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November 4, 2012


Replies: 7

What to do when art gets you discouraged?

ToonEGuy Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm sure everyone here must go through this now and again, but I'd just like to hear from those who have. You know how it is sometimes to feel like art is a struggle for you? That you know you want to be a great artist (and maybe feel like you are pretty good already) and hope to accomplish great things on DA, but you often get discouraged with yourself cause even when you try your hardest you end up feeling like you could be better? You think that you draw real well, even when you need a reference to study, but you just end up feeling like your drawings could have come out better, and you wish that you could sketch better or could draw these things completely on your own. And then you might struggle with backgrounds cause you know you want to make all these elaborate settings but don't know where to start.

Maybe you get discouraged because of the tools you have to work with, cause I use the pen tool in Photoshop for outlining my drawings but it always feels like a chore to do. Or maybe you get discouraged when you see so many other artists on DA that you know are at a level that you're not at yet yourself. One thing I do know for certain about myself though is that I am a perfectionist, and have been one for as long as I can remember. And that certainly affects how much work and effort I put into every single character I draw, and how long it takes me on DA just to submit a new drawing. And when you're a perfectionist, you are likely to become your own critic and get down on yourself when you start thinking that your not as good as you want to be. But even when I do, I don't give up. Because art is still a passion that I hold on to deeply.

So if anyone else has any advice or encouragement of their own to share, I'd be happy to hear it. I'm sure it will help for times like this.

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Devious Comments

Officialpoypoy Nov 4, 2012  Student General Artist
its fun learning it all and developing it through skills and experience,

i dont need to answer u cuz there are some great answers here but yes

dont be frustrated cuz everyone does just take a break and feel good that you did it instead of being like some unskilled people watching skilled ppl do awesome stuff on youtube.

some day it could be you making awesome skilled stuff in youtube for lazy unskilled ppl to watch and get jealous lol
Vineris Nov 4, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I did go through that at some point, but eventually I realized that what I like is the process of leveling up. It wouldn't be an achievement if I could just be better immediately. Like, I wouldn't play RPGs if I started out at Level Godlike because what's the point of running around killing everything without any resistance or challenge? So if I woke up and could just do art effortlessly, I'd quit. It wouldn't be fun any more.

The struggle is the interesting part. It's like you're handed this fiendishly complicated puzzle and at first all you can think is that you want to solve it NOW NOW NOW. But you can't. Then you start looking around at all the other people solving it and you compare yourself to them and it becomes all about how other people are ahead of you and you're a loser and blah blah useless insecurity. And then one day you actually get into the puzzle and all that other bullshit falls away and you're like "Wow. This puzzle is *really freaking cool*. I wonder what happens if I wobble this bit?"
weremole Nov 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
If you hate the pen tool then its as simple a solution as not using it. Also perfectionism isn't healthy since it can never be "perfect". If you want to learn what you want to learn you kind of have to be alright with mistakes and the occasional horrible drawing.
Wikidtron Nov 4, 2012  Professional Artist
I just beat myself up and keep going whether I like it or not. I have to, or I'd starve. Even if I'm uninspired, I'll do studies of simple subjects to keep my hands trained, and eventually I'll get back into enjoying it again. It probably helps that I'm a masochist in nearly every sense of the word and am fueled by self-loathing.
Eh, I take a break when I need to. :shrug: Comes with being able to keep it as a hobby.
ToonEGuy Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, but for me that break can turn into procrastination and you just end up feeling like you're accomplishing nothing.
You could also give yourself a set amount of work that you HAVE to get done every week too =P
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