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  1. #1
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    That sh*tty feeling

    I feel like I am in a rut. It's one of those periods where I can't see any improvement in my art and I just keep feeling more and more tired, like I am ready to give up. I never do (I have been drawing since I was a wee one), but I can't shake the feeling I would like to.
    I have been through more crap in the past year just to be in the school I am currently in and after all the effort I put into getting here, all but one of my classes feel like let downs. I am uninspired, bored with my work, apathetic about doing well in school.
    No one in my Illustration class has any real technical skill or the curiousity to gain it, and I am tired of my teacher going between jocking my shit and then trying to make me do twice as much as anyone else thinking that's the way to "stimulate" or "challenge" me. I just find myself caring less and less about what I do because either way I can get a decent grade and, when I do try, all I get is back is that "maybe you should do this, maybe you should do that...busywork without any specific feedback as to what I already have down.
    I haven't learned a single goddamn thing either. I am actually giving advice as much as the teacher half the time because he glosses over shit that is obvious. This is what I pay thousands of dollars a year for?
    I want to work on my art by myself, for myself. Maybe after going to school for 3 years and jumping from school to school, living situation to living situation I am just spent.
    I am tired of trying to battle teachers I get who are dogmatic about style. I am tired of people comparing the things that come from my deepest self to fucking ghostbuster cartoons, or starwars films just because they are creatures, not humans or pretty animals.
    I have realized it doesn't matter if you put philsophical meaning into your work, because if you don't spell it out for most people they don't even realize anything could possibly mean more than it seems to say at a glance. And thats all most people (even most artists!) do when they see a picture...glance. I used to believe that having vision would somehow transform itself into sucess if I just pursued it. I don't even know anymore. I don't feel like I am making and progress in the world. Some of the best art I ever see is totally unappreciated. The modern art world has come to value words attached to pictures more than the pictures themselves.
    I am tired of bullshit critiques in which people "interpet" something because there is no substance on which it can stand. I am tired of people looking away from eachother, or if they do look it's with contempt (the art of urban living in effect). I am tired of surface level chit chat that never amounts to more than ego stroking. I am sick of restriction in concept, sick of being sick, sick of everthing but looking. Thats all I care about doing now. I look. I look at myself, I look at the world, I look at art.
    This is what disturbs me the most. My love, my need, my unstoppable urge to create is at an all time low. I would like to just become a sponge, absorb reality rather than work, because it just doesn't seem to mean shit whether I finish something or not anymore.
    So...I am tired. I feel jaded as hell. Maybe it's the city, maybe it's school...I have no clue. Maybe it's just me. But I can't pick up my pencil right now, and I miss that feeling of creating. I guess I just have to find out what I want to really say about all this and let it out in my work.
    Sorry to unload all this crap, I am just in a real rut. I guess that I am just thinking out loud. Might as well post it, whether anyone responds or not doesn't matter too much. Maybe someone more experienced has some wisdom to kick down, you never know. At any rate, thanks for putting up with my whinning. I have had a long day.
    Last edited by SamusNeo; November 10th, 2002 at 02:50 AM.
    Respectability is a cloak for the hypocrite. Inwardly we commit every crime in thought, but outwardly we are irreproachable.

    -Jiddu Krishnamurti


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  3. #2
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    I kind of feel the same way. I'd like to draw, but I'm pretty bad at drawing so I'd rather not see my bad drawings. I know that the only way I can improve is to draw, no matter how bad my drawings are, but I still have trouble picking up a pencil. I noticed that I haven't been listening to music, and it might be because I don't have anything to fit my mood. I usually listen to music when I draw, so maybe those are somehow connected. Oh, yeah, I'm also jonesing real bad to go skiing but there's no snow where I live and I'm hearing about how others are already skiing. I think that might be my problem.

    Say, I think this post was helpful for me. Now I probably know my cause of not drawing recently, so now I can try doing something about it.

  4. #3
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    i have written like this before .. havent i?

    i am glad i am not the only one that does this, half way through i started to smile and your complaining made me feel so much better .. i started to skim over everything like it didnt much matter - and it doesnt.

    as if i was writting to myself, and what you need to hear is as simple as this:
    everything is going to be okay man.

    -killing.people

  5. #4
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    hey, friend, i know where you're coming from!

    in my last year of school, i initially chose to make colloqium in art but the teacher i had in last year made me change that decision asap.

    there just are people who aren't cut out to be really good teachers. in a subject like art, that for sure is a heavy task, too.

    just try to draw a division line between work for school and art for spare time.

    i have downtimes like this from time to time, too. just make something different, draw something different, dig out old artbooks or old sketches...

    trust me, it'll vanish for an absolutely heavy-creativity phasis one day...

  6. #5
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    Thanks for replying everyone. Today I became determined to just attack a white page until there was something worthwhile. I am not finished yet but it is comming along and is somewhat different than what I have been doing recently.

    I think school just has me bogged down, so I have decided to concentrate on drawing freely, for myself when I feel the need even if a project is due. It may not be the best work ethic, but I suppose it is better than being so frustrated with assignments that I don't draw at all.

    I really appreciate all the comments, it's always nice to hear that I'm not completely alone. Thanks also to the site for giving me someplace where I can rant to my fellow artists. You guys all helped me to feel a bit better, a bit more chill today.

    mtw- I am glad that the post has helped you pinpoint whatever is slowing you down, everything you mentioned could be my own echo (cept' the skiing thing maybe..)

    killing.people- I think you are right, things will be ok, thanks for the re-assurance, it's an easy thing to forget.

    gekitsu- Art school is a mixed bag for sure, it can inspire you or drive ya nuts, but usually it's a bit of both. Good advice on the sketchbooks, I'll pull a few out. It's always a good way to see progression and also remember your artistic roots.

    Thanks again guys. I hope I'll be able to post my work soon for all to see. Until then, keep drawing, I know I will.
    Respectability is a cloak for the hypocrite. Inwardly we commit every crime in thought, but outwardly we are irreproachable.

    -Jiddu Krishnamurti

  7. #6
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    I've been there. I think we all have. You're in a rut becuase you life has affected your art which makes you depressed which affects your life which affects your art. It's a viscious circle and I wish I had the answer to get you out but that's something that each and every artist has to do on their own. We can only commiserate and offer you our own experiences and our own solutions in the hopes that you will find some ray of inspiration to grab hold of and pull yourself out of that endless loop.

    My own experience with school was very similar to your own. I couldn't afford to go to a private art school so I ended up at a state university, (and spent six years getting a four year degree, but that's another story.) But see, the problem with these univeristies is that they don't cater to the "high end" artist. Really, how can you go through school at the top two percent of your class and expect the teacher to pay any sort of attention to you? You can't and so I found other ways to pass the time.

    My teacher's hated me. When I wasn't goofing off or walking around "teaching" the rest of the class I was taking whatever project they'd assigned and trying to reinterpret it so that I could paint or draw whatever I wanted. When they asked for a still life, they'd get a corpse when they wanted self portraits they would get charicatures. In the end I realized that school is just a place to get a degree and as important as that is, it's nothing compared to the experiences you'll get from your own self imposed teachings, and your jobs and collegues and inspirations and relationships... but the most important thing to remember is though that piece of paper that says, "yes, I have been certified by a commitee of people I've never met to be a fine and upstanding contributer to society because I took these classes (See transcripts) where I may or may not have learned important information that will help me better humanity." may be a meaningless token of one's true potential it IS an incredible tool to help leverage you into those situation that WILL allow you to show your true potential. To put it bluntly, finish school. Seriously.

    In the interim, as you wait patiently for the end of your sentence here's a couple things *I* do to help me out of a grind. Not garunteeing they'll work for you but anything's worth a shot.

    1. Do something else- Nothing is harder than drawing when you're tired of drawing. It's like trying to eat your favorite food for every single meal, every single day for the rest of your life. It's just not possible. You're going to get sick of it, and forcing yourself to eat is not going to make you want to eat it any more. Instead you've got to mix things up a little.

    When I get stuck painting I'll bust out the modeling clay and tools, or I'll sit down and write a comic or a short story or I'll do some graphic design. In short I'll do anything creative BESIDES painting or drawing. It really really helps me recharge the batteries as I'm still using those creative muscles, just not in the same boring way.

    2. Immerse yourself in art- Nothing gets me going better than looking at page after page of beautiful works until I just can't take it anymore and I HAVE to create. It may be my unending desire to be better than the next guy, it may just be the need to release all that built up input. Whatever the case this one works wonders as well.

    Turn on MTV2 and watch video after video with the sound off, go through every art book you can get your hands on, go to the museum, (Every city's got one.) go see movies, get on the art forums and look at the art. The idea here is to oversaturate yourself to the point where you can't take it anymore and you're close to screaming because the car/bus/bike can't take you home fast enough to get that pencil on the paper.

    3. Lastly and most importantly, realise that this is a temporary problem and is most likely a result of other issues in your life. Introspection and realization of a healthy mind are as important to art as a sketchbook.

    Now get out there and draw ya freak


    Brian
    These grapes taste like Fresno! -- Steinbeck

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