artistic confidence

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving art assets.
Message
Author
User avatar
Toaster Warlock
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:48 pm
Projects: something without a good title
Location: 6th plane of hell
Contact:

artistic confidence

#1 Post by Toaster Warlock » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:45 pm

i think i may of seen a post similar to this back when i was solely lurking on these forums but i couldn't find it and i didn't really wanna necro it or anything so uh sorry if i'm not doing something right

but basically, i suffer from the typical "gawd my art is SO terrible!!" thing. i hardly ever feel good about my art and it gets to the point i give up on pictures and never practice bc lol what's the point it's aLL TERRIBLE. and what makes things worse is i KNOW what's wrong with my art. i draw heads too big, there's no diversity, blah blah but for some reason these pitiful hands REFUSE to fix it? I just can't seem to fix anything and that depresses me so much, esp since art is the only thing i'm good for.

i just, idk, how would one go about getting out of this slump? i stop practicing bc i think it'll be terrible anyway and that obviously stumps me.

User avatar
CSV
Regular
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:58 pm
Tumblr: csvidaldraws
Deviantart: csvidal
itch: csvidal
Location: Portugal
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#2 Post by CSV » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:12 pm

Honestly, I am probably not the best person to give advice on this matter, since I am still very much a beginner at art and I hate nearly everything I draw, but I am quite sure that the only way out of the slump is to practice anyway. If you keep redoing your drawings, they will get better over time.
Also, one thing I suggest is that you find some older artwork of yours and redraw it, since it might help you see that you have improved - that's actually very motivational, at least for me.

User avatar
MaiMai
Yandere
Posts: 1757
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:04 pm
Completed: [Phase Shift]
Projects: [ None ]
Organization: Paper Stars
Tumblr: maiscribbles
Deviantart: maiscribble
Location: USA, Southern California
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#3 Post by MaiMai » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:07 pm

The thing with practice is that you can't expect to make something good, much less perfect during practice, but you can expect to improve. You shouldn't let being afraid of drawing something badly stop you from drawing completely.

I get a lot of my art motivation and inspiration from Tumblr. I'll link you a few posts you can read and hopefully it'll give more perspective on things.

http://rainingcats.tumblr.com/post/6994 ... phy-of-the
http://sandrarivasart.tumblr.com/post/6 ... e-and-mean
http://artiststoolbox.tumblr.com/post/4 ... st-mirisha

If I find more I'll edit this post with more links, but yeah. Another thing I want to bring up is connect with other artists who can help out! Put your art out there so it can be critiqued and you'll get feedback even if that can be scary, but feedback from other people is valuable and it helps you improve more than you initially think. I've displayed some of my early works here on LSF and there have been wonderful people who critiqued and even showed me what I could do to improve my digital art. I've had my ups and downs and I've felt like how you are right now: No matter how much I've drawn it doesn't seem like I'm getting anywhere. But...

2009
2010
2011
2012
2014
2014

... Point is, I've drawn a lot of crappy things in between these pieces. I've practiced my weaknesses and I still have plenty of room to improve and expand upon them, but each year there is something I'm a little better at and thus it keeps me going. If you want to get better, you just don't so practicing. You NEVER stop practicing even after you get "better."

Image
Image COMMISSIONS AVAILABLE (check Tumblr sidebar)

User avatar
Toaster Warlock
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:48 pm
Projects: something without a good title
Location: 6th plane of hell
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#4 Post by Toaster Warlock » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:04 pm

Hi, thank you for replying!

Weeell the thing is i know that if i DO draw, it'll get better, i understand that perfectly. but the main problem is that i'm just SO negative towards my art that sometimes it prevents me from wanting to draw and thus preventing me from improving, you know? i don't want my art to be 'perfect', i just want to be able to like it so i don't feel terrible all the time. i'm just TIRED of feeling so negative towards my art and want to actually look at something i drew and go "this is actually okay" instead of shutting down and going "this is so terrible". maybe i'm not making sense, sorry.

thank you for the links though, those were v. interesting to read!!

User avatar
MaiMai
Yandere
Posts: 1757
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:04 pm
Completed: [Phase Shift]
Projects: [ None ]
Organization: Paper Stars
Tumblr: maiscribbles
Deviantart: maiscribble
Location: USA, Southern California
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#5 Post by MaiMai » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:28 pm

Toaster Warlock wrote:Hi, thank you for replying!

Weeell the thing is i know that if i DO draw, it'll get better, i understand that perfectly. but the main problem is that i'm just SO negative towards my art that sometimes it prevents me from wanting to draw and thus preventing me from improving, you know? i don't want my art to be 'perfect', i just want to be able to like it so i don't feel terrible all the time. i'm just TIRED of feeling so negative towards my art and want to actually look at something i drew and go "this is actually okay" instead of shutting down and going "this is so terrible". maybe i'm not making sense, sorry.

thank you for the links though, those were v. interesting to read!!
I don't know if there's anything I can say to help you with your negativity towards your own work. It's kind of an artists' curse really; a lot of us can be self-abusive because in our minds we're never good enough. The best way to get out of that is just to know you can still climb up and up as long as you keep practicing.

If anything, keep making terrible drawings. I really can't stress this enough. Because you'll need to make those and then at some point, you'll realize one of your works actually looks better than before. Don't put yourself down so early on.

But I think there is one good question to ask: Does making art make you happy? Because it sounds like it doesn't. If it only makes you feel negative even if you try to keep practicing, I'm not sure if it's worth pursuing a venture that makes you miserable even if you think it's one of the few things you're good at.
Image COMMISSIONS AVAILABLE (check Tumblr sidebar)

User avatar
LateWhiteRabbit
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1845
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:47 pm
Projects: The Space Between
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#6 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:07 am

MaiMai wrote:The thing with practice is that you can't expect to make something good, much less perfect during practice, but you can expect to improve. You shouldn't let being afraid of drawing something badly stop you from drawing completely.

I get a lot of my art motivation and inspiration from Tumblr. I'll link you a few posts you can read and hopefully it'll give more perspective on things.

http://rainingcats.tumblr.com/post/6994 ... phy-of-the
http://sandrarivasart.tumblr.com/post/6 ... e-and-mean
http://artiststoolbox.tumblr.com/post/4 ... st-mirisha
MaiMai, that last link is so amazing. It articulates a beautiful, simple truth that so many of us forget. Every drawing we do is another small step up the ladder, no matter how tiny that progress may be.
MaiMai wrote: If anything, keep making terrible drawings. I really can't stress this enough. Because you'll need to make those and then at some point, you'll realize one of your works actually looks better than before. Don't put yourself down so early on.
There was an artist or instructor who once said we all have a certain number of bad drawings to work through - the more you draw, the quicker you'll get them out of the way. Basically the same thing the last link you posted stated. Bad drawings are stepping stones to the good ones.
MaiMai wrote: But I think there is one good question to ask: Does making art make you happy? Because it sounds like it doesn't. If it only makes you feel negative even if you try to keep practicing, I'm not sure if it's worth pursuing a venture that makes you miserable even if you think it's one of the few things you're good at.
MaiMai is right. You need to enjoy art for itself, and stop thinking of some nebulous end goal. No artist that I know of has ever reached a point where they said, "That's it. I'm done. I've achieved perfection." It doesn't happen. Art is a journey to a destination you'll never reach. You have to enjoy the path and the journey. You'll get better and better, but it is important to know there is never any point when you'll stop having any doubts about your art. But you also need to know that it is OKAY to feel that way. :)

User avatar
Toaster Warlock
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:48 pm
Projects: something without a good title
Location: 6th plane of hell
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#7 Post by Toaster Warlock » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:01 am

thank you all for replying!

i guess it was a little pointless to make this topic, sorry about that. i just wanted to know if there was some way to have more confidence and affection towards my art but i guess there isn't?.

i know my art's never going to be perfect and i'm like totally fine with that! i'd just like to learn how to not pull my hair out over it, i guess. i'm not so sure anymore, i probably shouldn't of made this topic-thing whoops

but thank you 2 everyone who replied, i really appreciate it.

User avatar
MaiMai
Yandere
Posts: 1757
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:04 pm
Completed: [Phase Shift]
Projects: [ None ]
Organization: Paper Stars
Tumblr: maiscribbles
Deviantart: maiscribble
Location: USA, Southern California
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#8 Post by MaiMai » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:23 am

Toaster Warlock wrote: i guess it was a little pointless to make this topic, sorry about that. i just wanted to know if there was some way to have more confidence and affection towards my art but i guess there isn't?
It's not a pointless topic. Not liking your own work is something that everyone deals with one way or the other.

What do you like to draw? Anime, western cartoons, fanart? If I were to explain how I felt about my own art, well, I think I'd find an aspect I liked doing such as colors and lines. I love making neat lines. I wanted to get better at drawing because I wanted to be able to create my own characters since the power to visualize and make characters real in my own way was fun! And when I started improving, my character art gained more clarity and it brought a small joy to me. Focus on something you love and I repeat, makes you happy. (And you haven't really answered the question of whether making art makes you happy or not, cause if your own stuff doesn't make you feel that way...)

Also, remember that art can be used as self-expression or a way to make others happy. For instance, sometimes I'll draw art for friends because it's a bright spot in their often work weary days. So in a way, the reason why I have affection towards my own amateurish work is because to others it brings them joy.

As for overall confidence and affection, well, you're right there isn't a set way. Your art is your child. You kind of learn to love it as long as you nurture and raise it.
Image COMMISSIONS AVAILABLE (check Tumblr sidebar)

User avatar
bellice
Veteran
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:12 pm
Location: Germany, Bavaria
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#9 Post by bellice » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:24 pm

Believe me, we've all been there.

When I feel like all I make sucks (which is often), I sometimes just grab a screenshot from a TVShow or a pretty picture and...TRACE IT. THERE. I SAID IT.

No really, it helps. Even tracing something can help make you more aware of how the thing works, how it bends and forms. Plus, at the end you have a pretty picture you can change up a bit to make it feel more like you didn't just shamelessly copy stuff.

User avatar
Railgun
Regular
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:07 am
Completed: Within, Saving Zoey
Projects: Frontiers of Barassy (Unity3D), DR001 (Ren'Py)
Tumblr: railgun-gameblog
Location: France
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#10 Post by Railgun » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:16 pm

What everyone said!

There's a book I really like, it's Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" (he's an American journalist). In this book, he wrote about the 10,000 hours rule.
He says that no matter the subject of study, doing 10,000 hours of focused work leads to mastering the said subject.
He also says that even Mozart, who composed his own music at 20 years old, was not so good when he started. And that's the case with most "geniuses".
These 10,000 hours equals about 10 years... if you think about it, that makes sense. When I did some research about artists I admire, I noticed they took a bit more than ten years to become successful...

So yeah, don't worry and draw for yourself, draw for fun :D

User avatar
Keilis
Regular
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:57 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#11 Post by Keilis » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:35 pm

Two suggestions: practice individual aspects, and read reference books to increase your knowledge and confidence

Practising individual aspects: Instead of creating complete pieces of art, focus on aspects you want to improve on and make "practice pieces", i.e. sketches and whatnot. It's like music; you don't want to replay a whole piece to practise. You want to practice a couple bars at a time until it's good enough, and then try the whole piece. If you want to feel good about drawing, then you need confidence when you draw.

Reading reference books: For me, I was always uncertain about anatomy (and of course still am, though to a lesser extent) until I decided to tackle it on a more technical level, i.e. reading reference books to actually learn the proportions, muscles, etc.. Guessing leads to uncertainty, and for a lot of people who prefer a more scientific approach that has a definite right or wrong, this may be the way to go about it. Art really isn't as wishy-washy as some people think, so perhaps if you look into more technical reference books and try their methods, you'll feel happier about it when you approach a drawing with more concrete knowledge. It won't look perfect, but sometimes when you're illustrating, having that knowledge really helps. Sometimes you're like, "Well, I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but I know that light reflects like this and colour emits like this..." and just the acting upon your knowledge may be enough to satisfy you.

User avatar
chocojax
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:27 am
Completed: http://art.jphi.me/projects
Projects: Umbra, Familiarity, Maleficent Justice
Organization: spaceNote
Tumblr: chocojax
Github: jenniferphi
Location: California
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#12 Post by chocojax » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:09 am

I know a lot of people have already replied and OP already said thanks, but:

Something that helped me out a LOT with dealing with my "holy shit my art looks IDIOTIC" was a comment that someone wrote. They basically said that when you feel good about your art, you're at a plateau skill-wise. When you start to notice all of your mistakes and start getting a bit sad about it, that's when you know you'll peak soon.

User avatar
sendo
Veteran
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:28 am
Completed: To Libertad, Diamond Rose, SC2VN, Sickness VN
Projects: eroges!
itch: sendo
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#13 Post by sendo » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:14 am

I'm just dumping my thoughts here too:
Toaster Warlock wrote:i just wanted to know if there was some way to have more confidence and affection towards my art but i guess there isn't?.
Confidence is built up by practicing a lot and drawing out of your comfort zone, rinse and repeat.

Affection is tricky. I used to love every single drawing I do. But it does make it harder to correct your mistakes, especially when you draw something for a lot of hours only to look flat in the end. The way I see my art now is that it is just art. Let me explain. Of course when I draw, I pour in everything I have to it. But when it's done, I see it not as "This is a drawing that I spent X amount of hours on" or something, but along like "This is a drawing" -- as if it was done by someone else. Because by removing my attachment to it, I can critique my own art objectively and correct my mistakes (or make note of whatever mistake I did). This is also easier on my ego when someone says my drawing sucks or something because I treat it as an art, not "OMG MY ART" art. Ahh I hope I'm making sense, this is the best way I can put it into :oops:

Also like others have said, draw what YOU love drawing. When you're in a slump, the last thing you wanna do is to do studies. Draw fan art, anime, cute pokemons, realistic, abstract, draw whatever. I draw random crap from time to time, because they are really fun to do! This helps tremendously with my morale so I can keep drawing. "But What about anatomy!? Color theory!? COMPOSITION!!? Yadda yadda" Then try mixing it up with whatever you like to draw. Say you're drawing a fan art, then try mixing it up with semi-realistic coloring or anatomy. You don't need to do studies all the time, have fun with drawing too!
Finished VNs:
Image Image

User avatar
Tempus
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:37 am
Completed: Ladykiller in a Bind
Projects: StoryDevs
Tumblr: jakebowkett
Deviantart: jakebowkett
Github: jakebowkett
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#14 Post by Tempus » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:19 pm

crestforge wrote:Because by removing my attachment to it, I can critique my own art objectively and correct my mistakes (or make note of whatever mistake I did). This is also easier on my ego when someone says my drawing sucks or something because I treat it as an art, not "OMG MY ART" art. Ahh I hope I'm making sense, this is the best way I can put it into :oops:
It's similar for me once I finish a piece. After it's done, I'm happy with people critiquing it and I strongly agree that too much attachment to the art you make will actually stunt your growth. I have an inner critic who tears apart everything I'm doing moment by moment and have learned to somewhat embrace that. Half of getting better is knowing what's wrong.

That being said, when I'm making something I regularly experience the feeling of "this is crap" / "this isn't working." I've also occasionally experienced a day or two where I just felt like totally giving up art (or music) altogether. What's important is to recognise that those feelings are usually not tracking reality very closely. It doesn't make sense to quit something because you're not immediately good or because you feel like you blew two hours on something that didn't work out. I think it's also important to be able to critique yourself without putting yourself down. If you say something enough times you'll come to believe it, so critique the work without making value judgements about it or yourself -- e.g., "the colour scheme isn't working here because X" / "the perspective looks off on the Y" rather than "the colours suck" / "my perspective is shit." This also extends to the people you surround yourself with and receive critique from.

There's a few reasons to make art: self expression, because it's fun, because it pleases others, or to earn money. Early on, if you're making art for the purpose of self expression, pleasing others or making money you're probably not going to enjoy it. It's like Ira Glass says, you have killer taste but your abilities can't match it. And when you really want something and you can't have it, that feels bad.

But I'm actually going to disagree with the above posts slightly and say that you don't even need to enjoy the process of making art -- initially at least. The enjoyment of many things in life comes about after acquiring a taste (or in this case, a skill) for them. Preceding that is a period where maybe the thing in question isn't that enjoyable. The point being: early on you may not enjoy doing something which you later come to love.

Here's the video I was paraphrasing Ira Glass from. It's a four part thing called 'Ira Glass on Storytelling' on YouTube.

StoryDevs — easy-to-search profiles for VN devs (under construction!)

User avatar
Biomass
Regular
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:13 pm
Contact:

Re: artistic confidence

#15 Post by Biomass » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:23 am

The way to get more confidence in your art is literally the thing you don't want to do.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users