Once you realize and accept the fact that sometimes you're going to suck at drawing and things are going to look bad, you can move on and try to focus on the good things. I had pretty bad depression for about 5 years, so while I'm not an expert on it, I at least have some familiarity with the subject. What eventually got me out of it was recognizing what sorts of things triggered the feelings of worthlessness and frustration, and then making certain lifestyle changes to overcome them. I also had to force myself to stop throwing pity-parties and being a sorry sack of shit about my life, because it really wasn't that bad. I'm not going to deny that little things can be very upsetting and throw you into a stink (I still get that), but you've got to realize that there's a lot of great stuff out there in the world.
You just have to make an effort to find it, or be open to new possibilities. Escapism helps too; I have a happy world of plants and robots that I can hunker down in when I feel crappy feelings rising.
Improvement is a slow process. This is another thing that needs to be accepted. There's no fast and easy way to force yourself to get better at drawing; you have to learn to enjoy the ride and find accomplishment in the small steps you make forwards. And yeah, sometimes you're going to step backwards too. Try doing one of the Art Improvement memes every year when you've been seriously focusing on your work; it's a real confidence booster to see how crappy you used to be.
I noticed you mentioned above that you were considering computer science. I'm just about finished my BSc with a double major in art and computer science and it's fantastic. I've spoken to a few people in the game development industry (if that interests you) and I've heard that it's great to be "of two minds" because you have the advantage of understanding both the concept art/rendering side of development as well as the coding/technical aspects. I'm inspired so much by the opposing disciplines I study and it gives me great motivation to work more. I also feel way less stressed about my work because I know I can support myself based off my computer science background alone; I don't have to fret about making my work marketable or popular: I just draw what makes me happy.
So in closing: Find what makes you happy about art and focus on that. Don't let yourself spiral into a down mood; if you're getting upset and agitated, come back later when you feel better. Sometimes I get distracted and browse dA while I'm supposed to be painting (like right now... shit...) and I see something amazing and I feel worthless and terrible about the quality of my work. So I just stop painting for a bit and I come back to it later when I've forgotten how good that piece was. If art is really for you, you'll come back to it.
I am in a similar boat. My boat is a bit odd, though. I'm 22--entering my now second year I guess technically of college (been in and out of college since 2009 and changed majors), but I'm getting a fine arts degree.
I get very discouraged when I see really, really great pieces of art--I feel like "why bother?" with my own stuff because someone else could just buy what they make instead of anything I'd ever come out with.
But, again, my work style is a bit weird.
I worked like a champ while I was in my Sculpture class last semester--but for whatever reason, I can't find the energy to work at home. I have only made one picture all summer. Lots of concepts, lots of sketches, but nothing finalized. and no sculptures.
I dunno though. I just try to remember--I'll make my things unique to me, and things that I will enjoy making and be proud of. Regardless of if it sells or not.
Anyways, I also sufffer from depression, maybe even bipolar for all I know. But, my art is what I use as a therapy. I'll never take drugs, ever. I just kind of get past the self-doubt and discouragement by remembering what I said before: if I make things I love to make, and I am proud of what I make, nothing else really matters. I make it for me, if it sells that's a plus.
Anyone can do that, even with commissions. You just stick to a style and make pieces your own. Even if it is for someone else.
yah i get like that a lot.. especially when i try to enter contests and stuff and just end up losing (at least smaller ones. the bigger ones i don't expect to win). but it's like...i think my work easily beats most over the competitors at least and i end up being last.. but even just making stuff for myself can be frustrating..basically the way i look at it, is that everything wont' come out perfect. the art you see is the result of people doing a good job. if i just put up everything i did there would be a ton of crap on my da. i'm sure great artists often don't put out their little scribbles or failed attempts. sometimes it takes me a few tries to get a painting down right, and then i show the one that i'm happy with. sometimes i just make some random little thing but it turns out great when i don't even try.
Hello, my dear. The future can be very overwhelming, can't it?
Just last night I was thinking to myself again about all the stuff I have to do to be ready for college in august: cpr training, how am I going to pay for books when I spent a lot on my car, and the fact that next semester is going to be crazy as all hell. It scares me and overwhelms me when I think of the what ifs and all the things I have to do, I think it's only natural.
And when I go to events past that, forget it, the prospect of me after I get my associates is a black void because it seems no where around here had bachelors in my field.
But enough about me, what I'm trying to say is that when I get overwhelmed these thoughts, I have to take a step back and breathe. Lately I think Que sera sera, which is probably one of the greatest things mary and max taught me thanks to you. Maybe try not to focus on the 'what ifs' and future possibilities, and focus on the now.
And I would be more than happy to spend a day arting with you. I'm sure we could come up with some interesting ideas. I've seen you work and I've seen your art, gurrlll and it's pretty damn good! And you are also my friend, and I say this from my heart when I say, I'm here if you need me. <3
It's good to know that I'm not the only one feeling this way, though I wish we didn't have to feel this way at all xD I'm freaking about the costs of college this coming semester, too.
Lately I think Que sera sera, which is probably one of the greatest things mary and max taught me thanks to you. Maybe try not to focus on the 'what ifs' and future possibilities, and focus on the now.
I love that song But yeah, that's something I struggle with all the time. I can't let go of my problems and confidence issues in order to actually make anything. I have to learn to let things go, but it's very hard. I started to get through it in senior year, especially with my senior project (heck, I got to the point where I was throwing paint at canvases with little regard for how the end product would be), but unfortunately I've "unlearned" that, and again I feel claustrophobic and under constant pressure with my art.
I'd love to spend a day making art with you It'd be wonderful, and it's always important to both spend time with friends and to spend time with fellow artists. But thank you, I really appreciate that And the same goes back to you!
This is pretty crazy because my girlfriend has the EXACT same problems that you do, so I might be able to help. She is also a perfectionist who gets VERY discouraged and it is so hard to bring her motivation back after she has given up.
I have to ask a few questions: 1. Are you trying to get somewhere (like being an amazing artist) right away? 2. Why do you have low self esteem?
My gf wants to be great at art or become a famous voice actor, but she tends to forget that there are a LOT of steps she has to go through to get there. Her perfectionist tendencies get the best of her and she loses all hope completely thinking she'll never get out of this trap-of-a-town. Also, don't worry about your age either. I have to tell her this as well, but there are so many people who haven't done anything great in their lives until they were much older (or at least they weren't remembered for it until later). So don't worry, you have more time than you think.
Art MIGHT not be your passion. I don't know you well enough to say this, but sometimes people think they want to do something when it's entirely something different. I thought I wanted to become a game designer and everything. I did coding for years and had a passion for it. As soon as I hit college, I messed it up entirely. I flunked the class like never before and it was the only class I've ever failed in life. I was super depressed, but found out that I actually wanted to do Graphic Design.
Lastly, take a break. Not from school, but your art. Make sure you have something else to do in your spare time when you're frustrated. Try not to let your perfectionist side get the best of you. I know I don't feel the exact same way as you since I don't have the issue, but I still understand it.
When I'm upset and frustrated I usually listen to "Meatloaf" and drink margaritas. It does wonders. But my bad habits aside I really don't know what help I can offer you other than this opportunity.
One day when I don't have to work you should totally come out. Bring some art-making things and we can have an art tea party. Maybe if you have someone there with you to offer their input and encourage you in the process it will give you some of the encouragement you need. And at the very least, my glorious company should lift your spirits.
these are simply my
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More