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Falling into artistic depression

Honestly I don't know what to do now. I feel like a horrible artist. I wish I could improve but my anxiety and depression is preventing me. I know I shouldn't put myself down like this but I'm not sure why I do. Why am I like this? Why can't I be the artist I want to be? Someone please help me. I don't know where I'm going wrong. I get little to no feedback so obviously my art is not good enough. I'm ashamed to call myself an artist sometimes. Everyone is better than me..

Sorry for hosting a pity party here but this depression is seriously getting me down. Please, if you can help me out here, it be much appreciated.

Artwork Gallery for CartoonAnthroTales -- Fur Affinity [dot] net
 

lapinou

Member
Normally I'd say lack of feedback is due to lack of exposure, but you've had your account for a while so it's understandable how you'd be upset. A lot of the works in your gallery don't create a lot visual interest or appeal because of a few things, if you don't mind me being a little blunt:
No line weight. (Makes it look flat, invest in a tablet if you don't already have one!)
Pillow shading. (Also makes it look flat)
Symbol drawing.
Poses are static.
Repetitive composition and perspective. (Straight on view of the character with the character in the middle.)
The quality of the background does not match with the effort put into the character.

I would recommend starting to improve by getting into two things: still lifes, and gesture drawing.
Still lifes will help you teach yourself lighting and form while using simple shapes. Just set up a desk lamp and put an apple or other fruit under it. You can do it with other objects as well to study different materials.
Gesture drawing makes your poses more fluid, and when you do longer timed sessions, you'll learn more anatomy. You can do it online here: Quickposes: pose library for figure & gesture drawing practice or if you're lucky enough to have a life drawing class in your area, sign up for that!
There are more things you can improve on like perspective and composition, but those are a little more complicated so I'd start simple if I were you.

Please don't feel ashamed to call yourself an artist. If you make art, you're an artist. I have anxiety and depression as well that has resulted in art block numerous times because I had a similar problem: beating myself up, like you are right now. It stagnated my artistic progress because I was afraid to experiment and improve, only keeping to what I was good at. But here's a fact: you have to create 1000 pieces of bad works to get one good one. All of the artists you look up to have thousands of "bad" sketches, and unfinished works left unposted. All you're seeing is the good stuff.
Also note that no matter how good you get, there will ALWAYS be someone better than you, even if you're furry Da Vinci. :p

On a slightly unrelated note, I'm no doctor but what worked help manage my anxiety and depression is cognitive behavioral therapy. You can try it yourself. It's basically a "fake it til you make it" strategy, where whenever you have a thought saying something like "I'm not good enough" you replace it with something reasonable like "I'm doing my best." Even if it feels like you're lying to yourself, you need to do it to break bad patterns of thought!
The best thing you can do for yourself right now: Take care of your mental health first. If your art is stressing you out too much, take a break until you can think objectively about it again. It's really hard, I always associate myself personally with my work, but the more you are able to self reflect the more you improve.
 
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Thanks. Well you've written a wall of text so I can't reply to it all but thanks!

I will say, what you said about creating a thousand bad works to get a good one is true. I've noticed that one in every work I post looks great and gets appreciated. :)
 

BunBunArt

Princess Bunny ♥
I've been where you are in 2012 and I was already decided to forget about drawing forever. But a tiny part of me wanted to give it one more little shot, so I started the 365 challenge, that you can see here: sta.sh: 365 days ( dec.2012 - dec.2013 )

By drawing a sketch every single day, after only just 3 months I've already seen some improvement. At first it was terrible and frustrating, most sketches were copied or unfinnished... and day by day I was improving. A lot...

After 9 months I was already used to the pencil and drawing a piece a day was very natural. I didn't get to draw as good as I wanted but I got enough proof that it IS possible. You just have to WORK a lot, to REALLY want to improve and take it serious. Just sitting and complaining won't help, belive me... I've been there for quite a long part of my life x_X
 

lapinou

Member
Thanks. Well you've written a wall of text so I can't reply to it all but thanks!

I will say, what you said about creating a thousand bad works to get a good one is true. I've noticed that one in every work I post looks great and gets appreciated. :)

Sorry about that! I tend to ramble so I don't expect a reply to everything, no worries. Just hope I can help.

Also yea, drawing everyday from imagination is almost essential to improvement. Just try to throw in studies and stuff too as well as analyze your work, otherwise you might make mistakes you repeat.
 
No worries! I prefer walls of text giving me advice! I just can't respond to every single bit of it. lol

Sometimes I wish my artwork had improved earlier, so I could get to a good art skill level now. Do you know how that feels?
 

BunBunArt

Princess Bunny ♥
Most of us fellow artists understand the feeling. Me for example, my parents didn't want me to draw so I had to abandon art for a few years because I had to study engineering :D (<- sarcastic smile)
When I returned, all my friends were already super pro artists and I was left behind, feeling frustrated because I wasn't part of the group anymore.
 
Yeah. I think I started to feel this way when I uploaded two pieces lately and didn't get much feedback for them. I think I'll take a break and focus on my writing.
 
I can say that you have a lot of art evolution to go before you are great, but your art isn't horrible by any means. And it seems you are progressing fairly rapidly in that regard.

One thing you might want to work on is proportions. I know exactly how hard it is to get that right....

Lets just say if you ever want to feel better about your art through Schadenfreude, ask me to draw something.....
 

Spicy Cheeto

Well-Known Member
I’ll be very blunt and honest. Some people have a natural ability to draw straight from their heads and make it look beautiful. Others lack that ability and have to work hard (all their lives) to gain artistic talent. Both of us are in the second scenario and sadly we’ll never get that natural ability to draw,we have to work hard just to make it look good. Keep practicing and look up digital coloring tutorials. Experiment with realism, semi-realism and cartoony art and blend certain techniques together.
 
I’ll be very blunt and honest. Some people have a natural ability to draw straight from their heads and make it look beautiful. Others lack that ability and have to work hard (all their lives) to gain artistic talent. Both of us are in the second scenario and sadly we’ll never get that natural ability to draw,we have to work hard just to make it look good. Keep practicing and look up digital coloring tutorials. Experiment with realism, semi-realism and cartoony art and blend certain techniques together.

I was always told talent doesn't exist and that every artist got their skill by practicing but eh. Thanks!
 

Spicy Cheeto

Well-Known Member
I was always told talent doesn't exist and that every artist got their skill by practicing but eh. Thanks!

That’s a lie successful artists say to make you feel better XD. Some people are born with talent. I actually have an older brother that taught himself how to draw right from the get go. He didn’t need tutorials or anything of that sort because his brain was wired to create something out of nothing. Me though, I had to work hard because I didn’t have natural talent. It’s okay to not have natural talent but you have to makeup for it.
 
That’s a lie successful artists say to make you feel better XD. Some people are born with talent. I actually have an older brother that taught himself how to draw right from the get go. He didn’t need tutorials or anything of that sort because his brain was wired to create something out of nothing. Me though, I had to work hard because I didn’t have natural talent. It’s okay to not have natural talent but you have to makeup for it.

Ah I see. XD I've seen a bit of your art. Even its better than mine, at least when it comes to some fundamentals..
 

Pipistrele

Smart batto!
That’s a lie successful artists say to make you feel better XD. Some people are born with talent. I actually have an older brother that taught himself how to draw right from the get go. He didn’t need tutorials or anything of that sort because his brain was wired to create something out of nothing. Me though, I had to work hard because I didn’t have natural talent. It’s okay to not have natural talent but you have to makeup for it.
Honestly, from my personal experience of working with a lot of absurdly skilled and professional-grade artists, pretty much everyone has the same answer of "I just drew for tons of hours a day". One of my favorite artists also showed her early sketchbooks, and the works inside objectively look like crap. I believe in talent myself, but I also tend to think that talent will only advance you so far, and raw effort combined with observation and dedication make for 80-90% of said "talent".
 
Yes I do. I notice you use the soft brush along the edges of your characters. It throws the coloring off. I recommend you try this thing called cell-shading. Cell shading is when you use hard colors and brushes to create a contrast between two colors.

Ok thanks. What do you think about my anatomy and proportions?
 

Spicy Cheeto

Well-Known Member
Honestly, from my personal experience of working with a lot of absurdly skilled and professional-grade artists, pretty much everyone has the same answer of "I just drew for tons of hours a day". One of my favorite artists also showed her early sketchbooks, and the works inside objectively look like crap. I believe in talent myself, but I also tend to think that talent will only advance you so far, and raw effort combined with observation and dedication make for 80-90% of said "talent".

I agree. Talent can only get you so far. You don’t even need artistic talent for people to focus on your artwork. For example, a lot of comedy webcomics are poorly drawn yet they get thousands of comments as if their art is the best art in the world. Charisma, marketing and practice are also factors to be a successful artist.
 

Spicy Cheeto

Well-Known Member
Ok thanks. What do you think about my anatomy and proportions?

The legs are too small and the chest is significantly larger than the legs which makes them look stubby. The head is also too big for your type of style. Big heads are usually for cuter styles so it threw me off. Hopefully I wasn’t offensive. I just want to be honest.
 
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