Stop Hitting Yourself -- Secret weapons of World War You

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  1. #1
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    Stop Hitting Yourself -- Secret weapons of World War You

    Right, So I've embarked on my path, like so many other greenhands on here. We've all got dreams of where we want to go, and if I read the forums correctly, many of us newbies have barely a clue what we're doing when we start -- moreover, we barely know what a 'big deal' is until it's pointed out to us.

    I'm hoping that this thread will serve as a place for us new folk to share our weaknesses (sharing them tends to help) and how we'(re/ve) work(ing/ed) them out. I'll start:

    As the title of the thread implies, my greatest weakness is my own admittedly awful work ethic. I can keep it under control while I'm at the office, but the second I get home it's as if any productive activity becomes meaningless and too often I ended up wasting time playing EVE or something. I went as far to work on EVE projects rather than those that would impart a longer-lasting benefit onto myself.

    I realized just how escapist this was. I sat down, and took a good hard (introspective) look at myself. I asked, "What am I trying to do here?" Running a space empire would be cool, but really, what does it matter?

    There's a quote [on a poster of quotes] hanging above my toilet. It reads: 'We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.' Some reflection on this made me realize two things: 1) That I feel capable of anything, and 2) There's a wide gutter between these two potential viewpoints.

    That's all it took -- I made the decision then and there that I was going to make it my life's goal to always strive to bring those two viewpoints together. I unsubscribed from EVE, bought a whiteboard calender, and picked a few focuses:

    1) Drawing
    2) Piano (which I know C and G major now)
    3) Finances
    4) Design (Which I'm already doing for a living)

    I took the whiteboard and devised a simple pictograph system:
    1) I draw a pencil on days that I draw for more than an hour.
    2) I draw a few piano keys on days that I play piano for more than 40 minutes.
    3) I draw a Dollar sign on days I buy nothing frivolous (sodas, unnecessary meals out, non-essentials)

    It's sort of a combo between my own goals and wants and the oldy-modly chain method. The longer I can keep that chain up, the more I want to keep it going -- my very own, customized feedback loop.


    So what are your secret weapons? How were they developed? Why?

    MY SKETCHBOOK OF CRAPTASTIC CIRCLES
    ----------------------------------------------
    "Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs."
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  4. #2
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    I'm with you on the work ethic thing. I know I should be working on something but somehow I get sidetracked by something stupid, and never actually get around to working on what I was going to. The other day I was going to do a few drawings from life, and I told myself I'd do at-least six and ended up doing two. I don't know how people do it.

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    Just doing it -- The trick is tricking yourself to do it too.

    MY SKETCHBOOK OF CRAPTASTIC CIRCLES
    ----------------------------------------------
    "Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs."
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    I can so relate as well!! I don't like admitting it but I am so lazy and I procrastinate when it comes to art. Part of it comes from fear, of making something crap when I really wanted it to turn out good, sometimes thats paralyzing, and part of it comes from lack of organisation skills. The fact that you even devised a system to monitor and focus yourself is way beyond me. I tried the schedule/calendar method but random important events are always popping up disrupting it, i.e family gathering/friends birthday/got called in for work (I work in hospitality so hours are not so stable) or some other thing. Also I sometimes find it hard to balance "doing time" with "inspiration/research time," like should I spend this time drawing/producing something? or should I spend it reading a book/going to the art gallery and "take in" stuff instead of "putting out" stuff. I find bringing a small sketchbook around everywhere helps, as I can use the time commuting between places to do something, and I like sketching programs on my smartphone to play around with... anyway thats not really a secret weapon, but it helps...that and I visualise the consequences 1 day, 30 days, 2 years, 20 years from now on if I don't DO THIS PROJECT RIGHT NOW..and then I visualise the consequences if I do, and the juxtaposition of the two usually helps me.

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    I did read the stop whining stickie.

    I tried keeping a calendar like that too. Did it for over a year, falling off here and there. Overall it didn't help me. Although I could see that I did do something those months, I feel my skills did not get better despite it all. It's a huge problem for me, that no matter how much I practice it doesn't seem to matter. BTW I graduated from a halfway decent school so I know how to study and what "good" is.
    My main problem is I can't get inspired to make art anymore, mostly due to horrible time at school but also me holding myself back for some reason. I don't really feel like I'm afraid to fail, I am not a procrastinator, I do feel that I can do something worthy/good, I do have things to say to the world with my art, but nothing happens or I can't ever finish a piece or develop the idea thoroughly. What does it mean? "just keep practicing" isn't cutting it. Everything I've searched for about this hasn't helped - learn something new, do tutorials, take a break, think about it differently, just do it.
    I do get inspired if I take a workshop from a cool pro artist, but I can't afford to do that very often. This is a block unlike what most seem to experience, and I've read lots of posts here about those. In my case it's not a temporary thing - been going on for years - nothing inspires me. I can appreciate good art but it doesn't fire me up to draw like it used to. I feel like I can bang my head against the wall for years doing studies and trying to make something work, but at this point I'm starting to wonder whether or not I need to just give it up as a career goal as I can't seem to get good enough to get hired somewhere.

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