Feeling depressed when drawing too long?
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    Feeling depressed when drawing too long?

    I have a strange problem when I draw, after about maybe 5 minutes while drawing something, my mind starts to wander to very depressing thoughts and unhappy moment's in the past.
    I talk to people about it and they think its strange since people supposedly don't feel that way when they do something they enjoy.
    So, is this abnormal, or are their others artists here like that?

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    Not really something I have. Maybe it is a way for you to process these thoughts?
    A sort of therapy?


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    You might be depressed in general and just notice when you focus or relax.

    Listen to music.
    I find it helps distract the mind when needed.

    Also in general, try to suck it up and get over those things. The past is the past and there is nothing you can do about any of those things. If its something someone said to you, they might be wrong. Even if many different people said the same, doesn't mean it's true.

    Last edited by Lady Medusa; February 26th, 2013 at 03:00 PM.
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    drawing too long... after 5 minutes..., i thought you were being serious
    M

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    If your mind is wandering, you're doing it wrong.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Do you feel depressed at other points in time too? If so, you should probably see a doctor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteJ View Post
    I have a strange problem when I draw, after about maybe 5 minutes while drawing something, my mind starts to wander to very depressing thoughts and unhappy moment's in the past.
    I talk to people about it and they think its strange since people supposedly don't feel that way when they do something they enjoy.
    So, is this abnormal, or are their others artists here like that?
    It's not really abnormal. When people step away from their usual distractions and entertainments and enter a creative mode, their brain becomes active. It's the same sort of phenomenon that keeps you awake at night worrying about stuff. Once you're somewhere quiet with nothing better to do than think, thinking will happen. If you have unresolved issues to think about, your brain will think about those.

    Don't worry about it. Just keep drawing and if you notice yourself daydreaming, bring your attention back to what you're drawing. Eventually your brain will get that you are trying to do something and it'll settle down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    It's not really abnormal. When people step away from their usual distractions and entertainments and enter a creative mode, their brain becomes active. It's the same sort of phenomenon that keeps you awake at night worrying about stuff. Once you're somewhere quiet with nothing better to do than think, thinking will happen. If you have unresolved issues to think about, your brain will think about those.
    Makes sense, since I've observed that the most effective counter for depression is to keep myself busy with work. I'm thinking that if the dark thoughts come 5 minutes drawing, it may have something to do with the exact kind of drawing that is being done.

    Pete, I've seen your graphite drawings. In my experience with pencils, 5 minutes is about the time it takes me to lay down the basic outline and the most interesting details (eyes and such). After that, the process becomes boring and predictable, just going through the motions. Can you relate to that?

    Maybe you could just try to leave your drawings half unfinished like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    It's not really abnormal. When people step away from their usual distractions and entertainments and enter a creative mode, their brain becomes active. It's the same sort of phenomenon that keeps you awake at night worrying about stuff. Once you're somewhere quiet with nothing better to do than think, thinking will happen. If you have unresolved issues to think about, your brain will think about those.

    Don't worry about it. Just keep drawing and if you notice yourself daydreaming, bring your attention back to what you're drawing. Eventually your brain will get that you are trying to do something and it'll settle down.
    If I was lying awake with my mind whirring, id get up and work. it shut them thoughts up good. and id crash feeling good about doing lots of work and sleep immediately. ive been working nights ever since.

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    Drawing is a way of expressing yourself. You're relaxing and starting to look inwards. Perhaps you just have stuff you need to think about. Doesn't have to be a bad thing. Just roll with it. You might feel better afterwards.

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    I wouldn't say it was the norm. Knowing you will feel depressed when drawing may discourage you to continue.

    New account for a fresh start.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    If I was lying awake with my mind whirring, id get up and work. it shut them thoughts up good. and id crash feeling good about doing lots of work and sleep immediately. ive been working nights ever since.
    I'm kind of inclined towards that, but it usually ends up with me lurking palely around the house like an extra out of a Tim Burton movie, ready to commit suicide because I haven't seen the sun in four weeks.

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    Depression has many causes and from what I've seen, there is never really one single way to combat it and being medicated never really solves it. I get down from time to time and, for a short period, I was really down until I started to exercise a little more. I learnt that it is one of the best ways to help mild cases of depression and generally, it has a good success rate. Give that's go and it should help you focus more, feel better and just improve your creativity.

    One of the biggest influences that people believe is responsible for how they feel is the past and events from the past. It isn’t the event itself, it's how we interpreted it at the time. When an event happens in your life, your brain decides and chooses what it means. It determines its importance and then stores it away inside. When you look introspectively and thumb your way through the filing cabinets in your mind, it is hard to not notice the black film canister in amongst the white ones. If these video memories stand out so much against the others, they can become irresistible to not open them upon your visit to the inner vault.

    Pouring over a video memory, reminds you of how you felt when you first recorded it with your mind’s camera. Your brain remembers the initial connection it made at the time and then dictates how to feel upon rewatching it. The strongest of memories, the ones that when we replay them they have the most profound of impacts, are the ones that we reserve to watch on the biggest of screens in our internal cinemas. We do this with both our positive and negative memories and we can hold onto both types of film with equal importance.

    The key in life is to change the way we think about those negative films when we do watch them. With watching a happy memory, we don’t have to do anything but enjoy it and revel in the connection between visual cue and feeling.

    When watching something upsetting or traumatic that has happened to us, we shouldn’t replay them in the same way as those happy films, even though we do. Nethertheless, they are a memory of something in the past in the same sense as a happy memory: a visual cue that jogs us to feel a certain way. Your brain has just dictated the difference.

    Stepping outside of the mind for a second, it is so important to note that the past is over. It does not exist anymore. It is gone and it is never coming back. Recognise what past events make you feel down when you think about them, then force yourself to think about them in a different way and change the way you feel. Control your feelings, don't let your feelings control you.

    If you ever want to talk Peter, message me.

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    I battled depression for seven years. Dysthymia specifically. Only recently ( a month ago ) did I ever say, "fuck this, it's ruining my life. I can't fight this anymore. Willpower or trying to man up isn't going to cure this -- it's a god damn genetic problem." Depression runs rampant in my family, so it's definitely genetic. Anyway, I threw away my pride and went to see a therapist. Was incredibly doubtful and negative for the first couple sessions. Within the end of the first session, she told me I definitely had a major problem and I should see a psychiatrist. Self-diagnosed myself just to see and was spot on. The psychiatrist said I had dysthymia.

    Was prescribed to Wellbutrin XL 300mg and some other stuff. Therapist helps me with exercise and getting out so I feel less depressed...and to work on my anxiety. Anyway, it's been a month after and I feel so god damn better. By doing things that aren't directly related to art, I realized I had other interests in the world. Sure, art is still my major interest....but I don't need to do it 14 hours a day. 8 hours is enough and I can spend the rest of the time doing whatever else I like and generally experiencing life. The medicine, on the other hand, is slowly ripping away negative thoughts (like the ones you're having, before I pissed myself off every drawing session and didn't have fun often) and most importantly, is giving me more energy to do it.

    So yeah. Working on improving other aspects of your life, other than art, is essential to becoming a proficient artist in general. You have to look at your other problems that are weighing you down (mentally, physically, socially, whatever) and try to seek ways to demolish them. Even if that means seeking outside help. Get rid of your major problems, and you'll find more positivity in your life and that will reinforce your will to do art and enjoy it. It has for me -- I lived for seven years with chronic depression and didn't even really realize it (a common thing in dysthymia patients). It's like the curtains have been lifted and I feel like I actually have a future again, even if things right now aren't perfect.

    GO see someone if you need to. Do whatever it takes to wash away your frustration and depression. For me, doing just exercise or just take medicine alone didn't help. You have to do a lot of things in combination to battle it.

    Best of luck. PM me if you're having issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlyhazard View Post
    I battled depression for seven years.
    A truly honest account. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

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