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The "After Art Blues"

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
(I am aware of this thread "If you don't think you'll ever be good as an artist - Message of Inspiration". If you get down in the dumps, sometimes reading that does help. I have read the link, so please don't repost it for my sake, cause you'll just waste your time.)

I frequently get disheartened after I finish a drawing or another work. Never quite ends up exactly how I intended earlier, and then I begin to critique my own work to death over little technicalities. I imagine this is a pretty common issue for many people out there that draw or create. I learn a lot by picking apart my drawings to the smallest detail, but it is also tough to be satisfied in your own skills afterwards. It is almost like we are afraid to mess up again.

I personally always do make my way back to the sketchbook, but it's a painful process of fighting my own head the whole way.

Sometimes, it's simply just an overwhelming urge to destroy what you've just worked on. Something makes you want to destroy what you just created. One of my best friends that was a big art mentor for me also had this pretty bad. I vividly remember him splashing paint across a canvas he had spent a week on painting that was impressive to me, but terrible to him. Another person I mentored artistically once drew something that was better than usualy, yet he tore it up into little pieces and dumped it on the ground in the rain, just because "[he didn't think he] could spend another minute looking at it". For me, I get the impulse to rip out a page from my sketchbook and burn it outside or in a fireplace. I've done it in the past. Granted, everyone is not always like this, but the urge is pretty strong at times.

Anyway, I would like to hear if there are others out there that tend to have this problem as well. I've got some tips I picked up that seem to help me a little, but might be really helpful for you. Hard to tell, since art is very individualistic thing for everyone.

*your harshest critic is yourself.
*writing a sentence or two about all your works gives you a chance to reflect on your work and can be a little encouraging later on while flipping through your notebooks and looking at your old stuff to see how you've progressed.
*if you have an art mentor, then use them. If you don't, then find someone talented you can trust and get talking with them. conceptart.org has some talented individuals, but I honestly think your personal contacts are the best place to start looking. Anyway, if you're dissatisfied with your work, show it to them and see what they have to say. Chances are you're being more harsh on yourself than they will be, but they also help you keep things in perspective.
*get some artistic peers as well. Sometimes having a little friendly competition can do wonders for your morale.
*take a look at an old sketchbook if you can. See how you have improved and keep that in mind.
*because you critique yourself, you show at least you know where to study in your next several sketches in attempts to fix it.
*write down what you do like about your piece and try and match the number of likes to the number of dislikes. Humanity likes to focus on their own shortcomings, but highlighting your strengths is very powerful. This personally helps me the most.
*the "drawing a day challenges" can potentially work, but you got to make sure you accommodate for them. Set aside times to draw, and do not rush yourself. Otherwise it might feel too much like a chore for you, which is non-productive.
*knowing you screwed up is a sign you don't have your head too far up your own bum to see the truth.

Regardless, let's share, learn and laugh a little at ourselves.
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
I sometimes find it hard to critique myself, because when I finish a drawing, I'm usually on a high from finishing it. This is especially true for personal work, less so for commissions.

If I ever feel bad about my art, I just open up my old DA gallery and kind of just goggle at how bad I used to be, when I thought I was the shit.

btw your new avatar is seriously creeping me out
 

Willow

FAF's #1 Terrorist
I very seldom feel good about something I draw because as soon as I finish it I notice all the imperfections.

And yes, I do get the urge to just trash whatever it is I'm drawing. It's an awful feeling.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
It's ok to trash your drawings, or it's ok to keep them and make more. Then you can look back and see your progress, or see in some ways what you're missing in your progress (maybe you're more imaginative for example). Sometimes you can revisit those old drawing and redraw them to see if you've improved.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
I sometimes find it hard to critique myself, because when I finish a drawing, I'm usually on a high from finishing it. This is especially true for personal work, less so for commissions.

If I ever feel bad about my art, I just open up my old DA gallery and kind of just goggle at how bad I used to be, when I thought I was the shit.
Hmm, you seem to be almost an opposite for me. Through my drawing career, I ave only been satisfied with like 3 drawings when they were done. I have since hated them now my skills improved. Now, I will go back and laugh at them, for sure.
btw your new avatar is seriously creeping me out
Yes! It's meant to do that.

I very seldom feel good about something I draw because as soon as I finish it I notice all the imperfections.

And yes, I do get the urge to just trash whatever it is I'm drawing. It's an awful feeling.
I feel your pain. If you give some of those tricks up there a go, you might think different about a few of them. At least you won't feel the overwhelming urge to trash them.
It's ok to trash your drawings, or it's ok to keep them and make more. Then you can look back and see your progress, or see in some ways what you're missing in your progress (maybe you're more imaginative for example). Sometimes you can revisit those old drawing and redraw them to see if you've improved.
I like the look-back method because I can point out any trouble spots where I have not improved along with seeing what's gotten better too. Only thing I do not keep is doodles done in lectures or anything done on tracing paper because it's too flimsy, messy and useless after its purpose is served. Sketchbooks are littered about in my bookcase, I think I am up to about 4 or 5 completely filled sketchbooks by this point in my life.

Now that I'm picking up the pace a lot more, I think I will fill my current one up in just 4 months.
 

Tempered

New Member
I decided that once I upload something, I'm not going to agonize over it anymore. As long as I know what flaws the image has, and I don't make the same mistakes in a new piece, I'm happy.

Although admittedly I was never the "tear my art up" sort've individual. I just couldn't deal with being anxious about something that is only a hobby for me, so I changed! I agree with you though that we're our own worst critics, and we need to remember that. What we hate about an imagine someone might like. I also try not to get discouraged after looking at art that I think is super fantastic compared to mine. If I stay focused and practice I'll get there too!
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
Although admittedly I was never the "tear my art up" sort've individual.
Me neither. Each drawing I do is like a part of myself, no matter how crappy it may turn out. If it turns out bad, I just close it and forget about it, learn from the mistakes and frustrations and move on.
 

FireFeathers

Mr. Red Flag
Longest I've gone with being completely happy with a work was about 2 weeks. But I understand that even if I don't like it anymore, other people still do. Just as long as I don't repeat the same mistakes, no loss.

I heard a piece of advice that I thought summed it up pretty nicely. "I wish you misery. I hope you never have an artistically satisfied day in your life. The day you're completely satisfied with something you done, well you might as well give up then"

strangely enough, i think Bob Ross said it.
 

Saracide

Suede
Oh man do I know exactly what you're talking about, it sucks. Especially when you see people around you that are about the same skill level as you, or worse, who get so much more feedback.

It also really tears me up when I see some amazing 16 year old, I hate that.

I know I'm not a great artist yet, but it would help sooooo much if I had a little more feedback on each piece along the way, while I'm growing.

My biggest problem is deleting stuff from my gallery when I get depressed, and then reposting when I feel ok again. I really need to stop that because not only is it counterproductive but I know it must really be annoying to watchers.

It helps to know I'm not the only one. I notice it really helps me feel better when I do life drawing, because then I can reassure myself that I'm at least doing something about it and I have to be getting better at least slowly over time.
 

Angelus-Mortis

Pauca sed Matura
Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. If I don't like it, I just let it sit there, and I probably end up not submitting it. If I really think the piece is worth expressing (and not for technical reasons), I'll usually try to fix it or redo it all over again.

I don't think I've ever drawn something I'm 100% happy with, as there's always some small issue that doesn't look quite right to me, but probably won't figure it out on my own, for at least another year or so.

But I suppose that's what makes art art. There's always some part of it you know you can improve on, even if nobody can see it.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
Oh man do I know exactly what you're talking about, it sucks. Especially when you see people around you that are about the same skill level as you, or worse, who get so much more feedback.

It also really tears me up when I see some amazing 16 year old, I hate that.

I know I'm not a great artist yet, but it would help sooooo much if I had a little more feedback on each piece along the way, while I'm growing.

My biggest problem is deleting stuff from my gallery when I get depressed, and then reposting when I feel ok again. I really need to stop that because not only is it counterproductive but I know it must really be annoying to watchers.

It helps to know I'm not the only one. I notice it really helps me feel better when I do life drawing, because then I can reassure myself that I'm at least doing something about it and I have to be getting better at least slowly over time.

Like I said, try and find you a good mentor that you know personally. This will help give some guidance. I'm temporarily without at the moment, but my mentor (now my peer) was always giving helpful advice and was someone I could look up to for inspiration.

Jealousy always plays a strange role in art. Yes, you should be jealous of some things (like their dedication or skills at a particular medium), but you don't want to get jealous of their art. Then you stand the risk of getting into a bout of non-productive inferiority.

Also consider age has very little to do with it. Most people are along the same level around the age of 11-12, and what level you are at now is a reflection of the dedication in those following years. The feedback also relates to the activity in a group. Obviously if you have more friends, you'll get more faves on the ready. In my opinion though, watches, faves or comments really mean nothing. They are a nice gesture, but I would draw regardless of them. Getting to that point really helps you out.
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
In my opinion though, watches, faves or comments really mean nothing. They are a nice gesture, but I would draw regardless of them. Getting to that point really helps you out.

Aw man, it took me WAY too long to realise that. I have this weird thing where I have to please everyone (I guess everyone sort of does) but it wasn't in the last two or three years that I learnt not too care too much about it. I sometimes still get a little depressed about not being e-famous, but not as often anymore, and I don't stress out over it as much later.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
I try hanging around where I feel motivated by improvement. Keep around people with the same goals. If you're only gonna hang around whether or not someone makes a character that's fuckable and that's all he/she is obsessed with then that's where you'll stick and stagnate.

I mean if you look at what's drawn here, pornographic or not...how many characters do you see are old, or a supporting character to the main character? I guess it's like drawing Superman or Wonder Woman and forgetting about Ma and Pa Kent. I mean after all, what makes Superman really interesting isn't just that he could do all these magnificent feats, but his really country upbringing as Clark Kent. Who made that possible? Ma and Pa Kent.

Batman has more of an interesting perspective because of his dynamic with a butler who has raised him since his tragic childhood.

One of my favorite characters in Kung Fu Panda wasn't the furious 5 but the old Turtle. I sat fascinated at how well they captured his movements and gave him a real personality to remember.

So inbetween drawing, I hang around people who remember stuff like that. It gets me to think about what things I should be drawing to add to my library so to speak.
 
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