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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Thanked 42 Times in 38 Posts

    Talking I can't draw under pressure! Um, can you? :o

    I dunno what's wrong with me, but I can't draw under pressure.

    Thing is...I'm more or less sure that I have an anxiety disorder. It takes very little to get me all panicky and flustered. Usually, whenever I draw a picture, I'm too worried about making it look absolutely perfect to enjoy drawing it, or even to make very much progress.

    But today, I decided to do a bunch of random drawings for people for free. They're just a bunch of random people from over the internet. I've never met them before and I don't owe them anything. Even though I don't care about how my drawings for them are coming out, they're still coming out better than my usual stuff. And I'm actually having a bit of a good time drawing them. Until about a week ago, I was convinced that I had started to hate art.

    Can any one else here relate to this? If you have had this problem before, how did you overcome it? How do you "chill out" and how much do you stress out about pieces when you're working on them? Do you even stress out at all?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Manchester, England
    Thanked 591 Times in 199 Posts
    yeah, whenever i've drawn something for somebody who's there at the time, even if it's simple, i balls it up. i hate drawing in public.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Thanked 1,484 Times in 719 Posts
    Take 20 minutes either morning or night and draw anything you want in any cheap medium. When you're finished destroy it or wipe the file.

    Nobody ever gets to see these practice runs, ever, even if it's "The Awesomest Thing You've Ever Done".

    Also read "Art and Fear".

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    New Haven, CT
    Thanked 974 Times in 521 Posts
    A lot of people go through a phase where they "hate" art. I think trying to learn so much, and the frustration of knowing that you still have a long way to go makes it feel, well, like work.

    If I could do it all over again, and somehow teach myself from the ground up, I'd probably tell myself to relax, have fun, and not worry about creating anything good for a few years. 4 or 5 years of just doing studies, with no pressure for them to be "good" would have put me in a much stronger starting position I think.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Thanked 135 Times in 62 Posts
    think you answered your own question

    sounds like performance anxiety

    basically you are afraid that your artistic abilities are not up to standard (heres a secret every artist has self doubt) this fear has made you doubt your abilities making you question what you produce,

    however when that self imposed pressure is released by the example you gave you produce work that you value.........
    "Even though I don't care about how my drawings for them are coming out, they're still coming out better than my usual stuff

    basically you are not judging your drawings and you don't seem to care what these people think so you are removing any pressure or restraint and just enjoying creating art

    now you need to apply that to everything you do,

    basically each drawing is a journey it may take a while to get there you may need to take different routes but if you keep going you will eventually get there

    "There aren't any shortcuts. You've got to dig in – study and draw the world around you. This is the only way to hone your skill and develop a style that is your own". GREG CAPULLO

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Waukesha, WI
    Thanked 69 Times in 55 Posts
    I'm going through the exact same thing. Whenever my brother (who's also an artist) or anyone else I know or don't know watches me draw, I have a LARGE temptation to put away my drawing supplies and act like I was doing something else. The urge has gone down, but what helped me was the 20 to 30 minutes of scrap drawing as some people suggested. Another thing that's helped me was to go somewhere public and force myself to draw whether I felt comfortable or not. It's getting quite a bit easier since doing these actions.

    I hoped this helped even a little bit.
    "Wake up. Work hard. Stop being a loser." -Dave Rapoza

    [ DeviantArt Gallery ] :: [ Inexorable Artistry ] :: [ CA Sketchbook ]

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Thanked 538 Times in 296 Posts
    Thing is, perfection doesn't exist. Furthermore failure isn't typically a big deal. Whether you realize this the easy way or the hard way, once you do realize it then it's like a huge weight has been lifted. Failure in fact, is evident in near everything you do and is only an opportunity for improvement. So embrace failure, people who steer away from failure deny themselves opportunities to improve.

    Incidentally I learnt this the hard way, because I can be stupidly stubborn at times. But hey, when you've done things like bomb out of a college or get a bill sent to a collection agency... and notice that life still does march on, it really puts screwing up a drawing in perspective.
    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.

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  10. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    Thanked 308 Times in 195 Posts
    I can usually only draw under pressure

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  12. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    It sucks when you have an art teacher that's constantly looking over your shoulder. And since I hate her guts, I say screw it and don't draw for her after that. I got in F in art because of it.

    In other words, no, I can't draw under pressure.
    jai maha kali, jai ma kalika
    jai maha kali, jai ma kalika

    kali mata, namo nama
    kali mata, namo nama

  13. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Thanked 16,684 Times in 5,021 Posts
    Read this.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Thanked 701 Times in 294 Posts
    I often draw with a lot of anxiety. I wouldn't say I've overcome it, but I have accepted it as just another aspect of learning art: slowly- sometimes imperceptibly- I get better as long as I'm engaging that part of the process.

    Things you could try:

    • Read Art & Fear. It's a great book.
    • Learn to relax- take some time out regularly and do some deep breathing or relaxation exercises, or stretching. If you're like me, you'll need to practice relaxing. I need to do it regularly. Take relaxation seriously- checking your email or is not really relaxing, nor is watching TV. You need to address the physical tension.
    • Watch your thought process while you work and see if you can identify any patterns that set the anxiety off. This is especially valuable once you've learned to relax a bit and can watch the shift from relaxed to stressed. For me, I have a horrible time if I don't know what I should be working on, both in the office and at home. I need direction- so I either need to ask for it or come up with it myself.
    • Try to find where specifically in your body the tension builds up.
    • Try to figure out ways to work that gel with the anxiety (i.e. lots of quick pieces vs. long drawn out ones). It's good to push the boundaries, but the answer isn't necessarily to smash through the anxiety and conquer it. There's much to be had from rolling with it and seeing that things can still happen when the anxiety is there. I do best on short-term projects or projects with lots of small iterations. I've realized that over years and developed a way of working that's conducive to that- if I need or want to spend longer I just build it up from more quick iterations. These days I'm finding it's more productive if I just shift my ideas around of how I should work to fit how I actually am, rather than to hold myself up to some ideal or standard.
    • Try the thing that Flake suggested- working on something that you know you are going to throw out.

    The biggest thing I can say is that it doesn't have any bearing on whether or not you're a good artist. It's probably just some idiosyncrasy of yours that that happens to come out a lot when mixed with art- and we all have idiosyncrasies. For me it's time management and self-direction- neither of which have anything to do with my capabilities as an artist.

    Hope this helps


  15. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    India, rajasthan, jaipur
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    u r perfectly fine just relax

    there is no problem with u its perfectly natural. i too sometimes cant draw in pressure and sometimes i can. when i cant i just sit and relax, i allow the drawings to go away from my mind and when it comes beck i am grate. one more thing i believe that one should do some excercise irrespective of his profession it helps in relaxing, i dont know if u do it or not but i do and it helps me a lot u try it it will help u too.

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Yes like everyone else I'd strongly advise using a cheap sketchbook 100gsm or so, if the drawing is kack then turn the page. People just don't realize that we artists don't get it right first time - which in turn puts pressure on us.

    When I'm doing any painting or illustration I'd normal do a few sketches first to ease myself into the project and gain confidence. If you know the subject you'll not be as worried about messing it up, and if you do mess it up use the mistake as a marker and turn the page.

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