instace i was looking at the community activities forums: character or the week or panels of the week and i came up with a few funny ideas. i sketch them just for the fun, not to post them or to compare them with the works of other people. Sometimes i just draw them and see if i can make people laugh when they look at them
also, i saw your Sb, and imo i believe it would be a shame for you to quit. Perhaps right now you just need to change the pace
ohh, and another ideea : get another hobby except drawing this helps you to stop thinking "ohh man i have to improve, have to improve" . This way when you have the time to draw you ll simply enjoy the act of drawing and be grateful and happy you found the time for ir
"It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value." (Arthur C Clarke)
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If anyone wants to join send me a PM
The only way you will know for sure if I where to say, give it up. It's obvious that you do not have the inspiration or the will to draw, why draw when you are doing it because of some sillyness on what it's supposed to do for you when it's not. It seems you will live a happier life without drawing, and trying to make drawing something for you that it's not is a waste of time. Why draw when you have no purpose for it, you should have had some by now, if you don't you won't. Why not just become an art critic or something if it feels more usefull perhaps. Persue a career as a lounge'r. Decide what it is about drawing that you like, if the thrill of learning isn't doing it for you what is? Trying to compete perhaps? ???
Did you perhaps hope that art would lead to more social posibillities, attention..
Are you confusing being a fan for being an artist. Why not buy and collect art instead of trying to make some.
You need to spend some time relaxing and really relax and let go, get a new hobby but before you do that for one last time pick up the pencil and drill stuff, but do it like a zombie really make a point of being relaxed and brain dead almost and when you get tired and your drawings becomes aimless and not so studied anymore say to your self with a feeling of utter hopelessness "The cycle starts again" you can also try "Who am I kidding", "what's the use", "What's this going to prove" and then resist the temptation to draw for the rest of your life. Then you can talk about your art risistance at bar's etc...
Last edited by George Abraham; June 17th, 2009 at 09:43 AM.
Perhaps you're concentrating too much on studies. You have more more studies on one page of your sketchbook than I've done in my entire life, or ever intend to do. And they're at such an advanced level that I'm unclear why you're not using that knowledge to paint some awesome pictures. I'd normally be tempted to respond "Well, if you don't like art don't do it," but it would certainly be a waste considering your pretty impressive abilities. Studies and sketches are very useful but if you need to take a break, just go ahead and create something wacky and wonderful!
Thank you all for your patience and thoughts.
Even the greatest comic pencilers use reference to draw their frames. Todd McFarlane used extensive reference for drawing his Spawn series. Yes I am a fan So I think, if it is what you want to do, then I think you should start working on it Go go go. Collect reference, let me see your stories
I know what you mean.
Taking a look at works that you would call "What you would like to be able to do" someone must have inspired what you have in mind that you would call your own personal taste for "now that's the way it should be done"
Copy and analyze their work to see just exactly what elements they needed to master. That way you don't waste time beating around the bush.
The biggest rut for a student is not knowing what they can or aught to work on that will get them closer to their actual desires.
"Now that's what I'm talking about!"
Just use references. Lots of artists do it and it's fine as long as you combine images and change things to make them your own (unless you made the pictures yourself, then you can copy them completely). I looked at your studies and it looks like you have the skills to use references loosely to come up with your own images
What I do is sketch the composition and lighting I want from my imagination and then collect a ton of references. I get reference for everything from the pose to the tiniest of details like trim on a dress. Then I observe, doodle and come up with my own way to paint what I'm looking at. It takes me a long time to collect the references I want but I think it's fun, like a treasure hunt. If I see something I like, even if I might not use it right away, I save it in a huge folder I have that is organized by type.
If that's the case perhaps you should adopt a more analytical style. Have you ever checked out Vilppu?
I did take a peak at Vilppu's site, but his his materials are not free and I'm broke.
Sometimes I'm so depressed people assume I'm not a real artist. I understand why, my mind and behavior right now are not exemplary to say the least. But it's exactly because I cannot identify myself with anything else that I find it hard to feel like this.
You draw, but not enough, and everything you draw is like crap when you try to imagine it. One thing about imagination is; it is built from things we know. I'm talking more about materials, they all have their quality that makes them easy to knotice. Like metal, silk, wood, dirt, rock, skin,water,and the list can go on. When you draw the materials enough, it will be easier to draw them with any imagination you have, because it is the paterns you use to imatate the materials, or the light to darkness. Some go from white to black refections instantly like chrome, and some will not go to black, just a pale look like white silk.
The longer you spend not drawing anything, the worse it gets. Just pick something in real life and draw it, and the more you do, the more your drawing from imagination will improve. You can imagine silk can have a lot of waves without lines and in a cartoon that would be crosshatched while metal will have a lot of lines in it for what it is reflecting. To get over this you have to draw what you see, it don't matter what it is, just draw, and don't stop, and you will start to feel better when it gets easier.
I think you, like me, have an inferiority complex. Sometimes, this site, unfortunately, helps perpetuate inferiority complex; since, your probably measuring your skill against the professionals.
You should probably stop looking at professional artwork for awhile, and concentrate on building and achieving goals.
For example, I want to draw something that doesn't look flat, and has form, so learn still-life, line weight, shapes, and shading, shadows. I want to learn how to draw people (real and cartoons) so I need anatomy, right now, learn proportions and where the main muscles are. Perceptive, 1-2-3 point perceptive and foreshortening. Besides that, I have to decipher what Bridgman, Loomis, Norling is trying to tell me. And I'm not even touching colors right now. (I know I'm missing other concepts, theory, and information)
So, I still have a shitload of goals to accomplish.
Ironic, Basically I want to get to your "level of skill", while you want to get to the next "level".
I used to be right where you are, in fact I think I'm just getting over this stage. From the replies I'm seeing this is more of a normal thing than I thought.
I managed to have a nervous breakdown about two years ago, and ended up throwing out all of my sketches because I felt "I just wasn't improving fast enough". Let's make it clear that this was two years' worth of constant practice. I never really had the discipline to sit and study, study, study for hours on end, but believe me, I tried. But in the end I literally threw them all in two mega-sized garbage bags (they were loose printing paper, still my favorite thing to draw on) and took them to my community's trash compactor. Just talking about not having those works to look back on hurts a lot.
This only happened because I dogged myself too hard. That stuff was good, it really was, but I got so far into trying to be a "true professional" that I could only see the mistakes, and never the merits, or the fruits of the occasional drawing I did purely for fun.
Now I only draw when I feel like it, and only what I want to. I am not one of those people that has the ability to crank out study after study, but I do get the general gist of things quickly, so maybe that's why I don't have the patience to prove that I can do it. I'm focusing on developing my style more than anything now, which is honestly a blast. I find it easy to portray intense emotion and movement in my little tablet scratchings, and I love to show those things anyway, so that's all I do. In a sense I suppose I am doing studies, but of something I genuinely care about. And I can make about eight million little, middling quality action shots every day, plus I'm getting better just from the repetition. It's win/win.
What you can do if you want to improve something in your art, but just can't bring yourself to go all "art school burnout" for a few hours, is draw a lot of things that are fun to you, but as part of each piece, include this thing you can't quite grasp yet. Get feedback on them, and try, try again until you get it. I see that most of the critique here is used to improve one certain piece of art, but it's perfectly alright to just move on to something else with the advice you've gotten, if you're bored. This method might not be as fast as clinical studies, but for people like you and me it's better than not being able to do it at all.
Oh, and be sure to look around at different styles of art to see what really tickles your fancy. I didn't realize until a few weeks ago that one of my favorite things ever is strong contrast, over most everything else. If there's not comically powerful contrast in a piece I immediately become bored with it, no matter how well it's done. It's so obvious now, because I have only ever worked in blindingly bright colors, or straight black and white.
So like everyone else has said, take it easy. You don't have to be an run in little circles on a track to become an athlete, just running is important, as long as you love to do it. Now get those Nikes on mister!