Tag: art is no longer fun

 

Sketchbook: When Art is no Longer Fun, Take Two

One thing I’ve noticed since creating this blog is that my post I made a while back about solving the problem of becoming bored with art is the most viewed of my posts. Apparently, this is a problem I am not alone in facing. The skill of practicing art becomes tedious and unrewarding for many individuals, so many in fact, that I wonder how many have given up.

I’ll admit that I draw less than I used to when a child and teenager. Art was my way of coping with poor living situations, and now that I have a better life, I’m pouring almost all of my creativity into my novels and fresh ideas for future books. My mind is so cluttered with these plans for stories and books, and I spend so much time story-boarding them that I don’t encourage myself to draw often enough. The result has left me with a satisfactory improvement to my writing skill, which had surpassed beyond what I thought possible for myself, but my skill in art lags somewhat behind. While I can draw well, I feel I can’t do it well enough. In my mind, there is always room for improvement.

One of the many things that helped me get excited about drawing again were series of Youtube tutorials on perfecting drawing methods. Some artists help make drawing fun and easy with guides to help you start learning new techniques, and to even get you started fresh from scratch. One such artist I’ve been following for a while is named Sycra.

Here is a list of art tutorial videos by Sycra that should help any artist looking to improve
How to Draw Playlist

Sycra not only introduces new concepts and theories into artwork on a regular basis, he teaches you these same methods as a means for learning. Improving your art is all about adapting, and more importantly, the time you spend on it. Every single day, I write. If I can’t proof or edit one of my novels (whether it’s writer’s block or something else just as nasty), I write side stories. When I wake up, all I can think about is writing. I can’t go a full day without doing at least thirty minutes of it. This is how you must treat your artwork if you plan to do it professionally, or to get better. I can honestly say that after long periods of not drawing, it shows that I haven’t been practicing. If I drew as much as I write, my quality would be twice that it is now.

I get frustrated easily, and failure discourages me. Nothing turns out right, and I want to throw everything out.
Don’t get discouraged by this emotion. It happens to me, too, and it does force me away from my artwork. But I’ll tell you now that it shouldn’t. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, and art will probably sacrifice many eggs in the process of learning how to make what you want to. Drawing is fun and easy– once you already know how to do it well. On the way there, the road is bumpy and unpleasant at times. You have to remember that it’s all part of becoming better than you were before. Even the failures are things you learn from. Failing over and over is how we succeed in the future.

Once I draw something really well, I’m afraid to continue in fear of never making something that good again.
Maybe I’m the only one that goes through this, but I’ve seen people worship smaller accomplishments, which hold them back from working on tougher things. Repetition is the key to practicing. Even if one out of a thousand eyes you draw is the only one that looks good, you still need to draw many more so that all of them will look good and normal. This was a trap I once fell into, and anything that looks even semi-good compared to older work, I cherish it instead of improving myself, and working too hard on one project for hours will bore the hell out of you if it ends up not looking the way you wanted. Draw a thousand tiny mediocre pictures before working on one huge project that’s beyond your capability.

I have such good ideas for comics and pictures, and I want to make them reality! I’m too excited to wait!
Don’t rush a skill. It will take you years to perfect it. If you’re not the patient type, perhaps drawing isn’t for you. I speak from experience in that I myself am not patient at all. I don’t sit and practice because that’s “work” to me, rather than fun, like it should be. Writing is always fun for me, even when I’m working. Art has to be fun for you, and if it isn’t, again, it might not be for you. Consider your reasons for why you want to draw.

I don’t like people criticizing me.
This is one I can’t help much with. No one likes to be criticized. When developing a skill, it’s okay to ask for critique from other artists. Most are professional about it and recognize that you’re in the stages of learning. Remember to have some thick skin and try not to take everything too personally. Some people are trying to help you improve.

If after the tutorials and suggestions you still feel like drawing is too tough to tackle, there might be other kinds of art aside from drawing that appeal to you. For instance, I’ve always wanted to try sculpting, and I’ve made it a goal of mine to attempt it.

Remember, an artist spends time with their craft every day. How much time would you like to invest?

When Art Isn’t Fun Anymore… and What to do to Fix It

For a long time, drawing hasn’t been fun for me. While I can draw, and if I work really hard at it, I can do it well, I’ve been lacking the motivation and desire to do it for some time now. For some reason, drawing and painting are the only areas where I feel this tremendous hopelessness. Challenges in writing don’t stop me from writing. Challenges in games don’t stop me from trying again and again until I get it right. Challenges in life are things I shake my fist at and try something new. I love to learn new skills and teach myself new things. Art in particular has been nothing more than a tedious affair for years, something I do only because I know I can, and thus, do it in cases when I have to, rather when I want to, such as for book covers. It isn’t laziness, nor is it because I don’t like challenges. It’s become work, and nothing more.

A lot of things can cause this to happen. I tend to start projects only with the intent to finish them by the end of the day. If I think an art project will take me several days, I’m fed up already, as I’ve already got five different types of things I’m juggling at all times. Writing is work, but it’s still fun for me to tell a story and do so with good grammar, and books can take up to a year and a half for me to complete. Editing is fun for me, too, always has been. With drawing and painting, it’s a gigantic chore, even when I’m drawing something I like, and I think this is because I strain myself way too hard when I’m not feeling in the mood because I need to get “work” done. Cover artwork is “work” that supports the novel beyond it. As you can imagine, getting bored with drawing my covers can cause problems as an author. If the cover looks terrible, a lot of people are going to judge it.

Obviously, this is something that bothers me, because as a child, I once adored drawing, and had fun, no matter what I drew. I would draw entire comics and color them, filling entire sketchbooks with panels and artwork. I also used to have a more fun “cartoony” style than I do now. More often than not I think to myself that I want to go back to a cartoony style, but then I think how much I prefer my art to look “realistic,” and thus, I never know how to draw my pictures, and they turn into some odd combination of both, and sloppy. I’ve stopped thinking about what’s fun in art and more about what I’ve convinced myself is “acceptable.” I’ve hit sort of a wall in terms of how art feels to me. I “like” to draw, but I don’t want to draw. It feels, shamefully, like a waste of time and energy now.

So, I’ve begun to feel like I should “start over,” re-inspire myself, maybe find a particular model I’d like to draw a portrait of, or start practicing my figure drawing. There are lots of great things out there I could draw, and the idea of doing it again is exciting, even though it bores me now. To get back in the habit of it would be difficult, though. Growing up, I drew every single day and got better over time. Now I draw maybe once every couple of months, or less. The mood doesn’t strike me as much as it once did. It helped when I was still in school, since I would draw in class and would get my necessary daily sketching done. I have to admit that I was a better artist back when I had a passion for it. Even when having a better idea of how to interpret anatomy and shading now, my art had life back when I was in high school. It had a soul. You could tell I cared about every little thing I drew. It saddens me to look at them now, remembering where I was and how much I enjoyed it when drawing it.

Now that I’ve addressed the issue, I’m leaving a bit of advice and vow to myself.

I think going back to the basics of art will make it fun again. As experienced as I am, I never stop learning, and learning should be fun. The problem now, though, is finding time to draw in between working on novels and chainmaille. I really should be making time for it, but my novels are my priority. If there is something to “work” on, it needs to be the current draft of one of my books. I care a lot about my stories and want to perfect them to the point of near-exhaustion. I want to feel that way about art again.

I’ve mentioned to my husband that I wanted to draw portraits of people again. Here’s hoping my model jumps out at me soon and inspires me to get back to it! I want to draw because I want to again.

Edit: I’ve composed a second part to this blog post, complete with a link to some helpful videos and tips from myself.
Check it out here