Can you overcome... the block?

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  1. #1
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    Can you overcome... the block?

    I'm wondering if it's ever possible to overcome the artistic block. I remember as a child I could care less what people thought of my drawings I just loved to draw, I loved thinking up new ideas. Much of my childhood I could tell you was joyful. When I got older one moment really changed my life, I guess there was a new artist in the class. His pieces were amazing he really made think hard about my dream to be an artist. My stuff looked so childlike while his was beyond amazing. I stopped drawing/art because of him, sad but true. I've tried picking up new things to replace art, but I guess the same thing over comes me I quit right in the middle of everything. I kind of went through a small depression, everything I start I no longer want to finish. I mean everything my hobbies, etc. It feels like I have lost the passion that I once did. I use to do stuff exhausted it to oblivion and still be able to enjoy it. As a child I remember spending hours just drawing with no care in the world. Now when I do have time I spend it surfing, nonproductive stuff, etc. I took 5+ year long break and I now I want to try again. It feels like my pieces are utter crap now. My drawings when I was 7 must of been amazing compared to the stuff I can produce now. It's like when I start a piece, after a few minutes I no longer want to continue.

    If you keep drawing even through the most tedious painstakingly difficult moments, will that the love for art come back?

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  3. #2
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    Can't be done...send me all your art stuff.

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  5. #3
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    You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Don't be scurd.

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  6. #4
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    You are being nostalgic I suppose. You can't be 7 again but you can be great even now. suddenly loosing interest is sometimes caused by distractions. When you are doing your hobby, do you keep thinking of some other problem at the same time. Create a distraction less environment. A spare room dedicated to hobbies may be do for you if you have one. Turn off TV while doing art etc.

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  7. #5
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    I don't think I've ever stopped thinking my work was crappy when compared to some of the people in the field. But now people give me money for my crappy drawings, joke's on them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by That fat kid View Post
    I don't think I've ever stopped thinking my work was crappy when compared to some of the people in the field. But now people give me money for my crappy drawings, joke's on them!
    If you compare your work with the one having in the field for more than 30 years while you do it as hobby than you are doubting your value.

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    Sounds like you've lost the ability to see the positive things about your own work... that's not good. Maybe your drawing ability doesn't match up to the expectations you set for yourself so you're always doomed to "fail"?

    I think it's important to stay positive and be a bit of a narcissist when it comes to art. Using myself as an example, I can see my flaws, but I'm always more focused on the good things I do. If something is bad, I simply try to make it more like the the things I think look good. And there are countless people better than me, but the point is that they're not me... and therefore unimportant.

    Maybe you should drop doing any personal work for a while and concentrate on bringing up your skill? Study all the things you're bad at and only do something else when you're really feeling for it. Studies will hopefully allow you to see progress and you'll feel like you're doing something worthwhile instead of stumbling in the dark. I think that could be the key to setting you on a better track.

    About art block, when I'm low on energy and inspiration, I do one of the following depending on my gut feeling:

    1) Studies of something I know I'm not very good at, or I draw something that requires very little thought, something I enjoy and have done a 1000 times before.
    I try to have the attitude that it doesn't matter how these things turn out, it's just about the upkeep of skill. The good thing is that they don't require any kind of creativity, so that pressure is off.

    2) Nothing, as I know the motivation will come back another day, as it always does.
    Sometimes I think the down times are about the brain processing something subconsciously, and it's better to leave it alone than to try and force anything.

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  12. #9
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    And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by graycolor View Post
    I'm wondering if it's ever possible to overcome the artistic block. I remember as a child I could care less what people thought of my drawings I just loved to draw, I loved thinking up new ideas. Much of my childhood I could tell you was joyful. When I got older one moment really changed my life, I guess there was a new artist in the class. His pieces were amazing he really made think hard about my dream to be an artist. My stuff looked so childlike while his was beyond amazing. I stopped drawing/art because of him, sad but true. I've tried picking up new things to replace art, but I guess the same thing over comes me I quit right in the middle of everything. I kind of went through a small depression, everything I start I no longer want to finish. I mean everything my hobbies, etc. It feels like I have lost the passion that I once did. I use to do stuff exhausted it to oblivion and still be able to enjoy it. As a child I remember spending hours just drawing with no care in the world. Now when I do have time I spend it surfing, nonproductive stuff, etc. I took 5+ year long break and I now I want to try again. It feels like my pieces are utter crap now. My drawings when I was 7 must of been amazing compared to the stuff I can produce now. It's like when I start a piece, after a few minutes I no longer want to continue.
    http://www.learningdesign.com/Portfo...iddrawing.html


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    Also, you should listen to this guy, he seems to have the right idea:
    Quote Originally Posted by graycolor View Post
    Take it from someone who hasn't touched a pencil in months. When I first learned to type it was completely frustrating. Yes, learning to type and it's not because I forgot where a certain key was it was because of my hands. It's always going to be harder for me to learn piano, typing, and other delicate work. I was at a point where I was about to give up and blame it on fate, but I knew my future would not be so bright if I never learned to type. I went through what your feeling now, ups and down learning typing. I guess what did it for me was, I told myself never to get angry I'm learning how to get better. I opened my mind never got discouraged ... and it worked. I type faster than most people now even with this handicap. I think it's time for me to pick up drawing again, focusing on my successes and never letting my failures discourage me. Also quit being on the forum like myself lol we both need to get drawing.



    Tristan Elwell
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  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyTingleTimes View Post
    Studies will hopefully allow you to see progress and you'll feel like you're doing something worthwhile instead of stumbling in the dark. I think that could be the key to setting you on a better track.

    1) Studies of something I know I'm not very good at, or I draw something that requires very little thought, something I enjoy and have done a 1000 times before.
    I agree with this 100%. Your story is almost my story verbatim. I left the drawing world for years and years and when I came back to it I felt like my 17 month old daughter was scribbling out better talent than I have now. But once you see your own progress, it makes things so much more enjoyable.

    One thing you have to stop doing is comparing your work to others. Worry more about comparing this drawing to your last. Progress is what will keep you motivated, not surfing the internet and wishing your work was as good as this guy's or as good as her's (Like I've been guilty of...).

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    Artistic blocks are a fact of artistic life. They are the high fences we must jump on the racetrack of the calling. Making those jumps, no matter how many times we have to turn the horse around and try another leap, is what differentiates an artist from anybody else.
    And all this, with the knowledge that there is no winning post and that one day, there will be before us a fence that we no longer have the strength to climb.....
    Are you still up for it?

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  19. #14
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    You need to rethink why you draw and develop a healthy relationship to the practice. I know that sounds corny, but it is true. I assume you started drawing again because you missed it and you remember that it was something that at one point in time, you loved.

    There are many things that will challenge an artist; some a necessary battles and others are truly trivial. If you cut out trying to fight against all the unnecessary crap, then the road to becoming an artist becomes easier.

    So that kid was better than you. Is that really a problem? There will always be thousands of people better than you but if you had accepted this before, you wouldn't have gotten discouraged and missed out on years of practice that would have made you a better artist.

    Art is difficult but it can be made easier if you approach it with a realistic and patient attitude.

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  20. #15
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    The thing that jumped out at me about your story was you stopped because someone else was better than you and shattered your obviously false idea of your work. Well, in my opinion that is the wrong reason to be doing anything. You do something because you are compelled to do it even if you are lousy at it and with a little hard work and perserverance you can get better at it; maybe even make it your profession. Someone will always be better than you even if you do become a professional. So you need to decide if you can't do art for yourself, and you only do it for the wrong reasons, maybe your better off doing something else.

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  22. #16
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    To overcome... It's a verb, right? It's something you do. If the process is a bitch and you have to wade through hours of frustration, you know (as people have pointed out here), that's kinda all up to you. Relax and set small goals you can achieve. Or better yet, make a grand plan, break it down, and mark off the achievements as you go.

    Last edited by AndreasM; February 11th, 2011 at 05:51 PM.
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  23. #17
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    One of the links posted above leads to this youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJowN...eature=related) and I think it's really good. I watched it just now and was instantly motivated. I have to admit, reading all the "motivational" stuff on here never motivates me, I have to struggle quite a bit in most things I do (drawing included), but this video is amazing and I'm not just saying that.

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  24. #18
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    "If you acknowledge doubt, you give it power. If you acknowledge determination, you give it power."

    Fear is a four letter word for excuse.

    Block is a four letter word for excuse.

    And here's a fitting comparison I just thought of.

    If men watched porn, and compared themselves in **** size to the guys on there, would they stop trying to have sex?

    Same should go with the drive to create.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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  26. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    [I]

    If men watched porn, and compared themselves in **** size to the guys on there, would they stop trying to have sex?
    Not if you snicker and point and go, "Oh, c'mon...that thing's tiny!"

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  27. #20
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    you have to accept the fact that no one cares. then you begin to care less yourself. as you understand that what you do is 100% for yourself and only ever will be you start to see that being 'shit' is the fun part. that means you have a whole lot of learning and exploration in front of you.

    how boring would life be if you were perfect at everything?
    life is a fuckin' spastic journey. go surf, go do donuts in your car. hang out with your mates and throw shit at trains. who cares bro, its your life, live it and enjoy it because
    if your biggest problem is that you dont like what you draw then buddy you are one lucky son of a bitch.

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  28. #21
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    Two words: mortgage payment.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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  29. #22
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    I post this on some SBs that I visit.

    Repeat after me - Today I am awesome, tomorrow I will be more awesome.

    You need to believe in yourself not anyone else.

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  30. #23
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    If you find yourself having an "artist's block", you're not likely to be lacking either shelter, food or water. In fact, you're not even likely to be lacking art materials. You're probably better off than the majority of people on this planet. And, unlike those for whom the notion of an "artist's block" is absurd, you most likely lack a sense of urgency (due to any number of possible and various threats).

    In short, no actual -need-, just a vague sense of -want-.

    (...generally speaking.)

    EDIT: Too many "in facts" and "actuallys", even for me...

    Last edited by squidmonk3j; February 11th, 2011 at 06:22 PM.
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  32. #24
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    Finally! A guilt trip.

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