Right now I'm going to Ringling and will be a sophomore next year. Ever since the school year ended I've become completely uninspired. I can't even bring myself to draw on a regular basis, nothing comes to my mind when I pick up a pencil.
As an animation student, I know I need to work on gestures and character designs (latter being my big big weakness). No matter how hard I try I just can't come up with any ideas for designs or even basic doodles. I've tried looking at various illustrators websites and concept sketches around this site and others. At the most if I'm lucky I'll get inspired enough to throw out one sketch of something, but even then it feels unimaginative and unappealing. I almost feel like I need someone there guiding me, giving me suggestions like I had in teachers during the school year. There's no one to push me. I've even e-mailed my animation teacher over the summer sending a couple sketches, but I haven't had a response and I don't want to be a bother since I've sent her several e-mails asking if she got any of my messages. Friends don't help much either, I'm stuck in Sarasota holding down a job to pay rent and all the kids from Ringling have gone home, and the ones I know from work aren't artist and don't inspire much.
I'm afraid I'm out of creative juices, I feel like I should already have some ideas for a senior thesis, but I have none. What the hell can I do to get me back in the creative spirit. Something to make me pump out 15-20 rough character designs in a day. I know everyone goes through a period like this at some point, but how does everyone get out of it?
youre an animator, so animate something. Make a 20-30 second short over the summer. Do something weird and funny. Create a platypus with an axe that tries to chop down a girraffe from the legs up. Make a suicidal robot that doesnt understand why slitting its wrists doesnt work.
Check out the gobelins gallery for some inspiration.
Everyone has a different way to get out of a slump. For me, its starting a project. If you only wanna draw, come up with a series of drawings or do a mock up for a video game or storyboards for a film.
Try listening to some really nice instrumental music. I'll suggest a few: Explosions In The Sky, Halo Soundtracks, LoTR soundtracks, Harry Potter soundtracks, and check out some of your favorite movies' soundtracks. Also, watching your favorite movies or any movie with a lot of beautiful landscapes or strange characters can help give you ideas too. I'm kind of in the same situation, except mine also involves laziness/addiction to videogames.
Right now, what I'm doing to get back into it is just paint stuff I see in the video games I'm addicted to.
That may be easier said than done. I don't have the money for a light box or paper, nor the tools or equipment to make a jimmy rigged one.
Create a platypus with an axe that tries to chop down a girraffe from the legs up.
Its actually really funny you should mention this. I did an animation of a platypus during the spring semester. However it didn't involve killing a giraffe or axe's.
Originally Posted by xbrianx
Try listening to some really nice instrumental music.
Maybe im a minority in this, but I don't find music itself to inspire me much. I do listen to it while I'm working on something though. But it rarely creates an idea for me, unless of course its a narrative song telling a story.
The giraffe vs. platypus idea I actually really like, however the idea is only half the problem. The bigger and harder problem for me to overcome is the character design part of it. My teacher (whom was an animator for Disney) was good at character design. But of course after 17 years in the buisness, she's bound to be good. No matter how much she explained it to me, no matter how many handouts I read and looked over, I just couldn't get it down. She would say start with simple shapes, and I would. The difference between her simple shapes and mine, her's fit together. Take your avatar for example aesir. Its very appealing, yet extremely simple. I don't know if I could come up with something like that to save the life of me without feeling like I'm directly copying someone elses work.
I was in a self-imposed exile from my sketchbook starting a week ago since everything was frustrating and nothing flowed right. I recently picked up one book on fantasy landscape illustration and john howe's fantasy art ... workshop? i forget the title. But both inspired me to such a surprising amount I broke exile early and hit my SB with some force.
Get out, buy a few books about art you really want to have and read
You can't run out of creative juices, you just have too many things on your mind when you're drawing. You're thinking too 'logically', too analytically. You're going to butcher all spirit and playfullness in your art. Imagine your brain is a computer, if you were to press ctrl alt delete and open up your brains task manager... how many unnecessary processes would we find running? Is art even running? Is it on low priority?
Your perceptions are not healthy for you right now, because you also seem to have a tool in your system which demands that you receive something from somewhere else. It doesn't matter where, just as long as you don't have to dredge it up yourself. You want someone to guide you, to teach you, to inspire you and now to help you on these forums. You'll look to teachers, friends, parents, forums, anywhere but the one place where it counts. Noone, no friend, no teacher is going to take up your impossible request and guide your hand for you, it can be a tough pill to swallow. You're afraid to face up to this and take responsibility because you're worried you might be some nonsensical thing like a fraud or not good enough. In a way it's sort of like sabatoging yourself, except all unconsciously. The point is, If you're just going to keep running off these little short bursts of enthuisiasm you acquired from somewhere else and do not begin to start drawing your own unlimited fount of creative energy, you're always going to be going to and fro to fill it up every few days. I wish you good luck and suggest some honest introspection. Easier said than done? Of course.
"'The right art,' cried the Master, 'is purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede. What stands in your way is that you have a much too willful will. You think that what you do not do yourself does not happen.' . . .
-Zen and the art of archery.
A good book to check out along with 'Art and fear'.
Well, I wouldn't be too concerned.
Everyone has dry spells.
I always find it handy to fall back on academic/technical/lifedrawing works while riding out creative low tide. That way your not simply idling in frustration, your continuing to advance your skill. Also, getting outside of your comfort zone is enlightening and can help give you more options to explore when designing.
Vellum paper is a cheapie alternative to a nice light table set-up. It's a sturdier form of Tracing paper.
You can get a 40 sheet pad for $5.00. http://www.dickblick.com/zz106/29/
40 sheets might not sound like alot (less than 2 seconds of animation @ 24 frames), but a 9" x 12" sheet is excessively large, you can feasibly chop it in half. Using the "bottom peg" flipping method while it's still attached to work on the bottom half, and the "top peg" rolling method once you've torn it out (jerry rig'd bottom peg;careful staples) to work on the top half you can get nearly a $1.00/second ratio going. Whoo, hope you've read page 80 and 81 of the Animator's Survival kit or that made no sense at all.
Last edited by Zilant; July 17th, 2008 at 02:33 AM.
Sounds like you just need a mini vacation from art. It happens. Take a couple weeks and don't even think about art. Spend your free time just re-energizing your mind and soul. Find some interesting (and un related to art) activities to enjoy. After a short break, when you're ready, just draw meaningless little doodles. Keep it light and fun, and don't worry about rules or other art problems for a while. Just get back to enjoying having a pencil in hand. A lot of times it just takes a relaxed mind to get back that creativity.
i understand your problem very well because i am too an animation graduate, in fact i have my masters is 3d animation. i can work on many animation softwares like maya max etc. but all these did not inspire me so i finally listened to my heart and shifted towards art. when i started to draw i had same problem, i even didnt knew how to hold a pencil but now i think i can draw preety well. listling to music is a good solution but in reality when we are frustrated over drawing music frustrates us more. so what i did was that i asked my self "that is it frustration for which i kicked my well established 3d animation career or was it art for which i did so" the answer is clear its art. when ever i fell frustrated i ask this question and motivate my self, u too try this and it will help u too.
all the best and prove your self and don't allow yourself to loose.
Ugh..I'm the master of lack of inspiration. (or very close) Too much tv and video games I guess. Nam's point is very valid, and I fall for the same pitfalls myself, but when I'm on my own, a few tricks tend to help.
The first is music...and I know you shot this down already..but really listen to it..listen to the feeling from it, the story it's trying to tell. If it's music you can enjoy, I'll bet you can come up with a good driving idea.
The second..is..well, not quite as inspired. MAD LIBS! Write down a setting, a character, a feeling , etc, etc, and Fill them in with random things you pull right out of your head (provided they fit the criteria, lol. Paul Bunion is not a setting!...or...is he O.o) . This will give you something to draw..but you might not be as DRIVEN to draw as you would with more inspired methods.
The most frustrating part to all of this is that during school, even when I don't have other people to give me ideas (not literally give them to me, but inspire or suggest an idea), I still find that I'm able to come up with ideas on my own a lot better. Maybe its just the environment, but I've been like that as long as I can remember. Its almost like just being around other creative people is enough to get my mind going without any external stimulation.
Now does anyone have any tips as far as character design and creation goes? Any good sketchbooks, tutorials, images? I have no problem thinking of what to make a character, but making it a good character is the hard part for me.
If you can't get creative, then get technical. The creativity will follow.
I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.