Embarrassed of drawing.

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  1. #1
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    Embarrassed of drawing.

    Hey guys I have finally decided to stop whining and asking for advice ( I read the sticky) I was just making excused.

    However I do have a big problem. I am embarrassed of people looking at me drawing . I suck I know that isn't the problem ( I will get better with practice), problem is I dont want people lying to me and looking my awful stuff.

    Very often people lie to me and tell how my drawings are "so great"(sometimes even before looking at them!) and the truth is that it is very uncomfortable.I want be free to suck while I grow.

    I don't like people looking at me while drawing because everyone thinks it's a " masterpiece" and I couldn't improve further. (incredibly annoying and embarrassing ).but in truth is just random practice.

    My drawings are just practice (and awful)not something I really want to share until I get some skill.I would be very embarrassed if my dad saw them for instance. Yet the moment someone looks at me drawing/knows I like to draw their first reaction is being curious and wanting to see my suckyness ( and then lying about how good I am)

    I really want to draw in public because I don't like hiding (I have lied about liking drawing ). i want to be free to suck without other people giving me lies/looking at my stuff. Any advice?

    Last edited by FallenLegend; July 3rd, 2011 at 03:39 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Just something you have to put aside - out of your mind - get over it. People are always curious about art - it goes with the territory. Just focus on what you are doing, don't worry about what other's reactions are.

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  5. #3
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    Well, usually my technique is to say "uh-huh" or "that's nice" or "excuse me, I'm drawing" in monotone or just say nothing at all without even looking up to the person who's talking and just keep drawing. You won't get any friends that way (generally that's not the point) and depending where you're drawing you may have to repeat it (like, in public versus school class) but usually commentors drop their talking when you're not responding.
    Because you really can't have your cake and eat it too, if you're in public, you really can't escape people looking at your stuff. And eventually you'll have to show them to someone anyway (especially if you want to improve), and it will probably be just as embarrassing when people will rip your art to shreds by telling you all the flaws.

    Not to mention, people don't always lie when they say you do good work, sometimes they just can't see the flaws that you see. It's like, an amateur magician can do the cheapest and most simple trick they know and people still will be "whoaaaa how on earth did he do it!?" because they have no idea how to do it or what he may have done wrong.

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    I've never had an issue with this in public with people I don't know, but I had an issue with drawing in class and being judged by other creatives for a while.

    Being scared/embarrassed of people watching you drawing is common. You just need to tolerate it. People aren't lying when they say its good, they just don't know any better.

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  9. #5
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    I still hate when people watch me while I'm drawing. I always used to wait until I was alone to draw just for that reason.
    Though as the person above said, when people tell you that your drawings are good they really do often mean it. You can even explain to them that it's 'just practice'. It's not something you should worry too much about.

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  10. #6
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    I don't like people approaching me either, but it doesn't happen very often. I often draw where people are too busy to look at what I'm doing and can't comment on it anyway without looking like they're not paying attention -- in lectures, meetings, at conferences and so on. Otherwise, you soon discover places where it's better to draw and techniques to discourage people from looking at your art. If you stand against a wall they can't look over your shoulder, for example.

    And over time you'll just get over it. It's like working at an amusement park wearing a silly hat. It's embarrassing but you can't go around ranting at people just because you're uncomfortable. You'll learn to smile and nod and say thank you pleasantly because any other reaction will make you look crazy.

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    Get over yourself. Making a big deal about how lousy you are is the same as making a big deal about great you are. Getting all bent out of shape about people watching you draw assumes you're important enough to pay attention to. If somebody says something nice about your work, they're not trying to insult you, and if you go on about how bad your work is when they do, you are insulting them. Nod, smile, and say "thank you." If a stranger gives you unsolicited criticism, they're obviously a jerk, and you can safely ignore what they have to say. Nod, smile, and say "thank you." If somebody you know gives you advice, they're trying to help because they like you. Evaluate what they have to say, if it's valid apply it, if not ignore it, either way, nod, smile, and say "thank you."


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  13. #8
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    My nightmare is that someone will say "Oh look, Starbucks hired an artist!" And they'll start lining up. . .

    But, if that ever happened, I'd just run with it and see what I can get away with!

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    Enjoy the process! Not every line you make on paper has to be perfect. Each line is a learning experience, and there's always next time, to build on that learning experience.

    As for other people, if they compliment you, soak it up, enjoy the moment, be happy that they bothered to notice you, and get back to drawing.

    Some people will compliment because things look good on paper, some will do it as expression of amiability... there's a million reasons people will give you a compliment while drawing. Most of them are not well expressed if you look at them literally. It's a friendly gesture, meant to be appreciated (and not taken super literally, or super seriously).

    Allow yourself to not be perfect, in front of others too. Somethingone of my art teachers emphasized a lot, just recently was "Stop thinking in terms of good and bad"

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  16. #10
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    Often when people comment or give you a compliment on a drawing it is because they interested and curious. The phrase they as a compliment either because they think it is good, or because it a nice and polite way to show interest.
    Since they are curious I handle it by turning the conversation away from what they think of the drawing to a more technical discussion to satisfy their curiosity. Things I tell them:

    How long I been working on the picture. "Oh I been working on this sketch for about 20 minutes now."

    What I'm doing. "Right now I'm working on the shading and light in the picture."

    A little of materials I'm using "I'm using watercolors and markers on watercolor paper."

    This way you satisfy people curiosity while you don't have to deal with praise etc, if it makes you uncomfortable.

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  18. #11
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    Seems a bit harsh to assume they're lying to you. I've had a lot of people tell me that they don't know how to draw things but really admire people who do. So even though you may look at it and hate it, others may genuinely like your work. There's no need to be offended because they don't see all the imperfections; just a simple thankyou is fine.

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    It's not like they're holding your work up next to a great master's and saying it's on par, they're complimenting it within their own frame of reference of what they like and possibly what they can do themselves.

    And also, they're only seeing your art for what it is, not what you see that it lacks or what you want it to be. Their minds aren't clouded by those thoughts and they just like the way it is then, for whatever reason.

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    Yeah people often want to see what your drawing and compliment it when they see your art. Sometimes they aren't really lying and think it is good or just want to be nice. Just say thanks, brush it off, and continue.

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    The other day, somebody I know asked to see my sketchbook, so I handed it over. She flipped through it, handed it back to me and went on with the (unrelated) conversation without missing a beat.

    That was a little ouchie.

    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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    I can draw in front of other people but I can't pee in front of other people. Should I draw at the urinal?

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  26. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by s.ketch View Post
    I can draw in front of other people but I can't pee in front of other people. Should I draw at the urinal?
    And when people comment on the size of the drawing, just blame it on foreshortening.

    It's been said already, but I might as well add my input to this. You have to get over it. If you're afraid of drawing in front of people, you won't draw as much. If you don't draw as much, you won't improve as much, your drawings will remain the same quality, and your embarrassment will be eternal. Also, why not draw in private, or subtly until you're confident enough to draw in front of people?


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    I would like to hike to the North Pole. I have a shoe and a ham sandwich. What do I do next?
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    I draw on napkins when out with my parents, but lately they always insist on not only looking at what I've drawn but showing it around the table to any company we have or to the waiters/waitresses. It's utterly humiliating, but it's only a few minutes of humiliation if I just go along with it. If I fight them or show how uncomfortable I am it only makes things worse. It's worth it to me to be able to draw, so I try not to ruin their fun and quickly forget about it after.

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  28. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    The other day, somebody I know asked to see my sketchbook, so I handed it over. She flipped through it, handed it back to me and went on with the (unrelated) conversation without missing a beat.

    That was a little ouchie.
    I know that feeling.
    Almost as bad is when my mum bugs me to look at what I'm drawing, and when I finally show her she just says 'oh, that's nice', then turns back to whatever she was doing beforehand.

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  29. #19
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    I don't really like people watching me do anything- writing, eating, drawing, whatever. It just makes me feel uncomfortable and really self-conscious about what I'm doing.
    You seem to be more worried about people giving you fake complements... yes, it will happen sometimes, but a lot of people do mean the things they say. I've had people tell me my drawings are amazing, and they seemed to genuinely think so. Even if I don't agree they have a right to their opinions and the least I can do is thank them.

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    There are some things which most people consider to be a license to be rude. A road accident is one: everyone stares. And someone drawing in his sketchbook is another: everybody feels it is their right to look over your shoulder, often standing so close you can feel their breath, and make unsolicited comments about something which to me is as private as writing in a diary.

    For this reason I used to be completely terrified about drawing in public, and I still find it nerve-wracking. But I detest working from photographs, so as many others have already said, one simply has to get over it, however irritating the spectators become. I find that the more you do it, the better you get at ignoring the crowd.

    My all time worst pet peeve among the smart-ass comments: "Why don't you just use a camera?" I swear, one day I'm going to stuff a sketchbook down someone's throat...

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  32. #21
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    When I'm drawing at events, I've come to accept the fact that people are going to see me as part of the entertainment... It probably doesn't matter what I draw or how good it is or if anyone can even see it properly, just the fact that I'm trying to draw this concert or parade or whatever is unusual enough in most people's eyes to be "cool", so they say so.

    People may think it's pretty neat that you're drawing, period. The heck with whether it's good or not. Just smile and keep drawing.

    (The only truly problematic encounters I have are when I'm drawing something NSFW and someone wants their small children to see what I'm doing... And it's kind of like, "um... um... GO AWAY I'M DRAWING NEKKID PEOPLE, gyah!!")

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  33. #22
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    Hey, I think you got great responses here. I'm sorry if this offends you Abraham, but as well as practicing your art (like you mentioned), I think you also need to work on your self confidence. I could be wrong of course, but I just recognised my old self in your first post, I was so paranoid about people's real intentions when they commented on my work, I used to think that they were just being nice in front of me and then laugh behind my back. I started working out, dressing well, and generally felt good about who I am, and eventually I got over it. Public drawing became so much more fun, I actually enjoyed the comments and the attention, especially from the girls, they'll always come to check what you're doing.

    Don't take yourself too seriously, and don't assume the worst in people, a lot of them genuinely think your work is great, compared to theirs.

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  35. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    (The only truly problematic encounters I have are when I'm drawing something NSFW and someone wants their small children to see what I'm doing... And it's kind of like, "um... um... GO AWAY I'M DRAWING NEKKID PEOPLE, gyah!!")
    Actually, that's a pretty neat way to get rid of unwanted spectators: start drawing naughty pictures... ;-)

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  36. #24
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    i usually like having a little chat with people who stop by when i'm drawing in the street. i give away postcards sometimes too.

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  37. #25
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    You won believe how accurate was that. Thanks for your advice to all of you.

    Now I will stop whining and start working


    Quote Originally Posted by demha View Post
    Hey, I think you got great responses here. I'm sorry if this offends you Abraham, but as well as practicing your art (like you mentioned), I think you also need to work on your self confidence. I could be wrong of course, but I just recognised my old self in your first post, I was so paranoid about people's real intentions when they commented on my work, I used to think that they were just being nice in front of me and then laugh behind my back. I started working out, dressing well, and generally felt good about who I am, and eventually I got over it. Public drawing became so much more fun, I actually enjoyed the comments and the attention, especially from the girls, they'll always come to check what you're doing.

    Don't take yourself too seriously, and don't assume the worst in people, a lot of them genuinely think your work is great, compared to theirs.


    Check out my NEW NEW NEW SKETCH BOOK and my Constantly updated deviant art too! (Don't forget to critique both! I am very eager to learn)

    "There is a right way and an easy way". I am here to do things the right way .

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    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
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  38. #26
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    I also dont like people looking at me while drawing, just because my bad skill, have not enough confidence to show them .

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