I am just wondering if its natural to feel a lack of confidence in doing full illustrations, with story and compositional elements when first starting out. At the moment I usually only do head shots with the occasional full body drawings. But I never venture into full illustrations due to all the complexities that come with it.
How has other people gotten around this block if they had one at all? I do try to work on my fundamentals whenever I can, but for some reason I always feel uncomfortable when having to do a full illustration.
What are your thoughts on this?
Here are some of my pieces, sorry its offsite:
Do it anyway! Try it, and fail spectacularly! At the very least, you'll learn that you still have a lot to learn. Though at your current stage, you might get more out of doing a lot of studies from life to gain skills and confidence...At the moment I usually only do head shots with the occasional full body drawings. But I never venture into full illustrations due to all the complexities that come with it.
I've always been in favor of diving in and failing spectacularly. Or learning on the job in trial-by-fire mode, where you HAVE to learn how to do something because you're getting paid to do it, and the client doesn't know that you don't yet know how to do it... ahahaha haaaaa... Oh man I don't know how many times I've done this. It keeps life interesting, to say the least.How has other people gotten around this block if they had one at all?
It's totally okay to put off doing full illustrations while you try to get a grasp on fundamentals. Unless you're just dying to try doing a full illustration, in which case, go ahead and try. The worst that will happen is that it sucks.I do try to work on my fundamentals whenever I can, but for some reason I always feel uncomfortable when having to do a full illustration.
Thank you for the post and encouragement.
I think the problem I have is what my instructor mentioned at university. "The hardest thing about art is you have infinite possibilities, but become so overwhelmed and do nothing". I tend to do this a lot.
I have no real focus on a theme like many do. I fluctuate from one theme to another, from one craft to another, always indecisive on what to produce. I sometimes wonder if this takes time away from actually honing a specific craft and ability, or whether this is great and helps me find myself.
One of the things which puts me down a lot is the fact I have been in full education for art and painted for more than a decade and yet still feel not good enough to sell my craft. I wonder if I will ever become good enough to sell what I can produce or where to go to sell my work.
Sometimes I become discouraged because of the competition. I will be one week inspired to home my skills at fantasy work but then become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of quality on offer by other artists and feel there is no room for my skills. So then I try my hand at portraits or children's illustrations, but to then be discouraged again. Other times I gave up all together and focused more on work and social life. It's difficult for me to be an artist because I can never find the right path.
I am wondering how many others out there are like this? I am intrigued to hear from you guys.
If not that, it could be that you're fearing failure, that you're hesitating because you want perfection. In which case I'd say you should just aim to be bad. Be purposely bad and have fun. Accept that the work is going to be crap but go through the steps anyway, complete many crap pictures. Aim to do everything on a crap level and that way you will have done it, you can tell yourself that, and from there it's just a matter of improving on what you're already doing.
This here is a good video for how to look at mistakes, also, it helped me a great deal (looking back, I think the lesson in this video might be the sole reason I no longer find myself with these 'blocks' anymore, actually):
- Make simple thumbnail sketches after work you admire. Doing that you'll see what goes into a finished illustration, that it's not complicated.
- Draw after photos or other peoples work. That way you wont have to ask what to draw, it'll be set for you, and you'll have a clear end result to aim for. By doing this you'll understand what goes into a finished drawing and also maybe find out what actually is the cause of your struggle. Try drawing just the structure of things, don't worry about detail.
- Make a plan of attack and refer to it when drawing. Sit down and actually decide what you think is required and write it down. If you don't know what's required, find out. Decide when to seek reference, when to move on to detail, etc.
Last edited by Grosby; September 26th, 2012 at 07:22 AM.
Thank You Grosby,
It's probably also the balancing act too. Having to balance mundane work life with social life and then with art life does make every mash up. Sometimes I feel I don't have enough time so instead of planning my attack I just paint a picture at random as if its a doodle.
Other times I compare my work to others work and for some reason they gain lots of follows, but for me its very hard to gain followers. And not always are their skills better than mine. I've noticed I'm a big attention seeker and compliments to my work gives me a big buzz and motivation to carry on. It's like a drug addiction. If a painting does not gain attention my morale drops and then my motivation drops. I guess I have to just paint for other reasons because it is clear this reason is affecting my production.
Your feeling about your work is just that -- your feeling. And you have to deal with it emotionally, not by taking more classes and reading more books. Nobody is ever so good that rejection is impossible. Confidence comes from the feeling that you can handle yourself in different situations, not in your ability to prevent those situations. You can't possibly control what other people do, but you can control how you respond to that and cope with it.Originally Posted by Rist
The first time I signed up for an art fair I sat there for two days and didn't sell a single thing. But since I didn't die of that, I went back a couple years later with a completely different set of paintings, set up in a different location, and I sold a few things and made a small profit. Next year I'm bringing more of what sold, plus some new stuff. If you actually want to sell things then you have to be a business, and not an insecure artist who worries about what everybody thinks.
I agree on everything you have mentioned. I have also notice that dips in my own emotions which are unrelated to art can also cause issues with productivity. So when it comes to emotional attachment to work I can bet this would affect the productivity of subsequent art pieces if the feedback was bad or stagnant.
Its hard because art has always been a form of therapy for me. When I was sad, happy, morbid, craving, frustrated. It is hard for me to focus on it as a business.
I have started a piece with full composition. Trying my best to incorporate all I have learned in the past on, well everything picture creation. I think in the past I learned to run before I could walk and this has now shown its long overdue affects. I clal this piece last stand and can be also found in the WIP section.