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June 3rd, 2008 #1
Stage Fright: How I Can Sketch Porn in 30 Seconds But Not Finish a Piece in a Year
Well, I didn't know a better way to put it other than to tell a story I was saving for when I got famous:
When I was a teen, like most people here, I used to do dirty little sketches for fun and joke around with friends. These weren't anything good; just something done really fast for fun. I stopped doing it some time ago and shortly after I got my new job doing web design at, of all places, a porn company, I'm doing again, largely for work.
For the past year, the script for a comic book has been on my desk and not one page has been finished. On top of that, I have a bunch of pieces in my sketch book just sitting there waiting to be developed.
Basically, what I'm getting to is this; I can do these dirty little doodles really fast because no one but me and a friend are going to see these things. There's no pressure and it's just for fun. On the other end of the spectrum is sitting at a big fancy art desk where I'm trying to just layout a page and get some basics down and getting frustrated after spending a good 2 hours just doodling something that would otherwise take me 20 seconds in a sketchbook because it has to be "perfect".
In short, I've got stage fright and not sure what to do anymore. I've tried just about everything:
I've tried drawing in a new environment so I'm not stuck behind a desk and making it a "ritual". It's great for sketching, but drawing in public is more a novelty than an actual process, and the results are always lackluster.
I've tried acting like the piece I'm working on is just like my sketchbook. Doesn't work because it's hard to pretend your playing your guitar in your living room when your in front of 10,000 people.
I've also tried just sitting down and drawing. No use, it still leads to nothing to be proud of.
One thing I haven't tried, and am considering, is just skipping the middle man, if you will. Instead of trying to layout a piece on the actual page, just blowing up a sketch and drawing from that. It does work sometimes, but I'm always correcting everything that I see wrong proportionally and, yet again, I'm back to square one.
So, does anyone have some good advice here? I'm stuck in a loop where my sketches are better than my finishes, and I would love to know what's a good way of changing this.
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June 3rd, 2008 #3
I decided that maybe more life drawing classes may help. Who knew mentioning underwear would lead to that!
The Philadelphia Sketch Club has life drawing classes almost everyday.
June 3rd, 2008 #4
Every morning, draw 20 minutes, any subject, any medium, then destroy the fuck out of them or delete the file.
It's a way to get out of the "oh my precious arts!!" thing and it really helps with that "loosen up, chill out" thing.
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June 3rd, 2008 #5
I wonder if the problem might simply be lack of inspiration. While at work, the inspiration for the doodles is your surroundings, and the pay off is immediate- a laugh from friends. Alone the inspiration might not be there on call, and the pay off is somewhere vaguely in the future and the frustrations are immediate.
A couple of things you can do:
-feed your brain more inspiration. Head to museums, zoos, or life drawing. A library or bookstore is sometimes great. Go to a street festival, or nearly anything that is exciting and fun and gets your imagination going.
- get into a routine. Draw the same time every day, and you WILL find it gets easier. The first few times might not be so creative, so be prepared to do studies or anything else that switches you to "art mode" until the creative juices are going. A lot of artists warm up each session with quick studies (and the practice never goes to waste so it's all time well spent).
June 3rd, 2008 #6
I spent a day down the National Gallery a while back and then spent the next few days primering anything that would sit still long enough for me to paint on it.
I was all "blah Sargent, Rembrandt, Impasto, Glazes, fuck!, Sweet, Blah, Awesome!!11"
You have to see them in real ife, jpegs do not cut it, not even close, do not think that the jpeg you saw looks anything like the real thing.
They have yet to invent a computer display that can realistically emulate the 500 year old technology of cunningly applied oil glazes..
Last edited by Flake; June 3rd, 2008 at 10:45 PM.
June 3rd, 2008 #7
That does work to a degree as well. I hit the comic book convention this past weekend and churned out a sketch in 30 minutes that would have taken at least an hour, if not two, to do otherwise. And I did it while waiting in line to meet Chris Claremount.
But it isn't about time, though; I sketch for about 10-20 minutes a day, and mostly on the ride to and from work. To a degree, working at a certain time helps. When I had this one job that required a 4 hour-a-day commute, I was drawing for at least 2 1/2 hours a day on the bus and my sketching got good, but I never had a finish piece.
Most of these little "dirty doodles" now are done in the privacy of my own home and after I posted this, I did some and toned them down a bit. In fact, I drew one panel that was giving me a pain in the neck in about 10 seconds after spending 30 minutes earlier trying to lay it out on the page right.
I'm not sure what a real solution is here...
June 4th, 2008 #8
If you are serious, force yourself to warm up on studies. It will get you in the right frame of mind, and the added practice will strengthen your skills, as well as build that visual library.
June 4th, 2008 #9
You aren't drawing them because you dick isn't driving you hand. Sex can drive men to do many things in their late teens...after that is gone however, you'll need to work and not play. Perhaps this comic book project isn't enticing you enough, but I am sure that many professionals here will tell you the biggest drive to finish their work is a grumbling belly and a screaming landlord. You need to work to make a living, and you can't afford to sit around trying to figure out "why" you don't draw...you just do it.
I sit down every day and draw, 90% of the time I don't want to, i get lazy and just feel like doing something else, but after 10 minutes of drawing (with some good music) I forget all about "not feeling like it" and I get a lot done.
It is mental, you have to discipline yourself. Like a fletcher carefully straitens an arrow, you must show diligence and vigilance in your efforts, or lose your dream all together...
My work: [link]
June 4th, 2008 #10Registered User
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On topic, just being around all that amazing work and soaking it in was always invigorating.
June 7th, 2008 #11Dragoon
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Ideally we would all be so motivated that everything we play with would seem like work to other people and we'd never have to force anything but... :|
One thing i find helps when I can't draw for whatever reason, be it as mentioned in the first post: Zomg people will see it important arts, or a personal pedestal is to think about it, and you need to think, WHAT THEN ? What about Afterwards. . . ?
It's never a big deal really.
Our greatest genius' will someday seem puerile and idiotic, if viewed out of context at least.
Keep trying to think thoughts to the end, and whilst doing so, draw, think on the paper, not in your head.
And don't, don't just execute what you had planned, develop it as you go along or you'll be disillusioned eventually and not want to create.
In fact, you won't be creating, you'll be tracing from your mind.
Like Randy Pausch said have a plan so you can change it.
June 8th, 2008 #12Registered User
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You're caught up in the world of perfect, of results, of expectations, which is illusory and detrimental to your perception of things. You're suffering needlessly. You're clinging to an idea of an end result before you even pick up the pencil and bracing from then on for failure, which you make inevitable by hoping you luck out and stumble onto a good drawing. The answer isn't going to come in the form of you changing where or when you draw, it's a deeper but very common problem, but nevertheless one which is solvable. Unfortunately, it is you who has to solve it. You're going to have to explore your deepest motives, you have to sift through what is going on in your head when fear strikes you.
June 8th, 2008 #13Registered User
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Agreed. I know if I try for perfection from the beginning, I foul up. But if I just draw and know that perhaps my work won't be perfect the first time, I find it is better and more fluid.
This is like what happens when you press too hard on a pencil. You can still get the job done, but you wear down the graphite much more quickly and have to sharpen it more often. Maybe that's what's going on here. Maybe you're trying too hard, thus dulling your edge and making the job tougher than it really needs to be for you.
June 12th, 2008 #14
I remember when I visited the London museum and god help me I cant remember the name of the artist but on the wall was an absolute HUGE painting of a stormy sea that looked the shit! There is so much difference to viewing something that powerful on a shitty 21 inch monitor compared to the 10 meter by 5 meter painting I saw. Ill never forget that one.
June 15th, 2008 #15
June 25th, 2008 #16but I am sure that many professionals here will tell you the biggest drive to finish their work is a grumbling belly and a screaming landlord. You need to work to make a living, and you can't afford to sit around trying to figure out "why" you don't draw...you just do it.
sorry for blabbing my own shit..
I guess for many people what blue said works...it might just work for you...
ALso make a lot of sketches in your sketchbook related to the project...pick ones you like... If its the fear that its not perfect or not finished enough....then for once dont think about handing that page over the the guys at work..think you are gonna keep this one for yourself and just show it to yer friends. And actually do it....keep it with you ..do a couple of those ..and pick ones you like..again...its a bit long process.. but you can always go the Blue way. or just go to the helpful links provided by trorbruiluh . whatever works .
Well you take care and keep drawin.
Le artiste de porno
And btw I know I made the right choice by leaving work...
June 25th, 2008 #17
this comes down to mentality.
i employ the Fight Club philosophy. "you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake."
i tell myself i'm no one special. no one gives a fuck about my art. i won't be famous. i'm not marko. i will die and be forgotten within the following lifetime.
i draw for me. it's a selfish binge. i do it because it's fun and i don't give a shit if someone likes it. i'm not an art critic, so i don't waste time staring at an image i'm painting asking myself about layout and composition and lighting and blah blah blah.
if you want to be scientific about it, aren't you activating the left half of your brain, your analytical half, when you ask all those questions?
who cares. just draw. spill something on it first. Iain McCaig likes to spill coffee or tea on his canvases before starting a painting.
if you treat it like it's trash and not like it's the fucking mona lisa you will be surprised by how into the drawing you really get. and then scan that baby and paint it digital so you can trash it if you don't like it.
i dunno. that's what works for me. i don't care about the result. personally, completing a painting is the most boring, anti-climactic thing in the world.
i stand there, "wow, it's done. yay."
i like the act of creating. it's fun while i'm doing it. i hate looking at what i did after it's done.
anyway, cheers mate. and good luck with artist's block. personally, stare that bitch down and intimidate the piss out of her!