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December 13, 2012
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Can't get motivated about art...

:iconbeezlemona:
Beezlemona Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have recently been commissioned to do eight illustrations for friend's book which is soon to be published... These illustrations have to be done by the end of the month and, of course, must be of a very high quality.
The thing is, I don't believe that my drawing is of sufficient quality to be published. Not only that, but I just can't seem to motivate myself at all
I (very stupidly) took Art as one of my courses in year 11, and for some reason I feel it has completely destroyed my artistic motivation. Before that I would draw what I wanted, and I'd produce a lot of art (even though it would mostly be fanart or something else that took my personal interest), but with the pressure of having to do it for a grade I would spend weeks agonizing over how to create something deeply meaningful and skillful, and in the end only produce a strangled and rushed piece which in the end was worse than continuing to happily produce my meaningless fanart. The worst this was that my art teacher didn't see any difference in what I produced. "Oh, you've drawn another nasty demonic thing looks nice but maybe you could try something a bit deeper"
BITCH, I WAS DISPLAYING MY VERY SOUL THERE :iconcryforeverplz:
In the end I failed my art course, and up until this point I've never gotten any mark worse than a B :C (except in middle school sport but that doesn't count)
Anyway, after a year of this I feel like my will to create has been destroyed. I know this is week but after all this I just can't make myself enjoy drawing anymore. I can hardly bring myself to draw what I want anymore, let alone what someone else wants.

Also, there remains the issue of these illustrations...

I don't think my art is of a publishable standard. This isn't because of any kind of self-esteem issue or me being whiney or anything, looking at my art I can see that it is genuinely of a much lower standard than anything you'd see actually published.
I am capable of copying an image quite precisely, I use fine grid referencing to get the lines nearly the same as they are in the photograph I'm referencing from, which really is just a more tedious method of tracing. (I don't trace but this seems like an apt comparison. I know that this grid technique is an accepted method of art production but I still feel like a total fraud)(the method is like this)

The difference in the quality of my copied images and ones drawn from scratch is as you can see very, very evident.
My original art is obviously of a much lower standard, despite all my practicing.
I fear that when my friend asked me to do these illustrations he was only looking at my better, copied stuff, and doesn't know how low my skill level actually is...


I have only 17 days to get these pictures done, and this is on top of all the irritating christmassy things that will no doubt be taking up quite a lot of my time.


I did promise I'd get these done. Both the publisher and my friend are expecting these illustrations, backing out is not an option. (He's even let me borrow his computer seeing as the illustrations have to be too big for my laptop to handle.)
They expect I can get them done and my friend believes in me.
But I don't know if I can do it. I used to love drawing, now I find it painful. I never should have accepted the work in the first place but it's too late now.

What can I do to get motivated again? Is there anything I can do to make this better or am I just going to have to suck it up and chain myself to my desk with liters of coffee until I have them done?
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Devious Comments

:iconlokifan20:
lokifan20 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
what i'd do is, just keep on the positive side of the art :). if people say 'i love your art' your art is good ~ the more u put yourself down the more it drawing wont be fun :). just gotta stay positive and find ways to motivate urself :) like listen to music, or play a video game anything :)
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:iconendeavor-to-freefall:
Nobody knows the answers before the exam :iconconfuciusplz:
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:iconmew-sumomo:
Mew-Sumomo Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student General Artist
If someone wanted to publish your work, then that means that your work is publishable by their standards. Commercially, that's all that matters. If you choose to do this professionally, avoid pointing our your faults to anyone else who can potentially use your work for some type of project, especially if you expect a big payout for it.

I had the same issue, actually. I am currently in art school but I was having issues with motivation to do art even before then and certain classes and assignments began to feel like chores. However, I recently reaffirmed my passion for illustration and the drive to create is slowly coming back.
If you feel like you are being overwhelmed with projects and work that you are given, it might just be helpful to take a break. If you have no drive right now to create work just for yourself, you can take a break from that as well so you don't feel like you're trying to force something out of you. You can also try to temporarily find another creative outlet such as music or writing. Block and lack of drive is a thing that comes and goes, and this may be something that can get better with time. If that is not the case then it may be something else in your life and you might have to just identify what's wrong compared to how you were feeling previously and attack the issue head-on if that's possible.

Also, in terms of using reference or tracing and the like... it's a bit different with commercial illustration. Assuming that the reference isn't something copyrighted or easily recognizeable (or even completely original; taking your own photographs for reference is a plus since it's entirely from your perspective) an art director or editor would much rather see a finished illustration that utilized reference to create the most accurate picture possible than if you didn't. Just try not to use it as a crutch, and practice enough that it can come naturally enough that you're not relying on it completely. Source: Professors of mine who have been working in the industry for years.

I wish you luck, and I certainly think you're capable. :#1:
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:icongraveyardbat:
GraveyardBat Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
If you tell yourself that you're not publishable quality then you won't be. Clean your act and get it done.
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:iconpmmurphy:
PMMurphy Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just be happy your getting work. Take some buisness classes. Being highly technical and skilled at art is nice but thats only half the battle to being successful.
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
Nothing is going to change until that attitude gets better.

You have a chance to get PUBLISHED and you're dropping the ball.
You do not decide if your art is good enough, the person who recruited you for the project already made the decision.
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:iconeuterpe-the-egret:
Euterpe-The-Egret Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
:iconthisplz:
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
:icontrophyplz:
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:iconeuterpe-the-egret:
Euterpe-The-Egret Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I posted this in another forum but thought that some of these tutorials and stock images may help you.

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Check out the rest of these people's galleries if you like what they have since I've only posted a small amount of work from each person. These have helped me in the past and may help you.
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:iconjessiebellea:
JessiebelleA Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I second all the above for motivation. It's hard to see your own work as good, but if you've been commissioned, this person obviously thinks your art is good. To that note: your art teacher is one person. I know we're supposed to treat teachers as the gatekeepers to what is right and good, but especially in art, teachers are just one person. So what if this teacher didn't like your art? This teacher clearly didn't know how to actually teach, since "go deeper" is about the most useless piece of advice ever given.
My question is when you talk about your "copied" art VS your "drawn from scratch". Are you not using references for the freehand drawings? Freehanding is hard and anatomy is complicated. If you're looking for a pose, don't be afraid to look it up on google and stockphoto. Seeing how "real" bodies move and sit is a huge advantage and most successful artists use multiple references for each piece. It's not copying, it's referencing.
You might need to sit down and just bang out a few of these pieces just to prove to yourself that you can. Even if they're awful and you hate them, e-mail them to your friend and tell them they're WIPs, see what they think of the art, I bet it'll be good. Update/redo it if you need to, but I think you need to just prove to yourself that you can do them and that other people like them.
You're gonna be fine, don't worry. *internet hugs*
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