How do you get yourself into 'the zone'?
 
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  1. #1
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    How do you get yourself into 'the zone'?

    How do you get yourself into that really creative zone? I tend to have problems with this and I was just wondering what everyone else does so maybe I can try it out too.
    I have concentration and procrastination problems in general anyway, but when I get myself in the zone and locked in on the art I'm creating I can focus for hours and hours and hours without moving or eating or getting up to stretch or anything. I guess that's getting myself using the right side of my brain, right?
    But I have one heck of a time getting myself to that point. If I sit down and push through when I'm not in the creative mood already, I can get work but it's usually not as good and I can't get that really intense focus. Plus when I'm not quite as focused I don't get as much done in the same time.

    Is there any way to help me get into that zone?

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    i think the fact that you have creative bursts of intense creativity followed by dry spells is natural. However, as this is a business, deadlines and such don't allow for dry spells. One thing i found helps is drawing for at least 2 hours a day at a bare minimum, 3 or 4 on average. if i do this, i find that even during dry spells i can quickly call on a vocabulary of ideas that can get me inspired enough to really get excited about a piece... then its easy.

    kinda a boring answer but there you go....

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    learn the simple fact that you do not have to be creative to create and you'll never need to have to find a "zone". Whatever your current subject matter fixation is, theres a ton more in the world that you could be drawing for research and experience.

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    Hmm, those are really good tips, I'll snag some of those. XD

    I'm like that too (procrastinator to the max!) but something that really helps me is when there's other people around drawing the exact same thing (like in art jams), that tends to inspire me greatly. Like someone will be like "Let's all draw the Flash" or whatever and I love comparing the differences at the end. Sometimes having art assignments inspire me as well, like in class when the teacher gave us this one assignment to draw a page of animals and on the other side draw cartoons of that animal, I went nuts with it and it really opened up a slew of creativity that I hadn't had before or at least in awhile. Hope that helps! ^__^

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    If I've got a creative block, I find the best way to combat it is to smash it down. Put on some headphones and pull up open canvas or photoshop and just put that stylus to the tablet. I might have absolutely no idea what I'm going to draw but after enough visual wandering I always, always come up with something that I'd have never thought of before. Another approach is using a big awkward brush and making "random" marks until some form starts to grab you and then run with whatever you see.

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    For me it means getting a good cup of coffee - something strong.... like a cappucino or a espresso. Once the caffeine starts to alter my brains chemicals then I'm pretty much good to go.

    The downside is... I need to make it back to the studio before I start checkin' out the honey's on the street... if I get women on the brain... I get even less done than if I've had no caffeine to fuel my creative guns.

    So...

    1) Good coffee

    2) Go straight to studio... do not get sidetracked by the booty

    3) Get to work


    mambo

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    Smile

    All of those above ideas are wonderful. I like Mike's input a lot specifically.

    Just remember, the best way to get started is to get started. And sitting around waiting for inspiration in your pajama's doesn't get much work done.

    However -- to add on to what Mike C said, when you put up those 50 drawings or concepts you like... if you need a specific idea.... you take those drawings, look at them in depth, maybe copy a part of each one that you like, just saturate your mind with them... if you don't get immediate ideas, keep feeding your mind the work you like... then... go on a walk, take a shower and forget about it. You'll get a winning idea to pop in your head within 2 hours or so (maybe even as little as 5 minutes) after you stop thinking about it.

    And yes, do drink coffee. That caffine will give you a heightened state of mind...the caffine in soda with all of its sugar, probably won't as much.

    On a side note, look at what caffine does to spiders:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C...spiderwebs.jpg

    How do you get yourself into 'the zone'?

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    i think those postings above cover it all. personally, I like to make some abstract shapes in PS with a custom brush and then bust open my sketchpad once the juices start to flow.

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    practice gets me back into the zone, I had too many lows earlier. But I found myself a way , I start drawing ,anything. if not that I start doing anatomy of perspective studies. and I also have a huge CA folder and a bigger art folder to keep me inspired in my comp, I am not allowed to have posters or art on my wall . right now I am so kicked by REAUs artwork.his women are beautiful and I am having a great time drawing women too. People have their own ways to cope with a dry spell. Try different methods and see what works best for you.

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    Get plenty of sleep...you will wake up fully recharged and your brain will be at its full creativity potentiality.

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    if you have a mental block just lay down some random strokes and build up your drawing around that, i think it helps if you have some music going too.
    if you have a specific idea or assignment, do your work first thing in the morning, is you're not a morning person it will be horrible at first but you get into it. theres been so many days where i just put off doing stuff until it's too late and the day is over

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    I agree with the general conceus - just draw something even if it felt stupid and worthless. One could conclude that drawing is never a waste of time, since every new sketch, drawing, painting ( et cetera )improves your skills.

    I get inspiration from staring at the works of artists who are unique, and technically way beyond me. Good instrumental music usually helps as well, and a good conversation with a group of friends might spur a whirlwind of ideas later on. It all depends on the day, really.

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    I'm way too logical in my thinking, so it is relatively hard for me to get into "the zone" but there's a little trick that works (sometimes more, sometimes less) for me:

    I put on some music, some game soundtrack from http://ocremix.org/info/Albums e.g., but everything epic and orchestral works, take some lineart or a picture, turn it upside down and copy it.
    By turning it upside down you no longer see what it actually is in the picture, only the shapes and lines it is made of.

    It's a little exercise from Betty Edwards - Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain that helps to shut up the logical left, and activate the more artistic, right side of the brain.

    After doing this for a little while I just sit back, close my Eyes and let my mind wander.

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  16. #14
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    I don't really have a zone.

    I just draw constantly.

    That usually helps

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Quote Originally Posted by Shadowwing
Get plenty of sleep...you will wake up fully recharged and your brain will be at its full creativity potentiality.
Im at my most creative point at nights, when I should be sleeping.. And at my lowest creative point at morning, when Im been sleeping for long.. Like today.

Fresh air works though.. Dont sit in the same un-creative place all the time, do something, whatever you do you will come back and hopefully want to create.

Sleep is overrated.


*Mike. Thanks a lot for these tips =) Gonna attempt that right now *

~Dile

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  • #16
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    Is there some way of not getting hungry? Then, once I find that zone I'm a gonner.

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  • #17
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    Like Dile Im active at night too, I drink a cold refreshing pop, am in da mood for creativness, but in the morning i just wanna do nuthing, but watch t.v. or play video gamez.

    What else i think that affects my mood or your's to be creative is the environment, temperature, the right energy...

    If the environment is noisy and loud, it's hard to draw when all that noise is blocking your creative vision...

    If the temperature is too hot, there is no getting around to draw(exspecially for me) cuz you be sweatn and itching your head. If your room too cold your brain start too freez(like mine did)you can't think and you need to think if your trying to draw logically or anything else.

    If you don't get enough sleep, you wake up with less energy to be active in what you wanna do, but when you have to much you can't sit still and draw, you'd just wanna jump around. In the morning i stretch and do sum morning excersize to remove some unwanted energy and hit the shower to refresh my body and that helps me.

    Like Jake i draw constantly too to sharpen my skill, but without the zone it won't be top notch like i needed to be, it'll just be drawings that that i have no use for and eventually goes into the garbage.

    And it is also good to have inspiring work on the wall like Mike said and one more thing your Brain says "put food in my damn stomach for me to function well or else you'll be rubbing your head and making noises."


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    Another idea is to be aware of where you are at as an artist, and aware of the things you need to work on, and then have multiple projects going on entailing each one of them.. For me at the moment, it's lighting and shadows/value studies, animal anatomy, as well as developing my visual library of weapons/clothing etc. So I can easily spend all day drawing/painting, because I switch tasks every few hours. Start of with some loose, maybe gestural animal studies for a few hours, switch to some more refined value studies for a few hours, then maybe hop into Photoshop and practice making brushes and doing some speedpainting. After that, maybe draw some gestures, or some weapons or clothing/armour. That tends to keep my crative juices flowing. And everything you see around you, ask yourself what is cool or interesting about it. Because most likely there is something. Once you start seeing things like that around you, it seems like there is never enough time to draw everything you want to draw......

    Oh yeah, and human anatomy. Can't draw that enough.

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  • #19
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  • hm, another thing to do when your without inspiration/creativity is to
    yeah, make tons of studies, just practice and practice, the thing is that every time you draw, you learn something, if you draw for 5 minutes, you learn something, maybe not so important, if you sit down for 10 hours one day, you learn probably something you will find important or good thinking of next time you draw. Also, even if you drawing just to be drawing, then you will learn, even if your not into this "zone". The thing is that its true what Davi pointed out, in fact, i belive that this zone is just something in your mind, cause , If i force my self to do some studies , i draw em for lets say 15 minutes, then I forget the "zone" wich I never really where blocked off, but still thought of, and then i switch from drawing studies to something "fun" or just doing doodles. Just dont think of it.
    As mentioned before in this thread, I really doubt that a professional will just say "no, im not gonna draw, im not into the zone, and all i do come out like crap, i have a deadline in 2 days, so what ? I do it tomorrow instead..."
    Think about it the zone doesnt exist, only if you think to much of it.

    ~Dile

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  • #20
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    Wow, great tips!

    I think everyone has run into this sort of problem at one point or another.



    On a side note, I had an awesome idea last night for a painting, but didn't write it down, and now it's right on the edge of my memory, but I can't quite get it. Sigh... I really need to keep a pad of paper next to my bed.

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  • #21
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    If you know other friends/family that draw, get together with them, or go to a figure drawing session somewhere. I find that when I see someone elses works in progress it gives me inspiration and also fuels competition. And dont forget your mp3 player. Mine is loaded up with Tool, NIN, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, and other rock music that gets the gears goin in my brain. Good luck

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  • #22
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    One thing that takes me away from the mundane and into the "creative zone" is drawing or doodling with your non drawing hand.

    Drawing with your secondary hand you will force your brain to activate the dormant sleeping part of the brain. You can also try chanting "fake' magical spells or encantations, such as "mumo gwei gawe fa ge sow" "mumo gwei gawe fa ge sow". No I'm serious.

    Another method that will help the creative juices is to "carefully" flip upside down against a wall to get the blood rushing to your head. Spinning is also a good way to get flowing. Exercise in general can help you as well.


    hahaha that last part was a joke though, seriously........... *begins to sketch while echanting "muno gwei gawe fa ge sow"

    Last edited by NicoRaven; January 2nd, 2007 at 09:25 PM.
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  • #23
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  • Quote Originally Posted by NicoRaven
    One think that takes me away from the mundane and into the "creative zone" is drawing or doodling with your non drawing hand.

    Drawing with your secondary hand you will force your brain to activate the dormant sleeping part of the brain. You can also try chanting "fake' magical spells or encantations, such as "mumo gwei gawe fa ge sow" "mumo gwei gawe fa ge sow". No I'm serious.

    Another method that will help the creative juices is to "carefully" flip upside down against a wall to get the blood rushing to your head. Spinning is also a good way to get flowing. Exercise in general can help you as well.

    Judgeing on your other posts... I really feel sorry for people Flipping themself upside a wall, makeing magical spells , or spinning ... wow..
    Funny.

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  • #24
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    Yeah...umm...magical spells...right...

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    I have a VERY similar problem. But what I have found has helped me, is to always keep in a mindset of "the zone".

    It's a choice to get there I think, at least it is for me. So I choose for myself to always be there. Whenever I'm outside I look at a pipe and I study the rust stains on it. I see the pattern and think how I can use it creatively, possible as for a futuristic cyborg design or something of the sorts. Always studying and watching the things around me. if that pipe stays in my mind all day, I morph it in my head and design something out of it all day long, until I get home. Then I sit down and the concept in my head is usually complete. I can draw it now because I know every line and wrinkle.

    But of course the actual drawing part is a different kind of zone. I can have the idea but if I'm not in this other kind of zone... crap comes out on paper. So sometimes I think about how I can use the character for future designs, or I listen to inspiring music. I get myself excited about drawing whatever it is I'm going to draw.

    That's my method.

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    I use diffrent ways, usually I look at work from people that I admire, I draw alot of sience fiction/Robot kind of drawings, So I sometimes look at my transformer toys lol.

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    Well when I need to be creative I just tell myself to be creative and I am. It is so easy for me to come up with ideas, I just never do anything with them.

    Okay...Think analytically. Alright? You can do ANYTHING you want to, pick something interesting. Just run through ideas in your head till something zaps your attention. Now think, "How can I make this better?" If the idea is good enough your mind will probably continue to develop the idea without even trying.

    Analytical, really it works. What makes other artwork successful? It is usually not something superficial. Trying to figure out the formula for good art can engage your intellect as well as your creativity.

    Basically my point is to just be open. Just let yourself be creative. You'll know the good ideas because those will be the ones you’re compelled to explore. Easy right?

    Getting the work done is...Well some people enjoy that part. I'd say just try to keep it interesting. Like if you pencil something keep it sketchy. That way when you go to ink it you can continue to add to the drawing, instead of just tracing. Sounds like I am saying: make it fun, right? No, art won't be fun alot of the time, especially when you use discipline to get better work out of yourself. But it is your job right? If you don't force yourself to do it no one else will either. No one cares if you create artwork, or good artwork.

    Talent and intelligence are important. If you don't have sufficient quantities of these qualities then you probably won't find your work engaging and thus will be less interested in completing it. You can work to improve but it doesn't make any difference. Collaboration may be a good alternative for some people.

    Set up a clean working environment, a drawing table or a clear table. Start off with some quick rough sketches without much thought just for a warm up. Then focus on maybe pushing one of your designs up on the wall a bit further. Redesign the original drawing or just add to it in some way. When you feel happy with what you just did, continue to focus on what you liked about the design, paintings, drawing or whatever it was.

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  • #28
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    Maybe it's just my destructive tendencies, but if I have a clean work environment, it bothers me and I want to mess it up a little. Take that feeling and it quickly applies to the creative process. But if it's messed up already I feel lazy and slovenly.

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  • #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowwing View Post
    Get plenty of sleep...you will wake up fully recharged and your brain will be at its full creativity potentiality.
    I've found that a good night sleep does in fact help quite a bit with the creative process.

    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
    --- Frank Herbert, Dune - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

    Check out my Sketchbook! Critique and Criticism welcomed.

    or my Deviantart!

    · or check out my: Blog
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  • #30
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    this thread will become mad creative any moment now...

    tensai


    check the Tensai Tokyo Sketch Thread (Sketchbook)

    check the Tensai Cityscapes Thread (Finally Finished)



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