Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving art assets.
Post Reply
Message
Author
Guest

Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#1 Post by Guest » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:55 am

Hello guys. I'm really desperate for help. For the past few years I've developed a terrible habit where I would just stop drawing for days, months or even a year because my mind always convinces me that I suck and it's not worth continuing. It's honestly depressing and I can't find a way out of this cycle. Not only that, I find it difficult to push myself to try out new things like learning to CG. Due to these problems, I haven't improved at all since 3 years ago :cry:

I would really appreciate it if anyone has any advice to help me tackle this problem.
Thank you.


I hope I posted this in the correct forum ^^;

User avatar
Kia
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 867
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:49 am
Deviantart: KiaAzad
Skype: KiaAzad
Contact:

Re: Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#2 Post by Kia » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:00 am

just remind yourself you don't suck! just have bad drawings to get out.
“We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.” Walt Stanchfield (Disney animator)

User avatar
JumpJump
Veteran
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:11 pm
Projects: 9413
Organization: 2wo dollars
Location: That itch on your back!
Contact:

Re: Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#3 Post by JumpJump » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:07 am

Ah! My old enemy. The problem with this...problem is that people can only speak from personal experience. I hope I can help in some way.

I myself, have had art blocks in the past, some short, some long. When I think of what it is that starts me going is, inspiration. If I happen to watch or see something and think to myself "Huh, I wonder if I could do that?". I get right on it!

For example:

I found an artist who drew this:
1392388_Moogie_jigglybust.png
I loved how the jumper clung to the body, showing a lovely shape. And the whole anthropomorphic Jiggly Puff with Chibi Usa's hair did make me smile. Using that feeling I had, I decided to have a go at drawing something myself, using the same figure.
Usa puff puff.png

I had no idea I could draw that. Well, I didn't, until I did. I have no idea how well I have improved since I started drawing again. I really hope to complete a project on Ren'py, but I have stopped that until my drawing skills have improved. The feeling of "Why should I bother continuing? Look how much better everyone else is!" is difficult to ignore. Try and give yourself a new frame of mind. I did. I draw for myself, first and foremost. I know my work/style might not be to everyone's taste, but I'm not trying to please everyone. I set myself a challenge and I will complete it, damn it! And if I happen to gain some admires of my work along the way, that's a bonus!

I am working on commissions at the moment. And I can say, hands down, it is one of the hardest things I've ever done. A request of "Draw "X" with "X" thank you." brings me to my knees! I get blocks on a constant basis. By drawing pictures for myself, I find that I can handle the commissions with ease.


Drawing should be a fun thing, but you have to keep doing it. Skill improves with work, determination and passion. REMEMBER THAT!!!
"You are the master of understatement, chief. You had a foursome with the Elephant Man and a couple of foreign princesses. I'd head on out before the paparazzi arrive, if I were you." - Barry the time travelling sprout

Image
Old and new, whatever you want. All is here.


Guest

Re: Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#4 Post by Guest » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:14 am

Kia wrote:
I guess that does make sense. Thank you :)
JumpJump wrote:
Thank you. I think I realised my problem. I expect so much from myself to do better but when I don't, I get so frustrated with myself.
I think that I am afraid to make mistakes, which is the reason why I keep stopping. I don't know where the determination and passion for art disappeared to. I hope I can find it again soon.. I just really need to break this bad habit of mine in order to move forward and improve.

User avatar
SexBomb
Regular
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:40 am
Projects: "Up All Night," "Reynard the Fox"
Tumblr: sexviolenceandvideogames
Deviantart: cooldrinkofwater
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#5 Post by SexBomb » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:37 pm

Guest wrote: Thank you. I think I realised my problem. I expect so much from myself to do better but when I don't, I get so frustrated with myself. I think that I am afraid to make mistakes, which is the reason why I keep stopping. I don't know where the determination and passion for art disappeared to. I hope I can find it again soon.. I just really need to break this bad habit of mine in order to move forward and improve.
I completely understand where you are coming from. Art is hard--and even harden when you can recognize all your mistakes and weaknesses. What you have to remember is that those mistakes and weaknesses are never going to go away, unless you push yourself to continue.

Yes, it can be very difficult to find the motivation to draw when you feel like everything you produce is terrible; but if you want any chance for improvement, you must NOT let that stop you. Sketch. Study. Read tutorials. Look at your favourite artists' work, and observe every detail of their technique. You WILL get better. It might not feel like it... the going is slow, but when you look back at your old work, I guarantee you will see a difference. Fear is often our greatest weakness, and it is the strength to push through our fear that brings forth our greatest potential.

Guest

Re: Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#6 Post by Guest » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:21 am

SexBomb wrote:
Guest wrote: Thank you. I think I realised my problem. I expect so much from myself to do better but when I don't, I get so frustrated with myself. I think that I am afraid to make mistakes, which is the reason why I keep stopping. I don't know where the determination and passion for art disappeared to. I hope I can find it again soon.. I just really need to break this bad habit of mine in order to move forward and improve.
I completely understand where you are coming from. Art is hard--and even harden when you can recognize all your mistakes and weaknesses. What you have to remember is that those mistakes and weaknesses are never going to go away, unless you push yourself to continue.

Yes, it can be very difficult to find the motivation to draw when you feel like everything you produce is terrible; but if you want any chance for improvement, you must NOT let that stop you. Sketch. Study. Read tutorials. Look at your favourite artists' work, and observe every detail of their technique. You WILL get better. It might not feel like it... the going is slow, but when you look back at your old work, I guarantee you will see a difference. Fear is often our greatest weakness, and it is the strength to push through our fear that brings forth our greatest potential.
Your words have inspired and motivated me to keep going. Thank you :)

User avatar
justcolorado
Regular
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:32 pm
Completed: Experiment Gone Rogue, Caravan Of Saints, HeartBaked, Hipster Axe
Projects: Iragon
Organization: Repulse.com
Github: coloradostark
Location: Plovdiv
Contact:

Re: Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#7 Post by justcolorado » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:58 pm

It can be overwhelming. For me, I get discouraged
sometimes, I see some really good work done by someone else,
and think wow they are really good and I am not.

But I block that out of my head. And just look at what I am doing.

Before I start a project,
I try to approach it with the attitude that this will be my best work.
The only thing I am competing with is my former best work.
And I try to do at least 1% better than last time.

I don't care what anyone else is doing or if they are better than me.
I am in competition only with my former project. I need to beat that.

Usually it is not too difficult because we all get a little better with each project.

User avatar
sessurea
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:34 pm
Tumblr: sessurea
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#8 Post by sessurea » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:42 pm

I had a similar problem for pretty much a decade (since I was 12). I always felt compelled to draw, but at the same time I hated it, because I could never make anything I could be satisfied with. I felt like it was a chore, an obligation, that the actual enjoyment would come later, once I'd improved. So I constantly took breaks, even swore I'd never draw again, only to keep coming back to it.

But in the last year, I finally learned how to enjoy the process. And my improvement has been huge, and pretty rapid. Figuring out how to enjoy the process, how to draw for the sake of drawing, rather than for some end goal, was the best thing that's ever happened to me as an artist. I was finally able to look past all the frustrating bits and the disappointments and just enjoy myself.

Unfortunately, I think it's something that's easier said than done, and the way I figured out how to enjoy myself may only work for me. It all started with doodling. It was during one of my long breaks from drawing, and pushed by the boredom of law school, I began doodling during class. Just experimenting with various curves and blobs, turning them into little creatures or just leaving them as abstract shapes. I let my hand do the work while my brain was elsewhere. And from that, I started to figure out what shapes I naturally liked. So I kept playing with those shapes, with the hand gestures I was naturally attuned to, and for the first time, I actually started to love what I drew.

And once I'd established a love for the motion of drawing, I was able to start practicing from photos and other people's art, using the good advice from the posts above. Since I'd gained an appreciation for the mechanics of drawing, the physical aspect of it (like a tiny, flowing dance you do with your hands!!!), I no longer cared when the outcome was flawed. I just kept doing it! And I did it in pen, too, as an encouragement to let things come naturally and not worry over the details. If I wasn't satisfied with an outcome, I just moved on.

I guess my advice would be to try to find something to love about drawing itself. Maybe, like me, you can find it through doodling, figuring out what kind of shapes you like to make. Try to forget about what you want to create, and instead focus on what you intuitively enjoy about the process of drawing. And once you've figured out how to enjoy the mechanics of drawing, and stopped caring about the result, you'll find yourself enjoying practice. And eventually, after a good lot of practice, you'll be able to make more polished works without all the frustration.

User avatar
fmjaye
Regular
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:32 pm
Projects: Blackout City (webcomic)
Tumblr: fakemagicjaye
Contact:

Re: Can't draw, help! (Art block?)

#9 Post by fmjaye » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:12 am

Do gestures! Find some reference pictures on pinterest or something and just scribble down the general shape, where the weight is, the movement, block out the light and dark areas. (Not necessarily all those things at once). Do a bunch to loosen up. Don't think, just draw. Or put on some music you like and draw whatever comes to mind. I don't really get art blocks, but I also don't care too much about being good... Which might seem dumb, but really it's not worth worrying about. Try out different techniques you like. Experiment. Make it fun however you can. If you're open to learning and trying new things you will improve.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users