I would say you're not pushing yourself anywhere near the level you need to. Those frustrating times when it's not working, when you'd rather be doing something else, when you just don't feel it are the times when you are outside your comfort zone. We usually find ourselves there when we're not exactly sure what we're doing. When we're challenged. This is when you learn. It's how you get better.
While I think drawing has a meditative property to it you can't and shouldn't always want to feel the happy feeling of your drawing power flowing out of your fingertips like water. At times it should be hard, frustrating and boring.
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I agree with all of that except for the frustrating part. It should be challenging. Frustration will surely come but it doesn't have to. That's an emotional response that you can control by taking a nice deep breath.
Originally Posted by bfowler
When I get frustrated while drawing, I draw poorly. This happened to my yesterday so I took a deep breath and stepped away for about 10 minutes and came back.
Again...art ain't easy folks, and I don't mean technically...I mean mentally. Art is like having a lover who will call you names....twitter how crappy you are...laugh when you undress...and use her teeth in inappropriate places. Sometimes. But other times it's like dating Cindy Crawford...who also lets you date Adrianna Lima...who likes sex in public.
B. Carman has the best advice I've seen about the journey and overcoming the tedium. I'm paraphrasing here but he essentially talks about thresholds...you work hard...it kinda sucks to be on the outside approaching the threshold...but once through, things open up again and a new set of challenges lies before you. Some people call them plateaus as well...same thing.
And UmpaArt - that's very, very true about peers...and students. Though I've found it is easier to tell who does have what it takes rather than who doesn't...because you can be surprised sometimes.
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There are plenty of inspiration threads, books to read and so forth. Each person's journey is different. There's a certain point where you can only lead the horse to water. If that horse refuses to drink...well there's not much more that can be done.
If an NBA player refuses to do the exercises to improve his/her game then maybe NBA isn't for them, they can play for fun or go into a minor/other league.
Anything worth achieving only comes by hard work, and that may not always be enjoyable. You can't be a musician without learning scales and practising them until your fingers nearly drop off; why should art be any different?
Currently doing the Level Up course, so my SB is going to be lonely
Actually, if you really like to draw normally, but there's a moment where you feel really frustrated, then most likely you are the cause of your frustration rather than art itself.
In those cases, try to relax yourself. Do meditation techniques or go out for a walk a bit, or go watch a movie or whatever. When you're relaxed and go back to the drawing suddenly everything makes sense again.
This is because when you are frustrated you aren't capable of focussing and using all your drawing knowledge optimally, which in return means you will get only angrier with yourself. If you ever have been depressed or burned out, you will find that your mental state absolutely ruins your focus as well, leading to shitty art.
For most people when they're serious about art this concept comes quite naturally and most people who are serious about art will always enjoy making art regardless of the subject. Hence why people aren't too impressed by the notion you put forth.
Said it before and I'll say it again...
You do *need* to draw....if you want to get better.
I'm not saying what you specifically need to draw (perspective, studies, anatomy, etc). But whatever it is you draw, you do IN FACT need to draw.
You can't just sit there and hope that one day your brain will click and you magically become awesome. You learn by repetition.
That said, I do think a lot of artists put too much pressure on themselves to do all the hardcore studies at maybe the wrong time - ie when they are at their peak of frustration. There is a time and place for all of that.
But as I always say, you won't get better if you quit. So draw PRECISELY what makes you happy if it means going another day with plenty of drawing. There is no bad habits. Nothing that can't be corrected later on.
Most people agree that it's better to draw something shitty than nothing at all. So draw something shitty even if no one likes it, but you do. I draw SO MUCH dumb shit that I never put online, but it's mine and I like it. It keeps me drawing tomorrow because I love it more than anything.
So do that, then you'll understand what everyone means when they say "YOU NEED TO DRAW".
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Just to reflect on Dusty's post...for me I just love drawing. I could care less what it is...a dragon toy from imagination...a robot...a cardboard box...my wife...don't care. So to me everything is a study...and every study is fun.
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Maybe if you can put into words what are you thinking in those times when you manage to relax and draw it would help.
Originally Posted by Redystra
I feel like the suggestion I'm about to make is kind of...er...different, but maybe it would help you if you tried out meditation. Seriously, hear me out! It kind of seems like a solution that has nothing to do with the problem, but it's a really good method for dealing with unwanted or pointless stress, at least for a lot of people. Trying it out may help you calm down and clear away some of the thoughts you've been having.
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I think art should be something that you want to do and enjoy doing, we will all be challenged to do things that are outside our comfort zone at some point. I like to be challenged even if it takes me a long time to succeed, it is worth the effort.
Sometimes I've noticed posts where people seem to be over analysing their art and making it a chore, I think it's defeatist and adds pressure if your struggling with something.
Mine is more engrained into who I am.
Originally Posted by JeffX99
During my developmental days, it was a deep desire, that eventually became like one breathes or blinks ones eyes.
Like or dislike could never come into it, because it be like not breathing (and not in some poetic-type shtick).
"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
Hmm. I can't say that I really relate to the "drawing is a chore" feeling... There can be tedious or difficult stretches in any piece or project, of course, but those are worth struggling through to get to the more fun bits, and everything tends to be worth it when it finally comes together and you see you've just made something cool.
However, some paying work can seem like a chore if I'd really rather be working on something else, or if I'm obliged to follow through on client decisions that I think are stupid. I motivate myself to get through those by being stubborn about doing as good a job as I can regardless of the circumstances - I have a reputation for doing good work, damned if I'll slack off just because I don't like the job. So sheer pride in my work is a pretty good motivator.
And if nothing else motivates me to finish, at the very least I keep reminding myself that I'll be paid if I finish my work. Sometimes I'll literally be telling myself "if I finish this, I can buy groceries for a week... If I finish that, I can upgrade my software..." Etc. Getting paid is a great motivator.
For school assignments, I've always found that the best way to tackle those was to find creative ways to make them interesting. (Heck, thinking up ways to jazz up a "boring" assignment can be a fun exercise in itself.) Say you have an assignment to draw a bunch of boxes... If you approach it in a disgruntled way as a chore and just throw some boring old boxes in a boring old pile and slog through a drawing wishing you were drawing something else, then of course you'll have no motivation. But suppose you come up with something cool or silly like, say, building a robot out of the boxes or hanging them from the ceiling; or you spend time trying to arrange boxes into a funky composition before you draw them; or you deliberately arrange your setup to be as difficult and challenging as possible... Then the assignment becomes much more fun. You may even get better grades.
If you don't have to draw for work and you don't have to draw for school assignments... Then draw what you DO feel like drawing. Nothing's stopping you. And like Rusty says, any drawing is better than no drawing.
Although if you want to do this for a living, you WILL have to draw things you don't feel like drawing sometimes... For those times, see above.
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I think I understand where you're coming from.
I derive the most pleasure from drawing when I have a pencil+paper and almost tunnel like vision to everything else regarding 'rules'. Like I'll sit there with an object in front of me and just try to convey it on paper for the sake of it, and not worry about everything else. And the sole existence of these pieces is for scratching that innate drawing 'itch', and not for receiving compliments or critique or reflection of skills.
Its a nice break from the usual setting up still life objects, measuring, erasing, so on and so fourth.
Less competition for the rest of us.
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