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December 9, 2012


Replies: 15

Failure of an artist...

rbaceman Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
I hate that my first post on DA isn't an amazing picture but a sob story instead... In any case here it goes.

I'm seriously at a loss right now concerning my art work. For as long as I could remember I always loved to draw and make music. Those two things stuck out more than my love for any other hobby. When I was younger you wouldn't find me without a pen & paper or walkman. I drew and listened to music for fun. It's what made me happy. For the longest time I was the best artist I knew. I loved to show of my work to everyone and let them critique. It seems that over the years, however, I lost sight of both of these things. I found my self playing more video games and practicing less and less. I stopped drawing and playing music almost all at once during my middle and high school years, which is probably were I needed to practice the most.

I picked up FL Studio in 2009 and thankfully music is very simple. My art, however, wasn't so fortunate. It pains me that at one point I wanted to be a character concept artist for video games and have art work that matches a middle school child. I picked up the pencil in the summer of 2011 and slowly but surely started drawing again but i'm stuck. I knew nothing of foreshortening, rendering, physics and such. I never had a art class in my 19 years of life and now i'm paying the price for it. I've been trying to cram various things in at once to make it up for the absence of drawing but I just can't. I'm bad at figure drawing, shading, foreshortening, hell, I can barely draw faces hands and hair.... I ball up sketch book pages in frustration while beating my self up over the fact that i'm terrible.

My main problem is that I don't know where to start. I go on youtube videos but it just doesn't stick. I'm not sure if it's because i'm rushing the process or what but I can't seem to take what I learned in the video over to what I have in my mind. When I have a subject it isn't as bad but it's still noticeable.When I attempt to draw from my mind all hell breaks loose. I need to entirely refresh my art skills and start from scratch but where do I go to do that? This is why i'm posting on DA. I need help. I want to get back to where I once was. Proud of my work and able to show it off without fear of someone not liking it. I want to gain my confidence back because I'm at rock bottom right now. And trust me, rock bottom blows.

If you guys have any good websites or links for me to go to PLEASE let me know of them. I'll even give Youtube videos another try but I just need something. I can't give up on art. I'm not really good at anything. I don't have anything that I can show off to others and they'll now that's my thing. Jack of all trades, master of none fits me to a t. I want to rid of this and make art my passion and music my hobby.

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Devious Comments

SimBuh Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Student
No matter how good you get you will allways feel there is someone better than you but that doesn't matter.The most important thing is is to keep drawing perhaps set yourself a challenge to draw something every day.
Starlit-Sorceress Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Don't worry about it. When you were a carefree little kid drawing and listening to your walkman, were you on YouTube, freaking out because you can't draw as well as you'd like?

You won't love drawing again until you draw because you love it.
djdanilly Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Professional General Artist
I am a counselor, it's all about experimenting. Contact me if you have any other problems. Thank you.
rbaceman Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
@PMMurphy Thanks man, you're exactly right!

@Glori305 Yeah, i've been doing that. I'll google search an interesting picture and draw it. Whether it be a person, animal or structure. I'm at my beest when I draw from reference and I can really see the results.

@MayJackson, @dzine9 It's good to know that i'm not the only one that struggles. I guess all great artists start from somewhere XD

@FIRSTxAIDxKIT I still do the cube and cylinder method, especially with hands and feet.

@Rizhnar Thanks for the tutorial man. It's really good!

Thanks everyone for the support. With your help I finally figured out what my priorities are , in terms of drawing. My sketchbook's filling up at an amazing rate and not one page has been crumbled! Kind of wish I can change the title of my topic now XD
Rizhnir Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
It appears you found your answer, but I'll throw in my 2 cents too.

A year I was in a similar mindset with my stuff. Nothing was coming out right, proportions were off, and I almost gave up. I had no art classes relevant to what I like to draw, and only had my manga and other comic books to guide me.

But I found this tutorial some time ago from a deviant right here that changed my approach completely: [link] . This deviant taught me to build everything from the ground up via stick figures. He and others I've learned from don't know me from Adam (or Juan since I'm Hispanic) but they helped me revolutionize my art beyond what I thought I could do.

But the most important thing I gathered from collecting tutorials like that was that someone had said (maybe that one up there?) that they drew these stick figure exercises at least 20 times every day. A light bulb went off in my head, and I decided what I needed to do: draw a new pose from a stick figure, as many as I could, every day.

I kid you not, I still do this exercise every day. I haven't missed a beat since September of last year, and looking through my own gallery, the improvement is incredible, though it's still not enough for me to stop.

I recommend you try something similar. Whatever your field of interest is, find time every day to just churn out practice sketches, even if it's just 5 minutes a day. Fill every last page of your notebooks with them, and keep them all so that in a year, you can look back and see how much you've improved. Or just pick a day of the week when you sit down for an hour or two and pump out as many bare-bones sketches as you can -- don't even give a f!@# about how good they come out. Just draw man. You'll get where you want to be soon enough, I promise you.

I hope you can get something from all this. If you got the motivation to draw, all you need is practice. Good luck dude! :D
MenteDeDios Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I often feel this way and then I just keep going. Takes years but everytime I draw again I notice my drawings improving. Just keep going.
FIRSTxAIDxKIT Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
You didn't fail as an artist--you practically just started! You can't pick up a pencil and expect to produce a masterpiece. This is the journey of every artist, to practice and persevere and draw a thousand bad drawings until we become decent. It's up to you to decide that you're not going to get easily discouraged and to just keep drawing EVERY day.

As someone stated above me, the best way to start is with geometric shapes and still-lifes. The first illustration course at my university revolves around drawing cubes that we build out of foamcore for 2 months straight. Just cubes. Because when you can draw a cube or a set of any cubes in any perspective, you can put things into those cubes and they will be exactly right in terms of perspective. One of the best pieces of advice that professor ever gave me was that you can put ANYTHING into a cube or a cylinder. When you hammer down the basics and are able to draw cubes in every perspective, then it's time to work on anatomy, forshortening, etc. Also, master black and white before you even touch color. A drawing or painting that doesn't have good values in black and white will not be saved by color.

Something that I like to say to myself is that all artists suck, some just suck less than others. :lol:
MayJackson Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
If you can't get yourself to ENJOY drawing, you're going to quit eventually. I struggle with the same feelings you described, and every once in a while I have to remind myself that I'M LEARNING HOW TO DRAW BECAUSE IT MAKES ME HAPPY. Not because I want to be the best, not because I want to be popular, not because I want a fancy animation job, not because I want recognition - sure, all those things are great and at some level I do want them (except that job lol) - but really, my goal is just to have fun and be happy with what I make.
So be happy with what you make. And practice, and be happy with your practice. If you're too hard on yourself for not being better, you'll get discouraged! So just be happy :) Try to take joy from it.
Glori305 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
Sounds like you are trying to start with advanced skills, things like people, forshortening, drawing from your imagination.

The simplest thing to do, and what most artists are started on are geometric shapes. These are easy to find around the house, a child's ball is a sphere, and a can of anything is a cylinder. Best if they are a solid color, and all you are working on is shape and color.

Check out some information on 1, 2 and 3 point perspective.

Do some still life's. Doesn't have to be flowers and fruit, your game controler and TV, the breakfast dishes piled in the sink. These things have simpler shapes than people, and are going to help with your perpective and shading.

THEN move on to people, but draw from life, you, your family, your friends, people at a bus stop, kids on a playground. But draw from life. Also do animals, cat's dogs horses etc. As much as you can from life there as well.

One of the key skills of drawing is teaching your brain to take something 3D and translate it to a flat surface (your imagination generally thinks in 3D as well) and that is easier to do with the thing you are drawing in front of you, so you can compare the original to the picture. Which is why you should start with things that hold still, and only after your skills have improved move to things that move.

Art classes have been suggested and are a good idea if you can find them in your pricerange, but I know with the kind of jobs I was working at 19 that might have been tough. Look outside of school though, most places have community parks and recreation departments and they often offer classes in a variety of subjects. Your local art stores may offer classes themselves, or know of those that teach. If there is an artist guild in your area is usually good to join, go to meetings and get connections and feedback. Also see if there are any meetup groups for artists in your area.

Spend at least 1 hour a day drawing. No matter WHAT you are drawing, even if you decide I am a grouchy stupid old lady for suggesting geometric shapes and still life when you want to draw video game art, draw for at least an hour every day, ANY drawing will help you improve. And drawing, look back at your drawing from a week ago, deciding how it could be better, and doing it again better, will help you improve even more quickly.
PMMurphy Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think you should just stop worrying about how good it should be and appreciate your art for how good it is. Strive to be better and keep up the dedication and one day other people will appreciate it too. Just upload your art on DA if you want or don't upload at all but never drop the pen/pencil/brush/tablet
rbaceman Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
Thanks for the kind words guys. I finally figured out what my problem was. It's just like what Disney Dork said. I'm assuming that since i've been drawing for so long that every piece'll come out perfect when in actuality that's far from the case. Art is a constant practice. You get better the more you draw. I guess I should've bought Photoshop before FL Studio, huh? lol It's funny because I' always felt like "Oh, i'm too good for the stick and cone method" when that's what I needed the most. From now on i'll try to draw a little of everything a day. Also thanks so much for that link Lilthian . This helps a lot more than what you think. As I said before, when I have a reference my pics come out better. I'm going to start anew with figure drawings as my base. I knew posting on DA was a good idea XD. I can see the sparks emitting!

Thanks so much guys!!!
Expect to see something from me in the near future. Who knows, maybe i'll get a DD one day XD
Khirate Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If you really truly want to get back into art, you can't just lose all motivation and confidence the moment you draw something that doesn't look good. Art classes and tutorials are all perfectly fine, but what matters the most is perseverance and practice. Don't know how to draw something? Draw it a hundred times until you can get it the way you want it to look. There are no shortcuts. People don't improve by doing things perfectly all the time. You've got to screw up, and that way you can figure out what to do better next time. You can't quit because your drawing's not perfect, instead, really look at it, think of all the things you did wrong, tell yourself "I'll do better next time!" and then start again. It'll take a while though, but keep trying. If you're lacking motivation, take a class, and then it'll almost be like you're required to keep drawing, and there'll be someone helping you out.

I look at tutorials and reference pictures. Tutorials for colored pencil, watercolor, anatomy, all that stuff. Also, if you post something and want to know what to do better, you could go to the deviant thumbshare forum, and then ask for critiques and comments on what to do better. Some people are VERY helpful about that.
cakeroll Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
you need to discipline yourself! Don't give up.
Ask for criticism if you want to grow faster.
LILI-exec Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Take your time to practice. Plus, Google is really useful. There are also tons of tutorials here and there.

Also, observational drawing helps SO much. There's this site a friend once suggested to me whenever I wanted to draw human bodies by observation here: [link]

Dunno if it's right up your alley, but it's rather helpful if you want to draw people, since you want to become a character concept artist. You say that you're bad at drawing; well, it will take some time, but if any, observational drawing and lots of practice will be the way to hone your skills; imagination and creativity will depend on you.

I don't know if I was of any help, but I wish nothing but good luck and a destiny that will satisfy your hard work! Hang in there and don't give up, okay?
siantjudas Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012   Digital Artist
Maybe look into taking some kind of art class somewhere. There's tutorials abound on the internet. Google tutorial of whatever you want and you'll find it, you just have to take the time to look, just like if you want to get better you need to take the time to practice.

That's why I'm suggesting taking a class, since someone else will be doing all that for you, instead of you having to work up the motivation yourself.
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