getting better, then getting worse... artistic progress makes a strange curve indeed!
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Thread: getting better, then getting worse... artistic progress makes a strange curve indeed!

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    Cool getting better, then getting worse... artistic progress makes a strange curve indeed!

    Hello folks,
    just a rapid question: I've noticed that each time I work hard and show progress at drawing, this progress phase is followed by a regression phase (short one, thank god!) then back to "normal".
    It's very depressing, even knowing it's always like that for me.
    I was wondering if it was the same for everybody, all thoughts and anecdotes most welcome!

    U.

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    When I feel this way, all I have to do is look at some old drawings, and I quickly realize I wasn't as good as I remember .

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    What are you getting better or worse at?
    "Drawing" you reply.
    What is drawing?
    "Erm..."
    So how do you know if you're getting better or worse at it?
    "When the drawings aren't as good as the ones I did before."
    How do you know that is a true barometer for your ability?
    "It's obvious, isn't it?"
    Is it?
    "How else am I going to know?"
    What if it's the opposite?
    "What you talking about? If they look worse I'm getting better?"
    The more you know the more you realise you don't know. Drawing is an expression of understanding. Sometimes we falter at what the new light reveals of the path we have been treading in the darkness.

    From Gegarin's point of view
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    good points! but the funny thing is like the brain needs to adjust: say I work hard for a month on my perspective for example, I get much better at perspective... and then for a week or two I can't draw anything in perspective not even the most basic one point perspective!
    as if the brain saturates and shuts off the zone that is stocking the new knowledge and gets "tired"?????

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    Short-term fluctuations are pretty meaningless. Some days I have really good bike rides and other days I suck. Some days I weigh less and other days I weigh more. Some days I make good pictures and other days I can't seem to draw a straight line. It's only when you average things out over the course of several months that you can see a real trend happening.

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    I don't know if it helps, but I've read something in class one time (I'm studying in 3D Animation). My teacher said that everyone's brain get saturated of knowledge one time. It can learn more things, but there is a time, when you are learning, improving and understanding more things, when your brain and your abilities stops to get better. Then, this is the phase where some artists failed and stop to do art because they think they will never be good, or they have lost their talent. It's hard, but it's a phase that everyone needs to pass through. Because after that, you improve even more. It is like a flat step on a mountain trail. Like a rest for your brain. But it doesn't mean that you need to give up. So I guess my point is that, yess, it appends to almost every artists. And I think vineris got a good point with his comparison with sport and work.

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    Whelp. I had a really good teacher at Art Center named Bob Kato and he reminds me of the perfect grandpa. He always has a good story to tell. It seemed tedious to sit through hours and hours of storytime every class especially when it was often the same story but... Now those stories are a comfort for me when I'm having similar experiences. Anyway, his advice for this matter was "It's always about the next drawing." and paired it with a story his drawing instructor told him when he was having a very bad drawing day. It was something like: "Every artist has about 1,000 bad drawings to do. Every bad drawing you do takes that number down by one. So the more bad drawings you do the less you have left to make."

    When I have days where my drawings make me want to cry and my hardwork feels like it's not helping nearly enough I think about how many bad drawings the people I admire have done to get to the good ones and try to see it as... Well I've managed to knock off a few of my bad drawing count so I've lessened the load, haha.

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    Yea, you're not alone in feeling that way. It is very discouraging, but I find ways to work around it. I like the way this video describes the phenomenon though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb0g_gWrNf8.

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    i agree with chris and vineris a lot.
    also, drawing is made up of drawing everything in the world and your imagination; thats a lot of things to learn to draw. as you train in one area youll become more proficient, and more ambitious, and find yourself in new realms where you dont know what youre doing. thats progress!
    also, i love artists like craig mullins who just fearlessly draw anything, its like cross training it works all their muscles, and they get really good at that kind of work. its inspiring.

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    excellent video thanks! a must see for all of us I guess!

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    The problem is, critical skills advance more rapidly than technical skills:

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    excellent!! many thanks for sharing!!

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    There's also the skill-versus-perceived-skill factor which results from your taste and ability to recognize your shortcomings developing faster than your ability to create...

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    So much awesome in this thread.

    Last edited by Harkins; February 6th, 2013 at 05:47 PM.
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