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  1. #1
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    Fear of Drawing - Help!

    I got it, don't know why. A fear of failure? I can ignore it, but it keeps cropping up. Before every drawing I do, I hesitate for 5 minutes: make some tea, organize stuff. Busywork, stuff that doesn't need to be done. Eventually, it gets worse and makes me stop drawing entirely for weeks. It's as strong for a quick sketch as it is for a long study. It's terrible. It doesn't happen when I write or play music or anything else, only drawing. It's more avoidance than fear. But drawing is something I want to do, I don't understand what part of me doesn't want to.

    Does anyone have this 'fear'? Did you have it when you were beginning? Do you have any advice on drawing despite it? Or at least some idea of what it is?
    MY SKETCHBOOK

    These woods are lovely, dark, and deep / But I have promises to keep / And miles to go before I sleep


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  3. #2
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    I think alot of aspiring artists go through this phase. Its basically a fear of making 'bad' drawings.

    Try drawing on crappy paper, or on the back of some notes or something like that. this way you can only think of it as practice sketching and not as though you are striving for some kind of precious perfection.

    I forget who said this, I think it was Chuck Jones, he said: "you have about a million bad drawings in you, so hurry up and get 'em out"

  4. #3
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    Read this. Sounds like it was written for you.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

  5. #4
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    I get that way about writing. I sit down to do a script and it's like hitting a brick wall. I'd rather naw my own arm off, than write something.

    Then when I hit a deadline and finally push it out of me, it's easy, turns out well and I can't figure out why there was so much fuss in the first place. It's a total mental block. The only thing I can ever do is just FORCE myself over the first hurdle and start the damn thing.

    Speaking of...I'll be getting back to homework now.

  6. #5
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    Hrm... Nothing in Freud on it...

    If you have a tablet, sketch with that - feels a lot less committed and you can be much more speculative.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    Read this. Sounds like it was written for you.
    elwell - I have that book...very good read. I was going to post something about it here but for some reason I found this thread tonight

    go pick it up if you peeps havent read it yet. Very good read.
    Keep your dream alive - Feed it daily!

    "The true essence of swordsmanship is like the willow blowing in the gentle breeze" - Tesshu (someday my art will be like this)

    website

    Mah Sketchbawk!

  8. #7
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    I have the book too and just started it. Will contribute as soon as I'm a little further into it

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    Read this. Sounds like it was written for you.
    Excellent recommendation. I checked it out at school and I actually read it all the way through (rare for me) because it was so damn well-written. It definitely helped me as I've struggled with this phase myself.
    people like you find it easy
    naked to see
    walking on air

  10. #9
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    I used to have a lot of fear when drawing when I first started. I remember feeling that one of my biggest accomplishments was when I lost the slight feeling of anxiety when looking at an empty page and having no idea what to fill it with. I think one of the things I enjoy the most out of making art is that you have to get past those fears and worries and just do it. Art is about playing and its spontaneous, and its a process of building things up. When you get in the mindset that its deathly serious that your artwork comes out a particular way, then you get this hangup. You're so hungup on having the picture come out in this particular way that you dont even pay attention to the drawing you're actually making. All your marks end up looking like mistakes and then you just get frustrated. The thing is, that you're going to make mistakes and really mistakes are only as big of a deal as you make out of them. You can either look at what you did wrong in a positive light and try and figure out how to correct it, or you can wallow in some kind of self pitying denial where all you do is focus on the mistake and take it to mean something serious about your self worth or something. Think of a musician-- if they were worried too much about playing well, the worry would get in the way so much that they'd probably never be able to get into the rhythm. The worry would defeat the whole purpose of trying to play the music in the first place and the worry itself would be entirely futile. So basically the whole problem IMO is to learn how to be spontaneous on purpose which is as easy or as difficult as you make it out to be. You can either get out on the dance floor and be ready to make a fool of yourself or you can keep putting your toes in the water and never really hop in. (Eventually you're gonna jump in anyways because thats just what you want to do, its just a matter of how much you want to get in your own way first. )
    Cave House Studios - creative animation and video
    What the Sketchbook

  11. #10
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    Have you tried to meditate on what you want to draw, turn on a CD player then start flowing with the music. I have to also agree with Some Guy there.
    I found that looking back on your old drawings and new drawings at the same time will show you how much you have improved, thus giving the courage to put pencil on paper.

    These are only suggestions though.

  12. #11
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    probably stop drawing

  13. #12
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    its just paper!
    if you make a bad piece, have fun with it..like throw it in the air and tiger-claw it! KEEE-YAH!
    This way, you'll actually WANT to make bad drawings.

  14. #13
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    I've done this many times. I'll stall because I fear I'll make a bad drawing. i'll then literally punch myself, be it in the face, mouth, thigh, stomach. This motivates me to draw because...well.. it really hurts. wow I sound crazy.

  15. #14
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    Books:
    ART & FEAR, Bayles and Orland
    THE COURAGE TO CREATE, Rollo May

    Being a WARRIOR is much better than being a WORRIER.

    The deal is we all have these fear, they never go away.
    With solid constant practice and good creative habits they just don't mean anything.
    Therapy, find someone who will do the work with you.
    You either look this one in the face and handle the conversation or forget the art.

    In the Creative Spirit

    ~M

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeiff
    I've done this many times. I'll stall because I fear I'll make a bad drawing. i'll then literally punch myself, be it in the face, mouth, thigh, stomach. This motivates me to draw because...well.. it really hurts. wow I sound crazy.
    Wtf dude?

    Anyway, the book sounds good because I'm having the same problem, had it a long time.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denart
    its just paper!
    if you make a bad piece, have fun with it..like throw it in the air and tiger-claw it! KEEE-YAH!
    This way, you'll actually WANT to make bad drawings.
    Fun suggestion! Unfortunately I have a beautiful moleskin sketchbook

  18. #17
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    I have the same problem with pooping.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asoir
    Fun suggestion! Unfortunately I have a beautiful moleskin sketchbook
    eeeh, i never liked expensive fancy sketchbooks...it makes me nervous and unbold

  20. #19
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    "Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile.You do not know how paralysing that staring of a blank canvas is; it says to the painter, You can't do anything ... Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the really passionate painter who is daring -- and who has once and for all broken that spell of 'you cannot'."

    -Van Gogh

    Hope that helps.

  21. #20
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    for me the 5 first pages/sketches are absolute turds so I got used of laying the shit down and knowing it will come out better later
    My Internal Organs ... my "sketchbook"
    To visit my portfolio, http://www.simonrainville.com
    my best friend

  22. #21
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    "Fake it till you make it."
    - Beck
    [

  23. #22
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    I get it, so now when i draw I start by doing a page of straight lines and curves circles boxes and diagonals.

    Mine isnt so much a fear as a desire to get things right first time.

  24. #23
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    I experience this too, much more so with painting than with drawing because the materials are more expensive. I think my main fear is wasting materials by creating something badly. Once I've started though I no longer have these worries.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin

    Mine isnt so much a fear as a desire to get things right first time.
    ditto.
    i have recently discovered it's far easier to draw something when you do it on really cheap, crappy copy-paper,because when you know your pics will be crappy in the first place(at the beginning of the drawing session) you don't care so much about throwing away the paper.
    when you notice it's getting better,change to your prefered paper.
    Sketchbook

    Sketchbooks of inspiration:
    Marc Taro|Maxetormer|ZhuZhu|Jeri|Dobu]


    Always think about:
    lighting! design! perspective! proportion!
    And (self)motivation is still everything.

  26. #25
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    Mirana, I actually was going to draw the same paralelle - only after beginning to write I realized how similar it is to drawing for me.

    It seems when I sit before an empty page/sheet of paper - my inner editor is already telling me how perfect my creation needs to be. and I know it won't be. So I do anything possible to delay the actual process of creation, while moaning and "suffering" from desire to create.


    Force yourself. That first few strokes/sentances are always the hardest, but once I actually FORCE myself to do it - its hard to stop.

    I know, it's easier said than done. But you are definitely not alone.

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